The RING OF FIRE is a major area in the basin of the Pacific Ocean
where a large number of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions occur. In a
40,000 km (25,000 mi) horseshoe shape, it is associated with a nearly
continuous series of oceanic trenches , volcanic arcs , and volcanic
belts and/or plate movements. It has 452 volcanoes (more than 75% of
the world's active and dormant volcanoes ). The
Ring of Fire
Ring of Fire is
sometimes called the CIRCUM-PACIFIC BELT.
About 90% of the world's earthquakes and 81% of the world's largest
earthquakes occur along the Ring of Fire. The next most seismically
active region (5–6% of earthquakes and 17% of the world's largest
earthquakes) is the
Alpide belt , which extends from
Java to the
Atlantic Ocean via the
Himalayas and southern Europe.
All but three of the world's 25 largest volcanic eruptions of the
last 11,700 years occurred at volcanoes in the Ring of Fire.
Ring of Fire
Ring of Fire is a direct result of plate tectonics : the movement
and collisions of lithospheric plates. The eastern section of the
ring is the result of the
Nazca Plate and the
Cocos Plate being
subducted beneath the westward-moving
South American Plate . The Cocos
Plate is being subducted beneath the
Caribbean Plate , in Central
America . A portion of the
Pacific Plate and the small Juan de Fuca
Plate are being subducted beneath the
North American Plate . Along the
northern portion, the northwestward-moving Pacific plate is being
subducted beneath the
Aleutian Islands arc. Farther west, the Pacific
plate is being subducted along the
Kamchatka Peninsula arcs on south
Japan . The southern portion is more complex, with a number of
smaller tectonic plates in collision with the Pacific plate from the
Mariana Islands , the
Philippines , Bougainville ,
Tonga , and New
Zealand ; this portion excludes
Australia , since it lies in the
center of its tectonic plate.
Indonesia lies between the Ring of Fire
along the northeastern islands adjacent to and including New Guinea
Alpide belt along the south and west from Sumatra, Java, Bali
Flores , and
Timor . The famous and very active San Andreas Fault
California is a transform fault which offsets a portion of the
East Pacific Rise under southwestern
United States and Mexico. The
motion of the fault generates numerous small earthquakes, at multiple
times a day, most of which are too small to be felt. The active
Queen Charlotte Fault on the west coast of the
Haida Gwaii , British
Columbia , has generated three large earthquakes during the 20th
century: a magnitude 7 event in 1929; a magnitude 8.1 in 1949
(Canada's largest recorded earthquake); and a magnitude 7.4 in 1970.
* 3 North
* 6 The
* 10 Land areas
* 11 See also
* 12 References
* 13 External links
For more details on this topic, see
Andean Volcanic Belt .
List of volcanoes in Bolivia
Bolivia hosts numerous active and extinct volcanoes across its
territory. The active volcanoes are located in western
they make up the Cordillera Occidental , the western limit of the
Altiplano plateau. Many of the active volcanoes are international
mountains shared with
Chile . All
Cenozoic volcanoes of
part of the
Central Volcanic Zone (CVZ) of the Andean Volcanic Belt
that results due to processes involved in the subduction of the Nazca
Plate under the
South American Plate . The
Central Volcanic Zone is a
Cenozoic volcanic province. Apart from Andean volcanoes,
the geology of
Bolivia hosts the remnants of ancient volcanoes around
Precambrian Guaporé Shield in the eastern part of the country.
Llaima 's 2008 eruption Main article: Volcanism in
The volcanoes in
Chile are monitored by the National Geology and
Mining Service (SERNAGEOMIN)
Earthquake activity in
Chile is related to subduction of the Nazca
Plate to the east.
Chile notably holds the record for the largest
earthquake ever recorded, the
1960 Valdivia earthquake . Villarrica ,
one of Chile's most active volcanoes, rises above
Villarrica Lake and
the town of Villarrica . It is the westernmost of three large
stratovolcanoes that trend perpendicular to the Andean chain. A
6-km-wide caldera formed during the late
Pleistocene , more than 0.9
million years ago.
A 2-km-wide postglacial caldera is located at the base of the
presently active, dominantly basaltic-to-andesitic cone at the
northwest margin of the
Pleistocene caldera. About 25 scoria cones dot
Villarica's flanks. Plinian eruptions and pyroclastic flows have been
produced during the Holocene from this dominantly basaltic volcano,
but historical eruptions have consisted of largely mild-to-moderate
explosive activity with occasional lava effusion. Lahars from the
glacier-covered volcanoes have damaged towns on its flanks.
Volcano is one of the largest and most active volcanoes in
Chile. It is situated 82 km northeast of Temuco and 663 km southeast
of Santiago , within the borders of
Conguillío National Park .
Llaima’s activity has been documented since the 17th century, and
consists of several separate episodes of moderate explosive eruptions
with occasional lava flows. The last major eruption occurred in 1994.
