What are the 3 types of volcanoes?

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The three types of volcanoes are shield, composite, and cones.  Of the three, the composite is the worst.  The distinctions are as follows:

This type has a slope that is small, seems flat.
This usually has flowing, seeping lava that does not shoot out in the air
The lava flow is very slow and you could outrun it
This type makes large chunks of basalt

Hawaii and Oregon feature Shield volcanoes.


This has the steepest slope of the volcanoes
This shoots lava in the air and has faster lava flow
The lava hardens in the air
The hardened lava helps reform the volcano again

The typical vision of a volcano is a cone volcano.  Usually, this is the type that kids feature at science fairs and demonstrations in class.  Interesting enough, the potent volcanoes in Hawaii are cones.

This is the worst of the volcanoes because it is very explosive
It has poisonous gases, ash and lava
The ash can blanket an area with over an inch of it
The ash can fly faster than 200 miles an hour

Kills more people than any type of volcano

These would be the grandaddy of the bunch.  Most "big volcanoes" are composite.  Mount St. Helens, Mount Fuji, and Popocaptepl are examples of composite volcanoes.  Mount Vesuvius, which wiped out Pompeii, was also a composite volcano.

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