Question: Does the volcanic ash dissolve in water (oceans,seas) ? If not, does this mean that the marine life can be affected ?

  1. Hello!

    volcanic ash doesn’t dissolve in water, instead it slowly falls through the water until it reaches the sea floor and forms a layer. If you drill into the floor of the ocean you can bring up tubes of material and you can often see layers of volcanic ash inside!

    It would depend on how big the eruption is to affect marine life. In a small eruption, then nothing bad will happen to marine life. But in a bigger eruption, volcanic ash might take a long time to sink through the water. this will stop sunlight from getting into the water and this might cause problems for some creatures in the sea.


  2. Hi!
    I think Rhian has already given you a very good explanation. We have also talked a bit more about this in this answer:
    As I’m saying there, something quite interesting about volcanic ash is that it can sometimes “fertilise” the ocean and generate plankton blooms, because of the iron released into the seawater.
    These are short-lived but significant effects, also hard to measure because you need to be in the right place at the right time. I remember reading some news about this kind of plankton-response after the volcanic eruption in Iceland a few years ago, when scientists who were on a cruise in the North Atlantic managed to measure one of these big events. That was lucky!