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Volcanic Case Studies

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Introduction

Volcanic Case Studies Introduction Globally the risk of death or injury due to volcanic hazards are very small. However volcanoes attract disproportionate interest and are the first hazard to be considered in detail for this module. Current population trends and economic necessity mean that an increasing number of people live close to volcanoes. The flanks of volcanically active mountains are often densely settled due to their fertile volcanic soil which is rich in potassium. This is particularly the case in the tropics where soil fertility declines quickly as intense rainfall causes leaching. For some nations, notably island states, volcanic soils are the only rich soils available. For example in Indonesia population densities are positively correlated with maps of volcanic activity. As with all hazards there are natural and human components to their occurrence and aftermath. It is the interaction between society, technology and natural processes that this course module seeks to explore. ...read more.

Middle

Pinatubo Resources Bishop p 81-83 and 30-35 Nagle p 27-28 World map of country locations * http://www.geo.mtu.edu/volcanoes/pinatubo/ Do you want to know what a lahar looks like? Or what the eruption was like - this is a Pinatubo gallery * http://wrgis.wr.usgs.gov/fact-sheet/fs113-97/ USGS report on 1991 eruption and continuing hazards * http://wrgis.wr.usgs.gov/fact-sheet/fs115-97/ USGS on effects of monitoring and warning systems * http://wrgis.wr.usgs.gov/fact-sheet/fs114-97/ USGS report on the lahars in the 1991 eruption, their cause, their effects and continuing hazards http://pubs.usgs.gov/pinatubo/contents.html This is an amazing site of a book contents, it is for students with further interests, see for example the information on people in the town of Luzon * Denotes important information June 12 1991 explosion of Pinatubo volcano. Source: http://www.geo.mtu.edu/volcanoes/pinatubo/volcano/ Questions ? Describe the natural processes and tectonic situation that led to the eruption of Mount Pinatubo. ? Describe the type of eruption and volcanic hazards associated with the eruption of Mount Pinatubo. ? Apart from pyroclastic surges lahars present the greatest threat to human life. How were lahars created in the Pinatubo eruption? ...read more.

Conclusion

Goma, on the shore of L. Kivu, is normally a town of 500,000 people. Why do so many people risk living in such a vulnerable area? Have there been any attempts to mitigate the effects of eruptions? ? Describe the ways in which scientists were able to monitor the mountain and the actions that were the results of this monitoring. Do you think that these were effective? ? Describe the long-term effects of the volcanic hazards resulting from the 2002 eruption and the continued vulnerability of the local populations. For both volcanoes: Lloyd Timberlake, who has written widely on environmental hazards asserts that, "Volcanic eruptions are not 'serious' disasters in terms of numbers of people killed or even affected." Write an essay discussing this statement with reference to the impacts of the Pinatubo eruption and the eruption of Nyiragongo. You may support your conclusion by reference to other volcanic eruptions that you know about. Later in the course you will be able to compare the impacts of other hazards. At this stage, your essay should concentrate on whether the eruptions were 'serious' for the communities and environments affected by these two volcanoes. ...read more.

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