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Book Chapter

Introduction and key concepts

Published:
January 01, 2002

Abstract

Pyroclastic density currents are inhomogeneous mixtures of volcanic particles and gas that flow according to their density relative to the surrounding fluid (generally the atmosphere) and due to Earth's gravity. They can originate by fountain-like collapse of parts of an eruption column following explosive disintegration of magma and rock in a volcanic conduit, or from laterally inclined blasts, or from hot avalanches derived from lava domes. They can transport large volumes of hot debris rapidly for many kilometres across the ground and they constitute a lethal and destructive volcanic hazard. Ground-hugging pyroclastic density currents produce a buoyant counterpart, known as a phoenix cloud or co-ignimbrite ash plume, which can carry ash and aerosols into the stratosphere and so cause significant climatic perturbation. Most processes within pyroclastic density currents are impossible to observe and so are commonly inferred from the associated deposits.

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Contents

Geological Society, London, Memoirs

Pyroclastic Density Currents and the Sedimentation of Ignimbrites

Michael J. Branney
Michael J. Branney
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Peter Kokelaar
Peter Kokelaar
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Geological Society of London
Volume
27
ISBN electronic:
9781862394025
Publication date:
January 01, 2002

GeoRef

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