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Subject: Types of Volcanoes
What are the different types of volcanoes?
Three basic types of volcanoes are recognized by geologists.
Diamond Head is a special type of cinder cone because it was formed very
explosively. He has a very large crater compared to the rim size. This
type of volcano is called a tuff cone. Koko crater is another example of
this type of volcano.
- Shield, with its broad, gently sloping form, made of once fluid lavas.
Mauna Loa is the type example.
- Cinder cones, steep sided (25-33 degrees), made of fragments of lava that
were spit out of the volcano. Most of these cones are small (100's of meter
across, although some get large, several kms). Mauna Kea has some of these
cones as does Waianae.
- Composite or strato-volcanoes are composed of once pasty lavas and layers of
lava fragments (from explosive eruptions). It has gentle to moderate slopes
on flanks and is steep near the summit. Usually smaller than shields but
larger than cinder cones. Some of these volcanoes, like Crater Lake
volcano, have cinder cones on it.
Dr. Mike Garcia, Professor
Department of Geology and Geophysics
University of Hawaii, Honolulu, HI 96822
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