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Kelly Connolly

Geog 1 CRN# 33229

Lithosphere Hazard Map - Volcanoes - Global Scale

Roughly 75% or 452 volcanoes evolved over millions of years, forming along the “Ring of Fire”, a pattern
which resembles more of a horse shoe shape than a circle. This area of increased volcanic activity occurs
primarily between the convergence of two tectonic plates, allowing magma to rise and also increasing seismic
activity along fault lines, felt by earthquakes. The most active fault on the Ring of Fire, is the San Andreas Fault
in California, where the North American plate and Pacific plate merge. The most active of volcanoes on the
“Ring of Fire” include, Mount Ruapehu in New Zealand, Krakatoa in Indonesia, Mount Fuji in Japan, Mount St.
Helens in the United States and Popocatépetl in Mexico. The dangers caused from volcanoes are extremely
dangerous and destructive, effecting communities across large stretches of land, by damaging agricultural and
industrial business as well as forcing people to temporarily or permanently evacuating their homes. Many
volcanoes have been catastrophic to ecosystems leading to hundreds of thousands of deaths of people and
wiping out flora and fauna, from the exploding or outpouring of ash, tephra, lava and flooding. Volcanic activity
is unstoppable, but identifying early triggers can allow researchers to warn at-risk areas, hopefully early enough
to avoid some of the problems that arise from an active volcano. Obviously, living further away from the Ring of
Fire would alleviate much of the damage. According to the USGS website, numerous regions have developed
“Volcano Hazard Programs”, organizing the infrastructure of “federal, tribal, state, private sector, county and
local agencies with the intent to recognize early warning signs and have a plan of action to be prepared for an
emergency situation. Notifying the public with terms such as, “normal, advisory, watch and warning”, that
correlate to various degrees of potential harm and what the public should be preparing for.

Lithosphere Hazard Map - Volcanoes - Regional Scale

This map shows volcanoes located on the country of Iceland, which is located on the Mid Atlantic
Ridge in the northern area of the Atlantic Ocean. This area of the earth is where the Eurasian plate and
North American plates are moving away from one another, creating a trench and volcanic rift zone, where
magma arises. Some of the volcanoes near or on Iceland are under the sea and other beneath glaciers.
There are about thirty volcanoes located on the country. The eruptions can be destructive and effect areas
across the sea as ash is blown over to other countries in Europe. The ash and sulphuric cloud severely
harms aviation network, by causing minimal damage to airplanes, or delaying flights, to catastrophic
damage from planes crashing. This was the case with the most recent volcanic eruptions of Eyjafjallajökull
in 2010 and Grímsvötn in 2011. If there had been more studies and work put in to identify early indications
of an increase in activity at the time, more warning would have lead to a better management of controlling
the problems caused after the explosions. An increase in communication and planning between the
countries would help alleviate challenges from the volcanoes. According to the USGS, aviation systems
use a color code of “green, yellow, orange, and red”, to recognize varying degrees of potential risk in the
air from a volcanic eruption.

Lithosphere Hazard Map - Volcanoes - Local Scale

The volcano circled in red located on the local scale map is of a Eyjafjallajökull, which most recently
erupted on May 22, 2010. It is found at 63.63 N and 19.62 W at an elevation of 1,666 feet and is covered
partially by glaciers. It is a stratovolcano, meaning it is characterized by its large size towering up towards
the sky made up of hard lava, tephra and ash, with violent exploding eruptions impacting vast stretches of
land and sea. The closest town to Eyjafjallajökull, is Hvolsvöllur with a population of 1750, most commonly
known for its agriculture business and tourism. With development on the island of Iceland and with Europe
near by, an abundance of people can be and have already been effected from the far-reaching destruction
of Eyjafjallajökull. The country of Iceland has used these natural hazards as a way to create and utilize a
form of clean energy, known as geothermal power, lessening its dependency on imports of oil and coal. If
the country can create a dependable plan of action and increase its use of technology to recognize the
beginning signs of an eruption to send out sufficient warnings, the hazards from volcanic eruptions can be
managed, to hopefully have the benefits of geothermal power outweigh the potential destruction from

Works Cited