The Sciences

Volcano World Cup: Group H

Rocky Planet iconRocky PlanetBy Erik KlemettiJun 25, 2014 7:13 PM

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We've made it to the last Group of the Volcano World Cup! If you haven't yet, vote in the rest of the Group Stage: A, B, C, D, E, F and G Group H has one of the Volcano World Cup favorites plus some upstarts: Algeria, Belgium, Russia and South Korea Algeria: I bet you didn't realize that Algeria has a number of potentially active volcanic fields. Most are clusters of small cinder cones and lava flows and most are remote -- I mean really remote. Of the 4 major volcanic fields, only one as more than 1,000 people living within 30 kilometers: the Manzaz Volcanic Field (see below). Thanks to their location, we don't know a lot about any of Algeria's volcanic fields, but they have likely been active in the last 10,000 years based on what other deposits they overlie. Interestingly, these magmas likely did come from deep in the Earth as they are chock full of mantle xenoliths (blocks of foreign rock).

The Manzaz Volcanic Field in Algeria, a collection of cinder cones.

NASA Belgium: Belgium doesn't have much in igneous rocks, and that is an understatement. The closest I could find are the igneous rocks in the Halle intrusive group, where porphyry copper deposits have been noted. Porphyry copper deposits are formed in the upper reaches above a body of magma feeding a volcano, so the presence of these deposits betrays the ancient volcanic past of Belgium. However, by ancient we're talking over 350 million years ago during the Acadian Orogeny.

Stavelot region of Belgium.

cs.belgium / Flickr Russia: If any country stands above the rest in terms of actively erupting volcano, it is Russia. The Kamchatka Peninsula in far eastern Russia seems to always have multiple volcanoes producing large ash plumes or lava flows or pyroclastic flows. Across Kamchatka and the Kurile Islands right now, no less than 4 volcanoes are on heightened alert because they are erupting -- not showing signs of a potential eruption, but actually erupting. This includes Shiveluch (see below), Bezymianny, Karymsky and Zhupanovsky. In the last year, you could add Kliuchevskoi, Tolbachik, Kizimen and more to that list. Kamchatka is truly an impressive nexus of volcanism.

An eruption plume from Shiveluch in Russia, seen on October 6, 2012.

NASA Earth Observatory South Korea: All of South Korea's potentially active volcanoes are confined to islands to the south of the Korean Peninsula. Ulreung and Cheju islands host a number of volcanoes, including Halla (or Hallasan) on Cheju (Jeju) Island. Halla is a shield volcano (like Hawaii's Kilauea) where lava flows have built an enormous, low, broad volcanic edifice. The last known eruption at Halla was ~1007 A.D.

Halla, on Cheju Island off the southern shores of South Korea, seen in 1980.

Norm Banks / USGS 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.

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