According to the University of Wisconsin, a stratovolcano is characterized by a highly explosive eruption with ash plumes rising as high as 27 miles into the stratosphere. Stratovolcanos are one of the most deadly volcano types and can reach up to 8,000 feet in height.Continue Reading
The stratovolcano has an easily recognizable cone shape. Mount Fuji in Japan and Mount St. Helens in Washington are two examples of picturesque stratovolcanoes. The eruption of Mount St. Helens on May 18, 1980, which led to the destruction of over 230 square miles of forest and the death of 57 people, demonstrated the sheer power of stratovolcanoes.
The build up of pressure in the magma chamber causes the violent eruption seen in these volcano types. When magma reaches the conduit, the pressure is released, which causes the gases to explode in an extremely violent manner. Most active stratovolcanoes worldwide are less than 100,000 years old, although some, such as Mt. Rainier, may be more than 1 million years old.
A dormant stratovolcano has steep concave sides that sweep together at the top around a relatively small crater. Stratovolcanoes are also similar to shield volcanoes in the sense that both originate from a volcano that has erupted several times.Learn more about Volcanoes
A stratovolcano is formed from alternating sheets of lava flows and pyroclastic materials, such as volcanic ash, lapilli, volcanic bombs and cinders. This type of volcano is also referred to as a composite volcano. Examples include Mt. Fuji, Vesuvius and Mount St. Helens.Full Answer >
Mount Hood is a stratovolcano, which typically have sharp peaks that are formed from coats of dried lava, volcanic ash and other volcanic elements. Mount Hood's formation specifically is the result of a subduction zone on the West Coast.Full Answer >
Pyroclastic eruptions involve either explosions of mainly solid rock, ash and hot gases or the collapse of a volcano during an eruption. Known as pyroclastic flows, these eruptions consist of emissions of large rock fragments that fall close to volcanoes and ash clouds that rise above them.Full Answer >
Pyroclastic material is the mixture of hot rock, ash and lava fragments that are thrown from the vent of a volcano during an eruption. Pyroclastic material typically moves away from the vent at a rapid rate of speed carried along by hot gases.Full Answer >