Facebook Pixel

March 12, 2009


Thursday Thirteen

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?


  1. Lanie Fuller

    Ooh! Volcanoes interest me. I remember a few years back when they thought Mt. St. Helens (I think it was), was going to erupt again. It really is fascinating. I’m pretty sure (but don’t quote me) that New Mexico has some dormant ones. It’s been too long since I’ve lived there, so odds are I’m totally mistaken, LOL.

    Great list, Shelley!

  2. Ms Menozzi

    I dunno… I find ’em fascinating, but they also scare the heck outta me! LOL!

    Still, there is something fascinating about all that suppressed energy, ready to explode with who-knows-what consequences to follow.

    That’s kinda sexy, huh? ;)

    Happy TT!

  3. Hollie

    Ive been to Edinbrough and seen the castle that is built on an extinct volcano. Does that count?

  4. Jennifer Colgan

    Gorgeous shots! I’ve never been to a volcano, but I hope to one day. My son has been fascinated with lava all his life so maybe when he grows up to be a vulcanologist he can show his mom the sights!

  5. N.J. Walters

    I’ve never seen an active volcano and that’s okay by me. They’re fascinating, but scary as all get out.

  6. Adelle Laudan

    Great pics! I’ve never seen a volcano. Hmmm, in fact I’ve never heard of one in my neck of the woods. I wouldn’t turn down the opportunity to see one though.
    Happy T13!

  7. Roberta Harwell

    Never had the chance to visit a volcano. If I could, I would have to say Mt. Rainer or Mt. Hood would be my pick. Have a great day.

  8. Jennifer McKenzie

    I think you’ve seen the best. I love Yellowstone.
    You knew that it was a Caldera and that it’s bulging, right? Yellowstone is overdue for an eruption so it’s being watched carefully.
    Mt. Shasta in California is interesting too.
    I love volcanoes…..from a distance. LOL.

  9. Alice Audrey

    Mt. Taupo is a big crater.

    I flew over Mt. St. Helens a year after it erupted. I have pictures of trees looking like scorched toothpicks.

    I’ve been to Yellowstone a number of times, and once saw a flame shoot out of a volcano on Hawaii.

    Until this moment I had no idea I’d had so much to do with volcanoes.

  10. Heather

    Those are some amazing photos. I’ve never had the chance to visit a volcano myself, though I do have a tiny bottle of ash from Mount St Helen’s a relative brought back from a trip in 1980. Maybe some day… :wink:

  11. Amy Ruttan

    I haven’t visited a volcano, but I SO want to. One of my favorite movies is Dante’s Peak, a mountain in the Cascades erupting to the affect of Mt. Saint Helen’s. Utterly fascinating.

  12. Brenda ND

    Very cool. Volcanoes intrigue me too. :mrgreen:

  13. Susan Helene Gottfried

    You know how dearly I love that Yellowstone caldera! I am now hoping to get the kids to Yellowstone before the caldera blows, since it’s about time for it to happen again. (Yikes)

    I loved the grass-lined crater!! I’d love to see that one in person.

  14. Shelley Munro

    I have to say that although they fascinate me, I have a healthy respect. I guess living in Auckland with so many dormant volcanoes we don’t think about the danger.

    Yellowstone is very interesting. I visited the website where they watch all the activity and saw that it’s up a lot this year.

  15. Jamie

    Nice pictures. I’ve been to Mt. Shasta and seen Mt. Saint Helens from a distance. I remember visiting a few extinct craters in the Southwest deserts when I was a kid living in California. I still have a few pieces of lava and pumice. At one crater, which I can’t remember the name of at the moment, we walked/slid/ran down to bottom. We laughed about that silly idea later, because it took maybe less than 5 minutes to go down, and about an hour to hike back up.

  16. Barbara Martin

    Great post, Shelley. I have been to Mt. St. Helens, Mt. Rainier, Mt. Hood and Yellowstone. I remember the ash fallout from Mt. St. Helens’ eruption in 1980 as it reached as far as Edmonton, Alberta where I was living and found a fine layer of white dust on my truck.

    Thanks for commenting on my debut publication.