Effects of a Volcanic Eruption
September 5, 2011 | Science
The majority of volcanoes exist throughout the Pacific ‘ring of fire’ although volcanoes do occur at any location where tectonic plates are either converging or diverging. The volcano is essentially a break in the earth’s crust at these points.
The effects of a volcanic eruption can differ. They can be simple eruptions of steam outflow and minor gas discharge, or they can be massive explosions which release tremendous amounts of gases, lava, rocks, and volcanic ash. Such large eruptions can cause considerable amounts of damage, affect the health of people and lead to them being evacuated if an eruption is deemed to be imminent.
Effects of a Volcanic Eruption.
Lava Flow. Lave is in fact rock in a molten form. The flow of lava from a volcano can be very destructive and swallow everything within its path. On becoming solid the lava is known as the mineral rich Basalt. In any eruption there are huge clouds of gas and ash ejected into the atmosphere which can climb to thousands of feet. Often sunlight is obscured for many days, and the world’s weather patterns can be affected.
Earthquake Effects. Earthquakes commonly accompany a volcanic eruption. They can follow an eruption or be continuous during the period of eruption. If such tremors occur under the sea they can result in tsunamis which effect coastal areas creating flooding, mud flows, and rock fall.
Acid Rain. In any eruption large amounts of Hydrogen Chloride are released, when this dissolves in water droplets in the steam clouds created by the eruption; acid rain is formed. This rain will destroy plants, crops and marine life in the area where the rain falls.
Any massive volcanic eruption will have an effect on world temperatures, and harmful green house gases reaching the stratosphere will have a damaging effect on the protective ozone layer. Volcanic eruptions have effects which can be widespread and have global implications.