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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia This article is about the geological feature. For other uses, see Volcano (disambiguation).

Cleveland Volcano in the Aleutian Islands of Alaska photographed from the International Space Station, May 2006.

Ash plumes reached a height of 19 km during the climactic eruption at Mount Pinatubo, Philippines in 1991. A volcano is an opening, or rupture, in a planet's surface or crust, which allows hot magma, volcanic ash and gases to escape from below the surface. Volcanoes are generally found where tectonic plates are diverging or converging. A mid-oceanic ridge, for example the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, has examples of volcanoes caused by divergent tectonic plates pulling apart; the Pacific Ring of Fire has examples of volcanoes caused by convergent tectonic plates coming together. By contrast, volcanoes are usually not created where two tectonic plates slide past one another. Volcanoes can also form where there is stretching and thinning of the Earth's crust in the interiors of plates, e.g., in the East African Rift, the Wells Gray-Clearwater volcanic field and the Rio Grande Rift in North America. This type of volcanism falls under the umbrella of "Plate hypothesis" volcanism.[1] Volcanism away from

plate boundaries has also been explained as mantle plumes. These so-called "hotspots", for example Hawaii, are postulated to arise from upwelling diapirs with magma from the coremantle boundary, 3,000 km deep in the Earth. Erupting volcanoes can pose many hazards, not only in the immediate vicinity of the eruption. Volcanic ash can be a threat to aircraft, in particular those with jet engines where ash particles can be melted by the high operating temperature. Large eruptions can affect temperature as ash and droplets of sulfuric acid obscure the sun and cool the Earth's lower atmosphere or troposphere; however, they also absorb heat radiated up from the Earth, thereby warming the stratosphere. Historically, so-called volcanic winters have caused catastrophic famines.


1 Etymology 2 Plate tectonics

2.1 Divergent plate boundaries 2.2 Convergent plate boundaries 2.3 "Hotspots" 3.1 Fissure vents 3.2 Shield volcanoes 3.3 Lava domes 3.4 Cryptodomes 3.5 Volcanic cones (cinder cones) 3.6 Stratovolcanoes (composite volcanoes) 3.7 Supervolcanoes 3.8 Submarine volcanoes 3.9 Subglacial volcanoes 3.10 Mud volcanoes 4.1 Lava composition 4.2 Lava texture 5.1 Popular classification of volcanoes

3 Volcanic features

4 Erupted material

5 Volcanic activity

5.1.1 Active 5.1.2 Extinct 5.1.3 Dormant

5.2 Technical classification of volcanoes

5.2.1 Volcanic-alert level 5.2.2 Volcano warning schemes of the United States

6 Notable volcanoes 7 Effects of volcanoes 8 Volcanoes on other planetary bodies 9 Traditional beliefs about volcanoes 10 See also 11 References 12 Further reading 13 External links

The word volcano is derived from the name of Vulcano, a volcanic island in the Aeolian Islands of Italy whose name in turn originates from Vulcan, the name of a god of fire in Roman mythology.[2] The study of volcanoes is called volcanology, sometimes spelled vulcanology.

Plate tectonics

Map showing the divergent plate boundaries (OSR Oceanic Spreading Ridges) and recent sub aerial volcanoes.

Divergent plate boundaries

Main article: Divergent boundary At the mid-oceanic ridges, two tectonic plates diverge from one another. New oceanic crust is being formed by hot molten rock slowly cooling and solidifying. The crust is very thin at midoceanic ridges due to the pull of the tectonic plates. The release of pressure due to the thinning of the crust leads to adiabatic expansion, and the partial melting of the mantle causing volcanism and creating new oceanic crust. Most divergent plate boundaries are at the bottom of the oceans, therefore most volcanic activity is submarine, forming new seafloor. Black smokers or deep sea

vents are an example of this kind of volcanic activity. Where the mid-oceanic ridge is above sealevel, volcanic islands are formed, for example, Iceland.

Convergent plate boundaries

Main article: Convergent boundary Subduction zones are places where two plates, usually an oceanic plate and a continental plate, collide. In this case, the oceanic plate subducts, or submerges under the continental plate forming a deep ocean trench just offshore. Water released from the subducting plate lowers the melting temperature of the overlying mantle wedge, creating magma. This magma tends to be very viscous due to its high silica content, so often does not reach the surface and cools at depth. When it does reach the surface, a volcano is formed. Typical examples for this kind of volcano are Mount Etna and the volcanoes in the Pacific Ring of Fire.

Main article: Hotspot (geology) "Hotspots" is the name given to volcanic provinces postulated to be formed by mantle plumes. These are postulated to comprise columns of hot material that rise from the core-mantle boundary. They are suggested to be hot, causing large-volume melting, and to be fixed in space. Because the tectonic plates move across them, each volcano becomes dormant after a while and a new volcano is then formed as the plate shifts over the postulated plume. The Hawaiian Islands have been suggested to have been formed in such a manner, as well as the Snake River Plain, with the Yellowstone Caldera being the part of the North American plate currently above the hot spot. This theory is currently under criticism, however.[1]

Volcanic features

Lakagigar fissure vent in Iceland, source of the major world climate alteration of 178384.

Skjaldbreiur, a shield volcano whose name means "broad shield" The most common perception of a volcano is of a conical mountain, spewing lava and poisonous gases from a crater at its summit. This describes just one of many types of volcano, and the features of volcanoes are much more complicated. The structure and behavior of volcanoes depends on a number of factors. Some volcanoes have rugged peaks formed by lava domes rather than a summit crater, whereas others present landscape features such as massive plateaus. Vents that issue volcanic material (lava, which is what magma is called once it has escaped to the surface, and ash) and gases (mainly steam and magmatic gases) can be located anywhere on the landform. Many of these vents give rise to smaller cones such as Puu on a flank of Hawaii's Klauea. Other types of volcano include cryovolcanoes (or ice volcanoes), particularly on some moons of Jupiter, Saturn and Neptune; and mud volcanoes, which are formations often not associated with known magmatic activity. Active mud volcanoes tend to involve temperatures much lower than those of igneous volcanoes, except when a mud volcano is actually a vent of an igneous volcano.

Fissure vents
Main article: Fissure vent Volcanic fissure vents are flat, linear cracks through which lava emerges.

Shield volcanoes
Main article: Shield volcano Shield volcanoes, so named for their broad, shield-like profiles, are formed by the eruption of low-viscosity lava that can flow a great distance from a vent, but not generally explode catastrophically. Since low-viscosity magma is typically low in silica, shield volcanoes are more common in oceanic than continental settings. The Hawaiian volcanic chain is a series of shield cones, and they are common in Iceland, as well.

Lava domes
Main article: Lava dome Lava domes are built by slow eruptions of highly viscous lavas. They are sometimes formed within the crater of a previous volcanic eruption (as in Mount Saint Helens), but can also form independently, as in the case of Lassen Peak. Like stratovolcanoes, they can produce violent, explosive eruptions, but their lavas generally do not flow far from the originating vent.

Cryptodomes are formed when viscous lava forces its way up and causes a bulge. The 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens was an example. Lava was under great pressure and forced a bulge in the mountain, which was unstable and slid down the north side.

Volcanic cones (cinder cones)

Main articles: volcanic cone and Cinder cone Volcanic cones or cinder cones are the result from eruptions that erupt mostly small pieces of scoria and pyroclastics (both resemble cinders, hence the name of this volcano type) that build up around the vent. These can be relatively short-lived eruptions that produce a cone-shaped hill perhaps 30 to 400 meters high. Most cinder cones erupt only once. Cinder cones may form as flank vents on larger volcanoes, or occur on their own. Parcutin in Mexico and Sunset Crater in

Arizona are examples of cinder cones. In New Mexico, Caja del Rio is a volcanic field of over 60 cinder cones.

Stratovolcanoes (composite volcanoes)

Cross-section through a stratovolcano (vertical scale is exaggerated): 1. Large magma chamber 9. Layers of lava emitted by the volcano 2. Bedrock 10. Throat 3. Conduit (pipe) 11. Parasitic cone 4. Base 12. Lava flow 5. Sill 13. Vent 6. Dike 14. Crater 7. Layers of ash emitted by the volcano 15. Ash cloud 8. Flank Main article: Stratovolcano Stratovolcanoes or composite volcanoes are tall conical mountains composed of lava flows and other ejecta in alternate layers, the strata that give rise to the name. Stratovolcanoes are also known as composite volcanoes, created from several structures during different kinds of eruptions. Strato/composite volcanoes are made of cinders, ash and lava. Cinders and ash pile on top of each other, lava flows on top of the ash, where it cools and hardens, and then the process begins again. Classic examples include Mt. Fuji in Japan, Mayon Volcano in the Philippines, and Mount Vesuvius and Stromboli in Italy. In recorded history, explosive eruptions by stratovolcanoes have posed the greatest hazard to civilizations, as ash is produced by an explosive eruption. No supervolcano erupted in recorded history. Shield volcanoes have not an enormous pressure build up from the lava flow. Fissure vents and monogenetic volcanic fields (volcanic cones) have not powerful explosive eruptions, as they are many times under extension. Stratovolcanoes (3035) are steeper than shield volcanoes (generally 510), their loose tephra are material for dangerous lahars.[3]

Main article: Supervolcano See also: List of largest volcanic eruptions A supervolcano is a large volcano that usually has a large caldera and can potentially produce devastation on an enormous, sometimes continental, scale. Such eruptions would be able to cause severe cooling of global temperatures for many years afterwards because of the huge volumes of sulfur and ash erupted. They are the most dangerous type of volcano. Examples include Yellowstone Caldera in Yellowstone National Park and Valles Caldera in New Mexico (both western United States), Lake Taupo in New Zealand, Lake Toba in Sumatra, Indonesia and Ngorogoro Crater in Tanzania, Krakatoa near Java and Sumatra, Indonesia. Supervolcanoes are hard to identify centuries later, given the enormous areas they cover. Large igneous provinces are also considered supervolcanoes because of the vast amount of basalt lava erupted, but are nonexplosive.

