Top Ten Volcanoes

Top Ten Volcanoes

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       Volcanoes are some of the most primordially powerful natural forces on the planet, shaping the landscape and inspiring the minds of men.

  1. Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania

    Kilimanjaro, with its three volcanic cones, Kibo, Mawenzi, and Shira, is a dormant volcanic mountain in Kilimanjaro National Park, Kilimanjaro Region, Tanzania. It is the highest mountain in Tanzania, the highest mountain in Africa, and the highest free-standing mountain in the world at 5,895 m or 19,341 feet above sea level (the Uhuru Peak/Kibo Peak).
    Links: Top Ten Tanzanian Attractions, Top Ten African Mountains, National Parks, Top Ten African National Parks,  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Kilimanjaro,
  2. Mount Etna, Italy
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    Mount Etna is an active stratovolcano on the east coast of Sicily, Italy, close to Messina and Catania. It lies above the convergent plate margin between the African Plate and the Eurasian Plate. It is the tallest active volcano on the European continent, currently 3,329 m (10,922 ft.) high, though this varies with summit eruptions. It is the highest mountain in Italy south of the Alps. Etna covers an area of 1,190 square km (459 sq mi) with a basal circumference of 140 km. This makes it by far the largest of the three active volcanoes in Italy, being about two and a half times the height of the next largest, Mount Vesuvius. Only Mount Teide in Tenerife surpasses it in the whole of the European–North-African region. In Greek Mythology, the deadly monster Typhon was trapped under this mountain by Zeus, the god of the sky and thunder and king of gods, and the forges of Hephaestus were said to also be located underneath it. Mount Etna is one of the most active volcanoes in the world and is in an almost constant state of activity. The fertile volcanic soils support extensive agriculture, with vineyards and orchards spread across the lower slopes of the mountain and the broad Plain of Catania to the south. Due to its history of recent activity and nearby population, Mount Etna has been designated a Decade Volcano by the United Nations.
    Links: Top Ten Italian Attractions, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_etna,
  3. Vesuvius Volcano, Italy
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             Mount Vesuvius is a stratovolcano in the Gulf of Naples, Italy, about 9 km (5.6 mi) east of Naples and a short distance from the shore. It is one of several volcanoes which form the Campanian volcanic arc. Vesuvius consists of a large cone partially encircled by the steep rim of a summit caldera caused by the collapse of an earlier and originally much higher structure. Mount Vesuvius is best known for its eruption in AD 79 that led to the burying and destruction of the Roman cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum. That eruption ejected a cloud of stones, ash and fumes to a height of 20.5 miles, spewing molten rock and pulverized pumice at the rate of 1.5 million tons per second, ultimately releasing a hundred thousand times the thermal energy released by the Hiroshima bombing. An estimated 16,000 people died due to hydrothermal pyroclastic flows. The only surviving eyewitness account of the event consists of two letters by Pliny the Younger to the historian Tacitus. Vesuvius has erupted many times since and is the only volcano on the European mainland to have erupted within the last hundred years. Today, it is regarded as one of the most dangerous volcanoes in the world because of the population of 3,000,000 people living nearby and its tendency towards explosive eruptions. It is the most densely populated volcanic region in the world.
    Links: Top Ten Italian Attractions, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vesuvius,
  4. Mount Mazama/Crater Lake, Oregon, USA
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    Mount Mazama is a destroyed stratovolcano in the Oregon part of the Cascade Volcanic Arc and the Cascade Range located in the US. The volcano’s collapsed caldera holds Crater Lake, and the entire mountain is located within Crater Lake National Park. Mazama was destroyed by a volcanic eruption that occurred around 5,677 (± 150) BC. The eruption reduced Mazama’s approximate 12,000-foot (3,700 m) height by around a mile (1600 m). Much of the volcano fell into the volcano’s partially emptied neck and magma chamber. At 8,159 feet (2,487 m), Hillman Peak is now the highest point on the rim.
