Analyse the Factors That Causes Differences in the Hazards Posed by Volcanoes Around the World (40 Marks)

1107 Words Jan 22nd, 2015 5 Pages
Analyse the factors that causes differences in the hazards posed by volcanoes around the world (40 marks)

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
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Another physical factor is snow; if a volcano is snow capped, like Eyjafjallajokull, then the lahars and flash floods become a greater hazard. The flooding in Iceland in 2010 caused 700 people to be evacuated. Without the snow then lahars and floods may not be a problem at all.

The location of the volcano is also important. If it is situated on a constructive plate boundary then it is generally less explosive, and therefore poses different threats to volcanoes situated on a destructive plate boundary. The volcano may also be situated on a hotspot like in Hawaii, where the eruptions aren’t very explosive. Volcanos which aren’t explosive can pose other threats to lava flows though, such as dangerous gases being released. Like in Lake Nyos, Cameroon where 1700 people died.

Wind direction could also cause difference in the hazards, like during the Eyjafjallajokull eruption of 2010. If the wind was blowing in a different direction then the ash cloud wouldn’t have been distributed across the Atlantic and Europe, meaning that there would have been a lot less air travel disruption. Then the ash cloud wouldn’t have been a hazard as it wouldn’t pose a threat to anyone.

Ultimately physical factors determine which hazards are posed by the volcano and how intensive and threatening they are to human life. However they are not the sole factors that causes differences in hazards posed by volcanos.
Settlement is a huge human