What are the effects volcanoes have on the people and environment nearby?

Living near a volcano has both positive and negative effects on the people living near by.
  • Volcanic eruptions produce very rich farming soil

    Lettuce & vegetable field on Volcanic soil
    Lettuce & vegetable field on Volcanic soil
Volcanic soils make up only 1 percent of the Earth's surface, but support 10 percent of its population.Volcanic soil is often one of the best mineral mixes to make soil, because of its mechanical properties and minerals available, including in particular trace elements that other soils ca be short of. The spread of some of these trace elements in volcanic aerosols is important in maintaining the fertility of some soils. The absence of such trace elements can be a reason why some such soils lose their fertility. However, except in of course developing countries, people can usually diagnose trace element shortage and spread them on in the soils via ‘mineral supplement’. Volcanic soils can also be of poor fertility but this will be described in negative effects.
  • Volcanic slopes are steep and often inaccessible which makes them a great place for rare plants to grow, away from the ravages of mankind and livestock.
  • Volcanic gases are the source of all the water (and most of the atmosphere) that we have today.

70-95% of all volcanic gasses is water vapour which is beneficial to the environment as it adds to the earths water supply. It is a very slow process but it makes a huge difference since it’s been going on for the past 4.5 billion years
  • Volcanoes produce spectacular scenery and can bring income to an area by attracting tourists.
  • Geothermal Energy.
In some areas, such as the geysers geothermal field in California, the power of volcanoes has been harnessed for energy.Volcanoes heat the groundwater in the surrounding area, concentrating deposits of many important metallic minerals, including gold, lead and zinc over time.
  • Volcanic ashfall
Houses, buildings, roads and fields can get completely covered by ash. Build up of ash can become extremely heavy causing all structres and landmarks to collapse. The ash makes it difficult to breathe and many people die as a cause of this during volcanic eruptions.
Erupting Volcano in Iceland
Erupting Volcano in Iceland

  • Communication and transportation (in are affected by volcanic eruptions).
Pyroclastic flows and lava can sever power and communication lines. Volcanic ash also causes static in television or radio transmission, but it never lasts very long. Ash is extremely bad for jet/airplane engines because it is basically composed of tiny particles of glass and small mineral shards. Cars can become weighted down with ash and prove useless after and eruption unless they are cleaned off (which takes a long time). Many lakes and waterways become too acidic after and eruption for boats and ships to be of much use. In most cases, the acidic water would burn right through the wood/plastic/metal.
  • Volcanic eruptions can be very damaging for the environment.
As well as killing native flora and fauna, volcanic eruptions can actually be very damaging to a particular area, (eg.a farming field etc.)The ashfall and volcanic soil contain very bad things. Icelandic volcanoes are notorious for the fluoride content the ash can contain, which is enough to cause significant damage to agriculture when it arrives in sufficient quantity. Worse, some plants normally eaten by animals are capable of taking up the fluoride, which makes them poisonous to those animals. This actually occurred in the Laki eruption in the 18th century, when most of the livestock died from eatin gplants which had taken up the fluoride. The loss of some soils is also dated to t
Patient in a hospital bed
Patient in a hospital bed

his time - vegetation died off and soils were blown away

  • Volcanic Eruptions can affect the weather
The main effect on weather right near a volcano is that there is often a lot of rain, lightning, and thunder during an eruption. This is because all the ash particles that are thrown up into the atmosphere are good at collecting water droplets.
  • Dust causes pneumonia and illnesses to the survivors.
  • Worst of all, many people lose their lives to a volcanic eruption.

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