    Links: Top Ten US Attractions, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Mazama,
  5. Mount Tambora, Indonesia
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    Mount Tambora is an active stratovolcano on the island of Sumbawa, Indonesia. Tambora was formed by the active subduction zone beneath it, which raised Mount Tambora as high as 4,300 m (14,100 ft), making it, in the 18th century, one of the tallest peaks in the Indonesian archipelago. After a large magma chamber inside the mountain filled over the course of several decades, volcanic activity reached a historic climax in the eruption of 10 April 1815. This eruption was approximately VEI-7, the only eruption unambiguously confirmed of that size since the Lake Taupo eruption in about 180 AD, though the Heaven Lake eruption of Baekdu Mountain in 969 AD may have also been VEI-7. With an estimated ejecta volume of 160 cubic km (38 cu mi), Tambora’s 1815 outburst was the largest volcanic eruption in recorded history. The explosion was heard on Sumatra island more than 2,000 km (1,200 mi) away. Heavy volcanic ash falls were observed as far away as Borneo, Sulawesi, Java and Maluku islands. Most deaths from the eruption were from starvation and disease, as the eruptive fallout ruined agricultural productivity in the local region. The death toll was at least 71,000 people, of whom 11,000–12,000 were killed directly by the eruption. The eruption caused global climate anomalies that included the phenomenon known as “volcanic winter:” 1816 became known as the “Year Without a Summer” because of the effect on North American and European weather. Crops failed and livestock died in much of the Northern Hemisphere, resulting in the worst famine of the 19th century. During an excavation in 2004, a team of archaeologists discovered cultural remains buried by the 1815 eruption. They were kept intact beneath the 3 m (9.8 ft) deep pyroclastic deposits. At the site, dubbed the Pompeii of the East, the artifacts were preserved in the positions they had occupied in 1815.
    Links: Top Ten Indonesian Attractions, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Tambora,
  6. Mount Krakatau, Indonesia
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    Krakatoa, or Krakatau, is a volcanic island situated in the Sunda Strait between the islands of Java and Sumatra in Indonesia. The name is also used for the surrounding island group comprising the remnants of a much larger island of three volcanic peaks which was obliterated in a cataclysmic 1883 eruption, unleashing huge tsunamis (killing more than 36,000 people) and destroying over two-thirds of the island. The explosion is considered to be the loudest sound ever heard in modern history, with reports of it being heard up to 3,000 miles (4,800 km) from its point of origin. The shock waves from the explosion were recorded on barographs around the globe. In 1927 a new island, Anak Krakatau, or “Child of Krakatoa,” emerged from the caldera formed in 1883 and is the current location of eruptive activity.
    Links: Top Ten Indonesian Attractions, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Krakatoa,
  7. Pico de Orizaba, Mexico
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           The Pico de Orizaba, or Citlaltépetl (star mountain), is a stratovolcano, the highest mountain in Mexico and the 3rd highest in North America. It rises 5,636 m (18,491 ft.) above sea level in the eastern end of the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt, on the border between the states of Veracruz and Puebla. The volcano is currently dormant but not extinct with the last eruption taking place during the 19th century. It is the second most prominent volcanic peak in the world after Africa’s Mount Kilimanjaro.
    Links: Top Ten Mexican Attractions, Top Ten North American Mountains, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pico_de_Orizaba,
  8. Novarupta, Alaska, USA
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    Novarupta, literally “new eruption,” is a new volcano that was created in 1912 and located on the Alaska Peninsula in Katmai National Park and Preserve, about 290 miles (470 km) southwest of Anchorage. Formed during the largest pre-Pinatubo volcanic eruption of the 20th century, Novarupta released 30 times the volume of magma as the 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens.
