Louisiana is known for a lot of things, food, music, hurricanes, and if we are being truthful about the subject we could be known for our volcano too. But so far that volcano hasn't given Louisiana residents much of a reason to be concerned. But with all the seismic activity we've seen in Iceland and Indonesia, and a recent earthquake reported in Japan should there be a concern about volcanoes and lava flows in Louisiana?

What Causes a Volcano to Form?

You're probably aware that most of the middle of the Earth is made up of molten rock. Sometimes this molten rock, which is under great pressure, squeezes up to the surface. These kinds of formations are usually found around areas where tectonic plates in the Earth's crust meet. These cracks or meeting places between the plates are where "faults" happen. It's through those faults that a majority of seismic activity, earthquakes, tremblers, and volcanic eruptions, occur.

Several geologic fault lines do run through Louisiana. One of those faults, the Michoud fault runs through a portion of eastern New Orleans. Some scientists say the greatest threat to New Orleans because of this fault line is not because of earthquakes or volcanoes but the problem will come from the ground sinking in near the fault line. I think we can all agree that New Orleans does not need to get any further below sea level.

Where is Louisiana's Volcano?

For clarity's sake, we should use the proper terminology in describing "Louisiana's volcano". It's defined as a volcanic structure. It is described as a buried extinct volcano off the shore of St Bernard Parish.

The structure is known as the Door Point Volcano. It was discovered in 1963 by Shell Oil Company as they were drilling an exploratory well. The volcano is believed to have erupted between 74 and 90 million years ago. Those figures were calculated based on rock samples discovered near the site.

The Door Point Volcano is believed to be not only Louisiana's only volcanic structure but the only one in the northern and western Gulf of Mexico. As of now, experts do not anticipate this "extinct" volcano to become active anytime soon or ever again. But in the history of history, we know you should never say never.

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Gallery Credit: Bruce Mikells



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