Submarine volcanoes
Main article: Submarine volcano Submarine volcanoes are common features on the ocean floor. Some are active and, in shallow water, disclose their presence by blasting steam and rocky debris high above the surface of the sea. Many others lie at such great depths that the tremendous weight of the water above them prevents the explosive release of steam and gases, although they can be detected by hydrophones and discoloration of water because of volcanic gases. Pumice rafts may also appear. Even large submarine eruptions may not disturb the ocean surface. Because of the rapid cooling effect of water as compared to air, and increased buoyancy, submarine volcanoes often form rather steep pillars over their volcanic vents as compared to above-surface volcanoes. They may become so large that they break the ocean surface as new islands. Pillow lava is a common eruptive product of submarine volcanoes. Hydrothermal vents are common near these volcanoes, and some support peculiar ecosystems based on dissolved minerals.

Subglacial volcanoes
Main article: Subglacial volcano Subglacial volcanoes develop underneath icecaps. They are made up of flat lava which flows at the top of extensive pillow lavas and palagonite. When the icecap melts, the lavas on the top collapse, leaving a flat-topped mountain. These volcanoes are also called table mountains, tuyas or (uncommonly) mobergs. Very good examples of this type of volcano can be seen in Iceland, however, there are also tuyas in British Columbia. The origin of the term comes from Tuya Butte, which is one of the several tuyas in the area of the Tuya River and Tuya Range in northern British Columbia. Tuya Butte was the first such landform analyzed and so its name has entered the geological literature for this kind of volcanic formation. The Tuya Mountains Provincial Park was recently established to protect this unusual landscape, which lies north of Tuya Lake and south of the Jennings River near the boundary with the Yukon Territory.

Mud volcanoes
Main article: Mud volcano Mud volcanoes or mud domes are formations created by geo-excreted liquids and gases, although there are several processes which may cause such activity. The largest structures are 10 kilometers in diameter and reach 700 meters high.

Erupted material

Phoehoe Lava flow on Hawaii. The picture shows overflows of a main lava channel.

The Stromboli stratovolcano off the coast of Sicily has erupted continuously for thousands of years, giving rise to the term strombolian eruption.

Lava composition
Another way of classifying volcanoes is by the composition of material erupted (lava), since this affects the shape of the volcano. Lava can be broadly classified into 4 different compositions (Cas & Wright, 1987):

If the erupted magma contains a high percentage (>63%) of silica, the lava is called felsic.

Felsic lavas (dacites or rhyolites) tend to be highly viscous (not very fluid) and are erupted as domes or short, stubby flows. Viscous lavas tend to form stratovolcanoes or lava domes. Lassen Peak in California is an example of a volcano formed from felsic lava and is actually a large lava dome. Because siliceous magmas are so viscous, they tend to trap volatiles (gases) that are present, which cause the magma to erupt catastrophically, eventually forming stratovolcanoes. Pyroclastic flows (ignimbrites) are highly hazardous products of such volcanoes, since they are composed of molten volcanic ash too heavy to go up into the atmosphere, so they hug the volcano's slopes and travel far from their vents during large eruptions. Temperatures as high as 1,200 C are known to occur in pyroclastic flows, which will incinerate everything flammable in their path and thick layers of hot pyroclastic flow deposits can be laid down, often up to many meters thick. Alaska's Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes, formed by the eruption of Novarupta near Katmai in 1912, is an example of a thick pyroclastic flow or ignimbrite deposit. Volcanic ash that is light enough to be erupted high

into the Earth's atmosphere may travel many kilometres before it falls back to ground as a tuff.

If the erupted magma contains 5263% silica, the lava is of intermediate composition.

These "andesitic" volcanoes generally only occur above subduction zones (e.g. Mount Merapi in Indonesia). Andesitic lava is typically formed at convergent boundary margins of tectonic plates, by several processes: Hydration melting of peridotite and fractional crystallization

Sarychev Peak eruption, Matua Island, oblique satellite view

Melting of subducted slab containing sediments[citation needed]

Magma mixing between felsic rhyolitic and mafic basaltic magmas in an intermediate reservoir prior to emplacement or lava flow.

If the erupted magma contains <52% and >45% silica, the lava is called mafic (because it contains higher percentages of magnesium (Mg) and iron (Fe)) or basaltic. These lavas are usually much less viscous than rhyolitic lavas, depending on their eruption temperature; they also tend to be hotter than felsic lavas. Mafic lavas occur in a wide range of settings:

At mid-ocean ridges, where two oceanic plates are pulling apart, basaltic lava erupts as pillows to fill the gap; Shield volcanoes (e.g. the Hawaiian Islands, including Mauna Loa and Kilauea), on both oceanic and continental crust; As continental flood basalts.

Some erupted magmas contain <=45% silica and produce ultramafic lava. Ultramafic flows, also known as komatiites, are very rare; indeed, very few have been erupted at the Earth's surface since the Proterozoic, when the planet's heat flow was higher. They are (or were) the hottest lavas, and probably more fluid than common mafic lavas.

Lava texture

Two types of lava are named according to the surface texture: Aa (pronounced [aa]) and phoehoe ([paho.eho.e]), both Hawaiian words. Aa is characterized by a rough, clinkery surface and is the typical texture of viscous lava flows. However, even basaltic or mafic flows can be erupted as aa flows, particularly if the eruption rate is high and the slope is steep. Phoehoe is characterized by its smooth and often ropey or wrinkly surface and is generally formed from more fluid lava flows. Usually, only mafic flows will erupt as phoehoe, since they often erupt at higher temperatures or have the proper chemical make-up to allow them to flow with greater fluidity.

Volcanic activity

Fresco with Mount Vesuvius behind Bacchus and Agathodaimon, as seen in Pompeii's House of the Centenary

Popular classification of volcanoes

Active A popular way of classifying magmatic volcanoes is by their frequency of eruption, with those that erupt regularly called active, those that have erupted in historical times but are now quiet called dormant, and those that have not erupted in historical times called extinct. However, these popular classificationsextinct in particularare practically meaningless to scientists. They use classifications which refer to a particular volcano's formative and eruptive processes and resulting shapes, which was explained above. There is no real consensus among volcanologists on how to define an "active" volcano. The lifespan of a volcano can vary from months to several million years, making such a distinction sometimes meaningless when compared to the lifespans of humans or even civilizations. For example, many of Earth's volcanoes have erupted dozens of times in the past few thousand years but are not currently showing signs of eruption. Given the long lifespan of such volcanoes, they are very active. By human lifespans, however, they are not. Scientists usually consider a volcano to be erupting or likely to erupt if it is currently erupting, or showing signs of unrest such as unusual earthquake activity or significant new gas emissions. Most scientists consider a volcano active if it has erupted in holocene times. Historic times is another timeframe for active.[4] But it is important to note that the span of recorded history differs

from region to region. In China and the Mediterranean, recorded history reaches back more than 3,000 years but in the Pacific Northwest of the United States and Canada, it reaches back less than 300 years, and in Hawaii and New Zealand, only around 200 years.[5] The Smithsonian Global Volcanism Program's definition of active is having erupted within the last 10,000 years (the 'holocene' period). Presently there are about 500 active volcanoes in the world the majority following along the Pacific 'Ring of Fire' and around 50 of these erupt each year.[6] The United States is home to 50 active volcanoes.[7] There are more than 1,500 potentially active volcanoes.[8] An estimated 500 million people live near active volcanoes.[9] Extinct

Fourpeaked volcano, Alaska, in September 2007, after being thought extinct for over 10,000 years. Extinct volcanoes are those that scientists consider unlikely to erupt again, because the volcano no longer has a lava supply. Examples of extinct volcanoes are many volcanoes on the Hawaiian Emperor seamount chain in the Pacific Ocean, Hohentwiel, Shiprock and the Zuidwal volcano in the Netherlands. Edinburgh Castle in Scotland is famously located atop an extinct volcano. Otherwise, whether a volcano is truly extinct is often difficult to determine. Since "supervolcano" calderas can have eruptive lifespans sometimes measured in millions of years, a caldera that has not produced an eruption in tens of thousands of years is likely to be considered dormant instead of extinct. Dormant It is difficult to distinguish an extinct volcano from a dormant one. Volcanoes are often considered to be extinct if there are no written records of its activity. Nevertheless, volcanoes may remain dormant for a long period of time. For example, Yellowstone has a repose/recharge period of around 700 ka, and Toba of around 380 ka.[10] Vesuvius was described by Roman writers as having been covered with gardens and vineyards before its famous eruption of AD 79, which destroyed the towns of Herculaneum and Pompeii. Before its catastrophic eruption of 1991, Pinatubo was an inconspicuous volcano, unknown to most people in the surrounding areas. Two other examples are the long-dormant Soufrire Hills volcano on the island of Montserrat, thought to be extinct before activity resumed in 1995 and Fourpeaked Mountain in Alaska, which, before its September 2006 eruption, had not erupted since before 8000 BC and had long been thought to be extinct.

