What is the destruction of volcanoes


For me, volcanic eruptions are primarily fantastic natural phenomena with a special aesthetic that I want to capture in my pictures and make accessible to other people. Volcanoes bring important raw materials to the surface of the earth and volcanic soils are among the most fertile in the world.
Despite the positive aspects of volcanism, large volcanic eruptions can have catastrophic effects in inhabited areas. The volcanic disasters can destroy large stretches of land and bring about global, climatic changes. There can be crop failures and famine.
The development of human cultures has often been shaped by volcanic disasters. Myths and legends surround lost islands that were destroyed by eruptions. Volcanoes are regarded as the entrance to the earth's interior and not infrequently as gates to the underworld. Devils and demons live there. The human imagination also settled there powerful gods who warm themselves in the hot chimneys or inhabit the craters on the summit. The classic image of hell resembles a flaming inferno inside the earth.
Numerous artists dealt with topics of volcanism and were inspired by catastrophic eruptions. In general, disasters are also seen as the engine of research and progress. The scientists' striving for safety and the associated need to predict large volcanic eruptions as precisely as possible motivated the scientists.
There are some volcanic eruptions that shaped the fate of the people and had a strong influence on culture and technical development. In prehistoric times, this was the eruption of the Toba volcano, which nearly led to the extinction of the human race 74,000 years ago.
In pre-Christian times, the destruction of Thera probably caused the fall of the Minoan civilization. In AD 79. the cities of Stabiae, Herculaneum and Pompeii were buried under a meter-high layer of pumice spewed out by the volcano Vesuvius. The eruption of the Laki volcano on Iceland almost depopulated the island in the North Atlantic in the 18th century. The 19th century was hit by two catastrophic outbreaks with global repercussions. In 1815, the Tambora eruption on Sumbawa caused the coldest year on record. In 1883, 36,417 people died in a gigantic tsunami. It was triggered by the explosion of Krakatau off Sumatra.
Ultimately, it was the 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens in Washington State that took volcanic research a big step further. In the most accurately documented eruption in history, 57 people lost their lives.
One of the strongest eruptions of the 20th century occurred in 1991. At least 875 people died in the Pinatubo eruption. The list of volcanic eruptions with catastrophic effects could go on and on. Below I would like to describe some of the most dramatic eruptions in more detail. Often times these catastrophes marked a turning point in human history, or at least provided the impetus for great changes.

The eruption of the Toba super volcano almost brought about the extinction of the human race around 74,000 years ago. The volcano on the Indonesian island of Sumatra erupted in an eruption with the VEI 8, as a result of which the global average temperatures dropped dramatically. The resulting volcanic winter is suspected to have triggered the coldest period of the Würm Ice Age, which led to a decline in plant growth.

The strongest eruption ever described by humans occurred in May 1815 on the Indonesian island of Sumbawa. The Tambora eruption had a VEI of 7 and produced around 160 cubic kilometers of tephra. The following year, 1816, became known as "the year without a summer" due to the falling temperatures. There were famines even in the Alps. A total of 91,000 people are believed to have died as a result of the eruption.

On August 27, 1883, the volcanic island of Krakatau sank into the sea. The magma chamber of the volcano between Java and Sumatra emptied in a huge eruption. As a result, the volcano collapsed and plunged into the emptied magma chamber. This implosion caused tsunamis that killed more than 36,400 people. When water penetrated the magma chamber, strong explosions and pyroclastic currents occurred that reached as far as Sumatra and killed countless people there.

The eruption of the Philippine volcano Pinatubo was one of the most powerful volcanic eruptions of the 20th century. Tens of thousands of people were evacuated in the run-up to the eruption. Nevertheless, there were 875 victims. The natural disaster was exacerbated by a tropical storm. Heavy rains created lahars that devastated large areas of land. The eruption had a VEI 6 and produced 10 cubic kilometers of Thephra as well as a lot of sulfur dioxide.

It seems to be in the nature of man that he is fascinated by the dangerous and / or the unknown. Volcanoes have been closely observed and explored by scientists for some time, but volcano trips are becoming more and more popular among non-scientists. A kind of volcanic tourism has developed in recent years as part of the developing nature tourism.