Shield volcanoes are so called because of the "shield" of lava rock around them. These tend to be large volcanoes. The lava is produced by a main vent or central vent, which distributes the shield according to lava flow patterns. Shield areas may be extensive, depending on the nature of the terrain, and the fluidity of the lava, (on Earth, commonly basalt) which may flow for large distances from the vents.
Examples of Shield Volcanoes:
|On Earth: Mauna |
Loa on Hawaii
Moon: Lunar Dome
Mars: Olympus Mons
Venus: Volcanic activity forms extensive lava fields. The planet has 150 shield volcanoes, over 100km in size, some 600km across.
Skjaldbreiður, eponymous for a shield volcano.