How Can One Build a Composite Volcano?


Quick Answer

Composite volcanoes can be constructed with a few simple items: paper, scissors and glue. The basic cone shape of stratovolcanoes can be replicated by folding a piece of paper in half, cutting a crescent moon shape (leaving a hole in the center) and bringing the flat sides of the paper together to form a dome. Lastly, glue the ends to keep them in place, and the end product appears as a three-dimensional paper model that replicates the triangular shape of real composite volcanoes.

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Composite volcanoes, also called stratovolcanoes, are the most common type of volcano. These volcanoes appear on landmasses and in oceans around the world. Along with cinder cones and shield volcanoes, they form the three basic types of volcanoes classified by geologists. Stratovolcanoes have different shapes than the other two classes of volcanoes; they are more triangular and have steep sides and hollow inner cores that contain lava and magma.

Composite volcano models, if constructed properly, should look like an upside-down ice cream cone, complete with a hole in the center. Volcano replicas can be left alone to show "dormant" states, or made "active" by pouring a mixture of water and baking soda into the centers, which will then "erupt" as lava.

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