Technical classification of volcanoes

Volcanic-alert level

The three common popular classifications of volcanoes can be subjective and some volcanoes thought to have been extinct have announced to the world they were just pretending.[11] To help prevent citizens from falsely believing they are not at risk when living on or near a volcano, countries have adopted new classifications to describe the various levels and stages of volcanic activity.[12] Some alert systems use different numbers or colors to designate the different stages. Other systems use colors and words. Some systems use a combination of both. Volcano warning schemes of the United States The United States Geological Survey (USGS) has adopted a common system nationwide for characterizing the level of unrest and eruptive activity at volcanoes. The new volcano alert-level system classifies volcanoes now as being in a normal, advisory, watch or warning stage. Additionally, colors are used to denote the amount of ash produced. Details of the US system can be found at Volcano warning schemes of the United States.

Notable volcanoes

Koryaksky volcano towering over Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky on Kamchatka Peninsula, Far Eastern Russia. Main articles: Lists of volcanoes and Decade Volcanoes The Decade Volcanoes are 16 volcanoes identified by the International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth's Interior (IAVCEI) as being worthy of particular study in light of their history of large, destructive eruptions and proximity to populated areas. They are named Decade Volcanoes because the project was initiated as part of the United Nationssponsored International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction. The 16 current Decade Volcanoes are

Avachinsky-Koryaksky, Kamchatka, Russia Nevado de Colima, Jalisco and Colima, Mexico Mount Etna, Sicily, Italy Galeras, Nario, Colombia Mauna Loa, Hawaii, USA Mount Merapi, Central Java, Indonesia

Sakurajima, Kagoshima Prefecture, Japan Santa Maria/Santiaguito, Guatemala Santorini, Cyclades, Greece Taal Volcano, Luzon, Philippines Teide, Canary Islands, Spain Ulawun, New Britain, Papua New Guinea Mount Unzen, Nagasaki Prefecture,

Mount Nyiragongo, Democratic Republic of the Congo Mount Rainier, Washington, USA


Vesuvius, Naples, Italy

Effects of volcanoes

Schematic of volcano injection of aerosols and gases.

Solar radiation graph 1958-2008, showing how the radiation is reduced after major volcanic eruptions.

Sulfur dioxide concentration over the Sierra Negra Volcano, Galapagos Islands during an eruption in October 2005

There are many different types of volcanic eruptions and associated activity: phreatic eruptions (steam-generated eruptions), explosive eruption of high-silica lava (e.g., rhyolite), effusive eruption of low-silica lava (e.g., basalt), pyroclastic flows, lahars (debris flow) and carbon dioxide emission. All of these activities can pose a hazard to humans. Earthquakes, hot springs, fumaroles, mud pots and geysers often accompany volcanic activity. The concentrations of different volcanic gases can vary considerably from one volcano to the next. Water vapor is typically the most abundant volcanic gas, followed by carbon dioxide and sulfur dioxide. Other principal volcanic gases include hydrogen sulfide, hydrogen chloride, and hydrogen fluoride. A large number of minor and trace gases are also found in volcanic emissions, for example hydrogen, carbon monoxide, halocarbons, organic compounds, and volatile metal chlorides. Large, explosive volcanic eruptions inject water vapor (H2O), carbon dioxide (CO2), sulfur dioxide (SO2), hydrogen chloride (HCl), hydrogen fluoride (HF) and ash (pulverized rock and pumice) into the stratosphere to heights of 1632 kilometres (1020 mi) above the Earth's surface. The most significant impacts from these injections come from the conversion of sulfur dioxide to sulfuric acid (H2SO4), which condenses rapidly in the stratosphere to form fine sulfate aerosols. The aerosols increase the Earth's albedoits reflection of radiation from the Sun back into space and thus cool the Earth's lower atmosphere or troposphere; however, they also absorb heat radiated up from the Earth, thereby warming the stratosphere. Several eruptions during the past century have caused a decline in the average temperature at the Earth's surface of up to half a degree (Fahrenheit scale) for periods of one to three years sulfur dioxide from the eruption of Huaynaputina probably caused the Russian famine of 16011603.[13] One proposed volcanic winter happened c. 70,000 years ago following the supereruption of Lake Toba on Sumatra island in Indonesia.[14] According to the Toba catastrophe theory to which some anthropologists and archeologists subscribe, it had global consequences,[15] killing most humans then alive and creating a population bottleneck that affected the genetic inheritance of all humans today.[16] The 1815 eruption of Mount Tambora created global climate anomalies that became known as the "Year Without a Summer" because of the effect on North American and European weather.[17] Agricultural crops failed and livestock died in much of the Northern Hemisphere, resulting in one of the worst famines of the 19th century.[18] The freezing winter of 174041, which led to widespread famine in northern Europe, may also owe its origins to a volcanic eruption.[19] It has been suggested that volcanic activity caused or contributed to the End-Ordovician, Permian-Triassic, Late Devonian mass extinctions, and possibly others. The massive eruptive event which formed the Siberian Traps, one of the largest known volcanic events of the last 500 million years of Earth's geological history, continued for a million years and is considered to be the likely cause of the "Great Dying" about 250 million years ago,[20] which is estimated to have killed 90% of species existing at the time.[21] The sulfate aerosols also promote complex chemical reactions on their surfaces that alter chlorine and nitrogen chemical species in the stratosphere. This effect, together with increased stratospheric chlorine levels from chlorofluorocarbon pollution, generates chlorine monoxide (ClO), which destroys ozone (O3). As the aerosols grow and coagulate, they settle down into the upper troposphere where they serve as nuclei for cirrus clouds and further modify the Earth's radiation balance. Most of the hydrogen chloride (HCl) and hydrogen fluoride (HF) are dissolved in water droplets in the eruption cloud and quickly fall to the ground as acid rain. The injected ash also falls rapidly from the stratosphere; most of it is removed within several days to a few

weeks. Finally, explosive volcanic eruptions release the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide and thus provide a deep source of carbon for biogeochemical cycles. Gas emissions from volcanoes are a natural contributor to acid rain. Volcanic activity releases about 130 to 230 teragrams (145 million to 255 million short tons) of carbon dioxide each year. [22] Volcanic eruptions may inject aerosols into the Earth's atmosphere. Large injections may cause visual effects such as unusually colorful sunsets and affect global climate mainly by cooling it. Volcanic eruptions also provide the benefit of adding nutrients to soil through the weathering process of volcanic rocks. These fertile soils assist the growth of plants and various crops. Volcanic eruptions can also create new islands, as the magma cools and solidifies upon contact with the water. Ash thrown into the air by eruptions can present a hazard to aircraft, especially jet aircraft where the particles can be melted by the high operating temperature. Dangerous encounters in 1982 after the eruption of Galunggung in Indonesia, and 1989 after the eruption of Mount Redoubt in Alaska raised awareness of this phenomenon. Nine Volcanic Ash Advisory Centers were established by the International Civil Aviation Organization to monitor ash clouds and advise pilots accordingly. The 2010 eruptions of Eyjafjallajkull caused major disruptions to air travel in Europe.

Volcanoes on other planetary bodies

The Tvashtar volcano erupts a plume 330 km (205 mi) above the surface of Jupiter's moon Io.

