AQA A2 Geography Plate Tectonics: Types of Volcanoes

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Types of Volcanoes
Fissure Volcano
Fissure volcanoes occur where an elongated crack in the crust allows lava
to spill out over a large area.
They are found at constructive plate margins.
Typically they are found around spreading ridges where tension pulls the
crust apart.
Fissure volcanoes produce basaltic lavas.
The eruptions at fissure volcanoes are gentle and persistent.
Example: The 2010 fissure eruption at Eyjafjallajokull
Shield Volcano
Shield volcanoes occur at constructive plate margins or hotspots.
They are made of basaltic rock and form gently sloping cones from layers
of less viscous lava.
The eruptions are gentle and predictable.
Example: Mauna Loa, Hawaii
Composite Volcanoes
Composite volcanoes are the most common type found on land.
They are found on destructive plate margins.
They are created by layers of ash from initial explosive phases of
eruptions and subsequent layers of lava from the main eruption phases.
The lava is more andesitic.
The eruptions are explosive and unpredictable.
Example: Mount Etna, Mount Vesuvius and Popocatepetl

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Acid or Dome Volcanoes
Acid or dome volcanoes are located on continental crust.
They are steep sided volcanoes formed from very viscous lava.
As the lava cannot travel far, it builds up convex shaped volcanoes.
Lava may solidify in the vent and be revealed later by erosion.
Eruptions are explosive and unpredictable.
Example: Puy De Domes, France.
Caldera Volcano
Calderas are located on destructive plate margins.…read more


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