When it comes to volcanoes, what is laze? | MNN


Volcanoes current loads of risks from lava flows and landslides to volcanic gases and extra. The factor about these threats is that they sound like threats — the truth is, watching lava flow is as awe-inspiring exercise.

However there’s one hazard from volcanoes that does not sound like a danger, nevertheless. Actually, it sound like the precise reverse. It is laze.

Laze is often a verb meaning to do one thing lazily or in a relaxed method. For example, you’ll be able to laze throughout a Saturday morning in mattress, not doing a lot of something. Cats are superb at lazing.

However relating to volcanoes, laze is a harmful factor.

When lava meets ocean

As sizzling lava makes contact with the ocean, it evaporates the water, and this types steam plumes. It additionally makes the water extremely sizzling, able to delivering third-degree burns, according to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).

A portmanteau of lava and haze, these steam plumes are laze. Because the ocean boils from the extreme warmth, molecules break aside, and two particularly are what make laze so harmful. Tremendous-heating the water causes the water molecules to finally break aside and turn into a fuel, or steam, so the water molecules are damaged aside into hydrogen and oxygen atoms. The chloride within the sea salt finally ends up bonding with these loosed atoms, and the result’s plumes of hydrochloric acid.

As if that weren’t unhealthy sufficient, the laze incorporates a few different disagreeable parts along with the hydrochloric acid. There are additionally “tiny volcanic glass particles” making laze a cloud of acid and jagged bits of matter. Even in the event you’re not close to the coast, winds can carry laze miles and miles inland.

lava falls into water
Laze plumes rise out of the ocean as lava enters the Pacific Ocean close to Pahoa, Hawaii. (Photograph: Mario Tama/Getty Photographs)

Laze will be lethal. The USGS stories that it killed two individuals in 2000 as seawater swept throughout contemporary lava circulate. If it does not kill you, it might nonetheless trigger some hurt, together with “lung injury, and eye and pores and skin irritation,” according to the County of Hawaii Civil Defense. Solely a wisp of laze could cause end in these irritations.

Regrettably, the hazard from laze does not finish there.

Laze can produce acid rain. With a pH of between 1.5 and three.5 — pure water has a impartial pH of seven — acid rain has the corrosive properties of battery acid. That is becoming since hydrochloric acid is used to make battery acid.

Defending your self from laze quantities to 2 issues. First, in the event you’re close to the coast the place lava is streaming into the ocean, you must instantly vacate the world. Second, within the occasion that laze plumes are being blown inland, it is best to remain indoors with the home windows closed to cut back the chance of publicity.

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