Term Paper: Volcanoes

Pages: 4 (1160 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 1+  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Geography  ·  Buy This Paper

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[. . .] Sea waves with an altitude of 30 meters (100 feet) caused devastating damage on the islands of java and Sumatra and went all the way to the shores of South America. Volcanic dust, released during the eruption of volcano covered the entire planet.

The chronics of that days say the following. The eruption started on the 20th of May. The column of ashes and smoke rose up to 11 km high from the north crater of the old Krakatau volcano. The ashes fell all the way in Sumatra island. The next day the explosions were registered every five-ten minutes. In a period of one month the top of the volcano was blown off by the massive eruption. The most terrible eruption happened two months later on August, 26. Th ehuge explosion of the volcano was heard in a range of 160 km. The resultant of the explosion was a column of smoke and ashes that rose to the high of 36 km in just 4-hour period. The next couple of days the explosions were even more powerful and louder and could be heard on Java island as well. In the city of Batavia (155 km from the volcano) the temperature was only 18 C. instead of 28, because of the volcanic smog. The resultants of the explosions were terrible tsunamis that hit the coast of Java and Sumatra, killing nearly 36-000 people.

The effects of the eruption were incredible and terrible. The explosions were heard nearly 4700 km away from the centre of volcano activity. Waves two meters high were registered nearly 8000 km away from the volcano. The masses of volcanic dust and volcanic pumice covered some locations on South African coast nearly a year after the explosion. Volcanic dust and gases circled the world in a two-week period of time and reached stratosphere. The island of Krakatau was destroyed, and only one third of the original island was remained relatively safe. According to article The Great Volcanic Explosion of Krakatoa:

It has been estimated that at least 21 cubic Km (appr. 11 cubic mile) was ejected from the eruption of Krakatoa and that at least 1 cubic mile of the finer material was blown to a height of about 17 miles (27 Km). The volcanic dust blown into the upper atmosphere was carried several times around the earth by air currents. This volcanic dust veil not only created the spectacular atmospheric effects described previously but acted also as a solar radiation filter, reducing the amount of sunlight reaching the surface of the earth. In the year following the eruption, global temperatures were lowered by as much as 1.2 degree Centigrade on the average. Weather patterns continued to be chaotic for years and there were major climatological changes which affected the entire globe.

Temperatures did not return to normal until five years later, in 1888."

The scientists explain such incredible activity by different reasons. Obviously the Pacific tectonic crust is very weak near the equator, but such kind of activity could occur as they assume only because of the shift of the earth's poles from the original rotation axis

References

Keys, D., 1999, Catastrophe: A Quest for the Origins of the Modern World, Ballentine Books, New York, 343 pp.

Zeilinga de Boer, J., and D. Sanders, 2002, Volcanoes in Human History: The Far-Reaching Effects of Major Eruptions: Princeton Univ. Press, Princeton and Oxford.

Simkin, T., and L. Siebert, 1994,… [END OF PREVIEW]

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