During eruption, the vent of a Surtseyan volcano is occupied by a highly mobile slurry of tephra, hyaloclastite and water. As magma ascends rapidly through the slurry, mixing occurs due to velocity shear, acceleration of the fluid-fluid contacts and mass incorporation. Consequent expansion of the admixed water causes the jetting and continuous up-rush activity that characterizes Surtseyan volcanism. There is no evidence of the widely accepted fuel-coolant interaction mechanism.

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