The magma and lava from volcanoes forms igneous rocks, which over time can transform into metamorphic and sedimentary types. Pumice, opal, obsidian, tuff (a lightweight building material), gold, copper and lead are just some of the useful rocks and metals that are formed or brought to the surface by volcanoes. When volcanic ash mixes with the surrounding soil, it can make the land more fertile, even helping to grow back forests that the eruption may have destroyed! For example, the soil around Mount Vesuvius is renowned for growing good wine grapes, and other fruits and vegetables. Also, a large eruption will release lots of water vapor, which is recognized as part of the water cycle. In some areas, particularly Iceland, volcanic activity keeps the area warmer tha it would otherwise be and can serve as a source of geothermal energy.
It also helps to release pressure on the magma under the earth’s crust. Without volcanoes, there would be no land or life. When the planet was first forming, it was the violent activity of volcanoes and the like that created land. Also, volcanoes release nitrogen and hydrogen which together make up 80% of the atmosphere.
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