VHP Photo Glossary: Stratovolcano

Mount Mageik volcano, Katmai National Park and Preserve, Alaksa

Photograph by R. McGimsey on 15 July 1990

Stratovolcano

Steep, conical volcanoes built by the eruption of viscous lava flows, tephra, and pyroclastic flows, are called stratovolcanoes. Usually constructed over a period of tens to hundreds of thousands of years, stratovolcanoes may erupt a variety of magma types, including basalt, andesite, dacite, and rhyolite. All but basalt commonly generate highly explosive eruptions. A stratovolcano typically consists of many separate vents, some of which may have erupted cinder cones and domes on the volcano's flanks. A synonym is composite cone.


Photo: Mount Mageik volcano viewed from the Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes, Katmai National Park and Preserve, Alaska. Mageik's broad summit consists of at least four separate structures built above different vents.

Did you know?