A composite volcano is formed over hundreds of thousands of years through multiple eruptions. Composite volcanoes are fed by a conduit system which taps into a reservoir of magma deep within the Earth. When large composite volcanoes explode, they can leave behind a collapsed region called a caldera.
Composition of stratovolcanoesStratovolcanoes are typically composed of layers of pyroclastic material.
Eruptions of statovolcanoesStratovolcanoes erupt less frequently than shield volcanoes which have formed over hot spots. There’s the shield volcano, formed from low viscosity lava that can flow long distances.

The eruptions build up the composite volcano, layer upon layer until it towers thousands of meters tall.
This magma can erupt out of several vents across the composite volcano’s flanks, or from a large central crater at the summit of the volcano. There are cinder cone volcanoes, which are made by the eruption of lava, ash and rocks that build up around a volcanic vent.
Andesite, dacite and rhyolite lavas erupted by these volcanoes have a high percentage of quartz and feldspar minerals.Minerals in lavasThe minerals in these lavas can be highly explosive because the gases in the magma cannot easily escape.
But the last type is the composite volcano, and these are some of the most famous volcanoes (and most dangerous) in the world. A composite volcano can also build up large quantities of thick magma, which blocks up inside the volcano, and causes it to detonate in a volcanic explosion.

Helens, Mount Pinatubo, and Krakatoa are just examples of composite volcanoes that have erupted. Famous landmarks like Mount Fuji in Japan, Mount Ranier in Washington State, and Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa are composite volcanoes that just haven’t erupted recently. Sometimes the lavas form small dome volcanoes over the vent in the crater of a stratovolcano or on its steep sides.

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