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What is a complex volcano? Discuss the salient features with suitable illustrations.

Topic:  Salient features of world’s physical geography.

1. What is a complex volcano? Discuss the salient features with suitable illustrations.(250 words)


Why this question:

In the Philippines, a volcano called Taal on the island of Luzon, 50 km from Manila, erupted on January 12, spewing lava on the ground, and ash and smoke into the sky.  Thus the question.

Key demand of the question:

The answer must discuss the concept of complex volcano and the silent features of it.


Discuss – This is an all-encompassing directive – you have to debate on paper by going through the details of the issues concerned by examining each one of them. You have to give reasons for both for and against arguments.

Structure of the answer:


Briefly define volcano in general and suggest the types.


In detail explain the concept of complex volcanoes.

A complex volcano, also called a compound volcano, is defined as one that consists of a complex of two or more vents, or a volcano that has an associated volcanic dome, either in its crater or on its flanks. Examples include Vesuvius, besides Taal.

Discuss that the Taal volcano does not rise from the ground as a distinct, singular dome but consists of multiple stratovolcanoes (volcanoes susceptible to explosive eruptions), conical hills and craters of all shapes and sizes. Taal has 47 craters and four maars (a broad shallow crater).

Describe the key features of such volcanoes. Explain the landforms created by it. Use suitable diagrams wherever possible to illustrate better.


Conclude with importance of such phenomena in the evolution of landforms on Earth.