Yes! There Are Active Volcanoes in the USA: The List of Volcanoes
Volcanoes in the USA are geological formations in North and South America and adjacent islands that have resulted from volcanic activity during various geological eras and periods. America’s volcanoes are among the most numerous and active in the world. There are 194 volcanoes in South America alone, far more than on any other continent in the world. How many volcanoes in the USA? You may not believe it, but in the U.S. there are almost 100 volcanoes, 96 to be precise!
Both South and North America have extinct volcanoes, which pose no threat to humans and the environment, as well as currently active volcanoes. Volcanoes of America are usually part of several volcanic systems, which are located in different parts of the American continent. If to look at the map of volcanoes in the USA, you may notice that a considerable number of volcanoes are located in Hawaii. Here, the most famous volcanoes in the USA are Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa. Volcano in the USA active Mauna Loa (its height is 13678 feet) last erupted in 1984.
It is the largest volcano on Earth by volume (if you count its underwater part). Its volume is about 170 thousand cubic miles. Numerous volcanoes are in the northwest of North America, as well as in the United States, in the Alaska region (mostly extinct volcanoes here) and the Aleutian Islands (there are many live volcanoes in the USA).
These volcanoes are part of the Pacific Ring of Fire. Given the considerable remoteness from civilization centers and the low population of these lands, these volcanoes do not pose a great danger to people. Among the volcanoes in this region is the extinct volcano Blackburn, located in the Wrangell Mountains of Alaska. It is the second-highest volcano in the United States.
Further south, we can observe a significant number of volcanoes in the area of the western Pacific coast of the United States, where the North American Cordillera, the Rocky Mountain, and Cascade Mountain systems pass. On the territory of Washington State, there are such volcanoes in the USA as Adams (volcano height is 12276.9 feet), Baker (10780.84 feet), etc. Baker Volcano, located on the border of the United States and Canada, is one of the most active volcanoes in the region, its constant activity is observed since 1495. During this period it “pleased” people with 20 catastrophic eruptions.
The main tourist attraction in Oregon is the extinct volcano Jefferson, which is 10495.41 feet, and it is part of the National Park. The cone of the volcano rises above the surrounding area to a height of almost 5250 feet, making the volcano look very impressive. One of the active volcanoes on the USA map and the most famous volcano in California is Volcano Shasta, its height is 14163.39 feet. The last time this volcano erupted was in 1786.
Overall, by far the most dangerous active volcanoes in the United States are Kilauea volcano in Hawaii (USA), whose lava flows directly into the sea from its crater, Saint Helena volcano and Rainier volcano in Washington state (USA), Mount Hood volcano in Oregon (USA) and Shasta volcano in California (USA). Also, there are 7 volcanoes in Georgia, USA.
To study them more, see the volcanoes in the USA map below. Let’s continue with the list of active volcanoes in the USA.
Read more: How Are Volcanoes Formed?
NWD`s List of Active Volcanoes in the USA
Kilauea — Supervolcano In the USA
The lava lake in the crater of Kilauea volcano on the island of Hawaii is called Puu Oo. Hawaii is the most isolated archipelago on the planet, for 75 million years it has been lost in the vast expanse of the Pacific Ocean, 2500 miles from the nearest shore.
The Hawaiian Archipelago is the southern tip of a large volcanic chain over 3700 miles long. The island of Hawaii, also called Big Island, is the youngest of the archipelago’s islands, formed by a layer of lava over 4000 miles, and is home to five of the planet’s most active volcanoes (according to the ranking “active volcanoes in USA 2015”).
Kilauea is not only the youngest volcano on the island of Hawaii but also one of the most dangerous volcanoes in the USA and the world. A very volatile and dangerous area is adjacent to the lava lake Puu Oo on the Kilauea volcano. Since 1983, 500 thousand cubic meters of lava flows out of the crater every day. Endless streams of overlapping lava flow out of the hot spot of the island of Hawaii, which built the Big Island in 700,000 years. The hot spot is a constant source of magma, which travels 1800 miles (ca. 2,897 km), touches the Pacific crust, heats it, and erupts to form a huge volcano. The Pacific plate shifts about 8 centimeters a year, and gradually the volcano moves away from the hot spot, finally extinguishing.
A new volcano then forms in the vacant spot, and so a gigantic volcanic chain of more than 3700 miles (ca. 5,955 km) long arises. The area of the Kilauea volcano is a hostile and wild world. Through a labyrinth of underground cracks, lava flows can break out in the vicinity of the volcano at any place and at any time. The entire surface is dotted with huge chunks of lava and the soil there is very unreliable, loose.
