Impact Of Volcanic Activity On The Environment Biology Essay

The research examines the impact of volcanic eruption on the environment and on society. The work aims at researching four different types of volcanic eruption, the negative and positive impact of volcanic eruption and the wellness and safety steps during and after volcanic eruption.A sum of 30 questionnaires were sent out to friends, staff and pupils of Cambridge instruction group, 20 responded with utile information which has influenced the content of this research. The inquiries includes, have you of all time experienced volcanic eruption in your state, the positive and negative impact of volcanic eruption.

The remark they made within the defined scope was critically analysed by the writer by doing mention to secondary beginnings.It was found that the eruption in Iceland was a composite volcanic eruption which lead to closing of several airdromes around the universe.Volcanic eruption has a annihilating consequence on our society and could take to loss of lives, income and belongingss.fourIntroductionThe name vent has its beginning from the word Vulcan, a God of fire in Roman mythology. Most people immediately think that a cone shaped mountain with smooth steep inclines, possibly with a snow covered extremum and a ring of fume lifting skyward. The description is accurate but applies to merely one type of vent which is the stratovolcano.

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Although there are other types that differ in many ways from stratovolcano, some vents are composed of long, soft inclines frequently covered with fertile dirt while some have no perpendicular construction alternatively composed of a depression 100s of paces deep and widening over several stat mis.The form of volcanic construction is clear indicant of the type of activity carried on by the vent.A volcanoes type of activity is besides related to the chemical and physical belongingss of magma produced. Mauro R ( 2003 )

1.1PRODUCT OF Volcanism

& A ; acirc ; ˆ? & A ; acirc ; ˆ™Volcanism in Iceland consequences from divergent home base motion across the Middle atlantic Ridge and inordinate production of magma in the North Atlantic Mantle plume & A ; acirc ; ˆA? Freysteinn ( 2006 )The merchandise of volcanic eruption are lava, gases and fragmented stuff such as ash which is derived from molten stone called magma.Magma is a liquefied affair of silicate composing. Silicon is the chief component of most minerals and stone in the Earth & A ; acirc ; ˆ™s crust and besides contains dissolved gases which is less heavy than solid stone and tends to work it manner upwards through crevices.

lava is a magma that has erupted at the surface.The term lava applies both to the liquefied stuff and to the stone that forms after magma has cooled and hardened. Schminike ( 2004 )


In the ninth century AD, the Vikings settled in Iceland and established a council that documented its first historical volcanic eruption.The heroic narrative was written in the 12th and 13th centuries after a 3rd of the population died from variola and in 1783-1784, Laki eruption killed a-fifth of the staying population by dearth. Iceland gained sovereignty from Denmark in 1981 and completed independency in 1944Recently, the Eyajallajokull vent which is known as the iseland-mountain underglacier, situated in the southern Iceland erupted stunningly on the 14th of April 2010, after holding been hibernating for about 5000years.During this eruption, the subglacial eruption produced a big ash plumes that drifted over Europe and forced an unprecedented closing of air space in Europe and other states.

The Iceland owe its being to a big1volcanic hot topographic point sitting on a mid-ocean ridge.The home base boundary between the Americanand Eurasiatic tectonic home base crosses Iceland from the South to the North and distributing procedure can be straight measured and observed on land.Chimu ( 2010 )



Volcanic eruption in Europe can do terrible harm in localised countries. This can be seen in Iceland, a state prone to volcanic eruption. Volcanic eruption has the ability to irreparably damage works and animate being ecosystems and besides human societal environments. This study seeks to research the types of vent, the positive and negative impact of volcanic eruption.This study will besides demo the wellness and safety steps during and after volcanic eruption.2



The Authors below has discussed the phenomenon on the old volcanic eruption on different locations. This has been incorporated by the writer in position of the recent volcanic eruption in Iceland.Harmonizing to Grattan et Al ( 1991 ) historical papers from A.D,1783 demonstrated that volcanic gases emitted in an eruption in Iceland did hold a terrible consequence on both the physical and human environment within Europe.The Laki volcanic eruption in southern Iceland in 1783, resulted to high release of haze which were felt all over Iceland.The damaging consequence led to destruction harvests and flora, cultivated harvests and flora were burned and withered by acerb precipitation.

