The Unpredictable Power of Nature: 12 of the Most Dangerous Active Volcanoes in the United States

Volcanoes are some of natures most powerful forces, capable of wreaking havoc on the landscape and posing serious threats to human life. But while some volcanoes have been dormant for centuries, others remain active and can be dangerous to those in the vicinity. Here we take a look at twelve of the scariest active volcanoes in the United States that you should be aware of.

1. Mount Kilauea, Hawai

Mount Kilauea
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One of the most active volcanoes, the Kilauea, has continuously erupted since 1983. The danger of this volcanic spot is not only in its lava flow but also from the explosive eruptions that can occur when water mixes with its magma.

2. Mount St. Helens, Washington

Mount St. Helens
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This volcano is famous for killing 57 people in 1980, causing over a billion dollars in damage. St. Helens is active to date and is characterized by small regular eruptions that could grow bigger in the near future. This makes it threatening to tour bikers and mountaineers.

3. Mount Rainer, Washington

Mount Rainer
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Looming over the Seattle-Tacoma metropolitan area, Mount Rainer has a reputation as one of the most deadly in the world. One major eruption is recorded to have caused volcanic mudflows bringing devastating effects to communities nearby.

Mount Rainer is also home to several glaciers which have been negatively impacted by climate change in the last 100 years.

4. Redoubt Volcano, Alaska

Redoubt Volcano
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When this stratovolcano erupted in 1989, it sent ashes 40000 feet into the air, halting air travel and military operations in the region. Redoubt, with its eruption, is capable of causing millions of dollars in damage to aircraft.

5. Mount Shasta, California

Mount Shasta
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Shasta is considered an increased threat in the region by fielding high potentials for lava and pyroclastic flows (a mix of hot lava, blocks, pumice, ash, and volcanic gases). It is usual to find worshippers and spiritual seekers along its terrain as many believe it is a sacred site.

6. Mount Hood, Oregon

Mount Hood,
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Located some 50 miles from Portland, the high propensity of this volcano to erupt and affect the surrounding environment makes it dangerous. Mount Hood is one of the loftiest mountains in the United States based on its prominence.

7. Three Sisters, Oregon

A panoramic image of the snow covered three sisters mountains with a barn and pasture in foreground, near Bend, Oregon
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These closely spaced volcanic peaks vary slightly in height and are grounds for hikers and backpackers. Made of towering sandstones, the three sisters pose threats of environmental degradation and harm to plant and animal life. Despite these threats, the Sisters’ cascading range and stunning vistas make them hard to resist.

8. Akutan Island, Alaska

Akutan Island
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Known for its ashfalls and lavas, the Akutan volcano in the Aleutian Islands has had several explosive eruptions recently. As a result, Akutan is considered a significant threat to aircraft movements in the area.

9. Makushin Volcano, Alaska

Makushin Volcano
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Sitting in the middle of a unique fishing port on Unalaska Island makes the frequently erupting volcano a threat to the living conditions of local residents, with the propensity of disrupting the local fishing industry.

10. Mount Spurr, Alaska

Mount Spurr
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This stratovolcano near anchorage erupted in 1992 and is expected to erupt again in the near future. Researchers have installed a network of sensors and instruments around Mount Spurr to monitor its activities.

11. Lassen Volcanic Centre, California

Lassen Volcanic Centre
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Home to several hydrothermal features, this complex of volcanic domes and cinder cones last erupted in 1915. The Lassen is currently active and is expected to erupt in the future. Its surrounding hot springs, fumaroles, and mud pots are a thing of staggering beauty. Tourists could, however, get harmed from getting too close to the extreme heat and toxic gases.

12. Augustine Volcano

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A teeming stratovolcano on Augustine Island in the Cook inlet, the Augustine Volcano is surrounded by a diverse community of seabirds like the horned puffins and cormorants that suffered from its eruptions as recently as 2006. Augustine is considered a significant threat to air travel and surrounding wildlife.

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