Q:

What is a cinder cone made of?

A:

Quick Answer

A cinder cone is made of scoria, a low-density type of hardened lava. As gases escape a volcanic vent, they push rock and ash several hundred feet into the air. When this rock and ash falls and hardens, it often forms cinder cones. Scoria is popular for use in landscaping.

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What is a cinder cone made of?
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Full Answer

Cinder cones form late in the eruption of a shield volcano, as the number of escape routes for the gas and debris decreases. The force of the explosion fills the lava with air channels. As gravity pulls the lava back toward the ground, it hardens to form scoria that drops in a circular pattern around the vent. Because the ash solidifies in the air, it does not stick together when it lands.

While the formation looks conical from a distance, it often has a depression in the center surrounding the vent. When cinder cones form in strong winds, the air currents can cause distortion of the cones. In subsequent less violent eruptions, lava sometimes escapes through walls of the cinder cone. Even though cinder cones contain loosely packed materials, they usually retain their conical shape for many years. Instead of causing erosion by flowing down the sides of the volcano, rain soaks into the permeable scoria.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    How much does a cinder block weigh?

    A:

    Cinder blocks come in a variety of shapes and sizes, so the weight range of cinder blocks varies significantly. The most commonly sized cinder blocks measure 8 by 8 inches by 16 inches, weigh 37 pounds.

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  • Q:

    How do cinder-cone volcanoes erupt?

    A:

    Cinder-cone volcanoes, properly called scoria volcanoes, erupt when expanding gas bubbles drive lava to the volcano's surface. Because of this pressure, the lava fountains are usually very high and vertical. By the time the erupted material lands, it is already cool.

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  • Q:

    What are some examples of cinder cone volcanoes?

    A:

    Examples of cinder cone volcanoes are Kula and Karapinar in Turkey; Taal Volcano in the Philippines; Hverfjall in Iceland; El Jorullo, Parícutin and Pinacate Peaks in Mexico; Mounts Leura, Fox and Elephant in Australia; Royal Society Volcano in Antarctica; Manda-Inakir on the Ethiopia-Djibouti border and Barren Island in the Andaman Islands. The United States hosts over 100 cinder cones, mainly in western states and Hawaii.

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  • Q:

    Does a cone have a vertex?

    A:

    A cone is made up of one circular face and a vertex, which is also its pointed side. A right cone is one in which the vertex is directly above (or below) the center of the base.

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