Bruce E. Dale and Brian Dale argue:
The account in 3 Nephi is an obvious eye-witness account of a volcanic eruption, with associated earthquakes, terrible storms and lightning, and thick, choking, nearly unbreathable air. This account is highly detailed as well as unusual. Joseph Smith and his contemporaries knew nothing of what it was like to experience a volcanic eruption, nor did they have any published accounts to draw upon. View of the Hebrews mentions volcanoes in Mesoamerica, but says nothing at all about what an eruption is like.– Bruce E. Dale and Brian Dale – Joseph Smith: The World’s Greatest Guesser (A Bayesian Statistical Analysis of Positive and Negative Correspondences between the Book of Mormon and The Maya)
Where would Joseph Smith have learned the details of volcanic eruptions? How could he describe them so well?