There are really two chemical reactions that occur here:
The Continental Drift theory
put forward by Alfred Wegener in 1912 describes the Earths outer layer, the crust, as being made up of giant 'plates' that drift apart and together over millions of years. These plates, now known as tectonic plates, sit on the outer mantle of the Earth known as the asthenosphere. The asthenosphere contains solid rock that moves like a very slow fluid over geological time because of enormous pressures within the the Earth. The movement of the asthenosphere carries the tectonic plates together and apart.
It is along these divergent and convergent plate boundaries
where earthquakes and volcanic eruptions mainly occur, as well as mountain and ocean trench creation.
Other areas for volcanic activity are 'hotspots' far from the plate boundaries. These are areas where the hot magma from the outer mantle has melted the crust, forming a vent for a volcano to form. Once magma is erupted from the a volcano it is called lava, which can be between 700o
C and 1200o
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