Types of Volcanoes

  Shield Cone VolcanoShield Cone Volcanoes are volcanoes with gradual sloping sides, wide bases, and flat craters.  They are volcanoes that are created by freely flowing lava, or quiet eruptions.


Mauna Loa shield volcano, Hawai`i

Mauna Loa Volcano, Hawaii.  Photograph by D. Little



  Cinder Cone VolcanoCinder Cone Volcanoes are volcanoes with steep sides, and bowl shaped craters.  These volcanoes are created by a buildup of cinder and ash.  The Cinder Cone Volcano is usually the most dangerous type of volcano because it tends to explode when it erupts.


Cinder cone on Mauna Kea Volcano, Hawai`i.

Hualalai Volcano, Hawaii.  Photograph by J.P. Lockwood



  Composite-Cone Volcano.  Composite Cone Volcanoes are volcanoes with very steep tops and wide bases.  These volcanoes are formed by lava flows and volcanic rocks.  Another name for Composite-Cone Volcanoes are Stratovolcano.  Composite-Cone Volcanoes are know to have two kinds of eruptions, free-flowing, or slow moving, and violent erupts.  This causes the volcano to be very unpredictable.   


Mt. Rainier in Washington.  Photo Maria-Kristina Smith,1993