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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Most Recent

  • Mario Tama / Getty

    Photo Updates From Kilauea: The Lava Meets the Sea

    Since Kilauea volcano began its most recent eruptive activity on Hawaii's Big Island three weeks ago, the situation has evolved and worsened.

  • Thomas Peter / Reuters

    A Changing Way of Life for Mongolia’s Dukha Reindeer Herders

    In north central Mongolia, the Dukha people have lived a nomadic life with their reindeer herds for generations—today, that way of life is under pressure.

  • Richard Seeley / Shutterstock

    Travel Monday: A Photo Trip to Southeast Alaska

    Recent images from across southeast Alaska, a narrow strip of coastal islands and mountains that stretches more than 500 miles along the Pacific Ocean.

  • Mario Tama / Getty

    Photos of the Week: Kyrgyz Horsemen, Shanghai Steeplechase, Giant Bobbleheads

    Participants at the Wave and Goth festival in Germany, attendees at a “Kiss-a-thon” in Mexico City, observations of Ramadan in Indonesia, and so much more.