Guest Video: Why Do Volcanoes Erupt?

That is the look on your face after glancing out the window and seeing your cornfield erupting.

This 2023 video by Mexico’s National Autonomous University is in Spanish, but it has lots of good footage of the eruption and a size comparison as the cone grew.

That’s Parícutin, in the amazing Michoacán-Guanajuato volcanic field.

It’s monogenetic, meaning that Parícutin is unlikely to ever erupt again.

As Oregon State’s Volcano World notes, “A monogenetic field is kind of like taking a single volcano and spreading all its separate eruptions over a large area.”

They use Parícutin as an example in this animated TED talk on why volcanoes erupt:

1942 — 1943, per all sources, including this one, but the rest of this jives with what I have read.

They mention water entering the mantle in a subduction zone, and you might be wondering where this zone is, inland in central Mexico.

It’s down there — just a little weird (jargon alert).

Most of us, of course, aren’t thinking “Why?” when a volcano goes off nearby.

If we’re thinking at all — and we definitely should be thinking! — it’s the “what” of it that we’re focused on:

Some lagniappe:

Featured image: Dionisio Pulido, the cornfield’s owner. (Image: San Diego History Center.)

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