This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
Composition of the Earth
It may seem like the earth is made up of one big solid rock, but it's really made up of a number of parts. Some of them constantly moving! You can think of the earth as being made up of a number of layers, sort of like an onion. These layers get more and more dense the closer to the center of the earth you get. See the picture below to see the four main layers of the earth: the crust, mantle, outer core, and inner core.
Crust: The crust is the thin outer later of the Earth where we live. Well, it looks thin on the picture and it is
thin relative to the other layers, but don't worry, we're not going to fall through by accident anytime soon. The crust varies from around 5km thick (in the ocean floor) to around 70km thick (on land where we live called the continental crust). The continental crust is made up of rocks that consist primarily of silica and alumina called the "sial". Mantle: The next layer of the Earth is called the mantle. The mantle is much thicker than the crust at almost 3000km deep. It's made up of slightly different silicate rocks with more magnesium and iron. Tectonic plates: The tectonic plates are a combination of the crust and the outer mantle, also called the lithosphere. These plates move very slowly, around a couple of inches a year. Where the plates touch each other is called a fault. When the plates move and the boundaries bump up against each other it can cause an earthquake. Outer Core: The Earth's outer core is made up of iron and nickel and is very hot (4400 to 5000+ degrees C). This is so hot that the iron and nickel metals are liquid! The inner core is very important to earth as it creates something called a magnetic field. The magnetic field the inner core creates goes way out in to space and makes a protective barrier around the earth that shields us from the sun's damaging solar wind. Inner Core: The Earth's inner core is made up of iron and nickel, just like the outer core, however, the inner core is different. The inner core is so deep within the earth that it's under immense pressure. So much pressure that, even though it is so hot, it is solid. The inner core is the hottest part of the Earth, and, at over 5000 degrees C, is about as hot as the surface of the sun.
5. 4.650 Transition region 650-2700 Lower mantle 2700-2890 D'' layer 2890-5150 Outer core 5150-6378 Inner core The inner core is a solid section of the Earth and is unattached to the mantle. the outer core. 3.The Layer of Earth W hat is the use of locating seismic discontinuities? Locating these disturbances enable scientists to map the inner regions of the Earth. 2. and the crust (oceanic and continental). This solidified state is the result of a very intense pressure-freezing process that occurs in most liquids when temperature . This science. the lower mantle.400 Upper mantle 400.40 Crust 40. the transition region. 6. known as tomography originates from the knowledge gained from discontinuities. 0. the upper mantle. Tomographists have found that this planet is divided into six regions: the inner core. 7. Here is a brief synopsis of the depths of each layer (in kilometers): 1. being suspended by the molten outer core.
This field also causes a subtle jerking motion in the Earth's daily rotation. However. the layer is dense. . The outer core is in the range of 200 to 300 kilometers (125 to 188 miles) thick and represents about 4% of the mantle-crust mass. The outer core of Earth is a scorching hot.decreases or pressure increases. but not as dense as pure molten iron. According to scientists. about 10% of this layer is composed of sulfur and/or oxygen due to the fact that these two elements are abundant in the cosmos and dissolve readily in molten iron. studies on seismic discontinuities suggest that this "D" layer might differ chemically rom the lower mantle lying above it. evidencing the presence of multiple impurities having a lighter chemical makeup. This field is also known as Earth's magnetic field. In terms of the physical aspects of the outer core. which is responsible for the functioning of mechanical and biological compasses. 1. This inner layer in mutual combination with the rotational motion of the Earth creates a dynamo effect where a force ield of electrical currents is generated. electrically conductive liquid in which convection takes place. This layer is sometimes identified as part of the lower mantle due to its geographical nature.
