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Illustrated Volcano Glossary

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Pumice

Volcanology: pumice stone
Our tour guide Marta posing in Lipari's pumice...
Our tour guide Marta posing in Lipari's pumice...
Pumice from the Greek island Santorini
Pumice from the Greek island Santorini
Pumice is a very light, porous volcanic rock that forms during explosive eruptions. During the eruption, volcanic gases dissolved in the liquid portion of verz viscous magma expand very rapidly to create a foam or froth; the liquid part of the froth then quickly solidifies to glass around the gas bubbles. The volume of gas bubbles is usually so large that pumice is lighter than water and floats. Pumice is an important industrial mineral used to produce high-quality cement and lightweight, isolating building materials.
Pumice is a textural term for a volcanic rock that is a solidified frothy lava composed of highly microvesicular glass pyroclastic with very thin, translucent bubble walls of extrusive igneous rock. It is commonly, but not exclusively of silicic or felsic to intermediate in composition (e.g. rhyolitic, dacitic, andesite, pantellerite, phonolite, trachyte), but occurrences of basaltic and other com... -> See whole entry

Related keywords (5):

explosive - obsidian - perlite - photoglossary.html - photoglossary.html

pyroclastic flow

Volcanology
Pyroclastic flow travelling down the Krasak ravine at Merapi volcano on 27 May 2006.
Pyroclastic flow travelling down the Krasak ravine at Merapi volcano on 27 May 2006.
The billowing ash could of the advancing pyroclastic flow.
The billowing ash could of the advancing pyroclastic flow.
Fluid avalanche of turbulently mixed ash, lava and or rock fragments, and air, that flows down the flanks of a volcano, driven by gravity. Pyroclastic flows are usually very hot and highly destructive.
A pyroclastic flow is a ground-hugging avalanche of hot ash, pumice, rock fragments, and volcanic gas that rushes down the side of a volcano as fast as 100 km/hour or more. The temperature within a pyroclastic flow may be greater than 500°C, sufficient to burn wood. Once deposited, the ash, pumice, and rock fragments may deform (flatten) and weld together because of the intense heat and the weight... -> See whole entry

Related keywords (4):

ash - base surge - debris avalanche - explosive

rhyolite

Volcanology
A type of highly viscous magma with high silica content; it is found as pumice (in airfall deposits or ignimbrites), lava or obsidian. Rhyolite is also the name given to the volcanic rock formed from rhyolitic magma.

shield volcano

Volcanology
Mauna Loa shield volcano (Big Island, Hawaii)
Mauna Loa shield volcano (Big Island, Hawaii)
A large shield volcano in the Danakil desert (Ethiopia)
A large shield volcano in the Danakil desert (Ethiopia)
Shield volcanoes are volcanoes that mainly erupt fluid (usually basaltic) lava flows that are able to travel over long distances and thus construct over time broad, gentle slopes. They are called shield volcanoes, because they resemble the shape of a warriors' shield.
Shield volcanoes are volcanoes that mainly erupt fluid (usually basaltic) lava flows that are able to travel over long distances and thus construct over time broad, gentle slopes. They are called shield volcanoes, because they resemble the shape of a warriors' shield.

While stratovolcanoes, the other major morphological type of volcanoes, are representative for most subduction-type volcanoes, sh... -> See whole entry

Related keywords (1):

photoglossary.html

skylight

Volcanology
Skylight on Etna volcano (Italy)
Skylight on Etna volcano (Italy)
Skylight on Etna volcano (Italy)
Skylight on Etna volcano (Italy)
Skylights are openings in the roof above a lava tube, from where the flowing lava flow can be seen. Usually, these holes are caused by the simple collapse of the roof of the tube.

Related keywords (1):

Coulée de lave

smoke ring

Volcanology: volcanic smoke ring, gas ring, steam ring
Etna's Bocca Nuova crater in 2000, emitting smoke rings
Etna's Bocca Nuova crater in 2000, emitting smoke rings
Smoke ring detail (Etna)
Smoke ring detail (Etna)
A rare phenomenon, where a visible vortex ring of steam and gas is expelled from a volcanic vent.
Under special conditions, gas and steam expelled from a vent can form gas rings. It probably requires a particular geolometric configuration of a circular vent exit, as well as expulsion of gas in individual puffs with just the right velocity.

