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Describe the range of physical phenomena that are associated with volcanic hazards. What techniques may be used to mitigate against volcanic disasters?

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Introduction

Describe the range of physical phenomena that are associated with volcanic hazards. What techniques may be used to mitigate against volcanic disasters? Volcanic eruptions bring with them a large range of hazards. This report will describe the different range of hazards associated with volcanic activity and discus possible ways that hazards can be avoided. A volcanic eruption can, force people to leave their homes, damage sources of water, destroy homes and farms, restrict travel and kill. Pyroclastic flow is a flow of volcanic rock, and the most devastating effect of an explosive eruption. A pyroclastic eruption is one in which the great majority of activity involves fountaining or explosions. Nothing from a volcano is as blistering hot and moves with as much power and speed as a pyroclastic flow. A pyroclastic flow starts with rocks and gasses being shot up to 20 miles high into a mushroom shaped cloud. Later the column collapses and rocks and hot ash avalanche down the mountain. ...read more.

Middle

Because they carry so much sediment and debris they leave thick deposits of mud, sand, boulders, and other debris behind, often many meters thick. A volcanic eruption can effect the atmosphere for years if it is powerful enough. Sulphur gasses erupted into the stratosphere chemically change into sulphuric acid droplets too small to see with the naked eye. "[Sulpheric acid is] Formed in the upper atmosphere when the sulphurus gasses emited by a volcano are converted by a chemical process in the upper atmosphere to sulphuric acid which then condenses into a fine mist" (SITE). Following the erruptio of Mount Pinatubo in 1991 their was a world wide cooling effect. Solar energy reaching the earths surface was reduced 5-10%. Spectacluar sunsets were witnessed world wide for years to some. This is because the particles that the volcano shoots into the stratosphere have a light scattering effect. This effect can vary depending on the size of the particles and how long they remain in the atmosphere. ...read more.

Conclusion

Electrical currents can be sent through the volcano to a receiving station. The station can tell how long it took the electrical current to reach the station and what electrical resistance it encountered. Soundings similar to this have been used on mount Vesuvious have revealed that there is a chamber of magma 5 miles below the crater, and that a large amount of rock debris is blocking the funnel (SITE). This research has helped those monitoring the volcanoe to know that the next eruption of Vesuvious will be explosive. The blockage on the funnel means that the volcano is collecting gasses and pressure so when it does explode it will be catastrophic. Education is a key to surviving a volcanic eruption. People need to be aware that they are living in a volcano danger area and what they should do if an eruption should occur. In the surrounding areas of Vesuvious aproxametly 750,000 people are currently living on the remains of dry lava from the eruption in 1944. when the volcano erupts again, the chances of a high death tole are high. ...read more.

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