Fe)SiO3. is 125 to 188 miles (200 to 300 kilometers) thick and covers about 4% of the mantle-crust mass. 3. This layer is comprised of 72. magnesium and oxygen. calcium. scientists have found that this part of the crust composes of 15. in terms of whether it is part of the lower mantle or an independent layer is still somewhat unclear. its chemical omposition includes silicon. we encounter the upper mantle. 4. The upper mantle makes up 10. Based on evidence collected from seismic discontinuities. This layer.Fe)2SiO4 and pyroxene (Mg. Most likely. D: The D" layer of Earth is about 3% of Earth's mass. making the Earth abundant in the chemical elements of silicon. and oxygen.3% of the total mantle-crust mass and is made of crystalline forms of Olivine (Mg. A relatively large portion when compared to the other interior layers. Looking at the lower mantle. magnesium.3% of the Earth's mass. the D" layer might differ in chemical composition from the lower mantle above it. Higher up. . and aluminum. extending a depth of 6-250 miles (10-400 kilometers). Through excavations in volcanoes. 3. the layer's primary components.9% of the antlecrust mass. This layer is not completely made of solid minerals for scientists speculate that the asthenosphere could be partly liquid molten. it probably also contains some iron.2.
it was possible that this area did not exist for through frequent volcanic activity does only the crust form. only 0. Iceland and Hawaii are two island systems that emerged from the accumulated basalt.554% of the mantle-crust mass.374% of the Earth's mass and extending a short depth of 0 . This is the outer part of the Earth composed essentially of crystalline rocks.000kilometer) array of many volcanoes which creates layer after layer of new crust at the rate of 17 km3 per year.099% of its mass and reaching a small depth of 06 miles (0-10 kilometers). Looking at the percent by composition. This layer is also known as the mesosphere and is 11.5% of Earth's mass with a depth of 250-406 miles (400-650 kilometers). The continental crust and the oceanic crust are also referred to as the lithosphere because of the cool and rocky conditions that exist in its chemical composition. the Transition region comprises 7. The next layer. The ocean floor is covered in basalt originating from volcanic activity and as a matter of fact. the continental crust makes up only 0. is categorized into two parts. making up only 0. 7.31 miles (0-50 kilometers). In the beginning of time.5. The outer most layer.000 mile (40. The layer is composed primarily of crystalline rocks made of lowdensity buoyant minerals dominated mostly by quartz (SiO2) and feldspars (metal-poor silicates). Evidence of this is marked by the oceanic ridge system. The layer becomes dense when the garnet mineral cools but is buoyant and light when subject to heat due to the low melting points. which is a 25. the Oceanic crust and the continental crust. . Continental crust: The second smallest area of the Earth is the Continental crust.1% of the mantle-crust. 6. the crust. It is made of mainly basaltic magmas with amounts of calcium. aluminum and garnet (an aluminum-bearing silicate mineral). The Oceanic crust is the smallest part of Earth.
This results in effusive. steep-sided mound. The lava slowly continues to flow out of the volcano. Largely unexplored. . it can seem as if the whole top of the mountain has been blown off. The higher the level of gas. where magma forces its way to the surface. St. High levels of silica mean very viscous (thick) lava. a lava dome has been forming inside the crater of the volcano. The combination of silica and dissolved gas levels determines the type of eruption and shape of the volcano. Mt. Lava Dome Volcano: A lava dome volcano has high silica levels and low dissolved gases in its magma. Dissolved gases build up inside the volcano. or molten rock. Its eruptions are effusive. resulting in fluid lava that erupts explosively as a result of the immense pressure built in the magma chamber. Shield Volcano: A shield volcano has low levels of dissolved gas and silica in its magma. A few volcanoes like the Hawaiian Islands form from a hot spot. Helens and Mt. Composite volcanoes often resemble steep-sided mountains before erupting. Most volcanoes occur at plate boundaries.S. Mauna Loa in Hawaii is an example. and the very fluid lava moves quickly away from the vent. depending on the lava chemistry (amounts of silica and dissolved gases). which released much of the dissolved gas in the magma. Geological Survey. or a weak spot in earth’s crust. viscous lava that forms a rounded. Rainier in Washington are examples. Lava domes are often created after an explosive eruption. the Gakkel Ridge runs underneath the Arctic Ocean. Volcanic eruptions may be explosive (violent) or effusive (passive). St. based on their lava chemistry and shape. and low levels mean more fluid lava. much like a can of soda or other carbonated beverage.VOLCANOES A volcano is simply an area where magma. forming a gently sloping volcano. Composite Volcano: A composite volcano has high levels of dissolved gas and silica and erupts explosively. Silica is a mineral found in nature as sand or quartz. from the earth’s mantle reaches the earth’s surface. forming a rounded. Eruptions often include pyroclastic material (ash and lava fragments). Lava Butte in Oregon is an example. leaving the volcano to collapse inward and form a crater. Since the 1981 eruption of Mt. Images courtesy of the U. where two plates are moving away (diverging) or together (converging). Helens. Volcanoes are classified into four types. becoming lava. During violent eruptions. Scientists have discovered volcanic craters and evidence of surprisingly violent eruptions in the recent past. A cinder cone volcano erupts by shooting fountains of fiery lava high in the air. which cools and forms a steep-sided conical structure. the more pressure that builds – and the more violent an explosion. Cinder Cone Volcano: A cinder cone volcano has low silica levels and high levels of dissolved gas. steep-sided mound.
