First of all volcanoes are not just mountains that happen to spew lava, they are different from mountains structurally and in terms of how they are formed. The three different types of volcanoes based on whether or not two tectonic plates are diverging or converging. If they are diverging, then it will create a fissure by which hot molten rock can gather and be spouted out of. This occurs mostly at the ocean floor and the dried lava can create islands, such as Hawaii. When tectonic plates converge, one of the plates is driven under the other and the force creates intense amounts of friction. This friction then gives rise to hear and magma (lava when it is underground) as well as a lot of pressure that can build until an eruption occurs. The third type of volcano (known as a hotspot) can occur anywhere on a tectonic plate. This is when magma is slowly pushing up towards the surface of the earth over long periods of time. If the magma can find an alcove or small fissure at the surface of the earth it can spill out onto the earth.
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