Thursday, March 13, 2008

Clues for Prediction.

Four Clues to Predict Volcanic Eruptions.

Today, in this century there are many active volcanos that spread worldwide.
Did you know that as the world's population grows, more and more people are living in potentially dangerous volcanic areas?
Q- Is there anything we can do to predict how volcanos will erupt?
A- Scientists can often find clues about past eruptions by studying the deposits left behind. Areas affected by lava flows, debris flows, tephra, or pyroclastic flows can be mapped, making disaster planning more effective. In addition to this type of long-range forecasting, scientists are becoming more and more skilled at spotting the warning signs of an eruption.
More ways to predict eruptions:
  • seismic disturbances
  • ground will shake sort of like an earthquake
  • sulfur dioxide levals will increase by a lot
  • the animal and birds movement will be somewhat strange
  • the volcanos slope will swell and possibly change
  • earthquakes will occur
  • the seismic activity of an recent eruption might set off a near by volcano
  • the ground will swell which will push magma to the surface

Q- Are there any warning signs of an eruption?
A- Before an eruption, magma moves into the area beneath the volcano and collects in a magma chamber, or reservoir. As it comes closer to the surface, the magma releases gases. These events can offer valuable clues about the likelihood of an eruption.

The problem with predicting volcanos is Volcanologists (people who study volcanos) are becoming very skilled at predicting an eruption. Still, It's very difficult to pinpoint exactly when an eruption will happen. Most of the time moving magma doesn't result in an eruption, but instead cools below the surface. With many volcanoes erupting only every few hundred years or maybe even a few thousand years, it's not possible to monitor every site. However, Volcanic eruptions don't occur without warning. If there are monitoring devices set up, Volcanologists should not be caught off guard by disastrous eruptions.

Preparation and Evacuation

When a volcano comes to life, a few weeks may not be enough time to prevent a tragedy. Planning is the key to saving lives. People must be educated about volcanos and their volcanic hazards. Evacuation plans must be in place. Communication between scientists, the media and the public should be practiced. Emergency measures must be thought out and agreed upon.

There are four ways to cope with volcanic hazards.

  • Volcanologists can try to keep the hazard from occurring which is a very diffacult task.
  • Try to change its path or reduce its impact on existing development.
  • Take steps to protect future development.
  • Do their best to have disaster response plans

Obviously, there is no way to stop an eruption. Although volcanologists can attempt to reduce the eruption's effects by reinforcing structures such as strengthening roofs to support the weight of tephra deposits or by building protective works such as walls to deflect lava flows away from developed areas. Such efforts can be and have been successful, but are of limited.



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Anonymous said...

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:) have a nice day