Ice-clad volcanoes

By: , and 
Edited by: C. HuggelMark CareyJohn J. Clague, and Andreas Kääb



An icy volcano even if called extinct or dormant may be active at depth. Magma creeps up, crystallizes, releases gas. After decades or millennia the pressure from magmatic gas exceeds the resistance of overlying rock and the volcano erupts. Repeated eruptions build a cone that pokes one or two kilometers or more above its surroundings - a point of cool climate supporting glaciers. Ice-clad volcanic peaks ring the northern Pacific and reach south to Chile, New Zealand, and Antarctica. Others punctuate Iceland and Africa (Fig 4.1). To climb is irresistible - if only “because it’s there” in George Mallory’s words. Among the intrepid ascents of icy volcanoes we count Alexander von Humboldt’s attempt on 6270-meter Chimborazo in 1802 and Edward Whymper’s success there 78 years later. By then Cotopaxi steamed to the north.

Publication type Book chapter
Publication Subtype Book Chapter
Title Ice-clad volcanoes
Chapter 15
ISBN 9781107065840
DOI 10.1017/CBO9781107588653.015
Year Published 2015
Language English
Publisher Cambridge University Press
Contributing office(s) Volcano Science Center
Description 13 p.
Larger Work Type Book
Larger Work Subtype Monograph
Larger Work Title The high-mountain cryosphere: Environmental changes and human risks
First page 249
Last page 271
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