One of the lesser-known hazards of active volcanoes stems from their emission of gases. These gases normally escape through geysers, fumaroles, and fractures in the rock. In some instances, however, volcanoes emit poisonous gases, including carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, and sulfurous gases.
These may also mix with water to produce acidic pools of hydrochloric, hydrofluoric, and sulfuric acid. Because of this, it is generally not advisable to swim in strange-colored or unusual-smelling ponds on active volcanoes.
some of the more devastating emissions of poisonous gases such as carbon dioxide from volcanoes occurred in 1984 and 1986 in Africa. In the larger of the emissions in 1986, approximately 1,700 people and thousands of cattle were killed when a huge cloud of invisible and odorless carbon dioxide bubbled out of Lakes Nyos and Monoun in volcanic craters in Cameroon, quickly suffocating the people and animals downwind from the vent lakes. More than 3.5 billion cubic feet (100 million m3) of gas emissions escaped without warning and spread out over the area in less than two hours, highlighting the dangers of living on and near active volcanoes. Lakes similar to Lakes Nyos and Manoun are found in many other active volcanic areas, including heavily populated parts of Japan, Zaire, and Indonesia.
steps have recently been taken to reduce the hazards of additional gas emissions from these lakes. in 2001 a team of scientists from Cameroon, France, and the united states installed the first of a series of degassing pipes into the depths of Lake Nyos, in an attempt to release the gases from depths of the lake gradually, before they erupt catastrophically. The first pipe extends to 672 feet (205 m) deep in the lake and causes a pillar of gas-rich water to squirt up the pipe and form a fountain on the surface, slowly releasing the gas from depth. The scientific team estimates that they need five additional pipes to keep the gas at a safe level, which will cost an additional 2 million dollars.
Was this article helpful?
Preparing for Armageddon, Natural Disasters, Nuclear Strikes, the Zombie Apocalypse, and Every Other Threat to Human Life on Earth. Most of us have thought about how we would handle various types of scenarios that could signal the end of the world. There are plenty of movies on the subject, psychological papers, and even survivalists that are part of reality TV shows. Perhaps you have had dreams about being one of the few left and what you would do in order to survive.