Understanding Volcanoes Case Study

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Understanding Volcanoes
The Earth has a long history of volcanic activity. Currently, there are approximately 1,500 active volcanoes worldwide (USGS, 2014). Whether erupting on the Earth’s surface or deep in the ocean, volcanic activity can result in devastating natural disasters. A thorough background regarding volcanoes and their formation mechanisms, historical data, and damaging impact from previous eruptions is needed in order to understand the complicated science behind volcanoes.
Background
Formation
Volcanoes vary in shape, size, and type. Likewise, volcanoes have varied eruption styles, from beautiful fiery displays of explosive lava to pyroclastic flows of hot gases and ash. A volcano is an opening in the Earth’s surface where magma has erupted or poured through, generally resulting in hills or mountains (Abbott, 2014). This natural phenomenon has spawned a field of science known as volcanology. Volcanology is a branch of geological science that studies volcanoes, lava, and magma (RedOrbit.com, 2015). By studying volcanoes, volcanologists gain a better understanding of how volcanoes form and erupt. Generally, volcanoes form at tectonic plate
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The magnitude of pyroclastic surges and flows literally annihilated everything it touched. As a result of the eruption, approximately 13,000 to 16,000 people died, countless animals perished, houses and temples were destroyed, and all vegetation was decimated. The eruption also impacted the mountain itself. Due to the eruption, the magma chamber collapsed under the weight of Vesuvius causing the summit to sink into the magma chamber and form a caldera (Dutch, 2009). Additionally, the environment was affect by the eruption. The ash spewed from Vesuvius reached as far away as Constantinople and Greenland. The impact and magnitude of this massive eruption was felt throughout the region as well as neighboring

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