Lascar erupting in 2006
Chile has experienced numerous volcanic eruptions from 60 volcanoes,
Volcano and the Chaitén
Volcano . More recently, a
magnitude-8.8 earthquake struck central
Chile on February 27, 2010 ,
the Puyehue-Cordón Caulle volcano erupted in 2011 , and a M8.2
earthquake struck northern
Chile on April 1, 2014 . The main shock was
preceded by a number of moderate to large shocks and was followed by a
large number of moderate to very large aftershocks, including a
magnitude-7.6 event on 2 April.
Lascar is a stratovolcano, is the most active volcano of the northern
Chilean Andes. The largest eruption of Lascar took place about 26,500
years ago, and following the eruption of the Tumbres scoria flow about
9,000 years ago, activity shifted back to the eastern edifice, where
three overlapping craters were formed. Frequent small-to-moderate
explosive eruptions have been recorded from Lascar in historical time
since the mid-19th century, along with periodic larger eruptions that
produced ash and tephra fall up to hundreds of kilometers away from
the volcano. The largest eruption of Lascar in recent history took
place in 1993, producing pyroclastic flows as far as 8.5 km (5 mi)
northwest of the summit and ash fall in
Buenos Aires , Argentina,
more than 1,600 km (994 mi) to the southeast. The latest series of
eruptions began on 18 April 2006 and was continuing as of 2011.
Chiliques is a stratovolcano located in the
Antofagasta Region of
Chile, immediately north of
Cerro Miscanti .
Laguna Lejía lies to the
north of the volcano and has been dormant for at least 10,000 years,
but is now showing signs of life. A January 6, 2002, nighttime thermal
infrared image from ASTER revealed a hot spot in the summit crater, as
well as several others along the upper flanks of the volcano’s
edifice, indicating new volcanic activity. Examination of an earlier
nighttime thermal infrared image from May 24, 2000, showed no such hot
Calbuco is a stratovolcano in southern Chile, located southeast of
Llanquihue Lake and northwest of
Chapo Lake , in
Los Lagos Region .
The volcano and the surrounding area are protected within Llanquihue
National Reserve . It is a very explosive andesite volcano that
underwent edifice collapse in the late
Pleistocene , producing a
volcanic debris avalanche that reached the lake. At least nine
eruptions occurred since 1837, with the latest one in 1972. One of the
largest historical eruptions in southern
Chile took place there in
1893–1894. Violent eruptions ejected 30-cm bombs to distances of 8
km from the crater, accompanied by voluminous hot lahars. Strong
explosions occurred in April 1917, and a lava dome formed in the
crater accompanied by hot lahars. Another short explosive eruption in
January 1929 also included an apparent pyroclastic flow and a lava
flow. The last major eruption of Calbuco, in 1961, sent ash columns
12–15 km high and produced plumes that dispersed mainly to the
southeast and two lava flows were also emitted. A minor, four-hour
eruption happened on August 26, 1972. Strong fumarolic emission from
the main crater was observed on August 12, 1996.
Lonquimay is a stratovolocano of late-
Pleistocene to dominantly
Holocene age, with the shape of a truncated cone. The cone is largely
andesitic, though basaltic and dacitic rocks are present. It is
La Araucanía Region of
Chile , immediately southeast of
Tolhuaca volcano. Sierra Nevada and
Llaima are their neighbors to the
south. The snow-capped volcano lies within the protected area
Malalcahuello-Nalcas . The volcano last erupted in 1988, ending in
1990. The VEI was 3. The eruption was from a flank vent and involved
lava flows and explosive eruptions. Some fatalities occurred.
Volcano is a stratovolocano located in the
Bío Bío Region of
Sierra Velluda and on the shore of
Laguna del Laja , with
its last eruption in 1869.
Villarrica is one of Chile's most active volcanoes, rising above the
lake and town of the same name. The volcano is also known as
Rucapillán, a Mapuche word meaning "House of the
Pillán ". It is the
westernmost of three large stratovolcanoes that trend perpendicular to
Andes along the Gastre Fault . Villarrica, along with
Quetrupillán and the Chilean portion of
Lanín , are protected within
Villarrica National Park . Ascents of the volcano are popular with
several guided ascents reaching the top during summer.
Villarrica, with its lava of basaltic-andesitic composition, is one
of only five volcanoes worldwide known to have an active lava lake
within its crater. The volcano usually generates strombolian eruptions
, with ejection of incandescent pyroclasts and lava flows. Melting of
snow and glacier ice , as well as rainfall, often causes massive
lahars, such as during the eruptions of 1964 and 1971.
List of volcanoes in Ecuador
Tungurahua spews hot
lava and ash at night (1999).
Cotopaxi is a stratovolcano in the Andes, located about 50 km (31 mi)
South America . It is the second-highest
summit in the country, reaching a height of 5,897 m (19,347 ft). Some
consider it the world's highest active volcano, while others give
this status to the considerably higher
Llullaillaco , which most
recently erupted in 1877 and is one of Ecuador's most active
volcanoes. Since 1738,
Cotopaxi has erupted more than 50 times,
resulting in the creation of numerous valleys formed by mudflows
around the volcano.
