There are major characteristics that can tell a volcano from a mountain. Volcanoes have a vent that lends to the hot spot or magma chamber.There are different types of volcanoes, the first is the shield volcano. Shield volcanoes will gradually slope up . shield volcanoes tend to be non violent in their eruptions because it has fluid like lava. The shield volcanoes are primarily located near the hawian emperor seamount chain area. Another type of volcano is composite volcanoes. Composite volcanoes erupt violently; these are probably the most famous types of volcanoes. They erupt very violently because of its thick lava. They are primarily located along the circum pacif belt/the ring of fire. And then there are cinder cone volcanoes; these are smaller than most volcanoes; they are located on shield volcanoes. And the last volcano type is lava domes. And they erupt extremely violently because they have very patsey lava. And they often form in composite volcano craters.