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Volcanoes: Pelean Eruptions

Mount Pelee on Martinique erupted in 1902 killing over 35,000 people. Pelean eruptions, named after Mount Pelee, are the most violent types of volcanic eruptions. Often, parts of the volcano itself are loosed in the explosion. In the following experiment, the steam of the boiling water enhances the effect of the roiling bubbles. It makes a great display.


small jar
large pan
dirt or clay
2 tablespoons of baking soda
food coloring (optional ingredients)
cup fully boiling water


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

2. Use the dirt or clay to form a volcano around the small jar. The opening of the small jar is the crater of the volcano.

3. Pour the baking soda into the jar.

4. At this point you can add the food coloring, if you desire. The food coloring is not necessary for the experiment, its just for visual effect.

5. Pour in the boiling water and stand back.


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