Discuss the constructive and destructive effects of volcanic eruptions with suitable examples.

Constructive effects of volcanic eruptions

  • Formation of Fertile Soils- Volcanic soils are fertile, rich in minerals and very good for agriculture. In India, such soil type is referred as Laterite soil, which is mainly concentrated in the eastern and western ghats.
  • Creation of new land- Volcanic eruptions can create new land for human habitation. For example, new island formed in the South Pacific due to Hunga Tonga volcano eruptions.
  • Provides useful materials- Volcanic eruptions provide useful igneous rocks such as granite and basalt. Both granite and basalt are highly used in construction projects.
  • Geothermal energy- The heat trapped in the heart of the volcanoes can be utilised as geothermal energy to produce electricity.
  • Volcano Tourism- Fireworks from active volcanoes draw several tourists from different parts of the world and makes the volcanic island a popular tourism spot.

Destructive effects of the volcanoes

  • Lahars- It is a type of mudflow or debris flow that contains magma, minerals and water. During volcanic eruption such mud flows in the surrounding region and has devastating impacts on villages, towns and environment.
  • Nuée ardentes– These are dense clouds of hot ash and poisonous gases that are ejected from a volcano. Such volcanic clouds travel at very high speed and to long distances. These cause serious atmospheric disturbances to aircrafts movement.
  • Environmental damage– Volcanic eruption releases poisonous atmospheric gases such as carbon monoxide and sulphur dioxide. (238 words)
Question for UPSC Mains:
Discuss the constructive and destructive effects of volcanic eruptions with suitable examples. (250 words, 15 Marks)

Published: January 25, 2018 | Modified:June 27, 2019

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