The 7 Largest Active Mounts in the World

Volcano

Updated On: April 20, 2024 by   Ciaran ConnollyCiaran Connolly

The intriguing phenomenon of volcanoes is beautifully mind-blowing. These awe-inspiring occurrences often evoke feelings of dread when witnessed up close. While there are numerous dormant examples existing nearby human towns without issue, an even larger number remain active and could erupt unpredictably at any second. Though approaching them can be hazardous, many still take risks by exploring or attempting to climb these massive structures!

In this article, we have gathered a selection of the most active volcanoes or mounts for you to keep in mind. It doesn’t matter if you are an adventurous soul seeking out new experiences or someone who is merely researching from your safe haven – these recommendations will suit either one.

Mount Etna

Mount

Mount Etna, also known as Latin Aetna and Sicilian Mongibello, is an active volcano on the island of Sicily’s eastern coast. The name originates from the Greek word Eithne, which can be translated as “I burn.”

Mount Etna’s height shifts over time, increasing when new material is deposited during eruptions and decreasing when the crater’s rim collapses over time, just as the height of other active volcanoes does. Mount Etna is a mountain found on the Italian island of Sicily and also a group of nested stratovolcanoes, and its summit is broken into four distinct craters.

The two craters in the volcano’s centre are Bocca Nuova and Voragine. The crater in the northeast is called Voragine, and the crater in the southeast was created by an eruption in 1978. These craters experience a high frequency of Strombolian outbreaks, which are characterised by the production of ash, tephra, and lava fountains.

Most of the eruptions that occurred at the beginning of 2013 were strombolian. The Bocca Nuova crater was the source of the blast that occurred in January of 2013, while the Southeast crater is the source of the most notable eruptions in February. Mount Etna is also one of the world’s volcanoes experiencing the most extended and continuous eruptions.

Mt. Pinatubo

Mount

Mount Pinatubo is approximately 1,460 metres high and can be found within the provinces of Zambales, Tarlac, and Pampanga on the island of Luzon. Its height is about 4,800 feet. The most common entry points to Mount Pinatubo are in the municipalities of Botolan in Zambales and Capas in Tarlac.

Mount Pinatubo is a volcano located in western Luzon, Philippines. It erupted in 1991, making it the first time in 600 years to erupt, and the eruption caused widespread destruction. Mount Pinatubo can be found roughly 90 kilometres (55 miles) northwest of Manila.

Before its outbreak, the mountain stood at approximately 4,800 feet (1,460 m). Two months of emissions and relatively minor explosions were followed by a string of significant explosions that started on 12 June.

From the 14th through the 16th of June, these explosions reached their highest point, producing a column of ash and smoke that rose more than 25 miles (40 kilometres) into the air, with rock debris falling the same distance away from the volcano. In the weeks following the eruption, hundreds more people lost their lives in evacuation camps due to diseases.

The ashfalls forced the evacuation of the United States-leased Clark Air Force Base, located 10 miles (16 kilometres) east of the volcano. Eventually, the base was closed.

Mt. St. Helens

Mount

In the Pacific Northwest area of the United States, you’ll find the active volcano known as Mount St. Helens. It is located approximately 154 kilometres south of Seattle, Washington, and 50 kilometres northeast of Portland, Oregon.

These are the approximate distances. Mount St. Helens is situated in the Cascade Mountain Range, which stretches from the north of California through Washington and Oregon before entering British Columbia, Canada.

Mount St. Helens is located in the western Cascade Range, approximately 55 kilometres (34 miles) to the west of Mount Adams. The two volcanoes, often referred to as “brother and sister mountains,” are located roughly 50 miles (80 kilometres) from Mount Rainier, the highest of the Cascade volcanoes.

Mount Hood, the central volcanic peak closest to Mount St. Helens in Oregon, is located approximately 100 kilometres (60 miles) to the southeast of Mount St. Helens. Before its eruption in 1980, it occupied the fifth spot on Washington’s list of highest peaks.

Because of the symmetry and extensive snow and ice cover of the pre-1980 summit cone, it stood out prominently from the surrounding hills, earning some people the nickname “Fuji-san of America”. The summit was over 5,000 feet (1,500 metres) above its base, where the lower flanks meet the adjacent ridges.

Mt. Hood

Mount Hood is the state’s highest peak and a prominent landmark that can be seen from a distance of up to 100 miles (160 kilometres). Every year, there are approximately 10,000 people attempt to climb Mount Hood.

Although it presents some challenging technical climbing, it is accessible in a convenient manner. No trails lead to the summit, and even the “easier” climbing route on the mountain’s south side is a technical ascent with crevasses, falling rocks, and frequently unfavourable weather. It is essential to have ropes, ice axes, crampons, and other specialised mountaineering equipment. The best months for rock climbing are typically April through the middle of June.

