The Volcano World Cup rolls on. Remember, vote in Group A, Group B, Group C and Group D. Today we tackle Group E: Ecuador, France, Honduras, and Switzerland. Ecuador: If any country has a true cakewalk to the Round of 16, it might be Ecuador. Their competition can't hold a candle to the multitude of active volcanoes in Ecuador that include Tungurahua (see below), El Reventador, Sangay and Guagua Pichincha. All of those volcanoes have erupted since the turn of the century, so it doesn't include one volcano that may have produced one of the largest eruptions of the last 2,000 years (Chimborazo) or the famous Cotopaxi. Hard to envision a way that Ecuador doesn't cruise to the next round.
A small explosive from Tungurahua in Ecuador, seen on January 12, 2008.
Lesmode / Flickr France: Actually, you might not guess it at first, but France does a good job to hold its own with volcanoes. Continental France is fairly volcanically quiet, but it does boast some regions of potential activity. Most importantly, the Chaîne des Puys lava domes (see below) formed at ~4040 BC, meaning they are very much still capable of another eruption. France's greater empire does contain a fair amount of volcanoes as well, stretch across islands in the Caribbean, Pacific and Indian Oceans, including Piton de la Fournaise (which incidentally started erupting this morning) and the infamous Peleé that killed over 30,000 people in 1902.
Chaîne des Puys in France, seen on December 11, 2005.
bobuse / Flickr Honduras: Although much of Central America is volcanically active, the number of volcanoes that have erupted in the last 10,000 years in Honduras is quite low. There are 4 volcanoes listed in the Smithsonian/USGS Global Volcanism Program's database, but most of them show signs they have not been active for quite some time. Isla el Tigre (see below) is one of those weathered volcanic edifices in Honduras located just off the coast in the Gulf of Fonseca.
The eroded edifice of Isla el Tigre off the coast of Honduras.
Micah MacAllen / Flickr Switzerland: Being smack dab in the middle of Europe, it isn't surprising that Switzerland is lacking in any active volcanoes. However, intercalated in the rocks of the Alps are volcanic deposits that date back hundreds of millions of years, like the chunk of rhyolite below. This rock betrays the volcanic past of Switzerland.
A rhyolite porphyry from Switzerland. This volcanic rock is likely hundreds of millions of years old.
Siim Sepp / Sandatlas Select the two nations you think should move onto the Round of 16 in the Volcano World Cup. Voting will be open until June 26 at noon eastern time.