Environment

Which Countries Have the Most Volcanoes?

The United States is home to the most active volcanoes on Earth.

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Volcanoes are found mostly where tectonic plates converge or diverge. The Mid-Atlantic Ridge is a point of divergent tectonic plates and contains numerous volcanoes. The Pacific Ring of Fire is a region of convergent tectonic plates and also has numerous volcanoes. Volcanoes also could be formed in regions where there is a thinning or stretching of the plates on the crust, for instance, the East African Rift and North America’s Rio Grande Rift. The United States has more volcanoes than any other country on Earth, followed by Russia and Indonesia. 

Volcanoes in the US

The US has the largest number of volcanoes totaling 173, and most of them are found in Alaska, where eruptions take place almost every year. Other volcanoes are found in Hawaii and Kilauea is the most active volcano in the world that has erupted continuously since 1983. The US has about 161 active volcanoes. Most of them are on the western side of the country. Eighteen volcanoes are categorized as a very high threat because of the internal activity and the proximity of large populations. Five out of the 18 volcanoes are found in Alaska. Kilauea volcanic mountain in Hawaii is considered the most dangerous volcano in the whole country.

Russia

Russia is home to 166 volcanoes. The Kamchatka Peninsula has the largest concentration of volcanoes lying on the eastern side of Russia. There are 29 active volcanoes in the Kamchatka Peninsula. Klyuchevskaya Sopka is the highest volcanic mountain standing at 15,584 feet above sea level, and it is the largest active volcano in the Northern Hemisphere. The Bolshaya Udina is one of the volcanoes in Russia which was initially thought to be extinct but in 2017 seismic activity was recorded. Nobody knows the last time the mountain erupted.

Indonesia

Indonesia has around 139 volcanoes. The volcanoes in Indonesia are part of the Pacific Ring of Fire and most of its eruptions in the past led to damage to arable land and fatalities. Mount Merapi and Kelut are the most active volcanoes in Indonesia found on the island of Java. Most of the volcanoes in the country are found on the 1,800 mile-long chain, commonly known as Sunda Arc. The arc is the point where the subduction of the Indian Ocean plate on the ocean plate occurs. The largest eruptions on the planet took place in Indonesia. The eruption of Mount Tambora in 1815 is one of the largest eruptions in the world in recent history. The eruption had a huge effect on the climate in Europe in 1816. The year has been referred to as the year without summer.

Iceland

Iceland is home to 130 volcanoes, and most of its volcanoes are located within the Mid-Atlantic Ridge which is a divergent boundary of tectonic plates. Greenland has 30 active volcanoes, and as from 874 AD, 13 volcanoes have erupted. The worst eruption was experienced between 1783 and 1784, which killed about 1/4 of the inhabitants of Iceland. In 2010, Eyjafjallajökull erupted, and the volcanic ash plume in the air and disrupted air travel for several weeks in the northern part of Europe.

10 Countries With The Most Volcanoes

RankCountryNumber of Volcanoes
1United States173
2Russia166
3Indonesia139
4Iceland130
5Japan112
6Chile104
7Ethiopia57
8Papua New Guinea53
9Philippines50
10Mexico43

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