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Saturday, April 25, 2015

V is for Volcanic Eruption

My theme for my 2015 A to Z Challenge came from my Disaster Crimes series. Disasters are a theme in each story, so it got me thinking about all the disasters that occur from natural disasters to manmade disasters.

Today’s disaster is...

This is a fitting one for today since a volcano erupted in Chile on Wednesday and is still erupting. This is the first time it has erupted in over 42 years.

A volcano is a naturally occurring rupture in the Earth’s crust, generally found near plate tectonics, where lava, volcanic ash, and gases escape from a magma chamber below the surface. Some volcanoes are classified as extinct or dormant. Extinct volcanoes are considered unlikely to erupt again. Dormant volcanoes are quiet but may become active in the future.

Image from Wikipedia

FACT: 90% of the world’s earthquakes are located in the Ring of Fire.

Sometimes volcanoes erupt (either by exploding or releasing slow flows of lava) and cause many dangers to humans, animals, and plants. They can emit steam, high-silica lava, low-silica lava, pyroclastic flows, debris flows (lahars), and carbon dioxide.

FACT: Lava is molten rock. The levels of silica in lava determine how “sticky” and thick the lava is. When lava is underground it is called magma.

Image from Shutterstock

Rocks torn apart by a violent eruption can be shot into the air with lava. These rocks are called pyroclastic rocks. They fall back to earth as ash or bombs. (If you’ve seen the movie Volcano with Tommy Lee Jones, you’ll remember the lava bombs.)

Image from Wikipedia

Pyroclastic flows are fast-moving clouds of hot gas and rock/ash/dust. They can reach speeds up to 450 mph and the gas can reach temperatures as high as 1,830 degrees Fahrenheit. Their volume can be anywhere from a few hundred cubic meters to over a thousand kilometers. These flows destroy everything in its path, buries sites, and burns forests and buildings. The rocks inside the flow can be as big as boulders. People and animals caught inside a pyroclastic flow can die from burns or inhaling hot ash and gas.

Pyroclastic Flow
Image from whybecausescience.com

As of 2013, these are the most active volcanoes on Earth:
1. KÄ«lauea in Hawaii has been in continuous eruption since 1983.
2. Mount Etna and Stromboli, in the Mediterranean, have been in "almost continuous eruption" since before the Middle Ages.
3. Mount Yasur, in Vanuatu, has been erupting for over 800 years.

1980 Mount St Helens
Image from Wikipedia

Have you ever seen a volcano? Even a dormant one? What are your favorite volcano movies? I like Dante’s Peak and Volcano.

P: Plague
Q: Quasar Explosion
R: Rockfall
S: Solar Flare and Sinkhole
T: Tornado and Tsunami
U: Ultraviolet Radiation
V: Volcanic Eruption

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Ghost of Death just came out on Wednesday, so I'm adding a little promo for it. I hope you don't mind. :) 

Logline: Dead men may not talk, but dead girls do.

Supernatural-suspense short story of 41 pages.

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