Caseldine ( 2009 )Mount Pinatubo is a vent that stands 5770 pess, which is located in Philippine along the co-ordinates 15oN,1200E. The eruption in Mount Pinatubo on the 15th of July was the 2nd largest most violent volcanic activity in the 20th century after being dominant for over 500 old ages.The action led to the release of about 20 million dozenss of pyroclastic dust which really resulted to the devastation of more than 200,000 acre of land and besides gave rise to major casualties and damage.This includes the decease of more than 700 people and devastation of more than 200,000 places.

Yacove ( 2003 ) .In the forenoon of May 18th,1980 Mount St Helens erupted a pyroclastic stuff which constituted a hot pumice and ash. Approximately 400 metre of the versant blew outward that forenoon. About 60 square kilometers of the adjacent vale was filled with debris.The explosive eruption of Mount St Helens caused the decease of over 50 people.

Allan ( 2003 )Kilauea is lacated between the sou’-east and it is the topographic point where all active vents in the full Hawaiian concatenation occurred, possibly the world`s most active vent. Kilauea`s frequent eruption makes the crater a great survey site for volcanologists. In Hawaiian tradition Kilauea is besides the place of Pele, the Hawaiian vent goddess. During the 19th century the eruption occurred more frequently and have contributed to the Kilauea`s reputition, both as a geologic site of admiration and as religious site of significance to some occupants of Hawaii Allan ( 2003 )The stramboli vent in Italy is archytype for strambolian activity ( carniel and lacop 1996 ) another characteristic of this vent is the presence of continous volcanic shudder ( Ripepe and Gorder1991 ) .

About twice a twelvemonth the volcanic eruption that occurred showed paroxysmal activity that effected tourer sing the vent ( Jaquet and caniel 2001 )3


This research has been conducted by the writer through the usage of primary and secondary beginnings.Primary informations were achieved by study, questioning people both verbally and online on the history to the recent volcanic eruption that occurred in Iceland and old eruption in other states. A sum of 30 questionnaires were issued out to pupils, coachs, decision makers and an expert on the field of structural geology. The information received were critically analysed and incorporated into the study.

Secondary beginnings were evaluated from two different research tendencies which are quantitative and qualitative analysis. These analysis were established by doing mention to books from the library, diaries, articles and besides e-books such as goggle bookman, goggle books were utilized.Data collected from these stuff were re-examined by comparing, measuring both information from primary and secondary informations4


0 Volcanism

The frequence, magnitude and sort of volcanic eruption are likely to alter in the hereafter. The Earth has been formed about 4.6billion old ages ago with consistent happening of volcanic eruption. Each twelvemonth about tenth part of the active vents on Earth erupt.

One in every six of the active vents on Earth has led to loss of lives and belongingss as a consequence of this activity, metropoliss and part has been devastated.Black volcanic eruptions are characterised by rapid oncoming of their climatic stage and by a broad assortment of eruptive behavior and effects. High and low temperature peculiarly mass flows of different types, such as dust, avalenche, pyroclastic flows and debris flows but besides including atmospheric conveyance of ash for 100s of killometres, during a dynamic eruptions, immense multitudes of gasses are released into the stratosphere, organizing aerosol that globally consequence the clime and the ozone bed for years.Volcano are certain to increase in future the ground are manifold. Schimike ( 2004 )


A vent is composed of three basic elements.

A blowhole through which volcanic stuff erupt. A conduit which is the transition that allows magama to make the surface of the Earth and a reservoir or magma chamber deep in the Earth crust. All volcanic eruption are non likewise, some eruption are quiet with lava easy seeping from a blowhole.Other eruption are really violent with lava and other stuffs being injected hundred stat mis into the air.

Gases from within the Earth interior mix with immense measures of dust and ash and rise into the air as a great dark clouds that can be seen from many kilometers away. Some dark coloured lava is thin and fluid and tends to flux every bit good.Explosive eruption are caused when lava in the blowholes hardens into rock.Steam and lava build up under the stones when the force per unit area of the steam and new lava becomes great, a violent detonation occurs as a consequence of internal force per unit area within the rock.Gases and stone shoot up through the gap and spill over or make full the air with lava fragments.A volcanic eruption have been known to strike hard an full wood, moreover an break outing vent can trip tsunamis, flash floods, temblors, mudflow and rockfalls.

After Floyd ( 2000 )


There are different sorts of vents which are classified based on the form of the vent, the stuffs they are built of and the manner the vent erupt.The writer will explicate four different types of vent which are grouped as:1. Strato vents2.

