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How Volcanoes affect the Earth's Spheres

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Isabelle Cox

on 11 August 2015

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Transcript of How Volcanoes affect the Earth's Spheres

Volcano eruptions and after-effects, can greatly impact our environment. Each of the Earths spheres-the Biosphere, Atmosphere, Hydrosphere and Lithosphere are affected in different ways.
Volcanoes release ash and poisonous carbon monoxide and hydrogen sulfide into the atmosphere along with water vapor and large amounts of carbon dioxide. This can contribute to the greenhouse effect and climate change. The ash cloud effects air traffic - plane flights and the migration and feeding activity of birds.
Volcanoes can cause many changes in the hydrosphere. Water can become warmer and more acidic, which can affect sea life. The more acidic water evaporates causing acid rain.
An eruption can cause glaciers and icecaps to melt. Sulfuric acid from the eruption combines with rain in the hydrosphere. When this acid rain reaches the surface of the Earth, it pulls minerals from the soil, which deprives the soil of valuable nutrients and increases the acidity of the water and affects the animals that live in it.
Impacts on Humans
During a volcanic eruption, villages can get covered in ash, this combined with poisonous gases in the atmosphere makes it hard to breath. Larva flows can destroy infrastructure as a consequence houses in the surrounding area houses are evacuated. Flight paths in the area are disrupted due to dangerous flying conditions. However the nutrient rich soil is ideal for farming and agriculture, which is why many people choose to live beside volcanoes.
Underwater Volcanoes
Underwater volcanoes contribute 75% of the total magma output per year. Products of active underwater volcanoes eruptions are what shape the way the sea floor looks. A shell of rock hardens around the lava almost immediately, creating a type of formation called pillow lava. It has been noticed that these eruptions lead to warmer water and higher CO2 levels.
Underwater volcanic vents produce hydrogen sulfide and water in addition to other minerals, creating an ecosystem of organisms that live using sulfur instead of sunlight. Here you can find species such as tube worms, mussels and giant clams.
How Volcanoes affect the Earth's Spheres
Plants and animals populations are effected during an eruption. Species can suffer greatly due to the larva, extreme heat and ash clouds. When plants die out this effects the many animals that depend on them for food, which can cause more population decrease.
Volcanic soil is rich in nutrients, promoting plant regrowth after an eruption.
Why do volcanoes erupt?
Volcanic eruptions above lithosphere plates are driven by the ascent of magma (molten rock) from deep beneath the surface. Magma, rising from lower reaches, gathers in a reservoir, in a weak portion of the overlying rock called the magma chamber. Eventually, but not always, the magma erupts onto the surface. Along with lava, volcanoes also release gases, ash, and solid rock. Strong earthquakes accompany rising magma, and the volcanic cone may swell in appearance, just before an eruption.
Do volcanoes affect weather and climate?
In an eruption large amounts of ash and debris are released, this attracts water molecules from the atmosphere. This leads to the formation of clouds and eventually rain. Scientists are not sure exactly what causes the increase in lightning, but the most accepted theory is that the ash separates into positively and negatively charged particles as it moves through the air.
Eruptions can also lead to large amounts of volcanic fog. Volcanoes also release large amounts of sulfur dioxide, which leads to acid rain when it mixes with the water droplets in the atmosphere. This then has the effect of severely diminishing the overall air quality in the area.
Larger eruptions that send particles into the stratosphere can lead to either a sudden cooling or warming of the Earth, depending on the size of the particles and how much heat they trap in or sunlight they block out.
Volcanic eruptions usually occur at the boundaries of tectonic plates. The plates are either pulled apart or together, which then break and change the state of the layers. Magma, a mixture of molten rocks and hot dissolved gases, moves to the surface of the earth and is called lava. Burnt trees and plants caused by the flow of lava help in fertilizing the soil, increasing its nutritive content. The Earth's lithosphere is made of structures, such as rocks, plants and reefs, all of which are vulnerable to destruction during eruptions.
Isabelle, Rahni, Jasmine
Volcanoes affect the spheres:
Biosphere- Plant and animal population, soil fertility, damage human property.
Atmosphere-release ash and gases, affects climate and weather conditions.
Hydrosphere- warmer and more acidic oceans, melting ice bodies, acid rain and soil.
Lithosphere- increase soils nutritional content, destruction of rocks, plants and reefs.
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