Types of Volcanoes List

Volcanoes have for the longest time been known for their devastating effects on human life. They also come with a number of benefits. Some of the most fertile soils we have today are as a result of this action. There are many active volcanoes to date. There are also many others that have gone dormant. There is no sure way of telling when an eruption could occur making them an unpredictable force of nature. There are a few different types of volcanoes including composite, cinder, shield, splatter and cone volcanoes. These vary due to the way they are formed.

Composite Volcanoes

Composite volcanoes also known as strato- volcanoes are known due to their unique formation. These volcanoes will form layers also called strata from the eruption and cooling of lava in layers. The volcano will erupt and cool off and later erupt again forming a composite layer over the previously accumulated lava. These can come in various heights depending on how many layers of lava strata they have forming them. These can exceed 2500m and be about 1000sq.km wide at the bottom and sometimes make up to 4000km3 in volume. These mountains can also keep growing just in case they are still active. These are also known to be very explosive. The reason for this is that they produce very viscous magma. The magma cools down blocking the vent. The next eruption would cause a lot of pressure in the vent looking to burst through the molten lid resulting into a high eruption. They are mostly conical in shape due to the nature of the eruption.

Shield Volcanoes

Shield volcanoes are some of the largest in the world. These are formed by running lava that forms layers and layers of strata creating some of the largest mountains in the world. These occur in volcano hotspots such as Hawaii. They have low explosive ability but will not pile high forming cinder cones at the mouth of the vent. The lava on these flows more freely as compared to the composite. They are much wider and will cover very huge bases. They are more recurrent on the edges of tectonic plates where the sutures are really weak. These will erupt more often than any other volcanoes in the world.

Cinder Cone Volcanoes

Cinder cone volcanoes are known for the formation of cone like structures. These are common and will not occur often over 250m above sea level. These are found in groups and are caused when lava fall right from the vent. They form really quickly but are not as life threatening as the rest. They are not as famous as the rest as their eruptions are not as exciting. They are built for lava fragments during cooling called cinders hence the name. They are often about 500m in diameter and will not exceed this. They are formed through Strombolian eruptions. The nature of the volcano can change with time as the eruptions keep occurring. If the position often come is realigned, a double or twin vent can occur creating a curious feature. They are also affected widely by the power of the eruption. This is mostly regaled by buried and nested cones within the mountain.

Spatter Cones

This is a volcano formed when the eruption comes with more than enough gas hindering the formation of lava flow. The lava is scattered and thrown into the air and cools accumulating all over the base of the vent. This creates splatter cones which are accumulated around every splatter point. The accumulations can pile to form steep mountain sides creating a volcanic structure or mountain. These are sudden and very noisy due to the release and the amount of gas in the vent. The splatters could spread over a large base depending on how high they are thrown.

Complex Volcanoes

This simply means a volcano that has been formed in a number of ways. This volcano is not consistent in formation. Most of the other volcanoes are complex volcanoes in general. These kinds of volcanoes will also come with more than one or two vents making it really difficult to classify then in any of the previous categories, they will also form through a number o ways forming spatters, cones, cinders, strata and many other features consistent with the rest of the volcanoes. The complex volcanoes are common and the name is given to volcanoes that have not been formed in a particular way. These are common and can grow in undefined shapes.

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