Q:

What are the names of some composite volcanoes?

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Quick Answer

Famous composite volcanoes include Mount Fuji in Japan, Mount Cotopaxi in Ecuador, Mount Shasta and Mount Lassen in California, Mount Hood in Oregon, Mount St. Helens and Mount Rainier in Washington, Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines, and Mount Etna in Italy. Many of these volcanoes are located around the Pacific Rim.

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When these composite volcanoes show signs of action, nearby towns are warned. Ash from these volcanoes can create vision and water pollution problems. The ash can be carried several hundred miles away. Mount Redoubt in Alaska once spread ash so far that air traffic in Texas was affected.

The composite volcanoes lying around the Pacific Rim are collectively known as the Ring of Fire. Composite volcanoes are also known as stratovolcanoes. Unlike flat shield volcanoes, stratovolcanoes are symmetrically shaped and can rise to 10,000 feet. Composite volcanoes are not only the most iconic and famous volcanoes on Earth, they are also the most dangerous.

Composite volcanoes are built up by the debris of previous eruptions: lava, volcanic ash and rock. For a composite volcano to reach 10,000 feet, it takes multiple eruptions over hundreds of thousands of years. Some composite volcanoes grow so tall on volcanic rubble that the pull of gravity causes landslides.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    What are the names of some dead volcanoes?

    A:

    Examples of dead volcanoes, more commonly referred to as extinct volcanoes, include Mount Ashitaka in Japan, Hohentwiel in Germany, Huascar√°n in Peru, Kyushu-Palau Ridge in the Philippine Sea, Mount Buninyong in Australia, Shiprock in the United States and Zuidwal in the Netherlands. Geologists define an extinct volcano as one that has not erupted in 10,000 years and no longer has an underground supply of lava.

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  • Q:

    How did Mount St. Helens form?

    A:

    Mount St. Helens is a cinder cone volcano that formed through the gradual accumulation of cinders and ash at the base of the mountain. Unlike a shield volcano, such as Mauna Loa in Hawaii, cinder cones can rise sharply from the surrounding terrain and maintain a steep, angular profile throughout their existence.

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  • Q:

    How many times has Mt. St. Helens erupted?

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    Mount St. Helens has erupted numerous times in its 300,000-year history, most notably on May 18, 1980. While much of its early history remains a mystery, geologic studies have concluded that Mount St. Helens is the most active volcano in the Pacific Northwest.

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  • Q:

    What do Mount Etna in Sicily and Mount St. Helens in the U.S. have in common?

    A:

    Both Mount Etna and Mount St. Helens are active stratovolcanoes, also known as composite volcanoes. In addition, both have experienced major activity in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.

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