ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Volcanoes And Some Historic Eruptions

Updated on October 22, 2011

Volcano - it conjures up vivid, lucid images of red-hot lava spewing out of a looming mountain, like mountain of fireworks gone astray, bruising and charring everything that dares to come in its way. But in reality there's so much more to learn about them.

According to geologists volcanoes are actually beneficial to humans living on or near them because they produce fertile soil, valuable minerals, water reservoirs, geothermal resources, and scenic beauty.

Volcanic eruptions can be placed into two general categories: those that are explosive, such as ones at Mount St. Helens, and those that are effusive, such as in Hawaii. The most active volcano in the world, Kilauea volcano on the island of Hawaii, is generally a non-explosive volcano and displays gently flowing lava, spatter cones, and lava fountains.

These non-explosive eruptions are the least dangerous type of volcanic eruptions since people rarely get killed by them. However, if you think it's a light and sound show, you're sadly mistaken as these eruptions come with their consequences.

Explosive eruptions produce fragmental rocks from erupting lava and surrounding rock. Some eruptions produce fine volcanic ash that rise many kilometres into the atmosphere.

Explosive activity causes widespread ash fall, pyroclastic flows and surges, debris avalanches, and landslides. Another mechanism for volcanic explosion is when surface water or ground water enters a magma chamber. These eruptions are likely when a volcano occurs in a wet area or in the sea.

In the past 500 years, over 200,000 people have lost their lives due to volcanic eruptions. An average of 845 people died each year between 1900 and 1986 from volcanic hazards.

Let's glance at the gory history of destruction that volcanoes have left in their wake and check the list of some the most destructive volcanoes.

Island of Thira, Aegean Sea

It was in the year 1640 BC when the population of the island of Thira in the Aegean Sea was rocked by a colossal volcanic eruption. It devastated the island, causing a large part of it to be submerged under the sea. Although no direct records of the eruption exist, it is inferred that it had a far-reaching effect on the Minoan civilization on nearby Crete and other islands.

Mount Vesuvius, Italy

It was a balmy August day in the year 79 AD, when the looming Mount Vesuvius generated a deadly mixture of hot ash, rock debris, and volcanic gases that wrecked the Roman cities of Pompeii, Herculaneum, and Stabiae in a matter of minutes.

The fact that a detailed report from the Roman official, Pliny the Younger, was found regarding the eruption and secondly, because the volcanic ash encapsulated the cities preserving them for modern-day study, has made this volcanic tragedy the most famous in the history of the globe. Virtually all aspects of Roman culture, including paintings, sculpture, architecture, and daily life by this eruption have been preserved. Mount Vesuvius is the only active volcano on the European mainland.

Laki, Iceland

The largest lava-flow eruption on earth since the beginning of recorded history occurred in June 1783, when a fissure, 25 km in length, opened up in the southern highlands of Iceland and spewed out enormous

quantities of basalt lava for two months. Damaging gases were released, which contaminated the grasslands causing the loss of about 75 per cent of the livestock on the island and resulting in a 24 per cent loss of the Icelandic population.

Tambora, Indonesia

On April 10, 1815, the Tambora volcano burst into life on the island of Sumbawa. The eruption ejected more than 100 cubic km of magma and a huge quantity of volcanic gases, killing a minimum of 10,000 people, thus making it the largest explosive eruption in recorded history. In addition, the fallen lava buried rice fields and other crops on nearby islands, leading to the deaths of more than 92,000 people from famine and disease.

Krakatau, Indonesia

On August 27, 1883, the island volcano of Krakatau in present-day Indonesia exploded violently. The eruption conjured up 100 tidal waves which struck the neighbouring islands of Sumatra and Java. Sweeping people out to sea, more than 34,000 people received a watery grave. Not just this, the hot pyroclastic surges from the eruption travelled more than 40 km across the surface of the sea and fatally burned at least 2,000 people. The explosion reduced the original island to small fragments and formed a volcanic crater.

Montagne Pelee, French West Indies

On May 8, 1902, the volcano Montagne Pelee on the Caribbean island of Martinique set off a relatively small explosion that sent pyroclastic flow and surges down its western flank. Although, it was a small eruption it became a heart-wrenching tragedy as the hot and swift-moving flow went directly into the highly populated city of Saint Pierre, then the capital of Martinique, killing nearly all 30,000 inhabitants.

Mount Saint Helens, United States

On May 18, 1980, the Cascade Range volcano of Mount Saint Helens in Washington state burst into life when an earthquake caused a landslide on the mountain's north face, taking off the top of the mountain. The eruption released about one cubic km of magma and spewed a cloud of ash and gases that reached as high as 19 kilometres.

A choking layer of ash spread over the nearby city of Portland, Oregon. Luckily, the 1980 eruption occurred in a largely unpopulated region, killing only 57 people. Mount Saint Helens had been dormant since 1857 but its sudden explosion awakened the American population to the numerous active volcanoes which exist in the United States.

Nevado Del Ruiz, Colombia

On November 13, 1985, the glacier-covered volcano Nevado del Ruiz in the Colombian Andes Mountains sent hot surges and pyroclastic flows across the glacier and snowfields, generating a great flood and mudflow.

The town of Armero which had the misfortune of being in it's path was struck in the night, burying the town and killing an estimated 23,000 people. Volcanologists had warned Colombian authorities that an eruption was imminent and Armero should be evacuated. If they had paid attention this catastrophe could have been averted.

Mount Pinatubo, The Philippines

Pinatubo had been dormant for 600 long years. It erupted on June 16, 1991. The volcano was active several times in June and July producing voluminous ash clouds and pyroclastic flows. Most severe, however, were the effects of mudflows after the main eruption. Heavy rainfall on the vegetation-free flanks of the volcano mobilized the loose volcanic ash and other material, creating deadly and destructive volcanic paths along the riverbeds and valleys. Although volcanologists had predicted the eruption, hundreds of people were killed.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      poo 

      6 years ago

      nice

    • profile image

      eeee 

      6 years ago

      awesome dude lolol

    • profile image

      robert 

      6 years ago

      hey awsome dude

    • profile image

      alondra 

      6 years ago

      thanks 4 the help

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)