The common manifestation of an explosive volcanic eruption is the emission of a hot mixture of solid fragments and expanding magmatic gases, referred to as the eruption plume, into the atmosphere (Fig. 1, Sparks et al. 1997; Carey and Bursik 2015). Ash (the rock particles less than two millimeters across) usually dominates the plume’s solid load, whereas water vapor followed by CO2 and lesser amounts of sulfur and halogen species constitute the eruptive gas phase. Plumes can initially travel as a jet with velocities up to 600 m s−1, temperatures above 800 °C...

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