Volcano - Encyclopedia

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VOLCANO, an opening in the earth's crust, through which heated matter is brought, permanently or temporarily, from the interior of the earth to the surface, where it usually forms a hill, more or less conical in shape, and generally with a hollow or crater at the top. This hill, though not an essential part of the volcanic mechanism, is what is commonly called the volcano. The name seems to have been applied originally to Etna and some of the Lipari Islands, which were regarded as the seats of Hephaestus, a Greek divinity identified with Vulcan, the god of fire in Roman mythology. All the phenomena connected directly or indirectly with volcanic activity are comprised under the general designation of vulcanism or vulcanicity - words which are also written less familiarly as volcanism and volcanicity; whilst the study of the phenomena forms a department of natural knowledge known as vulcanology. Vulcanicity is the chief superficial expression of the earth's internal igneous activity.

It may happen that a volcano will remain for a long period in a state of moderate though variable activity, as illustrated by the normal condition of Stromboli, one of the Lipari Islands; but in most volcanoes the activity is more decidedly intermittent, paroxysms of greater or less violence occurring after intervals of comparative, or even complete, repose. If the period of quiescence has been very protracted, the renewed activity is apt to be exceptionally violent. Thus, Krakatoa before the great eruption of 1883 had been dormant for something like two centuries, and it is believed that the Japanese volcano Bandaisan previously to the gigantic outburst of 1888 had been silent for more than a thousand years. A volcano may indeed remain so long dormant as to be mistaken for one completely extinct. The volcanoes of central France are regarded as extinct, inasmuch as no authentic historical record of any eruption is known, but there are not wanting signs that in some parts of this volcanic region the subterranean forces may yet be slumbering rather than dead.

Table of contents

Premonitory Symptoms

A volcanic eruption is usually preceded by certain symptoms, of which the most common are local earthquakes. The mountain, or other eruptive centre, may be thrown by internal activity into a state of tremor; the tremors perhaps continuing intermittently for months or even years, and becoming more frequent and violent as the crisis approaches. At first they are usually confined to the volcano and its immediate neighbourhood, but may subsequently extend to a considerable distance, though probably never developing into earthquakes of the first magnitude. The sudden opening of a subterranean crack, by rupture of a rock under strain, or the rapid injection of lava into such a fissure, will tend to produce a jar at the surface. For at least sixteen years before the first recorded eruption of Vesuvius in A.D. 79 earthquakes had been frequent in the Campania and had wrought havoc in the cities of Herculaneum and Pompeii. Again, the formation of Monte Nuovo, near Pozzuoli, in 1538, was heralded by local earthquakes beginning several years in advance of the eruption. So too in recent years many volcanic outbursts have been preceded by a succession of earthquakes; but as volcanoes are frequently situated in areas of marked seismic activity, the shocks antecedent to an eruption may not, unless exceptionally violent, receive much attention from local observers.

It commonly happens that a volcanic outburst is announced by subterranean roaring and rumbling, often compared to thunder or the discharge of artillery underground. Other precursory symptoms may be afforded by neighbouring springs, which not unusually flow with diminished volume, or even fail altogether. Possibly fissures open underground and drain off the water from the springs and wells in the immediate locality. Occasionally, however, an increased flow has been recorded. In some cases thermal springs make their appearance, whilst the temperature of any existing warm springs may be increased, and perhaps carbon dioxide be evolved. A disturbed state of the atmosphere is by no means a constant forerunner of an eruption, some of the greatest outbursts having occurred in a period of atmospheric stability: indeed the air is often felt to be close and still.

Immediately before a renewed outburst in an old volcano, the floor of the crater is generally upheaved to a greater or less extent, whilst the discharge of vapour from any fumaroles is increased. Where a crater has been occupied by water, forming a crater-lake, the water on the approach of an eruption becomes warm, evolves visible vapour, and may even boil. In the case of cones which are capped with snow, the internal heat of the rising lava usually causes a rapid melting of the snow-cap, resulting perhaps in a disastrous deluge.

It seems probable that by attention to the premonitory symptoms a careful local observer might in many cases foretell an eruption.

It generally happens that a great eruption is preceded by a preliminary phase of feeble activity. Thus, the gigantic catastrophe at Krakatoa on the 27th of August 1883, so far from having been a sudden outburst, was the culmination of a state of excitement, sometimes moderate and sometimes violent, which had been in progress for several months.

Emission of Vapour

Of all volcanic phenomena the most constant is the emission of vapour. It is one of the earliest features of an eruption; it persists during the paroxysms, attaining often to prodigious volume; and it lingers as the last relic of an outburst, so that long after the ejection of ashes and lava has ceased an occasional puff of vapour may be the only memento of the disturbance.

By far the greatest proportion of the vapour is steam, which sometimes occurs almost to the exclusion of other gaseous products. Such, at least, is the usual and probably correct view, though it is opposed by A. Brun, who regards the volcanic vapours as chiefly composed of chlorides with steam in only subordinate amount. In the case of a mild eruption, like that occurring normally at Stromboli, the vapours may be discharged in periodical puffs, marking the explosion of bubbles rising more or less rhythmically from the seething lava in the volcanic cauldron. S. Wise observed at the volcano of Sangay, in Ecuador, no fewer than 267 explosions in the course of an hour, the vapour here being associated, as is so often the case, with ashes. During a violent eruption the vapour may be suddenly shot upwards as a vertical column of enormous height, penetrating the passing clouds. For a short distance above the vent the superheated steam sometimes exists as a transparent vapour, but it soon suffers partial condensation, forming clouds, which, if not dispersed by winds, accumulate over the mountain. When the vapour is free from ash it forms rolling balls of fleecy cloud, but usually it carries in mechanical association more or less finely divided lava as volcanic dust and ashes, whereby it becomes yellow, brown, or even black, sometimes as foul as the densest smoke. In a calm atmosphere the dust-laden vapour may rise in immense rings with a rotatory movement, like that of vortex-rings. Frequently the vapours, emitted in a rapid succession of jets, form cumulus clouds, or are massed together in cauliflower-like forms. The well-known " pine-tree appendage " of Vesuvius (pino vulcanico), noted by the younger Pliny in his first letter to Tacitus on the eruption in the year 79, is a vertical shaft of vapour terminating upwards in a canopy of cloud, and compared popularly with the trunk and spreading branches of the stonepine. Whilst in some cases the cloud resembles a gigantic expanded umbrella, in others it is more mushroom-shaped. In a great eruption, the height of the mountain itself may appear dwarfed by comparison with that of the column of vapour. During the eruption of Vesuvius in April 1906, the steam and dust rose to a height of between 6 and 8 m. At Krakatoa in 1883 the column of vapour and ashes reached an altitude of nearly 20 m.; whilst it was estimated by some authorities that during the most violent explosions the finely divided matter must have been carried to an elevation of more than 30 m. The emission of vast volumes of vapour at high tension naturally produces much atmospheric disturbance, often felt at great distances from the centre of eruption.

Electrical Excitement

It is probably to the uprushing current of vapour that much of the electrical excitement which invariably accompanies an eruption may be referred. The friction of the steam rushing in jets through the volcanic vent must produce electrical disturbance, and indeed an active volcano has been aptly compared to a hydroelectric machine of gigantic power. Another cause of excitement may be found in the mutual friction of the ejected cinders and ashes as they rise and fall in showers through the air. Much trituration of volcanic material may go on in the crater and elsewhere during the eruption, whereby the solid lava is reduced to a fine dust. Other means of generating electricity are found in the chemical reactions effected in the volcano and in the sudden condensation of the emitted vapour. L. Palmieri, in the course of his investigations at the observatory on Vesuvius, found that the vapours free from cinders carried a positive charge, whilst the cinders were negative.

The electrical phenomena attending an eruption are often of great intensity and splendour. The dark ash-laden clouds of vapour are shot through and through by volcanic lightning, sometimes in rapid horizontal flashes, then in oblique forked streaks, or again in tortuous lines compared to fiery serpents, whilst the borders of the cloud may be brilliant with electric scintillations, often forming balls and stars of fire. During the great eruption of Krakatoa remarkable phenomena were observed by ships in the Strait of Sunda, luminous balls like " St Elmo's fire " appearing at the mast-heads and the yard-arms, whilst the volcanic mud which fell upon rigging and deck was strongly phosphorescent.

Quite distinct from any electrical phenomena is that intermittent reddish glare which is often seen at night in clouds hanging over an active crater, and which is simply a glow due to reflection from ,the incandescent lava and stones in the volcanic cauldron below.

Volcanic Rain and Mud

The condensation of the vast volumes of steam exhaled during an eruption produces torrents of rain, which, mingling to a greater or less extent with the volcanic ashes, forms a hot muddy stream known in Italy as lava d'acqua and lava di fango, and in South America as moya. Deluges of such mud-lava may rush violently down the mountain-side and spread over the neighbouring country with terribly destructive effect, whence they are greatly dreaded by those who dwell at the base of a volcano. The solidified volcanic mud, often mingled with larger fragments of lava, is known as duf f or tufa. Herculaneum was buried beneath a flood of mud swept down from Vesuvius during the Plinian eruption of 79, and the hard tufaceous crust which thus sealed up the illfated city came in turn to be covered by lava-flows from subsequent eruptions: hence the difficulty of excavating at Herculaneum compared with similar work at Pompeii, where there was probably much less mud, since the city, having been at a greater distance from the volcanic centre, was overwhelmed in great measure by loose ashes, capable of removal with comparative ease.

It sometimes happens that volcanic mud is formed by the mingling of hot ashes not directly with rain but with water from streams and lakes, or even, as in Iceland, with melted snow. A torrent of mud was one of the earliest symptoms of the violent eruption of Mont Pele in Martinique in 1902. This mud had its source in the Etang Sec, a crater-basin high up on the S.W. side of the mountain. By the explosive discharge of ashes and vapours mingled with the water of the tarn there was produced a vast volume of hot muddy matter which on the 5th of May suddenly escaped from the basin, when a huge torrent of boiling black mud, charged with blocks of rock and moving with enormous rapidity, rolled like an avalanche down the gorge of the Riviere Blanche. If a stream of lava obstructs the drainage of a volcano, it may give rise to floods.

Ejected Blocks

When a volcano after a long period of repose starts into fresh activity, the materials which have accumulated in the crater, including probably large blocks from the disintegration of the crater-walls, have to be ejected. If the lava from the last eruption has consolidated as a plug in the throat of the volcano, the conduit may be practically closed, and hence the first effort of the renewed activity is to expel this obstruction. The hard mass becomes shattered by the explosions, and the angular fragments so formed are hurled forth by the outrushing stream of vapour. When the discharge is violent, the vapour, as it rushes impetuously up the volcanic duct, may tear fragments of rock from its walls and project them to a considerable distance from the vent. Such ejected blocks, by no means uncommon in the early stages of an eruption, are often of large size and naturally vary according to the character of the rocks through which the duct has been opened. They may be irregular masses of igneous rocks, possibly lavas of earlier eruptions, or they may be stratified, sedimentary and fossiliferous rocks representing the platform on which the volcano has been built, or the yet more deeply seated fundamental rocks. By Dr H. J. Johnston-Lavis, who specially studied the ejected blocks of Vesuvius, the volcanic materials broken from the cone are termed " accessory " ejecta, whilst other fragmentary materials he conveniently calls " accidental " products, leaving the term " essential " ejecta for plastic lava, ashes, crystals, &c. Masses of Cretaceous or Apennine limestone ejected from Somma are scattered through the tuffs on the slopes of Vesuvius; and objects carved in such altered limestone are sold to tourists as " lava " ornaments. Under the influence of volcanic heat and vapours, the ejected blocks suffer more or less alteration, and may contain in their cavities many crystallized minerals. Certain blocks of sandstone ejected occasionally at Etna are composed of white granular quartz, permeated with vitreous matter and encased in a black scoriaceous crust of basic lava.

A rock consisting of an irregular aggregation of coarse ejected materials, including many large blocks, is known as a " volcanic agglomerate." Any fragmental matter discharged from a volcano may form rocks which are described as " pyroclastic." Cinders, Ashes and Dust. - After the throat of a volcano has been cleared out and a free exit established, the copious discharge of vapour is generally accompanied by the ejection of fresh lava in a fragmentary condition. If the ejected masses bear obvious resemblance to the products of the hearth and the furnace, they are known as " cinders " or " scoriae," whilst the small cinders not larger than walnuts often pass under their Italian name of "lapilli" (q.v.). When of globular or ellipsoidal form, the ejected masses are known as " bombs " (q.v.) or " volcanic tears." Other names are given to the smaller fragments. If the lava has become granulated it is termed " volcanic sand "; when in a finer state of division it is called ash, or if yet more highly comminuted it is classed as dust; but the latter terms are sometimes used interchangeably. The pulverized material, consisting of lava which has been broken up by the explosion, or triturated in the crater, is often discharged in prodigious quantity, so that after an eruption the country for miles around the volcano may be covered with a coating of fine ash or dust, sometimes nearly white, like a fall of snow, but often of greyish colour, looking rather like Portland cement, and in many cases becomirg reddish by oxidation of the ferruginous constituents. Even when first ejected the ash is sometimes cocoa-coloured. This finely divided lava insinuates itself into every crack and cranny, reaching the interior of houses even when windows and doors are closed. A heavy fall of ash or cinders may cause great structural damage, crushing the roofs of buildings by sheer weight, as was markedly the case at Ottajano and San Guiseppe during the eruption of Vesuvius in April 1906. On this occasion the dry ashes slipped down the sides of the volcanic cone like an avalanche, forming great ashslides with ridges and furrows rather like barrancos, or ravines, caused by rain. The burial of Ottajano and San Ginseppe in 1906 by Vesuvian ejecta, mostly lapilli, has been compared with that of Pompeii in 79.

Deposits of volcanic sand and ashes retain their heat long after ejection, so that rain will cause them to evolve steam, and if the rain be heavy and sudden it may produce explosions with emission of great clouds of vapour. The fall of ash is at first prejudicial to vegetation, and is often accompanied or followed by acid rain; but ultimately the ash may prove beneficial to the soil, chiefly in consequence of the alkalis which it contains. The " May dust " of Barbados was a rain of volcanic ash which fell in May 1812 from the eruption of the Soufriere in St Vincent. It is estimated that the amount of dust which during this eruption fell on the surface of Barbados, Ioo m. distant from the eruptive centre, was about 3,000,000 tons. The distance to which ash is carried depends greatly on the atmospheric conditions at the time of the eruption. Ashes from Vesuvius in an eruption in the year 472 were carried, it is said, as far as Constantinople. During an eruption of Cotopaxi, on the 3rd of July 1880, observed by E. Whymper, an enormous black column of dust-laden vapour was shot vertically upwards with such rapidity that in less than a minute it rose to a height estimated at 20,000 ft. above the crater-rim, or nearly 40,000 ft. above sea-level, when it was dispersed by the wind over a very wide area. It is believed that the amount of dust in this discharge must have been more than 2,000,000 tons. Enormous quantities of dust ejected from Krakatoa in 1883 were carried to prodigious distances, samples having been collected at more than a thousand miles from the volcano; whilst the very fine material in ultramicroscopic grains which remained suspended for months in the higher regions of the atmosphere seems to have enjoyed an almost world-wide distribution, and to have been responsible for the remarkable sunsets at that period.

