Mount Erebus is Antarctica’s second-highest mountain as well as earth’s southernmost active volcano.

Why Is It Famous?

Its status as the active volcano that is the furthest south on the planet makes Mount Erebus famous. It is also the continent’s sixth-highest ultra-mountain.

What Is Nearby?

You can find Mount Erebus on Ross Island’s Ross Dependency. This makes it part of New Zealand’s claim. This location also has three inactive volcanos, Mount Terra Nova, Mount Bird, and Mount Terror. It also houses the Mount Erebus Volcano Observatory.

Geological Description

Mount Erebus has a summit elevation reaching 3,794 meters. It is Antarctica’s most active volcano and the eruptive zone for the Erebus hotspot on Ross Island. The summit features a phonolitic lava lake that is one of just five of the planet’s long-lasting lava lakes. The volcano has Strombolian eruptions from one of its subsidiary vents or the lava lake, all of which are within its inner crater.

Scientists find the volcano remarkable thanks to its persistent yet low-level eruptive activity. This lets volcanologists study the Strombolian eruptive system just hundreds of meters away from active vents with relative safety. The mountain is a polygenetic stratovolcano. The top half of it is a stratocone while the lower half is a shield.

The volcano also holds interest thanks to its ice fumaroles, which are ice towers that formed around the gases escaping from surface vents. The fumaroles have ice caves that are dark and have a sparse life.

Events in Time

This volcano has been active for around 1.3 million years. In November 1979, the Air New Zealand Flight 901 crashed into the volcano. During the 2007 and 2008’s field season, scientists installed a dense array featuring seismometers so they can listen to the energy from the volcano’s small blasts and gain insights.


Mount Erebus is in Antarctica and particularly interesting to volcanologists due to the ability to study small regular eruptions up close.