Predicting Volcano Eruptions

Topics: Volcano, Lava, Earthquake Pages: 2 (376 words) Published: October 31, 2006
Predicting Volcano Eruptions

As the world's population grows, more and more people are living in potentially dangerous volcanic areas. Volcanic eruptions continue to happen and they can cause great threats to life and property. Predicting a volcano's eruption accurately will lead to more saved lives and ensure our safety.

When a volcano erupts it produces many threats. Some of these threats are lava flows, falling ash, and they may even cause other threats like mud and debris flows, or they can cause the climate to change which may lead to tsunamis or earthquakes.

With many volcanoes erupting only every few hundred or thousand years, it's not possible to monitor every site. Volcanic eruptions don't occur without warning. Scientists use many different methods to predict a volcano's eruption. They study the warning signs and use tools to help them with their predictions. A number of tools can be used to record these warning signs. Seismographs can detect small earthquakes, while tiltmeters and geodimeters can measure the subtle swelling of a volcano. Using these and other tools, it's possible to closely monitor activity at an awakening volcano. One can also monitor the changes in surface appearance to predict a volcano's eruption. A short-term, nonseasonal change in snowpack or ice volume might signal increased thermal activity that could produce catastrophic outbursts floods, debris flows, or, possibly, eruption (Brett 70).

The volcanic threat to life and limb is smaller than is usually assumed; in the past five hundred years, about a quarter of a million people have lost their lives due to volcanic activity (Shick 139). There are some precautions that the public can take to help ensure safety from volcanos. We can, however, attempt to reduce the eruption's effects by reinforcing structures or by building protective works. Protecting future development from volcanic hazards is a simpler task. Before building, we should evaluate the risk. If it seems...
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