Volcanoes: Beauty & The Beast
importance of Volcanoes
The very name Volcano is derived from the Romans named for their God of Fire, Vulcan. From the very beginning, when Earth was forming, volcanoes were erupting all around the Earth. Without them, the Earth's water would still be trapped in the crust and mantle, far below the surface.
These eruptions led to current atmospheric conditions by bringing to the surface heat, water: organic compounds, and vast quantities of oxygen.
Ring of Fire and Tectonic Plates
Also called the Circum-Pacific Belt and has over 75% of active volcanoes with the horseshoe. The Ring is 25,000 miles long zone from the tip of South America to the west coast of North America, through the Bering Strait, to Japan and on to New Zealand.
The ring surrounds the tectonic plates that are sliding under the continental plates they border. In North America, the Pacific plate is slowly sliding under the North American Plate at intersections called transformer faults. A documentary, Ring of Fire has been released on DVD and is available on iTunes.
Countries With Most Volcanoes
- The United States 173
- Russia 166
- Indonesia 139
- Iceland 130
- Japan 112
- Chile 104
Most Dangerous Volcanoes in The World
Eight of the Most Dangerous Volcanoes:
Mt. Vesuvius, Italy
Mt. Pinatubo, Philippines
Mt. S. Helena, Washington
Mt. Agung, Indonesia
Mt. Fuji, Japan
Mt. Merapi, Philippines
Positive Aspects of Volcanoes
Ash and cinder are natural fertilizers and very rich in minerals, and agriculture surrounding the volcanoes thrive in those regions. They are also valuable as tourist attractions helping the comics surrounding the volcanoes.
Geothermal energy is vital, and in Iceland, this is especially true. The magma rises close to the surface, heating the groundwater to 200 degrees. Wells are then driven into the tricks, and hot water is pumped out, becoming steam. That steam is used to drive turbines creating electricity. As the steam cools, it becomes heated water and is then piped into the homes and businesses.
Iceland has 90% of the homes and businesses heated through geothermal energy. After the heating is completed, the water is pumped into greenhouses under the soil for fruits and vegetables.
Major Volcanic Eruptions since 1800
- Mt. Tambora,1815, Indonesia
- Kraatoa, 1883, Indonesia
- Novarupta 1912, Alaska
- Mt. St. Helen, 1980, Washington
- Mt. Ruiz, 1985, Columbia
- Mt. Pinatubo,1981, Philippines