Myth vs Reality: Volcanoes and Climates

Video Player

Video Versions

This short segment addresses the misconception that volcanoes exist only in hot climates. 

Produced by the Space Telescope Science Institute’s Office of Public Outreach in collaboration with the NASA Earth Observatory.

All images, illustrations, and videos courtesy of NASA except:
·       Aerial photo of Mt. Erebus: Jeanie Mackinder
·       Ground-based photo of Mt. Erebus: Dr. Eric Christian / NASA
·       Sea creature illustration copyright The National Library of Israel, Shapell Family Digitization Project _and The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Department of Geography – Historic Cities Research Project
·       Ground-based photos of Eyjafjallajökull: David Karnå
·       Eyjafjallajökull video footage: Ágúst Guðbjörnsson /
·       EO-1 satellite illustration: ATK
·       Fimmvörðuháls fissure photo: Henrik Thorburn
·       Simulation of ash spreading over Europe: Nina Kristiansen, Sabine Eckhardt, NILU
·       Eyjafjallajökull panorama: Henrik Thorburn
·       Mount St. Helens aerial photo: USGS
Music courtesy of Associated Production Music
Written by Tracy Vogel
Designed by Marc Lussier

Title, Myth vs Reality. Text under Myth, Volcanoes on land exist only in hot climates. 
Text under Reality, Volcanoes can form in any climate. For example, the Eyjafjallajökull volcano resides in the subarctic climate of Iceland, and numerous volcanoes exist under the ice in Antarctica. Earth's continents are part of massive slabs of rock known as tectonic plates, which are in continuous motion. Most volcanoes form along plate boundaries, where the plates collide or spread apart, but some form far from plate boundaries in places known as hot spots. Plate boundaries and hot spots are independent of climate zones.