Currently, in today's world, volcanoes of the past are beginning to come alive again. As recently as a couple of months ago, volcanoes around the world have been erupting. Being from an area of high volcanic activity, Hawaiians get a tremendous view of the Mauna Loa and Kilauea volcanoes. These non-explosive volcanoes make Hawaii a safer place to study volcanic activity.(Brantley).
"Eruptions of Hawaiian volcanoes are typically non-explosive because of the composition of the magma. Almost all of the magma erupted from Hawaii's volcanoes forms dark gray to black volcanic rock (called basalt), generally in the form of lava flows and, less commonly, as fragmented lava such as volcanic bombs, cinders, pumice, and ash. Basalt magma is more fluid than the other types of magma (andesite, dacite, and rhyolite). Consequently, expanding volcanic gases can escape from basalt relatively easily and can propel lava high into the air, forming brilliant fountains sometimes called "curtains of fire.""(Brantley).
"Volcanic gases generally consist predominantly of steam (H2O), followed in abundance by carbon dioxide and compounds of sulfur and chlorine." (Hoblitt).
"Acids, ammonia, and other compounds present in volcanic gases can damage eyes and respiratory systems of people and animals, and heavier-than-air gases, such as carbon dioxide, can accumulate in closed depressions and suffocate people or animals." (Hoblitt).
"Most volcanic eruptions are related to the plate tectonic processes. Most of the world's active above-sea volcanoes are located near convergent plate boundaries where subduction is occurring, particularly around the Pacific basin." (Plate Tectonics and People).
"Tephra is a general term for fragments of volcanic rock and lava regardless of size that are blasted into the air by explosions or carried upward by hot gases in eruption columns or lava fountains. Such fragments range in size from less than 2 mm (ash) to more than 1 m in diameter.