The Science Behind Volcanoes


JC Siapno, Journalist


Period: 7 By JC Siapno


Long ago, ancient people believed that volcanic eruptions were created by the angry gods who lived in them. Now thanks to science, we know that it has to do something with the Earth itself. Whenever the Earth’s tectonic plates slowly move, the crust will melt, turn to magma, and rise to the surface. Multiple civilizations have been wiped out because of volcanoes. Volcanoes might have even destroyed entire ancient civilizations before others documented them. Nowadays, people can listen to alerts and get out of the area before the volcano erupts, but back then, they didn’t. When they realized something was wrong, they might have either ran or waited for instructions. By the time they got instructions, they were already in danger. 


Volcanoes are deadly land forms. There are three types of volcanoes: the cinder cone, composite, and shield. The cinder cone volcanoes release large amounts of ash when erupted, suffocating those around it and can preserve the body. The city of Pompeii was a victim of a volcano. We can still see the expressions of the suffocated people, their bodies saved by the ash. The ash from the volcanoes can sometimes block out the sun and cause a “winter.” These winters can be deadly for wildlife who rely on plants because a “volcanic winter” blocks out the sun and plants need photosynthesis. The volcanic winters can also last a long time, preventing photosynthesis.


Shield volcanoes can create new land. The magma and lava build up, creating a ridge until the sea’s surface breaks. These newly created islands can create homes for hundreds or even thousands of people.


In conclusion, volcanoes are very destructive, and can destroy entire civilizations, killing millions in the process. However, the islands created by the volcanoes can be a refuge for people during wars for the time being, as they can be ignored by countries who don’t want to spend their resources on something so small. But during wars it is almost inevitable that the islands will be invaded.


Sources: HURRICANES, TSUNAMIS, And Other Natural Disasters by Andrew Langley


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