The ash falling in the immediate vicinity of a volcanic vent will generally be coarser than that carried to a distance, since the particles as they are wafted through the air undergo a kind of sifting. Professor J. W. Judd, who made an exhaustive examination of the products of the eruption of Krakatoa, found that the dust near the volcano was comparatively coarse, dense and rather darkcoloured, in consequence of the presence of numerous fragments of heavy, dark, crystalline minerals, whilst the dust at a distance was excessively fine and perfectly white. According to this observer, the particles tended to fall in the following order: magnetite, pyroxenes, felspar, glass. The finely comminuted material, carried to a great height in the atmosphere, consisted largely of delicate threads and attenuated plates of vitreous matter, in many cases hollow and containing air-bubbles. The greater part of the dust was formed by the mutual attrition of fragments of brittle pumice as they rose and fell in the crater, which thus became a powerful "dust-making mill." By this trituration of the pumiceous lava, carried on for a space of three months during which the eruption lasted, the quantity of finely pulverized material must have been enormous; yet the amount of ejected matter was probably very much less than that extruded during some other historical eruptions, such as that of Tomboro in Sumbawa, in 1815. The explosions at Krakatoa were, however, exceptionally violent, having been sufficient to project some of the finely pulverized lava to an altitude estimated to have been at least 30 m. It is usually impossible during a great eruption to determine the height of the column of " smoke," since it hangs over the country as a pall of darkness.

The great black cloud, which was so characteristic a feature in the terrible eruptions in the West Indies in 1902, was formed of steam with sulphur dioxide and other gases, very heavily charged with incandescent sand or dust, forming a dense mixture that in some respects behaved like a liquid. Unlike the Krakatoa dust, which was derived from a vitreous pumice, the solid matter of the black cloud was largely composed of fragments of crystalline minerals. According to Drs Anderson and Flett it is not impossible that on the afternoon of the 17th of May 1902, the solid matter ejected from the Soufriere of St Vincent amounted to several billions of tons, and that some of the dust fell at distances more than 2000 m. east of the centre of eruption.

In Mexico and Central America, under the favourable influence of warmth and moisture, rich soils are rapidly formed by the decomposition of finely divided volcanic ejecta. Vast areas in North America, especially in Nebraska and Kansas, are covered with thick deposits of volcanic dust, partly from recent eruptions but principally from volcanic; activity in geologic time. The dust is used in the arts as an abrasive agent.


The volcanic cinders, sand, ashes and dust described above are but varied forms of solidified lava. Lava is indeed the most characteristic product of volcanic activity. It consists of mineral matter which is, or has been, in a molten state; but the liquidity is not due to simple dry fusion. The magma, or subterranean molten matter, may be regarded as composed essentially of various silicates, or their constituents, in a state of mutual solution, and heavily charged with certain vapours or gases, principally water-vapour, superheated and under pressure. In consequence of the peculiar constitution of the magma, the order in which minerals separate and solidify from it on cooling does not necessarily correspond with the inverse order of their relative fusibility. The lava differs from the magma before eruption, inasmuch as water and various volatile substances may be expelled on extrusion. The rapid escape of vapour from the lava contributes to the explosive phenomena of an eruption, whilst the rate at which the vapour is disengaged depends largely on the viscosity of the magma.

The lava on its immediate issue from the volcanic vent is probably at a white heat, but the temperature is difficult of determination since the molten matter is usually not easy of approach, by reason of the enshrouding vapour. Determinations of temperature are generally made at a short distance from the exit, when the lava has undergone more or less cooling, or on a small stream from a subordinate vent. A. Bartoli, using a platinum electric resistance pyrometer, found that a stream of lava near a bocca, or orifice of emission, on Etna, in the eruption of 1892, had at a depth of one foot a temperature of 1060° C. In the lavas of Vesuvius and Etna thin wires of silver and of copper have frequently been melted. Probably the lava at the surface of the stream has a temperature of something like 110o° C., but this must not be assumed to be its temperature at the volcanic focus. C. Doelter, in some experiments on the melting-point of lava by means of an electric furnace, found that a lava from Etna softened at from 962° to 970° C. and became fluid at 1010° to 1040°, whilst a Vesuvian lava softened at 1030° to 1060° and acquired fluidity at 1080° to 1090°. These results were obtained at ordinary atmospheric pressure, but it has been assumed that the melting-point of lava at a great depth would, through pressure alone, exceed that obtained in the laboratory. On the other hand the presence of water and of certain volatile fluxes in the magma lowers the fusing-point, and hence the extruded lava from which these have largely escaped may be much less fusible than the original magma.

Determinations of the melting-points of various glasses formed by the fusion of certain igneous rocks have been made by J. A. Douglas, with the meldometer of Professor J. Joly. The results give temperatures ranging from 1260° C. for rhyolite to 1070° for dolerite from the Clee Hills in Shropshire. The melting-points of the rocks in a glassy condition as here given are, however, lower than those of the corresponding rocks in a crystalline state.

It should be noted that all determinations of the melting-points of minerals and rocks involving ocular inspection of the physical state of the material are liable to considerable error, and the only accurate method seems to be that of determining the point at which absorption of heat abruptly occurs - the latent heat of fusion. This has been done in the refined investigations by Mr A. L. Day and his colleagues in the Geophysical Laboratory of the, Carnegie Institution at Washington.

It is believed that the temperature of lava in the volcanic conduit may be in some cases sufficiently high to fuse the neighbouring rocks, and so melt out a passage through them in its ascent. The wallrock thus dissolved in the magma will not be without influence on the composition of the lava with which it becomes assimilated.

Many interesting observations are on record with regard to the heating effect of lava on metals and other objects with which it may have come in contact. Thus, after the destruction of Torre del Greco by a current of lava from Vesuvius in 1794, it was found that brass in the houses under the lava had suffered decomposition, tje copper having become crystallized; whilst silver had been not only fused but sublimed. This indicates a temperature of upwards of 1000° C. Panes of glass in the windows at Torre del Greco on the same occasion suffered devitrification.

Notwithstanding the high temperature of lava on emission, it cools so rapidly, and the consolidated lava conducts heat so slowly, that vegetable structures may be involved in a lava-flow without being entirely destroyed. A stream of lava on entering a wood, as in the sylvan region on Etna, may burn up the undergrowth but leave many of the larger trees with their trunks merely carbonized. On Vesuvius a lava-flow has been observed to surround trees while the foliage has been apparently uninjured. A vertical trunk of a coniferous tree partially enveloped in Tertiary basalt occurs at Gribon in the Isle of Mull, as described by Sir A. Geikie and others; plant-remains in basalt from the Bo'ness coalfield in Linlithgowshire have been noticed by H. M. Cadell; and attention has been called by B. Hobson to a specimen of scoriaceous basalt, from Mexico, which shows the impression of ears of maize and even relics of the actual grains. In consequence of the slow transmission of heat by solid lava, the crust on the surface of a stream may be crossed with impunity whilst the matter is still glowing at a short distance below. Lichens may indeed grow on lava which remains highly heated in the interior.

The solidified surface of a sheet of lava may be smooth and shining, sometimes quite satiny in sheen, though locally wrinkled and perhaps even ropy or hummocky, the irregularities being mainly due to superficial movement after partial solidification. The " corded lava " has a surface similar to that often seen on blastfurnace slag, and is suggestive of a tranquil flow. After a lava stream has become crusted over on cooling, the subjacent lava, still moving in a viscous condition, tends to tear the crust, forming irregular blocks, or clinkers, which are carried forward by the flow and ultimately left in. the form of confused heaps, perhaps of considerable magnitude. The front of a stream may present a wall of scoriaceous fragments looking like a huge pile of coke. As the clinkers are carried along, on the surface of the lava, they produce by mutual friction a crunching noise; and the sluggish flow of the lava-stream laden with its burden has been compared with that of a glacier. Since the upper part of the stream moves more rapidly than the lower, which is retarded by cooling in contact with the bed-rock, the superficial clinkers are carried forward and, rolling over the end, may become embedded in the lava as it advances. Scoriae formed on the top of a stream may thus find their way to the base. Rockfragments or other detrital matter occurring in the path of the lava will be caught up by the flow and become involved in the lower part of the molten mass; whilst the rocks over which the lava travels may suffer more or less alteration by the heat of the stream.

The rapidity of a lava flow is determined partly by the slope of the bed over which it moves and partly by the consistency of the lava, this being dependent on its chemical composition and on the conciitions of cooling. In an eruption of Mauna Loa, in Hawaii, in 1855, the lava was estimated to flow at a rate of 40 m. an hour; and at an eruption of Vesuvius in 1805 a velocity of more than 50 m. an hour, at the moment of emission, was recorded. The rapidity of flow is, however, rapidly checked as the stream advances, the retardation being very marked in small flows. Where lava travels down a steep incline there is naturally a great tendency to form a rugged surface, whilst a quiet flow over a flat plane favours smoothness. If the lava meet a precipice it may form a cascade of great beauty, the clinkers rapidly rolling down with a clatter, as described by Sir W. Hamilton in the eruption of Vesuvius in 1771, when the fiery torrent had a perpendicular fall of 50 ft.

In Hawaii the smooth shining lava, often superficially waved and lobed, is known as pahoehoe, whilst the rugged clinker beds are termed aa. These terms are now used in general terminology, having been introduced by American geologists. The fields of aa often contain lava-balls and bombs. It may be said that the pahoehoe corresponds practically with the Fladen lava of German vulcanologists, and the as with their Schollen lava. Rugged flows are known in Auvergne as cheires. The surface of a clinker-field has often a horribly jagged character, being covered with ragged blocks bristling with sharp points. In the case of an obsidian-flow a most dangerous surface is produced by the keen edges and points of the fragmentary volcanic glass.

If, after a stream of lava has become crusted over, the underlying magma should flow away, a long cavern or tunnel may be formed. Should the flow be rapid the roof may collapse and the fragments, falling on to the stream, may be carried forward or become absorbed in the fused mass. The walls and roof of a lava-cave are occasionally adorned with stalactites, whilst the floor may be covered with stalagmitic deposits of lava. The volcanic stalactites are slender, tubular bodies, extremely fragile, often knotted and rippled. Beautiful examples of lava stalactites from Hawaii have been described by Professor E. S. Dana. Caverns may also be formed in lava-flows by the presence of large bubbles, or by the union of several bubbles. It may happen, too, that certain monticules thrown up on the surface of the lava are hollow, of which a famous example is furnished by the Caverne de Rosemond, at the base of Piton Barry, in the Isle of Reunion.

It is of great interest to determine whether molten lava contracts or expands on solidification, but the experimental evidence on this subject is rather conflicting. According to some observers a piece of solid lava thrown on to the surface of the same lava in a liquid state will sink, while according to others it floats. It has often been observed that cakes formed by the natural fracture of the crust on the lava of Kilauea sink in the liquid mass, but it has been suggested that the fragments are drawn down by convection-currents. On the other hand a solid piece, though denser than the corresponding liquid, may be buoyed up for a time by the viscous condition of the molten lava. Moreover, the presence of minute vesicles may lighten the mass. Although the minerals of a rock-magma may separately contract on crystallization it does not follow that the magma itself, in which they probably exist in a state of solution, will undergo on crystallization a similar change of volume. On the whole, however, there seems reason to believe that lava on solidifying almost always diminishes in volume and consequently increases in density.











Lava of Etna





„ Vesuvius



2.6 9- 2.75


According to the experiments of C. Doelter the specific gravity of molten lava is invariably less than that of the same lava when solid, though in some cases the difference is but slight. In a vitreous or isotropic condition the lava has a lower density than when crystalline. The differences are illustrated by the following table, where the figures give the specific gravity: Experiments by Dr C. Barus showed that a diabase of specific gravity 3.017 formed a glass of sp. gr. 2.717, and melted to a liquid of sp. gr. 2.52. J. A. Douglas on examining various igneous rocks found that in all cases the rock in a vitreous state had a lower sp. gr. than in a crystalline condition, the difference being greatest in the acid plutonic rocks. A. Harker, however, has called attention to the fact that the glassy selvage of certain basic dykes in Scotland is denser than the same rock in a crystalline condition in the interior of the dykes.

Physical Structure of Lavas.-An amorphous vitreous mass may result from the rapid cooling of a lava on its extrusion from the volcanic vent. The common type of volcanic glass is known as obsidian (q.v.). Microscopic examination usually shows that even in this glass some of the molecules of the magma have assumed definite orientation, forming the incipient crystalline bodies known as microlites, &c. By the increase of these minute enclosures, in number and magnitude, the lava may become devitrified and assume a lithoidal or stony structure. If the molten magma consolidate slowly, the various silicates in solution tend to separate by crystallization as their respective points of saturation are reached. Should the process be arrested before the entire mass has crystallized, the crystals that have been developed will be embedded in the residual magma, which may, on consolidation, form a vitreous base. It is believed that in many cases the lava brings up, through its conduit, myriads of crystals that have been developed during slow solidification in the heart of the volcanic apparatus. Showers of crystals of leucite have occurred at Vesuvius, of labradorite at Etna, and of pyroxene at Vesuvius, Etna and Stromboli. These " intratelluric crystals were probably floating in the molten magma, and had they remained in suspension, this magma might on consolidation have enveloped them as a ground-mass or base. A rock so formed is generally known as a " porphyry," and the structure as porphyritic. In such a lava the large crystals, or phenocrysts, evidently represent an early phase of consolidation, and the minerals of the matrix a later stage. It is notable that the intratelluric crystals often lack sharpness of outline, as though they had suffered corrosion by attack of the molten magma, whilst they may contain vitreous enclosures, suggesting that the surrounding mass was liquid during their consolidation. It is believed that the more slowly consolidation has occurred, the larger generally are the crystals; and the higher the temperature of the magma the greater the corrosion or resorption. Possibly under certain conditions the phenocrysts and the ground-mass may have solidified simultaneously.

In some cases the entire igneous mass assumes a crystalline structure, or becomes " holocrystalline." Such a structure is well displayed when the magma has consolidated at considerable depths, cooling slowly under great pressure, and forming rocks which are termed " plutonic " or " abyssal " to distinguish them from rocks truly volcanic, or those which, if not effusive, like lava-flows, have at least solidified very near to the surface as dykes and sills. Volcanic and plutonic rocks pass, however, into each other by gradual transition. The dyke-rocks, or intrusive masses, form an intermediate group sometimes distinguished under the name of " hypabyssal " rocks, as suggested by W. C. Brogger. Lavas extruded in submarine eruptions may have solidified under a great weight of seawater, and therefore to that extent rather under plutonic conditions.

