Volcano – UPSC Prelims

What is Volcano?
  • A volcano is an eruption in the earth’s crust through which the lava, volcanic ash and gases escape to release pressure.
Why Volcanic Eruption takes place?
  • Magma is a thick flowing substance.
  • It is formed during the melting of Earth’s crust and Mantle.
  • Volcanic eruption takes place when magma rises to the surface.
  • As magma is lighter than rock, it is able to rise through vents and fissures on the surface of the earth. After the eruption, the magma is called lava.
Types of Volcanoes: Volcanoes are classified as active, dormant, or extinct:
  • Active volcanoes have a recent history of eruptions. They are likely to erupt again.
  • Dormant volcanoes have not erupted for a very long time but may erupt at a future time.
  • Extinct volcanoes are not expected to erupt in the future.
Risk From Volcanic Eruptions:
  • The most common cause of death from a volcano is suffocation.
  • People with respiratory conditions such as asthma and other chronic lung diseases are susceptible to suffocation.
  • People living close to the volcano or in low-lying downwind areas are also at higher risk in case of an explosion.
  • As the ash may be coarse-grained and abrasive, even small particles can scratch the surface of the eyes.
  • Furthervolcanic eruptions can result in additional threats to health such as floods, mudslides, power outages, drinking water contamination and wildfires.

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