What landforms are created by lava and ash?


Quick Answer

Landforms created by lava include shield volcanoes, stratovolcanoes or composite volcanoes, lava domes and flood basalts, according to Tulane University. Although primarily caused by lava, stratovolcanoes also contain volcanic material such as ash. Cinder cones also contain significant amounts of ash.

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Full Answer

Stratovolcanoes are an example of a landform caused by both lava and ash. A stratovolcano is full of lava flows, and the short, thick ones near its peak lead to steep slopes. The gradual slopes at the foot of a stratovolcano are the result of volcanic materials, such as ash, accumulating over time. When lava flows are relatively thin and build up over a central vent, the resulting volcano is known as a shield volcano.

Lava domes occur when lava piles up over a vent instead of flowing away from it. The edges of lava domes are prone to collapse, exposing gas-rich viscous magma, which makes them dangerous. Flood basalts are also dangerous, but Tulane University states they have only happened once throughout history. These landforms occur when massive amounts of lava spill out of fissure vents.

As far as ash landforms go, Indiana University states that a cinder cone is a type of volcano that resembles a huge pile of sand because it is made of so much loose volcanic material, including ash.

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