Earth's Major Volcanoes

Earth's Major Volcanoes

Understanding where volcanoes come from and how they form is an important part of understanding their impact on human civilization and the environment.

Grades

5 - 8

Subjects

Earth Science, Geography, Geology, Physical Geography

Idea for Use in the Classroom

Why do volcanoes form where they do? Is there a connection between the location of extinct volcanoes and active volcanoes? Use the Earth’s Major Volcanoes map to explore these ideas. Prepare students by reviewing the sources of volcanism, namely, hotspots in the mantle and plate tectonics. Explain that hotspots are not stable and do not remain at the same location at all times. Additionally, students should understand how plates move over time and the effects of this movement. Have students identify the likely source of volcanism for each active volcano on the map. Then, have students compare the locations of the active volcanoes to the extinct volcanoes. Ask them to consider why the extinct volcanoes tend to be close to the active volcanoes. Given what they know about the active volcanoes, have students identify the past source of the extinct volcano.

To extend this activity, have students research and plot the locations of the other volcanoes in the Hawaiian-Emperor seamount chain. Ask students: Do you think that this chain comes from a hotspot in the mantle or plate tectonics? How would you explain the bend in the chain?

Use MapMaker to make this activity digital.


Try the Layer

Media Credits

The audio, illustrations, photos, and videos are credited beneath the media asset, except for promotional images, which generally link to another page that contains the media credit. The Rights Holder for media is the person or group credited.

Director
Tyson Brown, National Geographic Society
Author
National Geographic Society
Production Managers
Gina Borgia, National Geographic Society
Jeanna Sullivan, National Geographic Society
Program Specialists
Sarah Appleton, National Geographic Society, National Geographic Society
Margot Willis, National Geographic Society
other
Last Updated

May 20, 2022

For information on user permissions, please read our Terms of Service. If you have questions about licensing content on this page, please contact ngimagecollection@natgeo.com for more information and to obtain a license. If you have questions about how to cite anything on our website in your project or classroom presentation, please contact your teacher. She or he will best know the preferred format. When you reach out to him or her, you will need the page title, URL, and the date you accessed the resource.

Media

If a media asset is downloadable, a download button appears in the corner of the media viewer. If no button appears, you cannot download or save the media.

Text

Text on this page is printable and can be used according to our Terms of Service.

Interactives

Any interactives on this page can only be played while you are visiting our website. You cannot download interactives.

Related Resources