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There are no active volcanoes in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, although a few do exist in some British Overseas Territories, including Queen Mary's Peak in Tristan da Cunha, Soufrière Hills volcano on the Caribbean island of Montserrat, as well as Mount Belinda and Mount Michael in the British Overseas Territory of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands.

The last time that volcanoes were active in what is now the United Kingdom was the early Palaeogene period, just over 50 million years ago (Ma), associated with the opening of the Atlantic Ocean. Modern day hills and mountains within the UK which are sometimes described as extinct volcanoes are usually the deeply eroded roots of volcanoes active in prehistoric times.[1] Some locations popularly believed to be volcanoes, such as The Wrekin, actually have different origins, such as being sites where volcanic material was deposited.[2]

List

Below is a list of extinct volcanoes in the United Kingdom.

Map all coordinates using: OpenStreetMap  Download coordinates as: KML

England

Name Elevation Location Last eruption
metres feet Coordinates
Bardon Hill[3] 276 912 52°42′52″N 1°19′14″W / 52.7145°N 1.3206°W / 52.7145; -1.3206 (Bardon Hill) ±570 Ma
Calton Hill[4] - - 53°14′25″N 1°49′23″W / 53.240395°N 1.823151°W / 53.240395; -1.823151 (Calton Hill) ±330 Ma
Cawsand volcano[5] - - 50°19′52″N 4°12′08″W / 50.3311°N 4.2021°W / 50.3311; -4.2021 (Cawsand) ±280 Ma
The Cheviot[6] 815 2674 55°28′42″N 2°08′44″W / 55.47823°N 2.14553°W / 55.47823; -2.14553 (The Cheviot) +390 Ma
Gurnard's Head[5] - - 50°11′30″N 5°35′57″W / 50.19160°N 5.59922°W / 50.19160; -5.59922 (Gurnards Head) ±400 Ma
Haweswater caldera[7] - - 54°31′08″N 2°48′17″W / 54.51889°N 2.80472°W / 54.51889; -2.80472 (Haweswater caldera) -
Helvellyn[8] 950 3118 54°31′38″N 3°00′58″W / 54.527232°N 3.016054°W / 54.527232; -3.016054 (Helvellyn) -
Langdale caldera - - 54°27′N 3°04′E / 54.45°N 3.07°E / 54.45; 3.07 (Warboys) Ordovician
Lundy (?)[9] 143 369 51°10′48″N 04°40′12″W / 51.18000°N 4.67000°W / 51.18000; -4.67000 ±2.6 Ma
Scafells (including Scafell Pike) 978 3209 54°27′15.2″N 3°12′41.5″W / 54.454222°N 3.211528°W / 54.454222; -3.211528 (Scafells) +430 Ma
Speedwell vent[10] - - 53°20′29″N 1°47′32″W / 53.3414°N 1.7921°W / 53.3414; -1.7921 (Speedwell) Carboniferous
Warboys[11] - - 52°24′N 0°04′W / 52.4°N 0.07°W / 52.4; -0.07 (Warboys) Hercynian orogeny

Northern Ireland

Name Elevation Location Last eruption
metres feet Coordinates
Carrickarede - - ±60 Ma
Giant's Causeway in Northern Ireland - - 55°15′00″N 6°29′07″W / 55.25000°N 6.48528°W / 55.25000; -6.48528 (Giant's Causeway) Palaeogene
Scawt Hill 378 1240 54°54′38″N 5°54′55″W / 54.9105°N 5.9154°W / 54.9105; -5.9154 (Scawt Hill) -
Slemish 437 1434 54°52′55″N 6°5′49″W / 54.88194°N 6.09694°W / 54.88194; -6.09694 (Slemish) Palaeogene
Slieve Gallion 528 1732 54°44′N 6°46′W / 54.73°N 6.76°W / 54.73; -6.76 (Slieve Gallion) -
Slieve Gullion 573 1880 54°08′N 6°26′W / 54.133°N 6.433°W / 54.133; -6.433 (Slieve Gullion) Palaeocene
Tievebulliagh 402 1319 55°04′27″N 6°07′59″W / 55.07419°N 6.13302°W / 55.07419; -6.13302 (Tievebulliagh) -