Cinder cones vents53. Shield vents ( which are besides called shields )4. Lava dome vents3.2.1 strato ventsThe stratovolcanoes are besides known as a composite vents. Magma moves to the surface from its beginning stat mis below the crust and frequently alterations in composing.

There are different types of magma which are associated with different types of vents. Basaltic magma, which comes from deep within the mantle undergoes small chemical alterations during the procedure of volcanism. During this procedure some sum of fluid allows the magma to let-off its gas safely. The resulting landforms are cinder cones and shield vents. In stratovolcano, magma`s chemical composing may alter to a more syrupy type.

The chemical composing will finally be responsible for the creative activity of volcanic stones which are different from basalt.The three most common stone types found in strato vents, with fluctuations in their composing are rhyolite, decite and andesite.Andesite has similar composing to basalt but has more per centum of silicon oxide content than basalt, nevertheless Rhyolite on the other manus, is more indistinguishable in composing to its parent stone while Decite is the center in footings of composing. The stone types serve a intent in composite eruption because it tells geologists the beginning of magma and the stage of eruption.

The composite vent are composed of virtually all the stuff a vent can chuck out from a blowhole and the stuffs discharged hemorrhoids up to organize steeply inclining cone of the vent. Prisciantelli ( 2004 )


Cinder cones are one type of vent or volcanic landform.

They are associated with subsurface contact which sums to their volatility.Magma on the top of a chamber is loaded with gas during the procedure of volcanic activity.The force per unit area from the gases later necessitate to the explosiveness of the eruption while at the underside of the chamber the force per unit area is less and magma tends to flux through a interruption in the cone. Furthermore when gases are thrown in the air during eruption the lava shatters and hardens to little clinkers and ash which piles up around the blowhole.

In add-on the clinker cones are normally steep-sided and the top of the cone has a bowl form which are little in size.The typical behavior of a clinker cone is an eruption from a blowhole in the Earth, at the same time, clinkers are being accumulated to organize the cone, followed by a possible interruption at the base of the cone from which lava flows. The clinker is used for building and besides seperated by snowploughs during winter to better driving on icy roads.

Prisiantelli ( 2004 )6


The shield vents are another type of volcanic construction but are much broader than cinder cones, by and large covering big countries. Lava invariably flows through the blowhole and they do non bring forth clinkers, ash like the clinker cone vents. The shield vents are non as explosive and destructive as composite and cinder cone vents.However they are harmful to anyone they come in contact with and besides their lava flow covers a wider scope of distance.The lava has multiple flows while one is indurating the other tends to get down and run over the top of the initial flow. In this mode, the vent builds outward into a wide incline, its construction is high and broad and frequently covers many stat mi during this activity.

The incline is more gradual than that of the composite or cinder cone vent. Shield volcanoes has a similarity with that of the clinker cones in footings of basalt lava composing. The stone type of the shield vent is andesite and the fluid flow is different from the basaltic flow. Pisiantelle ( 2004 )



Lava domes vents are less common and are besides known as volcanic domes and stopper domes which are steep-sided, bulblike mountain that signifiers when syrupy felsic magma and on occasion intermediate magma, is forced toward the surface. When force per unit area below the chamber is great, the felsic magma tends to travel bit by bit. This is as a consequence of the gluey magma that are contained in a chamber.Some cited illustrations of a lava domes vents was an happening in Washington which began in the twelvemonth 1980 on Mount St.

Helens. A figure of lava domes were buried in the crater of Mount St. Helens and most of these were destroyed during subsequent eruptions. Since 1983, Mount St. Helens has been characterised by occasional growing and renewed eruption in 2004.More so in June 1991, a lava dome in Japan, the unzen volcanoe collapsed under its ain weight which caused dust to flux and besides hot ash that killed 43 people during the eruption.

The lava domes eruptions are among the most violent and destructive. In 1992 on Mount Pele on the island of Martinique, syrupy magma accumulated at the highest point of the Pele and finally force per unit area increased until the side of the mountain blew out with a immense detonation which led to the high discharge of heavy cloud of pyroclastic stuffs and a glowing cloud of dust called the Nuee ardante ( glowing cloud in French ) .The detonation besides led to twirling cloud of white-hot ash and gases with an internal temperature of 700 degree Celsius that consumed everything in its way. Subsequently, Nuee ardent passed through7St.Pierre within two or three proceedingss, followed by a firestone as an burnable stuff which burned and exploded. Approximately 28,000 occupant of the metropolis died during this action.