Kilauea volcano last erupted in 1983, and since then, every year it releases millions of cubic feet of lava. In 1990, lava flows destroyed the village of Kalapana; 120 houses were demolished and buried under a layer of lava 30 to 60 feet (18.29 m) thick. New houses were built in the same places as those buried under the lava. Some houses managed to survive because they were located where the lava flow bifurcated. In 24 years, Kilauea destroyed 125 buildings, 7 miles (11.27 km) of roads, and covered more than 60 square miles with lava. Residents of Hawaii have become accustomed to active volcanoes in the USA, with some houses built on stilts so that they can be moved in case of danger.
Mount St. Helens — One of the Biggest Dormant Volcanoes In the USA!
Once upon a time, two brothers fell in love with a beautiful woman named Loowit. And in the struggle for her favor, as usual, they in every way showed the girl their strength and prowess, from which the inhabitants of the surrounding villages suffered. And the beauty could not decide which of the brothers she would prefer.
Heated up, so to speak, the situation. Finally, the father of the young men had enough of it all, and he solved the problem of the love triangle simply, namely by turning the trio into the mountains. And not ordinary mountains, but volcanoes, thus leaving them an opportunity to pour out their boiling passions inside them. It is clear that the most beautiful mountain was Loowit, and on both sides of her two former brothers were spitting insults and taunts at each other, which sometimes drove the former red maiden to an emotional breakdown.
Then she, too, spoke out, as volcanoes do, spewing smoke, steam, ash, and whatever else had accumulated inside. This is a free-spirited account of the ancient Native American legend of the origin of Mount St. Helens, which is located in the Cascade Mountains, which stretch from Canada to California for more than a thousand kilometers and are part of the so-called Pacific Fire Belt. The legend, by the way, reflected the information about the early eruptions of this insidious volcano, but researchers for a long time considered them no more than folklore.
But during the first half of the nineteenth century, the activity of Mt. St. Helens was recorded several times, which made scientists reconsider their attitude to it. It is known that in 1980 this volcano erupted and killed 57 people.
Rainier Volcano — One of the Biggest Volcanoes In the USA.
Rainier Volcano is a stratovolcano in Pierce County, Washington. Its exact location is southeast of Seattle, Washington. Rainier is a dormant volcano, but still dangerous. Its small eruptions were recorded by the U.S. services in the 19th century, namely 1820-1854. The most recent evidence of volcanic activity was recorded in 1894. If suddenly the eruption happens now, nearly 200,000 people could be in danger.
A bit of geology. This volcano in the USA map is part of the Cascade Volcanic Arc and is the highest peak in the Cascade Mountains (almost 15,000 feet). Rainier Volcano, whose summit is topped by two volcanic craters. Interestingly, each is more than 1,000 feet in diameter, with a large eastern crater overlapping the western crater. The geothermal high temperature of the volcano keeps the crater areas and rims free of snow and ice, and forms an extensive network of glacial caves within the ice-filled craters. A small crater lake, the highest in North America, occupies the lowest part of the western crater below 150 feet of ice and is accessible only through caves. On the slopes and glaciers of Rainier are the sources of many rivers (Puyallup, White River, Columbia basins).
Yellowstone Volcano: Should We Be Afraid of an Eruption?
When talking about the U.S. and Yellowstone Park, not always mention only the beautiful nature, animals, unique geysers. No volcano in the U.S. or the world can compare to the terrible supervolcano lurking here in Yellowstone. The local volcano is unrealistically famous, and probably the most talked about. Why? It’s just that its size is hard to imagine, it’s such a scale that the so-called volcano just doesn’t have a cone. If it were to erupt, it would develop into subsidence of its top into a giant cavity in the Earth’s interior. At the end of the process, a huge hole called a caldera would form. There is an opinion that one of the many causes of the apocalypse will be the famous supervolcano Yellowstone. We looked into whether we should pay attention to the annual warnings about the approaching catastrophe. This active volcano in the USA is one of the largest supervolcanoes in the world. It is located in the U.S. national park of the same name, famous for its geysers.
Over the past 2 million years there have been several powerful eruptions, so Yellowstone is considered dormant for a while. In the 1960s and 1970s, research by scientist Robert Christiansen of the U.S. Geological Survey showed that the size of the caldera, the supervolcano’s cirque-shaped basin, is about 20 and 35 miles (ca. 56 km), so it covers a third of the park.
Supervolcano activity can lead to consequences on a planetary scale. After a supervolcano eruption, there can be sharp fluctuations in temperature. A cooling of even half a degree on a planetary scale leads to a very sharp redistribution of air masses, hurricanes, and catastrophic precipitation are possible. For example, due to global warming, Australia is experiencing severe droughts followed by tornadoes and hurricanes.
And these are the consequences of minimal climate change. Now, residents of nearby villages live in between eruptions, and monitoring data show that volcanic activity in the caldera is not increasing.
The least likely catastrophe and the worst-case scenario is an explosive eruption, but the chance of that happening is one in a million. Sometime in the future — tens of thousands of years from now — a similar super-eruption on Earth might occur, but it doesn’t have to happen at all in Yellowstone. That was a TOP-4 list of volcanoes in the USA. Thanks for reading!