One of the most striking things about many volcanoes is how much they tower above the surrounding land. So we had to have height as one of our categories. However, one of our other disagreements at VTT HQ was actuallywhich height to use. Do we take the measurement from sea level to the summit? Or, in the case of volcanoes which are also islands, should we measure the height all the way from the sea floor? Ocean island volcanoes begin their lives as submarine volcanoes which grow bit by bit, and eventually emerge from the sea and continue to grow by eruption. This means their true height could be much larger than continental volcanoes. Mauna Kea, in Hawaii for example rises 4,205 metres above sea level, but 10,200 metres from its ocean base to its summit – that’s nearly 2 kilometres taller than Mount Everest!
Our statistics are actual heights, in metres above sea level, taken from the Smithsonian Global Institution Global Volcanism Program.