Largest Volcanoes in the World
Largest Volcanoes in the World: Volcanoes are geological features that are formed when magma (molten rock), ash, and gas escape to the Earth’s surface. They are typically found at the boundaries of tectonic plates, where the Earth’s crust is either being pulled apart or pushed together.
Volcanoes can take many different forms, including shield volcanoes, cinder cones, and stratovolcanoes. They can also vary greatly in size, from small cones that are only a few meters tall to massive mountains that rise several kilometres above the surrounding landscape.
When a volcano erupts, it can release ash, lava, and gas into the atmosphere, which can have significant impacts on the surrounding environment and even affect global climate patterns.
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Largest Active Volcanoes in the World
Here is the List of the Largest Active Volcanoes in the World given below:
|Mauna Loa||Hawaii, USA||The largest active volcano on Earth, Mauna Loa is a shield volcano that rises about 4,170 meters above sea level and has a volume of around 75,000 cubic kilometres.
It is located on the Big Island of Hawaii and last erupted in 1984. Its frequent eruptions and gentle slopes make it an important location for studying the formation and behaviour of shield volcanoes.
|Mount Etna||Sicily, Italy||The largest active volcano in Europe, Mount Etna is a stratovolcano that rises about 3,329 meters above sea level and has a volume of around 500 cubic kilometers. It is located on the east coast of Sicily and has been erupting continuously for thousands of years.
Its eruptions are often explosive and produce lava flows, ash plumes, and other hazards that can pose a threat to nearby communities.
|Piton de la Fournaise||Reunion Island, Indian Ocean||Piton de la Fournaise is a shield volcano that rises about 2,632 meters above sea level and has a volume of around 530 cubic kilometres. It is located on the island of Reunion in the Indian Ocean and is one of the most active volcanoes in the world.
Its frequent eruptions are often accompanied by lava flows that can harm nearby communities.
|Kilauea||Hawaii, USA||One of the world’s most active and most studied volcanoes, Kilauea is a shield volcano that rises about 1,247 meters above sea level and has a volume of around 75 cubic kilometres.
It is located on the Big Island of Hawaii and has erupted continuously since 1983. It’s frequent eruptions and accessible location makes it an important location for studying volcanic processes and hazards.
|Mount Nyiragongo||Democratic Republic of the Congo||One of the most active and dangerous volcanoes in the world, Mount Nyiragongo is a stratovolcano that rises about 3,470 meters above sea level and has a volume of around 50 cubic kilometers.
It is located in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and is known for its highly fluid lava that can move at speeds of up to 100 km/h. Its eruptions have caused significant damage and loss of life in nearby communities.
|Mount Shasta||California, USA||A stratovolcano that rises about 4,322 meters above sea level, Mount Shasta is located in Northern California near the border with Oregon. It has a volume of around 350 cubic kilometers and is one of the largest and most active volcanoes in the Cascade Range.
Its most recent eruption occurred around 200 years ago, and it is closely monitored for signs of volcanic activity.
|Sangay||Ecuador||Located in the Andes Mountains of Ecuador, Sangay is a stratovolcano that rises about 5,230 meters above sea level and has a volume of around 30 cubic kilometers.
It is one of the most active volcanoes in South America, with frequent eruptions that produce lava flows, ash plumes, and lahars. Its remote location and difficult terrain make it a challenging location to study and monitor.
|Mount Merapi||Java, Indonesia||A stratovolcano that rises about 2,930 meters above sea level, Mount Merapi is located on the island of Java in Indonesia. It has a volume of around 40 cubic kilometers and is one of the most active and dangerous volcanoes in Indonesia.
Its eruptions are often explosive and can produce pyroclastic flows, ash plumes, and lahars that have caused significant damage and loss of life in nearby communities. It is closely monitored by volcanologists and local authorities.
|Popocatépetl||Mexico||Popocatépetl is a stratovolcano that rises about 5,426 meters above sea level and has a volume of around 225 cubic kilometers. It is located near Mexico City and is one of the most active volcanoes in Mexico.
