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Volcano - Friend or Foe?



Volcano - Friend or Foe?
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   high interest, readability grade 6
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   6.1

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    Krakataua, pyroclastic, zircon, atomic, wasteland, hydrogen, magma, violent, benefits, Mudslides, pumice, topaz, molten, volcanic, explosion, geothermal


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Volcano - Friend or Foe?
By Patti Hutchison
  

1     The earth begins to rumble. Steam pours out of the crater. Bright splashes of lava stream up towards the sky. Ash rains down. An awesome event is taking place- a volcano is erupting. We think of volcanic eruptions as violent, dangerous, and damaging. But sometimes volcanoes can have more quiet tempers. Volcanoes can also benefit the earth.
 
2     A volcano is a vent in the earth's surface. Below the surface is liquid rock, called magma. When a volcano erupts, magma comes up through this vent. Gases and ash often come with it. The molten rock is called lava once it reaches the surface. The lava forms a hill around the vent which is called a crater.
 
3     All volcanic eruptions are not alike. Some eruptions are quiet. Lava slowly flows in small streams from the vent. Other eruptions are violent. They send lava, ash, and gases hundreds of miles into the air. Sometimes they form clouds that can be seen from miles away. Great explosions can take off the top of the mountain. Krakataua, in Indonesia, erupted in 1883. It caused an explosion like 10,000 atomic bombs. Mt. St. Helens, in Washington, erupted in 1980. It destroyed 1,314 feet of the mountain. The dust and ash turned 200 square miles of forest into a gray wasteland.

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