Where does the United States rank in the number of volcanoes?

The United States ranks third, behind Indonesia and Japan, in the number of historically active volcanoes (that is, those for which we have written accounts of eruptions). In addition, about 10 percent of the more than 1,500 volcanoes that have erupted in the past 10,000 years are located in the United States. Most of these volcanoes are found in the Aleutian Islands, the Alaska Peninsula, the Hawaiian Islands, and the Cascade Range of the Pacific Northwest.

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Which volcanic eruptions were the deadliest?

Deadliest Volcanic Eruptions Since 1500 A.D.

     Eruption                                     Year               Casualties                 Major Cause

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What was the largest volcanic eruption in the 20th century?

The largest eruption in the world in the 20th century occurred in 1912 at Novarupta on the Alaska Peninsula. An estimated 15 cubic kilometers of magma was explosively erupted during 60 hours beginning on June 6th. This volume is equivalent to 230

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Where is the largest active volcano in the world?

Rising gradually to more than 4 km above sea level, Hawaii’s Mauna Loa is the largest volcano on our planet. Its submarine flanks descend to the sea floor an additional 5 km (3 mi), and the sea floor in turn is depressed by Mauna Loa's great mass another 8 km (5 mi). This

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Which volcanoes in the conterminous United States have erupted since the Nation was founded?

Excluding steam eruptions, these volcanoes have shown activity:

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What was the most destructive volcanic eruption in the history of the United States?

The May 18, 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens (Washington) was the most destructive in the history of the United States. Novarupta (Katmai) Volcano in Alaska

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How much of the Earth is volcanic?

More than 80 percent of the Earth's surface -- above and below sea level -- is of volcanic origin. Gaseous emissions from volcanic vents over hundreds of millions of years formed the Earth's earliest oceans and atmosphere, which supplied the ingredients vital to evolve and sustain life. Over geologic eons, countless

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What are some benefits of volcanic eruptions?

  • Over geologic time, volcanic eruptions and related processes have directly and indirectly benefited mankind.
  • Volcanic materials ultimately break down and weather to form some of the most fertile soils on Earth, cultivation of which has produced abundant food and fostered civilizations.
  • The internal
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How many active volcanoes are there on Earth?

There are about 1,500 potentially active volcanoes worldwide, aside from the continuous belt of volcanoes on the ocean floor. About 500 of these have erupted in historical time. Many of these are located along the Pacific Rim in what is known as the 'Ring of Fire.' In the United States, volcanoes in the Cascade Range and

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Map of Aleutian Island chain with locations of volcanoes and commercial air traffic routes indicated
March 3, 2017

North Pacific and Russian Far East air routes (gray lines) pass over or near more than a hundred potentially active volcanoes (red triangles). Aircraft flying along these routes, some of the busiest in the world, carry more than 50,000 passengers and millions of dollars of cargo each day to and from Asia, North America, and Europe. In the North Pacific region, several explosive eruptions occur every year. Ash from these eruptions, which has caused jet engines to fail, is usually blown to the east and northeast, directly across the air routes.

Large snow-covered, cone shaped mountain in background, looming over suburban area in foreground
January 18, 2014

Mount Rainier volcano looms over Puyallup Valley, near Orting, Washington.

mount hood
December 16, 2010

View of Mount Hood from Pittock Mansion, Portland, OR.

Image: Littoral Explosion At Kilauea Volcano, Hawai'i
July 16, 2008

When lava from the Pu'u 'Ō'ō-Kupaianaha eruption, active since 1983, meets the ocean, large littoral explosions can result.

Scenery: Valley surrounded by forested mountains. Multiple wisps of steam rise from the valley floor at various locations.
2006 (approx.)

Aerial view of Upper Geyser Basin, Yellowstone National Park

A gas plume arising from Augustine Volcano during it's eruptive phase 2005-06.
January 24, 2006

A gas plume arising from Augustine Volcano during it's eruptive phase 2005-06. This photo was taken during  a FLIR/maintenance flight on January 24, 2006.

Image: Redoubt Volcano
April 21, 1990

Ascending eruption cloud from Redoubt Volcano as viewed to the west from the Kenai Peninsula. The mushroom-shaped plume rose from avalanches of hot debris (pyroclastic flows) that cascaded down the north flank of the volcano. A smaller, white steam plume rises from the summit crater. 

Image: Cascade Volcanoes

The volcanoes from closest to farthest are Mt. Washington, Three Fingered Jack, Mt. Jefferson. This picture is taken from Middle Sister looking north in the Cascade Range, Three Sisters Wilderness Area, Deschutes National Forest, Oregon.