    Links: Top Ten US Attractions, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Novarupta,
  9. Mauna Loa, Mauna Kea, Kilauea Volcanoes and the Hawaii Islands, USA
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    The Hawaiian Islands are an archipelago of eight major islands, several atolls, numerous smaller islets, and undersea seamounts in the North Pacific Ocean, extending some 1,500 mi (2,400 km) from the island of Hawaiʻi in the south to northernmost Kure Atoll. Once known as the “Sandwich Islands,” the name chosen by James Cook in honour of the then First Lord of the Admiralty John Montagu, 4th Earl of Sandwich, the archipelago now takes its name from the largest island in the cluster. The US state of Hawaii occupies the archipelago almost in its entirety, with the sole exception of Midway island, which is instead an unincorporated territory within the US Minor Outlying Islands. The Hawaiian Islands are the exposed peaks of a great undersea mountain range known as the Hawaiian-Emperor seamount chain, formed by volcanic activity over a hotspot in the Earth’s mantle. The islands are about 1,860 miles (3,000 km) from the nearest continent.
    Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hawaiian_islands,
  10. Mount Pelee, Martinique
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    Mount Pelée is an active volcano at the northern end of the island and French overseas department of Martinique in the Lesser Antilles island arc of the Caribbean. Its volcanic cone is composed of layers of volcanic ash and hardened lava. The stratovolcano is famous for its eruption in 1902 and the destruction that resulted, dubbed the worst volcanic disaster of the 20th century. The eruption killed about 30,000 people. Most deaths were caused by pyroclastic flows and occurred in the city of Saint-Pierre, which was, at that time, the largest city on the island. Pyroclastic flows completely destroyed St. Pierre, a town of 30,000 people, within minutes of the eruption. The eruption left only two survivors in the direct path of the flows (with a third reported): Louis-Auguste Cyparis survived because he was in a poorly ventilated, dungeon-like jail cell; Léon Compère-Léandre, living on the edge of the city, escaped with severe burns. Havivra Da Ifrile, a young girl, reportedly escaped with injuries during the eruption by taking a small boat to a cave down shore, and was later found adrift two miles (3 km) from the island, unconscious. The event marked the only major volcanic disaster in the history of France and its overseas territories.
    Links: Top Ten Martinique Attractions, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Pelee,
  11. Parícutin Volcano, Mexico
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           Parícutin is a cinder cone volcano in the Mexican state of Michoacán, close to a lava-covered village of the same name. The volcano is unique in the fact that its evolution from creation to extinction was witnessed, observed and studied by human beings. It appears on many versions of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. Parícutin is part of the Michoacán-Guanajuato volcanic field, which covers much of west central Mexico. It is part of the Ring of Fire.
    Links: Top Ten Mexican Attractions, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Par%C3%ADcutin_Volcano,
  12. Yasur Volcano, Vanuatu
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           Mount Yasur is an active volcano on Tanna Island, Vanuatu with a height of 361 m (1,184 ft.) above sea level, located on the coast near Sulphur Bay. It lies to the southeast of the taller Mount Tukosmera, which was active in the Pleistocene. It has a largely unvegetated pyroclastic cone with a nearly circular summit crater 400 m in diameter. It is a stratovolcano, caused by the eastward-moving Indo-Australian Plate being subducted under the westward-moving Pacific Plate. It has been erupting nearly continuously for over 800 years, although it can usually be approached safely. Its eruptions, which often occur several times an hour, are classified as Strombolian or Vulcanian. The glow of the volcano was apparently what attracted Captain James Cook on the first European journey to the island in 1774. Today the mountain is a sacred area for the John Frum cargo cult. Members of the cult revere John Frum, a deified messenger who foretold the bringing of wealth to the island by American forces, and believe he resides in Mount Yasur with his countrymen. The village of Sulphur Bay, the center of the movement, claims the volcano as part of their territory.
    Links: Top Ten Vanuatuan Attractions, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Yasur,
  13. Irazú Volcano, Costa Rica
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            The Irazú Volcano is an active volcano in Costa Rica, situated in the Cordillera Central close to the city of Cartago. The name could come from either the combination of “ara” (point) and “tzu” (thunder) or a corruption of Iztarú, which was the name of an indigenous village on the flanks of the volcano. In Costa Rica it is known by the name of “El Coloso” (The Colossus) due to the catastrophes that it has provoked in the past. The volcano’s summit has several craters, one of which contains Diego de la Haya, a green crater lake of variable depth. At11,260 feet (3,432 m), the Irazú Volcano is the highest active volcano in Costa Rica. It is easily visited from San José, with a road leading right up to the summit craters and a weekly bus service to the top. It is thus a popular tourist spot. The volcano summit also spots a few television transmitters for television stations in San José. From the top it is possible to see both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans on a clear day. However, such clear days are rare, and the volcano’s summit is usually cloud-covered. The volcano is contained within the Irazú Volcano National Park, which spreads across 5,705 acres (2,300 ha). The national park contains both primary and secondary montane forests and is home to armadillos, owls, rabbits, foxes, woodpeckers, and hummingbirds.
