Volcanoes have always fascinated me, mainly because Auckland, the part of New Zealand where I’ve lived for most of my life, is built on and around a field of volcanoes. The volcanoes in Auckland are dormant rather than extinct but scientists say it is more likely another will pop up in a different place rather than a dormant one erupting again.
Thirteen Volcanoes – most of which I’ve visited.
1. Rangitoto. The youngest of the Auckland volcanoes. This island is visible from many parts of the city.
2. Mt. Ruapehu – This volcano is part of the Tongariro National park. It has a crater lake at the top and erupts every few years. New Zealand’s worse rail disaster was the direct result of a lahar from Mt. Ruapehu and hundreds of people died when the train plummeted into a river. Early warning systems are now in place.
3. Mt Ngauruhoe – This is an almost perfect cone. It wasn’t erupting during my last visit, but I have seen it with a plume of ash.
4. Mt Eden – This dormant volcano is in central Auckland. I think it’s one of the best places to view the city. The view down into the crater is also interesting.
5. Lake Taupo – This is the biggest lake in New Zealand and is a crater. When Taupo erupted it affected world climate in a big way. Of course, this happened around two thousand years ago and the crater is now filled with water. It’s possible to see hotspots in some spots around the shoreline.
6. Mt. St. Helens – After the big eruption in 1980, the vegetation and animals are just starting to recover in the area. The scars are still very visible on the landscape. Geologists believe it will erupt again soon.
7. Mt. Rainer – this is a beautiful volcano. I loved Paradise. It was just beautiful on the day we visited last year.
8. Hawaii – Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park on the big island. You can drive right up onto the volcanoes and look down into the craters. That’s assuming they’re not erupting.
9. Volcan Pacaya, Guatemala – this is one of the three volcanoes near Guatemala City. When we visited it was spitting out molten-red rocks. Some of our group climbed the volcano. I thought they had rocks in their head. The rest of us walked along the lava flows. These were amazing. You could feel the heat off the lava as it moved the rocks down the hillside. When dark fell the lava glowed and looked like scarlet ribbons draped over the hillside.
10. Volcan Paricutin, Mexico – In 1943 a farmer was ploughing his cornfield when the ground started shaking and steaming, blowing out dust and sparks. Word is the farmer tried to cover up the moving spot but a year later a 410 metre volcano stood on the spot. It buried two villages and still spouts steam. We climbed over the lava fields and explored the church ruins, the only part of the two villages which is still visible. Source: Lonely Planet: Mexico.
11. Mt. Hood – part of the Cascades Mountain chain.
12. Yellowstone – volcanic activity has been going on here for a long time. Sismic activity has increased in the last six months. Parts of the park are actually a large caldera.
13. Mt Vesuvius – another Italian volcano, erupted in AD79 and covered the town of Pompeii. All going well hubby and I hope to visit Pompeii next year.
Have you visited any volcanoes? Which of the above would you like to visit?