In October 1999, Pichincha
Volcano erupted in
Quito and covered the
city with several inches of ash . Prior to that, the last major
eruptions were in 1553 and in 1660, when about 30 cm of ash fell on
At 5,230 m,
Volcano ) is an active stratovolcano in central
Ecuador, and is one of the highest active volcanoes in the world and
one of Ecuador's most active ones, erupting three times in recorded
history. It exhibits mostly strombolian activity; the most recent
eruption, which started in 1934, is still going on. Geologically,
Sangay marks the southern bound of the
Northern Volcanic Zone , and
its position straddling two major pieces of crust accounts for its
high level of activity. Sangay's roughly 500,000-year history is one
of instability; two previous versions of the mountain were destroyed
in massive flank collapses, evidence of which still litters its
Sangay is one of two active volcanoes located
within the namesake
Sangay National Park , the other being Tungurahua
to the north. As such, it has been listed as a
UNESCO World Heritage
Site since 1983.
Reventador is an active stratovolcano which lies in the eastern Andes
of Ecuador. Since 1541, it has erupted over 25 times, with its most
recent eruption in 2009, but the largest historical eruption occurred
in 2002. During that eruption, the plume from the volcano reached a
height of 17 km, and pyroclastic flows went up to 7 km from the cone.
On March 30, 2007, the mountain spewed ash again. The ash reached a
height of about two miles (3 km, 11,000 ft).
Cotopaxi , outside of
Quito , started activity in April 2015. A large
increase in earthquakes (including harmonic tremors) and SO2 emissions
began. IGPEN reported slight deformation of the edifice, suggesting an
intrusion of magma under the volcano. As of 25 July, the unrest
continued, and the most recent major eruption was an ash and steam
eruption that occurred on August 14 and 15, 2015.
List of volcanoes in Peru
List of volcanoes in Peru
Peru are monitored by the Peruvian Geophysical
Sabancaya is an active 5,976-metre (19,606 ft) stratovolcano in the
Andes of southern
Peru , about 100 kilometres (62 mi) northwest of
Arequipa . It is the most active volcano in Peru, with an ongoing
eruption that started in August 2014.
Ubinas is another active volcano 5,672-metre (18,609 ft) in southern
Peru with an ongoing eruption. Until 2006, this stratovolcano had
not erupted for about 40 years. On April 23, 2006,
Peru declared a
state of emergency in towns near the volcano. On April 28, 2014,
despite a recent decline in earthquakes,
Volcano erupted an ash
plume on April 28, 2014.
List of volcanoes in Costa Rica
The Volcanological and Seismological Observatory of Costa Rica
(OVSICORI) at the
National University of Costa Rica , in Spanish
Observatorio Vulcanológico y Sismológico de
Costa Rica (OVSICORI)
have a dedicated team in charge of researching and monitoring the
volcanoes, earthquakes, and other tectonic processes in the Central
America Volcanic Arc . In 1984, the OVSICORI-A initiated the operation
of a seismographic network designed to monitor seismic and volcanic
activity throughout the national territory. Currently, the
seismographic network has an analog and a digital registration system.
The latter enables online analysis of seismic signals, allowing to
expedite the analysis of signals and the study using modern
computerized methods. Poás
Volcano is an active 2,708-metre (8,885
ft) stratovolcano located in central
Costa Rica ; it has erupted 39
times since 1828. On February 25, 2014, a webcam from the OVSICORI
captured the moment a dark cloud exploded about 1,000 feet (300 m) in
the air from a massive crater of the Poás Volcano.
List of volcanoes in Guatemala
In 1902, the Santa Maria
Volcano erupted violently in
with the largest explosions occurring over two days, ejecting an
estimated 5.5 km3 (1.3 mi3) of magma. The eruption was one of the
largest of the 20th century, only slightly less in magnitude to that
Mount Pinatubo in 1991. The eruption had a volcanic explosivity
index of 6. Today Santiaguito is one of the world's most active
volcanoes. Santiaguito Volcano, 2003 eruption in
NORTH AMERICAN CORDILLERA
List of volcanoes in Mexico The Trans-Mexican
Mexico are related to subduction of the Cocos and Rivera
plates to the east, which has produced large, explosive eruptions.
Most active volcanoes in
Mexico occur in the Trans-Mexican Volcanic
Belt , which extends 900 kilometres (559 mi) from west to east across
central-southern Mexico. A few other active volcanoes in northern
Mexico are related to extensional tectonics of the Basin and Range
Province , which splits the Baja
California peninsula from the
Popocatépetl , lying in the eastern half of the
Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt, is the second-highest peak in Mexico
Pico de Orizaba . It is one of the most active volcanoes in
Mexico, having had more than 20 major eruptions since the arrival of
the Spanish in 1519. The 1982 eruption of
El Chichón , which killed
about 2,000 people who lived near the volcano, created a 1-km-wide
caldera that filled with an acidic crater lake. Prior to 2000, this
relatively unknown volcano was heavily forested and of no greater
height than adjacent nonvolcanic peaks.
