Volcano Shapes

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 Volcanism: Shapes of Volcanoes

The volcanoes themselves can erupt in a wide variety of ways and take on very different shapes. These shapes are closely linked to the place of occurrence, eruption behaviour and type of lava.

A systematic distinction is made between 10 volcano shapes and structures:

Strato volcano: has relatively steep slopes and is built up from alternating layers of loose rock and solid lava flows.

Compound Volcano: (also called Complex volcano) is a volcano type with several cones and craters.

Shield Volcano: shield-shaped volcano with flat slopes that is predominantly formed from layers of lava flows.

Volcanic Fissure: these are actually only cracks in the ground, on the shoulders of which slight bulges of lava flows form.

Caldera: a caldera is a large concavity. The majority of the volcano has fallen into the emptied magma chamber after an eruption. A new volcanic cone can grow in the caldera.

Somma Volcano: these volcanoes are characterised by a double summit, like Vesuvius, in which one summit is the edge of a caldera.

Table Mountain Volcano: table mountains are flat at the top and are produced by eruptions under the ice.

Maar Volcano: maars are volcanic pipes and have a reversed shape. They are typical of the "Vulkaneifel" in Germany.

Lava Dome: a lava dome is an extremely thick lava flow that piles up to form a dome shape. Domes can arise occur individually, or arise in the summit areas of stratovolcanoes.

Cinder Cones: are usually of monogenetic origin. Many parasitic cones are cinder cones.

created by: Marc Szeglat • Duelmener Str. 11 • D-46117 Oberhausen • marc@vulkane.net
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