Usually when we think of volcanoes, we tend to think of big cones in the earth that erupt and cause destruction via the eruption due to magma and lava but there are many types of volcanoes and how they are formed has an effect upon the way they work and their activity as well. The truth is that there are four types of volcanoes and how they are formed has an impact upon their activity (if any) and upon their existence. Some of these may be active while others may not be active- geologists have only been able to guess how these volcanoes may function but say that some of these volcanoes may still erupt.
Cinder cones are one of the types of volcanoes and how they are formed is actually less complicated and much easier to understand. These are the more ‘simpler’ volcanoes of the lot and these are made of little blobs of lava and of other particle. What happens is that as the pressure of the gas builds up the volcano eventually erupts and the lava is blown into the air and breaks into tiny particles that are splattered everywhere and the lava flows out as a result too.
Composite volcanoes are another of the many types of volcanoes and how they are formed is dependent upon the lava that flows because these types of volcanoes are made of ash, lava and blocks that rise up to form one large composite volcano. These volcanoes are now said to be dormant, not extinct, as they erupted 6800 years ago, draining the volcano of lava and magma. They no longer ‘have the energy’ to erupt again but that does not mean that they will not erupt forever because they are not extinct yet and still do exist. These are now just dormant but if enough gas builds up, they may still erupt again but geologists say that this is unlikely though not impossible because they can also be affected by earthquakes and other geological factors that would have a direct impact upon volcanic activity.
Then, there are volcanoes that aren’t very active and these types of volcanoes and how they are formed affects their activity- they have a summit and lava keeps flowing out and then cools down. The layers of lava cool down and form layers over one another. Think of these as ‘naked’ volcanoes which do not have cones but the lava is still present and can be seen if you look at the from afar. The lava oozes out and cools down in the form of a shield because of they are known as shield volcanoes.
Of all the types of volcanoes and how they are formed, lava domes are probably the easiest to understand- these aren’t exactly volcanoes. The lava oozes out and forms a dome and the outer surface cools down and hardens and then as more lava oozes out the surface is shattered and becomes part of the lava as well.