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Famous Volcanoes

Updated on October 22, 2011

Nature is full of diversity, and volcanoes are a part of these diverse features of nature. Volcanoes are known for their fury when they erupt, but not all volcanoes are lava spitting volcanoes or eruptive.

In fact many volcanoes lie dormant on the Earth's surface with no volcanic activity, and some are even classified as dead volcanoes. There are various different types of volcanoes with some being highly dangerous, while many don't pose a serious threat to life.

A volcano is basically a hole or opening which runs down, all the way below the Earth's crust so that the molten rocks called lava could flow out towards the surface.

It common to have some seismic activity near volcanoes as they lie on an area called as the hot spot. Here are some of the famous volcanoes of the world:

Eyjafjallajkull Volcano
Eyjafjallajkull Volcano
Eyjafjallajkull Glacier
Eyjafjallajkull Glacier
Ash coming out of the Eyjafjallajkull Volcano in the recent eruption that created havoc in European airspace.
Ash coming out of the Eyjafjallajkull Volcano in the recent eruption that created havoc in European airspace.

Iceland's Eyjafjoll Volcano

The Eyjafjoll/Eyja fjallajökull Volcano is one of Iceland’s largest volcanoes and is categorized as a strato-volcano. It lies dormant beneath the Eyjafjoll glacier.

It is the third time that the volcano has erupted since the occupation of Iceland over the last 1200 years. According to a report, in year 1823, a fairly gentle eruption with some local flooding occurred. European air travel was severely disturbed by the massive plumes of volcanic ash sent high into the atmosphere caused by the powerful explosions.

Then eruption began on March 20th 2010, at a spot known as Fimmvörðurhals. Out of safety concerns, airports were shut and hundreds of flights canceled across Northern Europe, as the tiny particles of rock, glass and sand in the ash can damage aircraft engines, jamming them.

They can even block the jet engine which in turn overheats and subsequently shuts down. It also damages aircraft ventilation, hydraulic, electronic and air data systems along with the plane's paint, windscreens and power plants.

Eyjafjallajokull Volcano Eruption

Redoubt Volcano
Redoubt Volcano
A view of Redoubt Volcano
A view of Redoubt Volcano
Cloud formed after eruption in Redoubt Volcano on April 21, 1990.
Cloud formed after eruption in Redoubt Volcano on April 21, 1990.
Flooding caused by Redoubt Volcano's activity.
Flooding caused by Redoubt Volcano's activity.

Redoubt Volcano, Alaska

A steep-sided stratovolcano located at the northeast end of the Aleutian volcanic arc, being one of the most dangerous volcanoes in Alaska.

Recently signs show that it may increase seismicity and active summit degassing, causing a major risk to air traffic in the region around the volcano.

Eruptions in the 1960s caused flooding and lahars from melting glaciers, creating ash plumes reaching 6 km in height.

In December 1989, intense seismicity and vent-clearing explosions continued for more than five months, 23 ash-rich eruptions, pyroclastic and debris flowed that entrained glacial ice and caused flooding up to 35 km downstream.

Another eruption occurred in 1902 and explosions were heard hundreds of kilometers away. On March 22, 2009 major plinian explosions began at the volcano since then more than 19 separate explosions have been recorded.

The eruption clouds have reached more than 15 km above sea level, causing airlines to reroute their flight paths.

Different views of Mount Rainier Volcano.
Different views of Mount Rainier Volcano.

Mount Rainier Volcano, Washington

Mount Rainer is the highest peak in the Cascade Range with a height of 4,393 meters above the sea level and is a dormant volcano whose load of glacier ice exceeds that of any other mountain in the conterminous United States.

It has a large cover of snow and ice, if melted rapidly, could produce floods and mudflows, causing danger to the large population living around its lowland drainages. These areas are risky because of the mountain's great relief and the huge area and volume of ice and snow on the cone (92x106 square meters and 4.4x109 cubic meters, respectively).

Mount Rainier being one of sixteen volcanoes worldwide termed as "Decade Volcano" in a United Nations program for the better utilizing of science and emergency management techniques to reduce the severity of natural disasters.

Mount Rainier has not experienced a truly large eruption for about 1,000 years. It is known to have erupted in the 1840s, and large eruptions took place about 1,000 and 2,300 years ago, but their eruptions are vastly more destructive.

Mauna Loa Volcano
Mauna Loa Volcano
Mauna Loa Volcano summit
Mauna Loa Volcano summit

Mauna Loa Volcano, Hawaii

Mauna Loa is one of five volcanoes that make the island of Hawaii and is the most active and also planet's largest volcano. When it erupts, it can spray fountains of lava into the air.

It rises from its sea floor base over 17 kilometers and from sea level it is about 4 km high, having an area of 5,271 square km. Mauna Loa is among Earth's most active volcanoes, having erupted 39 times

The oldest Mauna Loa eruption is said to have taken place in 1780. In 1868, an eruption from Mauna Loa caused the largest earthquake in Hawaii, with magnitude 8.

The eruption in 1950 began on June 1 and continued until June 23. Seven large lava flows were towards southward and westward side producing over 376 million m³ above sea level. In 1984, eruption started extending to the upper Southwest Rift Zone, and then traveling towards the Northeast Rift Zone on The total lava flow recorded was near 220 million m³.

Novarupta Volcano
Novarupta Volcano

Novarupta Volcano, Alaska

The dome of Novarupta Volcano is about 400m in diameter and 65m high and is surrounded by a 2-km-wide, funnel-shaped structure.

On June 6, 1912, Mountain Novarupta exploded into a fiery volcano. The eruption was responsible for a series of earthquakes.

Eruption continued for several weeks depositing over 700 feet of ash in the vicinity of the dome.

Trees, vegetation and the entire plantation were destroyed badly, and air became thick with acidic fumes. When Novarupta exploded Mount Katmai also collapsed.

This resulted in 14 earthquakes of magnitude 6 to 7 hitting the region, and also countless smaller shocks.

The Volcanic Eruptions On The Island Of Hawaii


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