Volcanoes in Latin America

A volcano is a geological formation which is created when a mixture of lava, ash, rocks and gas erupts from the Earth.

As the magma cools, it generates bubble of gas. If the magma is light, the gas will form a plume and escape without danger. But in case of thick magma, the gas finds itself unable to get out and may spark a violent explosion.

Mexico and Central America contain 118 volcanoes from the Holocene Period, which have erupted in the last 10,000 years. Their existence is due to clashes between the Cocos tectonic plate in the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean and North America plate.

In Mexico, the volcano of Popocatepetl has erupted 20 times between 1519 and 1997. The eruption of Santa Maria in Guatemala in 1902 was one of the four largest of the 20th century. Other volcanoes with regular activity include Arenal in Costa Rica, Cerro Negro in Nicaragua and San Miguel in El Salvador.

However, Cotopaxi in Ecuador is one of the busiest in the world, having erupted over 50 times between 1738 and 1904. Finally, Ojos del Salado, in the Andes, is the world’s highest volcano at 6,893 meters.

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