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Volcanic Ash, Insecurity for the People but Securing Fertile Soil for the Future

1
Department of Soil Science, Faculty of Agriculture, Andalas University, Kampus Limau Manis, Padang 25163, Indonesia
2
Department of Estate Crops, Payakumbuh, Agriculture Polytechnic Institute, Kampus Politani Tanjung Pati, 50 Kota, West Sumatra 26271, Indonesia
3
School of Life and Environmental Sciences, The University of Sydney, 1 Central Avenue, The Australian Technology Park, Eveleigh, NSW 2015, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2019, 11(11), 3072; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11113072
Received: 18 January 2019 / Revised: 9 March 2019 / Accepted: 24 May 2019 / Published: 31 May 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Selected Papers from "Soil Security and Planetary Health Conference")
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Abstract

Volcanic eruptions affect land and humans globally. When a volcano erupts, tons of volcanic ash materials are ejected to the atmosphere and deposited on land. The hazard posed by volcanic ash is not limited to the area in proximity to the volcano, but can also affect a vast area. Ashes ejected from volcano’s affect people’s daily life and disrupts agricultural activities and damages crops. However, the positive outcome of this natural event is that it secures fertile soil for the future. This paper examines volcanic ash (tephra) from a soil security view-point, mainly its capability. This paper reviews the positive aspects of volcanic ash, which has a high capability to supply nutrients to plant, and can also sequester a large amount of carbon out of the atmosphere. We report some studies around the world, which evaluated soil organic carbon (SOC) accumulation since volcanic eruptions. The mechanisms of SOC protection in volcanic ash soil include organo-metallic complexes, chemical protection, and physical protection. Two case studies of volcanic ash from Mt. Talang and Sinabung in Sumatra, Indonesia showed the rapid accumulation of SOC through lichens and vascular plants. Volcanic ash plays an important role in the global carbon cycle and ensures soil security in volcanic regions of the world in terms of boosting its capability. However, there is also a human dimension, which does not go well with volcanic ash. Volcanic ash can severely destroy agricultural areas and farmers’ livelihoods. Connectivity and codification needs to ensure farming in the area to take into account of risk and build appropriate adaptation and resilient strategy. View Full-Text
Keywords: Sinabung volcano; pyroclastic deposits; carbon sequestration; soil rejuvenation Sinabung volcano; pyroclastic deposits; carbon sequestration; soil rejuvenation
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Fiantis, D.; Ginting, F.I.; Gusnidar; Nelson, M.; Minasny, B. Volcanic Ash, Insecurity for the People but Securing Fertile Soil for the Future. Sustainability 2019, 11, 3072.

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