The Mount Hood National Forest also contains four wilderness areas combined for 314,078 acres (491 sq mi; 1,272 km2) of land. The snow-covered peak of Mount Hood has been given a range of different heights.

There was an adjustment made in 1991 to a measurement made in 1986 by the National Geodetic Survey (NGS) of the United States, 11,240 feet (3,426 m) based on a scientific expedition that took place in 1993, and 11,239 feet (3,425.6 m) of slightly older origin.

There are a total of twelve named glaciers and snowfields located on the peak. It is the fourth-highest point in the Cascade Range and the highest point in the state of Oregon. Mount Hood is the Oregon volcano that is thought to be the most likely to erupt, although an explosive eruption of the mountain is unlikely, given its history.

Kilauea

Mount

Kilauea means “Much Spreading” in Hawaiian. It is an elongated dome formed by lava eruptions from a central crater and lines of holes extending along east and southwest rifts, also known as fissures.

On its western and northern sides, the slopes of Kilauea merge with those of the neighbouring volcano Mauna Loa. The Hawaiian–Emperor seamount chain is currently being erupted by Kilauea, the second-youngest product of the Hawaiian hotspot and the current eruptive centre of the chain.

Kilauea was once considered a satellite of its much larger neighbour Mauna Loa due to its lack of topographic prominence. Its historical activities have coincided with those of Mauna Loa. Kilauea has a large caldera that was formed relatively recently at its summit.

Kilauea, the youngest and most active volcano on the Island of Hawaii, had almost continuous eruptions from 1983 to 2018 at Puu and other vents along the volcano’s East Rift Zone. Kilauea is the most active and youngest volcano on the Island of Hawaii.

Within the Halemaumau crater at the volcano’s summit, there was a lava lake between 2008 and 2018. Kilauea’s lower East Rift Zone experienced the largest eruption and summit collapse in at least 200 years, both of which occurred in 2018.

The Halemaumau crater at the summit was fed by lava from an eruption between December 2020 and May 2021. Since 29 September 2021, the hollow of Halemaumau has been experiencing a continuous discharge. Lava flows younger than 1,100 years cover approximately 90 per cent of the volcano’s surface.

Mount Aso

Mount

Mount Aso, located in Aso Kuj national park on the island of Kyushu, is currently the most active volcano in Japan. There are some causes for concern that Mount Fuji is showing signs of an eruption soon, but as things stand right now, Mount Aso is Japan’s most active volcano.

It is home to one of the world’s largest calderas, which provides an abundance of vantage points over the region’s twisted and pitted landscape. The town of Aso can be reached by train (with fares ranging between £6 and £12 and taking one hour from Kumamoto and two from Beppu).

The region around Aso can be traversed via one of two ropeway systems, which are essentially cable car lines. A quick bus ride (which costs £3 one way) will get you to the Aso Nishi (west) cable car station from Aso station.

It is possible to get to the Aso Higashi (east) cable car station by taking a local train to the Miyaji station and then walking up the road to the cable car station.

Within the caldera, there is a significant amount of territory to investigate; however, visitors should check accessibility before setting out: Because Aso is a gaseous beast, its emissions frequently cause sections of the caldera to be sealed off.

Chaiten

Mount

The Chaitén caldera is a slight volcanic depression found in the southern part of Chile, on the flank of the Michinmahuida volcano. Before the year 2008, the majority of it was made up of a rhyolitic lava dome that had been inactive for the previous 9,400 years.

However, Chaitén started having violent eruptions in May of 2008, which resulted in the production of a significant number of plumes, pyroclastic flows, and lahars, and the formation of a new lava dome on the northern side of the existing one. The eruption had severe repercussions for the nearby town of Chaitén, which was inundated with lahars and ash due to the disaster. The city’s 4,500 residents were compelled to leave their homes and leave the city.

Because the village could either be reached by air or by boat, the navy was in charge of the evacuation. In addition to contaminating water supplies, the ash plume from the eruption spread across Chile and Argentina to the Atlantic Ocean, covering the town of Futaleufu (located 75 kilometres to the southeast) with an ash layer that was 30 centimetres thick.

After the eruption in May 2008, further volcanic activity was recorded in the vicinity of the volcano in February 2009. The most recent string of volcanic eruptions in Chile was this one. In 2008, the Chaiten volcano in Chile erupted spectacularly for the first time in thousands of years, spewing molten rock and a massive cloud of ash that reached the stratosphere. This was the first time the volcano had erupted in this manner. The ash also impacted a river in the area, and a town with the same name as the river.

Tell Us!

Let us know which volcano interests you the most in the comments below. Also, make sure to add your own list of volcanos for us to check out!

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