Olympus Mons (Latin, "Mount Olympus") is the tallest known mountain in our solar system, located on the planet Mars. Main articles: Geology of the Moon, Geology of Mars, Volcanism on Io, and Volcanism on Venus The Earth's Moon has no large volcanoes and no current volcanic activity, although recent evidence suggests it may still possess a partially molten core.[23] However, the Moon does have many volcanic features such as maria (the darker patches seen on the moon), rilles and domes. The planet Venus has a surface that is 90% basalt, indicating that volcanism played a major role in shaping its surface. The planet may have had a major global resurfacing event about 500 million years ago,[24] from what scientists can tell from the density of impact craters on the surface. Lava flows are widespread and forms of volcanism not present on Earth occur as well. Changes in the planet's atmosphere and observations of lightning have been attributed to ongoing volcanic eruptions, although there is no confirmation of whether or not Venus is still volcanically active. However, radar sounding by the Magellan probe revealed evidence for comparatively recent volcanic activity at Venus's highest volcano Maat Mons, in the form of ash flows near the summit and on the northern flank. There are several extinct volcanoes on Mars, four of which are vast shield volcanoes far bigger than any on Earth. They include Arsia Mons, Ascraeus Mons, Hecates Tholus, Olympus Mons, and Pavonis Mons. These volcanoes have been extinct for many millions of years,[25] but the European Mars Express spacecraft has found evidence that volcanic activity may have occurred on Mars in the recent past as well.[25] Jupiter's moon Io is the most volcanically active object in the solar system because of tidal interaction with Jupiter. It is covered with volcanoes that erupt sulfur, sulfur dioxide and silicate rock, and as a result, Io is constantly being resurfaced. Its lavas are the hottest known anywhere in the solar system, with temperatures exceeding 1,800 K (1,500 C). In February 2001, the

largest recorded volcanic eruptions in the solar system occurred on Io.[26] Europa, the smallest of Jupiter's Galilean moons, also appears to have an active volcanic system, except that its volcanic activity is entirely in the form of water, which freezes into ice on the frigid surface. This process is known as cryovolcanism, and is apparently most common on the moons of the outer planets of the solar system. In 1989 the Voyager 2 spacecraft observed cryovolcanoes (ice volcanoes) on Triton, a moon of Neptune, and in 2005 the CassiniHuygens probe photographed fountains of frozen particles erupting from Enceladus, a moon of Saturn.[27] The ejecta may be composed of water, liquid nitrogen, dust, or methane compounds. CassiniHuygens also found evidence of a methanespewing cryovolcano on the Saturnian moon Titan, which is believed to be a significant source of the methane found in its atmosphere.[28] It is theorized that cryovolcanism may also be present on the Kuiper Belt Object Quaoar. A 2010 study of the exoplanet COROT-7b, which was detected by transit in 2009, studied that tidal heating from the host star very close to the planet and neighboring planets could generate intense volcanic activity similar to Io.[29]

Traditional beliefs about volcanoes

Many ancient accounts ascribe volcanic eruptions to supernatural causes, such as the actions of gods or demigods. To the ancient Greeks, volcanoes' capricious power could only be explained as acts of the gods, while 16th/17th-century German astronomer Johannes Kepler believed they were ducts for the Earth's tears.[30] One early idea counter to this was proposed by Jesuit Athanasius Kircher (16021680), who witnessed eruptions of Mount Etna and Stromboli, then visited the crater of Vesuvius and published his view of an Earth with a central fire connected to numerous others caused by the burning of sulfur, bitumen and coal. Various explanations were proposed for volcano behavior before the modern understanding of the Earth's mantle structure as a semisolid material was developed. For decades after awareness that compression and radioactive materials may be heat sources, their contributions were specifically discounted. Volcanic action was often attributed to chemical reactions and a thin layer of molten rock near the surface.

See also

Prediction of volcanic activity

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia This article needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (March 2007) Prediction of volcanic eruption (also: volcanic eruption forecasting) is an interdisciplinary scientific and engineering approach to natural catastrophic event forecasting. Volcanic activity prediction has not been perfected, but significant progress has been made in recent decades. Significant amounts are spent monitoring and prediction of volcanic activity by the Italian government through the Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia INGV, by the United States Geological Survey (USGS), and by the Geological Survey of Japan. These are the largest institutions that invest significant resources monitoring and researching volcanos (as well as other geological phenomena). Many countries operate volcano observatories at a lesser level of

funding, all of which are members of the World Organisation of Volcano Observatories (WOVO).

Mount St. Helens erupted explosively on May 18, 1980 at 8:32 a.m. PDT


1 General Principles 2 Methods

2.1 Seismic Waves (Seismicity)

2.1.1 General principles of volcano seismology 2.1.2 Seismic case studies 2.1.3 Iceberg tremors

2.2 Gas emissions 2.3 Ground deformation 2.4 Thermal monitoring 2.5 Hydrology 2.6 Remote Sensing 2.7 Mass movements and mass failures 3.1 Nyiragongo 3.2 Mt. Etna

3 Local case studies

3.3 Sakurajima, Japan

4 Notes 5 External links

[edit] General Principles

Various methods including the following sections are used to help predict eruptions. In using these methods, five major principles form the basis of eruption forecasting is as follows:

the principle of inflection points in trends states that with unknown rates of change, a point in time is reached at which the volcanic system becomes unstable and likely will erupt; the principle of coinciding change states that one monitored parameter alone may not yield significant symptoms to diagnose an imminent eruption, but unrelated trends of several monitored parameters may start co-evolving as the system approaches a state of instability; the principle of known behavior treats a volcano as if it were a medical patient, assuming that responses to changes in the underground may be highly individual to a volcano's particular internal structure and can become better known by understanding its past eruptive characteristics; the principle of unexpected behavior treats volcanoes, the public, and decision-makers alike as inherently inconsistent systems - leading to unexpected eruptions (e.g., fast magma ascent from unexpected depth), and mitigation failures; the principle of symptom-based short-term forecast as with all the other principles is similar to an epidemiological diagnosis, whereby forecasts are based on symptoms and patient history.

Volcanic eruptions can to date not be predicted by stochastic methods, but only by catching early symptoms before an imminent eruption. Therefore, continuous monitoring even of dormant volcanoes, though costly, is the only way to enable eruptive behavior forecasts. The following sections describe individual groups of methods typically deployed in monitoring volcanoes and the symptomatic evolution of their activity.

[edit] Methods
The most widely used method is studying the geographical area of the volcano. Taking seismic readings, measuring poison gasses, and using satellites

[edit] Seismic Waves (Seismicity)

[edit] General principles of volcano seismology Seismic activity (earthquakes and tremors) always occurs as volcanoes awaken and prepare to erupt and are a very important link to eruptions. Some volcanoes normally have continuing lowlevel seismic activity, but an increase may signal a greater likelihood of an eruption. The types of earthquakes that occur and where they start and end are also key signs. Volcanic seismicity has three major forms: short-period earthquake, long-period earthquake, and harmonic tremor.

Short-period earthquakes are like normal fault-generated earthquakes. They are caused by the fracturing of brittle rock as magma forces its way upward. These short-period

earthquakes signify the growth of a magma body near the surface and are known as 'A' waves. These type of seismic events are often also referred to as Volcano-Tectonic (or VT) events or earthquakes.

Long-period earthquakes are believed to indicate increased gas pressure in a volcano's plumbing system. They are similar to the clanging sometimes heard in a house's plumbing system, which is known as "water hammer". These oscillations are the equivalent of acoustic vibrations in a chamber, in the context of magma chambers within the volcanic dome and are known as 'B' waves. These are also known as resonance waves and long period resonance events. Harmonic tremors are often the result of magma pushing against the overlying rock below the surface. They can sometimes be strong enough to be felt as humming or buzzing by people and animals, hence the name.

Patterns of seismicity are complex and often difficult to interpret; however, increasing seismic activity is a good indicator of increasing eruption risk, especially if long-period events become dominant and episodes of harmonic tremor appear. Using a similar method, researchers can detect volcanic eruptions by monitoring infra-sound sub-audible sound below 20 Hz. The IMS Global Infrasound Network, originally set up to verify compliance with nuclear test ban treaties, has 60 stations around the world that work to detect and locate erupting volcanoes. [1] [edit] Seismic case studies A relation between long-period events and imminent volcanic eruptions was first observed in the seismic records of the 1985 eruption of Nevado del Ruiz in Colombia. The occurrence of longperiod events were then used to predict the 1989 eruption of Mount Redoubt in Alaska and the 1993 eruption of Galeras in Colombia. In December 2000, scientists at the National Center for Prevention of Disasters in Mexico City predicted an eruption within two days at Popocatpetl, on the outskirts of Mexico City. Their prediction used research that had been done by Bernard Chouet, a Swiss volcanologist who was working at the United States Geological Survey and who first observed a relation between long-period events and an imminent eruption.[1][2][3] The government evacuated tens of thousands of people; 48 hours later, the volcano erupted as predicted. It was Popocatpetl's largest eruption for a thousand years, yet no one was hurt. [edit] Iceberg tremors It has recently been published that the striking similarities between iceberg tremors, which occur when they run aground, and volcanic tremors may help experts develop a better method for predicting volcanic eruptions. Although icebergs have much simpler structures than volcanoes, they are physically easier to work with. The similarities between volcanic and iceberg tremors include long durations and amplitudes, as well as common shifts in frequencies. (Source: Canadian Geographic "Singing icebergs")

[edit] Gas emissions

Gas and ash plume erupted from Mount Pinatubo, Philippines. As magma nears the surface and its pressure decreases, gases escape. This process is much like what happens when you open a bottle of soda and carbon dioxide escapes. Sulphur dioxide is one of the main components of volcanic gases, and increasing amounts of it herald the arrival of increasing amounts of magma near the surface. For example, on May 13, 1991, an increasing amount of sulphur dioxide was released from Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines. On May 28, just two weeks later, sulphur dioxide emissions had increased to 5,000 tonnes, ten times the earlier amount. Mount Pinatubo later erupted on June 12, 1991. On several occasions, such as before the Mount Pinatubo eruption and the 1993 Galeras, Colombia eruption, sulphur dioxide emissions have dropped to low levels prior to eruptions. Most scientists believe that this drop in gas levels is caused by the sealing of gas passages by hardened magma. Such an event leads to increased pressure in the volcano's plumbing system and an increased chance of an explosive eruption.

