Explain why in spite of the danger, people live near Volcanoes

Essay by benedictbridgeHigh School, 12th gradeB+, September 2006

download word file, 2 pages 3.0

Downloaded 8 times

The risk of living near a volcano is obviously very high, but these risks are calculated. People don't live on the side of a volcano because of the thrill, there is much more to why people do it.

The dangers of living so close to an active volcano can be catastrophic, lava flows, lahars, and pyroclastic flows can all be devastating, so why then do people do it, people like those who live on the sides of Merapi, Indonesia, and those of Pinatubo in the Philippines, there is no denying that it happens but why, why do people live near such dangerous hazards?

Firstly a volcano can produce highly fertile soils; when it erupts if a pyroclastic flow is caused then ash that settles on fields etc provides nutrients that are good for the soil, ideal for rice growing or any other crop for that matter. This increase in the quality of the soil can mean that you can grow an extra crop each year.

This is just one reason for people to live near a volcano.

In Indonesia this is particularly the case, namely at Merapi. Here the climate is tropical meaning that with the extra fertile soils they can grow three crops a year, such as fruit and rice. The volcano rarely erupts violently; there is a constant stream of lava pouring from the top, high in basalt meaning it is viscous, thus meaning that the crater never gets plugged. This is the calculated risk that people take in order to live productive farming lives on the sides of volcanoes.

The other main factor that is the cause for people living so close to volcanoes is geothermal energy. Heat from the earth's crust is being converted into heat energy. In very cold countries with a high number...