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:

    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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  • Q:

    What is an active volcano?

    A:

    An active volcano is one that has had at least one eruption in the past 10,000 years. An active volcano can be dormant or erupting.

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  • Q:

    What erupts from a volcano?

    A:

    When a volcano erupts, magma from beneath the Earth is forced out of the volcano's mouth in the form of molten lava. Large amounts of gases and ash can also be released with the lava, depending on the type of eruption.

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