Wednesday, March 30, 2005
Volcanoes of the World
Monday, March 28, 2005
This is a wonderful example of what the final result of a volcano project should look like during the experiment.
This project is based on a "papier mâché" volcano project. It might be good to have some extra help from your parents if you encounters some problems with certain tools.
For the volcano itself, you will require the following materials:
- some metal hangers
- a cutting tool for those hangers
- a ruler
- a pencil
- some brown, grey, black and maybe even a bit of white paint
- some water
- some flour
- some baking soda
- red or a mix of red and yellow (to make orange) food coloring
- some vinegar
- a small bottle or plastic container
- a lot of newpapers
Here are the steps that you should follow during the building process of your volcano.
- Draw a detailed plan of the volcano, including the dimensions.
- Mesure and cut the hangers with a special cutting tool. Do not forget to cut those wires a bit longer because they will be put on an angle (diagonal) plus you need an extra lenght to attach these wires to the top circle (crater) and the bottom circle (base). Make sure that the circle for the crater is big enought for the container to be lowered through it.
- Build the skeleton of the volcano by putting those wires together by either bending the wires or using a glue gun.
- Mix about a quarter of a cup of flour for each cup of water and mix. The thickness of this paste should remind you of a pancake mix.
- Tear the newspaper in long, narrow strips of paper. Dip each one fully in the mix, remove the excess of paste and gently put it on the shape of your volcano. Make a full layer, covering the whole shape. There should be three layers at least. You should allow about 24-48 hours to dry between each layer. The second layer can be shaped with some details that will be nicely accentuating the details even more. Then, after the third layer, allow close to a week to fully dry before painting it.
- Paint the details such as rocks, lava, snow, forest even (then you would need some green paint). You should put at least two coats of paint. Allow it to dry for at least 24 hours between each coat.
- Lower the container, in the crater. When it is time for the experiment, carefully ad enough vinegar to attain the halfway point of the container. I recommend you to add the food coloring at this time as well. Clear everything nearby and put your volcano on a flat surface such as a water bin or an aluminum cookie sheet. Then, add a table spoon of baking soda. The eruptions should be almost instantaneous.
With such a project, everyone will be amazed at the high quality of your project. Experiment and...enjoy!
Friday, March 25, 2005
What are the different types of volcanoes?
The form of the volcano depends on the minerals contained in the magma. The shape of a volcano is created by the violence of the explosion and the amount of water present in the magma.
- A shield volcano has a form that is large with low sloping sides and a broad summit area. This type of volcano is caused by a slow lava flow that has a basaltic composition. The island of Hawaii (the main island) is a great example of a shield volcano.
- A cinder cone volcano is a mound that is formed by flowing gases that are responsible for shooting blobs and ribbons of lava into the air. As the lava comes down, it hardens before touching the ground. When the pressure drops, the final stage of the building of a cinder cone volcano is when some lava flows through the base of the cone. The longer it takes for the volcano to erupt, the bigger the cone. Some sizes vary between a few meters to over 610 meters high. A good example is the Paricutin volcano in Mexico which after erupting regularly between 1943 and 1952 has been responsible for the destruction of the village.
- A composite volcano is the result of several eruptions, sometimes happening after a period of a hundred years to a hundred thousand years. This form has a cycle of quiet and explosive eruptions of lava. The lava covers the debris with a shell that is resistant to erosion. This shell is responsible for the formation of the strong and steep sides of this type of volcano.