Natural Hazards: Volcanoes

Kilauea Volcano, Hawaii

How Volcanoes Form

Volcanoes are a natural hazard that form in several ways all around the world. The way they are formed, is when the molten rock from comes up to the surface, and the pent up gases and molten rock are released. They are often formed near plate boundaries because it is easier for lava to come up to the crust. There are several examples of these, but one of the more known is Mt.Fuji in Japan. One of the other types of volcanoes, come from hotspots in the earths crust. For example, the chain of islands in Hawaii, and their volcanoes, came from a hotspot in the pacific plate. These are just a few of the ways volcanoes can form all around the world.

Economic Impact

Mt. Kilauea alone has caused $100,000,000 in damages since its first eruption in 1983. Landscaping and agriculture on the big island have been the most impacted. Lahars and pyroclastic materials that flow from the volcano destroy houses and bridges. The lava that flows from Mt. Kilauea overruns communities near the volcano. The other impact it makes on the big island is in its agriculture. Volcanic fog coming from Mt Kilauea is a problem for farming. In the past year Mt. Kilauea has been ejecting 2 to 4 times more volcanic gases than ever before. These gases include So2 (sulfur dioxide), carbon dioxide, water, and carbon monoxide. The gases come together and form a brown fog that is dangerous for plants and animals. The sulfur in particular has caused many crops to die because when it interacts with water it turns into a very concentrated version of "acid rain." Overall the damages that Mt. Kilauea has caused have been devastating to the landscaping and farming in the state of Hawaii.

Humanitarian Services

Back in 1940, the Red Cross responded to the eruption by providing temporary shelter to displaced residents, distributed masks, and provided the information link for concerned family members around the world. They did this to help ease the devastation of the aftermath of the enormous eruption.

Volcano 101


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