Volcanoes and the Earth System BAESI November 17, 2007 NASA Earth Science for Teachers On-line modules Science content Teaching strategies including hands-on lessons Incorporation of NASA data, images and other and materials Earth System Science Earth is a dynamic body with many separate, but highly interacting parts or spheres. Earth system science studies Earth as a system composed of numerous subsystems. Earth’s Interacting Spheres Cosmosphere Source : Dr. Rick Behl CSU Long Beach Review Types of volcanoes Volcanoes and plate boundaries Igneous processes Volcanic Intrusive Controls on eruptive behavior Products of volcanism Volcanoes and the Earth System Volcanoes- geosphere Volcanoes-atmosphere Climate change Natural pollution Volcanoes-biosphere Creation of new land Origin of life at hydrothermal vents? Fertile soils Impact of eruptions Extinction Volcanoes-hydrosphere Hydrothermal activity Volcanoes and the Earth System Volcanic emissions N2 remains N2 CO2 photosynthesis O2 H2O condensation oceans 99% of atmosphere Volcanoes produced the atmosphere and the oceans Alan Robock, Rutgers Volcanoes: Pros and Cons What are some benefits? What are some hazards? Volcanoes: Pros and Cons What are some benefits? Soils Geothermal energy Scenery What are some hazards? Volcanoes and climate change Ben Franklin – Laki Iceland: Laki erupted in 1783 Eastern U.S: lowest-ever winter average temperature in 1783-84, Europe also experienced severe winter. Benjamin Franklin: cold conditions resulted from the blocking out of sunlight by dust and gases created by the eruption in 1783. Source: How Volcanoes Work: http://www.geology.sdsu.edu/how_volcanoes_work/ Volcanoes and climate change Eruptions emit dust particles and gases May cause warming or cooling, depending on how solar radiation interacts with the material Ash in lower atmosphere (troposphere) are quickly washed out of air Dust that reaches the upper atmosphere (stratosphere) can remain suspended and may cause global cooling for months or years after the eruption Volcanoes that erupt large quantities of sulfur compounds have the greatest effect Source Exploring the Environment Volcanoes Module: http://www.cotf.edu/ete/modules/ SO2 H2SO4 sulfuric acid (aerosols) http://vulcan.wr.usgs.gov/Projects/Emissions/vgas_fsheet.pdf Santorini, 1628 B.C. Responsible for the legends of: Atlantis (Minoans on Crete) Biblical plagues Parting of the Red Sea Alan Robock, Rutgers University Tambora in 1815, together with an eruption from an unknown volcano in 1809, produced the “Year Without a Summer” (1816) Global Surface Temperature Reconstruction 0.3 Anomaly (°C) 0.2 0.1 0 -0.1 -0.2 -0.3 Year Mann et al. (2000) Alan Robock, Rutgers University 1980 1960 1940 1920 1900 1880 1860 1840 1820 1800 1780 1760 1740 1720 1700 -0.4 Tambora, 1815, produced the “Year Without a Summer” (1816) Mary Shelley George Gordon, Lord Byron Summer of 1816: Percy Bysshe Shelley, his wife Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, and Lord Byron went to Lake Genevafor their summer holiday Alan Robock, Rutgers University Tambora, 1815, produced the “Year Without a Summer” (1816) “Darkness” by Byron I had a dream, which was not all a dream. The bright sun was extinguish'd, and the stars Did wander darkling in the eternal space, Rayless, and pathless, and the icy earth Swung blind and blackening in the moonless air; Morn came and went—and came, and brought no day, And men forgot their passions in the dread Of this their desolation; and all hearts Were chill'd into a selfish prayer for light: And they did live by watchfires—and the thrones, The palaces of crowned kings—the huts, The habitations of all things which dwell, Were burnt for beacons; cities were consumed, And men were gather'd round their blazing homes To look once more into each other's face; . . . Alan Robock, Rutgers University Krakatau, 1883 The Loudest Explosion Ever Heard Alan Robock, Rutgers University Krakatau, 1883 Watercolor by William Ascroft Figure from Symons (1888) Alan Robock, Rutgers University “The Scream” Edvard Munch Painted in 1893 based on Munch’s memory of the brilliant sunsets following the 1883 Krakatau eruption. Alan Robock, Rutgers University Volcanoes and Mass Extinction Flood basalts (“traps”): huge outpourings of lava Environmental effects: climatic cooling from sulfuric acid aerosols greenhouse warming from CO2 and SO2 gases acid rain. http://www.geolsoc.org.uk/gsl/education/flood_basalts_1;jsessionid=9F8C28EDDD70A08C582D5C2AB0F50FEA http://faculty.plattsburgh.edu/thomas.wolosz/floodextinct.jpg What killed the dinosaurs? Asteroid? Volcanism (Deccan traps – India) Both asteroid impact and volcanism? Supervolcanoes “Supervolcano” : An eruption of more than 1,000 cubic kilometers (240 cubic miles) of magma. Most recent: 74,000 years ago at the Toba Caldera in Sumatra, Indonesia.