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.
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.
Mount Rainier volcano looms over Puyallup Valley, near Orting, Washington.
View of Mount Hood from Pittock Mansion, Portland, OR.
When lava from the Pu'u 'Ō'ō-Kupaianaha eruption, active since 1983, meets the ocean, large littoral explosions can result.
Aerial view of Upper Geyser Basin, Yellowstone National Park
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.
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.
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.