[edit] Ground deformation

Swelling of the volcano signals that magma has accumulated near the surface. Scientists monitoring an active volcano will often measure the tilt of the slope and track changes in the rate of swelling. An increased rate of swelling, especially if accompanied by an increase in sulphur dioxide emissions and harmonic tremors is a high probability sign of an impending event. The deformation of Mount St. Helens prior to the May 18, 1980 eruption was a classic example of deformation, as the north side of the volcano was bulging upwards as magma was building up underneath. Most cases of ground deformation are usually detectable only by sophisticated equipment used by scientists, but they can still predict future eruptions this way. The Hawaiian Volcanoes show significant ground deformation; there is inflation of the ground prior to an eruption and then an obvious deflation post-eruption. This is due to the shallow magma chamber of the Hawaiian Volcanoes; movement of the magma is easily noticed on the ground above.

[edit] Thermal monitoring

Both magma movement, changes in gas release and hydrothermal activity can lead to thermal emissivity changes at the volcano's surface. These can be measured using several techniques:

forward looking infrared radiometry (FLIR) from hand-held devices installed on-site, at a distance, or airborne; Infrared band satellite imagery; in-situ thermometry (hot springs, fumaroles)

heat flux maps geothermal well enthalpy changes

[edit] Hydrology
There are 4 main methods that can be used to predict a volcanic eruption through the use of hydrology: Borehole and well hydrologic and hydraulic measurements are increasingly used to monitor changes in a volcanoes subsurface gas pressure and thermal regime. Increased gas pressure will make water levels rise and suddenly drop right before an eruption, and thermal focusing (increased local heat flow) can reduce or dry out acquifers. Detection of lahars and other debris flows close to their sources. USGS scientists have developed an inexpensive, durable, portable and easily installed system to detect and continuously monitor the arrival and passage of debris flows and floods in river valleys that drain active volcanoes. Pre-eruption sediment may be picked up by a river channel surrounding the volcano that shows that the actual eruption may be imminent. Most sediment is transported from volcanically disturbed watersheds during periods of heavy rainfall. This can be an indication of morphological changes and increased hydrothermal activity in absence of instrumental monitoring techniques. Volcanic deposit that may be placed on a river bank can easily be eroded which will dramatically widen or deepen the river channel. Therefore, monitoring of the river channels width and depth can be used to assess the likelihood of a future volcanic eruption.

[edit] Remote Sensing

Remote sensing is the detection by a satellites sensors of electromagnetic energy that is absorbed, reflected, radiated or scattered from the surface of a volcano or from its erupted material in an eruption cloud.

'Cloud sensing: Scientists can monitor the unusually cold eruption clouds from volcanoes using data from two different thermal wavelengths to enhance the visibility of eruption clouds and discriminate them from meteorological clouds 'Gas sensing: Sulphur dioxide can also be measured by remote sensing at some of the same wavelengths as ozone. TOMS (Total Ozone Mapping Spectrometer) can measure the amount of sulphur dioxide gas released by volcanoes in eruptions Thermal sensing: The presence of new significant thermal signatures or 'hot spots' may indicate new heating of the ground before an eruption, represent an eruption in progress or the presence of a very recent volcanic deposit, including lava flows or pyroclastic flows. Deformation sensing: Satellite-borne spatial radar data can be used to detect long-term geometric changes in the volcanic edifice, such as uplift and depression. In this method, called InSAR (Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar), DEMs generated from radar imagery are subtracted from each other to yield a differential image, displaying rates of topographic change. Forest Monitoring: In recent period it has been demonstrated the location of eruptive fractures could be predicted, months to years before the eruptions, by the monitoring of

forest growth. This tool based on the monitoring of the trees growth has been validated at both Mt. Niyragongo and Mt. Etna during the 2002-2003 volcano eruptive events.[4]

[edit] Mass movements and mass failures

Monitoring mass movements and -failures uses techniques lending from seismology (geophones), deformation, and meteorology. Landslides, rock falls, pyroclastic flows, and mud flows (lahars) are example of mass failures of volcanic material before, during, and after eruptions. The most famous volcanic landslide was probably the failure of a bulge that built up from intruding magma before the Mt. St. Helens eruption in 1980, this landslide "uncorked" the shallow magmatic intrusion causing catastrophic failure and an unexpected lateral eruption blast. Rock falls often occur during periods of increased deformation and can be a sign of increased activity in absence of instrumental monitoring. Mud flows (lahars) are remobilized hydrated ash deposits from pyroclastic flows and ash fall deposits, moving downslope even at very shallow angles at high speed. Because of their high density they are capable of moving large objects such as loaded logging trucks, houses, bridges, and boulders. Their deposits usually form a second ring of debris fans around volcanic edifices, the inner fan being primary ash deposits. Downstream of the deposition of their finest load, lahars can still pose a sheet flood hazard from the residual water. Lahar deposits can take many months to dry out, until they can be walked on. The hazards derived from lahar activity can several years after a large explosive eruption. A team of US scientists developed a method of predicting lahars. Their method was developed by analyzing rocks on Mt. Rainier in Washington. The warning system depends on noting the differences between fresh rocks and older ones. Fresh rocks are poor conductors of electricity and become hydrothermically altered by water and heat. Therefore, if they know the age of the rocks, and therefore the strength of them, they can predict the pathways of a lahar.[5] A system of Acoustic Flow Monitors (AFM) has also been emplaced on Mount Rainier to analyze ground tremors that could result in a lahar, providing an earlier warning.[6]

[edit] Local case studies

[edit] Nyiragongo
The eruption of Mt. Nyiragongo on January 17, 2002 was predicted a week earlier by a local expert who had been watching the volcanoes for years. He informed the local authorities and a UN survey team was dispatched to the area; however, it was declared safe. Unfortunately, when the volcano erupted, 40% of the city of Goma was destroyed along with many people's livelihoods. The expert claimed that he had noticed small changes in the local relief and had monitored the eruption of a much smaller volcano two years earlier. Since he knew that these two volcanoes were connected by a small fissure, he knew that Mt. Nyiragongo would erupt soon.

[edit] Mt. Etna

British geologists have developed a method of predicting future eruptions of Mt. Etna. They have discovered that there is a time lag of 25 years between events that happen below the surface and events that happen on the surface, i.e. a volcanic eruption. The careful monitoring of deep crust events can help predict accurately what will happen in the years to come. So far they have predicted that between 2007 and 2015, volcanic activity will be half of what it was in 1972.[citation

[edit] Sakurajima, Japan

Sakurajima is possibly one of the most monitored areas on earth. The Sakurajima Volcano lies near Kagoshima City, which has a population of 500,000 people. Both the Japanese Meteorological Agency (JMA) and Kyoto University's Sakurajima Volcanological Observatory (SVO) monitors the volcano's activity. Since 1995, Sakurajima has only erupted from its summit with no release of lava. Monitoring techniques at Sakurajima: Likely activity is signalled by swelling of the land around the volcano as magma below begins to build up. At Sakurajima, this is marked by a rise in the seabed in Kagoshima Bay tide levels rise as a result. As magma begins to flow, melting and splitting base rock can be detected as volcanic earthquakes. At Sakurajima, they occur two to five kilometres beneath the surface. An underground observation tunnel is used to detect volcanic earthquakes more reliably. Groundwater levels begin to change, the temperature of hot springs may rise and the chemical composition and amount of gases released may alter. Temperature sensors are placed in bore holes which are used to detect ground water temp. Remotes sensing is used on Sakurajima since the gases are highly toxic the ratio of HCl gas to SO2 gas increases significantly shortly before an eruption. As an eruption approaches, tiltmetre systems measure minute movements of the mountain. Data is relayed in real-time to monitoring systems at SVO. Seismometers detect earthquakes which occur immediately beneath the crater, signaling the onset of the eruption. They occur 1 to 1.5 seconds before the explosion. With the passing of an explosion, the tiltmeter system records the settling of the volcano.

Maritime impacts of volcanic eruptions

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(April 2010)

Satellite view of a pumice raft from an undersea eruption in Tonga Less commonly publicized than the effects on aviationand with less potential for catastrophe maritime Impacts of volcanic eruptions are also dangerous. When a volcano erupts, large amounts of noxious gases, steam, rock, and ash are released into the atmosphere; fine ash can be transported thousands of miles from the volcano, while high concentrations of coarse particles

fall out of the air near the volcano. The high concentrations of hazardous toxic gases are localized in the immediate vicinity of the volcano. Until more recently public focus has mainly been on effects on aviation effectsash, which can be undetectable, can cause an aircraft's engine to cut out with catastrophic potential. However, the July 2008 eruption of Okmok Volcano in Alaska triggered attention to the maritime effects. Employees at the National Weather Service Ocean Prediction Center's Ocean Applications Branch examined this event and partnered with the Alaska Volcano Observatory to compile information on the topic. Ash can affect marine transportation in many ways: 1. Volcanic ash can clog air intake filters in a matter of minutes, crippling airflow to vital machinery. Ash particles are very abrasive and, if they get into an engine's moving parts, can cause severe damage very quickly.
2. Water is the main component in volcanic eruptions; it is what makes them so explosive.

