Q:

What are the effects of a volcano?

A:

Quick Answer

Volcanoes have several effects on plants, animals and people and can negatively impact civilization because homes, fields, roads and buildings get damaged with ash and other debris. The ash can become so heavy that homes collapse. Volcano ash positively impacts human life by leaving the soil rich in nutrients. The gases released from the volcano can cause respiratory issues in those unable to evacuate from the region.

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Full Answer

Although volcanoes produce large amount of toxic gases, most of the gas is diluted into the atmosphere unless the ash is thick. A volcano eruption destroys plant life surrounding the volcano. Even though the soil is left fertile, it can take several years for the foliage to return.

Pyroclastic flows (hot gas and ash mixtures), lava flows, tephra falls and atmospheric congestion can kill animals, especially livestock. Wildlife can die because of famine and forest fires that are related to the eruption. Volcanoes influence aquatic life by raising the acidity within the system. Fish may die from a rise in temperature or a loss in food supply. Volcano eruptions affect birds by interfering with migration patterns, roosting areas and the ability to fly. The ash is so heavy that it hinders a bird's ability to fly efficiently.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    What is an ash cloud?

    A:

    An ash cloud is a large cloud of smoke and debris that forms over a volcano after it erupts. Ash clouds consist of several elements, including ash, gases, dust, steam, rock fragments and other materials that come from inside the volcano and combine in the air above the crater.

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  • Q:

    What is the smallest volcano?

    A:

    The world's smallest volcano is the inactive Cuexcomate in Puebla, Mexico. Cuexcomate stands 43 feet tall, with a diameter of 76 feet. It was formed in 1064 as a result of an explosion of the nearby Popocatepetl.

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  • Q:

    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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  • Q:

    How is a volcano made?

    A:

    A volcano is any place where magma from the Earth's interior breaks through its surface, as explained by How Stuff Works. Magma is molten rock that is partially liquid, partially solid and partially gaseous. Interaction between the plates that form the Earth's crust is one of the primary catalysts for creating magma.

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