located in the Ross Sea. or a large amount of molten lava contained in a crater. is home to volcanic activity. . Ross Island. Terror. Erebus from the front seat of a helicopter. Only three volcanoes in the world have permanent lava lakes. Erebus. The summit of Mt. Photo courtesy of Mt.Map courtesy of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Mt. making Mt. Antarctica. is composed of three extinct volcanoes (Mt. However. Erebus is home to a permanent lava lake. Erebus an important research site for scientists looking to better understand the internal plumbing system of volcanoes. its location permits only a six-week field season and its high altitude (3794 meters) is physically challenging. too. Erebus Volcano Observatory. and Hut Point) and Mt. Mt. Bird. Antarctica’s most active volcano.
Mt. . Erebus lava lake in 1983. While the volcano has had some history of violent activity. Mt. Erebus Volcano Observatory. Photo courtesy of Mt. Erebus is also notable for its persistent low-level eruptive activity (with almost daily eruptions). most eruptions are passive lava flows similar to the volcanoes of Hawaii.
As a volcano builds. As the overlying rocks heat up they crack. .Volcanoes Characteristics of volcanoes Active.volcanic eruptions occur wherever magma (molten rock) is able to reach the Earth's surface. dormant or extinct depending on their present and past behaviour. dormant or extinct? Volcanic eruptions Types of volcanoes Where do volcanoes form? Mountains of fire . Active. The process of magma breaking through the surface is known as an eruption and the hole through which the eruption occurs is called a vent.5 km across it is known as a caldera. rock. it forms a bowl shaped blast area or crater. Magma that reaches the surface is called lava. Where the magma passes though. A volcano that has erupted in the last 100 years is considered to be active. dormant or extinct? Volcanoes are referred to as active. magma or molten rock deep within the Earth can force its way up though cracks and fissures in the crust and erupt through the surface at weak spots in the Earth's crust. The magma is able to travel up through these cracks to reach the surface. weak rocks that are capped by a stronger rock layer the magma pools and forms a magma chamber. Characteristics of volcanoes As hot fluids tend to rise. steam and ash. This topic investigates the characteristics of volcanoes. volcanic eruptions and the types of volcanoes. while those which have not been active for over 1000 years are said to be extinct. Dormant volcanoes are those which have not erupted in the last 100 to 1000 years. Volcanic eruptions Volcanic eruptions can range from quiet streams of lava to violent explosions of hot gas. A crater may have one or more vents and if it is larger than 1. There are three types of volcanoes each associated with a different type of volcanic eruption. The mountain that forms as the result of a volcanic eruption is called a volcano.
