Hollywood disaster movie, since 1997
Where do volcanoes usually occur?
How do volcanoes form?
Types of Volcanoes
Shield volcanoes, are low profile and broad volcanoes with gently sloping sides that are generated by Hawaiian eruptions. The diameter of the volcano varies between a few kilometers, too more than 100 kilometers. The unique shape of the volcano results from basalt lava that spreads outward from the summit area. They are formed by eruptions of thin, runny lava. Eruptions of Shield volcanoes are gentle and they tend to be frequent.
The lava erupting from composite volcanoes are pyroclastic flows. Pyroclastic flows have temperatures over 400°C and they roll down the sides of volcanoes at very high speeds. They are made up of alternating layers of lava and ash whereas other volcanoes are just made up of lava.
A stratovolcano is a cone shaped volcano that is composed of one layer of hardened lava, tephra and volcanic ash.
Volcanoes described in terms of activity:
- Active Volcano
- Dormant Volcano
- Extinct Volcano
What are the causes and effects of volcanoes?
Magma starts to rise from the weakness of the earth's crust. Magma starts to rise from the volcano as the earth’s tectonic plates start to move away from one another, magma can also be formed when the tectonic plates move towards each other and the magma collects in the magma chambers. The magma then pushes through the vents and fissures in the earth's surface and an eruption occurs.
Effects of volcanoes:
Volcanoes can change the weather causing rain, thunder and lightning. Fast moving lava can kill people and the ash that comes from the volcano makes it harder for people to breathe. They can also die from fires and earthquakes. Volcanoes can also damage buildings, houses, fields, and people's possessions. Plants and animals can also be killed when a volcano erupts. Human and natural landscapes can be destroyed or changed forever.
Mount St. Helens (Stratovolcano)
How does this film clip differ from reality?
During 1:08 to 1:12 in the clip, ash rains down on the car and this is expected because when pyroclastic rocks fall back to earth after being blown out of the volcano, they turn into dust, ash and bombs.
The temperature of lava is extremely high, approximately 2120 °F, and that is higher than the kindling point for many materials and so those materials can catch on fire easily (if they are flammable) if lava comes close enough to it.
A less realistic example would be at 1:55 to 1:58 where an helicopter flies close to the lava flow. In real life, that would be unrealistic because the heat from the lava would start to burn the metal on the helicopter.
The firefighters are standing too close to the lava flow and its dangerous. In real life, people wouldn't allow firefighters, or anyone to stand too close to the lava flow.
As the firefighters used barriers to block the lava flow, helicopters flew in and released water onto the lava flow, turning it back into rock but in real life this is unrealistic because the temperature of lava is really high and so water wouldn't instantly turn the lava back to a solid, it would take some time.
As lava falls down the side of the volcano, it starts to cool and turn into rock whereas in the movie the lava still continues to flow down the mountain instead of cooling.
In conclusion, the clips that are shown in this film are unrealistic. The location of the volcano is inaccurate and as mentioned above, the lava flows should have cooled down as it traveled down the mountain. In this movie, the volcano is located underneath a city and this is unrealistic because geologists would check if there were any hazards before they built the city. The helicopters were flying too close to the lava flow and there were reporters standing right next to the lava flow and they were making reports when there were lava bombs, lava and ash everywhere. The people in this clip didn't seem to be affected by the poisonous gases but there was ash everywhere.
I made sure that my information was from a reliable source by using triangulation to make sure that the information that I used was correct.