General Interest Publication



Volcanoes destroy and volcanoes create. The catastrophic eruption of Mount St. Helens on May 18, 1980, made clear the awesome destructive power of a volcano. Yet, over a time span longer than human memory and record, volcanoes have played a key role in forming and modifying the planet upon which we live. More than 80 percent of the Earth's surface--above and below sea level--is of volcanic origin. Gaseous emissions from volcanic vents over hundreds of millions of years formed the Earth's earliest oceans and atmosphere, which supplied the ingredients vital to evolve and sustain life. Over geologic eons, countless volcanic eruptions have produced mountains, plateaus, and plains, which subsequent erosion and weathering have sculpted into majestic landscapes and formed fertile soils.
Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Unnumbered Series
Title Volcanoes
Series title General Interest Publication
DOI 10.3133/7000038
Year Published 1998
Language ENGLISH
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location Reston, VA
Description 45 p. : ill. (some col.), maps (some col.) ; 24 cm.; HTML Document
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