The U.S. Geological Survey defines a volcano as a vent in Earth's surface, either on land or on the seafloor, from which molten rock called magma, as well as ash and gases, can erupt or ooze. Different types of volcanoes erupt in different ways, with some erupting spectacularly and others, most notably Hawaii's shield volcanoes, steadily oozing lava. There are different types of volcanoes, including stratovolcanoes, shield volcanoes and cinder cones, and different types of lava and other volcanic flows. Volcanoes can be active, dormant or extinct. Most of Earth's volcanoes are located along the Pacific Ring of Fire, where many of Earth's tectonic plates subduct beneath another plate. Currently volcanic eruptions cannot be predicted, though most of the big, active volcanoes are routinely monitored and authorizes warn when they think an eruption is likely. Read below for the latest news on volcano monitoring and research, current volcanic eruptions and to see amazing pictures of volcanoes.
A seamount sitting on a subducting tectonic plate off the coast of Japan and plowing its way into Earth's mantle may be at the root of several magnitude 7 earthquakes in the past 40 years.
Supervolcanoes are defined by their ability to produce supereruptions — explosions of more than 240 cubic miles of volcanic material. But scientists disagree on how useful the term is.
An underwater volcano that gave birth to a new island off Japan's Iwo Jima island has erupted again, sending huge plumes of ash and smoke into the sky in footage released by Japan's Coast Guard.
A 2,000-foot-long hydrothermal field teeming with life and giant chimneys spouting boiling water has been discovered next to an underwater volcano off the coast of Ecuador.
LIVE Latest updates on the imminent volcanic eruption in Iceland, which threatens local towns and the famous Blue Lagoon spa resort following a series of earthquakes and the appearance of sinkholes.
Almost two weeks after the town of Grindavík was evacuated over fears of a volcanic eruption, the magma dike beneath Iceland still poses a high risk, with earthquakes and ground deformation ongoing.
Magma building beneath Iceland may break through the surface in a volcanic eruption, sending lava flows toward the Blue Lagoon, the Svartsengi geothermal power plant and the town of Grindavík.
Explainer Experts have warned that an underground magma tunnel between a pair of Icelandic towns could erupt at any moment. But what will this eruption look like? And how far-reaching will its effects be?
Iceland's volcanic activity is generally tame compared with explosive eruptions along the Pacific's Ring of Fire. This time, it's shaking up a town.
Live Science newsletter
Stay up to date on the latest science news by signing up for our Essentials newsletter.