67 Facts About Composite Volcanoes To Know Before You Visit One | Kidadl


67 Facts About Composite Volcanoes To Know Before You Visit One

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Composite volcanoes are one of the most dangerous types of volcanoes.

A composite volcano is also known as a stratovolcano. It has steep sides which makes it quite tall.

There are many kinds of volcanoes: submarine volcanoes, shield volcanoes, cinder cones, dome volcanoes, and composite volcanoes. Composite volcanoes form as multiple eruptions occur and the layers of thick magma accumulate. The size and shape of a volcano depend on the type of lava that it holds and its viscosity. As a stratovolcano has such thick lava, it's quite naturally tall. Shield volcanoes, which are the largest volcanoes, usually do not erupt violently and have gentle slopes.

Check out facts about volcanoes and the most dangerous volcano as well.

Facts About Composite Volcanoes

Composite volcanoes, or otherwise called stratovolcanoes, are one of the most complex volcanoes of all types of volcanoes. They are extremely interesting as well. In fact, there are some of the tallest mountains around the world that are actually composite volcanoes in hiding.

What makes a composite volcano a composite is rather a composite of the factors such as multiple volcanic eruptions, single or multiple vents, and finally, multiple materials like layers of ash, cinders, and lava, magma, or molten rock. Its lava is known to be acidic and viscous.

Most volcanoes' mouths or craters are usually wide, but when it comes to stratovolcanoes, they tend to be cone-shaped and steep at the top. These volcanoes have a smaller summit than others. These volcanoes can be extremely dangerous to all living beings. They don't only have exceptionally explosive eruptions, they produce flying hot volcanic fragments that can travel quite a distance. They also have toxic gas along with magma.

However, the lava flows quite slowly, so people can move out of the lava's way once they see it coming. This kind of lava flow is rather destructive for the property. Mount Nyiragongo of Central Africa is an exception to this slow-moving lava. It has a steeper slope than shield volcanoes and more fluid lava that can travel 62 mph (100 kph) down the sides of the mountain. Although these volcanoes are so dangerous, they are extraordinarily beautiful.

Facts About Composite Volcanoes' Formation

Composite volcanoes form owing to thick magma, volcanic ash, and cinder. The way these elements come out of a volcano forms the steep slopes of a composite volcano. The volcanic eruptions time and again make them tall and they erode if the eruptions stop.

Composite volcanoes are made by multiple eruptions. They possess viscous lava which is actually thicker than the lava of other volcanoes. The eruption of these stratovolcanoes occurs every 100 years or so. Once it erupts and the lava flows for some time, cinder and ash begin to come out of the volcano. These fall near the volcano's summit, and after a while, the thick lava starts to flow again and cement the fallen cinder and ash. The lava cools, layers of such materials accumulate every 100 years or so and that's what makes these volcanoes steep, unlike a shield volcano. Additionally, they can be pretty tall in height, reaching 8,000 ft (2,438 m) in height.

As these volcanoes are made because of such eruptions, they naturally start to erode if a particular volcano becomes a completely dormant volcano. The erosion continues till there is nothing left of the volcano. Only caved-in summit craters get left behind after the erosion of such volcanoes and these are called calderas.

Interesting facts about the formation of composite volcanoes.

Facts About Composite Volcanoes' Eruption

Composite volcanoes can be quite deadly when they erupt. The composite volcano has explosive eruptions and volcanic fragments can fly hundreds of miles away and the slow-moving magma can be pretty destructive.

In the last 10,000 years, there have been around 699 eruptions from stratovolcanoes. The ash cloud that comes out with the eruption can cause damage to lungs, structures, and engines and volcanic bombs the size of cars fly about 12 mi (20 km).

57 people died when Mount Saint Helens erupted in 1980 in Washington. 230 sq mi (595.7 sq km) of the forest was destroyed and the ash traveled to 11 states. Mount Vesuvius in Italy has erupted around 50 times in about 1,900 years and caused some of the most catastrophic eruptions in history. Over 3,000 people died when it erupted in 1631 and wiped out Herculaneum and Pompeii when it erupted in 79 AD. over 700 people died when Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines erupted in 1991. The Earth became so cold that lost crops in Europe and North America led to famine when Mount Tambora in Indonesia erupted in 1815.

Examples Of Composite Volcanoes

Over 60% of all volcanoes around the world are actually composite volcanoes. As deadly as these volcanoes are, these mountains are also known to be equally beautiful. Interestingly enough, people are even found living in societies around these volcanoes.

Most composite volcanoes form on the top of the subduction zones. Subduction zones are where one tectonic plate's boundary goes under another oceanic crust slips under the continental crust. Many composite volcanoes of the world have been found sitting on top of what is known as the 'Ring of Fire' located at the Pacific Rim. It's a chain where many tectonic plates connect along the coasts of the continents. It runs along the coasts of New Zealand, South America, Asia, Antarctica, Australia, and North America.

Some iconic and most famous composite volcanoes are:

Mount Kerinci: It is one of the highest volcanoes in Asia. It is the highest mountain of Sumatra, Indonesia and last erupted in 2021.

Mount Fuji: It is the second-highest volcano that is located on an island in Asia. It is the highest mountain in Japan and last erupted in 1707-1708.

Mount Rainier: One of the most known active stratovolcanoes of America designated as a decade volcano, located at Washington. This volcano last erupted in 1894.

Mount Etna: The tallest active volcano of Europe and Italy and designated as a decade volcano. It last erupted in February 2021 and volcanic activity is still occurring as of 2021.

Mount Erebus: The second-highest volcano of Antarctica. It last erupted in 2020 and its eruption is still occurring as of 2021.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for 67 facts about composite volcanoes to know before you visit one, then why not take a look at what continent has no active volcanoes? or 1944 Vesuvius eruption?

<p>With a Master of Arts in English, Rajnandini has pursued her passion for the arts and has become an experienced content writer. She has worked with companies such as Writer's Zone and has had her writing skills recognized by publications such as The Telegraph. Rajnandini is also trilingual and enjoys various hobbies such as music, movies, travel, philanthropy, writing her blog, and reading classic British literature.&nbsp;</p>

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