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What are some positive products from volcanoes?

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Over the long term and geologic time, volcanic eruptions and related processes have directly and indirectly benefited mankind. Volcanic materials ultimately break down and weather to form some of the most fertile soils on Earth, cultivation of which has produced abundant food and fostered civilizations. People use volcanic products, the internal heat associated with young volcanic systems has been harnessed to produce geothermal energy, and most of the metallic minerals mined in the world, such as copper, gold, silver, lead, and zinc, are associated with magmas found deep within the roots of extinct volcanoes. -- From: Kious and Tilling, 1996, This Dynamic Earth: The Story of Plate Tectonics: USGS General Interest Publication, and Tilling, 1985, Volcanoes: USGS General Interest Publication. To view maps of volcanoes visit the USGS online store at http://store.usgs.gov/ and look under the headings Maps>Hazards and also Education Products>Earthquakes, Volcanoes, and Landslides.
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