Volcanoes are classified by their shape. There are three types of volcanoes—composite, shield and cinder cone.
2. Composite Volcano
A composite volcano forms from alternating layers of ash and layers of flowing lava. Composite volcanoes have steep sides and may have a crater on top.
3. Cinder Cone Volcano
A cinder cone is a small, steep volcano that is created from the accumulation of ash and pyroclastic material. They often have a crater where the top of the volcano was blown off during an explosive eruption.
4. Shield Volcano
Shield volcanoes are wide, flat volcanoes formed by non-explosive lava flows. Layers of hardened lava result in a gently sloping mountain. The Hawaiian Islands were formed from shield volcanoes.