Volcanoes and Their Eruptive Characteristics

Shield volcano is a type of volcano that is completely made up of liquid lava. The flow is very large in size and resembles a warrior’s shield when laid on the ground. The formation of a shield volcano emerges from the flow of lava with low-viscosity, which increases the size of the mountain over a given period. Evidently, when these shield volcanoes grow in size, they become the source of some of the largest mountains in the world, such as the Olympus Mons Mountain.

Cinder cones are mountains containing bowl-shaped craters at the peak. They have a glass-like appearance and have hard gas bubbles, which are formed as magma’s pressure is exerted upwards, where it easily cools. Generally, cinder cones are purely made up of ashes. They are normally located on the edges of the shield and composite volcanoes. However, the volcanoes are not that harmful, mainly because they cool at a very high and fast rate. One good example of these cinder cones is Mt. Rukinear.

Another name for a composite volcano is a stratovolcano, which comprises various layers of hard lava and volcanic ash. This type of volcano is the most catastrophic and harmful to humans. Mountains formed from composite volcanoes are a result of rapid explosions that occurred at different times, thus making the mountains very tall. A good example of a composite volcano is Mt. Fuji.

Volcanoes differ in their eruption styles, composition, and structure. All types of volcanoes form mountains of different shapes, sizes, and duration of the eruption. This is facilitated by the fact that all the above types of volcanoes have different composition elements; for example, cinder volcanoes are made up of gas bubbles that cool very fast when they react with air, while shield volcanoes are made up of hot magma liquids that take more time to cool but spread easily and fast, thus occupying a large surface area.

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