Volcanic Hazard

Topics: Volcano, Volcanology, Lava Pages: 2 (844 words) Published: May 16, 2012
To what extent can preparedness and planning mitigate the effects of volcanic hazards? Volcanic activity happens across the surface of the globe and naturally hazards occur too. It can be said that it’s easier to predict an event than prevent it, however prediction does have a positive impact on the effects of a volcanic hazard. Firstly, the extent to which preparation and planning can decrease effects can only be done by prediction. There are numerous ways in which volcanoes can be monitored but it does mean expense. The technology needed and the expertise in which to predict a volcanic hazard can only be generated by a good economy. Therefore some of the poorer countries cannot afford planning and such things. The impact that is experienced in LEDC’s is often more severe than that experienced by MEDC’s. This also presents the idea that the severity of an event can never be truly predicted. These poorer countries often experience violent eruptions due to the boundaries they are on. The 2008 eruption of Chaiten in Chile saw the volcano erupt for the first time in 9’400 years. Chile is an LEDC and this meant not a lot of monitoring was done. It was not classed as a high priority due to the long dormancy and low local population density. However the amount of ash had a big impact on the country with flights being cancelled and many thunderstorms as a result of the eruption led to two countries airports being shut. This all does give evidence that if it had more preparation, plans could have been made to mitigate the effects on the country. There are many ways used to study and monitor volcanic activity, including sampling gas and lava emissions, studying geology and studying seismic patterns. However studying patterns and other such things cannot give a definite answer, just an estimation. An example being Yellowstone National Park. It is said to be a super volcano which is due to erupt any time now. Although it erupts around every 68’000 years it cannot be...
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