Find out about different types of volcano and why people still live near volcanoes, despite the danger.

A volcano is an opening in the Earth’s crust where magma – a mixture of red-hot molten rock, crystals and gases – erupts onto the surface.

How violent the eruption depends on the type of magma that lurks beneath. In some volcanoes it explodes violently, while in others it gently oozes. Once on the surface, the erupted magma is called lava.

Certain types of interaction between tectonic plates will cause magma to rise near to the Earth’s surface. Hence most of the Earth’s active volcanoes are located near tectonic plate boundaries.