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

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    What is a super volcano?

    A:

    A super volcano is a volcano that has the potential of creating more than 1,000 cubic kilometers of ash, pumice, and lava during a single eruption. Super volcanoes erupt very rarely and may go hundreds of thousands of years between eruptions.

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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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    What is a composite volcano made up of?

    A:

    Composite volcanoes, one of the two main types of volcanoes along with shield volcanoes, are composed of alternating layers of lava and ash or other volcanic debris. These volcanoes are usually cone shaped with steep sides that are built up by multiple eruptions over hundreds or thousands of years.

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    What is a basaltic volcano?

    A:

    When classifying volcanoes by lava composition, basaltic volcanoes are ones in which lava is composed of mostly basaltic rock. Basalt is the most common rock in the Earth's crust. Andesite and rhyolite are other common components of lava.

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