Eruptions that could kill you…and one’s that can’t…

http://geology.com/volcanoes/types-of-volcanic-eruptions/

Types of Eruptions and which ones you are most likely to be killed by….

I figured that since we watched that wicked awesome and dramatic movie about the world’s most dangerous volcanoes, I would blog about the types of eruption featured in the movie. Also I figured I would judge how likely you would be to die from some such an eruption if you were close by. (I highly recommend you look at the pictures from the link)

Number 1: The Hawaiian Eruption- Even though it is called the Hawaiian eruption, it can happen in more places than just in Hawaii. This type of eruption describes any eruption that involves the spewing of basaltic lava high into the air. The lava can travel very far and is one of the reasons for the relatively quick expansion of the Hawaiian Islands. Like we discussed in class, these volcanoes don’t have a very good chance of killing you because of the viscosity of the lava. Because basaltic lava isn’t very thick, pressure cant really build up and cause an explosion. Your chances of dying in this kind of eruption are slim…unless you walk directly into it.

Number 2: Strombolian Eruption:  This kind of eruption occurs when massive bubbles of gas travel upward and reach the surface. When they reach the surface, they explode and spatter lava all over the place. This could only be hazardous to your health again if you are walking next to an active Strombolian eruption which erupts in regular or irregular intervals. I would imagine that a person would have to be pretty dumb for this to happen.

Number 3: Vulcanian Eruption: This type of eruption is one that involves the blowing of a plug created by very viscous lava. We know from class that this lava is felsic and is much more viscous. When this viscous magma hardens at the top of a magma chamber, immense pressure builds up and eventually blows. This causes a very large explosion and can most definitely kill you. In some cases, there are pyroclastic flows, so you don’t have to be an idiot to be killed by this type of eruption. It really is dangerous.

Number 4: Plinian Eruption:  This eruption is most definitely the most dangerous of all eruptions. This eruption occurs when gassy magma inside the volcano fragments and releases tons of energy that can be so powerful that it destroys the volcano it came out of. Such is the case with Mt. St. Helens, which lost its entire side when it erupted.  The pyroclastic flows from these eruptions can reach miles and the debris it shoots out of the top can also. This means that you are not safe from this type of eruption even if you are a relatively good distance away. This eruption can most definitely kill a person and already has several times.

Number 5: Surtseyan Eruption: This eruption generally cannot harm people unless you are in a boat floating over an active underwater volcano, which, by association, would make you very unintelligent. These occur when water reacts violently with magma underwater. This cause large plumes of ash and rock coming out of the water. These types of eruptions aren’t very likely to kill you, however.

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One Response to Eruptions that could kill you…and one’s that can’t…

  1. alexmckinzie says:

    This is interesting to read. Like Dr. Pillar said many people have this preconcieved notion that all volcanoes blow up and wipe everything out with its fast flowing lava. But as you wrote in your blog, a lot of volcanoes show no or very little hazards to human life.

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