We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

Where Do Most Volcanoes Erupt?

The Earth's volcanoes erupt most often near the boundaries of the 16 tectonic plates that form the planet's outer crust. The vast majority of those plate boundaries are found along ocean floors. When plates collide, brush past one another or even spread apart, the result is an escape of the hotter layer of material that exists just under the plates. Although most volcano eruptions occur along plate boundaries, there also are interior areas called hot spots that are sometimes the site of volcanic activity.

More facts about volcanoes:

  • Volcanic activity at sea can lead to the development of a tsunami. This powerful wave is created when plates slide over or under one another, then suddenly spring backward. As a result, the displaced water generates a wave that is capable of traveling a great distance, engulfing coastlines and causing much damage.

  • The most famous volcano in the world is Mount Vesuvius, which is located in the Bay of Naples in the southern section of Italy. The volcano has erupted at least 30 times since record-keeping began. One of the more notable eruptions occurred in 79 A.D., when an eruption of ash and lava covered the cities of Pompeii and Stabiae.

  • The highest concentration of volcanoes is found in the South Pacific. With 1,133 volcanic cones and sea mounts spread over an area roughly the size of New York state, the possibility of an eruption is ever present.

Malcolm Tatum
By Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum, a former teleconferencing industry professional, followed his passion for trivia, research, and writing to become a full-time freelance writer. He has contributed articles to a variety of print and online publications, including WiseGeek, and his work has also been featured in poetry collections, devotional anthologies, and newspapers. When not writing, Malcolm enjoys collecting vinyl records, following minor league baseball, and cycling.
Discussion Comments
By anon947765 — On Apr 27, 2014

What about the ring of fire?

Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum, a former teleconferencing industry professional, followed his passion for trivia, research, and writing...
Learn more
WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.