Definition: Cinder Cone
Cinder cones, also known as scoria or spatter cones, are a relatively simple type of volcano consisting of a steep conical pile of volcanic ash and tephra. They exhibit a lower profile than stratovolcanoes (usually rising no more than a thousand feet above the surrounding topography), and typically have a bowl-shaped depression at their summits. They form primarily from the eruption of pyroclastic ejecta and are commonly encountered on the flanks of stratovolcanoes, shield volcanoes, and calderas.
- A cinder cone is a steep conical hill of loose pyroclastic fragments, such as either volcanic clinkers, volcanic ash, or cinder that has been built around a volcanic vent. The pyroclastic fragments are formed by explosive eruptions or lava fountains from a single, typically cylindrical, vent. As the gas-charged lava is blown violently into the air, it breaks into small fragments that solidify and fall as either cinders, clinkers, or scoria around the vent to form a cone that often is symmetrical; with slopes between 30–40°; and a nearly circular ground plan. Most cinder cones have a bowl-shaped crater at the summit.
- Also Known As
- Scoria Cones, Spatter Cones
- John Watson. Principal Types of Volcanoes [Internet]. 2011. U.S. Geological Survey. [updated 2011/01/03;cited 2013/12/24]. Available from: http://pubs.usgs.gov/gip/volc/types.html