• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Volcanoes are more dangerous hazards than earthquakes - Discuss the truth of this statement.

Extracts from this document...


Volcanoes are more dangerous hazards than earthquakes. Discuss the truth of this statement. A volcano is a mountain or hill formed by the build up of materials erupted through one or more openings in the earth's surface (such as lava, ash, cinders, dust, and hot gas). Volcano eruptions occur along the earth's tectonic plates where molten rock is forced upward from magma reservoirs deep in the earth (and subsequently forms lava when it reaches the earth's surface). A violent explosion can cause the top of the volcano to blow off leaving a deep crater. An earthquake is the intense vibration of the crust of the earth caused by underground volcanic action or by the breaking and shifting of rock beneath the surface. The volcanic action and shifting rocks create strain which continues to build to a sudden release of pressure resulting in a shock wave, which can be classified as a primary wave (which send particles oscillating back and forth in the same direction as the waves are travelling) or a secondary wave (which cause vibrations which move perpendicular to the wave). Secondary waves travel on the surface of the earth and move much slower than primary waves and therefore primary waves arrive at the epicentre before the secondary waves do when an earthquake occurs. ...read more.


However, people living close can also be taught what to do in case of a volcano eruption. It is also argued however, that the opposite is true and that earthquakes are more hazardous than volcanoes. One fact to back this up is that there is still no guaranteed method for predicting when and where an earthquake will occur or how strong it will be. However some success in earthquake prediction has been reported in recent years. Several countries, including the United States, China, Japan and Russia are actively supporting research for earthquake predicting. For example, in 1975, just two days before a magnitude 7.3 earthquake destroyed the city of Haicheng, the Chinese government evacuated 90,000 residents. The evidence used to support the prediction was a series of foreshocks occurring in the area five years earlier. Other possible prediction methods being investigated are changing ground water levels, increased concentration of rare gases in well water, tilts and bulges in the earth's surface (using tiltmeters), changes in the earth's magnetic field, changes in the velocity and propagation of P and S waves and the odd behaviour of animals. So far however, although some of these methods are successful some of the time, there are no reliable prediction techniques which are continuously correct. ...read more.


But however, another important piece of information is that earthquakes at sea can result in a huge tidal wave (or tsunami). These waves move with tremendous speed and power and can demolish coastal communities where the sea bottom 'lifts' the water as it rolls up on the land. Volcanoes at sea however cause insignificant consequences. Earthquakes can cause landslides and fires too, both of which can be very devastating. Furthermore, when shock waves from an earthquake strike some types of soil, they result in a condition called liquefaction. Liquefaction occurs when soils lose their ability to bear weight and behave much like quicksand. Buildings which have been constructed on these soils quickly topple and may even be swallowed up. This occurrence was observed in the huge San Francisco earthquake in 1906. When a volcano erupts on the other hand, soil conditions are usually improved as huge amounts of minerals are given to the soil, thus enabling crops to grow much better. In conclusion I believe that the statement 'volcanoes are more dangerous hazards than earthquakes' to generally be false. Although earthquakes can be prepared for a lot better than volcano eruptions, earthquakes are less easy to predict and cause a substantial amount more damage. Earthquakes are also more frequent and usually affect a larger area and can also cause tsunamis, floods, fires, landslides and the liquefaction of soil. Iden Ranapour 1 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Hazardous Environments section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Hazardous Environments essays

  1. "What are hazardous Environments and how can hazards be classified?"

    that exist that have and remain to threaten us as a race. Another type of natural hazard and also related to tectonics are Earthquakes. These are caused by the plates either rubbing parallel against each other, or pushing into one another.

  2. With reference to a range of hazards, assess the success of prediction techniques in ...

    and $18-26 billion damage to Florida from Hurricane season proves that a lot more can be done. Tectonic hazards such as earthquakes occur along fault lines in the plate boundary. The plates, which are rigid, float like rafts on the underlying semi-molten mantle and these are moved by convection currents.

  1. Effects of Earthquakes.

    possible but new seismic measuring techniques have revealed that it is possible to reach 9.5. Another method of measuring the intensity of earthquakes was developed at the turn of the century by an Italian seismologist by the name of Giuseppe Mercalli.

  2. Why are there so many volcanoes in New Zealand?

    ash fall and potentially pyroclastic flows. In contrast, dome extrusion from a flank vent onto the steep slopes of the volcano would be a more serious hazard, creating an eruption scenario similar to the 1990 eruption of Mt Unzen in Japan when collapse at the front of the lava sent rock, hot gases and ash plummeting down the volcano.

  1. Volcanoes are more dangerous hazards than earthquakes discuss the truth of this statement.

    Extrusive volcanic mountains are by far the most dangerous volcanic hazard as they can emit all 3 volcanic materials and can also cause secondary hazards such as lahars, mudslides and widespread flooding (only if the mountain is covered by a glacier)

  2. Earthquake is a shaking of the ground caused by the sudden breaking and shifting ...

    Each plate consists of a section of the earth's crust and a portion of the mantle, the thick layer of hot rock below the crust. Scientists call this layer of crust and upper mantle the lithosphere. The plates move slowly and continuously on the asthenosphere, a layer of hot, soft rock in the mantle.

  1. Suggest ways that earthquakes may be predicted. How successful has prediction been in recent ...

    One of the problems encountered is that we rarely have more than one or two earthquake cycles in the historical record. Reid's elastic rebound theory combined with our knowledge of plate tectonics suggests that we might someday be able to predict earthquakes.

  2. Volcanic and seismic events are major pieces of evidence towards proving that plate-tectonics theory ...

    continents but were geologically young features that resulted from the breakup of Pangaea Polar Wandering Curves 1. A turning point occurred in the 1950s, through the study of paleomagnetism. When magma cools and solidifies into rock, it becomes magnetized and takes on the prevailing polarity?the north-south directionality?of the Earth?s magnetic field (Fig.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work