Cause and Effects of Volcanic Eruptions
There are over 20 active volcanos left in the world today. Have you ever wondered or learned about what causes a volcano? Volcanic eruptions can be a huge deal for the environment and the people around it. What causes do volcanos have on the environment and what cause does it have on the people? Well the truth is, the causes of active volcanos there are today, do have effects on its surroundings.
What is a volcano, and what causes it to erupt? Volcanoes occur at weak points in the Earth’s crust. The outer layer, known as the Lithosphere, of the earth includes the hard crust. The earth is made up of huge plates, these plates shift gradually over a time period of millions of years. The weak points in the crust are located along regions where the plates meet, and also in spots under the sea, these areas are known as ‘hot spots’. A volcano is an opening in the earth’s crust often formed like a mountain, which opens downward to a pool of molten rock below the surface of the earth. When pressure is built up inside this pool, eruptions can occur. Volcanoes are formed when magma from underneath the earth’s upper mantle, part of the crust, works its way to the surface. At the surface, it erupts to form lava flows and ash deposits. Over time as the volcano continues to erupt, it will get bigger and bigger because the lava that flows over the top produces a new layer of earth. Lava and ash shoot up through the opening, and burst over the top or fill the air with lava fragments and ash. There have been around 1500 total calculated volcanos since the first recordings in history. Today there remains less than 30 total active in the world now (“Natural Disasters”).
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What affects to volcanos place on the climate? To start when a volcano erupts, it causes an effect on the global climate. A large number of volcanic ash and volcanic gases are emitted into the air and cause a great impact on the climate. After a volcanic eruption the local weather will be dark and stormy, and the eruption can even cause mud rain for several months. Volcanic ash and volcanic gas is sprayed into sky and reaches high altitudes. These volcanic materials will cover the sun, causing temperatures to drop. Along with causing damage climate volcanoes damage the climate. Volcanoes emit large amounts of ash in the air. This volcanic ash and rain combine to form and cause flooding that can wash away roads, bridges, and can even flood nearby villages and cities, leaving many people homeless and destroying everything in its path. Soil, rock, and debris forming together can pile up like a flood and leave cities swamped. Also the gases emitted from the volcanic eruption are really bad for the air which us people have to breathe in. This could cause serious health issues for people only with heart or respiratory problems.
If the contents in the air, sulfur dioxide, hydrogen sulfide, and hydrogen fluoride, combine with sulfuric acid it can damage a person’s skin. (“Climate Effects of Volcanic Eruptions”). Volcanic eruptions have a major impact of the natural landscape of the earth. Land is the world’s most valuable resource. Land is wear millions and millions of plant species grow. Volcanic ash can have a good effect on the environment. Volcanic ash is filled with nutrients that make the soil more fertile which helpful for any potential farmers located around the volcano. However, were ever the lava hardens and turns into rock on the earth will make for useless ground for farmers and anyone else looking to use the land. The rock will take thousands of years to turn back into dirt and become useful. Also, even though it’s a small percentage, the ash from the volcanic eruption makes up 1% of earth’s surface. Volcanoes affect people in many ways, some are good, and others are not. 200,000 people have been reported dead due to a volcanic eruption in the past 500 years. The worst recorded volcanic disaster was believed to cause over 92,000 casualties from falling ash and other related causes. 100,000 more deaths were believed to be caused from starvation in the area. Other ways that volcanos effect people in bad ways are that their houses, buildings, roads, and fields can get covered with ash. Houses and buildings may not always collapse, but often the people affected by the volcano leave because of the ash, and are not there to get the ash off of their roofs. When the raining ash is really heavy, or wet, it can become impossible for people to breathe. People are not going to chased down by flowing lava, but the lava will possibly destroy and certainly run over houses, roads, and any other structures. The only real good affect a volcano has for a human is if you are a farmer. Volcanic ash landing a farmer’s field will produce very rich soils. Volcanos also attract many tourists,
which in return brings a lot of jobs to the area. Also once it erupts; if you search within the volcano you can find metallic minerals such as zinc, lead, and even gold. A volcanic eruption will also make for a great scene. It’s not every day a person can watch hot fiery lava bursting into air making for magnificent photos (“How Do Volcanoes Affect People?”). What causes volcanos produces great effects towards many different things. Humans, weather, land, buildings, and even the atmosphere are affected by a volcanic eruption. Volcanos can be good but also bad for humans and the environment. And so it is true, the causes of active volcanos there are today, do have effects on its surroundings.
“Climate Effects of Volcanic Eruptions.” N.p., n.d. Web. 6 Dec. 2012. “Natural Disasters.” ThinkQuest. Oracle Foundation, n.d. Web. 06 Dec. 2012. Decker, R. & B. “How Do Volcanoes Affect People?” Volcano World. Oregon State, 1989. Web. 6 Dec. 2012.