This phenomenon is quite rare, but has been witnessed at several volcanoes, including Stromboli and Etna. At Etna, a spectacular period lasting several mo... -> See whole entry

strombolian eruption

Volcanology
Strombolian eruptions from vents of Stromboli volcano, Eolian Islands, Italy
Strombolian eruptions from vents of Stromboli volcano, Eolian Islands, Italy
Strombolian eruption from Yasur volcano, Vanuatu
Strombolian eruption from Yasur volcano, Vanuatu
Strombolian eruptions are the smallest type of explosive eruptions. Strombolian eruptions consist of intermittent, generally relatively small explosions or weak pulsating fountains of fluid (usually basaltic) lava from a single vent or crater. They are called so after the type locality of Stromboli volcano (Eolian Islands, Italy), which has been in strombolian activity for probably more than 2000 years.
An individual strombolian explosion is the result of sudden release of volcanic gasses. The typical rhythmic occurrence is caused by gradual accumulation of gas bubbles beneath a weakly solidified plug at the top of the magma column at the vent surface until the gas pressure is high enough to erupt through it, ejecting with it both solid and liquid spatter from the magma. -> See whole entry

Related keywords (1):

vulcanian eruption

tephrite

Volcanology
Tephrite is an type of volcanic (extrusive) rock with low silica content, similar to basalt, but containing foid minerals (e.g. nephelinite, leucite) along with plagioclase. The composition of tephrite is called tephritic.

tephritic

Volcanology
Tephritic refers to the mineral composition of tephrite, an type of volcanic (extrusive) rock with low silica content, similar to basalt, but containing foid minerals (e.g. nephelinite, leucite) along with plagioclase.

tumulus

Volcanology
Tumulus with strange shapes, on the lava flow field of the 1614-24 eruption of Mt. Etna, Italy.
Tumulus with strange shapes, on the lava flow field of the 1614-24 eruption of Mt. Etna, Italy.
From Latin "tumulus" = "little hill", tumuli (pl.) are uplifted sections of pahoehoe lava crust caused by pressure from still fluid lava accumulating beneath the hardened crust.
Tumuli are a characteristic feature of all pahoehoe lava flow fields, such as prominent on Kilauea volcano, Hawaii, but also many other basaltic volcanoes including Etna. -> See whole entry

VAAC

Volcanology: Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre
Coverage of the globe by the 9 VAAC.
Coverage of the globe by the 9 VAAC.
Volcanic Ash Advisory Centers (VAAC) are research centres who monitor volcanic ash clouds in real time. Each time, a volcano erupts a significant ash cloud, short reports are issued and transmitted directly to air control centres. The 9 VAAC are located in London, Toulouse, Tokyo, Darwin, Anchorage, Washington, Montreal and Buenos Aireas and collectively cover most of the globe.
The Volcanic Ash Advisory Centers (VAAC) are groups of experts and government-funded bodies to montor volcanic ash clouds all over the planet in real time. As Europe experienced in April 2010, volcanic ash clouds are hazardous for aircraft and must be avoided to fly through, even if that means cancellation of flights.



As of 2010, there are 9 VAAC located in different areas and each focussing m... -> See whole entry

Related keywords (1):

ash

viscosity

Volcanology
The ability of a liquid to flow. Basalt magma has a relatively low viscosity making it runny, whereas rhyolite magma has a high viscosity making the magma thick and sticky.

Related keywords (1):

explosive

volcanic dike

Volcanology: volcanic dike
Exposed volcanic dike on Santorini (Greece)
Exposed volcanic dike on Santorini (Greece)
Dikes in the caldera walls of Santorini (Greece)
Dikes in the caldera walls of Santorini (Greece)
Pathways of rising magma inside vertical fissures.
Dikes are imaginable as the veins of a volcano, the pathways of rising magma. A dike is called a -usually more or less vertical- flat, sheet-like magma body that cuts unconformingly through older rocks or sediments.



Most dikes can be described as fractures into which magma intrudes or from which they might erupt. The fracture can be caused by the intrusion of pressurized magma, or vice versa, ... -> See whole entry

Volcanology

Volcanology
The science of studying volcanoes.
Volcanology comprises the study of volcanoes and volcanic phenomena and is mostly regarded as a sub-part of geology, but is interwoven with other science disciplines as well: chemistry, physics, but also sociology, history, archaeology. -> See whole entry

vulcanian eruption

Volcanology
Eruption column from a vulcanian eruption on Krakatau
Eruption column from a vulcanian eruption on Krakatau
Night-time vulcanian eruption at Krakatau; bombs are ejected to more than 1 km height!
Night-time vulcanian eruption at Krakatau; bombs are ejected to more than 1 km height!
A vulcanian (note the different term from "volcanic") eruption is an intermediately violent type of explosive eruption, stronger than strombolian explosions but much weaker than Plinian eruptions. During vulcanian eruptions, a relatively large solid plug is ejected when magmatic gas pressure that had build up beneath it overcomes the strength of the plug. In the same way as Stromboli island for strombolian eruptions, the term vulcanian was coined after the neighboring island of Vulcano in the Eolian Islands, where such eruptions had been observed during the eruption in 1888.
Vulcanian eruptions can follow longer or shorter intervals of repose during which gasses in the magma beneath the plug slowly build up. The smallest vulcanian explosions typically produce eruption columns of approx 1-2 km height, while larger ones approaching sub-plinian size can erupt columns reaching several to more than 10 kilometers height.

Often, the eruptions are accompanied by violent gun... -> See whole entry

Related keywords (2):

Plinian eruption - strombolian eruption

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