A volcano is generally a conical shaped hill or a mountain built by the accumulations of lava flows, tephra and volcanic ash. There are five different forms of volcanoes which are classified on the basis of their geomorphic form, magma chemistry and the explosiveness of their eruption. Elevated volcanic landforms include:
- Cinder or ash cones: These elevated volcanic landforms are usually of low height and are formed of volcanic dusts and ashes and pyroclastic matter. Such cones are very susceptible to erosion. Examples include Mount Jorullo of Mexico and Mt Camiguin of Phillipines.
- Composite cones: These are the elevated volcanic eruptions which are the highest of all the volcanic cones. These are formed due to the accumulation of different layers of various volcanic materials and hence they are also called strato volcanic cones. In fact, they are formed from alternate layers of lava and fragmental (pyroclastic) materials. Examples include Mt. Mayon in Philippines, Mt Fuziyama in Japan and Mt. Cotopaxi in Ecuador.
- Parasite cones: These are those elevated volcanic landforms in which several branches of pipes come out from the main central pipe of the volcano when the volcanic cones are enormously enlarged. Lavas and other volcanic materials come out from these minor pipes and these materials are deposited around newly formed vents located on the outer surface of the main cone and thus several cones are formed on the major cone.
- Basic Lava cone: It is a type of elevated volcanic landform which is formed of light and less viscous lava with very less quantity of silica. The lava is highly fluidic and spreads over large areas before cooling down. Such cones are also known as shield cones. More extensive and larger sizes of basic lava elevated volcanic landforms are known as lava domes.
- Acid Lava cones: Acid lava cones are types of elevated volcanic landforms which are formed where the lava coming out of the volcanic eruptions are highly viscous and rich in silica content. They have very low mobility and hence get immediately cooled down and solidify. One of the best examples of acid lava elevated volcanic landforms is the Stromboli volcano in the Aeolian Islands.
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