How do volcanoes help the environment?


Quick Answer

In spite of some heavily destructive properties, volcanoes play an important role in the environment. According to Oregon State University, volcanoes create new islands and land, provide habitats for pioneer species, create economic mineral deposits and generate beautiful landscapes.

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Full Answer

According to Oregon State University, volcanoes provide incredibly nutrient-rich soil that allows surrounding crops to grow. Volcanic ash itself contains numerous minerals that are beneficial to plants in the surrounding environment. The finer the ash, the easier it breaks down and combines with the soil, improving the plant life in the area. The rich soils created by volcanic flanks provide an excellent habitat to numerous species, making volcanoes almost as beneficial to life as they are destructive. Because volcanoes are so steep, people tend to avoid climbing them, which makes them a haven for rare plants and wildlife.

The University of St. Francis explains that volcanoes are also a great source of clean energy. Volcanoes serve as an outlet for the energy constantly being emitted by the earth's core. By mining this energy, it's possible to reduce dependence on coal and oil. The University of Oregon also notes that volcanic gases have provided all the water and atmosphere that allows life on Earth to exist.

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