Chemical Composition of Lavas.-Lavas are usually classified roughly, from a chemical point of view, in broad groups according to the proportion of silica which they contain. Those in which the proportion of silica reaches 66% or upwards are said to be acid or acidic, whilst those in which it falls to 55% or below are called basic lavas. The two series are connected by a group of intermediate composition, whilst a small number of igneous rocks of exceptional type are recognized as ultrabasic. Professor F. W. Clarke has suggested a grouping of igneous rocks as per-silicic, medio-silicic and subsilicic, in which the proportion of silica is respectively more than 60, between 50 and 60, or less than 50%.
















18.4 6

1 3.99




Ferric oxide



5.1 3

2.6 3



Ferrous oxide .




1 IO



Manganous oxide .







Magnesia.. .

3.7 2






Lime. .



io. 81




Soda.. .


. 50

. 02


. 17









Titanium dioxide







Phosphorus pentoxide





Loss on ignition













By far the greater part of all lavas consists of various silicates, either crystallized as definite minerals or unindividualized as volcanic glass. In addition, however, to the mineral silicates, a volcanic rock may contain a limited amount of free acid and basic oxides, represented by such minerals as quartz and magnetite. Rhyolite may be cited as a typical example of an acid lava, andesite as an intermediate and basalt as a basic lava. The various volcanic rocks are described under their respective headings, so that it is needless to refer here to their chemical or mineralogical composition. It may, however, be useful to cite a few selected analyses of some recent lavas and ashes: I. From Vesuvius, eruption of 1906; by M. Pisani.

II. Etna. Mean of several analyses by Silvestri and Fuchs (Mercalli).

III. „ Stromboli, 1891; by Ricciardi.

IV. „ Krakatoa, eruption of 1883; by C. Winkler.

V. „ Mont Pele, Martinique, eruption of 1902; by M. Pisani.

VI. „ Kilauea, Hawaii; by O. Silvestri.

In the course of the life of a volcano, the lava which it emits may undergo changes, within moderate limits, being at one time more acid, at another more basic. Such changes are sometimes connected with a shifting of the axis of eruption. Thus at Etna the lavas from the old axis of Trifoglietto in the Valle del Bove were andesites, with about 55% of silica, but those rising in the present conduit are doleritic, with a silica-content of only about 50%. It seems probable that, to a limited extent, changes in the character of a lava may sometimes be due to contact of the magma with different rocks underground: if these are rich in silica, the acidity of the lava will naturally increase; while if they are rich in calcareous and ferromagnesian constituents, the basicity will increase: the variation is consequently apt to be only local, and probably always slight.

By von Richthofen and some others it has been held that during a long period of igneous activity a definite order in the succession of the erupted rocks is everywhere constant; but though some striking coincidences may be cited, it can hardly be said that this generalization has been satisfactorily established. It has, however, often been observed, as emphasized by Professor Iddings, that a volcanic centre will start with the emission of lavas of neutral or intermediate type, followed in the course of a geological period by acid and basic lavas, and ending with those of extreme composition, indicating progressive change in the magma.

The old idea of a universal magma, or continuous pyrosphere, has been generally abandoned. Whatever may have been the case in a primitive condition of the interior of the earth, it seems necessary to admit that the magma must now exist in separate reservoirs. The independent activity of neighbouring volcanoes strikingly illustrated in Kilauea and Mauna Loa in Hawaii, only 20 m. apart, suggests a want of communication between the conduits; and though the lavas are very similar at these two centres, it would seem that they can hardly be drawn from a common source. Again, the volcanoes of southern Italy and the neighbouring islands exhibit little or no sympathy in their action, and emit lavas of diverse type. The lavas of Vulcano, one of the Lipari Isles, are rhyolitic, whilst those of Stromboli, another of the group, are basaltic.

It is believed that the magma in a subterranean reservoir, though originally homogeneous, may slowly undergo certain changes, whereby the more basic constituents migrate to one quarter whilst the acid segregate in another, so that the canal, at successive periods, may bring up material of different types. The cause of this " magmatic differentiation," which has been the subject of much discussion, is of fundamental importance in any broad study of the genetic relations of igneous rocks.

It has often been observed that all the rocks from a definite igneous centre have a general similarity in chemical and mineralogical characters. This relationship is called, after Professor Iddings, " consanguinity," and appears to be due to the fact that the rocks are drawn from a common source. Professor Judd pointed out the existence of distinct " petrographical provinces," within which the eruptive rocks during a given geological period have a certain family likeness and have appeared in definite succession. Thus he recognized a Brito-Icelandic petrographical province of Tertiary and recent lavas. It has been shown by A. Harker that alkali igneous rocks are generally associated with the Atlantic type of coast-line and sub-alkali rocks with the Pacific type.

Although changes in the character of an erupted product from a given centre are usually brought about very slowly, it has often been supposed that even in the course of a single prolonged eruption, or series of eruptions, the character of the lava may vary to some extent. That this is not, however, usually the case has been repeatedly proved. M. H. Arsandaux, for instance, analysed the bombs of augite-andesite thrown out from Santorin at the beginning of the eruption of 1866, others ejected in 1867, and others again at the close of the eruption in 1868; and he found no important variation in the composition of the magma during these successive stages. Moreover, Professor A. Lacroix found that the material extruded from Vesuvius in 1906 remained practically of the same composition from the beginning to the end of the eruption, and further, that it presented great analogy to that of 1872 and even to that of 1631.

All the Vesuvian lavas are of the type of rock known as leucotephrite or leucitetephrite, or they pass, by the presence of a little olivine, into leucite-basanite. Leucite is characteristic of the lavas of Vesuvius, whilst it is excessively rare in those of Etna, where a normal doleritic type prevails. Nepheline, a felspathoid related to leucite, is characteristic of certain lavas, such as those of the Canary Islands, which comprise nepheline-tephrites and nepheline-basanites. Most of the lavas from the volcanoes of South America consist of hypersthene-andesite, and it is notable that the fragmental ejectamenta from the eruptions of St Vincent and Martinique in 1902 and from Krakatoa in 1883 were evidently derived from a magma of this Pacific type.

It commonly happens that acid lavas are paler in colour, less dense and less fusible than basic lavas, and they are probably drawn in some cases from shallower depths. As a consequence of the ready fusibility of many basic lavas, they flow freely on emission, running to great distances and forming far-spreading sheets, whilst the more acid lavas rapidly become viscid and tend to consolidate nearer to their origin, often in hummocky masses. The shape of a volcanic mountain is consequently determined to a large extent by the chemical character of the lavas which it emits. In the Hawaiian Islands, for instance, where the lavas are highly basic and fluent, they form mountains which, though lofty, are flat domes with very gently sloping sides. Such is the fluidity of the lava on emission that it flows freely on a slope of less than one degree. In consequence, too, of this mobility, it is readily thrown into spray and even projected by the expansive force of vapour into jets, which may rise to the height of hundreds of feet and fall back still incandescent, producing the appearance of "fire fountains." The emission is not usually accompanied, however, by violent explosions, such as are often associated with the eruption of magmas of less basic and more viscous nature. The viscosity of the lava at Kilauea was estimated by G. F. Becker to be about fifty times as great as that of water. It may be pointed out that the fusibility of a lava depends not on the mere fact that it is basic, but rather on the character of the bases. A lava from Etna or Vesuvius may be really as basic as one from Hawaii.

Capillary Lava

A filamentous form of lava well known at Kilauea, in Hawaii, is termed Pele's hair, after Pele, the reputed goddess of the Hawaiian volcanoes. It resembles the capillary slag much used in the arts under the name of " mineral wool " - a material formed by injecting steam into molten slag from an iron blast-furnace. It is commonly supposed that Pele's hair has been formed from drops of lava splashed into the air and drawn out by the wind into fine threads. According, however, to Major C. E. Dutton, the filaments are formed on the eddying surface of the lava by the elongation of minute vesicles of water-vapour expelled from the magma. C. F. W. Krukenberg, who examined the hair microscopically, figured a large number of fibres, some of which showed the presence of minute vesicles and microscopic crystals, the former when drawn out rendering the thread tubular. In a spongy vitreous scoria from Hawaii, described as " thread-lace," a polygonal network of delicate fibres forms little skeleton cells. Capillary lava is not confined to the Hawaiian volcanoes: it is known, for example, in Reunion, and may be formed even at Vesuvius.

Pumiceous Lava. - The copious disengagement of vapour in a glassy lava gives rise to the light cellular or spongy substance, full of microscopic pores, known as pumice (q.v.). It is usually, though not invariably, produced from an acid lava, and may sometimes be regarded as the solidified foam of an obsidian. During the eruption of Krakatoa in 1883 enormous quantities of pumice were ejected, and were carried by the sea to vast distances, until they ultimately became water-logged and sank. Professor Judd found the pumice to consist of a vitreous lava greatly inflated by imprisoned vapours; the walls of the air-cells were formed of the lava drawn out into thin plates and threads, often with delicate fibres running across the cavities. Having been suddenly cooled, it was extremely brittle, and its ready pulverization gave rise to much of the ash ejected during this eruption. It has been shown by Dr JohnstonLavis that a bed of pumiceous lava, especially if basic, is generally vitreous towards the base, becoming denser, darker and more crystalline upwards, until it may pass superficially into scoria. The change is explicable by reduction in the temperature of the magma consequent on the conversion of water into steam.

Water in Lavas. - Whether an eruption is of an explosive or a tranquil character must depend largely, though not wholly, on the chemical composition of the magma, especially on the extent to which it is aquiferous. By relief of pressure on the rise of the column in the volcanic channel, or otherwise, more or less steam will be disengaged, and if in large quantity this must become, with other vapours, a projectile agency of enormous power. The precise physical condition in which water exists in the magma is a matter of speculation, and hence Johnston-Lavis proposed to designate it simply as H 2 O. Water above its critical point, which is about 370° C. or 698°F., cannot exist as a liquid, whatever be the pressure, neither is it an ordinary vapour. It has been estimated that the critical point would probably be reached at a depth of about 7 m. At very high temperatures the elements of water may exist in a state of dissociation.

Much discussion has arisen as to the origin of the volcanic water, but probably it is not all attributable to a single source. Some may be of superficial origin, derived from rain, river or sea; whilst the upward passage of lava through moist strata must generate large volumes of steam. It has often been remarked that wet weather increases the activity of a volcano, and that in certain mountains the eruptions are more frequent in winter. According, however, to Professor A. Ricco's prolonged study of Etna, rain has no apparent influence on the activity of this mountain, and indeed the number of eruptions in winter, when rains are abundant, seems rather less than in summer.

The popular belief that explosive action is due to the admission of water to the volcanic focus is founded mainly on the topographic relation of volcanoes to large natural bodies of water, many being situated near the shore of a continent or on islands or even on the sea-floor. Salt water gaining access to heated rocks, through fissures or by capillary absorption, would give rise not only to watervapour but to the volatile chlorides so common in volcanic exhalations. Yet it is notable that comparatively little chlorine is found among the products exhaled by the volcanoes of Hawaii, though these are typically insular. L. Palmieri, however, described certain sublimates on lava at Vesuvius after the eruption of 1872 as deposits of " sea-salt," to show that they were not simply sodium chloride, but contained other constituents found in sea-water. Professor T. J. J. See believes that sea-water gains access to the heated rocks of the earth's interior by leakage through the floor of the ocean, the bottom never being water-tight, and Arrhenius supposes that it reaches the magma by capillarity through this floor.

It has been supposed that water on reaching the hot walls of a subterranean cavity would pass into the spheroidal state, and on subsequent reduction of temperature might come into direct contact with the heated surface, when it would flash with explosive violence into steam. Such catastrophes probably occur in certain cases. When, for example, a volcano becomes dormant, water commonly accumulates in the crater, and on a renewal of activity this craterlake may be absorbed through fissures in the floor leading to the reopened duct, and thus become rapidly, even suddenly, converted into vapour. But such incidents are accidental rather than normal, and seem incompetent to account for volcanic activity in general.

The effect of the contact of lava with water is often misunderstood.

When a stream of lava flows into the sea it no doubt immediately generates a prodigious volume of steam; but this is only a temporary phenomenon, for the lava rapidly becomes chilled by the cold water, with formation of a superficial solid layer, which by its low thermal conductivity allows the internal mass to cool slowly and quietly. In the great eruption of Krakatoa in 1883 the sea-water gained occasional access to the molten lava, and by its cooling effect checked the escape of vapour, thus temporarily diminishing the volcanic activity. But Judd compares this action to that of fastening down the safety-valve of a steam-boiler. The tension of the elastic fluids being increased by this repression would give rise subsequently to an explosion of greater violence; and hence the short violent paroxysms characteristic of the Krakatoa eruption were due to what he calls a " check and rally " of the subterranean forces. The action in the volcanic conduit has, indeed, been compared with that of a geyser.

The downward passage of water through fissures must be confined to the upper portion of the earth's crust known as the " zone of fracture," for it is there only that open channels can exist. Water might also percolate through the pores of the rocks, but even the pores are closed at great depths. It was shown many years ago by G. A. Daubree that water could pass to a limited extent through a heated rock against the pressure of steam in the opposite direction. According to S. Arrhenius, water may pass inwards through the sea-bottom by osmotic pressure.

As the melting points of various silicates are lowered by admixture with water, it appears that the access of surface-waters to heated rocks must promote their fusibility. Judd has suggested that the proximity of large bodies of water may be favourable to volcanic manifestations, because the hydrated rocks become readily melted by internal heat and thus yield a supply of lava.

Whilst some of the water-vapour exhaled from a volcano is undoubtedly derived from superficial sources, notably in such insular volcanoes as Stromboli, the opinion has of late years been gaining ground, through the teaching of Professor E. Suess and others, that the volcanic water must be largely referred to a deep-seated subterranean origin - that it is, in a word, " hypogene " or magmatic rather than meteoric. It is held that the magma as it rises through the volcanic conduit brings up much water-vapour and other gaseous matters derived from original sources, perhaps a relic of what was present in the earth in its molten condition, having possibly been absorbed from a dense primordial atmosphere, or, as suggested by Professor T. C. Chamberlin, entrapped by the globe during its formation by accretion of planetesimal matter.

Water brought from magmatic depths to the surface, and appearing there for the first time, has been termed " juvenile," and it has been assumed that such water may be seen in hot springs like those at Carlsbad. Professor J. W. Gregory has suggested that certain springs in the interior of Australia may derive part of their supply from juvenile or plutonic waters.

According to A. Gautier, the origin of volcanic water may be found in the oxidation of hydrogen, developed from masses of crystalline rock, which by subsidence have been subjected to the action of subterranean heat.

