Q:

What are the benefits of living near a volcano?

A:

Quick Answer

The benefits of living near a volcano are enriched soil, opportunities to efficiently harness geothermal energy and potential tourist income. Metals and precious stones are also common in volcanic soil, and rivers flowing on volcanoes can be used to generate hydroelectricity.

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Full Answer

Volcanoes often create favorable weather conditions in the surrounding area, particularly in tropical locations. The higher elevation of the volcano gives it cooler temperatures than low-lying tropical areas. This added elevation also affects precipitation: the area surrounding a volcano receives more frequent rainfall.

Richer soil and more frequent rainfall make the areas near volcanoes ideal farmland. In areas with periodic volcanic eruptions and lava flows, the soil is refreshed with each new deposit of volcanic material. This benefit can persist for centuries; the area around Mount Vesuvius in Italy has been fertile farmland since before the beginning of recorded history due to volcanic activity.

Many densely populated areas coexist with active volcanoes. This is particularly true in tropical areas, where the cooler temperatures and superior farmland do not exist elsewhere. Indonesia, the Philippines and developing countries in South America are cited as regions of particular concern by NASA's Earth Observatory; population growth around potentially dangerous volcanoes is highest in these regions.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    What is a quiet volcano called?

    A:

    A quiet volcano is considered dormant. Dormant volcanoes are volcanoes that have not actively erupted in the past 10,000 years, but still have the potential to erupt at some point.

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  • Q:

    What is an inactive volcano called?

    A:

    An inactive volcano is called a dormant volcano or a sleeping volcano. Examples of dormant volcanoes include Mount Fuji and Mount Rainer.

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  • Q:

    How is a volcano formed?

    A:

    A volcano forms when magma rises through weakened areas of the crust from a magma reservoir many miles deep within the earth, pushing itself up through a vent. This vent acts as a release valve for pressure building up below, and when the new volcano erupts, thousands or millions of pounds of ash and molten rock slowly accumulate, forming a volcanic mountain.

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  • Q:

    How does a volcano erupt?

    A:

    A volcano erupts through the build-up and release of pressure, whether that pressure is of its underlying magma, water or both. This release can be explosive, as it was in the famous eruption of Mt. Vesuvius that destroyed Pompeii, or it can be slow and effusive, as it is in the ongoing formation of the Hawaiian islands.

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