Through chemical reactions, toxic gases that are released in eruptions can bond or adsorb to ashfall particles. As the particles land on skin, metal, or other exposed shipboard equipment, they can begin to corrode.
3. Certain types of volcanic ash do not dissolve easily in water. Instead, they clump on the

surface of the ocean in pumice rafts. These rafts can clog salt water intake strainers very quickly, which can result in overheating of shipboard machinery dependent on sea water service cooling. 4. Heavy amounts of volcanic ash reduce visibility to less than mi, which is a hazard to navigation. This, combined with the above three other main impacts make sailing in the vicinity of volcanic ash very dangerous for mariners.

[edit] National Weather Service Ashfall Advisories

Currently undergoing an update, National Weather Service Instruction 10-311 will include new text guidance for the offshore and high seas text weather forecasts issued by the Ocean Prediction Center and Tropical Prediction Center's Tropical Analysis and Forecast Branch (TAFB).

[edit] Reported incidents

Not many cases of ash impact on ships have been documented. However, there are some notable recent anecdotes on the topic: The 2008 Eruption of Chaitn Volcano in Chile prompted mass evacuations, in which the Chilean Navy participated. There are reports[citation needed] that the Chilean Navy encountered pumice rafts which were sucked into the salt water service system of the ship's propulsion system. This clogged sea strainers and overheated the engines, almost making the ships unable to escape. The NOAA Ship Miller Freeman reported light accumulations of volcanic ash during the 2008 Okmok eruption in Dutch Harbor, Alaska. Due to volcanic-ash clogged ventilation systems, the ship remained in port until the event subsided.[citation needed] In 1891 the Australian steam ship Catterthun reported steaming "for miles through masses of volcanic debris" after an eruption on the island of Sagir in the Indonesian archipelago. It was rumoured that all of the island's 12,000 inhabitants had perished in the eruption.

[edit] External links

imetable of major worldwide volcanic eruptions

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia This article is a list of volcanic eruptions of approximately at least magnitude 6 on the Volcanic Explosivity Index (VEI) or equivalent sulfur dioxide emission around the Quaternary period. Some cooled the global climate; the extent of this effect depends on the amount of sulfur dioxide emitted.[1][2] The topic in the background is an overview of the VEI and sulfur dioxide emission/ Volcanic winter relationship. Before the Holocene epoch the criteria is less strict because of scarce data available, partly for the later eruptions have destroyed the evidence. So, the known large eruptions after the Paleogene period are listed, and specially the Yellowstone hotspot, Santorini, and Taupo Volcanic Zone ones. Just some eruptions before the Neogene period are listed as well. Active volcanoes such as Stromboli, Mount Etna and Kilauea do not appear on this list, but some back-arc basin volcanoes that generated calderas do appear. Some dangerous volcanoes in "populated areas" appear many times: so Santorini, six times and Yellowstone hotspot, twenty one times. The Bismarck volcanic arc, New Britain and the Taupo Volcanic Zone, New Zealand appear often too. In order to keep the list manageable, the eruptions in the Holocene on the link: Holocene Volcanoes in Kamchatka were not added yet, but they are listed on the Peter L. Ward's supplemental table.[3]


1 Large Quaternary eruptions

1.1 Since 1000 AD 1.2 Overview of Common Era 1.3 Earlier Quaternary eruptions 2.1 Pliocene eruptions 2.2 Miocene eruptions

2 Large Neogene eruptions

3 Volcanism before the Neogene 4 Notes

4.1 Volcanic Explosivity Index (VEI) 4.2 Volcanic dimming 4.3 Some maps

5 See also 6 Further reading

7 References 8 External links

[edit] Large Quaternary eruptions

Main article: List of Quaternary volcanic eruptions The Holocene epoch begins 11,700 years BP,[4] (10000 14C years ago)

[edit] Since 1000 AD

Pinatubo, island of Luzon, Philippines; 1991, Jun 15; VEI 6; 6 to 16 cubic kilometers (1.4 to 3.8 cu mi) of tephra;[5] an estimated 20 million tons of sulfur dioxide were emitted[1] Novarupta, Alaska Peninsula; 1912, Jun 6; VEI 6; 13 to 15 cubic kilometers (3.1 to 3.6 cu mi) of lava[6][7][8] Santa Maria, Guatemala; 1902, Oct 24; VEI 6; 20 cubic kilometres (4.8 cu mi) of tephra[9] Krakatoa, Indonesia; 1883, August 2627; VEI 6; 21 cubic kilometres (5.0 cu mi) of tephra[10] Mount Tambora, Lesser Sunda Islands, Indonesia; 1815, Apr 10; VEI 7; 150 cubic kilometres (36 cu mi) of tephra;[5] an estimated 200 million tons of sulfur dioxide were emitted, produced the "Year Without a Summer"[11] Grmsvtn, Northeastern Iceland; 17831785; Laki; 17831784; VEI 6; 14 cubic kilometers of lava, an estimated 120 million tons of sulfur dioxide were emitted, produced a Volcanic winter, 1783, on the North Hemisphere.[12] Long Island (Papua New Guinea), Northeast of New Guinea; 1660 20; VEI 6; 30 cubic kilometers (7.2 cu mi) of tephra[5] Kolumbo, Santorini, Greece; 1650, Sep 27; VEI 6; 60 cubic kilometers (14.4 cu mi) of tephra[13] Huaynaputina, Peru; 1600, Feb 19; VEI 6; 30 cubic kilometres (7.2 cu mi) of tephra[14] Billy Mitchell, Bougainville Island, Papua New Guinea; 1580 20; VEI 6; 14 cubic kilometres (3.4 cu mi) of tephra[5] Brarbunga, Northeastern Iceland; 1477; VEI 6; 10 cubic kilometres (2.4 cu mi) of tephra[5] 1452-53 ice core event, New Hebrides arc, Vanuatu; location of this eruption in the South Pacific is uncertain; only pyroclastic flows are found at Kuwae; 36 to 96 cubic kilometers (8.6 to 23.0 cu mi) of tephra; 175-700 million tons of sulfuric acid[15][16][17] Quilotoa, Ecuador; 1280(?); VEI 6; 21 cubic kilometres (5.0 cu mi) of tephra[5] 1258 ice core event, tropics; 200 to 800 cubic kilometers (48.0 to 191.9 cu mi) of tephra[18]

[edit] Overview of Common Era

Main article: List of large volcanic eruptions This is a sortable summary of Common Era eruptions; date uncertainties, tephra volumes and references are not included.

Caldera/ Caldera complex Volcanic arc/ belt VEI Date name or Subregion or Hotspot Mount Pinatubo Luzon Volcanic Arc 6 1991, Jun 15 Novarupta Aleutian Range 6 1912, Jun 6 Central America Volcanic Santa Mara 6 1902, Oct 24 Arc Mount Tarawera Taupo Volcanic Zone 5 1886, Jun 10 1883, Aug Krakatoa Sunda Arc 6 26-27 Mount Tambora Lesser Sunda Islands 7 1815, Apr 10 Grimsvotn and Laki Iceland 6 1783-85 Long Island (Papua New Bismarck Volcanic Arc 6 1660 Guinea) South Aegean Volcanic Kolumbo, Santorini 6 1650, Sep 27 Arc Andes, Central Volcanic Huaynaputina 6 1600, Feb 19 Zone Bougainville & Solomon Billy Mitchell 6 1580 Is. Bardarbunga Iceland 6 1477 1452-53 ice core event New Hebrides Arc 6 1452-53 Andes, Northern Volcanic Quilotoa 6 1280 Zone China/ North Korea Baekdu Mountain 7 969 AD border Katla Iceland 6 934-940 AD Trans-Mexican Volcanic Ceboruco 6 930 AD Belt Dakataua Bismarck Volcanic Arc 6 800 AD Pago Bismarck Volcanic Arc 6 710 AD Mount Churchill eastern Alaska, USA 6 700 AD Rabaul Caldera Bismarck Volcanic Arc 6 540 AD Central America Volcanic Ilopango 6 450 AD Arc Ksudach Kamchatka Peninsula 6 240 AD Taupo Caldera Taupo Volcano 7 230 AD Mount Vesuvius Italy 5 79 AD Mount Churchill eastern Alaska, USA 6 60 AD Ambrym New Hebrides Arc 6 50 AD

Tephra or eruption name

Tianchi eruption Eldgj eruption

Hatepe eruption Pompeii eruption

Note: Caldera names tend to change over time. For example, Okataina Caldera, Haroharo Caldera, Haroharo volcanic complex, Tarawera volcanic complex had the same magma source in the Taupo Volcanic Zone. Yellowstone Caldera, Henry's Fork Caldera, Island Park Caldera, Heise Volcanic Field had all Yellowstone hotspot as magma source.