Volcanic Vapours

It seems not unlikely that the vapours and gases exist in the volcanic magma in much the same way that they can exist in molten metal. It is a familiar fact that certain metals when melted can absorb large volumes of gases without entering into chemical combination with them. Molten silver, for example, is capable of absorbing from the atmosphere more than twenty times its volume. of oxygen, which it expels on solidification, thus producing what is called the " spitting of silver." Platinum again can absorb and retain when solid, or occlude, a large volume of hydrogen, that can be expelled by heating the metal in vacuo. In like manner molten rock under pressure can absorb much steam. It appears that many igneous rocks contain gases locked up in their pores, not set free by pulverization, yet capable of expulsion by strong heat. The gases in rocks have been the subject of elaborate study by R. T. Chamberlin, whose results appear in Publication No. 106 of the Carnegie Institution of Washington.

Sir W. A. Tilden has found that granite, gabbro, basalt and certain other igneous rocks enclose many times their volume of gases, chiefly hydrogen and carbon dioxide, with carbon monoxide, methane and nitrogen. Thus, the basalt of Antrim in Ireland, which is a Tertiary lava, yielded eight times its volume of gas having the following percentage composition: hydrogen 36.15, carbon dioxide 32.08, carbon monoxide 20.08, methane 10, nitrogen 1.61. No doubt some of the gases evolved on heating rocks may be generated by reactions during the experiment, as shown by M. W. Travers, and also by Armand Gautier. It has been pointed out by Gautier that the gas exhaled from Mont Pele during the eruption of 1902 had practically the same composition as that which he obtained on heating granite and certain other rocks. According to this authority a cubic kilometre of granite heated to redness would yield not less than 26,000,000 tons of water-vapour, besides other gases. If then a mass of granite in the earth's crust were subject to a great local accession of heat it might evolve vast volumes of gaseous, matter, capable of producing an eruption of explosive type. Judd found that the little balls of Siberian obsidian called marekanite threw off, when strongly heated, clouds of finely divided particles formed by rupture of the distended mass through the escape of vapour. Pitchstone when ignited loses in some cases as much as to % of its weight, due to expulsion of water.

Much of the steam and other vapour brought up from below by the lava may be evolved on mere exposure to the air, and hence a stream freshly extruded is generally beclouded with more or less vapour. Gaseous bubbles in the body of the lava render it vesicular,. especially in the upper part of a stream, where the pressure is relieved, and the vesicles by the onward flow of the lava tend to become elongated in the direction of movement. Vesiculation, being naturally resisted by cohesion, is not common in very viscid lavas of acid type, nor is it to be expected where the lava has been subject to great pressure, but it is seen to perfection in surface-flows of liquid lavas of basaltic character. A vesicular structure may sometimes be seen even in dykes, but the cavities are usually rounded rather than elongated, and are often arranged in bands parallel to the walls of the dyke. A very small proportion of water in a lava. suffices to produce vesiculation. Secondary minerals developed in a cellular lava may be deposited in the steam-holes, thus producing an amygdaloidal rock.

After the surface of a lava-stream has become crusted over, vapour may still be evolved in the interior of the mass, and in seeking release may elevate or even pierce the crust. Small cones may thus be thrown up on a lava-flow, and when vapour escapes from terminal or lateral orifices they are known as " spiracles." The steam may issue with sufficient projectile force to toss up the lava in little fountains. When the lava is very liquid, as in the Hawaiian volcanoes, it may after projection from the blow-hole fall back in drops and plastic clots, which on consolidation form, by their union, small cones.

Vapour-vents on lava are often known as fumaroles (q.v.). The character of the gaseous exhalations varies with the temperature, and the following classification was suggested by C. Sainte-Claire Deville: (1) Dry or white fumaroles having a temperature above 500° C. and evolving compounds of chlorine, and perhaps fluorine. (2) Acid fumaroles, exhaling much steam, with hydrocholoric acid and sulphur dioxide. (3) Alkaline fumaroles, at a temperature of about 100°, with much steam and ammonium chloride and some sulphuretted hydrogen. (4) Cold fumaroles, below100°, with aqueous vapour, carbon dioxide and sulphuretted hydrogen. (5) Mofettes, indicating the expiring phase of vulcanism. A similar sequence of emanations, following progressive cooling of the lava, has been noted by other observers. During an eruption, the gaseous products may vary considerably. Johnston-Lavis found at Vesuvius that the vapour which first escaped from the boiling lava contained much sulphurous acid, and that hydrochloric acid and other chlorides. appeared later.

If the vapours exhaled from volcanoes were derived originally from superficial sources, the lava would, of course, merely return to the surface of the earth what it had directly or indirectly absorbed. But if, as is now rather generally believed, much if not most of the volcanic vapour is derived from original subterranean sources, it must form a direct contribution from the interior of the earth to the atmosphere and hydrosphere, and consequently becomes of extreme geological interest.

Description of Special Gases and Vapours. - Hydrochloric acid, HCI, escapes abundantly from many vents, often accompanied with the vapours of certain metallic chlorides, and is responsible for much of the acrid effects of volcanic exhalations. To avoid dangerous vapours an active volcano should be ascended on the windward side. Free hydrofluoric acid, HF, has sometimes been detected with the hydrochloric acid among Vesuvian vapours, and silicon fluoride, SiF 4, has also been reported. Sulphuretted hydrogen, H 2 S, is a frequent emanation, and being combustible may contribute to the lambent flames seen in some eruptions. It readily suffers oxidation, giving rise to sulphur dioxide and water. By the interaction of hydrogen sulphide and carbon dioxide, water and carbon oxysulphide, COS, are formed; whilst by reaction with sulphur dioxide, water and free sulphur are produced, such being no doubt the origin of many deposits of volcanic sulphur. Hydrogen sulphide may be formed by the decomposition of certain metallic sulphides, like that of calcium, in the presence of moisture, as suggested by Anderson and Flett with regard to certain muds at the Soufriere of St Vincent. Sulphur dioxide, S02, is one of the commonest exhalations, especially at acid fumaroles. It may be detected by its characteristic smell, that of burning brimstone, even when present in very small proportion and in the presence of an excess of hydrochloric acid. By hydration it readily forms sulphurous acid, which may be further oxidized to sulphuric acid. J. B. Boussingault found free sulphuric acid (with hydrochloric acid) in the water of the Rio Vinagre which issues from the volcano of Purace in the Andes of Colombia; and it occurs also in certain other volcanic waters. Carbon dioxide, C02, is generally a product of the later stages of an eruption and is often evolved after all other gases have ceased to escape. Although it may sometimes be due to the decomposition of limestone, it seems to be mostly of true magmatic origin. At the well-known Grotta del Cane, at Lake Agnano, in the Phlegraean Fields near Naples, there has been for ages a copious discharge, and analyses of the air of the cave by T. Graham Young showed the presence of from 61.5 to 7 1% of carbon dioxide. Gautier, in 1907, found 96 to 97% of this gas in the vapours (excluding water-vapour) emitted from the Solfatara near Pozzuoli in the Bay of Naples. The gas by its density tends to accumulate in depressed areas, as in the Death Gulch in the Yellowstone Park and in the Upas Valley of Java. In the Eifel, in the Auvergne and in many other volcanic regions it is discharged at temperatures not above that of the atmosphere. This natural carbonic acid gas is now utilized industrially at many localities. In the gases of the fumaroles of Mont Pele, carbon monoxide, CO, was detected by H. Moissan. Probably certain hydrocarbons, notably methane or marsh-gas, CH4, often exist in volcanic gases. They might be formed by the action of water on natural carbides, such as that of magnesium, calcium, &c. Moissan found 5.46% of methane in vapour from a fumarole on Mont Pele in 1902. Free hydrogen was detected by R. Bunsen as far back as 1846 in vapours from volcanoes in Iceland. In 1861 Deville and Fouque found it, with hydrocarbons, at Torre del Greco near Naples; and in 1866 Fouque discovered it at Santorin, where some of the vapour at the immediate focus of eruption contained as much as 30% of hydrogen. It is notable that at Santorin free oxygen was also found. The elements of water may possibly exist, at the high temperature of the magma, in a state of dissociation, and certain volcanic explosions have sometimes been attributed to the combination of these elements. Oxygen is not infrequently found among volcanic emanations, but may perhaps be derived in most cases from superficial air and ground-water; and in like manner the nitrogen, often detected, may be sometimes of atmospheric origin, though in other cases derived from nitrides in the lava. In the vapours emitted by Mont Pele in 1902 argon was detected by H. Moissan, to the extent of 0.71%; and in those from Vesuvius in 1906 argon and neon were found by Gautier. The collection of volcanic vapours offers difficulty, and it is not easy to avoid admixture with the atmosphere. F. A. Perret has successfully collected gases on,Vesuvius.

Volcanic Flames. - Although the incandescence of the lava and stones projected during an eruption, and the reflection from incandescent matter in the crater have often been mistaken for red flames, there can be no doubt that true combustion, though generally feeble, does occur during volcanic outbursts. Among the gases cited above, hydrogen, hydrogen sulphide and the hydrocarbons are inflammable. The flames seen in volcanoes are generally pale and of bluish, greenish or yellowish tint. They were first examined spectroscopically by J. Janssen, who in 1867 detected the lines of burning hydrogen at Santorin. Subsequently he proved the presence of hydrogen, sodium and hydrocarbons in the volcanic flames of Kilauea. During the eruption of Vulcano, in the Lipari Isles, in 1888, flames with a bluish or greenish tinge were seen by A. E. Narlian, an experienced observer resident in the island. These, however, were referred to the kindling of sulphur deposited around the fumaroles, the flames being coloured by the presence of boric acid and arsenic sulphide.

When a stream of lava flows over vegetation the combustion of the leaves and wood ma y be mistaken for flames issuing from the lava. In like manner brushwood may grow in the crater of a dormant volcano and be ignited by a fresh outburst of lava, thus producing flames which, from their position in the crater, may readily deceive an observer.

Volcanic Sublimates

Certain mineral substances occur as sublimates in and around the volcanic vents, forming incrustations on the lava. They are either deposited directly from the effluent vapours, which carry them in a volatile condition, or are produced by interaction of the vapours among themselves; whilst some of the incrustations, rather loosely called sublimates, are due to reaction of the vapours on the constituents of the lava. Possibly at the temperature of the magma-reservoirs even silica and various silicates may be volatilized, and might thus yield sublimation products. Many of the volcanic sublimates occur at first as incandescent crusts on the lava. Being generally unstable they are difficult of preservation, and are not usually well represented in collections.

Among the commonest sublimates is halite, or sodium chloride, NaCI, occurring as a white crystalline incrustation, sometimes accompanied, as at Vesuvius, by sylvite, or potassium chloride, KC1, which forms a similar sublimate. The two chlorides may be intimately associated. Sal ammoniac, or ammonium chloride, NH 4 C1, is not uncommon, especially at Etna, as a white crystalline crust, probably formed in part by the reaction of hydrochloric acid with nitrogen and hydrogen in the vapours. Bunsen, on finding it in Iceland, regarded it as a product of the distillation of organic matter. At the Solfatara, near Pozzuoli, sal ammoniac was formerly collected as a sublimate on tiles placed round a bocca or vapourvent. Ferric chloride, FeCl 3, not infrequently occurs as a reddish or brownish yellow deliquescent incrustation, and because it thus colours the lava it has received the name of molysite (from Gr.

µ6Xvvns, stain). The action of hydrochloric acid on the iron compounds in the lava may readily yield this chloride, which from its yellowish colour has sometimes been mistaken for sulphur. A crystalline sublimate from the fumaroles on Vesuvius, containing ferric and alkaline chlorides, KClNH 4 Cl2FeC1 3 +6H 2 O, is known as kremersite, after P. Kremers. From a scoriaceous lava found on Vesuvius after the eruption of 1906, Johnston-Lavis procured a yellow rhombohedral sublimate, which he proved to be a chloride of manganese and potassium, whence he proposed for it the name chlormanganokalite. It was studied by L. J. Spencer, and found to contain 4KC1. MnC1 2. Chlorocalcite, or native calcium chloride, CaC1 2, has been found in cubic crystals on Vesuvian lava. Fluorite, or calcium fluoride, CaF 2, is also known as a volcanic product. Lead chloride, PbC1 2, a rare Vesuvian mineral, was named cotunnite, after Dr Cotugno of Naples. The action of hydrogen sulphide on this chloride may give rise to galena, PbS, found by A. Lacroix on Vesuvius in 1906. Atacamite, or cupric oxychloride, CuC1 2.3Cu (OH)2, occurs as a green incrustation on certain Vesuvian lavas, notably those of 1631. Another green mineral from Vesuvius was found by A. Scacchi to be a sulphate containing copper, with potassium and sodium, which he named from its fine colour euclorina - a word which has been written in English as euchlorinite. The copper in the sublimates on Vesuvius will sometimes plate the iron nails of a traveller's boots when crossing the newly erupted lava. Cupric oxide, CuO, occurs in delicate crystalline scales termed tenorite, after Professor G. Tenore of Naples; whilst cupric sulphide, CuS, forms a delicately reticulated incrustation known as covellite, after N. Covelli, its discoverer at Vesuvius.

A sublimate not infrequently found in feathery crystalline deposits on lava at Vesuvius, and formerly called " Vesuvian salt," is a potassium and sodium sulphate, (K. Na) 2 SO 4, known as aphthitalite (from Gr. a4B%Tos, imperishable, and &As, salt). A sulphate with the composition PbS04(K Na)2S04, found in the fumaroles at Vesuvius after the eruption of 1906, was named by A. Lacroix palmierite, after L. Palmieri, who was formerly director of the observatory on Vesuvius. Various sulphites are formed on lavas by the sulphurous acid of the vapours. Ferric oxide, Fe203, which occurs in beautiful metallic scales as specular iron-ore, or as an amorphous reddish incrustation on the lava, is probably formed in most cases by the interaction of vapour of ferric chloride and steam at a high temperature. Less frequently, magnetite, Fe304, and magnesioferrite, MgFe204, are found in octahedral crystals on lava. An iron nitride (Fe5N2) was detected thinly incrusting a lava erupted at Etna in 1874, and was named by 0. Silvestri, who examined it, siderazote.

Boric acid, H3B03, occurs in the crater of Vulcano so abundantly that it was at one time collected commercially. It has also led to the foundation of an industry in Tuscany, where it is obtained from the soffioni of the Maremma. From Sasso in Tuscany it has received the name of sassolin or sassolite. Realgar, or arsenic sulphide, As 2 S 2, occurs in certain volcanic exhalations and is deposited as an orange-red incrustation, often associated with sulphur, as at the Solfatara, where orpiment, As2S3, has also been found.

