Why are there volcanoes in Europe?
World volcano Profiles >European Volcanoes
Europe has volcanoes in Iceland ,The Mediterranean and The Canaries. Dramatic explosive stratovolcanoes such as Vesuvius, Ancient super explosions at Santorini, a volcano called Vulcano and Icelandic volcanoes which disrupt arir travel. Europes volcanoes are fascinating complex.
The Mediterranean is split into a number of microplates which form subduction zones,continental plate collision zones and conservative fault zones.
As Africa has pushed northwards against Europe the floor of the Mediterranean has sunk into the mantle along a crack in the earths crust along subduction zones causing new magma to rise to the surface. Main areas of volcanism are in southern Italy and Greece. Earthquake activity occur from Turkey to Spain.
The volcanoes of the Mediterranean are explosive and potentially more dangerous to people. Vesuvius ( AD79) and Santorini both erupted suddenly and violently devastating their surrounding populations. These volcanoes are the classic cone and crater volcanoes with lots of ash.
Mt. Etna shows both types of volcanism and is one of Europes most dramatic and active volcanoes. It dominates the Eastern side of Sicilly with its snow capped summit.
The volcanoes of Iceland and the Canaries are due to an upwelling of rock from the earths interior called a mantle plume. This jet of hot rock erupts at the surface by punching hole through the crust above. Black basalt lava flows, fissures and cones shape the landscape.