Volcanoes that geologists believe may be extinct are located in such diverse places as Japan, the northern Pacific Ocean, Germany, Peru, the Philippine Sea, Meares Island, the United States, the Netherlands, Australia, Tanzania, France and Russia. Extinct volcanoes are not concentrated in any specific locations.
Geologists define an extinct volcano as one that has not erupted in at least 10,000 years and no longer maintains access to an underground supply of magma to feed its eruptions. For example, the volcanoes that geologists believe created the Hawaiian Islands moved with the tectonic plates that took them away from their supply of magma and left them extinct. As the extinct volcanoes moved west, the magma supply gave rise to new volcanoes to carry the magma from inside the Earth to the surface.
Some volcanoes that technically met the definition for extinction status at one point have later erupted, including Soufriere Hills in Montserrat, which erupted in 1995, and Fourpeaked Mountain in Alaska, which erupted in 2004. Most famously, the presumed extinct Mount Vesuvius erupted in 79 A.D., when it destroyed the Roman city of Pompeii. Similarly, while Yellowstone Caldera in Yellowstone National Park last erupted at least 640,000 years ago, geologists believe that it is dormant rather than extinct.Learn More
Volcanoes that have erupted within the last decade include Bulusan in the Phillippines and Copahue, which is near the border of Chile and Argentina. Some volcanoes, such as Kilauea in Hawaii and Mount Etna in Italy, have been erupting more or less continuously for decades.Full Answer >
It is hard to put an exact figure on the number of extinct volcanoes in the world; according to Oregon State University, the expectation that a volcano will never erupt again is no guarantee that this is actually the case. When it comes to predicting volcanic behavior, there is a lot of potential room for human error.Full Answer >
Every volcano has its own eruptive history, and most can be classified into three main types that are based on the volcano's general form and eruptive pattern. Categorizing a volcano as active, dormant or extinct is one way of acknowledging its eruptive history, though these categories are necessarily inexact and subjective.Full Answer >
Based upon the number of large explosions over the past 10,000 years, the most active explosive volcanoes are, in order: Shiveluch in Russia, Pel?e in Martinique, Cotopaxi in Ecuador, Katla in Iceland, Arenal in Costa Rica, Hekla in Iceland, Ibusuki Volcanic Field in Japan, Taupo in New Zealand, Vesuvius in Italy and Avachinsky in Kamchatka. Shiveluch has erupted the most, 43 times, compared to 22 times for Pel?e.Full Answer >