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Volcano Facts

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How many volcanoes in the world? The highest volcano in the world?The largest volcano in the world? The deadliest volcano in the world? The largest volcanic eruptions?

Answer not here try the Volcano Frequently asked Questions

Number of volcanoes in the world

At any one time there are around 20 volcanoes erupting around the world, some have been erupting regularly for over a thousand years - Stromboli. If we take eruptions in the last 10 000 years there are probably 1500 volcanoes in the world which have erupted.75% of the worlds active volcanoes are in the "Ring of Fire" around the Pacific Ocean . Between 50 and 70 erupt each year and around 160 per decade. These figures just concern land volcanoes. Three quarters of lava erupted does so beneath the sea at constructive boundaries/ mid ocean ridges whee new oceanic crust is created.

10 most active volcanoes

Kilauea is regarded as the most active volcano at the present time as it has erupted more lava than any other volcano currently erupting. Stromboli has been continually (most days) erupting for at least the last 2000 years and Etna the last 3500 years. Basaltic volcanoes tend to continually erupt for longer periods. Kilauea (Hawaii), Mt Etna (Italy), Piton de la Fournaise (RĂ©union), Nyamuragira in The DR Congo produce the most lava and are all basaltic.

Etna ,Italy 3500 years Merapi, Indonesia 1967-
Stromboli, Italy 2000 years Dukono, Indonesia 1933-
Yasur ,Vanuatu 800 years Sakura-jima ,Japan 1955-
Ambrym ,Vanuatu 1935- Suwanose-jima, Japan 1949-
Tinakula ,Solomon Islands 1951- Santa Maria Guatemala ,1922-
Erta Ale ,Ethiopia 1967- Pacaya Guatemala 1965-
Manam, Papua New Guinea 1974- Arenal ,Costa Rica 1968-
Langila, Papua New Guinea 1960- Sangay Ecuador 1934-
Bagana, Papua New Guinea 1972- Erebus ,Antarctica 1972-
Semeru, Indonesia 1967- Piton de la Fournaise, Reunion 1920-

Most deadly volcanoes

Volcano Fatalities Year Main cause
Tambora, Indnonesia 92 000 1815 Starvation
Krakatau,Indonesia 36 417 1883 Tsunami
Mt Pelee,Martinique 29 025 1902 Pyroclastic Flow
Ruiz,Columbia 25 000 1985 Mud Flow Lahar
Unzen,Japan 14 300 1792 Volcano collapse and Tsunami
Laki,Iceland 9350 1783 Starvation
Kelut,Indnesia 5110 1919 Lahar
Galunggung,Indonesia 4011 1882 Lahar
Vesuvius,Italy 3500 1631 Lahar, lava flow
Vesuvius,Italy 3360 AD79 Pyroclastic flow and ash fall

10 largest eruptions in last 10 000 years

Volcano Coutry Date Cubic Km erupted
Tambora Indonesia  1815  100 
Taupo New Zealand  186AD  100 
Kurile Lake  Kamchatka  6640 BC  70-80 
Aniakchak Alaska 3450 years ago 50
Crater Lake USA 6850 years ago 30-40
Kikai-Akahoya Japan 6300 years ago 30-40
Kuwae Vanuatu 1452 32-39
Santorini Greece 3600 years ago 30-33
Ambrym Vanuatu 50AD 19-25
Krakatau Indnesia 1883 18
Katmai Alaska 1912 12
Pinatubo Philippines 1991 10

More on large eruptions

Largest ancient eruptions we know of

Volcano Country Years Ago Cubic Km erupted
Toba Indonesia 72 000 2800
Yellowstone USA 2.1 Ma 2450
Yellowstone USA 600 000 1000
Taupo New Zealand 26 000 800
Long Valley USA 760 000 600
Long Valley USA 760 000 580
Yellowstone USA 1.3 Ma 280
Morre on large eruptions

Highest Volcanoes by continent

Mauna Loa from the sea floor to its summit is 9000m making it the highest mountain on earth ( Everest has the highest mountai summit). Mauna Loa has erupted lava totaling 17 000 feet and is do heavy it has depressed the earths crust. Highest volcanoes by altitude into the atmosphere are below.

Volcano Height Continent Range Country
Ojos del Salado (22,615 ft) 3,688 m South America Andes Chile / Argentina
Kilimanjaro 5,882m(19,341 ft) Africa East African Rift Valley Tanzania
Elbrus 5,642 m (18,510 ft) Europe Caucasus Russia
Pico de Orizaba 5,636 m (18,491 ft) North America Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt Mexico
Damavand 5,610 m (18,406 ft) Asia Alborz Iran
Mount Giluwe 4,368 m (14,331 ft) Australia Southern Highlands Papua New Guinea
Mount Sidley 4,285 m (14,058 ft) Antarctica Executive Commitee Range Antarctica

Number of volcanoes by country

Indonesia 127Active including Krakatau and Merapi. I found 82 recorded eruptions in the last 10 000 years but there are many within that date with no date attached because of the number of volcanoes to study and accesibility.So I'm putting Indonesia at the top as the concencus is that it has more active volcanoes than anywhere else.
USA 169 Volcanoes ,including Mt St Helens and Kilauea. 93 on continent and 7 in Hawaii in last 10 000 years
Japan 92 Volcanoes ,including Unzen and Sakrijima , in the last 10 000 years
Iceland 50 Volcanoes , Including Hekla, Grimsvotn Eyjafjallajokull.
Some others of note
Phillipines 33 Volcanoes erupted in last 10 000 years,including , Mt Pinatubo.
New Zealand 23 Volcanoes erupted in last 10 000 years,including White Island, Tongariro,Tarawera,Ruapehu.
Mexico 28 Volcanoes erupted in last 10 000 years, including Paracutin, El Chichon, Popocatepetl.
Chile 62 Volcanoes erupted in the last 10 000 years,including Lascar.
Italy 15 erupted in last 10,000 years, including Vesuvius,Etna,Stromboli.
These figures are dependent on your criteria of which volcanoes to count, currently active? Include dormant? I ve gone for eruptions in the last 10 000 years. These figures give an idea but you l probably find other figures elsewhere.


10 highest volcanoes

All the worlds volcanoes over 6000m are in The Andes. At 5882m Kilmanjaro is the tallest volcano outside The Andes.

Volcano Height Country Last erupted
Ojos del Salado 6887m Chile last 10 000 years
Nacimiento de Jaguel 6858m Argentina Ancient
Cerro Negro 6800m Nicaragua Ancient
Llullaillaco 6793m Chile Ancient
Nevado de Tres Cruces 6788m Chile Ancient
Veladero 6714m Argentina Ancient
Tipas 6660m Argentina Last 10 000 years
Nevado de Incahuasi 6610m Argentina/Chile Ancient
Sajama 6542m Bolivia Ancient
Cerro el Condor 6532m Argentina Last 10 00 years