Benefits of Volcanoes
Volcanoes occur when an opening on the earth’s surface releases hot magma, gases and ash. This action is well known for its destructive properties but it also has some benefits. Read on to discover key advantages of volcanoes.
1. Source of geothermal energy
The crust of the earth is a product of tremendous amounts of magma gotten from volcanoes. Instead of erupting, the magma cooled down below the earth’s surface. This widespread and persistent volcanism has led to the creation of many natural resources all over the world. Actually, groundwater that is heated by magma is usually tapped for the production of geothermal energy. Moreover, the high internal heat linked to young volcanoes has also been harnessed for geothermal energy production.
2. Create fertile soils
Ultimately, volcanic materials weather and break down to form very fertile soils that can be used for cultivation. In fact, most good rice-growing areas of Indonesia and other parts of the world are located near active volcanoes. Volcanic ash, which is one of the byproducts of volcanic activities, blows over a large piece of land increasing soil fertility though acting like mulch and adding nutrients. These rich volcanic soils are responsible for the agricultural growth of Hawaii Islands, as shown largely by the pineapple, sugar, macadamia nut and coffee industries.
3. Mineral source
Over time, heated groundwater concentrates valuable minerals like tin, gold, silver and copper into deposits, which are then mined. Most metallic minerals that are mined all over the world like zinc, lead, silver and gold are linked to magmas located deep under extinct volcanoes. Magma can also slowly cool down and harden below the volcano rather than reaching the surface to from various crystalline rocks known as granitic or plutonic rocks.
Volcanoes can destroy agriculture and buildings with lava flows. The poisonous gases produced during volcanic activities also have a negative effect on human health.