Physical Geology 2002


If you're interested in more geologic processes take a look at my classmate's webpages.



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Volcanic Lightning

Volcanic lightning comes from the static electricity formed by volcanic erruptions.
Volcanic lightning is created when a volcano erupts and lots of tiny fine particles of volcanic ash form a cloud. Friction between the particles of ash and the gases emitted from the eruption cause differentces that create lightning. The lightning usually occurs between clouds and from the eruption column to the crater. Sometimes volcanic lightning can hit the ground and can kill people. The lightning found in volcanic clouds can be sparks, bolts, or balls.

Geologic Processes


ProduSome scientists have hypothesized that lightning from volcanoes could possibly have caused life to occur on the planet! Scientists hypothesized this because they know that life on this planet was started by some type of electricty zapping a tiny piece of living matter. Scientists have hypothesized that this living matter may have come from another planet , (some possiblities being Jupiter or Mars) in an asteroid or metorite, and when the matter was struck by volcanic lightning it was mutated in some way to cause a surge of life. the Geologic Process


Unfortunately not very much is known about volcanic lightning. Part of the reason for this is because not a lot of information is known about regular lightning. Check out my links to get more information on when and where volcanic lightning has been sighted. Not every volcanic explosion has volcanic lightning. I suppose this is because conditions must be just right before volcanic lightning can occur.

LiteraWorks cited:

Lightning in Volcanic clouds, Burke, M.; Moore, C.B; Sigurgeirsson.t, EOs, transactions, American Geophysical union

Electric fields and lightining in the Helens volcanic cloud

Cobb, W.E.

abstracts of the transactions of the 1980 American Geophysical union fall meetion No. 46



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This website is part of a Geology 211 class project on Processes in Physical Geology.

Earlham Geosciences Department Geociences 211: Physical Geology

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