Analyse the Factors That Cause Differences in the Hazards Posed by Volcanoes Around the World.

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A hazard can be define as something which poses a level of threat the life, health, property or environment, a volcano can compromise all these things through the many hazards volcanoes presents. Such as lahars, flash flooding, landslides, pyroclastic flows, ash clouds and many others. There are factors which can influence the severity of the hazard and cause differences in them and can be classified into different categories, such as physical, economic, political and social.

One physical factor which causes differences in a volcanic hazard is the steepness of the volcano. If the volcanoes sides are of a steep gradient then the lava from the volcano would flow must faster than if the sides were a steady gradient. Mount Nyiragongo for
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Furthermore, acid magma is more likely to produce clouds of smoke and ash due to the explosive nature of the eruption it causes, than thinner, basic lava. Ash clouds, such as the one caused by the Icelandic volcano when it erupted in April 2010, which caused severe disruption to European air space, causing thousands of flights to be cancelled due to concerns over the hazards posed to air passengers travelling through the ash cloud.

A human factor that would cause differences in the hazards posed by volcanoes is settlement, which includes where people chose to live in relation to a volcano. For example, in Indonesia many people settle near Mount Merapi because of the rich and fertile soil favoured for farming. As Indonesia is a poor country many people rely on subsistence farming, therefore are willing to risk everything by settling beside a volcano. Furthermore, in the last eruption in 2010 360,000 people were displaced from their homes, meaning not only did they lose their home but also their livelihood; hundreds also lost their lives. Therefore, the hazards posed could have been minimalised if people chose to settle elsewhere.

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