The Year in Volcanic Activity

Out of an estimated 1,500 active volcanoes around the world, 50 or so erupt every year, spewing steam, ash, toxic gases, and lava. In 2011, active volcanoes included Chile's Puyehue, Japan's Shinmoedake, Indonesia's Lokon, Iceland's Grímsvötn, Italy's Etna, and recently Nyamulagira in the Democratic Republic of Congo. In Hawaii, Kilauea continues to send lava flowing toward the sea, and the ocean floor has been erupting near the Canary Islands. Collected below are scenes from the wide variety of volcanic activity on Earth over the past year.

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  • JPL-Caltech / SwRI / MSSS / Betsy Asher Hall / Gervasio Robles / NASA

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  • Andrea Spinelli / Corbis via Getty

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  • Dan Mullan / Getty

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  • Lucas Jackson / Reuters

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