Get our newsletter!
: "One of the most eye-catching guides to the world’s volcanoes ever published.
: Our professional team of volcanologists and photographers offers unique travel opportunities: volcano expeditions, photo tours, and relaxed walking & study tours.
The Volcano Adventure Guide
: Excellent information and background for anyone wishing to visit active volcanoes safely and enjoyably. The book presents guidelines to visiting 42 different volcanoes around the world.
: spaces available / : guaranteed / : few spaces left / : booked out
Maintaining the volcano and earthquake news sections on this website, the free Volcano Webcams tool
and interactive map widget
is a free-time, both time- and server cost intensive effort.
If you find the information useful and would like to support us, and help keep it alive and improve it, please consider making a small donation
. Thank you!
Illustrated Volcano Glossary
Plinian eruption of Mt. St. Helens on May 18, 1980 (USGS Photograph taken on May 18, 1980, by Donald A. Swanson)
Pumice deposit on Santorini, Greece, from the large Plinian "Minoan" eruption on Santorini in 1613 BC, showing the holes in the pumice where remants of an olive tree could be found and recovered by Tom in 2003. This material allowed the most recent and most precise dating of this eruption to date.
The most explosive and largest type of volcanic eruptions. Plinian eruptions erupt more than 1 cubic kilometer of magma often within less than a few days and produce ash columns that can reach 20-50 km height.
Plinian eruptions are large explosive events that form enormous dark columns of tephra and gas high into the stratosphere (>11 km). Such eruptions are named for Pliny the Younger, who carefully described the disastrous eruption of Vesuvius in 79 A.D. This eruption generated a huge column of tephra into the sky, pyroclastic flows and surges, and extensive ash fall. Many thousands of people evacuated areas around the volcano, but about 2,000 were killed, including Pliny the Older.
- Large plinian eruptions sometimes result in the withdrawal of so much magma from below a volcano that part of it collapses to form a large depression called a caldera.
- A few well known plinian eruptions of the 20th century include Mount Spurr, Alaska (June 27, August 18, and September 16-17, 1992); Mount Pinatubo, Philippines (June 15, 1991); El Chichón, Mexico (March-April 1982); Mount St. Helens, Washington (May 18, 1980); Agung volcano, Indonesia (March 17, 1963; and Novarupta, Valley of 10,000 Smokes, Alaska (June 6, 1912).
- Some plinian eruptions inject such large quantities of aerosols (small liquid droplets) into the stratosphere that surface temperatures on earth may decrease slightly. A few recent eruptions resulted in detectable cooling--the 1991 eruption of Mount Pinatubo, Philippines, and the 1982 eruption of El Chichón, Mexico. The massive 1815 eruption of Mount Tambora volcano, Indonesia, is thought to have caused the 1816 "Year without a Summer" in the northeastern U.S., Canada, and western Europe.
More on VolcanoDiscovery:
Bromo volcano photos
: Bromo is one of Indonesia's most visited volcanoes. It is the most active vent inside the huge Tengger caldera and erupts every few years.
: Watch volcanoes live: our free interactive webcam and online data viewer tool
Dallol hot springs
: One of the most bizarre landscapes on earth: Dallol is a vast and very active hydrothermal field creating a colorful array of hot springs, small geysers, salt towers, colorful lakes and ponds in the middle of the deepest part of the Danakil desert and the Karum salt lake.
Volcanoes in the Solar System
: The Earth is not the only place with volcanic activity. Active volcanism also occurs at at least 3 other bodies in our Solar System.