Of all volcanic products, sulphur (q.v.) is in some respects the most important. It may, in large quantity lining the walls of the crater, as at Popocatepetl in Mexico, where it was formerly worked by the Indian " volcaneros," or on the other hand it may be a rare product, as at Vesuvius. Sulphur appears generally to owe its origin in volcanic areas to the interaction of sulphur dioxide and sulphuretted hydrogen, or to the action of water on the latter. A volcanic vent where sulphur is deposited is truly a solfatara (solfo terra) or a soufriere, but all volcanoes which have passed into that stage in which they emit merely heated vapours now pass under this name (see Solfatara). The famous Solfatara, an old crater in the Phlegraean Fields, exhales sulphurous vapours, especially at the Bocca Grande, from which sulphur is deposited. In the orangecoloured sulphur of the Solfatara, realgar may be present to the extent of as much as 18%. A brown seleniferous sulphur occurring at Vulcano, one of the Lipari Islands, was termed by W. Haidinger volcanite, but it should be noted that Professor W. H. Hobbs has applied this name to an anorthoclase-augite rock ejected as bombs at Vulcano. Sulphur containing selenium is known as a volcanic product in Hawaii, whilst in Japan not only selenium but tellurium occurs in certain kinds of sulphur.

At the Solfatara, near Pozzuoli, the hot sulphurous vapours attack the trachytic rocks from which they issue, giving rise to such products as alum, kaolin and gypsum. To some of these products, including alunogen and mendozite (soda-alum), the name solfatarite was given by C. W. Sheppard in 1835. By prolonged action of the acid vapours on lava, the bases of the silicates may be removed, leaving the silica as a soft white chalk-like substance. The occurrence of kaolin and other white earthy alteration-products led to the hills around the Solfatara being known to the Romans as the Colli leucogei. The Hot Dust Cloud and Avalanche of Pele. - The terrific eruptions in the islands of Martinique and St Vincent in the West Indies in 1902, furnished examples of a type of activity not previously recognized by vulcanologists, though, as Professor A. Lacroix has pointed out, similar phenomena have no doubt occurred elsewhere, especially in the Azores. By Drs Tempest Anderson and J. S. Flett, who were commissioned by the Royal Society to report on the phenomena, this type of explosive eruption is distinguished as the " Pelean type." Its distinctive character is found in the sudden emission of a dense black cloud of superheated and suffocating gases, heavily charged with incandescent dust, moving with great velocity and accompanied by the discharge of immense volumes of volcanic sand, which are not rained down in the normal manner, but descend like a hot avalanche. The cloud, with the avalanche, is called by Lacroix a nuee Peleenne, or nuee ardente, the latter term having been applied to the fatal cloud in the eruptions at San Jorge in the Azores in 1818. In its typical form, the cloud seen at Pele appeared as a solid bank, opaque and impenetrable, but having the edge in places hanging like folds of a curtain, and apparently of brown or purplish colour. Rolling along like an inky torrent, it produced in its passage intense darkness, relieved by vivid lightning. So much solid matter was suspended in the cloud, that it became too dense to surmount obstacles and behaved rather like a liquid. It has, however, been suggested that its peculiar movement as it swept down the mountain was due not simply to its heavy charge of solids, but partly to the oblique direction of the initial explosion. After leaving the crater, it underwent enormous expansion, and Anderson and Flett were led to suggest that possibly at the moment of emission it might have been partly in the form of liquid drops, which on solidifying evolved large volumes of gas held previously in occlusion. The deadly effect of the blast seems to have been mostly due to the irritation of the mucous membrane of the respiratory passages by the fine hot dust, but suffocating gases, like sulphur dioxide and sulphuretted hydrogen, were associated with the water-vapour. Possibly the incandescent dust was even hotter than the surrounding vapour, since the latter might be cooled by expansion.

It is said that the black cloud as it swept along was accompanied by an indraught of air, not however sufficiently powerful to check its rapid advance. The current of air was likened by Anderson and Flett to the inrush of air at a railway station as an express train passes. An attempt was made to determine the temperature of the fatal blast which destroyed St Pierre, but without very definite results. Thus it was assumed that as the telephone wires were not melted the temperature was below the fusing-point of copper: possibly, however, the blast may have passed too rapidly to produce the effects which might normally be due to its temperature.

Shape of Volcanic Cones. - Those volcanic products which are solid when ejected, or which solidify after extrusion, tend to form by their accumulation around the eruptive vent a hill, which, though generally more or less conical, is subject to much variation in shape. It occasionally happens that the hill is composed wholly of ejected blocks, not themselves of volcanic origin. In this case an explosion has rent the ground, and the effluent vapours have hurled forth fragments of the shattered rock through which the vent was opened, but no ash or other fragmentary volcanic material has been ejected, nor has any lava been poured forth. This exceptional type is represented in the Eifel by certain monticules which consist mainly of fragments of Devonian slate, more or less altered. In some cases the area within a ring of such rocky materials is occupied by a sheet of water, forming a crater-lake, known in the Eifel as a rnaar. Piles of fragmentary matter of this character, though containing neither cinders nor lava, may be fairly regarded as volcanic, inasmuch as they are due to the explosive action of hot subterranean vapours.

In the ordinary paroxysmal type of eruption, however, cinders and ashes are shot upwards by the explosion and then descend in showers, forming around the orifice a mound, in shape rather like the diminutive cone of sand in the lower lobe of an hour-glass. Little cindercones of this character may be formed within the crater of a large volcano during a single eruption; whilst large cones are built up by many successive discharges, each sheet of fragmentary material mantling more or less regularly round the preceding layer. The symmetry of the hill is not infrequently affected by disturbing influences - a strong wind, for example, blowing the loose matter towards one side. The sides of a cinder cone have generally a steep slope, varying from 30 0 to 45°, depending on the angle of repose of the ejectamenta. Excellent examples of small scoria-cones are found among the puys of Auvergne in central France, whilst a mag nificent illustration of this type of hill is furnished by Fusiyama, in Japan, which reaches an altitude of 12,000 ft. How such a cone may be rapidly built up was well shown by the formation of Monte Nuovo, near Pozzuoli - a hill 400 ft. high and a mile and a half in circumference, which is known from contemporary evidence to have been formed in the course of a few days in September 1538. The shape of a cinder cone may be retained for ages, since it is not liable to suffer greatly by denudation, as the rain soaks into the loose porous mass instead of running down the outside. If lava rises in the duct of a cinder cone, it may, on accumulation in the crater, break down the wall, and thus effect its escape as a stream. Cones breached in this way are not uncommon in Auvergne.

It often happens that the cinders and ashes ejected from a volcano become mixed with water, and so form a paste, which sets readily as a hard tufaceous mass. Such natural tuff is indeed similar to the hydraulic cement known as pozzolana, which is formed artificially from volcanic ashes, and is renowned for durability. Although streams of volcanic mud are commonly associated with the ashes of a cinder-cone they may also form independent structures or tuffcones. These are generally broad-topped hills, having sides with an angle of slope as low in some cases as 15°.

Lava-cones are built up of streams of lava which have consolidated around the funnel of escape. Associated with the lava, however, there is usually more or less fragmentary matter, so that the cones are composite in structure and consequently more acute in shape than if they were composed wholly of lava. As the streams of lava in a volcano run at different times in different directions, they radiate from the centre, or flow from lateral or eccentric orifices, as irregular tongues, and do not generally form continuous sheets covering the mountain.

When lava is the sole or chief element in the cone, the shape of the hill is determined to a great extent by the chemical composition and viscosity of the lava, its copiousness and the rapidity of flow. If the lava be highly basic and very mobile, it may spread to a great distance before solidifying, and thus form a hill covering a large area and rising perhaps to a great height, but remarkably flat in profile. Were the lava perfectly liquid, it would indeed form a sheet without any perceptible slope of surface. As a matter of fact, some lavas are so fluent as to run down an incline of 1 °, and flat cones of basalt have in some cases a slope of only 10° or even less. The colossal mass of Mauna Loa, in Hawaii, forms a remarkably flat broad cone, spreading over a base of enormous area and rising to a height of 13,900 ft. Major Dutton, writing in 1883, said that " a; moderate eruption of Mauna Loa represents more material than Vesuvius has emitted since the days of Pompeii." Yet the lava is so mobile that it generally wells forth quietly, without explosive demonstration, and therefore unaccompanied by fragmentary ejectamenta. Fluent lavas like those of Hawaii are also poured forth from the volcanoes and volcanic fissures of Iceland.

If the lava be less basic and less fusible, the hill formed by its accumulation instead of being a low dome will take the shape of a cone with sides of higher gradient: in the case of andesite cones, for instance, the slope may vary from 25° to 35°. Acid rocks, or those rich in silica, such as rhyolites and trachytes, may be emitted as very viscous lavas tending to form dome-shaped or bulbous masses. Experiment shows that such lavas may persist for a considerable time in a semi-solid condition. It is possible for a dome to increase in size not by the lava running over the crater and down the sides but by injection of the pasty magma within the expanding bulb while still soft; or if solidified, the crust yields by cracking. Such a mode of growth, in which the dome consists of successive sheets that have been compared to the skins of an onion, has been illustrated by the experiments of Dr A. Reyer, and the structure is typically represented by the mamelons or steep-sided domes of the Isle of Bourbon. The Puy-de-Dome in Auvergne is an example of a cone formed of the trachytic rock called from its locality domite, whilst the Grand Sarcoui in the same region illustrates the broad domeshaped type of hill. Such domes may have no summit-crater, and it is then usually assumed that the top with the crater has been removed by denudation, but possibly in some cases such a feature never existed. The " dome volcano " of von Seebach is a dome of acid lava extruded as a homogeneous mass, without conspicuous chimney or crater. Although domes are usually composed of acid rocks, it seems possible that they may be formed also of basic lavas, if the magma be protruded slowly at a low temperature so as to be rapidly congealed.

The Spine of Pele

A peculiar volcanic structure appeared at Mont Pele in the course of the eruption of 1902, and was the subject of careful study by Professor A. Lacroix, Dr E. A. Hoovey, A. Heilprin and other observers. It appears that from fissures in the floor of the Etang Sec a viscous andesitic lava, partly quartziferous, was poured forth and rapidly solidified superficially, forming a domeshaped mass invested by a crust or carapace. According to Lacroix, the crust soon became fractured, partly by shrinkage on consolidation and partly by internal tension, and the dome grew rapidly by injection of molten matter. Then there gradually rose from the dome a huge monolith or needle, forming a terminal spine, which in the course of its existence varied in shape and height, having been at its maximum in July 1903, when its absolute height was about 5276 ft. above sea-level. The walls of the spine, inclined at from 75° to 90° to the horizon, were apparently slickensided, or polished and scratched by friction: masses were occasionally detached and vapours were continually escaping. Several smaller needles were also formed. Some observers regarded the great spine as a solidified plug of lava from a previous outburst, expelled on a renewal of activity. Lacroix, however, believed that it was formed by the extrusion of an enormous mass of highly viscid magma, perhaps partly solidified before emission, and he compared the formation of the dome in the crater to the structure on Santorin in 1866, described by Fouque as a " cumulo-volcano." Professor H. F. Cleland has suggested a comparison with the cone of andesite in the crater of the volcano of Toluca in Mexico, and it is said that similar formations have been observed in the volcanoes of the Andes. Dr Tempest Anderson, on visiting Pele in 1907, found a stump of the spine, consisting of a kind of volcanic agglomerate, rising from a cone of talus formed of its ruins.

The Crater

The eruptive orifice in normal volcano - the bocca of Italian vulcanologists - is usually situated at the bottom of a depression or cup, known as the crater. This hollow is formed and kept open by the explosive force of the elastic vapours, and when the volcano becomes dormant or extinct it may be closed, partly by rock falling from its crumbling walls and partly by the solidification of the lava which it may contain. If a renewed outburst occurs, the floor of the old crater may reopen or a new outlet may be formed at some weak point on the side of the mountain: hence a crater may, with regard to position, be either terminal or lateral. The position of the crater will evidently be also changed on any shifting of the general axis of eruption. In shape and size the crater varies from time to time, the walls being perhaps breached or even blown away during an outburst. Hence the height of a volcanic mountain in activity, measured to the rim of the crater or the terminal peak, is not constant. Vesuvius, for example, suffered a reduction of several hundred feet during the great eruption of 1906, the east side of the cone having lost, according to V. R. Matteucci, 120 metres.

Whilst in many cases the crater is a comparatively small circular hollow around the orifice of discharge, it forms in others a large bowllike cavity, such as is termed in some localities a " caldera." In the Sandwich Islands the craters are wide pits bounded by nearly vertical walls, showing stratified and terraced lavas and floored by a great plain of black basalt, sometimes with lakes of molten lava. Professor W. H. Pickering compares the lava-pits of Hawaii to the crater-rings in the moon. Some of the pit-craters in the Sandwich Islands are of great size, but none comparable with the greatest of the lunar craters. Dr G. K. Gilbert, however, has suggested that the ring-shaped pits on the moon are not of volcanic origin, but are depressions formed by the impact of meteorites. Similarly the " crater " of Coon Butte, near Canyon Diablo, in Arizona, which is 4000 ft. in diameter and 500 ft. deep, has been regarded as a vast pit due to collision of a meteorite of prodigious size. Probably the largest terrestrial volcanic crater is that of Aso-san, in the isle of Kiushiu (Japan), which is a huge oval depression estimated by some observers to have an area of at least zoo sq. m. Some of the large pit-craters have probably been formed by subsidence, the cone of a volcano having been eviscerated by extravasation of lava, and the roof of the cavity having then subsided by loss of support. The term caldera has sometimes been limited to craters formed by such collapse.

On the floor of the crater, ejected matter may accumulate as a conoidal pile; and if such action be repeated in the crater of the new cone, a succession of concentric cones will ultimately be formed. The walls of a perfect crater form a ring, giving the cone a truncated appearance, but the ring may suffer more or less destruction in the course of the history of the mountain. A familiar instance of such change is afforded by Vesuvius. The mountain now so called, using the term in a restricted sense, is a huge composite cone built up within an old crateral hollow, the walls of which still rise as an encircling rampart on the N. and N.E. sides, and are known as Monte Somma; but the S. and S.W. sides of the ancient crater have disappeared, having been blown away during some former outburst, probably the Plinian eruption of 79. In like manner the relics of an old crater form an amphitheatre partially engirdling the Soufriere in St Vincent, and other examples of " Somma rings " are known to vulcanologists.

