Volcanoes are a natural part of our planet’s landscape.
Unlike what most people think, volcanoes aren’t all that bad because they give
a number of benefits for the environment.
According to Bates (as cited in “What are some good
things that volcanoes do? | Volcano World”, n.d.), when a volcano erupts,
ash is ejected from its opening. Once they reach the ground, these ashes make the
soil rich and fertile for farming because they contain very useful nutrients
and minerals. This is one of the reasons why some people still stubbornly come
back to their homes near volcanoes even if they have already been deeply
affected by the eruption for countless of times.
Another benefit of volcanoes is that they provide resources
for energy extraction from the heat in the Earth’s crust or what we call
geothermal resources. Unlike other types of energy, the ones we extract from
volcanoes are very clean and the resources are nearly inexhaustible which makes
it more advantageous. However, more than this, the interior of the Earth is
also beneficial in other aspects.
As we know, 70% of the Earth’s surface is covered with
water. Looking at it, it is quite impossible for our bodies of water to have condensed
from the early atmosphere given the amount of liquid, and if ever this is the
case, the process would be pretty slow. Volcanoes blow off an abundant variety
of gases when they erupt and the most common of these is water vapor. The steam
that arises when this happens is believed to be where our oceans have originated
from (Watts, 2010).
Volcanic deposits are also beneficial in a number of ways. Bates
stated in his work Geology
of the Industrial Rocks and Minerals that basalt and diabase are
used for building materials as concrete aggregate, road metal, railroad ballast, roofing
granules, and riprap while pumice, ash, and perlite are used as abrasives for
metal polishing and for woodworking. A high-density combination of basalt and
diabase is also used
in the concrete shields of nuclear reactors. On the other hand, pumice and ash
have been used as cement for major construction projects such as the dams in
California and Oklahoma (“What are some
good things that volcanoes do? | Volcano World”, n.d.).
Finally, there is no denying that although these landforms put
us in life-threatening situations at times, they still offer us a scenic view
of nature’s beauty. Mount Mayon in Legazpi City, which is renowned for its
steep slope and perfect cone shape, even generates tourism for its unique
attraction. Some people even try to hike or trek the summit by availing
packages offered by local government units in Albay.
These are only among the numerous benefits that volcanoes
give out to the environment which we mostly tend to oversee. Now the only
downside of them are, as we know, how destructive they get. Take the 1991 Pinatubo
eruption as an example.