    Links: Top Ten Costa Rican Attractions, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iraz%C3%BA_Volcano,
  14. Mount St. Helens, USA
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            Mount St. Helens is an active stratovolcano located in Skamania County, Washington, in the Pacific Northwest region of the US. It is 96 miles (154 km) south of Seattle, Washington, and 50 miles (80 km) northeast of Portland, Oregon. The volcano is located in the Cascade Range and is part of the Cascade Volcanic Arc, a segment of the Pacific Ring of Fire that includes over 160 active volcanoes. Mount St. Helens is most notorious for its catastrophic eruption on May 18, 1980, the deadliest and most economically destructive volcanic event in the history of the US. 57 people were killed; 250 homes, 47 bridges, 15 miles (24 km) of railways, and 185 miles (298 km) of highway were destroyed. A massive debris avalanche triggered by an earthquake measuring 5.1 on the Richter scale caused an eruption that reduced the elevation of the mountain’s summit from 9,677 ft. (2,950 m) to 8,365 ft. (2,550 m), replacing it with a 1 mile (1.6 km) wide horseshoe-shaped crater. The debris avalanche was up to 2.9 km cubed in volume. As with most other volcanoes in the Cascade Range, Mount St. Helens is a large eruptive cone consisting of lava rock interlayered with ash, pumice, and other deposits. The mountain includes layers of basalt and andesite through which several domes of dacite lava have erupted. The largest of the dacite domes formed the previous summit, and off its northern flank sat the smaller Goat Rocks dome. Both were destroyed in the 1980 eruption.
    Links: Top Ten US Attractions, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_St._Helens,
  15. Nevada del Ruiz, Colombia
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    Links: Top Ten Colombian Attractions,
  16. Mount Pinatubo, Philippines
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    Mount Pinatubo is an active stratovolcano located on the island of Luzon, near the tripoint of the Philippine provinces of Zambales, Tarlac, and Pampanga. Before the volcanic activities of 1991, its eruptive history was unknown to most people. It was heavily eroded, inconspicuous and obscured from view. It was covered with dense forest which supported a population of several thousand indigenous people, the Aetas, who fled to the mountains during the Spanish conquest of the Philippines. The volcano’s Plinian / Ultra-Plinian eruption on June 15, 1991 produced the second largest terrestrial eruption of the 20th century after the 1912 eruption of Novarupta in the Alaska Peninsula. Complicating the eruption was the arrival of Typhoon Yunya bringing a lethal mix of ash and rain. Successful predictions at the onset of the climactic eruption led to the evacuation of tens of thousands of people from the surrounding areas, saving many lives, but the surrounding areas were severely damaged by pyroclastic flows, ash deposits, and subsequently, by the lahars caused by rainwaters re-mobilizing earlier volcanic deposits causing extensive destruction to infrastructure and altering the river systems months to years after the eruption. The effects of the eruption were felt worldwide. It ejected roughly 10,000,000,000 tonnes (2.4 cu mi) of magma, and 20,000,000 tonnes SO2, bringing vast quantities of minerals and metals to the surface environment. It injected large amounts of aerosol into the stratosphere – more than any eruption since that of Krakatoa in 1883. Over the following months, the aerosols formed a global layer of sulfuric acid haze. Global temperatures dropped by about 0.5 °C (0.9 °F), and ozone depletion temporarily increased substantially.