Much of the fragmental matter ejected from a volcano rolls down the inside of the crater, forming beds of tuff which incline towards the central axis, or have a centroclinal dip. On the contrary, the sheets of cinder and lava which form the bulk of the cone slope away from the axis, or have a dip that is sometimes described as pericentric or qua-qua-versal. According to the old " crater-of-elevation theory," held especially by A. von Humboldt, L. von Buch and Elie de Beaumont, this inclination of the beds was regarded as mainly due to upheaval. It was contended that the volcanic cone owed its shape, for the most part, to local distension of the ground, and was indeed comparable to a huge blister of the earth's crust, burst at the summit to form the " elevation crater." Palma, in the Canary Islands, was cited as a typical example of such a formation. This view was opposed mainly by Poulett-Scrope, Sir Charles Lyell and Constant Prevost, who argued that the volcano, so far from being bladder-like, was practically a solid cone of erupted matter: hence this view came to be known as the " crater-of-eruption theory." Its general soundness has been demonstfated whenever an insight has been obtained into the internal structure of a volcano. Thus, after the eruption of Krakatoa in 1883 a magnificent natural section of the great cone of Rakata, at the S. end of the island, was exposed - the northern half having been blown away - and it was then evident that this mountain was practically a solid cone, built up of a great succession of irregular beds of tuff and lava, braced together by intersecting dykes. The internal architecture of a volcano is rarely so well displayed as in this case, but dissections of cones, more or less distinct, are often obtained by denudation. It should be mentioned that, in connexion with the structures called laccoliths, there may have been an elevation, or folding, and even faulting, of the superficial rocks by subterranean intrusion of lava; but this is different from the local expansion and rupture of the ground required by the old theory. It may be noted, however, that in recent years the view of elevation, in a modified form, has not been without supporters.

Where the growth of a volcanic mound takes place from within, as in certain steep-sided trachytic cones, there may be no perceptible crater or external outlet. Again, there are many volcanoes which have no crater at the summit, because the eruptions always take place from lateral outlets. Even when a terminal pit is present, the lava may issue from the body of the mountain, and in some cases it exudes from so many vents or cracks that the volcano has been described as " sweating fire." Parasitic Cones. - In the case of a lofty volcano the column of lava may not have sufficient ascensional force to reach the crater at the summit, or at any rate it finds easier means of egress at some weak spot, often along radial cracks, on the flanks of the mountain. Thus at Etna, which rises to a height of more than io,800 ft., the eruptions usually proceed from lateral fissures, sometimes at least half-way down the mountain-side. When fragmental materials are ejected from a lateral vent a cinder-cone is formed, and by frequent repetition of such ejections the flanks of Etna have become dotted over with hundreds of scoria-cones much like the puys of Auvergne, the largest (Monte Minardo) rising to a height of as much as 750 ft. Hills of this character, seated on the parent mountain, are known as parasitic cones, minor cones, lateral cones, &c.

Such subordinate cones often show a tendency to a linear arrangement, rising from vents or bocche along the floor of a line of fissure. Thus in 1892 a chain of five cones arose from a rift on the S. side of Etna, running in a N. and S. direction, and the hills became known as the Monti Silvestri, after Professor Orazio Silvestri of Catania. This rift, however,was but a continuation of a fissure from which there arose in 1886 the series of cones called the Monti Gemmellaro, while this in turn was a prolongation of a rent opened in 1883. The eruption on Etna in the spring of 1910 took place along the same general direction, but at a much higher elevation. The tendency for eruptions to be renewed along old lines of weakness, which can be readily opened afresh and extended, is a feature well known to vulcanologists. The small cones which are frequently thrown up on lava streams were admirably exemplified on Vesuvius in the eruption of 1855 and figured by J. Schmidt. The name of " driblet cones " was given by J. D. Dana to the little cones and pillars formed by jets of lava projected from blowing holes at Kilauea, the drops of lava remaining plastic and cohering as they fell. Such clots may form columns and. pyramids, with almost vertical sides. Steep-sided cones more or less of this character occur elsewhere, but are usually built up around spiracles. Small cones formed by mere dabs of lava are known trivially as " spatter cones." Fissure Eruptions. - In certain parts of the world there are vast tracts of basaltic lava with little or no evidence of cones or of pyroclastic accompaniment. To explain their formation, Baron F. von Richthofen suggested that they represent great floods of lava which were poured forth not from ordinary volcanic craters with more or less explosive violence, but from great fissures in the earth's crust, whence they may have quietly welled forth and spread as a deluge over the surface of the country. The eruptions were thus effusive rather than explosive. Such phenomena, constituting a distinct type of vulcanism, are distinguished as fissure eruptions or massive eruptions - terms which suggest the mode of extrusion and the character of the extruded matter. As the lava in such outflows must be very fusible, it is generally of basaltic type, like that of Hawaii: indeed, the Hawaiian volcanoes, with their quiet emission of highly fluent lavas, connect the fissure eruptions with the " central eruptions," which are usually regarded as representing the normal type of activity. At the present day true fissure eruptions seem to be of rather limited occurrence, but excellent examples are furnished by Iceland. Here there are vast fields of black basalt, formed of sheets of lava which have issued from long chasms, studded in most cases with rows of small cones, but these generally so insignificant that they make no scenic features and might be readily obliterated by denudation. Dr T. Thoroddsen enumerates 87 great rifts and lines of cones in Iceland, and even the larger cones of Vesuvian type are situated on fissures.

It is believed that fissure eruptions must have played a far more important part in the history of the earth than eruptions of the familiar cone-and-crater type, the latter representing indeed only a declining phase of vulcanism. Sir Archibald Geikie, who has specially studied the subject of fissure eruptions, regards the Tertiary basaltic plateaus of N.E. Ireland and the Inner Hebrides as outflows from fissures, which may be represented by the gigantic system of dykes that form so marked a feature in the geological structure of the northern part of Britain and Ireland. These dykes extend over an area of something like 40,000 sq. m., while the outflows form an aggregate of about 3000 ft. in thickness. In parts of Nevada, Idaho, Oregon and Washington, sheets of late Tertiary basalt from fissure eruptions occupy an area of about 200,000 sq. m., and constitute a pile at least 2000 ft. thick. In India the " Deccan traps " represent enormous masses of volcanic matter, probably of like origin but of Cretaceous date, whilst South Africa furnishes other examples of similar outflows. Professor J. W. Gregory recognized in the Kapte plains of East Africa evidence of a type of vulcanism, which he distinguished as that of " plateau eruptions. " According to him a number of vents opened at the points of intersection of lines of weakness in a high plateau, giving rise to many small cones, and the simultaneous flows of lava from these cones united to form a far-spreading sheet.

Extrusive and Intrusive Magmas

When the molten magma in the interior of the earth makes its way upwards and flows forth superficially as a stream of lava, the product is described as extrusive, effusive, effluent or eruptive; but if, failing to reach the surface, the magma solidifies in a fissure or other subterranean cavity, it is said to be intrusive or irruptive. Rocks of the former group only are sometimes recognized as strictly " volcanic, " but the term is conveniently extended, at least in certain cases, to igneous rocks of the latter type, including therefore certain hypabyssal and even plutonic rocks.

When the intrusive magma has been forced into narrow irregular crevices it forms " veins, " which may exhibit complex ramifications, especially marked in some acid rocks; but when injected into a regularly shaped fissure, more or less parallel-sided, and cutting across the planes of bedding, it forms a wall-like mass of rock termed a " dyke. " Most dykes are approximately vertical, or at least highly inclined in position. The inclination of a dyke to a vertical plane is termed its " hade. " In a cinder-cone, the lava as it rises may force its way into cracks, formed by pressure of the magma and tension of the vapours, and will thus form a system of veins and dykes, often radiating from the volcanic axis and strengthening the structure by binding the loose materials together. Thus, in the Valle del Bove, a huge cavity on the east side of Etna, the walls exhibit numerous vertical dykes, which by their hardness stand out as rocky ribs, forming a marked feature in the scenery of the valley. In a similar way dykes traverse the walls of the old crater of Monte Somma at Vesuvius. Exceptionally a dyke may be hollow, the lava having solidified as a crust at the margin of the fissure but having escaped from the interior while still liquid.

When molten matter is thrust between beds of tuff or between successive lava-flows or even ordinary sedimentary strata, it forms an intrusive sheet of volcanic rock known as a " sill. " A sill may sometimes be traced to its connexion with a dyke, which represents the channel up which the lava rose, but instead of reaching the surface the fluid found an easier path between the strata or perhaps along a horizontal rent. Although a dyke may represent a conduit for the ascent of lava which has flowed out superficially, yet if the lava has been removed at the surface by denudation the dyke terminates abruptly, so that its function as the former feeder of a lava-current is not evident. In other cases a dyke may end bluntly because the crack which it occupies never reached the surface.

Lava which has insinuated itself between planes of stratification may, instead of spreading out as a sheet or sill, accumulate locally as a lenticular mass, known as a laccolith or laccolite. Such a mass, in many cases rather mushroom-shaped, may force the superincumbent rocks upwards as a dome, and though at first concealed may be ultimately exposed by removal of the overlying burden by erosion. The term phacolite was introduced by A. Harker to denote a meniscus-shaped mass of lava intruded in folded strata, along a crest or a trough. The bysmalith of Professor Iddings is a laccolith of rather plug-like shape, with a faulted roof. An intrusive mass quite irregular in shape has been termed by R. A. Daly a chonolith (Gr. xc. vn, a mould), whilst an intrusion of very great size and illdefined form is sometimes described as a bathylith or batholite. Structural Peculiarities in Lava. - Many of the structures exhibited by lava are due to the conditions under which solidification has been effected. A dyke, for example, may be vitreous at the margin where it has been rapidly chilled by contact with the walls of the fissure into which it was injected, whilst the main body may be lithoidal or crystalline: hence a basalt dyke will sometimes have a selvage formed of the basaltic glass known as tachylyte. A similar glass may form a thin crust on certain lava-flows. In a homogeneous vitreous lava, contraction on solidification may develop curved fissures, well seen in the delicate " perlitic " cracks of certain obsidians, indicating a tendency to assume a globular structure. This structure becomes very distinct by the development of " spherulites, " or globular masses with a radiating fibrous structure, sometimes well seen in devitrified glass. Occasionally the spherulitic bodies in lava are hollow, when they are known as lithophyses, of which excellent examples occur at Obsidian Cliff in the Yellowstone National Park, as described by Professor Iddings. Globular structure on a large scale is sometimes displayed by lavas, expecially those of basic type, such as the basalt of Aci Castello in Sicily, which was probably formed, according to Professor Gaetano Platania, by flow of the lava into submarine silt, relics of which still occur between the spheroids. Ellipsoidal or pillow-shaped masses are not infrequently developed in ancient lava-flows, and Sir A. Geikie has suggested the term " pillow-structure " for such formations. Dr T. Anderson has observed them in the recent lavas of Savaii.

Joints, or cracks formed by shrinkage on solidification, may divide a sheet of lava into columns, as familiarly seen in basalt, where the rock often consists of a close mass of regular polygonal prisms, mostly hexagonal. Each prism is divided at intervals by transverse joints, more or less curved, so that the portions are united by a slight ball-and-socket articulation. As the long axes of the columns lie at right angles to the cooling surface they are vertical in a horizontal sheet of lava, horizontal in a vertical dyke, and inclined or curved in other cases. It sometimes happens that in a basaltic dyke the formation of the prisms, having started from the opposite walls as chilling surfaces, has not been completed; and hence the prisms fail to meet in the middle. A spheroidal structure is often developed in basalt columns by weathering, the rock exfoliating in spherical shells, rather like the skins of an onion: such a structure is characteristically shown at the Kasekellar, known also as the Elfen Grotto, at Bertrich, near Alf on the Mosel, where the pillars of the lava are broken into short segments which suggest by their flattened globular shape a pile of Dutch cheeses. Although prismatic jointing, or columnar structure, is most common in basalt, it occurs also in other volcanic rocks. Fine columns of obsidian, for instance, are seen at Obsidian Cliff in the Yellowstone Park, where the pillars may be 50 ft. or more in height. Such an occurrence, however, is exceptional.

Vitreous lavas often show fluxion structure in the form of streaks, bands or trains of incipient crystals, indicating the flow of the mass when viscous. The character of this structure is related to the viscosity of the lava. Those structural peculiarities which depend mainly on the presence of vapour, such as vesiculation, have been already noticed, and the porphyritic structure has likewise been described.

Submarine Volcanoes. Considering how large a proportion of the face of the earth is covered by the sea, it seems likely that 'volcanic eruptions must frequently occur on the ocean-floor. When, as occasionally though not often happens, the effects of a submarine eruption are observed during the disturbance, it is seen that the surface of the sea is violently agitated, with copious discharge of steam; the water passes into a state of ebullition, perhaps throwing up huge fountains; shoals of dead fishes, with volcanic cinders, bombs and fragments of pumice, float around the centre of eruption, and ultimately a little island may appear above sea-level. This new land is the peak of a volcanic cone which is based on the sea-floor, and if in deep water the submarine mountain must evidently be of great magnitude. Christmas Island in the Indian Ocean, described by Dr C. W. Andrews, appears to be a volcanic mountain, with Tertiary limestones,. standing in water more than 14,000 ft. deep. Many volcanic islands, such as those abundantly scattered over the Pacific, must have started as submarine volcanoes which reached the surface either by continued upward growth or by upheaval of the sea-bottom. Etna began its long geological history by submarine eruptions in a bay of the Mediterranean, and Vesuvius in like manner represents what was originally a volcano on the sea-floor. As the ejectamenta from a submarine vent accumulate on the sea-bottom they become intermingled with relics of marine organisms, and thus form fossiliferous volcanic tuffs. By the distribution of the ashes over the sea-floor, through the agency of waves and currents, these tuffs may pass insensibly into submarine deposits of normal sedimentary type.

One of the best examples of a submarine eruption resulting in the formation of a temporary island occurred in 1831 in the Mediterranean between Sicily and the coast of Africa, where the water was known to have previously had a depth of too fathoms. After the usual manifestations of volcanic activity an accumulation of black cinders and ashes formed an island which reached at one point a height of 200 ft., so that the pile of erupted matter had a thickness of about 800 ft. The new island, which was studied by Constant Prevost, became known in England as Graham's Island, in France as Ile Julie and in Italy by various names as Isola Ferdinandea. Being merely a loose pile of scoriae, it rapidly suffered erosion by the sea, and in about three months was reduced to a shoal called Graham's Reef. In 1891 a submarine eruption occurred near the isle of Pantellaria in the same waters, and the eruptive centre was termed by Professor H. S. Washington and Foerstner volcano, but it gave rise to no island. A well-known instance of a temporary volcanic island was furnished by Sabrina - an islet of cinders thrown up by submarine eruptions in 1811, off the coast of St Michael's, one of the Azores. The island of Bogosloff, or Castle island, in Bering Sea, about 40 m. W. of Unalaska Island, is a volcanic mass which was first observed in 1796 after an eruption. In 1883 another eruption in the neighbouring water threw up a new volcanic cone of black sand and ashes, known as New Bogosloff or Fire Island, situated about half a mile to the N.W. of Old Bogosloff, with which it was connected by a low beach. Another island, called Perry Island, larger than either of the others, made its appearance in the neighbourhood about the time of the great earthquake in California in 1906. It is reported that some of these islands have since disappeared.

