Why do people live near volcanoes?

At first glance, human habitation near a volcanic environment may seem strange. In the end, there is always the possibility of an eruption (albeit the smallest), which endangers the entire environment. Nevertheless, throughout the history of the world, a person has taken a conscious risk and has come in handy for life on the slopes of even active volcanoes.

People choose to live near volcanoes because they think the benefits outweigh the drawbacks. Most volcanoes are perfectly safe as they have not erupted for a very long time. Those that “break down” from time to time are perceived by the locals as predictable and (seemingly) controlled.

Today, about 500 million people live in volcanic areas. Moreover, there are large cities located near active volcanoes. – a volcanic mountain located less than 50 miles from Mexico City (Mexico).

Minerals. Magma rising from the depths of the earth contains a number of minerals. After the lava cools, minerals, due to the movement of hot water and gases, precipitate over a wide area. This means that minerals such as tin, silver, gold, copper and even diamonds can be found in volcanic rocks. Most metallic minerals around the world, especially copper, gold, silver, lead and zinc, are associated with rocks located deep below the extinct volcano. Thus, the areas become ideal for large scale commercial mining as well as local scale. Hot gases emanating from volcanic vents also saturate the earth with minerals, especially sulfur. Locals often collect it and sell it.

geothermal energy. This energy is thermal energy from the Earth. The heat from underground steam is used to drive turbines and generate electricity, as well as to heat water supplies, which are then used to provide heating and hot water. When steam does not occur naturally, several deep holes are drilled in the hot stones. Cold water is poured into one hole, as a result of which hot steam comes out of the other. Such steam is not used directly because it contains many dissolved minerals that can precipitate and clog pipes, corrode metal components and contaminate the water supply. Iceland makes extensive use of geothermal energy: two-thirds of the country’s electricity comes from turbines driven by steam. New Zealand and, to a lesser extent, Japan are efficient in using geothermal energy.

Fertile soils. As mentioned above: volcanic rocks are rich in minerals. However, fresh rock minerals are not available to plants. It takes thousands of years for them to weather and break down and, as a result, form rich soil. Such soil turns into one of the most fertile in the world. The African Rift Valley, Mount Elgon in Uganda and the slopes of Vesuvius in Italy have very productive soils thanks to volcanic rock and ash. The area of ​​Naples has the richest land in minerals thanks to two major eruptions 35000 and 12000 years ago. Both eruptions formed deposits of ash and clastic rocks, which turned into fertile soils. Today this region is actively cultivated and grows grapes, vegetables, orange and lemon trees, herbs, flowers. The Naples region is also a major supplier of tomatoes.

Tourism. Volcanoes attract millions of tourists every year for various reasons. As an example of a unique wilderness, few things are more impressive than a volcano spewing red hot ash, as well as lava that reaches several thousand feet in height. Around the volcano there may be warm bathing lakes, hot springs, bubbling mud pools. Geysers have always been popular tourist attractions, such as Old Faithful in Yellowstone National Park, USA. positions itself as a land of fire and ice, which attracts tourists with an interesting combination of volcanoes and glaciers, often located in one place. Tourism creates jobs in shops, restaurants, hotels, national parks and tourist centers. The local economy profits from this throughout the year. makes every effort to increase the tourist attractiveness of his country in the region of Mount Elgon. The area is interesting for its landscape, huge waterfall, wildlife, mountain climbing, hiking expeditions and, of course, an extinct volcano.

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