chapter  1
4 Pages

An Overview of Recent Volcanic Activity Worldwide

In order to provide a general overview of recent volcanic activity as a framework for the material in this book the following list was compiled from a number of sources. The baseline of previous activity was drawn at the Holocene as this period is increasingly used as the timeframe in an apparently quiet volcano’s life where renewed activity at some point in the future cannot be excluded. Ninety-two (92) countries are listed in this table, many containing volcanoes with a potential for further eruptive activity. The ‘real’ number of eruptions worldwide during the Holocene is in all likelihood much higher, however, with only the first column of the table reflecting reasonably reliable records of volcanic

eruptions. Anything beyond that list cannot be complete as not every country has kept written records of eruptions over time and in many regions volcanic activity would have gone unnoticed due to the remote location of some active volcanoes. In fact, the combined activity of all known and unknown volcanoes dating back further than a few decades would result in much higher figures than those commonly available in academic texts or other public sources. Given the number of eruptions over the past decade recorded in this limited list (152) even a conservative increase to take this point into account would suggest a staggering amount of volcanic activity during the Holocene.