Mud Volcanoes. Mud volcanoes are small conical hills of clay which discharge, more or less persistently, streams of fine mud, sometimes associated with naphtha or petroleum, and usually with bubbles of gas. As the mud is generally saline, the hills are known also as " salses." The gases are chiefly hydrocarbons, often with more or less sulphuretted hydrogen and carbon dioxide, and sometimes with nitrogen. Though generally less than a yard in height, the cones may in exceptional cases rise to an elevation of as much as Soo ft. The mud oozes from the top and spreads over the sides, or is spurted forth with the gases. Occasionally the discharge is vigorous, mud and stones being thrown up to a considerable height, sometimes accompanied by flames due to combustion of the hydrocarbons.

Mud volcanoes occur in groups, and have a wide distribution. They are known in Iceland; in Modena; at Taman and Kertch, in the Crimea; at Baku on the Caspian; in Java and in Trinidad: Humboldt described those near Turbaco, in Colombia. In Sicily they occur near Girgenti, and a group is known at Paterno on Etna. Bythe Sicilians they are termed, maccalube, a word of Arabic origin. The " paint-pots " of the Yellowstone National Park are small mud volcanoes.

Many, so-called mud volcanoes appear to be due to the derangement of subterranean water-flow or to landslips in connexion with earthquakes, whilst others may be referable to certain chemical reactions going on underground; but there are others again which seem to be truly of volcanic origin. Hot water and steam escaping through clays, or crumbling tuffs reduced to a clayey condition, may form conical mounds of pasty material, through which mud oozes and water escapes.

Geysers are closely related to volcanoes, but in consequence of their special interest they are treated separately (see Geyser). For natural steam-holes and other phenomena connected with declining vulcanicity, see Soffioni, Solfatara and Mofetta.

Geographical Distribution of Volcanoes. It is matter of frequent observation that volcanoes are most abundant in regions marked by great seismic activity. Although the volcano and the earthquake are not usually connected in the direct relation of cause and effect, yet in many cases they seem referable to a common origin. Both volcanic extrusion and crustal movement may be the means of relieving local strains in the earth's crust, and both are found to occur, as might reasonably be expected, in many parts of the earth where folding and fracture of the rocks have frequently happened and where mountain-making appears to be still in progress. Thus, volcanoes may often be traced along zones of crustal deformation, or folded mountain-chains, especially where they run near the borders of the oceanic basins. They are frequently associated with the Pacific type of coast-line.

The most conspicuous example of linear distribution is furnished by the great belt of volcanoes, coinciding for the most part with a band of seismic disturbance, which engirdles intermittently the huge basin of the Pacific; though here, as elsewhere in studying volcanic topography, regard must be paid to dormant and extinct centres as well as to those that are active at the present time. As volcanoes are in many cases ranged along what are commonly regarded as lines of fracture, it is not surprising that the centres of most intense vulcanicity are in many cases situated at the intersection of two or more fracture-lines. On the eastern side of the Pacific Ocean the great volcanic ring may be traced, though with many and extensive interruptions, from Cape Horn to Alaska. In South America the chain of the Andes between Corcovado in the south and Tolima in the north is studded at irregular intervals with volcanoes, some recent and many more extinct, including the loftiest volcanic mountains. in the world. The grandest group of South American volcanoes, though mostly quiescent, is in Ecuador. Cotopaxi, seen in activity by E. Whymper in 1880, has, according to him, a height of 19,613 ft., whilst Sangay is said to be one of the most active volcanoes in the world. The linear arrangement, often a marked feature in the distribution of volcanoes, is well exemplified in the general north-andsouth trend of the Andean ranges, the volcanoes being situated along the orographic axis. These folded mountains with their volcanoes also illustrate the close relationship to the sea so frequently observed in volcanic topography, a relationship, however, not without many exceptions. The volcanic rock called andesite was so named by L. von Buch from its characteristic occurrence in the Andes. It is notable that the volcanic rocks throughout the great Pacific belt present much similarity in composition. The volcanoes of Ecuador have been described in detail by A. Stiibel and others (see Andes).

Central America contains a large number of active volcanoes and solfataras, many of which are located in the mountains parallel to the western coast. Conseguina, on the south side of the Gulf of Fonseca, is remarkable for its eruption in 1835, when an enormous, volume of ash was ejected and the summit of the mountain blown away. Izalco, in San Salvador, came into existence in 1770, and is habitually active. In the centre of Lake Ilopango in Salvador,. which possibly occupies an ancient crater, a volcanic island arose in 1880 and attained a height of 160 ft. Guatemala is peculiarly rich in volcanoes, as described by Dr Tempest Anderson, who visited the country in 1907. The Cerro Quemado, or the Volcano of Quezaltenango, was the scene of a great eruption in 1785. At the Volcano of Santa Maria there was an outburst in 1902 more violent than the simultaneous eruptions in the Lesser Antilles. The cones of Guatemala include the Volcan de Fuego and the Volcan de Agua, the former often active in historic times, whilst the latter is notable for the flood which in 1541 swept down from the mountain and destroyed Old Guatemala, but this flood was probably not of volcanic origin.

The plateau of Mexico is the seat of several active volcanoes which occur in a band stretching across the country from Colima in the west to Tuxtla near Vera Cruz. The highest of these volcanic mountains is Orizaba, or Cithaltepetl, rising to an altitude of 18,200 feet, and known to have been active in the 16th century. Popocatepetl (" the smoking mountain ") reaches a height of about. 17,880 ft., and from its crater sulphur was at one time systematically collected. The famous volcano of Jorullo, near Toluca, at a distance of about 120 m. from the sea, has been the centre of much scientific discussion since it was regarded by Humboldt, who visited it in 1803, as a striking proof of the elevation theory. It came into existence rapidly during an eruption which began in September 1759, when it was said by unscientific observers that the ground became suddenly inflated from below. The cone, though not of exceptional magnitude, is situated in an elevated district, and its summit rises to about 4330 ft. above sea-level. In the neighbourhood of Jorullo there are three subordinate cones of similar character known as volcancitos, with great numbers of small mounds of cinder and ash formed around fumaroles on the lava, and locally called hornitos, or " little ovens. " The streams of basaltic lava from Jorullo form rough barren surfaces, which pass under the name of malpays, or bad lands.

In the United States very few volcanoes are active at the present day, though many have become extinct only in times that are geologically recent. An eruption occurred in 1857 at Tres Virgines, in the south of California, and the cinder cone on Lassen's Peak (California) was also active in the middle of the 19th century. The Mono Valley craters and Mount Shasta, in California, are extinct. The Cascade Range contains numerous volcanic peaks, but only few show signs of activity. 1Vlount Hood, in Oregon, exhales vapour, as also does Mount Rainier in Washington. Mount St Helens (Washington) was in eruption in 1841 and 1842; and Mount Baker (Washington), the most northern of the volcanoes connected with the Cascade Range, is said to have been active in 1843. Few volcanic peaks occur in the Rocky Mountains, but evidence of lingering activity is very marked in the geysers and hot springs of the Yellowstone National Park. The earth's internal heat is also manifested at many points elsewhere, as at Steamboat Springs on the Virginia Range, an offshoot of the Sierra Nevada, and in the Comstock Lode.

Volcanic activity is prominent in Alaska, along the Coast Range and in the neighbouring islands. The crater of Mount Edgecumbe, in Lazarus Island, is said to have been active in 1796, but this is doubtful. Mount Fairweather has probably been in recent activity, and the lofty cone of Mount Wrangell, on Copper river, is reported to have been in eruption in 1819. In the neighbourhood of Cook's Inlet there are several volcanoes, including the island of St Augustine. Unimak Island has two volcanoes, which have supplied the natives, with sulphur and obsidian; one of these volcanoes being Mount Shishaldin, a cone rivalling Fusiyama in graceful contour. The.

Aleutian volcanic belt is a narrow, curved chain of islands, extending from Cook's Inlet westwards for nearly 1600 m. It is notable that the convexity of the curve faces the great ocean, as has been observed in other cases, the arcs following the direction of the rock-folds. According to Professor I. C. Russell, an authority on the volcanoes of N. America, there are in the Aleutian Islands and in the peninsula no fewer than 57 craters, either active or recently extinct.

From the Aleutian Islands the volcanic band of the Pacific changes its direction, and passing to the peninsula of Kamschatka, where 14 volcanoes are said to be active, turns southwards and forms the festoon of the Kurile Islands. Here again the convexity of the insular arc is directed towards the ocean. This volcanic archipelago leads on to the great islands of Japan, where the volcanoes have been studied by Professor J. Milne, who also described those of the Kuriles. Of the 54 volcanoes recognized as now active or only recently extinct in Japan, the best known is the graceful cone of the sacred mountain Fusiyama, but others less pretentious are far more dangerous. The great eruption of Bandaisan, about 120 m. N. of Tokio, which occurred in 1888, blew off one side of the peak called Kobandai, removing, according to Professor Sekiya's estimate, about 2982 million tons of material. Aso-san in Kiushui, the southernmost large island of Japan, is notable for the enormous size of its crater. In the Bonin group of islands volcanic activity is indicated by such names as Volcano Island and Sulphur Island.

South of the Japanese archipelago the train of volcanoes passes through some small islands in or near the Loo Choo (Liu Kiu) group and thence onwards by Formosa to the Philippine Islands, where subterranean activity finds abundant expression in earthquakes and volcanoes. After leaving this region the linear arrangement of the eruptive centres becomes less distinctly marked, for almost every island in the Moluccas and the Sunda Archipelago teems with volcanoes, solfataras and hot springs. Possibly, however, a broken zone may be traced from the Moluccas through New Guinea and thence to New Zealand, perhaps through eastern Australia (for though no active volcanoes are known there, relics of comparatively recent activity are abundant); or again by way of the Bismarck Archipelago, the Solomon Islands, the New Hebrides, the Fiji Islands and Kermodoc Island.

The great volcanic district in New Zealand is situated in the northern part of North Island, memorable for the eruption of Tarawera in 1886. This three-peaked mountain on the south side of Lake Tarawera, not previously known to have been active, suddenly burst into action; a huge rift opened, and Lake Rotomahana subsided, with destruction of the famous sinter terraces. The crater of Tongariro is in the solfatara stage, whilst Mount Ruapehu is regarded as extinct. On White Island in the Bay of Plenty the cone of Wharkari is feebly active.

Far to the south, on Ross Island, off South Victoria Land, in Antarctica, are the volcanoes of Erebus and Terror, the former of which is active. These are often regarded as remotely related to the Pacific zone, but Dr G. T. Prior has shown that the Antarctic volcanic rocks which he examined belonged to the Atlantic and not the Pacific type.

Within the great basin of the Pacific, imperfectly surrounded by its broken girdle of volcanoes, there is a vast number of scattered islands and groups of islands of volcanic origin, rising from deep water, and hiving in many cases active craters. The most important group is the Hawaiian Archipelago, where there is a chain of at least fifteen large volcanic mountains - all extinct, however, with the exception of three in Hawaii, namely Mauna Loa, Kilauea and Hualalai; and of these Hualalai has been dormant since 1811. It is notable that the two present gigantic centres of activity, though within 20 m. of each other, appear to be independent in their eruptivity. Several of the Hawaiian Islands, as pointed out by J. D. Dana, who was a very high authority on this group, consist of two volcanoes united at the base, forming volcanic twins or doublets.

The volcanic regions of the Pacific are connected with those of the Indian Ocean by a grand train of islands rich in volcanoes, stretching from the west of New Guinea through the Moluccas and the Sunda Islands, where they form a band extending axially through Java and Sumatra. Here is situated the principal theatre of terrestrial vulcanicity, apparently representing an enormous fissure, or system of fissures, in the earth's crust, sweeping in a bold curve, with its convexity towards the Indian Ocean.

Numerous volcanic peaks occur in the string of small islands to the east of Java - notably in Flores, Sumbawa, Lombok and Bali; and one of the most terrific eruptions on record in any part of the world occurred in the province of Tomboro, in the island of Sumbawa, in the year 1815. Java contains within its small area as many as 49 great volcanic mountains - active, dormant and extinct. The largest is Smerin, about 12,000 ft. high, but the most regularly active is said to be Gownong Lamongang, which is in almost uninterrupted activity, emitting usually only ashes and vapour, though in 1883 lava streamed forth. Many of the Javanese volcanoes present marked regularity of contour, with the sides of the cones rather symmetrically furrowed by tropical rains and probably ridged by ash-slides. The radial furrows on volcanic cones are sometimes known as " barrancos." The little uninhabited island of Krakatoa in the Strait of Sunda appears to be situated at a volcanic node, or the intersection of two curved fissures, and it is believed that the island itself represents part of the basal wreck of what was once a volcano of gigantic size. After two centuries of repose, a violent catastrophe occurred in 1883, whereby the greater part of the island was blown away. This eruption and its effects were made the subject of careful study by Verbeek, B g on and Judd.

Through the great island of Sumatra, a chain of volcanoes runs longitudinally, and may possibly be continued northwards in the Bay of Bengal by Barren Island and Norcondam - the former an active and the latter an extinct volcano. On the western side of the Indian Ocean a small volcanic band may be traced in the islands of the Mascarene group, several craters in Reunion (Bourbon) being still active. Far south in the Indian Ocean are the volcanic islands of New Amsterdam and St Paul. The Comoro Islands in the channel of Mozambique exhibit volcanic activity, whilst in East and Central Africa there are several centres, mostly extinct but some partially active, associated with the Rift Valleys. The enormous cones of Kenia and Kilimanjaroo are extinct, but on Kibo, one of the summits of the latter, a crater is still preserved. The Mfumbiro volcanoes, S. of Lake Edward, rise to a height of more than 14,700 feet. Kirunga, N. of Lake Kivu, is still partially active. Elgon is an old volcanic peak, but Ruwenzori is not of volcanic origin. On the west side of Africa, the Cameroon Peak is a volcano which was active in 1909, and the island of Fernando Po is also volcanic. Along the Red Sea there are not wanting several examples of volcanoes, such as Jebel Teir. Aden is situated in an old crater.

Passing to the Atlantic, a broken band of volcanoes, recent and extinct, may be traced longitudinally through certain islands, some of which rise from the great submarine ridge that divides the ocean, in part of its length, into an eastern and a western trough. The northern extremity of the series is found in Jan Mayen, an island in the Arctic Ocean, where an eruption occurred in 1818. Iceland, however, with its wealth of volcanoes and geysers, is the most important of all the Atlantic centres. According to Dr T. Thoroddsen there are in Iceland about 130 post-glacial volcanoes, and it is known that from 25 to 30 have been in eruption during the historic period. Many of the Icelandic lava-flows, such as the immense flood from Laki (Skapta Jokull) in 1783, are referable to fissure eruptions, which are the characteristic though not the exclusive form of activity in this island. Probably this type was also responsible for the sheets of old lava in the terraced hills of the Faroe Islands, to which may have been related the Tertiary volcanoes of the west of Scotland and the north of Ireland.

