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Vulcanian Eruptions

Volcanoes erupt in more than one way. This experiment will look at vulcanian type eruptions. Vulcanian eruptions take their name from Vulcano, an island near Italy. In this type of eruption, gas pressure under the magma causes it to be an eruption of dust and large pieces of debris.


small jar
large pan
dirt or clay
2 effervescent antacid tablets (e.g. Alka Seltzer)
1 teaspoon baking soda
food coloring (optional)
˝ cup water


1. Place the jar in the middle of the pan.

2. Make a volcano shape around the jar with the dirt or clay. The jar opening should be the opening of the volcano’s crater.

3. Place the tablets, baking soda, and food coloring (optional ingredient) in the jar.

4. Add the water.

It is a good idea with all science experiments to wear eye and clothing protection if you will be working with anything that might splatter. This is a non-edible experiment.


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