List of volcanoes in the United States Area of
Cascadia subduction zone
Cascadia subduction zone , including the
Cascade Volcanic Arc
Cascade Volcanic Arc (red
United States Geological Survey
United States Geological Survey and the National Earthquake
Information Center (NEIC) are located on the campus of the Colorado
School of Mines in
Golden, Colorado . Both monitor volcanos in the
United States; in the western
United States lies the Cascade Volcanic
Arc . It includes nearly 20 major volcanoes, among a total of over
4,000 separate volcanic vents including numerous stratovolcanoes,
shield volcanoes, lava domes, and cinder cones, along with a few
isolated examples of rarer volcanic forms such as tuyas . Volcanism in
the arc began about 37 million years ago, but most of the present-day
Cascade volcanoes are less than 2,000,000 years old, and the highest
peaks are less than 100,000 years old. The arc formed by the
subduction of the Gorda and Juan de Fuca plates at the Cascadia
subduction zone . This is a 680-mi-long fault , running 50 mi (80 km)
off the coast of the
Pacific Northwest from northern
Vancouver Island , British Columbia. The plates move at a relative
rate over 0.4 in (10 mm) per year at a somewhat oblique angle to the
Because of the very large fault area, the Cascadia subduction zone
can produce very large earthquakes, magnitude 9.0 or greater, if
rupture occurred over its whole area. When the "locked" zone stores
energy for an earthquake, the "transition" zone, although somewhat
plastic, can rupture. Thermal and deformation studies indicate that
the locked zone is fully locked for 60 km (about 40 mi) down-dip from
the deformation front. Further down-dip, a transition from fully
locked to aseismic sliding occurs. American
Cascade Range volcano
eruptions in the last 4000 years
Unlike most subduction zones worldwide, no oceanic trench is present
along the continental margin in Cascadia . Instead, terranes and the
accretionary wedge have been lifted up to form a series of coast
ranges and exotic mountains. A high rate of sedimentation from the
outflow of the three major rivers (
Fraser River ,
Columbia River , and
Klamath River ) which cross the
Cascade Range contributes to further
obscuring the presence of a trench. However, in common with most other
subduction zones, the outer margin is slowly being compressed, similar
to a giant spring . When the stored energy is suddenly released by
slippage across the fault at irregular intervals, the Cascadia
subduction zone can create very large earthquakes such as the
magnitude-9 Cascadia earthquake of 1700 . Geological evidence
indicates that great earthquakes may have occurred at least seven
times in the last 3,500 years, suggesting a return time of 400 to 600
years. Also, evidence of accompanying tsunamis with every earthquake
is seen, as the prime reason these earthquakes are known is through
"scars" the tsunami left on the coast, and through Japanese records
(tsunami waves can travel across the Pacific).
1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens was the most significant to
occur in the contiguous 48 U.S. states in recorded history (VEI = 5,
0.3 cu mi, 1.2 km3 of material erupted), exceeding the destructive
power and volume of material released by the 1915 eruption of
Lassen Peak . The eruption was preceded by a two-month
series of earthquakes and steam-venting episodes caused by an
injection of magma at shallow depth below the mountain that created a
huge bulge and a fracture system on
Mount St. Helens
Mount St. Helens ' north slope. An
earthquake at 8:32 am on May 18, 1980, caused the entire weakened
north face to slide away, suddenly exposing the partly molten, gas-
and steam-rich rock in the volcano to lower pressure. The rock
responded by exploding into a very hot mix of pulverized lava and
older rock that sped toward Spirit Lake so fast that it quickly passed
the avalanching north face.
Alaska is known for its seismic and volcanic activity, holding the
record for the second-largest earthquake in the world, the Good Friday
earthquake , and having more than 50 volcanoes which have erupted
since about 1760. Volcanoes can be found not only in the mainland,
but also in the
Aleutian Islands .
The most recent activity in the American portion of the Ring of Fire
occurred in early 2009 when
Mount Redoubt in
Alaska became active and
finally erupted late in the evening of March 22. The eruption ended in
Map of young volcanoes in
Western Canada See also: Volcanism
The Public Safety Geo-science Program at the Natural Resources Canada
undertakes research to support risk reduction from the effects of
space weather, earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanoes, and landslides.
British Columbia and
Yukon are home to a vast region of volcanoes and
volcanic activity in the Pacific Ring of Fire. Several mountains that
many British Columbians look at every day are dormant volcanoes . Most
of them erupted during the
Pleistocene and Holocene. Although none of
Canada's volcanoes are currently erupting, several volcanoes, volcanic
fields, and volcanic centers are considered potentially active. Hot
springs are at some volcanoes, while 10 volcanoes in British Columbia
appear related to seismic activity since 1975, including: the
Mount Meager , Wells Gray-Clearwater volcanic
Mount Garibaldi ,
Mount Cayley , Castle Rock , The
Mount Edziza ,
Hoodoo Mountain ,
Crow Lagoon , and
Nazko Cone . The
volcanoes are grouped into five volcanic belts with different tectonic
Northern Cordilleran Volcanic Province (sometimes known as the
Stikine Volcanic Belt) is the most active volcanic region in Canada.
