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USGS CMG InfoBank: Benefits of Volcanoes

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Comment: 25:42 - 26:30 (00:48)
Source: Annenberg/CPB Resources - Earth Revealed - 13. Volcanism
Keywords: "James Sadd", volcano, "geologic hazard", soil, plant, agriculture, "hot spring", geothermal, energy, Iceland

Our transcription: Many people think of volcanoes only as a geologic hazard that destroys lives and buildings, but there are beneficial aspects to volcanoes as well.
Volcanic rocks decompose very rapidly and form soils that are rich in the nutrients used by plants; in fact, soils derived from volcanic rocks are among the most fertile in the world.
Ironically, it's this connection with agriculture that induces about 10 percent of the world's population to live in the shadow of active volcanoes.
Hot springs, like this one, are very common in volcanic areas.
In many parts of the world, this volcanic heat is collected and used to generate electricity or directly heat buildings.
The capital of Iceland, a city of over 100,000 people, is heated almost exclusively using geothermal energy.

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