[edit] Earlier Quaternary eruptions

See also: List of Quaternary volcanic eruptions 2.588 0.005 million years BP, the Quaternary period and Pleistocene epoch begin.

Eifel hotspot, Laacher See, Vulkan Eifel, Germany; 12.9 ka; VEI 6; 6 cubic kilometers (1.4 cu mi) of tephra.[19][20][21][22] Emmons Lake Caldera (size: 11 x 18 km), Aleutian Range, 17 ka 5; more than 50 km3 (12 cu mi) of tephra.[3] Lake Barrine, Atherton Tableland, North Queensland, Australia; was formed over 17 ka. Menengai, East African Rift, Kenya; 29 ka[5] Morne Diablotins, Commonwealth of Dominica; VEI 6; 30 ka (Grand Savanne Ignimbrite).[23] Kurile Lake, Kamchatka Peninsula, Russia; Golygin eruption; about 41.5 ka; VEI 7[5] Maninjau Caldera (size: 20 x 8 km), West Sumatra; VEI 7; around 52 ka; 220 to 250 cubic kilometers (52.8 to 60.0 cu mi) of tephra.[24] Lake Toba (size: 100 x 30 km), Sumatra, Indonesia; 73 ka 4; 2,500 to 3,000 cubic kilometers (599.8 to 719.7 cu mi) of tephra; probably 6,000 million tons of sulfur dioxide were emitted (Youngest Toba Tuff).[1][25][26][27][28] Atitln Caldera (size: 17 x 20 km), Guatemalan Highlands; Los Chocoyos eruption; formed in an eruption 84 ka; VEI 7; 300 km3 (72 cu mi) of tephra.[29] Mount Aso (size: 24 km wide), island of Kysh, Japan; 90 ka; last eruption was more than 600 cubic kilometers (144 cu mi) of tephra.[3][30] Sierra La Primavera volcanic complex (size: 11 km wide), Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico; 95 ka; 20 cubic kilometers (5 cu mi) of Tala Tuff.[3][31] Mount Aso (size: 24 km wide), island of Kysh, Japan; 120 ka; 80 km3 (19 cu mi) of tephra.[3] Mount Aso (size: 24 km wide), island of Kysh, Japan; 140 ka; 80 km3 (19 cu mi) of tephra.[3] Puy de Sancy, Massif Central, central France; it is part of an ancient stratovolcano which has been inactive for about 220,000 years. Emmons Lake Caldera (size: 11 x 18 km), Aleutian Range, 233 ka; more than 50 km3 (12 cu mi) of tephra.[3] Mount Aso (size: 24 km wide), island of Kysh, Japan; caldera formed as a result of four huge caldera eruptions; 270 ka; 80 cubic kilometers (19 cu mi) of tephra.[3] Uzon-Geyzernaya calderas (size: 9 x 18 km), Kamchatka Peninsula, Russia; 325175 ka[32] 20 km3 (4.8 cu mi) of ignimbrite deposits.[33] Diamante CalderaMaipo volcano complex (size: 20 x 16 km), Argentina-Chile; 450 ka; 450 cubic kilometers (108 cu mi) of tephra.[3][34] Yellowstone hotspot; Yellowstone Caldera (size: 45 x 85 km); 640 ka; VEI 8; more than 1,000 cubic kilometers (240 cu mi) of tephra (Lava Creek Tuff)[5] Three Sisters (Oregon), USA; Tumalo volcanic center; with eruptions from 600 - 700 to 170 ka years ago

Uinkaret volcanic field, Arizona, USA; the Colorado River was dammed by lava flows multiple times from 725 to 100 ka.[35] Mono County, California, USA; Long Valley Caldera; 758.9 ka 1.8; VEI 7; 600 cubic kilometers (144 cu mi) of Bishop Tuff.[3][36] Valles Caldera, New Mexico, USA; around 1.15 Ma; VEI 7; around 600 cubic kilometers (144 cu mi) of the Tshirege formation, Upper Bandelier eruption.[3][37][38] Sutter Buttes, Central Valley of California, USA; were formed over 1.5 Ma by a nowextinct volcano. Ebisutoge-Fukuda tephras, Japan; 1.75 Ma; 380 to 490 cubic kilometers (91.2 to 117.6 cu mi) of tephra.[3] Yellowstone hotspot; Island Park Caldera (size: 100 x 50 km); 2.1 Ma; VEI 8; 2,450 cubic kilometers (588 cu mi) of Huckleberry Ridge Tuff.[3][5] Cerro Galn (size: 32 km wide), Catamarca Province, northwestern Argentina; 2.2 Ma; VEI 8; 1,050 cubic kilometers (252 cu mi) of Cerro Galn Ignimbrite.[39]

[edit] Large Neogene eruptions

[edit] Pliocene eruptions
See also: Large volume volcanic eruptions in the Basin and Range Province Approximately 5.332 million years BP, the Pliocene epoch begins. Most eruptions before the Quaternary period have an unknown VEI.

Santa Rosa-Calico Virgin Valley McDermitt

Black Mountain Silent Canyon Timber Mountain Stonewall Long Valley Lunar Crater

Nevada/ California: Volcanism locations.

Cochetopa La Garita Lake City Platoro Dotsero

Colorado volcanism. Links: La Garita, Cochetopa and North Pass (North Pass), Lake City, and Dotsero.

Valles Socorro Potrillo Zuni-Bandera Carizzozo

New Mexico volcanism. Links: Valles, Socorro, Potrillo, Carrizozo, and Zuni-Bandera.

Boring Lava Field, Boring, Oregon, USA; the zone became active at least 2.7 Ma, and has been extinct for about 300,000 years.[40] Norfolk Island, Australia; remnant of a basaltic volcano active around 2.3 to 3 Ma.[41] Pastos Grandes Caldera (size: 40 x 50 km), Altiplano-Puna Volcanic Complex, Bolivia; 2.9 Ma; VEI 7; more than 820 cubic kilometers (197 cu mi) of Pastos Grandes Ignimbrite.[42] Little Barrier Island, northeastern coast of New Zealand's North Island; it erupted from 1 million to 3 Ma.[43] Mount Kenya; a stratovolcano created approximately 3 Ma after the opening of the East African rift.[44] Pacana Caldera (size: 60 x 35 km), Altiplano-Puna Volcanic Complex, northern Chile; 4 Ma; VEI 8; 2,500 cubic kilometers (600 cu mi) of Atana Ignimbrite.[45] Frailes Plateau, Bolivia; 4 Ma; 620 cubic kilometers (149 cu mi) of Frailes Ignimbrite E.

Cerro Galn (size: 32 km wide), Catamarca Province, northwestern Argentina; 4.2 Ma; 510 cubic kilometers (122 cu mi) of Real Grande and Cueva Negra tephra.[3] Yellowstone hotspot, Heise volcanic field, Idaho; Kilgore Caldera (size: 80 x 60 km); VEI 8; 1,800 cubic kilometers (432 cu mi) of Kilgore Tuff; 4.45 Ma 0.05.[3][47] Kari Kari Caldera, Frailes Plateau, Bolivia; 5 Ma; 470 cubic kilometers (113 cu mi) of tephra.[3]

[edit] Miocene eruptions

Approximately 23.03 million years BP, the Neogene period and Miocene epoch begin.

Lord Howe Island, Australia; Mount Lidgbird and Mount Gower are both made of basalt rock, remnants of lava flows that once filled a large volcanic caldera 6.4 Ma.[48] Yellowstone hotspot, Heise volcanic field, Idaho; 5.51 Ma 0.13 (Conant Creek Tuff).[47] Yellowstone hotspot, Heise volcanic field, Idaho; 5.6 Ma; 500 cubic kilometers (120 cu mi) of Blue Creek Tuff.[3] Cerro Panizos (size: 18 km wide), Altiplano-Puna Volcanic Complex, Bolivia; 6.1 Ma; 652 cubic kilometers (156 cu mi) of Panizos Ignimbrite.[3][49] Yellowstone hotspot, Heise volcanic field, Idaho; 6.27 Ma 0.04 (Walcott Tuff).[47] Yellowstone hotspot, Heise volcanic field, Idaho; Blacktail Caldera (size: 100 x 60 km), Idaho; 6.62 Ma 0.03; 1,500 cubic kilometers (360 cu mi) of Blacktail Tuff.[3][47] Pastos Grandes Caldera (size: 40 x 50 km), Altiplano-Puna Volcanic Complex, Bolivia; 8.3 Ma; 652 cubic kilometers (156 cu mi) of Sifon Ignimbrite.[3] Manus Island, Admiralty Islands, northern Papua New Guinea; 810 Ma Banks Peninsula, New Zealand; Akaroa erupted 9 Ma, Lyttelton erupted 12 Ma.[50] Mascarene Islands were formed in a series of undersea volcanic eruptions 8-10 Ma, as the African plate drifted over the Runion hotspot. Yellowstone hotspot, Twin Fall volcanic field, Idaho; 8.6 to 10 Ma.[51] Yellowstone hotspot, Picabo volcanic field, Idaho; 10.21 Ma 0.03 (Arbon Valley Tuff).

