Is steam from water mixing with the lava what causes the pressure to build up in volcanoes?



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    It’s something like that, except it isn’t necessarily limited to steam from water. The magma (lava before it reaches the surface) deep within the Earth is formed from various dissolved gases. Normally, the confiming pressure of the surrounding rock is greater than the pressure of the dissolved gases. However, when the dissolved gas pressure exceed the pressure of the surrounding rock for whatever reason, the dissolved gas expands and mixes with the lava forming gas bubbles name as vesicles. The vesicles force the magma upwards and eventually it reaches the surface fo the volcano.

    It’s similar to what happens when you shake a soda bottle. Unshaken, the gas escapes in a “hiss” sound when you open the bottle. If you shake the bottle, however, the gas mixes with the soda and forces it upwards.

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