Harmonizing to Wicander ( 2008 )8



Iceland has a high concentration of active vents due to alone geological conditions. There are about 130 mountains of volcanic origin,18 of which have erupted since the colonisation. A high sum of volcanism is concentrated along the home base boundary, which runs across the island from the sou’-west to the north West. In the South and southwest parts of the island we find the Hekla, Eldgja and the Laki craters, besides the Arafajokull and Snafellsjokull.

Eyjafjallojokull is situated to the North of skoger and to the West of Myradalsjokull.Hooper ( 2010 )Geologist explain the high concentration of volcanic activity in Iceland by a combination of the island place on the middle Atlantic ridge and volcanic hot topographic point underneath the Eurasian and North American plates. More so Icelandic eruptions are celebrated for their monolithic volume of erupted ashes and for huge lava escapes.The most common type of vents are the complex vents which spread over huge countries of the state and normally arranged in ironss. Over the last 500years Iceland`s vents have ejected about one tierce of the entire planetary lava end product, although the Laki vent in southern Iceland which erupted in 1783 and was classified as the largest erupted lava since the Iceland`s colonisation.

The most recent volcanic eruption in Iceland began on the 14th of April at the Eyjafjallokull mountain.Geologist explained during the eruption, that the activity of the vent increased endlessly, spiting a plume of ash which was about 5.3 stat mis high into the ambiance. Thousands of flights were cancelled with 1000000s of travel programs affected. During the incidence it was estimated that closing down the United kingdom`s air space entirely for a hebdomad incurred doomed of over 100 million lbs. More so concern programs and those involved in importing and exportation of goods were disrupted. The planetary cost of the break, resulted in a loss of one million millions of pounds.

Hooper ( 2010 )


Questionnaire study detailed in the study will assist to act upon some of the content of this study, other influences will be interviews both verbally and online. Although it was hard to pull decisions from some of the responses peculiarly the open-ended response.This probe was carried out on friends talks and besides on pupils and staff of the Cambridge instruction group, between 4th July to 11th July 2010A sum of 30 people were advised to make full in a questionnaire and out of the 30 people, the figure of responses from both online and paper questionnaire at the clip of this research totalled 20 and out of the people that responded 18 % were males while 12 % , were females. The age-group of these participants,27 % were under 40 whereas 3 % were supra 40.9

Table 1. shows the age-group and per centums of the respondents




AGE-GROUP of male /female


Male1218 %1827 %Female812 %23 %


2030 %2030 %Question 8, on the questionnaire was, have you of all time experienced volcanic eruption in your state.

A sum of 27 % sharers said No, while 3 % said yes.Furthermore, inquiry 10 was, do u believe that volcanic activity has a negative impact on the economic system of a state. 30 % of the respondents said yes and there grounds were, it can impact concern activities by giving rise to detain on production services and that volcanic eruption may postpone tourer and do a batch of amendss to belongingss, flora and support. Smoke haze will do or ask holds both on occupants and visitants traveling for touristry and other of import activities. Most airdromes might probably to be shut-down during this activity. More so most fabrication industries that rely on importing and exportation will set a arrest on their activities at that place by impacting income coevals and gross for the authorities and private sector as a whole.Question 12, was about the positive impact of volcanic eruption.27 % of the respondents said that volcanic eruption, merely has negative impact whereas 3 % out of the respondents who said Yes, provided information within the defined scope.

The remarks they made were that, many old ages after volcanic eruption it could help touristry and besides produce interesting geographical and historical characteristics. Furthermore, ash which is a merchandise of volcanism enriches the dirt when it is being deposited at the surface of the Earth. In add-on new stones are formed from magma and can be used for infrastructural development. The analysis is shown on tabular array 210

Table 2. illustrates the per centum of the respondents on the positive impact of volcanic eruption




NO1827 %Yes23 %


2030 %

5.3 Findingss

The predating chapters focused on the beginning, composing and types of vents. More so, on the processs and analyses of primary informations to run into the demand of the writer.

This chapter will analyze further on the negative and positive impact of volcanic eruption on society in relation to primary analyses. This has been achieved through secondary beginnings.Depending on the type of eruption and its location, volcanic eruptions has overpowering effects through a figure of shows.

