To what extent can preparedness and planning mitigate the effects of a volcanic hazard

2200 Words Mar 2nd, 2015 9 Pages
To what extent can preparedness and planning mitigate the effects of a volcanic hazard (40 marks)
Volcanic activity happens across the surface of the globe therefore bringing hazards to every affected area. A hazard is any source of potential damage, harm or adverse health effects. A volcanic hazard is any threat to life and infrastructure due to volcanic activity and related situations such as a landslide near the volcano. Volcanoes can be very dangerous and therefore present many hazards towards both people and land. They have the ability to kill and destroy, ruining livelihoods and destroying large land masses. The extent of the hazard can differ depending on how prepared an area is for an eruption and how much planning has gone behind
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When a volcano is close to erupting it starts to release gases. The higher the sulphur content of these gases, the closer the volcano is to erupting. Gas samples may be taken and chemical sensors used to measure sulphur levels. The techniques available for predicting and monitoring volcanic activity are becoming increasingly accurate. Volcanoes such as Mount St Helens in the USA and Mount Etna in Italy are closely monitored at all times. This is because they have been active in recent years and people who live nearby would benefit from early-warning signs of an eruption. However, as well as prediction, people need to be prepared for an eruption. The human race is still not capable of predicting exactly when and where volcanoes and earthquakes will occur. Large scale monitoring of tectonic activity does allow us to narrow down the locations and time frames however, and we monitor volcanoes and earthquakes in many ways. The most widely used method is studying the geographical area of the volcano. For volcanoes scientists can use seismic waves to show if a volcano is getting ready to erupt. Many volcanoes experience an increasing intensity in frequency and size of earthquakes as they prepare to erupt. We can monitor movement- using seismometers which produce seismographs. Volcanic seismicity has three major forms: short-period earthquake, long-period earthquake, and harmonic tremor. Short-period earthquakes are like normal fault-generated earthquakes. They are

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