Mount Pelée is composed mainly of volcaniclastic material that has been subdivided into the products of (1) Peléan-type eruptions-andesitic nuée ardente deposits and lithic ground-surge deposits; (2) ash-pumice flow eruptions-pumice flow deposits and ash-hurricane deposits; (3) Plinian-type eruptions-air-fall lapilli deposits, air-fall ash deposits, and pumice-crystal ground-surge deposits; and (4) mudflow and fluviatile deposits. Stratigraphic sections show that a series of Peléan-type eruptions have consistently alternated with a series of Plinian and pumice flow eruptions and that there have been at least ten such alternations within the past 9,000 yr. Nuée ardente deposits of basaltic andesite, rich in plu-tonic blocks and representing St. Vincent-type eruptions, are only sparsely present on Mount Pelée and are separated from the more voluminous andesite deposits by the products of mixed-magma eruptions.

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