Taking a Look at Volcanoes

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Volcanoes are the eruption of magma, a mixture of rock, crystal, and dissolved gas, expelled through the earth’s crust onto the surface of the earth. Volcanoes consist of the following; a deep magma chamber where magma accumulates, pipes that lead to surface vents, and the vents through which lava is emitted during a volcanic eruption. They occur at three main settings, namely; along subduction zones, a mid-oceanic spreading centres, and above mantle plumes. Environmental effects are determined by the size, explosivity, magma chemistry, and geological location. Volcanoes affect the climate through gases and particulate matter ejected into the atmosphere during an eruption. However, the sulfur content determines the impact on climate rather than the size of the explosion. The effect of volcanic gases and dust may warm or cool the earth’s surface depending on how sunlight interacts with volcanic material. Volcanoes can be divided into two types; effusive and explosive. Both types of volcanoes have the potential to eject large volumes of gases into the stratosphere to causes severe short-term climatic effects and possibly trigger long-term climatic change on a continental and global scale. Effusive volcanoes have low viscosity and low gas content with quiet non-explosive eruptions. They form shield volcanoes with freely flowing basaltic magma. In 1783, the Laki eruptions in Iceland lasted 8 months producing 14 cubic kilometers of basaltic lava. It produced an ash cloud
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