Images: New Volcanoes Discovered in Alaska

Cruising tourists, hidden volcanoes

New Behm Canal underwater volcano

(Image credit: James Baichtal, U.S. Forest Service)

Hundreds of thousands of tourists cruise by hidden volcanoes in Southeast Alaska's Inside Passage every year. Even geologists missed many of the small cones for decades, because they were concealed by thick forest and rugged wilderness. Researchers recently identified 12 new volcanoes in Southeast Alaska, including an underwater volcano near New Eddystone rock, a cruising landmark. [Read more about the newfound Alaskan volcanoes]

Southeast Alaska volcanoes

Southeast Alaska volcano map

(Image credit: Alaska Volcano Observatory)

Researchers have added 12 new volcanoes to this map and re-tested twice as many in Southeast Alaska, part of a project to look at the history of volcanoes and glaciers in the region.

Lava Fork flow

Blue River lava flow, Alaska

(Image credit: Susan Karl, U.S. Geological Survey)

The Blue River lava flow, about 120 years old, is the youngest lava flow in Southeast Alaska and British Columbia, Canada. Crossing the international border, the flow burnt trees to a crisp but was so remote no one saw the eruption.

Lava and ice

Suemez Island, Alaska volcano

(Image credit: Susan Karl, U.S. Geological Survey)

This spectacular columnar joint pattern in lava exposed in Alaska's Suemez Island formed when the lava flowed next to a glacier about 700,000 years ago.

A knobby forest

New Alaska volcanoes in Behm Canal

(Image credit: James Baichtal, U.S. Forest Service)

Volcanic vents and cinder cones pockmark Behm Canal. The Coast shear zone, a lineament running down the canal, is a zone of weakness in the crust that lets magma escape from the mantle.

The newest volcano

Behm Canal underwater volcano, Alaska

(Image credit: James Baichtal, U.S. Forest Service)

One of the newest volcanic vents discovered in Southeast Alaska is an underwater volcanic cone in Behm Canal near New Eddystone rock.

Behm Canal landmark

New Eddystone Rock, Behm Canal, Alaska

(Image credit: Eric Frommer)

New Eddystone rock, a popular stop for tourists cruising Southeast Alaska's Behm Canal, was once a volcano. Eroded by glaciers and waves, only a tall spire remains.

Explosive eruption

Addington Maar, Alaska

(Image credit: Alaska Department of Fish & Game)

The Addington Maar is 40 miles (65 kilometers) west of Craig, Alaska. A maar is a crater formed when lava or magma hits a pocket of groundwater and explodes. The maar is 295 feet (90 meters) below the ocean surface today, but formed when sea levels were lower, about 14,000 to 16,000 years ago.

Becky Oskin
Contributing Writer
Becky Oskin covers Earth science, climate change and space, as well as general science topics. Becky was a science reporter at Live Science and The Pasadena Star-News; she has freelanced for New Scientist and the American Institute of Physics. She earned a master's degree in geology from Caltech, a bachelor's degree from Washington State University, and a graduate certificate in science writing from the University of California, Santa Cruz.