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Volcanoes types and general volcanic information

Lava

Magma that flows onto Earth's surface; the rock that forms when lava cools and solidifies.

Pyroclastic material

Fragments of rock that form during a volcanic eruption.

Shield volcano

Volcanic cones that are broad at the base and have gently sloping sides. This type of volcano covers a wide area and generally forms from quiet eruptions. Layers of hot, mafic lava flow out around the vent, harden, and slowly build up to form the cone.

Cinder cone volcano

A type of volcano that has very steep slopes. The slope angles can be close to 40°, and the slopes are rarely more than a few meters high. This type of volcano form from explosive eruptions and are made of pyroclastic material.

Crater

A bowl shaped depression that forms on the surface of an object when a falling body strikes the object's surface or when an explosion occurs; a similar depression around the central event of the volcano or geyser.

Caldera

A large, circular depression that forms when the magma chamber below a volcano partially empties and causes the ground above to sink.

Rift

A narrow fissure in rock.

Hot spot

A volcanically active area of Earth's surface, commonly far from a tectonic plate boundary.

Ring of Fire

One of the Earth's major earthquake zones formed by the subduction of plates along the Pacific coasts of the Americas, Asia, and the islands of the western Pacific Ocean.

Volcano

A vent or fissure in the Earth's surface through which magma and gases are expelled.

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