Category Archives: FAQ

These are recent or frequent questions about volcanoes, volcanology, or who knows what!

Which volcano has killed the most people?

The eruption of Tambora in Indonesia in 1815 killed the most people.  It was a huge eruption that sent ash into the stratosphere that then spread around the world.  World climate was noticeably cooler the following year, and in places … Continue reading

Posted in FAQ | Tagged | 1 Comment

What is a hot spot and what is a mantle plume??

Several folks have written in after seeing the news reports of lava in Hawaii flowing through the Royal Gardens Subdivision past the house of Jack Thompson, the only remaining resident…  (The flow is approximately 500 yards away from his home…I … Continue reading

Posted in FAQ, News | Tagged | Leave a comment

Please tell me about Mount Cameroon

Volcanoes in Cameroon are part of the Cameroon line, a chain of volcanoes extending from Annobon Island in the Atlantic Ocean northeastward through Cameroon.  The oldest rocks have been dated at 70 million years old.  Nine volcanoes along the line … Continue reading

Posted in FAQ | Tagged

Do Hawaiian volcanoes explode like Mt. St. Helens?

Hawaiian Volcanoes will not explode like Mount St. Helens. Mount St. Helens magma is more viscous. Therefore gas cannot escape as readily, resulting in explosive eruptions. One index of explosivity is volume of eruption. Since the start of the current … Continue reading

Posted in FAQ

What are some good things that volcanoes do?

That’s a good question. I guess the main good effect that volcanoes have on the environment is to provide nutrients to the surrounding soil. Volcanic ash often contains minerals that are beneficial to plants, and if it is very fine … Continue reading

Posted in FAQ

What is the greatest amount of lava that has ever erupted from any volcano?

Probably the largest historic lava flow was erupted in Iceland from part of the Grimsvotn volcano system called Laki. Thorvaldur Thordarson and Steve Self calculated a lava flow volume of 14.7 cubic kilometers of lava.

Posted in FAQ | Tagged

What’s the most recent eruption of Vesuvius and will it erupt again?

  Photo by Italian Air Force from Green and Short (1971). Vesuvius has erupted about three dozen times since 79 A.D., most recently from 1913-1944. The 1913-1944 eruption is thought to be the end of an eruptive cycle that began … Continue reading

Posted in FAQ