Explosive facts about volcanoes.
Volcanoes are fascinating and terrifying at the same time. They are portals to the interior of our planet Earth. They can be extremely deadly, even the small ones. They can also have a huge global impact. Here are some interesting facts about volcanoes.
The VEI measures the strength and size of eruptions
The Volcanic Explosivity Index (VEI) is used to measure the size and strength of an eruption. The volume of pyroclastic material spewed by a volcano is measured. Even the volcanic ash, the fragments of volcanic rock and lava is taken into consideration. Experts also factor in the height and duration of the eruption.
Lava is not the biggest concern during an eruption
When there is a volcanic eruption, the lava can be the least threatening thing as it moves very slowly. However, the same does not go for pyroclastic flows. It is a really hot current of gas and tephra that moves at a rapid pace.
WahWah springs was a prehistoric supervolcano
Almost 30 million years ago, one of the biggest eruptions occurred in the United States in an area between eastern Nevada and western Utah. It was a supervolcano whose magma stretched almost 12,000 square miles. The deposits of debris due to the eruption is about 13,000 feet deep.
There are three types of volcanic eruptions
When it comes to volcanic eruptions there are three types – magmatic, phreatic and phreatomagmatic. The decompression of gas within magma that moves it in a forward way is known as magmatic eruptions. Phreatic eruptions are likely to occur when heat from magma creates superheated steam. Phreatomagmatic eruptions occur when there is an interaction between water and magma.
Warning signs of volcanic activity
Volcanic activity has been studied for a long time. So it is natural that volcanologists know what to look for if a volcano is to erupt. Ground movements caused by magma, which is forcing its way upward through solid rock is a big indication. Some other warning signs are cracks in the ground or tiny steam explosions. A new hot spring and melting snow are other signs.
Volcanic activity is constantly tracked across the globe
Volcanologists are constantly keeping a close eye on any volcanic activity around the world. They are screen for anything which can become potentially dangerous. They especially monitor volcanoes that are potentially hazardous either because of their destructive eruptions. This is even more crucial if they are close to populated areas.