Underwater Volcano Facts: Lesson for Kids

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  • 0:03 The Volcanic Ocean Floor
  • 1:36 Underwater Eruptions
  • 2:06 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Rebecca Gillaspy

Dr. Gillaspy has taught health science at University of Phoenix and Ashford University and has a degree from Palmer College of Chiropractic.

There's something brewing under the water! The ocean floor is a huge area dotted with many underwater volcanoes. Learn about underwater volcanoes and how they change the shape of our world - above and below the water.

The Volcanic Ocean Floor

Did you ever see a round fish bowl made of smooth glass? The ocean is like an enormous fishbowl, but the ocean floor is not smooth. If you were to drain out the water, you'd find mountains, and many of those mountains would be volcanoes!

We find many underwater volcanoes grouped together along the mid-ocean ridges, which are like mountain ranges sprouting up from the ocean floor. These ridges are formed at the places where tectonic plates come together.

When you stand on the ground, you're actually standing on a movable section of the earth's crust, called a tectonic plate. Tectonic plates are large sections of the earth's crust that float on a layer of very hot melted or molten rock. As plates on the ocean floor shift, the molten rock below pushes up through the crack, cools, and solidifies into new rock; this helps to build up the mid-ocean ridges.

Volcanoes can also happen in the middle of the ocean's tectonic plates if the plates move over a hot spot, which is a very hot pocket of molten rock. If conditions are right, the hot spot spews molten rock up through the plate.

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