It formed due to extensional cracking, faulting, and rifting of the
North American Plate, as the
Pacific Plate grinds and slides past the
Queen Charlotte Fault , unlike subduction that produces the volcanoes
in Japan, the Philippines, and Indonesia. The region has Canada's
largest volcanoes, much larger than the minor stratovolcanoes found
in the Canadian portion of the
Cascade Volcanic Arc
Cascade Volcanic Arc . Several
eruptions are known to have occurred within the last 400 years. Mount
Edziza is a huge volcanic complex that erupted several times in the
past several thousand years and has formed several cinder cones and
lava flows. The complex comprises the
Mount Edziza Plateau , a large
volcanic plateau (65 km long and 20 km wide) made of predominantly
basaltic lava flows with four large stratovolcanoes built on top of
the plateau. The associated lava domes and satellite cones were
constructed over the past 7.5 million years during five magmatic
cycles beginning with eruption of alkali basalts and ending with
felsic and basaltic eruptions as late as 1,340 years ago. The blocky
lava flows still maintain their original forms.
Hoodoo Mountain is a
tuya in northwestern British Columbia, which has had several periods
of subglacial eruptions . The oldest eruptions occurred about 100,000
years ago and the most recent about 7000 years ago.
Hoodoo Mountain is
also considered active, so could erupt in the future. The nearby Tseax
Cone and The
Volcano produced some of Canada's youngest lava flows,
about 150 years old.
Mount Edziza , a large shield volcano in
Canada's worst known geophysical disaster came from the Tseax Cone
during the 18th century at the southernmost end of the volcanic belt.
The eruption produced a 22.5-km-long lava flow, destroying the
Nisga\'a villages and the death of at least 2000
Nisga'a people by
volcanic gases and poisonous smoke. The
Nass River valley was
inundated by the lava flows and contains abundant tree molds and lava
tubes. The event happened at the same time as the arrival of the first
European explorers to penetrate the uncharted coastal waters of
northern British Columbia. Today, the basaltic lava deposits are a
draw to tourists and are part of the Nisga\'a Memorial Lava Beds
Provincial Park .
Garibaldi Volcanic Belt in southwestern
British Columbia is the
northern extension of the
Cascade Volcanic Arc
Cascade Volcanic Arc in the United States
Mount Baker and Mount St. Helens) and contains the
most explosive young volcanoes in Canada. It formed as a result of
subduction of the
Juan de Fuca Plate (a remnant of the much larger
Farallon Plate ) under the
North American Plate along the Cascadia
subduction zone. The
Garibaldi Volcanic Belt includes the Bridge
River Cones ,
Mount Cayley ,
Mount Fee ,
Mount Garibaldi , Mount Price
Mount Meager , the Squamish Volcanic Field, and more smaller
volcanoes. The eruption styles in the belt range from effusive to
explosive , with compositions from basalt to rhyolite .
Morphologically, centers include calderas, cinder cones,
stratovolcanoes and small isolated lava masses. Due to repeated
continental and alpine glaciations, many of the volcanic deposits in
the belt reflect complex interactions between magma composition,
topography, and changing ice configurations. The most recent major
catastrophic eruption in the
Garibaldi Volcanic Belt was the 2350 BP
Mount Meager . It was similar to the 1980 eruption of
Mount St. Helens, sending an ash column about 20 km into the
stratosphere . The
Mount Meager volcanic complex as seen from
the east near Pemberton, BC: Summits left to right are Capricorn
Mountain , Mount Meager, and
Plinth Peak .
Chilcotin Group is a north-south range of volcanoes in southern
British Columbia running parallel to the Garibaldi Volcanic Belt. The
majority of the eruptions in this belt happened either 6–10 million
years ago (
Miocene ) or 2–3 million years ago (Pliocene), although
with some slightly more recent eruptions (in the Pleistocene). It is
thought to have formed as a result of back-arc extension behind the
Cascadia subduction zone. Volcanoes in this belt include
Mount Noel ,
Caldera Complex , Lightning Peak ,
Black Dome Mountain ,
and many lava flows.
Anahim Volcanic Belt
Anahim Volcanic Belt is a line of volcanoes stretching from just
Vancouver Island to near Quesnel , British Columbia. These
volcanoes were formed 8 to 1 million years ago, and the Nazko Cone
last erupted only 7,200 years ago. The volcanoes generally get
younger moving from the coast to the interior. These volcanoes are
thought to have formed as a result of the
North American Plate sliding
westward over a small hotspot , called the
Anahim hotspot . The
hotspot is considered similar to the one feeding the Hawaiian Islands
. The belt is defined by three large shield volcanoes (Rainbow ,
Ilgachuz and the Itcha Ranges ) and 37
Quaternary basalt centers.
