Aeolian islands volcanoes form an archipelago comprises seven islands being the subaerial part of a large volcanic complex, a volcanic arc extends for about 200 km in the Tyrrhenian Sea. The Aeolian islands volcanoes formed in the last 250,000 years, while the underwater portions are older; the oldest is the submarine volcano Sisifo, to the northwest of the island of Alicudi, which is 1.3 million years old.
The magmas of the Aeolian Islands are similar to those of the volcanoes of the “Fire Belt” in the Pacific Ocean. These magmas are typical of subduction zones, where an oceanic lithospheric plate slides beneath a continental one, producing magma which rises to create volcanic island arcs (like Japan and Indonesia) or volcanic cordilleras, like the Andes, and generating earthquakes along an inclined plane (plane of Benioff). In the southern Tyrrhenian Sea the African plate slides beneath the European plate, producing the volcanic arc of the Aeolian Islands and forming an inclined seismic zone that extends down to 300-400 kilometers beneath the Tyrrhenian Sea.
Volcanism is still active at Lipari island, Vulcano island, Stromboli volcano island and possibly Panarea island; in the other Eolian islands volcanic activity ceased between 10,000 and 30,000 years ago.