Its eruptions are often explosive and produce ash plumes and lahars that can harm nearby communities. It is closely monitored by volcanologists and local authorities.
|Mount Yasur||Vanuatu||Located on the island of Tanna in Vanuatu, Mount Yasur is a stratovolcano that rises about 361 meters above sea level and has a volume of around 0.1 cubic kilometres.
It is one of the most active volcanoes in the South Pacific, with frequent Strombolian eruptions that produce lava fountains and ash plumes. It is a popular tourist destination, but visitors must take care to avoid hazards such as flying debris and toxic gases.
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List of Largest Volcanoes in the World
Here is a List of Largest Volcanoes in the World and their Location given below in the table:
|1||Mauna Loa||Hawaii, United States|
|2||Tamu Massif||Pacific Ocean, off the coast of Japan|
|3||Ojos del Salado||Argentina/Chile border|
|4||Tamu Koba||Pacific Ocean, off the coast of Japan|
|5||Manua Loa||American Samoa|
|6||Pacific Ocean Seamounts||Pacific Ocean|
|10||Mount Etna||Sicily, Italy|
|11||Mount Shasta||California, United States|
|12||Teide||Canary Islands, Spain|
|13||Mount Rainier||Washington, United States|
|14||Yellowstone Caldera||Wyoming, United States|
|15||Mount Nyiragongo||Democratic Republic of Congo|
|17||Mount St. Helens||Washington, United States|
|18||Mount Fuji||Honshu, Japan|
|19||Mount Pinatubo||Luzon, Philippines|
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Distribution of Volcanoes in the World
Volcanoes are found all around the world, but their distribution is not even. They are typically found along tectonic plate boundaries, where the Earth’s crust is most active. The followings are some of the main types of volcanoes and their distribution:
- Pacific Ring of Fire: The Pacific Ring of Fire is an area around the Pacific Ocean where a large number of volcanoes are located. It is a horseshoe-shaped belt that stretches from the west coast of North America to New Zealand and Indonesia. This region is highly active due to the subduction of the Pacific Plate beneath other tectonic plates, which creates a lot of magma that eventually leads to volcanic eruptions.
- Mid-Atlantic Ridge: The Mid-Atlantic Ridge is a divergent plate boundary that runs through the Atlantic Ocean. Volcanoes are found along this ridge, as magma rises from the Earth’s mantle and forms a new oceanic crust.
- African Rift Valley: The African Rift Valley is a series of rifts that run through Eastern Africa. Volcanoes are found along this rift, where the Earth’s crust is thinning and magma rises to the surface.
- Mediterranean: The Mediterranean is an area of high volcanic activity, with volcanoes located in Italy, Greece, and other parts of the region. This is due to the collision of the African and Eurasian tectonic plates, which creates a lot of seismic activity and magma.
- Hotspots: Hotspots are areas where magma rises from the mantle and creates a volcano, regardless of the location of tectonic plate boundaries. Some examples of hotspots include Hawaii, Yellowstone National Park, and Iceland.
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How Many Volcanoes are there in the World?
There is no exact count of the number of volcanoes in the world, as new volcanoes can form and old ones can become dormant or extinct. However, there are approximately 1,500 potentially active volcanoes worldwide, with around 50 to 70 of them erupting each year. The majority of these volcanoes are located around the Pacific Ocean in an area known as the “Ring of Fire.”
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Largest Volcanoes in the World UPSC
The topic of the largest volcanoes in the world is relevant for the UPSC exam as it falls under the scope of the UPSC Syllabus for geography. UPSC aspirants who are preparing for the exam with the help of StudyIQ UPSC Online Coaching or UPSC Mock Test may encounter questions related to this topic in the exam.
In the UPSC syllabus for geography, volcanoes are covered under the section of Physical Geography. Aspirants are expected to have knowledge of different types of volcanoes, their characteristics, distribution, and their impact on the environment.
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