Effects of scoria-cone eruptions upon nearby human communities

Michael H Ort, M. D. Elson, Kirk C. Anderson, Wendell A. Duffield, J. A. Hooten, D. E. Champion, Gwen Waring

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

29 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Scoria-cone eruptions are typically low in volume and explosivity compared with eruptions from stratovolcanoes, but they can affect local populations profoundly. Scoria-cone eruption effects vary dramatically due to eruption style, tephra blanket extent, climate, types of land use, the culture and complexity of the affected group, and resulting governmental action. A comparison of a historic eruption (Parícutin, México) with prehistoric eruptions (herein we primarily focus on Sunset Crater in northern Arizona, USA) elucidates the controls on and effects of these variables. Long-term effects of lava flows extend little beyond the flow edges. These flows, however, can be used for defensive purposes, providing refuges from invasion for those who know them well. In arid lands, tephra blankets serve as mulches, decreasing runoff and evaporation, increasing infiltration, and regulating soil temperature. Management and retention of these scoria mulches, which can open new areas for agriculture, become a priority for farming communities. In humid areas, though, the tephra blanket may impede plant growth and increase erosion. Cultural responses to eruptions vary, from cultural collapse, through fragmentation of society, dramatic changes, and development of new technologies, to little apparent change. Eruptions may also be viewed as retribution for poor behavior, and attempts are made to mollify angry gods.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)476-486
Number of pages11
JournalBulletin of the Geological Society of America
Volume120
Issue number3-4
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2008

Fingerprint

volcanic eruption
tephra
stratovolcano
effect
lava flow
refuge
soil temperature
crater
fragmentation
infiltration
evaporation
runoff
agriculture
erosion
land use

Keywords

  • Agriculture
  • Geoarchaeology
  • Parícutin
  • Scoria cones
  • Sunset Crater
  • Volcanic risk

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)

Cite this

Ort, M. H., Elson, M. D., Anderson, K. C., Duffield, W. A., Hooten, J. A., Champion, D. E., & Waring, G. (2008). Effects of scoria-cone eruptions upon nearby human communities. Bulletin of the Geological Society of America, 120(3-4), 476-486. https://doi.org/10.1130/B26061.1

Effects of scoria-cone eruptions upon nearby human communities. / Ort, Michael H; Elson, M. D.; Anderson, Kirk C.; Duffield, Wendell A.; Hooten, J. A.; Champion, D. E.; Waring, Gwen.

In: Bulletin of the Geological Society of America, Vol. 120, No. 3-4, 03.2008, p. 476-486.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Ort, MH, Elson, MD, Anderson, KC, Duffield, WA, Hooten, JA, Champion, DE & Waring, G 2008, 'Effects of scoria-cone eruptions upon nearby human communities', Bulletin of the Geological Society of America, vol. 120, no. 3-4, pp. 476-486. https://doi.org/10.1130/B26061.1
Ort MH, Elson MD, Anderson KC, Duffield WA, Hooten JA, Champion DE et al. Effects of scoria-cone eruptions upon nearby human communities. Bulletin of the Geological Society of America. 2008 Mar;120(3-4):476-486. https://doi.org/10.1130/B26061.1
Ort, Michael H ; Elson, M. D. ; Anderson, Kirk C. ; Duffield, Wendell A. ; Hooten, J. A. ; Champion, D. E. ; Waring, Gwen. / Effects of scoria-cone eruptions upon nearby human communities. In: Bulletin of the Geological Society of America. 2008 ; Vol. 120, No. 3-4. pp. 476-486.
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