- from Volcanoes
Volcanoes have split personalities. For most of their long lives, they are quiet.
When they destroy things, they make headlines and history. Yet we don’t always remember their good side. Volcanoes give us mountains to ski on, lakes to swim in, and hot springs to soak in. Also, inside the Earth, magma contains valuable elements such as gold, silver, sulfur, zinc, and copper. As magma cools, some of these elements form minerals. They harden in cracks and spaces in the rocks, where miners find them. Magma also heats underground water systems we can tap to make heat and electricity. That’s called geothermal power, and it’s clean and renewable. Volcanic areas make unique homes for animals and plants. And sometimes, layers of volcanic ash and rock preserve important clues about life from long ago.