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.
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.Learn More
It is not possible to prevent volcanoes from erupting. If people correctly predict a volcanic eruption, it is possible to keep the resulting damage to a relatively limited level.Full Answer >
Hot melted rocks collect under the Earth's surface and when the pressure becomes too hard, the Earth's skin breaks, and a volcano erupts. The melted rock inside the Earth is called magma, but when it comes out in an eruption, it is called lava.Full Answer >
Volcanologists wear heavy boots, long-sleeved shirts and heavy work gloves in order to protect their bodies from lava near a volcano. According to Oregon State University, volcanologists might also wear jeans, a rock-climbing helmet for protection and a gas mask.Full Answer >
A volcanic hotspot is an area in the earth’s mantle in which thermal plumes provide the necessary heat and magma for volcanic activity over a long period, explains the U.S. Geological Service. These hotspots are the basis for the creation of land, including the Hawaiian Islands.Full Answer >