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             A volcano is a vent in the earth's crust through which magma (molten rock) and .
             The magma, once it reaches the surface, is called lava. The lava forms a .
             hill around the vent or opening. The lava can flow out as a viscous liquid, or it may .
             explode from the vent as solid or liquid particles.
             Types of Volcanoes.
             There are three different types of volcanoes that can be formed around a vent. The .
             ways to identify each type are what it is composed of and what into what shape it is .
             formed. The shield volcano, which takes its name form its resemblance to the shields of .
             early Germanic warriors, is a quietly erupting flow that forms gently slopping mountains. .
             The dome that is formed over a period of time involving multiple one to ten meter thick .
             lava flows. This type of volcano is found mostly in Hawaii and Iceland.
             The second type of volcano dome formation is the cinder-cone. This volcano has .
             high gas content and high viscosity (the thickness of the lava), therefore producing a .
             much more explosive eruption than that of the shield volcano. These volcanoes blew .
             volcanic bombs and cinders into the air which land beside the vent to form a step-sided .
             cone. Since these volcanoes consist of loose materials they do not grow as large as other .
             volcanoes. Most cinder-cone volcanoes are formed by a single eruption.
             The third type of volcano is the composite volcano. It is the tallest of all the .
             different types. It is a combination of shield and cinder-cone volcanoes. It goes through .
             a cycle of quiet eruptions followed by an explosive eruption of extremely viscous lava. .
             The fluid lava forms an erosion resistant shell over the existing debris forming a strong, .
             deep-sided volcanic cone.
             A volcano can also be classified by how active it is or has been in the past. .
             Geologist use the terms: active, dormant, and extinct to classify how active it is. If a .
             volcano has erupted within the past fifty years it is referred to as active.

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