Q:

What impact do volcanoes have?

A:

Quick Answer

The primary impact volcanoes have on the environment is the release of volcanic gases into the atmosphere. Volcanoes release around 130 million tons of carbon dioxide each year, as well as toxic pollutants like sulfur dioxide, hydrogen sulfide, hydrogen chloride and hydrogen fluoride. However, volcanoes can also have a positive impact on the environment because the lava and ash produced by an eruption contain valuable nutrients for the soil.

Continue Reading

Full Answer

In addition to the danger volcanoes pose to local animals through the release of gas and pyroclastic material, their environmental impacts can be severe and long-lasting. The eruption of Krakatoa in 1883 created large tsunamis and threw enough ash and gas into the atmosphere to trigger short-term climate change. Global temperatures the following year were 2.2 degrees Fahrenheit below normal, and weather patterns were disrupted for five years. Particles in the atmosphere produced dark skies and vivid red sunsets in the years following the eruption, and some art historians suggest that the red sky in Edvard Munch's painting "The Scream" may have been inspired by the volcano's global effects.

When magma reaches the surface and hardens, it becomes a stone called tephra. Over time, tephra breaks down, releasing high levels of nutrients into the soil. Some of the most fertile areas on Earth are on the sites of ancient volcanic eruptions, allowing farmers to enjoy the legacy of geologic events long past.

Learn more about Volcanoes

Related Questions

  • Q:

    What are the three types of volcanoes?

    A:

    The three types of volcanoes are shield, cinder cone and composite volcano. Volcanoes are created when heated, melted rock, magma rises to the surface of the Earth. The three types of volcanoes differ in the type of material that actually reaches the surface and the type of eruption that occurs.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is a person who studies volcanoes called?

    A:

    A volcanologist is a person who studies volcanoes. The primary objective of a volcanologist is to understand how a volcano operates in order to better predict eruptions and save lives.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What are some examples of cinder cone volcanoes?

    A:

    Examples of cinder cone volcanoes are Kula and Karapinar in Turkey; Taal Volcano in the Philippines; Hverfjall in Iceland; El Jorullo, Parícutin and Pinacate Peaks in Mexico; Mounts Leura, Fox and Elephant in Australia; Royal Society Volcano in Antarctica; Manda-Inakir on the Ethiopia-Djibouti border and Barren Island in the Andaman Islands. The United States hosts over 100 cinder cones, mainly in western states and Hawaii.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What are the advantages of volcanoes?

    A:

    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.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore