We keep exploring volcanoes from around the world with Wikimapia and today we turn your attention to North America. Most volcanoes on the continent are located along the west coast, at the subduction of the Pacific and North American tectonic plates. Alaska and Hawaii contain the biggest currently active volcanoes.
General view on North America
Lets start our review from the south of the continent and see the highest volcanoes in Mexico and than move north.
The Pico de Orizaba Pico de Orizaba
is the highest mountain in Mexico and the third highest in North America. It rises 5,636 meters above sea level. The volcano is currently dormant but not extinct with the last eruption taking place in the 19th century. The volcano is named for the city of Orizaba, but is also known by the Aztec name of Citlaltépetl (Star Mountain). The volcano has a rich cultural value. Its lower slopes host Aztec villages, pyramids, and temples. Its image adorns Aztec hieroglyphics and colonial and modern paintings, woodcuts, and lithographs.
is located just outside of Mexico City. It is the second largest volcano in Mexico. The volcano is curently active with strong military protection preventing access. In Nahuatl, Popocatepetl means "smoky mountain.
When speaking about volcanoes in southern part of the US, you'll certainly think about state Hawaii. Though these islands are not the part of the continent, we still want to take a look at them. The islands are located on the Pacific tectonic plate and were formed by hotspot volcanism. Two currently active volcanoes are located on the Big Island, Kilauea, and Mauna Loa.
Mauna Loa Mauna Loa
(4 169 m) is an active shield volcano, one of five volcanoes that form the Island of Hawaii. It is Earth's largest mountain, with a volume estimated at approximately 75,000 km³, although its peak is about 36 m lower than that of its neighbor, Mauna Kea. In Hawaiian, mauna loa means "long mountain". Lava eruptions from Mauna Loa are very fluid, and the volcano has extremely shallow slopes as a result. Mauna Loa is the world's largest shield volcano in terms of area covered.
, one of the world's most active volcanoes, offers scientists insights on the birth of the Hawaiian Islands and visitors' — views of dramatic volcanic landscapes. As Mauna Loa, Kilauea is situted on the territory of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, which encompasses diverse environments that range from sea level to the summit of volcanoes. Over half of the park is designated wilderness and provides unusual hiking and camping opportunities. In recognition of its outstanding natural values, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park has been listed in International Biosphere Reserve and pronounced a World Heritage Site.
Back to the continent part of the USA lets see the highests and most famous volcano peaks here.
Mount St. Helens Mount St. Helens
is probably North America's most notorious volcano and is well known for its ash explosions and pyroclastic flows. Mount St. Helens most catastrophic eruption happened on May 18, 1980. It was the deadliest and most economically destructive volcanic event in the history of the United States.
The mountain is part of the Cascade Volcanoes and the Cascade Range (major mountain range of western North America) and is included in the Pacific Ring of Fire with 160 other active volcanoes.
Sunset Crater Sunset Crater
is in the eastern part of the San Francisco volcanic field. Sunset Crater, one of the youngest scoria cones in the contiguous United States, began erupting between the growing seasons of 1064 and 1065 A.D. Eruptions continued in the area for many decades. Sunset Crater is Part of the Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument.
World-known Yellowstone caldera
is very large - 72 x 55 km in diameter. The caldera overlies the Yellowstone Hotspot, which is a mantle plume and is responsible for what is probably Earth's largest concentration of hot springs and geysers that Yellowstone National Park is so famous for. The park is known for its wildlife and geothermal features, especially Old Faithful Geyser, one of the most popular areas in the park. It has many types of ecosystems, but the subalpine forest is dominant.
Mount Bona Mount Bona
is one of the major mountains of the Saint Elias Mountains in eastern Alaska, and is the fifth highest independent peak in the United States. It is also the largest ice-covered stratovolcano.
Mount Blackburn Mount Blackburn
is the highest peak in the Wrangell Mountains of Alaska in the United States.The mountain is an old, eroded shield volcano. It is located in the heart of Wrangell – St. Elias National Park, the largest national park in the country. The mountain's massif is covered almost entirely by icefields and glaciers, and is the principal source of ice for the Kennicott Glacier, which flows southeast over 32 km. Mount Blackburn is a large, dramatic peak, with great local relief and independence from higher peaks.
Volcanic activity in Alaska is concentrated in the Aleutian Islands, an arc which stretches from westward from the Alaska Peninsula toward the Kamchatka Peninsula. The Alaskan eruption rate is about two eruptions per year. Alaska Volcano Observatory
monitors activity in the Aleutian chain
of 14 large volcanic islands and 55 smaller ones. The islands, with their 57 volcanoes, are in the northern part of the Pacific Ring of Fire.
On Wikimapia almost 2 500 objects have ‘volcano’ category. Though it is a lot of data to explore, there are still many volcanoes left untagged or without a detailed description. We appreciate every contribution of our users and look forward to see more information as well. Have you ever saw a volcano yourself? Or maybe you have nice photos or any interesting information about them? Share your knowledge with Wikimapia Community, add new volcanoes on world map or improve their descriptions.