• Ash . Where two tectonic plates meet and collide. This creates weak spots where magma can come to the surface. Types of volcanoes The three types of volcanoes are named from their shape and structure. the older and denser crust subducts (slides under) the younger. Periodically. Volcanoes form in three areas. These volcanoes are similar in appearance to Cinder Cone volcanoes.molten rock flowing from a vent pours down the slope of the volcano. Volcanoes on these ridges are created as new crust is formed where the tectonic plates are moving apart.formed during explosive eruptions. ash and rock build up around a vent. These locations deep under the crust are usually far from any tectonic plate boundaries and are parts of the Earth's mantle that are particularly hot. The Hawaiian islands have formed over a hot spot and it is thought that many of Australia's younger volcanoes have formed over hot spots.Features of eruptions are: • Lava flows . Where do volcanoes form? There are no active volcanoes in mainland Australia. but they have been recorded as large as cars. Many volcanic islands are the tops of large undersea shield volcanoes. Each forms in a different way from a variety of volcanic materials. along the edges of tectonic plates. over oceanic ridges and on volcanic hot spots. forming new igneous rock. the crust above a hot spot cracks and a volcano forms. more buoyant crust. the rock must be at least 6cm across. Extinct volcanoes can be found in all states. . • Cinder Cone volcanoes form when viscous lava. The third area of volcanic activity is over hot spots in the Earth's crust. This can occur over thousands of years. The second large group of volcanoes has formed along the mid-atlantic and mid-pacific ridges. As the crust moves over a hot spot. landing as solid rocks. • Shield volcanoes form from runny lava which flows easily. • Bombs . a chain of volcanoes can form.molten lava lumps hurled skyward cool and harden in flight. To be considered a volcanic bomb. fine-grained ash can be shot many kilometres into the air and settle over large surrounding areas. moving at speeds of up to 40 km/hr. Big Ben on the Australian territory of Heard Island and others in the Macdonald Group Islands are volcanoes that are considered active. but the ones in Queensland and Victoria are the most typical of volcano shapes. • Composite volcanoes form when alternating layers of ash and lava are laid down from a vent. As the lava flows away from the vent it cools and hardens. but there are plenty of extinct ones. These volcanoes typically have steep upper slopes with gentler sloping bases. producing a low shield-like structure around a vent. The volcanoes forming the "Ring of Fire" which encircles the Pacific Ocean along the American and Asian coasts are formed along the boundary of the Pacific plate.
effectively doubling the lava produced. It is growing larger as new material is brought to the surface by its volcanoes.Iceland has formed over a hot spot that happens to be in the mid-atlantic ridge. One theory states that Queensland's Glasshouse mountains and a chain of volcanoes in New South Wales formed over a hot spot and predicts the next place an eruption could occur is in Tasmania! .
Alaska.000 meters) high. 2013. but rather were taken by astronauts living on board the International Space Station on May 18.000 feet (6. Pavlof volcano is located in the Aleutian Islands about 625 miles southwest of Anchorage. The eruption started on May 13th and the amazing photographs show the ash plume migrating southeast away from the volcano toward the North Pacific Ocean. Image Credits: NASA. The ash cloud was roughly 20. .Amazing images of Pavlof Volcano erupting in Alaska! These pictures of Pavlof Volcano in Alaska were not taken by satellite.
If. Silica is a white or colorless crystal that is present in sand and quartz. Pahoehoe lava flows are produced from a small amount of lava that moves slowly. Some volcanoes eject pyroclasts.Lava Lava is melted rock that has reached the Earth's surface through a volcano's main vent or through side vents and fissures. When volcanoes do produce lava flows they are classified as either Pahoehoe or Aa. the lava has a high viscosity (thick and pasty with a high gas and silica content) it is called Aa. The photograph shows a pahoehoe flow on the left and an aa flow on the right. Aa flows are generally 6-15 feet thick and pahoehoe flows are usually 1-3 feet thick. Some volcanoes produce little or no lava. the difference comes from the amount of lava erupted and the speed of cooling. . The lava is identical in both pahoehoe and aa lava flows. on the other hand. which are fragmented or broken rock. The word pyroclastic comes from a Greek word that means "Rock broken by fire". while aa flows usually are associated with a large volume of lava that moves swiftly. It is one of the most abundant compounds in the Earth's crust. If the lava is very hot and has a low viscosity (runny with a low gas and silica content) the lava flow is called Pahoehoe.
Pahoehoe (Pa-Hoy-Hoy) lava flows are very hot. Would you like to walk barefoot on this after it cools? . thin and runny. Aa lava also forms when there is a huge amount of lava produced or a steep slope moves the lava at high speeds. When a fire fountain shoots the lava high into the air it cools somewhat before it can flow after landing on the surface. When it cools is has a smooth to ropey texture because of the low silica content which makes it cool quickly. Pahoehoe flows creep along generally at less than 3 feet per minute but some flows have been measured at over 20 miles per hour. Notice the rough and fragmented upper surface of the photo at the left. These high speeds put the lava in greater contact with the air. which makes it cool more quickly. Aa lava flows are formed when the lava is produced in a manner that allows it to cool quickly. The terms pahoehoe and aa are from the native Hawaiian language and are now used by geologists the world over.
