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Creating an
Earth System I

Creating an Earth System:

Volcanoes in the Earth System

a) Draw a volcano:

Teachers were asked to draw a volcano in one minute and then to compare their drawings with volcanoes around the world.

Teacher Drawings

Mt. St Helens

Mount St. Helens on May 17, 1980, one day before the devastating eruption. The view is from Johnston's Ridge, six miles (10 kilometers) northwest of the volcano. Mount St. Helens four months after the May 18, 1980 eruption, as viewed from Johnston's Ridge. Mount St. Helens four years after the May 18, 1980 eruption, as viewed from Johnston's Ridge. Note the growth of the lava dome in the crater and the development of the drainage channels around the volcano's flanks.
Images courtesy of USGS/Cascades Volcano Observatory.

Mt. Fuji

Link to a Mt. Fuji Live! courtesy of Sunplus Company Limited


b) Volcanoes in the Earth System (video):

available for $25 (includes shipping) from the source listed at


Notes from video:

Ash Falls: Largest eruptions continue spewing for days or weeks, reaching heights as high as 30 kilometers above the volcano in less than 30 minutes. Ash can be carried thousands of kilometers downwind, stripping leaves from trees, destroying crops, collapsing houses, contaminating water sources, etc.

Ash flows: Avalanches of ash flows; extremely hot, moving as fast as several 100 k per hour, burning everything in its path.

Mudflows: Floods of water, mud, sand, and rock that rush down river valleys. Raging torrents of debris moving as fast as 50 k/hr and uprooting everything in its path.


Using the video in class:

Think about a volcanic eruption such as we saw in the video. Describe how this geospheric phenomenon influences the other spheres:

Ash within atmosphere, destruction of crops, choking of all river systems, effect on climate systems. Therefore impacts atmosphere, biosphere, and hydrosphere.

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