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  Vulcanism (named after Vulcan, the Roman god of fire, who was thought to make thunderbolts for Jupiter in a smithy under Mount Etna), in lay terms, is the study of volcanoes (including the prediction of possible eruptions). Scientifically speaking, it has two meanings. Vulcanists (also called Plutonists, after Pluto, Greek god of the Underworld) hold that most geological phenomena are the result of heat in the Earth\'s interior, and the process of vulcanism is the convective flow of hot materials from the interior to the surface of a planet. Vulcanism of the second kind is common on Earth (where it is the venting of hot gases and molten materials from the radioactive decay which causes the planet\'s internal heat), and has also been observed on the Moon, Venus, Jupiter\'s moon Io and Neptune\'s moon Triton but nowhere else in the universe. KMcL  



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