Volcanic cones are among the simplest volcanic
2. Bedrock3. Conduit 4. Base5. Sill6. Dike7. Layers of ash emitted by the volcano8. Flank| 9. Layers of lava emitted by the volcano10. Throat11. Parasitic cone12. Lava flow13. Vent14. Crater15...
formations. They are built by ejecta from a volcanic vent, piling up around the vent in the shape of a cone
A cone is an n-dimensional geometric shape that tapers smoothly from a base to a point called the apex or vertex. Formally, it is the solid figure formed by the locus of all straight line segments that join the apex to the base...
with a central crater. Volcanic cones are of different types, depending upon the nature and size of the fragments ejected during the eruption. Types typically differentiated are spatter cones, ash cones, tuff cones, and cinder cone
According to the , Cinder Cone is the proper name of 1 cinder cone in Canada and 7 cinder cones in the United States:In Canada: Cinder Cone In the United States:...
Stratocones are large cylindrical structures built up around a main tubular volcanic vent by more than one eruption. Stratocones can form large mountains and possess a distinctive layering of lava flows and tephra.
Spatter coneA spatter cone is formed of molten lava ejected from a vent somewhat like taffy. Expanding gases in the lava fountains tear the liquid rock into irregular gobs that fall back to earth, forming a heap around the vent. The still partly liquid rock splashes down and over the sides of the developing mound is called spatter. Because spatter is not fully solid when it lands, the individual deposits are very irregular in shape and weld together as they cool, and in this way particularly differ from cinder and ash. Spatter cones are typical of volcanoes with highly fluid magma, such as those found in the Hawaiian Islands
The Hawaiian Islands are an archipelago of eight major islands, several atolls, numerous smaller islets, and undersea seamounts in the North Pacific Ocean, extending some 1,500 miles from the island of Hawaii in the south to northernmost Kure Atoll...
. The spatter that builds up the cone can either be agglutinated or welded, the former meaning that the individual spatters pose one above each other with a lesser degree of welding occurring, while welded spatter is almost fluid when it lands and therefore welds easily.
Ash and tuff conesAn ash cone is composed of particles of silt to sand
Sand is a naturally occurring granular material composed of finely divided rock and mineral particles.The composition of sand is highly variable, depending on the local rock sources and conditions, but the most common constituent of sand in inland continental settings and non-tropical coastal...
size. Explosive eruptions from a vent where the magma
Magma is a mixture of molten rock, volatiles and solids that is found beneath the surface of the Earth, and is expected to exist on other terrestrial planets. Besides molten rock, magma may also contain suspended crystals and dissolved gas and sometimes also gas bubbles. Magma often collects in...
is interacting with groundwater
Groundwater is water located beneath the ground surface in soil pore spaces and in the fractures of rock formations. A unit of rock or an unconsolidated deposit is called an aquifer when it can yield a usable quantity of water. The depth at which soil pore spaces or fractures and voids in rock...
or the sea
A sea generally refers to a large body of salt water, but the term is used in other contexts as well. Most commonly, it means a large expanse of saline water connected with an ocean, and is commonly used as a synonym for ocean...
(as in an eruption off the coast) produce steam and are called phreatic. The interaction between the magma, expanding steam, and volcanic gases results in the ejection of mostly small particles called ash
Volcanic ash consists of small tephra, which are bits of pulverized rock and glass created by volcanic eruptions, less than in diameter. There are three mechanisms of volcanic ash formation: gas release under decompression causing magmatic eruptions; thermal contraction from chilling on contact...
. Fallen ash has the consistency of flour
Flour is a powder which is made by grinding cereal grains, other seeds or roots . It is the main ingredient of bread, which is a staple food for many cultures, making the availability of adequate supplies of flour a major economic and political issue at various times throughout history...
. The unconsolidated ash forms an ash cone which becomes a tuff cone or tuff ring once the ash consolidates (see also tuff
Tuff is a type of rock consisting of consolidated volcanic ash ejected from vents during a volcanic eruption. Tuff is sometimes called tufa, particularly when used as construction material, although tufa also refers to a quite different rock. Rock that contains greater than 50% tuff is considered...
). Flat-floored craters that scientists interpret have formed above diatremes as a result of a violent expansion of magmatic gas or steam; deep erosion of a maar presumably would expose a diatreme.
An example of a tuff cone is Diamond Head
Diamond Head, Hawaii
Diamond Head is the name of a volcanic tuff cone on the Hawaiian island of Oahu and known to Hawaiians as Lēahi, most likely from lae 'browridge, promontory' plus ahi 'tuna' because the shape of the ridgeline resembles the shape of a tuna's dorsal fin...
Waikiki is a neighborhood of Honolulu, in the City and County of Honolulu, on the south shore of the island of Oahu, in Hawaii. Waikiki Beach is the shoreline fronting Waikīkī....
Hawaii is the newest of the 50 U.S. states , and is the only U.S. state made up entirely of islands. It is the northernmost island group in Polynesia, occupying most of an archipelago in the central Pacific Ocean, southwest of the continental United States, southeast of Japan, and northeast of...
A cinder cone is a volcanic cone built almost entirely of loose volcanic fragments called cinders (pumice
Pumice is a textural term for a volcanic rock that is a solidified frothy lava typically created when super-heated, highly pressurized rock is violently ejected from a volcano. It can be formed when lava and water are mixed. This unusual formation is due to the simultaneous actions of rapid...
, pyroclastics, or tephra
200px|thumb|right|Tephra horizons in south-central [[Iceland]]. The thick and light coloured layer at center of the photo is [[rhyolitic]] tephra from [[Hekla]]....
). They are built from particles and blobs of congealed lava
Lava refers both to molten rock expelled by a volcano during an eruption and the resulting rock after solidification and cooling. This molten rock is formed in the interior of some planets, including Earth, and some of their satellites. When first erupted from a volcanic vent, lava is a liquid at...
ejected from a single vent. As the gas-charged lava is blown violently into the air, it breaks into small fragments that solidify and fall as cinders around the vent to form a circular or oval cone. Most cinder cones have a bowl-shaped crater
A volcanic crater is a circular depression in the ground caused by volcanic activity. It is typically a basin, circular in form within which occurs a vent from which magma erupts as gases, lava, and ejecta. A crater can be of large dimensions, and sometimes of great depth...
at the summit.
Cinder cones rarely rise more than 300 to 750 m or so above their surroundings, and, being unconsolidated, tend to erode rapidly unless further eruptions occur. Cinder cones are numerous in western North America as well as throughout other volcanic terrains of the world. Parícutin
Parícutin is a cinder cone volcano in the Mexican state of Michoacán, close to a lava-covered village of the same name. It appears on many versions of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World...
, the Mexican cinder cone which was born in a cornfield on February 20, 1943, and Sunset Crater
Sunset Crater is a volcanic cinder cone located north of Flagstaff in U.S. State of Arizona. The crater is within the Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument....
in Northern Arizona
Arizona ; is a state located in the southwestern region of the United States. It is also part of the western United States and the mountain west. The capital and largest city is Phoenix...
in the US Southwest are classic examples of cinder cones, as are the ancient volcanoes in New Mexico's Petroglyph National Monument
Petroglyph National Monument
Petroglyph National Monument stretches along Albuquerque, New Mexico's West Mesa, a volcanic basalt escarpment that dominates the city’s western horizon. Authorized June 27, 1990, the 7,236 acre monument is cooperatively managed by the National Park Service and the City of Albuquerque...