Eruptions of basaltic to rhyolitic volcanoes and hypabyssal rocks of
Alert Bay Volcanic Belt in northern
Vancouver Island are probably
linked with the subducted margin flanked by the Explorer and Juan de
Fuca Plates at the Cascadia subduction zone. It appears to have been
active during the Pliocene and Pleistocene. However, no Holocene
eruptions are known, and volcanic activity in the belt has likely
List of volcanoes in Russia
Avachinsky , an
active volcano on the Kamchatka Peninsula.
Kamchatka Peninsula in the
Russian Far East is one of the most
various and active volcanic areas in the world, with an area of
472,300 km2. It lies between the
Pacific Ocean to the east and the
Okhotsk Sea to the west. Immediately offshore along the Pacific coast
of the peninsula runs the 10,500-m-deep
Kuril-Kamchatka Trench , where
rapid subduction of the
Pacific Plate fuels the intense volcanism.
Almost all types of volcanic activity are present, from
stratovolcanoes and shield volcanoes to Hawaiian-style fissure
Over 30 active volcanoes and hundreds of dormant and extinct
volcanoes are in two major volcanic belts. The most recent activity
takes place in the eastern belt, starting in the north at the
Shiveluch volcanic complex, which lies at the junction of the Aleutian
and Kamchatka volcanic arcs. Just to the south is the famous Klyuchi
volcanic group, comprising the twin volcanic cones of
Kamen , the huge volcanic complexes of
Ushkovsky , and a
number of other large stratovolcanoes. The only active volcano in the
central belt is found west of here, the huge remote
Ichinsky . Farther
south, the eastern belt continues to the southern slope of Kamchatka,
topped by loads of stratovolcanoes , continuing onto the Kuril Islands
, and southwards into
Main article: List of volcanoes in
About 10% of the world's active volcanoes are found in Japan, which
lies in a zone of extreme crustal instability. They are formed by
subduction of the
Pacific Plate and the
Philippine Sea Plate
Philippine Sea Plate . As many
as 1,500 earthquakes are recorded yearly, and magnitudes of 4 to 6 are
not uncommon. Minor tremors occur almost daily in one part of the
country or another, causing some slight shaking of buildings. Major
earthquakes occur infrequently; the most famous in the 20th century
Great Kantō earthquake of 1923, in which 130,000 people
died; and the
Great Hanshin earthquake of 17 January 1995, in which
6,434 people died. On March 11, 2011 a magnitude 9.0 earthquake hit
Japan , the country's biggest ever and the fifth largest on record,
according to US Geological Survey data. Undersea earthquakes also
expose the Japanese coastline to danger from tsunamis . Mount
Fuji at sunrise from
Mount Bandai , one of Japan's most noted volcanoes, rises above the
north shore of
Lake Inawashiro .
Mount Bandai is formed of several
overlapping stratovolcanoes, the largest of which is O-Bandai forming
a complex volcano . O-Bandai volcano was constructed within a
horseshoe-shaped caldera that formed about 40,000 years when an
earlier volcano collapsed, forming the Okinajima debris avalanche,
which traveled to the southwest and was accompanied by a plinian
eruption . Four major phreatic eruptions have occurred during the past
5,000 years, two of them in historical time, in 806 and 1888. Seen
from the south, Bandai presents a conical profile, but much of the
north side of the volcano is missing as a result of the collapse of
Ko-Bandai volcano during the 1888 eruption, in which a debris
avalanche buried several villages and formed several large lakes.
Nearly a century ago, the north flank of
Mount Bandai collapsed
during an eruption quite similar to the May 18, 1980, eruption of
Mount St. Helens. After a week of seismic activity, a large earthquake
on July 15, 1888, was followed by a tremendous noise and a large
explosion. Eyewitnesses heard about 15 to 20 additional explosions and
observed that the last one was projected almost horizontally to the
Mount Fuji is Japan's highest and most noted volcano. The modern
postglacial stratovolcano is constructed above a group of overlapping
volcanoes, remnants of which form irregularities on Fuji's profile.
Growth of the younger
Mount Fuji began with a period of voluminous
lava flows from 11,000 to 8,000 years ago, accounting for four-fifths
of the volume of the younger Mount Fuji. Minor explosive eruptions
dominated activity from 8,000 to 4,500 years ago, with another period
of major lava flows occurring from 4,500 to 3,000 years ago.
Subsequently, intermittent major explosive eruptions occurred, with
subordinate lava flows and small pyroclastic flows. Summit eruptions
dominated from 3,000 to 2,000 years ago, after which flank vents were
active. The extensive basaltic lava flows from the summit and some of
the more than 100 flank cones and vents blocked drainage against the
Tertiary Misaka Mountains on the north side of the volcano, forming
Fuji Five Lakes . The last eruption of this dominantly basaltic
volcano in 1707 ejected andesitic pumice and formed a large new crater
on the east flank. Some minor volcanic activity may occur in the next
Main article: List of volcanoes in the
Philippines Map showing
major volcanoes of the
The 1991 eruption of
Mount Pinatubo is the world's second-largest
terrestrial eruption of the 20th century. Successful predictions of
the onset of the climactic eruption led to the evacuation of tens of
thousands of people from the surrounding areas, saving many lives, but
as the surrounding areas were severely damaged by pyroclastic flows,
ash deposits, and later, lahars caused by rainwater remobilising
earlier volcanic deposits, thousands of houses were destroyed.
