There are two general types of volcanoes: divergent plate and convergent plate. Divergent plate volcanoes are found at the bottom of the sea, where tectonic plates move away from each other. Convergent plate volcanoes, on the other hand, are the ones we see and hear about. When tectonic plates run into each other, they form a deep ocean trench, and the water released creates magma. If the magma reaches the surface, which is somewhat rare, then a volcano is formed.
This is caused the movement of plates. Whether divergent or convergent, if a line of fault goes so deep that magma is thrown out it forms volcano.
A great many vocanoes (Hawaii, Iceland, Yellowstone, Tahiti, Reunion, and many others, as well as ancient ones in New England and elsewhere) are associated directly with neither convergent nor divergent tectonics, but rather with “hot spots” – sites of upwelling heat from the mantle. See the link.
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