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Histogram of 3,211 eruption durations. Diagram reproduced with permission.
From Simkin, T., and Siebert, L., 1994, Volcanoes of the World: Geoscience Press, Tucson, Arizona, 349 p.
Historic eruptions have lasted less than a day to thousands of years.
In 1977, the lava lake at Nyiragongo drained in less than one hour. In contrast, Stromboli has had a low-level of activity since 450 BC (about 2,400 years).
The median duration of historic eruptions is 7 weeks.
Simkin and Siebert (1994) make several important observations:
Other volcanoes that have been erupting for the past 20 years (and maybe longer) that are likely to remain active include:
Erta Ale, Ethiopia; Manam, Papua New Guinea; Langila, Papua New Guinea; Bagana, Papua New Guinea; Semeru, Indonesia; Dukono, Indonesia; Suwanose-jima, Japan; Sakura-jima, Japan; Santa Maria, Guatemala; Pacaya, Guatemala; Arenal, Costa Rica; Sangay, Ecuador; Erebus, Antarctica.
The current eruption of Kilauea has been continuous since 1983.
Source of Information: Simkin, T., and Siebert, L., 1994, Volcanoes of the World: Geoscience Press,Tucson, Arizona, 349 p.