If something happens to stop the flowing lava there will be nothing to fill the void and a tube is the result. .A pahoehoe lava flow produced the lava tube on the left side of this card. A lava tube forms when the lava on the outer surface of the flow cools much faster than the inside of the flow. The outside becomes cooled hardened lava rock while the inside stays molten and also keeps flowing.
Pyroclastic flows are spinning mixtures of pyroclasts (small pieces of obsidian. Helens. ash. Huge trees over one hundred feet tall were snappped and splintered like twigs. Helens main eruption in 1980. There were two pyroclastic flows from Mt. St. When Mt.S.000 feet. This photo is showing the ash fall from Mt. People were forced to wear gas masks so they could go outside of their homes. that is almost 10 miles high! The mountain kept spewing ash for another nine hours on May 18th. pumice. St. Later in the day another pyroclastic flow piled pumice and ash in thick deposits for many miles around the mountain. Ash and lava flows build stratovolcanoes into mountains with repeated eruptions. All animal life in its path was destroyed in seconds including 57 humans. Helens erupted in 1980 the ash cloud rose to an altitude of over 50.No. . Volcanic Ash is any very fine grained material erupted from a volcano that is less than 1/10 of an inch (2 millimeters) in diameter. this is not a North Dakota blizzard. This ash choked humans and animals. and cinders) and very hot gases. The first flow was called the "stone wind" and it annihilated everything in its path. Pyroclasts are particles that are ejected during a volcanic eruption. The ash deposits were many inches deep in many cities in Washington. They flow down the side of the volcano at speeds up to 100 miles per hour and at temperatures sometimes over 700 degrees Fahrenheit!! With temperatures that high pyroclastic flows kill everything it their path. Temperatures of over 700 degrees ate up all the oxygen in the area. Volcanic ash is rock that has been exploded and shattered by steam inside the volcano. The photo on the left is a pyroclastic flow down the north flank of Mt. Pinatubo's (Phillipines) eruption in 1992. Many inches of ash fell and the U. This is very fine material and was given the name ash because it resembles ashes from the burning of wood or coal. They range in size from very small particles called dust to ash (1/10 of an inch) to lapilli ("little stones" 1/10 of an inch to 2 inches ) to the largest of the pyroclasts. blocks and bombs (2 inches to many feet in diameter). St. Naval and Air Force bases near the mountain were closed because of the eruption.
The lava is ejected and shot through the air during an eruption.Pumice is a very light colored. abrasive cleansers. frothy volcanic rock. Some lava blocks are large enough to carry small animals. Pumice is so light that it actually floats on water. As the lava hurtles through the air it cools and the gases escape leaving the rock full of holes. Huge pumice blocks have been seen floating on the ocean after large eruptions. and also in polishes. . Pumice is ground up and used today in soaps. Pumice is formed from lava that is full of gas.
and cutting tools of all kinds. cooling and forming a hardened lava rock. Obsidian is a very shiny natural volcanic glass. spearheads. Obsidian is produced when lava cools very quickly. Ancient people throughout the world have used obsidian for arrowheads. Obsidian is produced in nature in a similar way. knives. Notice in the photo to the left how it fractures. Obsidian is usually black or a very dark green. When people make glass they melt silica rocks like sand and quartz then cool it rapidly by placing it in water. .A bomb is formed as lava hurtles through the air. The lava cools so quickly tht no crystals can form. Notice the teardrop shape of the bombs. When obsidian breaks it fractures with a distinct conchoidal fracture. Today obsidian is used as a scapel by doctors in very sensitive eye operations. but it can also be found in an almost clear form. A bomb's shape is usually more rounded or streamlined.
