Consider the following:

  1. Pyroclastic debris
  2. Ash and dust
  3. Nitrogen compounds
  4. Sulphur compounds

How many of the above are products of volcanic eruptions?

(a) Only one
(b) Only two
(c) Only three
(d) All four


Correct Answer: (d) All four

  • Pyroclastic debris: These are fragments of rock ejected during explosive volcanic eruptions. They include various sizes of particles such as ashlapilliblocks, and bombs.
  • Ash and dust: Volcanic ash consists of fine particles of pulverized rock, minerals, and volcanic glass created during explosive eruptions. These particles can be carried by wind over large distances.
  • Nitrogen compounds: Volcanic lightning during eruptions can fix atmospheric nitrogen into bioavailable forms such as nitrate. This process involves the breaking of the dinitrogen bond and subsequent reactions with oxygen.
  • Sulphur compounds: Volcanic eruptions release gases such as sulfur dioxide (SO2) and hydrogen sulfide (H2S). These gases can form sulfuric acid and other sulfur compounds in the atmosphere.

Learn more

  • Pyroclastic debris:
    • Definition: Fragments of rock ejected during explosive volcanic eruptions.
    • Types: Includes ash (particles <2 mm), lapilli (2-64 mm), blocks (angular fragments >64 mm), and bombs (rounded fragments >64 mm).
    • Formation: Created by the violent expansion of gas that shreds magma into small particles.
  • Ash and dust:
    • Definition: Fine particles of pulverized rock, minerals, and volcanic glass.
    • Dispersal: Can be carried by wind over large distances, affecting areas far from the eruption site.
    • Impact: Can cause respiratory issues, damage machinery, and disrupt transportation and communication systems.
  • Nitrogen compounds:
    • Formation: Created by volcanic lightning, which breaks the dinitrogen bond in the atmosphere.
    • Types: Includes nitrate and ammonia, which are essential for biological processes.
    • Role in prebiotic chemistry: Volcanic lightning may have contributed to the synthesis of nitrogen compounds necessary for the emergence of life.
  • Sulphur compounds:
    • Types: Includes sulfur dioxide (SO2) and hydrogen sulfide (H2S).
    • Sources: Emitted from volcanic vents, fumaroles, and during eruptions.
    • Impact: Can form sulfuric acid in the atmosphere, contributing to acid rain and affecting climate.

All four options listed are indeed products of volcanic eruptions, confirming the correct answer is (d) All four.

Reflection in IAS EXPRESS

From Geography Mindmap Notes >> Vulcanicity, Earthquake and Tsunami


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