Volcanic eruptions can cause a lot of damage to both nearby areas and areas miles away from the eruption site. There are many different effects after an eruption that create a health hazard for both human and wildlife alike. When a volcano erupts it is very powerful and the effects of it can be felt on other continents. Volcano eruptions have even destroyed entire cities throughout history most famously Pompeii was buried by volcanic ash in 79 A.D. There are many negative effects of volcanoes erupting.
The extreme force of a volcano erupting can sometimes actually cause an earthquake. An earthquake happens because of tectonic plates rubbing against each other on fault lines. Most volcanoes are located on fault lines which is why they can sometimes cause earthquakes. This is also why earthquakes can also cause volcanoes to erupt. The earthquakes caused by volcanoes are usually not felt by people but can register on the Richter scale. The magma of a volcano is what causes the earthquake, when the magma gets into the cracks in the plate and causes pressure to build up. In 1991 the mount Pinatubo eruption in the Philippines was caused by many small earthquakes from magma in the volcano entering the cracks in the tectonic plates. That caused the pressure to build up until the volcano erupted and thousands of tons of gases were released into the atmosphere.
Volcanic eruptions can also have negative effects on the weather and climate of an area and region. When a volcano erupts a lot of gases are released that can go all the way into the atmosphere and can cause a cooling effect to occur. The other effect of eruptions can warm the atmosphere, because of the greenhouse gases they also emit. According to the British geological survey, 100 to 300 million tons of co2 are released each year by both underwater and land volcanoes’. Although this is a smaller amount than what humans create, it is still a large amount that is being released every year. Large eruptions such as the Pinatubo eruption can cause temperatures around the world to drop for the following years.
Another effect of volcanic eruptions is plants and wildlife dying in the area. The lava that is sent flying for miles of an explosive eruption, can cause wildfires that can devastate a wildlife area. When an explosive eruption occurs it also sends a lot of ash that can wreak havoc on the wildlife’s ability to breath and by contaminating water sources. When mount St. Helens erupted in 1980, it is estimated that 24,115 animals died due to the ash. The ash is also hard on insects because ash can damage the wings of insects. Plant life can be damaged for years depending on the amount of rain they receive after an eruption. In Hawaii in only two years some plant life has started growing back from a volcano that had lava flows, because of the heavy rainfall that occurs there. In another part of Hawaii where there is little rainfall, the plant life has still not recovered from the lava flows that occurred two hundred years ago. The last effect of a volcanic eruption is the effect on.
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