Benefits of the Volcano #RingofFire #Yellowstone #ERUPTIONS!
Volcano Benefits?? Yes!
Cooling the Climate
Some of the benefits occur in the short term as well as over hundreds to thousands of years, according to Dr. Tracy Gregg, associate professor for the University at Buffalo’s geology department.
1. Atmospheric cooling
One of the shorter-term benefits could be observed with recent large eruptions including 1991’s Pinatubo eruption in the Philippines and 1982’s El Chichón eruption in Mexico, which both exploded ash and sulfur gas into the stratosphere, according to Gregg.
“The sulfur gas combines with water in the atmosphere, creating microscopic droplets that can stay in the atmosphere for years,” Gregg said. “The effect of those aerosol droplets is cooling the lowest level of the atmosphere, which is the level in which we live and breathe.”
Both eruptions cooled the atmosphere about over a half a degree Celsius, she said. “It doesn’t sound like a lot, but when we’re talking about anthropogenic global climate change, volcanoes have actually helped to keep the world about 2 to 3 degrees cooler than it otherwise may be,” she added.
2. Land formation
A long-term benefit of volcanic activity is seen in the Hawaiian Islands’ very existence.
“We’re seeing this right now on the Big Island of Hawaii with Kilauea’s current eruption, as lava is pouring into the ocean and creating new land,” Gregg said. “All of the land in the Hawaiian Islands was created this way.” This land formation can take thousands of years, she added.
3. Water production
Over 4.5 billion years, the amount of water that has been produced by volcanoes has actually given us the water that we have on Earth, Concord University volcanologist Dr. Janine Krippner told AccuWeather.
“It comes out of steam,” Krippner said. “Over time, it’s just built up the water that we have on this planet. Water can actually come out of magma itself, as well.”
Volcanoes have also helped create a large portion of Earth’s atmosphere, she added.
4. Fertile land
Fertile soil is another advantage of volcanic activity. “In places like Japan, Indonesia, Philippines and Hawaii, volcanic material mixed in with the soil provides a lot of important nutrients,” Krippner said. “It gives us really fertile soils, which are great for farming and crops.”
Volcanoes also provide a good environment for the formation of new habitats for animals, plants and insects, she said.
Depending on the composition of the magma from a particular volcanic
mountain, the resulting ash will have distinct amounts of soil
nutrients. Silica and oxygen take up the largest percentage of elements
released in the event of a volcanic eruption; other elements include
carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide, and hydrogen chloride.
In addition to fertile soil, volcanic action also leads to the formation of gems, precious stones and valuable minerals such as gold and uranium. These have a wide array of uses from making jewelry, electronics and weapon manufacture.
Volcanism has also led to geothermal
energy as an alternative source of energy which contributes a
significant quota of electricity production in some countries like Iceland, Kenya, and the Philippines.
Prehistoric volcanic ash weathers to form bentonite, which includes an expansive clay mineral called montmorillonite. The natural weathering process of rock distributes the montmorillonite in local soils.
5. Geothermal energy
Hot springs and geothermal energy are additional benefits. “People use geothermal energy in places like New Zealand and Iceland,” Krippner said.
Places on Earth with the highest underground temperatures are located in regions with active or geologically young volcanoes, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists.
The most active geothermal resources are normally found along major plate boundaries where volcanoes and earthquakes typically occur, like the Ring of Fire, according to the University of Colorado Boulder.
6. Raw materials
Sulfur, copper and gold are produced from volcanic activity, Krippner said. Diamonds are also brought up to the surface from the mantle from a rare kind of magma, called kimberlite.
“Volcanoes also provide a lot of building materials,” Krippner said. “Volcanic material can be made into blocks, and lot of the materials are mined, especially in places like Indonesia, where it’s used for conglomerate building blocks.”
The volcanic material can be ground down to help make cement, she added.
RIGHT NOW, we have more than one high alert including Yellowstone: see this site
BUT, and this is scary:
What is a supervolcano exactly? I think the name says it all, but officially, scientists define it as a volcano capable of an eruption thousands of times greater than any ordinary volcanic explosion. These super volcanoes burst when a growing pressure of molten rock, or magma, rises up from the Earth’s mantle. When the crust can’t contain the buildup anymore — boom.