Discover Earth’s Top 10 Most Active Volcanoes: From Hawaii to Africa

Discover Earth's Top 10 Most Active Volcanoes: From Hawaii to Africa

About 1500 active volcanoes presently exist on Earth’s surface. Approximately 50 of these erupt each year. Volcanoes are destructive and can be poisonous,  yet they play a key role on planet Earth. The most active volcanoes are surprisingly located in populated regions. Here is a list of the topmost active volcanoes in the world currently. 

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Top 10 Most Active Volcanoes on Earth in 2024:-

1. Kilauea


This active volcano is approx 4,090 feet tall. It is located on the Hawaii islands, USA. It is infamous for its frequent eruptions, especially the one that began in 1983 and it continued for decades. Kilauea’s eruptions produce lava flows that are volatile as they reach the ocean. This causes steam. This is a dangerous volcano hence is closely watched over by the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory. 



2. Mount Etna

Mount Etna

The famous island of Sicily is also known for the infamous Mount Etna. it is one of Europe’s most active volcanoes. It has erupted approximately 11 times, over the years ranging between 1971 to 2022. The eruptions have been mild to violent at times. Regardless, this volcano in the east of Sicily is one of the most active in the world and is of great interest to scientists. Etna is also called a stratovolcano, as it has changed the landscape of the nearby areas.  Ash and lava are frequent eruptions. It proves to be a paradox of wonder versus danger to people. 



3. Eyjafjallajökull


Tricky as its name, the Eyjafjallajökullname volcano is the most active one in Iceland. The name means “Island mountain glacier”. This volcano’s eruptions occur every 200-400 years, on average. Eyjafjallajökull‘s eruption in 2010 was extremely impactful. Europe suffered the effects of a far-reaching ash cloud. This led to hundreds of travellers being stranded for six days. This glacier-topped mountain stands at approximately 5,400 feet tall. The surrounding area is a popular destination, for tours by helicopter or vehicles. Seasoned hikers also attempt to get a grand view from a nearby ridge. Scientists, use various techniques to study this volcano and understand its potential in the surrounding areas. 



4. Pacaya 


This is an active and dangerous volcano located in Guatemala, Central America. It has been erupting since 2013  and is well known for lava flow and explosions, which prove to be a potential threat to the local area. It is 8,400 feet tall and is known for spewing ash and rivers of lava. Despite its apparent danger, the volcano attracts hikers and tourists eager for adventure.



5. Mount Vesuvius 

Mount Vesuvius

Vesuvius is one of the oldest volcanoes in the world. One can term it as ancient yet dangerous at the same time. Its most destructive eruption was the one in 79 AD when ash and poisonous volcanic gases buried the cities of Herculaneum and Pompeii. This horrific eruption is said to have released 100,000 times the thermal energy of the Hiroshima atomic bomb. Tourists still hike to its summit and peer into the crater. It is said that visible steam can still be spotted emerging from the crater. 


6. Sakurajima in Japan 

This active volcano is situated on the southern Japanese island of Kyushu, in Japan. It is known for its frequent and volatile eruptions. Sakurajima continues to be active, with small eruptions occurring every year. Historical facts state that in 1914, its eruptions caused the former island to be connected with the Osumi Peninsula. Due to its unpredictability, Sakurajima is closely observed by scientists, who use seismology and satellite imaging to track its activity.  



7. Mount Merapi

It Is located in Java, Indonesia. Merapi has a long history of harmful eruptions that have even caused loss of life. In 2010, Merapi’s huge eruption caused major damage, leading to the death of more than three hundred people. Thousands of local people were also forced to flee the region. This volcano is a part of the Pacific Ring of Fire, a region of intense seismic activity around the Pacific Ocean. Due to the potentially dangerous nature of this volcano and others in the area, it is closely tracked by volcanologists. 



8. Mount Nyiragongo

This active volcano is present in the Virunga National Park, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Africa. The main crater contains a lava lake. This lava lake has been the most voluminous one in history. The most recent eruption occurred in May 2021 and it is said to have erupted 39 times since the 19th century. The most devastating eruption was in  2002 when the lava reached the city of Goma and destroyed many buildings. Resultantly, thousands of people had to flee. 



9. Ulawun 

This is a stratovolcano in New Britain, on the island of New Britain in Papua New Guinea. This region is known to have a lot of volcanic history and Ulawun is considered one of the most dangerous ones. It is the highest mountain in New Britain at 2,334 meters. Despite its volatility, thousands of locals still reside near the volcano. The most recent major eruption of Ulawun occurred in 2019, which caused significant damage and generated a large ash plume. This stalled air traffic in the region for several months.



10. Mauna Loa 

Mauna Loa is one of the 5 volcanoes that are in the state of Hawaii. Till some time back, Mauna Loa was considered Earth’s largest active volcano. It has an elevation of 4,169 m. And with an area of  5,271 km², it is massive. The name “Mauna Loa” rightfully means “Long Mountain”. Lava eruptions from Mauna Loa are fluid and non-explosive. Last it erupted in 1984 and scientists continue to watch it closely.

There are hundreds of active volcanoes across the globe. These volcanoes can erupt suddenly and spout lava and cause mass destruction. However, volcanoes play an important role in the evolution of the Earth. 


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