Iceland

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Question 2- Discuss the hypothesis that volcanic eruptions, such as Eyjafjallajokull (2010), have both constructive and destructive effects.

The Eyjafjallajokull is a sub-glacial volcano which is situated in southern Iceland and it lies below an ice cap, this covers an area of approximately 100 square kilometres. The ice cap covers over the caldera of the 1666 meters high volcano. Iceland is a volcanic hotspot on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, which is the dividing line between the Eurasian and North American plates. In addition, the volcano is a composite volcano as it has many layers from eruptive material. The volcano erupted twice in 2010, once in March and again in April.

The eruption in March had a very big effect on local farming in the regions close to the volcano, when the effusive eruption started, approximately 500 farmers and their families had to be evacuated nevertheless the inhabitants of the areas that were in risk were able to return back to their farms in order to tend to their livestock. Following the explosive eruption the Icelandic flood and Veterinary Authority made an announcement that all owners of horses/cattle who usually kept their herd outside were to be aware of the ash fall. In addition to this, places that relieved a large amount of ash fall, had to keep their herds sheltered and indoors. Once an ash analysis had taken place scientists found that the ash contained high amounts of fluoride. This can be threatening to livestock, because, it may lead to fluoride poisoning. This means that, farmers were recommended to prevent their livestock from drinking contaminated water supplies. Another effect is that the ash that fell on farms and pastures made them become very wet and much more dense meaning that farming on the land in short term would be highly impossible.

The eruption also had a very big effect on air travel, this is because the ash cloud that was emitted from the volcano, could damage the engines of planes and this made...
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