A volcanic eruption is formed when there are cracks or weaknesses in the earth’s crust through which magma rises up and when due to external forces or pressure such as the movement of tectonic plates this magma explodes to the surface creating a volcanic eruption. When magma reaches the earth’s crust it is then known as lava. Overtime the lava cools down and creates newer crust. Also, a volcano is formed overtime when more lava cools on top of already cooled lava. Volcanic eruptions have their own places in the earth’s balancing mechanisms and are not all bad. Volcanic eruptions are also less frequent compared to a lot of other natural disasters. Volcanic eruptions have their own set of positives and negatives so to say and so, let’s look at what they are.
Positive effects of volcanic eruption:
When volcanoes explode they bring with them nutrients from the ground. These nutrients are very beneficial for agriculture. You can see a lot of human settlements close to volcanoes and this is because the soils around volcanoes are rich and ideal for growing a number of crops. This is why humans have risked living close to volcanoes for centuries and still continue doing so.
Helps economies grow:
Volcanoes provide fertile soil which then translates to more produce which translates to more money coming into an economy. Volcanoes also bring in a ton of tourism interest to a place. Volcanic eruptions aren’t always catastrophic, there are smaller explosions that don’t affect the surrounding area much or cause destruction to the settlements around. However, these minor explosions do attract tourists. Even dormant volcanoes bring in a lot of tourists. Tourism brings in income to these areas and thereby helps in making the economy stronger.
Opportunities for producing Geothermal power:
The areas around active volcanoes provide opportunities to create geo thermal plants. These geothermal plants are run by super heating water underground close to where magma resides. The water is sometimes heated in temperatures of up-to 1000 degree Celsius and this super-heated water which is in other words steam is then used to run turbines that are connected to turbines which are connected to dynamos to generate power. In countries like ice land, geo thermal power is responsible for generating 80% of the entire grids power.
Maintaining the Planets balance:
Mother nature has her own ways of balancing the planet and keeping it sustainable. Volcanic eruptions are one of the ways through which the earth balances itself. All land mass on earth was created by volcanic eruptions. Volcanoes also cooled the planet when It was formed. Volcanoes have also produced most of earth’s current atmosphere. Without these processes the earth can’t keep itself fresh and preserve life as we know it.
Negative effects of volcanic eruption:
Large scale destruction:
A volcanic eruption causes large scale destruction to the surrounding area. There is lot of damage to property and after big eruptions the surrounding area becomes unusable for a very long time. There is also considerable loss to both human and animal life. Severe volcanic eruptions have been known to bring down entire towns and cities. There is also the flow of lava, which when people come into contact with kills them almost instantly. Volcanoes also don’t give enough time for people to react. There is not much warning which is a cause for concern.
The after effects of volcanic eruptions are also bad. After volcanic eruptions occur there is a large amount of volcanic ash that can envelop the surrounding area. This volcanic ash is very dense and creates unbreathable air. People who survived the explosions are known to have perished by suffocating after the explosion by just staying in the surrounding area. This isn’t any different for animals which also suffer from the bad quality of air. The flowing lava and other conditions also leave these areas uninhabitable for quite some time. Sometimes volcanic eruptions leave areas unusable for many lifetimes.
Volcanic ash which when mixed with water or snow also tends to create large mud slides known as lahars. These mud slides are sometime large enough to envelop entire settlements and bury them to the ground. There is evidence of this in history when ancient cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum which were twin cities got buried after a huge volcanic eruption.