Skip to main content

View Diary: Why We Need to Monitor Volcanoes in the US (189 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  dont forget fertility (21+ / 0-)

    when wondering why did people live at the volcanoes.  Their ash brings the land around them stellar fertility for agriculture (which until recently was a major criterion for people). Especially so in many tropixal and subtropical climates where longtime weathering would wash huntrients out of most areas, the volcanoes were gifts of nature to humans. Lifegivers. What is the loss of some people on one day against the dependable fertility sustaining an agricultural people generation after generation? So that is one thing.

    Especially the more fractionated volcanoes, like the subduction zone types - like in the ring of fire, their ash is especially rich in K and P, as they have carefully concentrated these elements in their magmas. Still even a tholeiitic basalt flood plain like the Columbia River I would assume is better than the sands around it based on the high amount of basic oxides in there. Generally volcanoes are a good thing. Also they provide jobs for geologists, that is also good.  

    •  The same reason people settle in flood plains! (10+ / 0-)

      It's the topsoil.

    •  Yep, why do you think blood oranges are red (8+ / 0-)

      in the center? Mineral components from volcanic ash. And yes, it can make for a great soil amendment.

      •  hah, didnt know that (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        GreenMother, RiveroftheWest

        blood oranges are red inside from the volcanic soil? Aha. Always something new to learn :)

        In response I can tell you that being a geologist in the volcano observatory of Vesuvius is a rather haunting job (not one I have, luckily), since it involves deciding which zones houses can´t be built in due to risk of pyroclastic streams, that tends not to sit well with local mafia. They are pretty unscupulous in their methods. It´s a difficult country down there. When Vesuvius wakes up again (its larger eruptions seem to have a certain quasicyclicity) a lot of people will be in danger.

        We once had given a job to a volcanologist from the Stromboli observatory. She came to our northern country, and returned home after one week. She was too homesick to manage here. We were all a bit sad because we really had wanted her.

        but if you ever make it to this side of the pond, you should travel along there. It is one of the most beautiful places on earth, the Etna-Vesuvius arc from Sicily to Campania.

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

  • Recommended (125)
  • Community (60)
  • Elections (31)
  • Media (31)
  • Trans-Pacific Partnership (30)
  • 2016 (29)
  • Law (27)
  • Environment (27)
  • Barack Obama (24)
  • Civil Rights (24)
  • Hillary Clinton (23)
  • Culture (23)
  • Republicans (22)
  • Science (21)
  • Climate Change (21)
  • Labor (19)
  • Economy (19)
  • Jeb Bush (18)
  • Josh Duggar (18)
  • Bernie Sanders (17)
  • Click here for the mobile view of the site