What makes a volcano extinct?


For a volcano to be labelled extinct, it would have to show no activity in 10,000 years and no possibility of future eruption. However volcanologists have been known to argue over the precise definition because the traditional classifications of volcanic activity – active, dormant and extinct – are not based on a scientific consensus. An active volcano is generally described as a volcano that has erupted in recorded human history, or is believed to have erupted in the past 10,000 years (since the last ice age). The oldest recorded volcanic eruption occurred in central Turkey in 6,200 BCE. A dormant volcano is one that hasn’t erupted in the past 10,000 years, but still has access to a magma source or is located in a seismically active region. While an ‘extinct’ volcano may not erupt during humanity’s time on Earth, it’s harder to bet on the geologic time scale.

Answered by Dave Roos