Volcanic eruptions have baffled humanity since ancient times. However, since the 18th century geology has enabled us to understand, classify and measure the heights of volcano mountains. Below is a list of the world’s highest volcanoes:
5. Mauna Kea (Hawaii)
Mauna Kea is the tallest mountain in Hawaii. It is also the world’s tallest mountain when measured from the sea level with 10205 m. However, by elevation Mauna Kea only measures 4205 m since it’s 6000 m is submerged in the Pacific ocean. Mauna Kea’s summit lies 40% above the earth’s atmosphere. The surrounding atmosphere is also literally dry and has little to no cloud cover. The height of Mauna Kea led to establishment of the world’s largest astronomical observatory.
4. Mount Chimborazo (Ecuador)
This gigantic 6310 m monster is located in Ecuador’s Chimborazo Fauna Reserve. Due to its proximity to the equator, Chimborazo’s summit is the furthest point on earth from the earth’s center. In fact, when measured from the earth’s center, Chimborazo dwarfs Mt. Everest (the world’s tallest mountain by elevation) by 2229 m. Chimborazo is thought to have last erupted around 1400 years ago.
3. Coropuna Volcano (Peru)
Coropuna volcano is located in Southern Peru and measures 6377 m by elevation. It is also the tallest mountain in mountainous Peru. Coropuna is characterized by deep canyons all around it’s cones. As such, it’s one of the most difficult mountains to navigate since elevation can change up to over 4000m in just 15
km. Above 5300 m the mountain is covered by permanent ice. Coropuna’s craters are also covered in ice. This indicates lack of thermal activity within its vent.
2. Tammu Massif (Pacific Ocean)
Tammu Massif was identified as a single volcano in 2013. Tammu Massif’s footprint covers an area equivalent to the size of New Mexico. In fact, when measured in terms of area, Massif is one of the biggest volcanoes not only on earth, but also of all known volcanoes in the Solar System. However, Tammu Massif is invisible from the surface since it highest peak lies 2000m below sea level. Massif’s slopes are also very deceptive due their gentle inclination. This gentle sloping had in fact misled scientists into assuming that it was a complex volcano. As such, scientists knew more about mountains on Mars that they knew about Tammu Massif. Only through seismic data analysis did they identify that lava flows from the mountain originated from a single vent.
1. Nevados Ojos del salado (Chile)
The crown of all volcanoes goes to Ojos del Salado. It towers 6893 m above all Andean mountains and is the second tallest mountain in both Western and southern hemispheres. The mountain is thought to have last erupted about 1000-1500 years ago and straddles the Chile/Argentina border but the summit is located in Chile. Unlike Mauna Kea that has snow all year round at 4205 m, Ojos del Salado is only covered in snow during winter. This is due to its proximity to the the Atacama desert (the driest desert on earth).
The aforementioned volcanoes make it to the list of the highest volcanoes on earth. Nevertheless, there are numerous interesting volcanic mountains on planet earth as well as, all over the observable universe. Since
Tammu Massif was only identified in 2013, it is possible that the tallest volcano is yet to be identified. As such, keep visiting our list for any new updates.