How to Classify Volcanoes

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Kilauea Volcano lava flow

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GeoScience Videos


This video describes the features geologists use to classify common types of volcanoes. We compare and contrast the features of two types of large volcanoes - shield volcanoes and composite volcanoes. One of these types produces structures that can be larger than Mount Everest while the other represent the majority of dangerous active volcanoes on Earth. We also explain that two other types of smaller volcanic landforms are relatively common and often form in association with their larger brethren. Finally, you can take a simple volcano recognition quiz to try to classify five examples of US volcanoes. Visit our blog ( for a free quiz about the content in this video.

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