Science Volcanoes and Earthquakes Pinatubo Term Paper

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Science

Volcanoes and Earthquakes

Pinatubo - Pinatubo is a stratovolcano in the Philippines. The eruption in 1991 was a Plinian eruption, which are some of the most violent eruptions on earth, and can make great changes in nature, which is why they can affect climate around the globe. The last eruption was 1991, which was followed by many secondary eruptions in 1994. Pinatubo's main impact on the environment was the dust clouds it sent up, spreading far over the ocean and affecting airliners that flew into them. The 1991 eruption also send a great amount of sulfur dioxide into the upper atmosphere, which affected the atmosphere and climate almost all the way around the earth until it cleared. It also sent out several mudflows that filled surrounding valleys.

Tambora - a stratovolcano that last erupted in 1815, and was the largest eruption known in historic time. Another author notes the impact of the eruption, "The eruption of Tambora on the island of Sumatra in 1815 left ash deposits over 20 inches thick (51 cm) up to 30 miles away (48 km) and blew pieces of pumice 6 inches wide (15 cm) over this same distance" (Morton 62). It is believed at least 92,000 people died in the eruption, while another 82,000 died from starvation and disease after the eruption. It affected temperatures worldwide, and lowered them enough that there was "no summer" the following year and there were massive crop failures.Get full Download Microsoft Word File access
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Term Paper on Science Volcanoes and Earthquakes Pinatubo - Pinatubo Assignment

Krakatoa - Also known as Krakatau, the 1883 eruption was the second largest in Indonesian history, and it killed more than 36,000 people, mostly because of tsunamis that occurred after the eruption. It is a composite, or Benedict Arnold volcano. It had a dramatic affect on the surrounding area, as another author notes, "Krakatoa blew ash 60 miles (97 km) into the air and left 1 foot of ash more than 70 miles (113 km) away" (Morton 62). In addition, it changed the climate for years. Author Morton continues, "It is estimated that Krakatoa's ash reduced solar radiation by 10% for a period of 3 years. Needless to say the summers were cool, and the winters downright frigid" (Morton 67). The entire volcano collapsed into the sea and filled up an area with pumice, which also spread thousands of miles away from the eruption.

Laki - the Laki fissures were the vent for the 1783-1784 eruption of Grimsvotn caldera in Iceland. It was the second largest basaltic fissure eruption in historic time and it created notable atmospheric cooling and effects, the ash from the fissures fell as far away as Europe. It also created the "blue haze," a haze of deadly gas that stayed low on the ground and covered Iceland for at least a year. The gas killed over 200,000 animals, created crop failures, and cooled the area all the way to Europe.

Mount Toba - Lake Toba is the result of the largest recent (two million years or less) eruption, leaving one of the largest calderas on earth (100km long by 30km wide). It is a stratovolcano. The lake lies near the Indo-Australian Plate, which is still active and interacts with other plates to cause small earthquakes around the edge of the lake from time to time. The volcano's activity is a result of the subduction of the Indian Ocean plate under the Eurasian plate. It is a resurgent central dome caldera, and it affected the global environment by spreading ash six inches thick all across the Indian subcontinent and as far away as the South China Sea. It rated an 8 on the Volcanic Explosivity Index, which means it was "mega-colossal."

2. The Mount Toba eruption created an "evolutionary" or "genetic bottleneck" because it discharged so much fine material that scientists believe it could have speeded up the last glacial period in the Ice Age, by lowering temperatures 3 to 5 degrees centigrade for at least a year, and even more in northern Canada (as much as 10 to 12 degrees centigrade.) it actually helped more ice form on the continent, and this helped reduce genetic diversity, creating the bottleneck (Scarth 199).

3. Mount St. Helens is the most well-known volcanic eruption in recent times. It erupted in 1980, and has had minor events since then. One scientist says, "In its nine hours of activity on 18 May, Mount St. Helens had released energy equal to the explosion of 27,000 Hiroshima atomic bombs-at a rate of almost one for every second of the eruption" (Scarth 93). Mount St. Helens ejected around 1 cubic km of material, compared to Mount Toba, which sent out about 2800 cubic km of material. Mount St. Helens was a Plinian eruption, like Pinatubo, and it devastated the surrounding area, killing 57 people, destroying homes, and devastating 150 square miles. Morton continues, "The eruption of Mount St. Helens in 1980 deposited more than 600,000 tons of ash on Yakima, Washington, where snowplows had to be used to remove it from the streets" (Morton 45). Mount St. Helens is certainly not as large as many of the other eruptions discussed in question 1, and it did not have as much global climate affect, but it was still a devastating volcano.

4. The Hawaiian volcanoes are subaerial volcanoes, or "hot spot" volcanoes. Much of the actual volcano is located underwater, and the activity is constant, but because the active volcanoes on Hawaii are almost always erupting, they do not build up large amounts of pressure, and so, the eruptions are mild compared to many of the stratovolcanoes, and they do not cause as much damage or loss of life. The magma also moves faster on the ground than it is being supplied from the volcano, so it dissipates rather than erupts.

5. San Francisco earthquake of 1906 - This quake is one of the most well know quakes in history, because it destroyed so much of San Francisco, and shifted the San Andreas Fault by as much as 20 feet. The magnitude is estimated at 7.8. The estimated death toll was at least 3,000, and up to 300,000 were left homeless as a result of the quake. At least 80% of the city was destroyed by the earthquake and the resulting fires that raged through the city afterward. It was the worst natural disaster in California's history.

Anchorage Alaska quake of 1964 - This quake, also called the "Good Friday Quake," had a magnitude of 9.2, making it the most powerful earthquake in the U.S. And North America, and the third most powerful ever measured by seismograph. It was caused by a rupture in the fault between the Pacific and North American plates, and it lasted almost four minutes. It created tsunamis that devastated the southern shores of Alaska and all the way to California. 131 people died in the quake and tsunamis. Two towns on the coast were entirely destroyed, and one, Portage, was never rebuilt. Two other towns were relocated after the quake.

1989 Loma Prieta earthquake - This devastating earthquake paralyzed the Bay Area for months and was the strongest since the 1906 quake on the San Andreas fault. Morton continues, "Stopping the World Series, the 1989 Loma Prieta quake registered 6.9 on the Richter scale, and thus became the strongest quake along the San Andreas fault since the 1906 San Francisco quake" (Morton 83). This quake caused 57 deaths, and there were several more that resulted from after effects of the quake, such as collapsing freeways. Hundreds of homes were destroyed, and fires occurred, as well. It also caused damage as far away as Monterey, Salinas, and Watsonville. It caused $6 billion in damage, making it the costliest quake in U.S. history.

New Madrid earthquakes of 1811-12 - These quakes happened in Missouri, and the Feb. 7, 1812 quake was… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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