A stratovolcano is a tall, conical volcano composed of one layer of hardened lava, tephra, and volcanic ash.
These volcanoes are characterized by a steep profile and periodic, explosive eruptions.
The lava that flows from them is highly viscous, and cools and hardens before spreading very far.
The source magma of this rock is classified as acidic, or high in silica to intermediate (rhyolite, dacite, or andesite. or basalt).
This is in contrast to less viscous basic magma that forms shield volcanoes (such as Mauna Loa in Hawaii), which have a wide base and more gently sloping profile.
Many stratovolcanoes exceed a height of 2500 m.