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Volcanoes

Volcanoes in Washington, Hawaii and Alaska put the United States in third after Japan and Indonesia with the most historically active volcanoes in the world. Play the game, check out our photo gallery to see what an active volcano looks like and watch the videos to learn more.

*Please note, unfortunately this game will not work in Internet Explorer. Please try a different browser, like Firefox or Chrome, to play.
**Please also note that at the end of the game, clicking “more disasters” will close the page.

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This photo, taken on Oct. 11, 2004, shows the steaming lava dome inside the crater of Mount St. Helens. Molten rock has surfaced and formed a fin that is about 90 feet tall and 180 feet wide. Scientists estimate that the fin is growing at about 2-to-3 cubic feet per second-- enough lava to fill an Olympic swimming pool in 15 minutes.

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A plume of steam and ash spouts from Mount St. Helens on Oct. 5, 2004. This is an aerial view of the volcano's crater rim from the south. Bursts of steam and ash were thrown from the volcano for more than two weeks before lava finally appeared on the surface.

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Mount St. Helens on May 17, 1980-- a day before its catastrophic eruption. The view is from Johnson's Ridge, six miles northwest of the volcano.

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This picture of Mount St. Helens was taken four months after the eruption, from the same vantage point as the previous picture. A magnitude 5.1 earthquake shook the top off the mountain and formed an enormous crater.

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On May 18, 1980, at 8:32 a.m. PDT, a magnitude 5.1 earthquake shook Mount St. Helens. The top of the mountain slid away in a gigantic avalanche, releasing pressure and triggering a nine-hour eruption of the volcano that threw pumice and ash in a plume 15 miles above sea level.

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A National Geographic photographer's car is buried in a mudslide brought on by the Mount St. Helens eruption.

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Kilauea, on the island of Hawaii, is considered the most active volcano in the world. It erupted in 1983 and hasn't stopped since. This is the Pu`u `O`o Crater of Kilauea.

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Molten rock from Kilauea oozes through the forests of Hawaii, burning trees and turning former rainforests into barren seas of rock.

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A spread of lava engulfs a former wooded area, setting trees ablaze with the searing heat. The lava from Kilauea is about 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit.

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Lava from Kilauea, the world's most active volcano, breaks out of a crust and sends a feeler of molten rock into the crack below.

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Spatter cones in the crater of Kilauea throw up orange splashes of fiery hot lava. Kilauea is Hawaii's youngest volcano, and is considered the home of Pele, the Hawaiian volcano goddess.

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These are formations of cooled volcanic rock called "hornitos." Hornitos develop when lava is forced up through an opening in the cooled surface of a flow and then accumulates around the opening.

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A full moon glows above lava flows from Kilauea cascading over cliffs into the Pacific Ocean. The lava hitting the water causes immense clouds of steam to form at the point of entry.

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Lava flows run over the cliffs into the sea, incrementally expanding the size of the island. The Hawaiian name "Kilauea" means "spewing" or "much spreading." Kilauea's most recent eruption began on Jan. 3, 1983 and hasn't stopped since.

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Shelby Holliday takes a helicopter into one of the world's most active volcanoes.

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How travel is still affected.

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Watch out for hot lava!

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