The Eruption of Soufrière Hills Volcano, Montserrat from 1995 to 1999
Volcanoes are the most violent surface expression of the Earth’s internal energy. Only impacts of large extra-terrestrial bodies can match the explosive release and devastation of the largest volcanoes. Indeed for some of the most dramatic events the Earth has seen - the large terrestrial extinctions of animal life - the jury is still out as to whether they were brought about by meteoritic impact or by wide-scale effects of volcanic activity. Volcanoes have it too when it comes to sustained visual impact. Earthquakes, tsunamis and avalanches all cause massive devastation, but it is accomplished in the blink of an eye, and floods rise with a progressive and depressing inevitability. Volcanoes are simply the most spectacular of the destructive natural hazards to life on Earth.
To those who are far enough away to view them in safety, volcanoes can offer a truly awe-inspiring pyrotechnic display of the Earth’s innate power- a natural, spectacular son et lumière. For this reason from time immemorial they have exerted a siren-like attraction for geologists, photographers, filmmakers and many others. And, like the sirens of ancient fable, they have lured to their death all too many of those who dared to get too close. Indeed volcanoes inspired such awe in the ancient world that their own mythology sprang up about them. Cyclops, the one-eyed giant who all-unprovoked threw rocks great distances to kill shepherds tending their flocks, we know today as Mount Etna. The giant was also able to cause springs to flow where he struck the ground-it is not uncommon for groundwater flows to be disrupted during volcanic episodes.
Tephra fallout in the eruption of Soufrière Hills Volcano, Montserrat
Published:January 01, 2002
C. Bonadonna, G. C. Mayberry, E. S. Calder, R. S. J. Sparks, C. Choux, P. Jackson, A. M. Lejeune, S. C. Loughlin, G. E. Norton, W. I. Rose, G. Ryan, S. R. Young, 2002. "Tephra fallout in the eruption of Soufrière Hills Volcano, Montserrat", The Eruption of Soufrière Hills Volcano, Montserrat from 1995 to 1999, T. H. Druitt, B. P. Kokelaar
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Four mechanisms caused tephra fallout at Soufrière Hills Volcano, Montserrat, during the 1995–1999 period: explosive activity (mainly of Vulcanian type), dome collapses, ash-venting and phreatic explosions. The first two mechanisms contributed most of the tephra-fallout deposits (minimum total dense-rock equivalent volume of 23 × 106 m3), which vary from massive to layered and represent the amalgamation of the deposits from a large numbers of events. The volume of co-pyroclastic-flow fallout tephra is in the range 4-16° of the associated pyroclastic flow deposits. Dome-collapse fallout tephra is characterized by ash particles generated by fragmentation in the pyroclastic...