There are over 500 documented volcanos on Earth. Just about every culture has some reference to these fantastic natural events; in fact, the word “volcano” comes from Vulcan, the Roman God of Fire and Metalworking (Volcanoes). As society progressed, people began to understand volcanoes as more than just gateways to hell and internal suffering, and instead recognize them as the result of tectonic plate boundaries and shifting.
Below you’ll find a collection of resources centered around volcanoes and geology from around our world and the planets closest to us. Many of these resources are products of geology departments at various different universities, and feature a wide range of information in addition to the resources listed. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.
Glossary of Volcanic and Geologic Terms – The most extensive glossary on the web. Presented by Oregon State University, this list covers all the basic terms and all the un-basic terms as well.
How Volcanos Work – If you need a refresher course, this website is a comprehensive educational resource that describes the science behind both volcanoes and the volcanic processes.
Hawaiian Volcano Observatory – From the United States Geological Survey, this site takes an in-depth look at the many volcanos and earthquakes on the Hawaiian islands, including fantastic images and extensive fact sheets.
Volcanic Activity in Iceland – A comprehensive overview of the volcanos in Iceland, including a gallery of images and a video of the Fimmvörđuháls volcano erupting in Southern Iceland.
Physical Geology Slides-Volcanoes – A great collection of images, categorized by type with descriptions. Includes cinder cones, stratovolcanoes, calderas, and images of Vesuvius and Pompeii.
Volcano and Earthquake Resources on the World Wide Web – Though an older site, this page from Colby College contains live links to some fantastic volcano and geographic links from around the net, including observatory homepages and earthquake information in the U.S. by region.
Virtual Geology – This site features virtual field trips, regional geology, as well as some truly incredible images of geology and scenery from around the world.
A Geological Guidebook to Dante’s Peak – A humorous rendition of the movie Dante’s Peak as told by a geologist horrified by the inaccuracies of the film who feels the need to set the record straight about volcanos.
Volcanoes on Venus – From Oregon State University, this webpage features an overview of volcanoes on Venus, as well as images of Venus’ large shield volcanoes, lava flow features, and some remarkably unusual volcanoes as well.
Exciting Science: Life at the Extremes – Microbiology of deep-sea volcanoes – Rutgers University presents a fascinating look at the life that consists in water as hot as 400°C, extremely high pressures, and surrounded by high concentrations of hydrogen sulfide.
Submarine Volcanoes – This article contains a thorough explanation of submarine volcanoes’ plate tectonic settings, submarine eruptions, evidence of features and deposits, and is supplemented by several images.
Geology of Mars – This site has information and images of many global features on the planet of Mars, including volcanoes, craters, landslides, tectonic plates, and wind mechanics.
Video of Sand Volcano (injectite) Erupting – This video, taken in Saudi Arabia, shows an injectite volcano exploding right next to a busy street.
Michigan Technological University Volcanoes Page – This site, sponsored by the Keweenaw Volcano Observatory, includes an extensive variety of links to all things related to volcanos, including a section of volcano jokes and recipes for cooking with lava.
The Volcano Information Center – From the University of California at Santa Barbara, this site “provides links to websites that are resources for data and to inform the user about general volcanology, including features of volcanoes, volcanic eruptions and volcanic hazards.”
Hawaii Volcanism: Lava Forms – This page includes a brief but thorough explanation of different types and behaviors of lava and includes several pictures of lava from the Hawaii volcanoes.
Volcanoes of Canada and the western USA – Each region of Canada and western United States features a map of where the volcanoes are, as well as a complete list of the documented volcanoes, their type, and activity status.