The negative impact includes, the high release of haze during eruption, which leads to devastation of harvests and flora from acerb precipitation.Caseldine ( 2009 ) .Pyroclastic ensuing from eruption and can do ample harm depending on the size of the bed deposited. A Thickness which is less than 1mm will move as irritant to lungs and eyes and besides lead to closing of airdrome due to the potency to aircraft and contaminate H2O within the country. While a bed of ash with thickness between 1-5mm will do minor harm to edifices and barricading air filters. This can besides take to electricity cuts due to conduction of wet ash.

A bed of ash which is about 5 -10mm will destruct harvests and grazing lands, doing light weight edifices to prostration and besides consequence rail conveyance through signal failure. After Gottsamann ( 2008 )Furthermore, a cited illustration of the negative impact was the eruption in Laki which is located in southern Iceland in the twelvemonth 1983.When lava poured out from a sum of 135 freshly opened cratars, it was estimated that during this eruption some half billion dozenss of11toxic gases was expelled into the ambiance and killed over 16,000 people and slughter about 60 % of cowss in island. After Gottsamann ( 2008 ) .Volcanic eruption sedimentation stuffs ( ash ) on the surface of the Earth and after a long period of clip due to physical and chemical alterations, the ash provides alimentary to the environing dirt. Volcanic dirts are potentially fertile as the ash can incorporate trace element beneficial to the growing of works.

This can comparatively promote high population and intense agribusiness within the country. Vents are frequently located in part where there is high agricultural production. Volcanoes, provides strikingly natural beauty which can pull tourist.An illustration demonstrated is the volcanic eruption which occurred between 1963-1965 in costa rica, called the Irezu vent.

The eruption was reported to be responsible for 4.3 % addition in the figure of tourers between 1963-1964. Indirect economic benefit can besides be initiated in response to the indicants or menace of at hand volcanic eruption. Further illustration, was the volcanic activity that took topographic point at Rabaul Papua, New Guinea between 1983 and 1985 which led to a figure of betterment to substructure on that location.

This includes promotion of air-strips, route and Bridgess, H2O and power supplies, wellness installations and communications.However during this growing, nutrient production increased as a figure of people cultivated nutrient gardens outside the danger zone.After Gottsamann ( 2008 )12




1. During volcanic eruption, it requires immediate emptying to a safer location, stone dust, lava flows and ash will do the country around the vent unsafe to anyone that stays2. If instructed to evacuate follow the waies of the governments.

3. Evacuate to an country upwind and higher land.Flash inundations, clay and toxicant gases will roll up in low lying countries4. If you are unable to evacuate, seek shelter indoors and do certain all Windowss and doors are locked to maintain ash out.5. Store all vehicles and equipment inside a garage and go forth them, until the eruption has ended.6. If you must travel out-of-doorss use goggle to protect your eyes and utilize a face mask or keep a moist fabric over your face to help external respiration.

7. Avoid falling volcanic ash, cover your oral cavity and nose and wear long-sleeves to avoid annoyance or Burnss on the tegument.8. If you are in a vehicle maintain the engine switched off.

Avoid driving when ash is fallingto a great extent as drive will stir up more ash that may choke off your vehicle`s engine. Bickley ( 2010 )


1. Understate your motion and maintain all Windowss and doors closed.2. Always guarantee the safety of yourself and your household before reacting to the demands ofothers. Make a head count to do certain the members of the household are safe and sound.3. Check for hurts, do non try to travel earnestly injured individual unless they are inimmediate danger of decease or farther hurt.

4. Drive easy and carefully with your visible radiations on.5. Remove ash from your roof, more than 10 centimeters of ash may be adequate for yourroof to prostration.136. Hose down outdoors with a small H2O to stifle the ash.

This helps to maintain it fromblowing about. Bickley ( 2010 )147.0 DecisionIn the assessement of the impact of volcanic eruption on the society and environment, it was found that volcanic eruption are non likewise, some are quiet while some are violent, This action depends on the internal force per unit area exerted on lava. The force per unit area necessitates gases and stones to hit up through a blowhole and conduit and make full the air with lava fragments. It can be seen that the recent volcanic eruption in Iceland on eyjafjallolojokull state was a composite volcanic eruption which has ejected about one tierce of the entire planetary lava end product over the past 500years.The recent volcanic activity in Iceland occurred within a month and resulted to a loss of one million millions of lbs around Europe.

The sudden force of volcanic eruption causes calamity and desolation on the environment.This includes devastation of edifices, harvests and flora. Could besides lead to flight and critical activity delayedThe findings besides indicate that volcanic eruption has more negative impact on our society and these could impact income coevals and gross for the authorities and private sector.


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