Get our newsletter!
Check out the volcano tours offered by Volcano-Adventures!
Volcanoes & Earthquakes - new app for Android
Guaranteed tours:
23 Dec 17 - 5 Jan 2018: Desert, salt and volcanoes - Danakil desert (Ethiopia)
30 Dec 17 - 6 Jan 2018: Nyiragongo Lava Lake & Mountain Gorillas - DR Congo + Rwanda
13-26 Jan 2018: Desert, salt and volcanoes - Danakil desert (Ethiopia)
28 Jan - 4 Feb 2018: Nyiragongo Lava Lake & Mountain Gorillas - DR Congo + Rwanda
17-23 Mar 2018: Kilauea Volcano Special - Big Island, Hawaiʻi
25-29 Mar 2018: Sakurajima Volcano Special - Kyushu (Japan)
28 Apr - 3 May 2018: Aegean's Hidden Gem: Isle of Milos - Milos Island (Greece)
5-13 May 2018: From Stromboli to Etna - Eolian Islands + Etna volcano (Italy)
19-27 May 2018: From Stromboli to Etna - Eolian Islands + Etna volcano (Italy)
9-17 Jun 2018: From Stromboli to Etna - Eolian Islands + Etna volcano (Italy)
: spaces available / : guaranteed / : few spaces left / : booked out
 

Support us?


Maintaining the volcano and earthquake news sections on this website, the free Volcano Webcams tool and interactive map widget is a free-time, both time- and server cost intensive effort.
If you find the information useful and would like to support us, and help keep it alive and improve it, please consider making a small donation. Thank you!
Random pictures

Illustrated Volcano Glossary

Search for term:

Plinian eruption

Volcanology
Plinian eruption of Mt. St. Helens on May 18, 1980 (USGS Photograph taken on May 18, 1980, by Donald A. Swanson)
Plinian eruption of Mt. St. Helens on May 18, 1980 (USGS Photograph taken on May 18, 1980, by Donald A. Swanson)
Pumice deposit on Santorini, Greece, from the large Plinian "Minoan" eruption on Santorini in 1613 BC, showing the holes in the pumice where remants of an olive tree could be found and recovered by Tom in 2003. This material allowed the most recent and most precise dating of this eruption to date.
Pumice deposit on Santorini, Greece, from the large Plinian "Minoan" eruption on Santorini in 1613 BC, showing the holes in the pumice where remants of an olive tree could be found and recovered by Tom in 2003. This material allowed the most recent and most precise dating of this eruption to date.
The most explosive and largest type of volcanic eruptions. Plinian eruptions erupt more than 1 cubic kilometer of magma often within less than a few days and produce ash columns that can reach 20-50 km height.
Plinian eruptions are large explosive events that form enormous dark columns of tephra and gas high into the stratosphere (>11 km). Such eruptions are named for Pliny the Younger, who carefully described the disastrous eruption of Vesuvius in 79 A.D. This eruption generated a huge column of tephra into the sky, pyroclastic flows and surges, and extensive ash fall. Many thousands of people evacuated areas around the volcano, but about 2,000 were killed, including Pliny the Older.


Interesting facts:

  • Large plinian eruptions sometimes result in the withdrawal of so much magma from below a volcano that part of it collapses to form a large depression called a caldera.
  • A few well known plinian eruptions of the 20th century include Mount Spurr, Alaska (June 27, August 18, and September 16-17, 1992); Mount Pinatubo, Philippines (June 15, 1991); El Chichón, Mexico (March-April 1982); Mount St. Helens, Washington (May 18, 1980); Agung volcano, Indonesia (March 17, 1963; and Novarupta, Valley of 10,000 Smokes, Alaska (June 6, 1912).
  • Some plinian eruptions inject such large quantities of aerosols (small liquid droplets) into the stratosphere that surface temperatures on earth may decrease slightly. A few recent eruptions resulted in detectable cooling--the 1991 eruption of Mount Pinatubo, Philippines, and the 1982 eruption of El Chichón, Mexico. The massive 1815 eruption of Mount Tambora volcano, Indonesia, is thought to have caused the 1816 "Year without a Summer" in the northeastern U.S., Canada, and western Europe.


Source: USGS

Related keywords (2):

explosive - vulcanian eruption

More on VolcanoDiscovery:

Copyrights: VolcanoDiscovery and other sources as noted.
Use of material: Text and images on this webpage are copyrighted. Further reproduction and use without authorization is not consented. If you need licensing rights for photographs, for example for publications and commercial use, please contact us.