Volcanic Gases Introduction Understanding gases dissolved in magma is critical in understanding why volcanoes erupt. volcanic gases produced our atmosphere and our oceans. . Kilauea volcano. The expansion of gases brings the magma closer to the surface and drives eruptions. Photo by Steve Mattox. The interaction between the viscosity and temperature of the magma and the gas content determines if an eruption will be effusive or explosive. Gases also pose a hazard at many volcanoes. Without the atmosphere and oceans. On a global scale. Right: gas sampling at vents on the floor of Halemaumau Crater. Gases emitted by volcanoes continue to influence the atmosphere but not to the extent of man-made sources. the gradual release of gas acts as an irritant and may pose a long-term health hazard. At other volcanoes. life would not have evolved on Earth. Bodies of magma rise in the crust until they reach a point of neutral buoyancy. Hawaii.
Hekla. V. the gases are dissolved in the magma. carbon disulfide (CS2). Inset Image: Sulfur deposits near the summit of Griggs volcano. Pb. The gases can interact with surrounding rocks or continue to the surface. mercury (Hg) vapor. They found gold in the plume near the crater. Ga. hydrogen sulfide (H2S). Mo. boron. Other Gases • In lesser amounts. carbonyl sulfide (COS). K. at Mount St. the gases leave the magma (exsolve). Cl.000 that in the magma. F. Meeker and others (1991) reported gold at Mount Erebus. Br. hydrogen bromine (HBr). and sulfur dioxide (SO2) are the most common volcanic gases. At shallow depths. Sn. From Cadle (1980). organic compounds. and Li at concentrations 100 to 1 that in the magma.000 to 1. 1987). sublimates.000 that in the magma. Kilauea produces about 270 tons of mercury each year and has been identified as the source for mercury on Oahu. Gold has condensed from volcanic gases. In. In general. Au. in the air up to 1000 km from the volcano and in near surface samples. as pressure on the magma decreases. Helens (Siegel and Siegel.000 to 100 that in the magma. Mercury is released by most volcanoes and has been measured at Kilauea. and W at concentrations 100. Mn. and Cd at concentrations 100. hydrogen (H2).Average Compositions and Trace Gases Most Common Gases • Water vapor (H2O). and incrustations were studied at Merapi volcano by Symonds and others (1987). Erebus. and Ag at concentrations 10. even gold. and Rb at concentrations 1. S. volcanoes release carbon monoxide (CO). Photo by Jay Robinson.000 that in the magma. Re. Cs. Sb. Antarctica. Mauna Loa. methane (CH4). hydrogen flouride (HF). As. Fe.000 to 10. 320 km away. Condensates. Na. Cu. Bi. The following elements were found: • • • • • Se. Ni. carbon dioxide (CO2). Most of these gases originate in the mantle and are transported to the crust and surface by complex interactions with magma and rocks encountered along the way. Alaska. . hydrogen chloride (HCl). Zn.
Deadly Gases At certain concentrations some volcanic gases can be fatal. an unknown number of fatalities were caused by carbon dioxide.S. carbon dioxide. Right: Photo of dead buffalo at Lake Nyos. some caused by opthalmias from sulfurous vapors and suffocation. Oku Volcanic Field. Italy The 1650 eruption of Etna caused about 40 deaths. In historic time. In 1872. Three more people died trying to retrieve the bodies. In 1903. three boys were killed by asphyxiating gas. The following information is compiled from Volcanoes of the World by Simkin and Siebert (1994).600 m. In August. 1986. Geological Survey. U. Karthala. 17 people died from suffocating gases. Tangkubanparahu. and carbonic acid and hydrogen sulfide. They were near solfataras at 1. Several people died from carbon dioxide. The volcano was not erupting. Indonesia Tangkubanparahu is a stratovolcano with at least 16 historic eruptions. The crew of a ship suffocated as it passed the volcano. 37 people were killed when carbon dioxide was released from Lake Monoun. Jack Lockwood.700 people were killed when a large amount of carbon dioxide was released from Lake Nyos. Africa In August. Rabaul. and the Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Program. Seven people died of gas inhalation in 1873. At least 300 people were hospitalized. Carbonic acid and hydrogen sulfide were involved. Etna. an eruption at Vesuvius killed about 400 people. In June of 1923. deaths have been caused by sulfur dioxide. Java. . three people died of suffocation at Rabaul in a vent of the east side of Tavurvur. Papua New Guinea In June of 1990. Italy In 1794. Indian Ocean Karthala is a shield volcano with 30 historic eruptions. Cameroon. Vesuvius. 1. 1984.