Scotland

Name Elevation Location Last eruption
metres feet Coordinates
Anton Dohrn Seamount - - 57°30′N 11°00′W / 57.500°N 11.000°W / 57.500; -11.000 (Anton Dohrn Seamount) ±40 Ma
Ardnamurchan - - 56°44′00″N 5°59′00″W / 56.73333°N 5.98333°W / 56.73333; -5.98333 (Ardnamurchan) early Eocene: c.55 Ma
Arthur's Seat in Edinburgh 251 824 55°56′39″N 3°09′43″W / 55.94417°N 3.16194°W / 55.94417; -3.16194 (Arthur's Seat, Edinburgh) +298.9 Ma
Ben Nevis 1345 4411 56°47′49″N 5°00′13″W +298.9 Ma
Cuillin Hills (on Isle of Skye) 57°12′N 6°12′W / 57.20°N 6.2°W / 57.20; -6.2 (Cuillin Hills) +43 Ma
Dundee Law extinct volcano in Dundee 500 56°28′11″N 2°59′22″W / 56.4698°N 2.9894°W / 56.4698; -2.9894 (Dundee Law) +443.8
Elie Ness[12] - - 56°11′24″N 2°49′24″W / 56.18988°N 2.82334°W / 56.18988; -2.82334 -
Eshaness stratovolcano[13] - - 60°29′N 1°35′W / 60.49°N 1.59°W / 60.49; -1.59 (Eshaness stratovolcano) -
Glen Coe Caldera - - 56°40′08″N 5°01′34″W / 56.669°N 5.026°W / 56.669; -5.026 (Glen Coe Caldera) +416.0 Ma
Hebrides Terrace Seamount - - 56°28′N 10°17′W / 56.467°N 10.283°W / 56.467; -10.283 (Hebrides Terrace Seamount) ±48 Ma
North Berwick Law 187 613 56°03′05″N 2°42′58″W / 56.05139°N 2.71611°W / 56.05139; -2.71611 (Berwick Law, North Berwick) +298.9 Ma
Peniel Heugh[14] 237 778 55°31′45″N 2°33′03″W / 55.5292°N 2.5508°W / 55.5292; -2.5508 (Peniel Heugh) -
Rockall 17 56 57°35′46.7″N 13°41′14.3″W / 57.596306°N 13.687306°W / 57.596306; -13.687306 (Rockall) -
Rùm volcano[15] 812 2,664 56°59′38″N 6°20′38″W / 56.994°N 6.344°W / 56.994; -6.344 (Rum) -

Wales

Name Elevation Location Last eruption
metres feet Coordinates
Deganwy Castle volcano[16] 110 631 53°17′51″N 3°49′44″W / 53.2975°N 3.8290°W / 53.2975; -3.8290 (Deganwy Castle) -
Mynydd y Dref[17] 244 801 53°16′59″N 3°51′45″W / 53.2831°N 3.8624°W / 53.2831; -3.8624 (Mynydd y Dref) ±450 Ma
Rhobell Fawr 734 2408 52°48′50″N 3°48′07″W / 52.814°N 3.802°W / 52.814; -3.802 (Rhobell Fawr) -
Snowdon 1085 3560 -
Treffgarne Rocks - - 51°52′27″N 4°58′10″W / 51.8742°N 4.9694°W / 51.8742; -4.9694 (Treffgarne) Ordovician

See also

References

  1. ^ Emeleus, C.H.; Bell, B.R. (2005). The Palaeogene volcanic districts of Scotland (Fourth ed.). Nottingham: British Geological Survey, NERC. p. 6. ISBN 0852725191.
  2. ^ "Shropshire - Features - The Wrekin". BBC. Retrieved 11 June 2021.
  3. ^ "Volcano models". British Geological Survey.
  4. ^ British GS Calton Hill, accessed 21 October 2008
  5. ^ a b Charlotte, Becquart (14 January 2021). "Cornwall's volcanoes that were active hundreds of millions of years ago". Cornwall Live. Retrieved 23 March 2021.
  6. ^ Scrutton, Colin. "Page 1 Cheviot - early Devonian volcanic rocks,granite and basement".
  7. ^ Geology of England and Wales, pp118ff
  8. ^ Oldroyd, David Roger (2002). Earth, Water, Ice and Fire - Two Hundred Years of Geological Research in the English Lake District. Geological Society. p. 277. ISBN 9781862391079. Retrieved 23 March 2021.
  9. ^ Smith, Sandy; Roberts, Clive. "The Geology of Lundy" (PDF). LFS. Retrieved 16 September 2022.
  10. ^ Cheshire, S. G.; Bell, J.D. (1 December 1976). "The Speedwell Vent, Castleton, Derbyshire: A Carboniferous Littoral Cone". Proceedings of the Yorkshire Geological Society. 41 (2): 173–184. doi:10.1144/pygs.41.2.173.
  11. ^ "The ancient volcano that's 81 miles from London". Heritage Daily. Heritage Daily. 10 May 2020. Retrieved 23 March 2021.
  12. ^ Gernon, T M; Upton, B G J; Ugra, R; Yucel, C; Taylor, R N; Elliot, H. "Complex subvolcanic magma plumbing system of an alkali basaltic maar-diatreme volcano (Elie Ness, Fife, Scotland)". Retrieved 16 September 2022.
  13. ^ "Eshaness Coast, Shetland: A blast from the past". Scottish Geology. Retrieved 2 May 2021.
  14. ^ "Peniel Heugh". Geology North. Retrieved 23 March 2021.
  15. ^ Hamilton MA, Pearson DG, Thompson RN, Kelly SP, Emeleus CH (1998) Rapid eruption of Skye lavas inferred from precise U-Pb and Ar-Ar dating of the Rum and Cuillin plutonic complexes. Nature 394: 260-263
  16. ^ "Put a cork in it". Geocaching.com. Retrieved 9 September 2014.
  17. ^ BBC website Archived August 29, 2007, at the Wayback Machine