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Standing freely as the tallest mountain in the world at 5895 m, is the remarkable volcano, Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. Covering about 388500 hectares, the mountain is believed to have been formed about 3 million years ago during the formation of the great East African rift valley. Back in the days, the mountain received 3 eruptions which brought about its 3 peaks of Shira, Mawenzi and Kibo.  Among these 3, Kibo ( 5895 m) is dormant and therefore can erupt at any time while Mawenzi ( 5149m) and Shira ( 4005 m) are extinct.

In this way, it may be easier to see Mount Kilimanjaro not as a single mountain, but as three separate volcanic peaks stacked on top of one another. This unique formation gives it its famed height, distinct look, and famed tourist appeal. The mountain came into existence where the molten lava burst through a gap in the surface of the great rift valley and furtherly pushed part of the earth’s crust creating the Shira plateau.

Once active, the Shira plateau became extinct about 500,000 years ago and is one of the oldest volcanoes that form up the Kilimanjaro massif. This led to the formation of a huge caldera on the summit of the volcano. Soon after this, Mawenzi mage further eruptions within the Shira caldera and still keeps its volcanic shape up to today even though it is much eroded. Fllowing this, Kibo continued to rise to become the famous ice capped peak. Besides that, Kibo has 3 concentric craters and the outer crater rim rises to Uhuru which is the chief summit.

What type of volcano is Mount Kilimanjaro?

This is yet another interesting thing to be knowledgeable about. Mount Kilimanjaro is a strato volcano, This is a volcano that is made of ash and lava that is laid on top of each other as a volcano goes through different eruptive phases. It is also known as a composite volcano.



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