Tseax River Cone. a volcanological observer died. a complex volcano. La Palma. Vestmannaeyjar (Heimaey). Canada The Tseax River Cone. Tucson. Chile Los Carran Venados has had three historic eruptions: Rininahue maar in 1907. Seven of these people died. In October of 1902.500 people. L. In February of 1979. British Columbia. Arizona. one person was killed in association with fumarolic activity. 349 p. an eruption killed about 1.Papandayan.. two men died when sulfur dioxide concentrations reached ~5 to ~8 ppm. In May of 1933. Volcanoes of the World: Geoscience Press. Honshu. Volcanic gases in Hawaii are not fatal but vog (volcanic smog) may degrade lung function and compromise peoples immune systems. Java. At least 350 people in one village died from deadly fumes. 1994. Indonesia Papandayan is a stratovolcano with three historic eruptions. probably by suffocation due to hydrogen sulfide. a complex volcano. Carran maar in 1955. Two eruptions caused fatalities. Java. In December of 1924. 1997. Guatemala Santa Maria is a stratovolcano.. . Source of Information: Simkin. During the 1730 eruption lava overran a village. one man and many animals were killed by gas. and Mirador in 1979. a pyroclastic cone. In 1677. especially in children. at least 149 people died from poisonous gas(es) (either crbon dioxide or carbon dioxide and hydrogen sulfide) as they fled eruptions at Sinila and Sigludung Craters. Dieng Plateau. or people with circulatory problems. Aso. Indonesia The Dieng Plateau. Iceland During the 1973 eruption near Vestmannaeyjar a sleeping man was killed by carbon dioxide as it pooled in the basement of his house. Los Carran Venados. Hakone. erupted in 1325 and 1730 AD. and Siebert. Japan Hakone. Since 1980. T. individuals with chronic asthma or other respiratory impairments. 71 people have been hospitalized due to inhalation of volcanic gases at Aso. has had at least 16 historic eruptions." Santa Maria. has not erupted in 1. Several people dug pits for shelter but died due to "poison smoke.000 years. Two people were killed by gases during the 1955 eruption. Japan In December. Canary Islands La Palma is a stratovolcano with seven historic eruptions.
. vines. 30 million people live within sight of Popocatépetl. Fertile farmland Over thousands of years. Elsewhere. near Naples. Elsewhere in this area. which can be successfully used for farming. lead. the Philippines. and may even lead to loss of life. In Mexico. metals such as copper. where olives.Benefits of Volcanoes Despite the fact that volcanoes can cause great damage to land and property when they erupt. circulating near the earth’s surface. nuts and fruit – especially orange and lemon trees – are grown. In southern Italy. Indonesia and Italy. 1. is important in parts of Japan. the lava that is spewed out during violent eruptions breaks down slowly to form very fertile soil. But over many years the ash slowly releases valuable nutrients. So too do the rich farming lands around Mount Vesuvius in Italy. are also concentrated in the igneous rock produced by volcanoes. Hawaii’s pineapple and sugar plantations are found on volcanic soils. The steam can be converted into electricity in special power stations. Why do people take such risks? It is mainly because volcanic activity does have some benefits. This type of energy. Other minerals and some gemstones. and if combined with water. Some of the best rice-growing areas of Indonesia lie in the shadow of volcanoes. too. still a very active volcano. such as diamonds and opals. it can make the soil more fertile. Hot magma. Volcanic products The volcanic ash produced by some eruptions is deposited over vast areas. silcon and zini can be mined from the volcanic rocks found deep underground. The products of volcanoes can be useful in other ways. further away from the volcano. the land is too barren to grow crops successfully.5 million people live on the slopes around Mount Vesuvius. which is called geothermal energy. In the short term this ash can be harmful to the environment. heats the rock in contact with it and often turns underground water into superheated steam. more than 350 million people around the world choose to live on or near active volcanoes.
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
We've moved you to where you read on your other device.
Get the full title to continue reading from where you left off, or restart the preview.