Dormant volcano

inactive volcano that is not considered extinct

Dormant volcanos are the volcanos that are quiet but might erupt again in the future.[1] If a volcano that has been silent for years erupts again or shows activity, it is called a "dormant volcano". Vesuvius of Italy is a prime example. After many years of dormancy, it re-emerged in 1931. Then it is dormant again. For example, Krakatoa in Indonesia, Aconcagua in Argentina, and Mount Fuji in Japan are dormant volcanoes.

Mt Hassan in Turkey last erupted 8500 years ago. It is a dormant volcano, and has fumaroles, which means that it is not an extinct volcano.
Fumaroles near the summit on Mount Damavand in Iran, which is a sign of a dormant volcano.

Difficult to classify


It is difficult to distinguish active and inactive volcanos.

For example, some scientists have described Mount Fuji as dormant or inactive.[2] That volcano has been dormant since its last eruption in 1707,[3] but is also classified as active.[4] The Geological Survey of Japan lists Mount Fuji as among the active volcanoes on the island of Honshu.[5]

Mis-labelled as dormant or extinct


Some volcanoes may remain dormant for a long time; and an eruption is a surprise.

Before 79 AD, Vesuvius was considered dormant.

Before 1991, the Pinatubo volcano in the Philippines was labelled as dormant.

Before 1995, the Soufriere Hills volcano on the island of Montserrat was dormant.[6]

Before 1980, Mt. St. Helens in the United States was dormant.

Select list


There are many examples of volcanoes which are considered dormant.



  1. The plural of volcano can be either volcanos or volcanoes. Both are equally correct, and it is not a matter of British vs US spelling. Oxford English Dictionary. Spelling in any particular Simple page tries to be consistent.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Ball, Jessica. "Voices: Dead or alive ... or neither? Why a dormant volcano is not a dead one," Earth Magazine (American Geosciences Institute). September 8, 2010; retrieved 2012-6-14.
  3. Titsingh, Isaac. (1834). Annales des empereurs du japon, p. 416; Shizuoka University, 宝永四年(1707)噴火 Archived 2017-08-12 at the Wayback Machine; retrieved 2012-6-14.
  4. Britannica Online, "Mount Fuji"; retrieved 2012-6-14.
  5. Geological Survey of Japan, "Active Volcanoes in Japan"[permanent dead link]
  6. "'Ladies and gentlemen, on your left you will see an erupting volcano': The stunning sight Caribbean holidaymakers saw from plane," Daily Mail (UK). 1 April 2010; retrieved 2012-6-14.
  7. University of Hawaii, Institute of Astronomy, "About Mauna Kea Observatories"; retrieved 2012-6-14.
  8. British Columbia Parks, "Mount Edziza Provincial Park"; retrieved 2012-6-15.
  9. University of Western Australia, "Volcanoes & Earthquakes in SE Australia," Archived 2012-06-11 at the Wayback Machine 2 December 2004; retrieved 2012-6-14.