Understanding and Avoiding Disaster
Over the course of human history volcanoes have been the main actor in
some of humankind’s worst tragedies. Over earths 4.5 billion year history
is has been crucial elements in the formation of earth. Humans have always
lived near volcanoes, often ignorant of their power until it is too late.
Today we have a deeper understanding of volcanoes that helps us avoid their
most hazardous aspects. Today we can keep in account the type, viscosity,
gas content, and history of a volcano to determine whether it is dangerous
or ready to explode.
The type of volcano has a lot to do with what type of explosion it
will unleash. Often the type of volcano is also determined by the type of
magma conditions that formed it. The least dangerous volcano is the shield
volcano, which emits low viscous magma melt that spreads itself thin over
the volcanoes region. The most dangerous volcanoes are domed and composite
volcanoes with are composed of lower heat, more viscous magma. These latter
volcanoes are bottled in at the caldera by a thick solid layer of igneous
rock. These volcanoes also have a high amount of pyroclastic material that
in the advent of an eruption could be hazardous to nearby life by becoming
thick ash clouds and falling rocks.
The gasses that exist within the magma and the gasses released by the
volcanic eruption are often determine the explosiveness and danger of a
Volcano. The most dangerous volcanoes have high gas content that build
pressure against the cap of a domed volcano. Water molecules often
determine the gas level of a volcano; therefore volcanoes that exist on a
subduction done are more often than not the most hazardous volcanoes to
life. The sulpher and carbon dioxide gasses emitted from volcanoes are
often the most fatal to life. Whole regions can be literally suffocated by
the gasses released by an erupting volcano.
Mankind will continue to cohabit with volcanoes and volcanic regions.
Volcanoes will continue to erupt and people and cities will be devastated.
With educating people about the dangers and reality of volcanic eruptions
and their danger to people’s lives, tragedy can be avoided and those who
lived near the volcano can eventually return to their homes unharmed.
Understanding the nature of volcanoes and their history can help scientist
depict when the next eruption will occur. Being able to predict an eruption
will save the most lives and limit the destruction of these vital and
powerful geologic sights.