The Impacts of Volcanic Activity

The range of primary and secondary impacts that may result from a volcanic eruption.

Refers to AQA A2 Geography (Plate Tectonics and Assosiated Hazards)

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  • The Impacts of Volcanic Activity
    • Primary Effects
      • Tephra
        • Solid material of varying grain size, from volcanic bombs to ash particles, ejected into the atmosphere.
      • Pyroclastic Flow
        • Very hot (800C +), gas-charged, high-velocity flows.
        • Made up of a mixture of gases and tephra.
      • Lava Flows
      • Volcanic Gases
        • Includes carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, hydrogen sulphide, sulpher dioxide and chlorine gas.
        • Sometimes harmful - carbon monoxide emissons from lake Lake Nyos in Cameroon in 1986 suffercated 1,700 people.
    • Secondary effects
      • Lahars
        • Volcanic mud flows.
        • Devastated Armero, Columbia, after the 1985 eruption of Nevado del Ruiz.
      • Flooding
        • Melting of glaciers or ice caps such as the Grimsvont Glacial burst in Iceland in November, 1996.
      • Tsunamis
        • Giant sea waves be be generated after violent, caldera-forming events.
          • An example of such an event was Krakatoa, 1883 Tsunamis from this eruption are believed to have drowned 36,000
      • Volcanic Landslides
      • Climate Change
        • An ejection of vast amounts of volcanic debries into the atmosphere can reduce global temperatures.
        • Volcanic eruptions are believed to be an agent in past climate change.
    • Volcanic Hazards
      • Volcanic effects become a HAZARD when they impact upon the human and built environment.
      • Potential hazards for humans...
        • Killing/ injuring people
        • Burying/ collapsing buildings
        • Destroying infrastructure
        • Halting agricultural activities

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