Volcanoes have been a part of earth's history long before humans. Compare the history of human beings, a few million years in the making, to that of the Earth, over four billion years in the making. Volcanoes were important contributors to the early earth atmosphere by releasing gases such as nitrogen (N2), carbon dioxide (CO2), and ammonia (NH4).
|Eruption||Date||Volume in km3|
|Mt. Vesuvius, Italy||79 A.D.||3|
|Mount St. Helens,
|Long Valley, California||pre-historic||>450 & <700|
Note that volcanic eruptions that occurred before historic times were several orders of magnitude larger (more than 1000 km3 in erupted volume) than ones observed by humans.
created by Ithara Phlong,
Volcanic Studies, Montgomery college
last modified: September 18, 2000