Volcano overlooks a pastoral scene about five months before the
volcano's violent eruption in September 1984.
Volcano is the Philippines' most active volcano. It has steep
upper slopes that average 35–40° and is capped by a small summit
crater. The historical eruptions of this basaltic-andesitic volcano
dates back to 1616 and ranges from Strombolian to basaltic Plinian
eruptions . Eruptions occur predominately from the central conduit and
have also produced lava flows that travel far down the flanks.
Pyroclastic flows and mudflows have commonly swept down many of the
roughly 40 ravines that radiate from the summit and have often
devastated populated lowland areas.
Volcano has had 33 recorded eruptions since 1572. A devastating
eruption occurred in 1911, which claimed more than a thousand lives.
The deposits of that eruption consist of a yellowish, fairly
decomposed (nonjuvenile) tephra with a high sulfur content. The most
recent period of activity lasted from 1965 to 1977, and was
characterized by the interaction of magma with the lake water, which
produced violent phreatic and phreatomagmatic eruptions. Although the
volcano has been dormant since 1977, it has shown signs of unrest
since 1991, with strong seismic activity and ground-fracturing events,
as well as the formation of small mud geysers on parts of the island.
Volcano , the most active volcano in the central Philippines,
has erupted 25 times since 1866. Eruptions are typically phreatic
explosions of small-to-moderate size that produce minor ash falls near
the volcano. On August 10, 1996, Kanlaon erupted without warning,
killing British student Julian Green and Filipinos Noel Tragico and
Neil Perez, who were among 24 mountain climbers who were trapped near
See also: List of volcanoes in
Indonesia and 2010 eruptions of Mount
Mount Merapi in
Central Java Major volcanoes in
The volcanoes in
Indonesia are among the most active of the Pacific
Ring of Fire. They are formed due to subduction zones of three main
active tectonic plates namely the
Eurasian Plate , Pacific Plate, and
Indo-Australian Plate . Some of the volcanoes are notable for their
eruptions, for instance,
Krakatau for its global effects in 1883, Lake
Toba for its supervolcanic eruption estimated to have occurred 74,000
BP, which was responsible for six years of volcanic winter , and Mount
Tambora , for the most violent eruption in recorded history in 1815.
The eruption of
Mount Tambora caused widespread harvest failures in
Northern Europe, the Northeastern United States, and eastern
1816, which was known as the
Year Without a Summer .
The most active volcanoes are
Mount Merapi on
which have been responsible for thousands of deaths in the region.
Since AD 1000,
Kelud has erupted more than 30 times, of which the
largest eruption was at scale 5 on the
Volcanic Explosivity Index
Volcanic Explosivity Index ,
while Merapi has erupted more than 80 times. The International
Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth\'s Interior has
named Merapi as a Decade
Volcano since 1995 because of its high
See also: List of earthquakes in
New Zealand and Volcanism in New
Zealand Major volcanoes of
New Zealand View of Mount
Taranaki from Stratford.
GNS Science was known as the Institute of Geological and Nuclear
Sciences from 1992 to 2005.
GNS Science was partially commercialised,
and now operates as a government-owned company rather than as a
Originally part of the Department of Scientific and Industrial
Research (DSIR), it was established as an independent organisation
when the Crown Research Institutes were created in 1992.
As well as undertaking basic research, and operating the national
geological hazards monitoring network,
GNS Science is employed, both
New Zealand and overseas, by various private groups (notably energy
companies), as well as central and local government agencies, to
provide scientific advice and information.
GNS Science is based in Avalon ,
Lower Hutt , with facilities in
New Zealand contains the world's strongest concentration of youthful
rhyolitic volcanoes, and voluminous sheets blanket much of the North
Island . The earliest historically-dated eruption was at
Whakaari/White Island in 1826, followed in 1886 by the country's
largest historical eruption at
Mount Tarawera . Much of the region
north of New Zealand's
North Island is made up of seamounts and small
islands, including 16 submarine volcanoes . In the last 1.6 million
years, most of New Zealand's volcanism is from the Taupo Volcanic Zone
Mount Ruapehu , at the southern end of the Taupo Volcanic Zone, is
one of the most active volcanoes. It began erupting at least 250,000
years ago. In recorded history, major eruptions have been about 50
years apart, in 1895, 1945, and 1995–1996. Minor eruptions are
frequent, with at least 60 since 1945. Some of the minor eruptions in
the 1970s generated small ash falls and lahars that damaged ski
fields. Between major eruptions, a warm acidic crater lake forms, fed
by melting snow. Major eruptions may completely expel the lake water.
