What Are the 10 Most Active Volcanoes in the World?

Based upon the number of large explosions over the past 10,000 years, the most active explosive volcanoes are, in order: Shiveluch in Russia, Pel?e in Martinique, Cotopaxi in Ecuador, Katla in Iceland, Arenal in Costa Rica, Hekla in Iceland, Ibusuki Volcanic Field in Japan, Taupo in New Zealand, Vesuvius in Italy and Avachinsky in Kamchatka. Shiveluch has erupted the most, 43 times, compared to 22 times for Pel?e.

Because "most active" is a subjective criteria, the list of the most active volcanoes can vary based on the measurements used and the time period considered. Rankings based on the length of time a volcano's eruptions last provide a different list for the 10 most active volcanoes. Based on data from 1900 to the present, the Smithsonian Institution's Paul Kimberly ranks the top 5 most active volcanoes as Mount Yasur in Vanautu, Mount Etna in Italy, Stromboli in Italy, Santa Mar?a in Guatemala and Sangay in Ecuador. Of those five volcanoes, only Sangay has been continuously erupting for fewer than 100 years as of 2010. As of that year, Mount Yasur had been erupting for at least 111 years, followed by 109 years for Mount Etna, 108 years for Stromboli and 101 years for Santa Mar?a.