An immense gap separates the old volcanic area of Britain from the volcanic archipelagoes of the Azores, the Canaries and the Cape Verd Islands. Palma - a little island in the Canary group, with a caldera or large crater at its summit, from which fissures or barrancos radiate - is famous in the history of vulcanology, in that it furnished L. von Buch with evidence on which he founded the " crater-ofelevation " theory. The remaining volcanic islands of the Atlantic chain, all now cold and silent, include Ascension, St Helena and Tristan da Cunha, whilst in the western part of the South Atlantic are the small volcanic isles of Trinidad and Ferdinando do Noronha. St Paul's rocks appear also to be of volcanic origin.

One of the most important volcanic regions of the world is found in the West Indies, where the Lesser Antilles - the scene of the great catastrophes of 1902 - form a string of islands, stretching in a regular arc that sweeps in a N. and S. direction across the eastern end of the Caribbean Sea. Subject to frequent seismic disturbance, and rich in volcanoes, solfataras and hot springs, these islands seem to form the summit of a great earth-fold which, rising as a curved ridge from deep water, separates the Caribbean Sea from the Atlantic. The volcanoes are situated on the inner border of the curve. It is notable that the Antilles and the Sunda Islands, two of the grandest theatres of vulcanicity on the face of the earth, are situated at the antipodes of each other - one being apparently an eastern and the other a western offshoot of the great Pacific girdle.

The European volcanoes, recent and extinct, may be regarded as representing rather ill-defined branches thrown off eastwards from the Atlantic band. Vesuvius is the only active volcano on the mainland, but in the Mediterranean there are Etna on the coast of Sicily; the Lipari Islands, with Stromboli and Vulcano in chronic activity; and farther to the east the archipelago of Santorin, where new islands have appeared in historic times. Submarine eruptions have occurred also between Sicily and the coast of Africa; one in 1831 having given rise temporarily to Graham's Island, and another in 1891 appearing near Pantellaria, itself a volcanic isle. Of the extinct European volcanoes, some of the best known are in Auvergne, in the Eifel, in Bohemia and in Catalonia, whilst the volcanic land of Italy includes the Euganean hills, the Alban hills, the Phlegraean Fields, &c. The great lakes of Bolsena and Bracciano occupy old craters, and many smaller sheets of water are on similar sites. The volcanic islands no longer active include Ischia, with the great cone of Epomeo which was in a state of eruption in 1301; the Ponza Islands, Nisida, Vivera and others near Naples; and several in the Greek archipelago, such as Milos, Kimolos and Polinos.

From the eastern end of the Mediterranean evidence of former volcanic activity may be traced into Asia Minor and thence to Armenia and the Caucasus. East of Smyrna there is a great desolate tract which the ancients recognized as volcanic and termed the Catacecaumene (burnt country). The volcanic districts of Lydia were studied by Professor H. S. Washington. In the plateau of Armenia there are several extinct volcanic mountains, more or less destroyed, of which the best known is Ararat. Nimrud Dagh on the shore of Lake Van is said to have been in eruption in the year 1441. Dr F. Oswald has described the volcanoes of Armenia. Of the volcanoes in Persian territory not now active, Demavend, south of the Caspian, is an important example. Elburz is also described as an old volcano. It has been said that in Central Asia there are certain vents still active, and recent volcanic rocks are known from the Przhevalsky chain and other localities.

The number of volcanoes known to be actually active on the earth is generally estimated at between 300 and 400, but there is reason to believe that this estimate is far too low. If account be taken of those volcanic cones which have not been active in historic time, the total will probably rise to several thousands. The distribution of volcanoes at various periods of the earth's history, as revealed by the local occurrence of volcanic rocks at different horizons in the crust of the earth, is discussed under Geology. Periods of great earthmovement have been marked by exceptional volcanic activity.

Causes of Vulcanicity. In discussing the cause of vulcanicity two problems demand attention: first the origin of the heat necessary for the manifestation of volcanic phenomena, and secondly the nature of the force by which the heated matter is raised to the surface and ejected. According to the old view, which assumed that the earth was a spheroid of molten matter invested by a comparatively thin crust of solid rock, the explanation of the phenomena appeared fairly simple. The molten interior supplied the heated matter, while the shrinkage of the cooling crust produced fractures that formed the volcanic channels through which it was assumed the magma might be squeezed out in the process of contraction. When physicists urged the necessity of assuming that the globe was practically solid, vulcanologists were constrained to modify their views. Following a suggestion of W. Hopkins of Cambridge, they supposed that the magma, instead of existing in a general central cavity, was located in comparatively small subterranean lakes. Some authorities again, like the Rev. O. Fisher, regarded the magma as constituting a liquid zone, intermediate between a solid core and a solid shell.

If solidification of the primitive molten globe proceeded from the centre outwards, so as to form a sphere practically solid, it is conceivable that portions of the original magma might nevertheless be retained in cavities, and thus form " residual lakes." Although the mass might be for the most part solid, the outer portion, or " crust," could conceivably have a honeycombed structure, and any magma retained in the cells might serve indirectly to feed the volcanoes. Neighbouring volcanoes seem in some cases to draw their supply of lava from independent sources, favouring the idea of local cisterns or "intercrustal reservoirs." It is probable, however, that subterranean reservoirs of magma, if they exist, do not represent relics of an original fluid condition of the earth, but the molten material may be merely rock which has become fused locally by a temporary development of heat or more likely, by a relief of pressure. It should be noted that the quantity of magma required to supply the most copious lava-flows is comparatively small, the greatest recorded outflow (that of Tomboro in Sumbawa, in 1815) not having exceeded, it is said, six cubic miles; and even this estimate is probably too high. Whilst in many cases the magma-cisterns may be comparatively small and temporary, it must be remembered that there are regions where the volcanic rocks are so similar throughout as to suggest a common origin, thus needing intercrustal reservoirs of great extent and capacity. It has been suggested that comparatively small basins, feeding individual volcanoes, may draw their supply from more extensive reservoirs at greater depths.

Much speculation has been rife as to the source of the heat required for the local melting of rock. Chemical action has naturally been suggested, especially that of superficial water, but its adequacy may be doubted. After Sir Humphry Davy's dis covery of the metals of the alkalis, he thought that their remarkable behaviour with water might explain the origin of subterranean heat; and in more recent years others have seen a local source of heat in the oxidation of large deposits of iron, such as that brought up in the basalt of Disco Island in Greenland. It has been assumed by Moissan and by Gautier that water might attack certain metallic carbides, if they occur as subterranean deposits, and give rise to some of the products characteristic of volcanoes. But it seems that all such action must be very limited, and utterly inadequate to the general explanation of volcanic phenomena. At the same time it must be remembered that access of water to a rock already heated may have an important. physical effect by reducing its melting point, and may thus greatly assist in the production of a supply of molten matter. The admission of surface-waters to heated rocks is naturally regarded as an important source of motive power in consequence of the sudden generation of vapour, but it is doubtful to what extent it may contribute, if at all, to the origin of volcanic heat.

According to Robert Mallet a competent source of subterranean heat for volcanic phenomena might be derived from the transformation of the mechanical work of compressing and crushing parts of the crust of the earth as a consequence of secular contraction. This view he worked out with much ingenuity, supporting it by mathematical reasoning and an appeal to experimental evidence. It was claimed for the theory that it explained the linear distribution of volcanoes, their relation to mountain chains, the shallow depth of the foci and the intermittence of eruptive activity. A grave objection,. however, is the difficulty of conceiving that the heat, whether due to crushing or compression, could be concentrated locally so as to produce a sufficient elevation of temperature for melting the rocks. According to the calculations of Rev. O. Fisher, the crushing could not, under the most favourable circumstances, evolve heat enough to account for volcanic phenomena.

Since pressure raises the melting-point of any solid that expands on liquefaction, it has been conjectured that many deep-seated rocks, though actually solid, may be potentially liquid; that is, they are maintained in a solid state by pressure: only. Any local relief of pressure, such as might occur in the folding and faulting of rocks, would tend, without further accession of heat, to induce fusion. But although moderate pressure raises the fusing-point of most solids, it is believed,, from modern researches, that very great pressures may have a contrary effect.

It is held by Professor S. Arrhenius that at great depths in. the earth the molten rock, being above its critical point, can. exist only in the gaseous condition; but a gas under enormous pressure may behave, so far as compressibility is concerned, like a rigid solid. He concludes, from the high density of the earth as a whole and from other considerations, that the central part of our planet consists of gaseous iron (about 80% of the earth's diameter) followed by a zone of rock magma in a gaseous condition (about 15%), which passes insensibly outwards into liquid rock (4%), covered by a thin solid crust (less than i % of diameter). If water from the crust penetrates by osmosis through the sea-floor to the molten interior, it acts, at the high temperature, as an acid, and decomposes the silicates of the magma. The liquid rock, expanded and rendered more mobile by this water, rises in fissures, but in its ascent suffers cooling, so that the water then loses its power as an acid and is displaced by silicic acid, when the escaping steam gives rise to the explosive phenomena of the volcano. The mechanism of the volcano is therefore much like that of a geyser, a comparison. long ago suggested by Rev. O. Fisher and other geologists.

According to the " planetesimal theory " of Professor T. C. Chamberlin and Dr F. R. Moulton, which assumes that the earth was formed by the accretion of vast numbers of small cosmical bodies called planetesimals, the original heat of the earth's interior was due chiefly to the compression of the growing globe by its own gravity. The heat, proceeding from the centre outwards, caused local fusion of the rocks, though without forming distinct reservoirs of molten magma, and the fused matter charged with gases rose in liquid threads or tongues, which worked their way upwards, some reaching the superficial part of the earth and escaping through fissures in the zone of fracture, thus giving rise to volcanic phenomena. It is held that the explosive activity of a volcano is due to the presence of gases which have been brought up from the interior of the earth, whilst only a small and perhaps insignificant part is played by water of superficial origin.

Entirely new views of the origin of the earth's internal heat have resulted from the discovery of radioactivity. It has been shown by the Hon. R. J. Strutt, Professor J. Joly and others that radium is present in all igneous rocks, and it is estimated that the quantity in the crust of the earth is amply sufficient to maintain its temperature. An ingenious hypothesis was enunciated by Major C. E. Dutton, who found in the radioactivity of the rocks a sufficient source of heat for the explanation of all volcanic phenomena. He believes that the development of heat arising from radioactivity may gradually bring about the local melting of the rocks so as to form large subterranean pools of magma, from which the volcanoes may be supplied. The supply is usually drawn from shallow sources, probably, according to Dutton, from a depth of not more than three or rarely four miles, and in some cases at not more than a mile from the surface. If the water in the local magma should attain sufficient expansive power, it will rupture the overlying rocks and thus give rise to a volcanic eruption. When the reservoir becomes exhausted the eruption ceases, but if more heat be generated by continued radioactivity further fusion may ensue, and in time the eruption be repeated. According, however, to Professor Joly, it is improbable that sufficient heat for the manifestation of volcanic phenomena could be developed by the local radioactivity of the rocks in the upper part of the earth's crust.


On general vulcanicity see G. Mercalli, I Vulcani attivi della terra (1907); Sir A. Geikie, Text-Book of Geology (4th ed., 1903) (with bibliography); The Ancient Volcanoes of Great Britain (2 vols., 1897) (with general sketch of vulcanology); T. C. Chamberlin and R. D. Salisbury, Geology, Processes and their Results (1905); G. P. Scrope, Volcanoes (2nd ed., 1872); J. W. Judd, Volcanoes (2nd ed., 1881); T. G. Bonney, Volcanoes (1899); Tempest Anderson, Volcanic Studies in many Lands (1903) (excellent views). On special volcanoes see J. Phillips, Vesuvius (1869); J. L. Lobley, Mount Vesuvius (1889); H. J. Johnston-Lavis, The South Italian Volcanoes (with copious bibliography) (1891); " The Eruption of Vesuvius in April 1906," Sci. Trans. Roy. Dublin Soc. (Jan. 1909); W. Sartorius von Waltershausen, Der Aetna (herausgegeben von A. von Lasaulx, 1880); F. Fouque, Santorin et ses eruptions (1879); R. D. M. Verbeek, Krakatau (1886) (with Album Atlas); The Eruption of Krakatoa and Subsequent Phenomena, Report of the Krakatoa Committee of the Royal Society (" On the Volcanic Phenomena, &c.," by Professor J. W. Judd) (1888); Royal Society Report on the Eruption of the Soufriere, in St Vincent, in 1902, by Tempest Anderson and J. S. Flett, two parts, Phil. Trans., 1903, ser. A. vol. zoo, and 1908, vol. 208; A. Lacroix, La Montagne Pelee (1904); La Montagne Pelee apres ses eruptions, avec observations sur les eruptions du Vesuve en 1879 et en 1906 (1908); A. Heilprin, Mont Pelee (1903); E. O. Hoovey, The 1902-3 Eruptions of Mont Pelee and the Soufriere, Ninth Internat. Geolog. Congress (Vienna, 1903); Am. Jour. Sci. xiv. (1902), p. 319; Nat. Geog. Mag. xiii. (1902), p. 444; J. Milne, " The Volcanoes of Japan," Trans.' Seismological Soc. of Japan (1886); A. Stiibel, Die Vulkanberge von Ecuador (1897); I. C. Russell, Volcanoes of North America (1897); J. D. Dana, Characteristics of Volcanoes (Hawaiian Islands) (1890); C. E. Dutton, Hawaiian Volcanoes, 4th Rep. U.S. Geological Survey (1882-83), 1884; C. H. Hitchcock, Hawaii and its Volcanoes (Honolulu, 1909). For the chemistry of volcanic phenomena see F. W. Clarke, ' The Data of Geochemistry," Bull. U.S. Geolog. Survey, No. 330 (1908). For the planetesimal theory consult T. C. Chamberlin and R. D. Salisbury, Geology: Earth History, vol. ii. (1906). For other modern views of vulcanism see S. Arrhenius, Zur Physik des Vulcanismus" in Geologiska Foreningens i Stockholm Forhandlingar, Band xxii. (1900) (Abstract by R. H. Rastall in the Geological Magazine, April 1907); C. E. Dutton, " Volcanoes and Radioactivity," Journal of Geology (Chicago, 1906), vol. xiv. p. 259; G. D. Louderback, " The Relation of Radioactivity to Vulcanism," ibid. p. 747; J. Joly, Radioactivity and Geology (1909); A. Harker, The Natural History of Igneous Rocks (1909); and E. Suess, The Face of the Earth (Das Antlitz der Erde), transl. by H. B. C. Sollas, vol. iv. cap. xvi. (1909). (F. W. R.*)

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