Where a major eruption has deposited a tephra dam across the lake's
outlet, the dam may collapse after the lake has refilled and risen
above the level of its normal outlet, the outrush of water causing a
large lahar. The most notable lahar caused the
Tangiwai disaster on
December 24, 1953, when 151 people aboard a Wellington to Auckland
express train were killed after the lahar destroyed the Tangiwai rail
bridge just moments before the train was due. In 2000, the ERLAWS
system was installed on the mountain to detect such a collapse and
alert the relevant authorities.
Auckland volcanic field
Auckland volcanic field on the
North Island of
New Zealand has
produced a diverse array of explosive craters, scoria cones, and lava
flows. Currently dormant , the field is likely to erupt again with the
next "hundreds to thousands of years", a very short timeframe in
geologic terms. The field contains at least 40 volcanoes, most
recently active about 600 years ago at
Rangitoto Island , erupting 2.3
km3 of lava.
List of volcanoes in Antarctica
Mount Erebus ,
Ring of Fire
Ring of Fire is completed in the south by the continent
Antarctica , which includes many large volcanoes. The makeup and
structure of the volcanoes in
Antarctica change largely from the other
places around the ring. In contrast, the
Antarctic Plate is almost
completely surrounded by extensional zones, with several mid-ocean
ridges which encircle it, with only a small subduction zone at the tip
Antarctic Peninsula , reaching eastward to the remote South
Sandwich Islands . The most well known volcano in
Antarctica is Mount
Erebus , which is also the world's southernmost active volcano. In
many respects the geology of the
Antarctic Peninsula is an extension
of the Andes, hence the name sometimes used by geologists:
Antarctandes ". At the opposite side of the continent, the volcanoes
Victoria Land may be seen as the 'other end' of the Antarctandes,
thus completing the Pacific
Ring of Fire
Ring of Fire and continuing up through the
Balleny Islands to
New Zealand .
Mount Erebus is the second-highest volcano in
Antarctica (after Mount
Sidley ) and the southernmost active volcano on earth. It is the
sixth-highest ultra mountain on an island. With a summit elevation of
3,794 m (12,448 ft), it is located on
Ross Island , which is also home
to three inactive volcanoes, Mount Terror ,
Mount Bird , and Mount
Terra Nova .
The volcano has been observed to be continuously active since 1972
and is the site of the
Volcano Observatory run by the New
Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology .
Mount Erebus is currently
the most active volcano in
Antarctica and is the current eruptive zone
Erebus hotspot .
The volcanoes of the
Victoria Land area are the most well known in
Antarctica, most likely because they are the most accessible. Much of
Victoria Land is mountainous, developing the eastern section of the
Transantarctic Mountains , and the several scattered volcanoes include
Mount Overlord and
Mount Melbourne in the northern part. Farther
south are two more well-known volcanoes,
Mount Discovery and Mount
Morning , which are on the coast across from
Mount Erebus and Mount
Terror on Ross Island. The volcanism in this area is caused by rifting
along a number of rift zones increasing mainly north-south similar to
Marie Byrd Land contains the largest volcanic region in Antarctica,
covering a length of almost 600 mi (970 km) along the Pacific coast.
The volcanism is the result of rifting along the vast West Antarctic
Rift , which extends from the base of the
Antarctic Peninsula to the
surrounding area of Ross Island, and the volcanoes are found along the
northern edge of the rift. Protruding up through the ice are a large
number of major shield volcanoes, including Mount Sidley, which is the
highest volcano in Antarctica. Although a number of the volcanoes are
relatively young and are potentially active (
Mount Berlin , Mount
Mount Waesche , and
Mount Siple ), others such as Mount
Mount Hampton are over 10 million years old, yet maintain
uneroded constructional forms. The desert-like surroundings of the
Antarctic interior, along with a very thick and stable ice sheet which
encloses and protects the bases of the volcanoes, which decreases the
speed of erosion by an issue of perhaps a thousand relative to
volcanoes in moist temperate or tropical climates.
New Guinea and tectonic plates:
Pacific Plate , Australian
Caroline Plate ,
Banda Sea Plate (as "Mer de Banda"), Woodlark
Plate , Bird\'s Head Plate ,
Maoke Plate ,
Solomon Sea Plate , North
Bismarck Plate ,
South Bismarck Plate and
Manus Plate (in French )
Puysegur Trench and
Macquarie Ridge *
Taupo Volcanic Zone
* Bougainville and
New Hebrides Arc
* Bismarck Volcanic Arc , junction
* Tanimbar and
Lesser Sunda Islands
* Andaman and
Philippine Mobile Belt
Philippine Mobile Belt
Boso Triple Junction
Alaska , U.S.
Northern Cordilleran Volcanic Province
Cascade Volcanic Arc
Cascade Volcanic Arc and
Rio Grande rift *
Sierra Nevada (U.S.)
Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt
Central America Volcanic Arc
North Volcanic Zone
Central Volcanic Zone
South Volcanic Zone
Austral Volcanic Zone
South Sandwich Islands
* Earthquakes portal
* Volcanoes portal
2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami
2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami
* Geology of the
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