World Facts

The 16 Dangerous Decade Volcanoes

The Decade volcanoes are capable of producing highly destructive eruptions.

Volcanoes are one of the most beautiful and the most dangerous geological features on the face of the planet Earth. However, not all volcanoes are the same. There are some among them that are of particular interest to geologists, seismologists, and leaders of nations as well. This is due to the fact that they are located quite close to densely populated areas, and in the past, they have erupted ferociously, spewing lava and pyroclastic flow that leveled vast areas. These volcanoes have been named the "Decade Sixteen", and they have been designated thus by International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth's Interior (IAVCEI). Here is a brief introduction of the volcanoes that make up the Decade Sixteen.

1. Avachinsky-Koryaksky

Avachinsky-Koryaksky is a stratovolcano. It is located on the Kamchatka peninsula in eastern Russia. It is one of the most powerful volcanoes on the face of the planet. It is also very active, with the last eruption in the recent history being in 2008. However, the eruption of 2008 was not a major eruption. The last major eruption of the volcano occurred in 1945, which was a massive Index Four eruption with a high volume of lava and deadly pyroclastic flows.

2. Colima

Colima is not a single volcano standing alone; rather it is a part of a "range" of volcanoes called the Colima Volcanic Complex. With an elevation of more than three thousand meters and a prominence of more than six hundred meters, this volcano, located in Mexico, is a huge one. It is also very active and ranks in the top five active volcanoes in Mexico. More than fifty eruptions from Colima have been recorded since its first recorded eruption of 1576. Even today, villages near the deadly volcano are routinely evacuated if there is a danger of an eruption.

3. Galeras Nariño

Galeras Nariño is an active stratovolcano, rising more than four thousand meters that are located in Pasto, Colombia. It has been credited with deadly eruptions in the twentieth century, with the eruption occurring in 1993 responsible for nine lives, six of whom were scientists. Due to recent activity from the crater and the volcano proper, it has been deemed to be a constant threat and it is the most active volcano in Columbia.

4. Mauna Loa

Mauna Loa is located in the state of Hawaii, United States. With a heath of 4169 meters and a prominence of 2158 meters, it is a very large geological feature on the island nation. It is the biggest subaerial volcano on the planet and has been known as the largest volcano on Earth for a long time. It is an ancient volcano and estimates suggest that it has been active for the past seventy thousand years.

5. Mount Etna

Known by the local name Mongibello, Etna is an active stratovolcano in, Sicily, Italy. It has been one of the most active volcanoes in Italy and in the entire European continent in the recent history. It is well known for the deadly pyroclastic flows it unleashed in antiquity. It also holds a special place in Greek mythology, where it is featured as the prison of a monster, Typhoon.

6. Mount Merapi

Mount Merapi is an active volcano located in the state of Central Java, Indonesia. It is one of the top five active volcanoes in the entire country and it is considered to be an active threat to the population that dwell nearby, therefore evacuation plans have been created for its eruption. With an elevation of around nine thousand feet and a prominence of almost thirteen hundred meters, it is a significant feature on the Island.

7. Mount Nyiragongo

Mount Nyiragongo is an active stratovolcano located in, North Kivu, the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It is a very active volcano and along with the Nyamuragira volcano that is located close by, these two volcanoes are responsible for almost 40% of all eruption on the African continent in recent history.

8. Mount Rainier

Mount Rainier is an active volcano located in the state of Washington, United States. Apart from being an active volcano, it is also the highest mountain in the entire state with an elevation of four thousand three hundred and ninety-two meters. Although it is classed as an active volcano, the last major eruption was about a century ago in 1894.

9. Mount Vesuvius

Mount Vesuvius is perhaps the most well-known volcano in the world. It is located in Campania, Italy. With its AD 79 major eruption completely decimating the ancient cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum, it is considered one of the most deadly volcanoes in the history of humankind. It is the only volcano in the entire content to have had a major eruption in the last century, and even today, it remains a constant threat to the nearby population.

10. Mount Unzen

Mount Unzen is an active stratovolcano that is located near Shimabara in Nagasaki, Japan. It’s most well-known eruption was in 1792 when it triggered a mega-tsunami that killed more than fourteen thousand people. To date, it remains the deadliest volcano in Japan. Its most recent activity was from 1990 to 1995.

11. Sakurajima

Sakurajima is one of the most active volcanoes in the entire world, and its last eruption of May 2, 2017 is considered to be one of the most recent eruptions by any of the Decade Sixteen. Located in Kagoshima, Japan, it remains a constant threat to the nearby population. It is only 1117 meters in height.

12. Santa María

Santa María is one of the most active volcanoes in Guatemala. Located in Quetzaltenango, it has an elevation of more than twelve thousand feet. It has been credited with one of the biggest eruptions in recorded history. When it erupted in 1902, the eruption as classed as Index Six and remains the biggest and most powerful eruption of the twentieth century.

13. Santorini

Although many people are not aware of this fact, one of the biggest and most active volcanic sites is the Greek, Santorini. The entire area is essentially what is left of a large volcano that erupted ancient time. Even today, it remains the most active area in the entire South Aegean Volcanic Arc.

14. Taal Volcano

The Taal Volcano is located in Calabarzon, Philippines. It is considered to the second most active volcano in the country and one of the most active in the world. In the past, the eruptions and the subsequent lava and pyroclastic flows have been responsible for around five thousand deaths.

15. Teide

Teide is a stratovolcano located in Canary Islands, Spain. With an elevation of more than twelve thousand feet, it is also the highest summit in Spain. The area surrounding the volcano has been converted into a national park and is a tourist hotspot. As its last eruption was almost 100 years ago, experts claim that it may erupt in the near future.

16. Ulawun

Ulawun is a stratovolcano located in Papua New Guinea. With an elevation of around twenty-three hundred meters and the same prominence, it juts out from the surrounding forest. It is a very active volcano with the last recorded eruption started in 2103 and lasted until 2014. It has erupted more than twenty-two times in the last three hundred years.

The 16 Dangerous Decade Volcanoes

RankVolcanoRegionCountry
1Avachinsky-KoryakskyKamchatkaRussia
2ColimaJaliscoMexico
3GalerasNariñoColombia
4Mauna LoaHawaiiUnited States
5Mount EtnaSicilyItaly
6Mount MerapiCentral JavaIndonesia
7Mount NyiragongoNorth KivuDemocratic Republic of the Congo
8Mount RainierWashingtonUnited States
9Mount VesuviusCampaniaItaly
10Mount UnzenNagasaki/KumamotoJapan
11SakurajimaKagoshimaJapan
12Santa MaríaQuetzaltenangoGuatemala
13SantoriniSouth AegeanGreece
14Taal VolcanoCalabarzonPhilippines
15TeideCanary IslandsSpain
16UlawunEast New Britain/West New BritainPapua New Guinea

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