Q:

What are the advantages of volcanoes?

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Quick Answer

Some of the advantages that volcanoes provide include the creation of new land, mineral deposits and beautiful landscapes that generate tourism. Active volcanoes actively cool the Earth, as their emissions remove heat from the planet's interior. Volcanic activity also helped produce the Earth's atmosphere and oceans in the past.

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Full Answer

Deposits resulting from volcanic eruptions are used as building materials. These materials come in the form of basalt and diabase that are used in various construction elements, such as concrete aggregate, road metal and railroad ballast. Concrete shields used in nuclear reactors are also partially made up of high-density basalt and diabase aggregate.

Volcanoes also play an active role in island creation around the planet. A famous example is the Hawaiian island chain, which was created by eruptions from a volcanic hot spot in the region. Volcanic eruptions also bring forth precious gems, such as opals. Pumice stone, which is used in construction and as an excess-skin remover, also is created in volcanic eruptions.

Volcanoes are also a large source of geothermal energy. This allows regions around a volcano to subsidize their energy requirements by siphoning energy from it. Iceland, which is one of the more volcanically active countries in the world, uses geothermal energy to provide for a sizable portion of its power requirements.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    What is a composite volcano made up of?

    A:

    Composite volcanoes, one of the two main types of volcanoes along with shield volcanoes, are composed of alternating layers of lava and ash or other volcanic debris. These volcanoes are usually cone shaped with steep sides that are built up by multiple eruptions over hundreds or thousands of years.

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  • Q:

    How do cinder-cone volcanoes erupt?

    A:

    Cinder-cone volcanoes, properly called scoria volcanoes, erupt when expanding gas bubbles drive lava to the volcano's surface. Because of this pressure, the lava fountains are usually very high and vertical. By the time the erupted material lands, it is already cool.

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  • Q:

    What are some pros and cons of volcanoes?

    A:

    Although volcanoes are commonly known for their destruction, they also play some useful roles. On the negative side, volcanoes destroy houses and cities, displace populations, disrupt business, generate tsunamis and destroy habitats and crops. On the positive side, volcanoes create new islands and land, generate tourism attraction points, create beautiful landscapes and scenery and provide habitats to pioneer species, notes Volcano World.

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  • Q:

    Is Mount Vesuvius an active volcano?

    A:

    Mount Vesuvius, a volcano off the west coast of Italy, is one of the only active volcanoes on Europe's mainland. It is part of the Campanian volcanic arc, which rests on a tectonic boundary where the African plate is being subducted beneath the Eurasian plate.

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