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Illustrated Volcano Glossary
Pyroclastic flow travelling down the Krasak ravine at Merapi volcano on 27 May 2006.
The billowing ash could of the advancing pyroclastic flow.
Merapi seen from the area of Kaliadem with the fresh deposits of a pyroclastic flow (June 06) in the foreground. This flow killed two people trapped inside a bunker that became buried under the hot deposit.
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 of the overlying material.
Facts and figures:
On 8. May 1902 a pyroclastic flow from Montagne Pelée, Martinique, caused the worst volcanic disaster of the 20th century. 28'000 people perished in the city of St. Pierre, located 7 km from the volcano's summit
More on VolcanoDiscovery:
Latest quakes at Katla volcano
: One of Iceland's most active and dangerous volcanoes is showing signs of unrest and statistically due for a new eruption. Earthquakes could give a clue.
Tours and travel news
: Keep up to date about specials, new destinations, tour offerings about our tours and travel news site.
: A third tectonic setting where volcanism occurs is believed to be the result of mantle plumes and not directly related to plate boundaries. So called hot spot volcanoes fall into this category.
1-3 day excursions
: If you're interested in volcanoes, there are a number of excursions you should not miss if you're in the area: hike to the craters of Stromboli volcano, climb Etna volcano, get to know the unique volcanic history of Santorini - some examples of shorter (1-3 days) tours and excursions we offer.