    Links: Top Ten Philippine Attractions, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Pinatubo,
  17. Taal Volcano, Philippines
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           Taal Volcano is a complex volcano located on the island of Luzon in the Philippines. It is the second most active volcano in the Philippines with 33 historical eruptions. All of these eruptions are concentrated on Volcano Island, an island near the middle of Taal Lake. The lake partially fills Taal Caldera, which was formed by prehistoric eruptions between 140,000 to 5,380 BP. Viewed from Tagaytay Ridge, Taal Volcano and Lake presents one of the most picturesque and attractive views in the Philippines. It is located about 50 km (31 mi) south of the capital of the country, the city of Manila. The volcano had several violent eruptions in the past causing loss of life in the island and the populated areas surrounding the lake, with the death toll estimated at around 5,000 to 6,000. Because of its proximity to populated areas and its eruptive history, the volcano was designated a Decade Volcano, worthy of close study to prevent future natural disasters. All volcanoes of the Philippines are part of the Pacific Ring of Fire.
    Links: Top Ten Philippine Attractions, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taal_volcano,
  18. Arenal Volcano, Costa Rica
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           Arenal Volcano is an active andesitic stratovolcano in north-western Costa Rica around 90 km northwest of San José, in the province of Alajuela, canton of San Carlos, and district of La Fortuna. The Arenal volcano measures at least 1,633 m (5,358 ft.). It is conically shaped with a crater spanning 140 m (460 ft.). Geologically, Arenal is considered a young volcano and the age is estimated to be less than 7,500 years. It is also known as “Pan de Azúcar,” “Canaste,” “Volcan Costa Rica,” “Volcan Río Frío” or “Guatusos Peak.” The volcano was dormant for hundreds of years and exhibited a single crater at its summit, with minor fumaroles activity, covered by dense vegetation. In 1968 it erupted unexpectedly, destroying the small town of Tabacón. Due to the eruption three more craters were created on the western flanks but only one of them still exists today. Since October 2010, Arenal’s volcanic activity appears to be decreasing and explosions have become rare, with no explosions reported between December 2010 and October 2012.
    Links: Top Ten Costa Rican Attractions, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arenal_Volcano,
  19. Mount Bromo, Indonesia
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           Mount Bromo, is an active volcano and part of the Tengger massif, in East Java, Indonesia. At 2,329 m (7,641 ft) it is not the highest peak of the massif, but is the most well-known. The massif area is one of the most visited tourist attractions in East Java, Indonesia. The volcano belongs to the Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park. The name of Bromo derived from Javanese pronunciation of Brahma, the Hindu creator god. Mount Bromo sits in the middle of a vast plain called the “Sea of Sand,” a protected nature reserve since 1919. The typical way to visit Mount Bromo is from the nearby mountain village of Cemoro Lawang. From there it is possible to walk to the volcano in about 45 minutes, but it is also possible to take a jeep tour, which includes a stop at the viewpoint on Mount Penanjakan (2,770 m or 9,088 ft). From inside the caldera, sulfur is collected by workers. Depending on the degree of volcanic activity, the Indonesian Centre for Vulcanology and Disaster Hazard Mitigation sometimes issues warnings against visiting Mount Bromo.
    Links: Top Ten Indonesian Attractions, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Bromo,
  20. Llaima Volcano, Chile
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    The Llaima 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.
    Links: National Parks, Top Ten South American Attractions, Top Ten Chilean Attractions,  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Llaima,
  21. Bonus: Olympus Mons, Mars
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           Olympus Mons (Latin for “Mount Olympus”) is a mountain which is located on the planet Mars. It is a little under three times as tall as Mount Everest, and is in fact the tallest known volcano and mountain in the Solar System. Olympus Mons was formed during Mars’ Amazonian epoch. Since the late 19th century, well before space probes confirmed its identity as a mountain, Olympus Mons was known to astronomers as the albedo feature Nix Olympica (Latin for “Snows of Olympus”), although its mountainous nature was suspected.
    Links: Top Ten Mars Destinations, Top Ten Mountains, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Olympus_Mons,
  22. Links: Top Ten Natural Wonders of the World,