What Are Some Pros and Cons of Volcanoes?

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.

Volcanoes are synonymous with catastrophes that destroy agricultural land, making it difficult for food production, although fine soil results from the breaking down of lava and ash. Volcanic ash contains minerals beneficial to plants. In fact, fine ash breaks down within a short time and when mixed with the soil, boosts its fertility. This makes the land favorable for growing food.

Volcanoes destroy houses and animal habitats, rendering people homeless and displacing wildlife. However, volcanic activities can also preserve these settlements by sealing them under lava, ash and other related eruptive materials. Volcanic deposits have been used in building materials.

Volcanic slopes are often steep, rendering them inaccessible. The advantage of this is they provide homes for rare plants and animal species, protecting them from the hostility of man and livestock. Volcanic gases are the sources of almost all the water on Earth. Though this contribution has been slow, life on Earth would be very different in modern times if this process had not been going on for the past 4.5 billion years. Archaeological sites resulting from volcanic eruptions serve as tourist attraction centers. Mount Vesuvius, which erupted in 79 A.D., and the eastern Bay of Naples, Italy, are flooded with tourists from across the world.