Fundamentals of Physical Geography

2nd Edition
James Petersen
ISBN: 9781133606536



Fundamentals of Physical Geography

2nd Edition
James Petersen
ISBN: 9781133606536
Textbook Problem

What are the four basic types of volcanoes, and what are the distinguishing features of each?

To determine

The four basic types of volcanoes and their distinguishing features.


Volcanism is a process of extrusion of rock materials from the Earth’s interior to outside, which results in the formation of various surface terrains. The four basic types of volcanoes are shield volcanoes, cinder cones, composite volcanoes, and plug domes.

Shield volcanoes are the numerous successive basaltic lava flows in the given region that eventually pile up to form shield volcanoes. These volcanoes emit hot mafic lava with temperatures of about 1,090 degrees Celsius. The major feature is the outpouring basaltic lava flows and occasionally gases and steam hurl fountains of molten lava a few hundred meters into the air.

Cinder cones are the smallest type of volcanoes, which are of typically hundred meters high. These consist of mostly gravel sized pyroclastics. Gas charged eruptions produce molten lava and solid pyroclastic fragments into air, which accumulate around the vents as a large pile of tephra.

The pyroclastics from each burst falls and cascades down the sides to build an internally layered volcanic cones. These have rhyolitic composition usually but sometimes they may be made of basalt...

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