Top 10 Most Active Volcanoes

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Chili’s Calbuco volcano erupted twice in 2015 after more than 42 years without any activity. There are other volcanoes around the world where scientists fear glowing hot magma will

force its way up from the mantle through vents in the Earth’s crust. Volcanoes are one of the most amazing natural phenomena on Earth. These massive forces of nature can kill quickly and without warning. Here are the top 10 most active volcanoes.

10. Mount Vesuvius, Italy

Mount Vesuvius, Italy Most Active Volcano

Mount Vesuvius erupted in 79 A.D., burying the cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum. The last eruption occurred in 1944. Mount Vesuvius, located almost six miles east of Naples, makes it one of the world’s most dangerous volcanoes because of how densely populated the region is. Three million people live close to the crater of the only volcano on the European mainland to erupt in the past hundred years. 

9. Yellowstone Caldera, United States

Yellowstone Caldera, United States Most Active Volcanoes

It’s been many many years since the volcano beneath Yellowstone National Park erupted. The volcano is considered a super volcano, or a volcano that at one point erupted more than 1,000 cubic kilometers of deposits. That much lava would fill up Lake Erie twice. Researchers fear an eruption at Yellowstone could kill tens of thousands of people while its ash and gas could enter the jet stream and affect the world’s food supply. 

8. Cumbre Vieja, Spain

Cumbre Vieja, Spain Volcano

Seven of the 16 volcanic eruptions in the Canary Islands since the 15th century occurred at the Cumbre Vieja volcano on La Palma Island. Experts are concerned that a future eruption could cause the island’s west flank to fail and cause a tsunami that would sweep over the Atlantic Ocean. The University of Arizona Geosciences Department issued a “doomsday scenario” saying a severe eruption could trigger a landslide and tsunami that could kill people living in the Canary Islands and the coastal areas of Africa. The eastern seaboard of the United States could be affected as well. 

7. Krakatoa, Indonesia

Krakatoa, Indonesia

An eruption of the Krakatoa volcano killed more than 36,000 people in Java, Sumatra and smaller islands in 1883. Tsunamis resulted after the volcano collapsed and claimed several lives while other victims died from thermal injuries because of hot gas and other materials from the eruption. The eruption had a force of 200 megatons of TNT, compared to the 20 kiloton force of the nuclear bomb that destroyed Hiroshima. 

6. Nevado del Ruiz, Central Columbia

Nevado del Ruiz, Central Columbia Volcano

An eruption of Nevado del Ruiz, one of the world’s most active volcanoes, caused a mudflow that killed more than 23,000 people including most of the population of the town Armero in 1985. While eruptions of Nevado del Ruiz are small-scale, the mudflows they trigger can be awesome. When it erupts it usually generates Plinian eruptions that result in swift-moving currents of rock and hot gas called pyroclastic flows. 

5. Taal Volcano, Philippines

Taal Volcano, Philippines

The Taal volcano’s erupted 33 times since 1572. An estimated 5,000 to 6,000 people died by eruptions at Taal as people are kept at a safe distance. The volcano lies on the island of Luzon in Lake Taal, about 31 miles from Manila, Philippines’ capital. It’s had 33 historical eruptions, making it the country’s second most active volcano. 

4. Katla Volcano, Iceland

Katla Volcano, Iceland

Researchers continue to monitor the Katla volcano, located under the Myrdalsjökull ice cap. A 934 eruption produced what’s known as the largest lava flow of its kind during that period. There haven’t been any eruptions for about 98 years while 20 eruptions were documented between 900 and 1918. One concern about the volcano is that eruption could cause glacial flooding. 

3. Kilauea, Hawaii

Kilauea, Hawaii Volcanoe

Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano remains monitored by the U.S. Geological Service. As many as 20 to 25 earthquakes have been reported within an hour in May 2015 as a lava lake rose to a record-high level then receded nearly 500 feet. Does that mean the lava could break through the mountain’s side at one of the most active volcanoes? There are fears that a new eruption could happen southwest of the Haemaumau crater, which would likely miss people because the area is uninhabited. However, the volcano’s Puu Oo vent in its east rift zone erupted slightly in 2014 and sent slivers of java close to a supermarket. 

2. Mount Merapi, Indonesia

Mount Merapi, Indonesia Volcanoe

Indonesia’s Mount Merapi is known as “The One Making Fire,” a fitting name for one of the most active volcanoes in the world. The volcano, located near thousands of people, has erupted regularly since 1548. Mount Merapi, Indonesia’s most active volcano, erupts about every five or ten years.  A pyroclastic eruption in 2015 killed two people. 

1. Mount Nyiragongo, Democratic Republic of Congo

Mount Nyiragongo Volcanoe, Democratic Republic of Congo

Mount Nyiragongo, located within Virunga National Park, includes a lava lake that’s been the most voluminous known lava lake in recent history. Nyiragongo and Nyamuragira, located nearby, are the sites of 40 percent of Africa’s volcanic eruptions. The volcano has erupted at least 34 times since 1882. A pyroclastic eruption in 2015 killed two people.

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