Q:

What damage do volcanoes cause?

A:

Quick Answer

Volcanoes cause physical damage to structures and buildings, wildlife, local vegetation and the atmosphere, as well as posing health risks. Residences within the vicinity of a volcanic eruption often receive timely notice before an eruption occurs. This reduces the likelihood of danger to humans.

Know More
What damage do volcanoes cause?
Credit: Liysa Perspectives Getty Images

Full Answer

Scientific advancements in vulcanology have led scientists to be able to discover signs that indicate when a volcano is about to erupt. This allows the scientists to provide adequate notice to civilians before an eruption occurs, minimizing tragedy to humans.

Even when humans evacuate, however, damage to structures and buildings can occur. Volcanic eruptions throw large amounts of ash. When this ash descends and collects on the rooftops of buildings, the likelihood of the roofs collapsing increases. Because this ash is comprised of fine glass particles and is toxic, when it is breathed in, humans and animals in the immediate vicinity often experience respiratory problems.

Lava flowing from the center of the volcano causes a fire danger to wildlife and plants in the area, with the effects often felt for many miles around. Lava and fallen ash also destroy plant life by smothering it. Volcanic eruptions are also sometimes responsible for triggering tsunamis and electrical storms within areas surrounding the eruption.

Learn more about Volcanoes

Related Questions

  • Q:

    How often do volcanoes erupt?

    A:

    Some volcanoes erupt often and some are inactive for long periods of time. The amount of time between volcanic eruptions depends on the volcano itself, according to the Department of Geosciences at Oregon State University.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What impact do volcanoes have?

    A:

    The primary impact volcanoes have on the environment is the release of volcanic gases into the atmosphere. Volcanoes release around 130 million tons of carbon dioxide each year, as well as toxic pollutants like sulfur dioxide, hydrogen sulfide, hydrogen chloride and hydrogen fluoride. However, volcanoes can also have a positive impact on the environment because the lava and ash produced by an eruption contain valuable nutrients for the soil.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    How do volcanoes work?

    A:

    Volcanoes are vents in the Earth's crust that allow liquid lava from inside the planet to travel to the surface. According to Reference.com, the word "volcano" applies to both the vent and the cylindrical cone the lava forms.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    How are volcanoes measured?

    A:

    Volcanoes are measured and reviewed through the Volcano Explosivity Index, or VEI, which determines the quality of the volcano, the volume of the lava, how high the volcano measured at the time of eruption and how often the volcano explodes, according to the Old Farmer's Almanac. By reviewing each volcano against this criteria, it is simpler to determine which ones have had the most impact.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore