Increasing Risk to Tourists Visiting Volcanic Regions

Topics: Volcano, Volcanology, Lava Pages: 4 (1091 words) Published: March 7, 2013
Increasing Risks to Tourists Visiting Volcanic Regions
Introduction
Adventure travel is becoming more and more popular worldwide with ever increasing documentaries and books detailing exotic get-a-ways and increased accessibility; in US National Parks alone from 1962 to 2010 the number of visitors annually has increased from 32 to 281 million. Due to this unprecedented increase, the concept of geotourism was introduced; defined as “tourism that sustains or enhances the geographical character of a place, its environment, culture, aesthetics, heritage and wellbeing of its residents”. There are now 89 Geoparks spread across 27 countries (excluding USA) dedicated to preserving geologically important sites. Volcanoes

Fimmvorduhals, Iceland - Fig 1
Fimmvorduhals, Iceland - Fig 1
The majority of geological tourist attractions tend to be in areas of volcanic activity both active and extinct; such features include the volcanoes themselves, geysers and hot springs, plateaus, calderas and crater lakes. All areas of volcanic activity present a variety of hazards for tourists including poisonous gases, lava flows and tephra (see Table 1). Table 1 – Potential hazards threatening volcano tourists| Hazard| Potential Health Effects| Example|

Acid Rain| Irritates eyes, skin. Secondary effects on vegetation, property and water quality.| Masaya, Nicaragua| Tephra| Impact injuries, skin and eye irritation, respiratory irritation. Secondary effects on property, water quality and agriculture.| Mount St Helens, USA| Earthquakes| Impact injuries due to property damage/debris. May cause a tsunami.| El Chichón, Mexico| Volcanic Gases| Asphyxiation, bronchitis, vomiting, dizziness, skin, eye and respiratory irritation.| Hawaii volcanoes| Jökulhlaups| Flooding, drowning and impact injuries. Secondary effects on agriculture and property.| Skeiðaràrsandur, Iceland| Landslides/ Lahars| Burial and impact injuries. May create small tsunami. Secondary effects on...
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