Mount Cargill, New Zealand; the last eruptive phase ended some 10 Ma. The center of the caldera is about Port Chalmers, the main port of the city of Dunedin.[52][53][54] Yellowstone hotspot, Idaho; Bruneau-Jarbidge volcanic field; 10.0 to 12.5 Ma (Ashfall Fossil Beds eruption).[51] Anahim hotspot, British Columbia, Canada; has generated the Anahim Volcanic Belt over the last 13 million years. Yellowstone hotspot, Owyhee-Humboldt volcanic field, Nevada/ Oregon; around 12.8 to 13.9 Ma.[51][55] Campi Flegrei, Naples, Italy; 14.9 Ma; 79 cubic kilometers (19 cu mi) of Neapolitan Yellow Tuff.[3] Huaylillas Ignimbrite, Bolivia, southern Peru, northern Chile; 15 Ma 1; 1,100 cubic kilometers (264 cu mi) of tephra.[3] Yellowstone hotspot, McDermitt volcanic field (North), Trout Creek Mountains, Whitehorse Caldera (size: 15 km wide), Oregon; 15 Ma; 40 cubic kilometers (10 cu mi) of Whitehorse Creek Tuff.[3][56] Yellowstone hotspot (?), Lake Owyhee volcanic field; 15.0 to 15.5 Ma.[57] Yellowstone hotspot, McDermitt volcanic field (South), Jordan Meadow Caldera, (size: 1015 km wide), Nevada/ Oregon; 15.6 Ma; 350 cubic kilometers (84 cu mi) Longridge Tuff member 2-3.[3][51][56][58]

Yellowstone hotspot, McDermitt volcanic field (South), Longridge Caldera, (size: 33 km wide), Nevada/ Oregon; 15.6 Ma; 400 cubic kilometers (96 cu mi) Longridge Tuff member 5.[3][51][56][58] Yellowstone hotspot, McDermitt volcanic field (South), Calavera Caldera, (size: 17 km wide), Nevada/ Oregon; 15.7 Ma; 300 cubic kilometers (72 cu mi) of Double H Tuff.[3][51]

Yellowstone hotspot, McDermitt volcanic field (South), Hoppin Peaks Caldera, 16 Ma; Hoppin Peaks Tuff.[59] Yellowstone hotspot, McDermitt volcanic field (North), Trout Creek Mountains, Pueblo Caldera (size: 20 x 10 km), Oregon; 15.8 Ma; 40 cubic kilometers (10 cu mi) of Trout Creek Mountains Tuff.[3][56][59] Yellowstone hotspot, McDermitt volcanic field (South), Washburn Caldera, (size: 30 x 25 km wide), Nevada/ Oregon; 16.548 Ma; 250 cubic kilometers (60 cu mi) of Oregon Canyon Tuff.[3][56][58] Yellowstone hotspot (?), Northwest Nevada volcanic field (NWNV), Virgin Valley, High Rock, Hog Ranch, and unnamed calderas; West of Pine Forest Range, Nevada; 15.5 to 16.5 Ma.[60] Yellowstone hotspot, Steens and Columbia River flood basalts, Pueblo, Steens, and Malheur Gorge-region, Pueblo Mountains, Steens Mountain, Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, USA; most vigorous eruptions were from 1417 Ma; 180,000 cubic kilometers (43,184 cu mi) of lava.[3][61][62][63][64][65][66][67] Mount Lindesay (New South Wales), Australia; is part of the remnants of the Nandewar extinct volcano that ceased activity about 17 Ma after 4 million years of activity. Oxaya Ignimbrites, northern Chile (around 18S); 19 Ma; 3,000 cubic kilometers (720 cu mi) of tephra.[3] Pemberton Volcanic Belt was erupting about 21 to 22 Ma.[68]

[edit] Volcanism before the Neogene

See also: Large volume volcanic eruptions in the Basin and Range Province

Distribution of selected hotspots. The numbers in the figure are related to the listed hotspots on Hotspot (geology).

La Garita Caldera (size: 100 x 35 km), Wheeler Geologic Area, Central Colorado volcanic field, Colorado, USA; VEI 8; 5,000 cubic kilometers (1,200 cu mi) of Fish Canyon Tuff was blasted out in a major single eruption about 27.8 Ma.[39][69]

Unknown source, Ethiopia; 29 Ma 1; 3,000 cubic kilometers (720 cu mi) of Green Tuff and SAM.[3] Sam Ignimbrite, Yemen; 29.5 Ma; at least 5,550 cubic kilometers (1,332 cu mi) of distal tuffs associated with the ignimbrites.[71] Jabal Kuraa Ignimbrite, Yemen; 29.6 Ma; at least 3,700 cubic kilometers (888 cu mi) of distal tuffs associated with the ignimbrites.[71] About 33.9 million BP, the Oligocene epoch of the Paleogene period begins Bennett Lake Volcanic Complex, British Columbia/ Yukon, Canada; around 50 Ma; VEI 7; 850 cubic kilometers (204 cu mi) of tephra.[72] Canary hotspot is believed to have first appeared about 60 million years ago. Approximately 65.5 million years BP, the KT boundary/ extinction event occurred Runion hotspot, Deccan Traps, India, formed between 60 and 68 Ma The Louisville hotspot has produced the Louisville seamount chain, it is active for at least 80 million years. It may have originated the Ontong Java Plateau around 120 Ma. Hawaii hotspot, Meiji Seamount is the oldest seamount in the Hawaiian-Emperor seamount chain, with an estimated age of 82 million years. Paran and Etendeka traps, Brazil, Namibia and Angola; 128 to 138 Ma.[73] Glen Coe, Scotland; VEI 8; 420 Ma Scafells, Lake District, England; VEI 8; Ordovician (488.3 - 443.7 Ma). Approximately 2,500 million years BP, the Proterozoic eon of the Precambrian eon begins Mackenzie Large Igneous Province, Canadian Shield, Canada; 1,270 Ma. About 3,800 million years BP, the Archean eon of the Precambrian eon begins Blake River Megacaldera Complex, Misema Caldera, Ontario-Quebec border, Canada; 2,704-2,707 Ma.[72]

[edit] Notes

The Mackenzie Large Igneous Province contains the largest and best-preserved continental flood basalt terrain on Earth.[74] The Mackenzie dike swarm throughout the Mackenzie Large Igneous Province is also the largest dike swarm on Earth, covering an area of 2,700,000 km2 (1,000,000 sq mi).[75] The Bachelor (27.4 Ma), San Luis (27-26.8 Ma), and Creede (26 Ma) calderas partially overlap each other and are nested within the large La Garita (27.6 Ma) caldera, forming the central caldera cluster of the San Juan volcanic field, Wheeler Geologic Area, La

Garita Wilderness. Creede, Colorado and San Luis Peak (Continental Divide of the Americas) are nearby. North Pass Caldera is northeastern the San Juan Mountains, North Pass. The Platoro volcanic complex lies southeastern of the central caldera cluster. The center of the western San Juan caldera cluster lies just West of Lake City, Colorado.

The Rio Grande rift includes the San Juan volcanic field, the Valles Caldera, the Potrillo volcanic field, and the Socorro-Magdalena magmatic system.[76] The Socorro Magma Body is uplifting the surface at approximately 2 mm/year.[77][78] The southwestern Nevada volcanic field, or Yucca Mountain volcanic field, includes: Stonewall Mountain caldera complex, Black Mountain Caldera, Silent Canyon Caldera, Timber Mountain - Oasis Valley caldera complex, Crater Flat Group, and Yucca Mountain. Towns nearby: Beatty, Mercury, Goldfield.[79] It is aligned as a Crater Flat volcanic field, Rveille Range, Lunar Crater volcanic field, Zone (CFLC).[80] The Marysvale Volcanic Field, southwestern Utah is nearby too. McDermitt volcanic field, or Orevada rift volcanic field, Nevada/ Oregon, nearby are: McDermitt, Trout Creek Mountains, Bilk Creek Mountains, Steens Mountain, Jordan Meadow Mountain (6,816 ft), Long Ridge, Trout Creek, and Whitehorse Creek. Emmons Lake stratovolcano (caldera size: 11 x 18 km), Aleutian Range, was formed through six eruptions. Mount Emmons, Mount Hague, and Double Crater are post-caldera cones.[5] The topography of the Basin and Range Province is a result of crustal extension within this part of the North American Plate (rifting of the North American craton or Laurentia from Western North America; e.g. Gulf of California, Rio Grande rift, Oregon-Idaho graben). The crust here has been stretched up to 100% of its original width.[81] In fact, the crust underneath the Basin and Range, especially under the Great Basin (includes Nevada), is some of the thinnest in the world. Topographically visible calderas: South part of the McDermitt volcanic field (four overlapping and nested calderas), West of McDermitt; Cochetopa Park Caldera, West of the North Pass; Henry's Fork Caldera; Banks Peninsula, New Zealand (Photo) and Valles Caldera. Newer drawings show McDermitt volcanic field (South), as five overlapping and nested calderas. Hoppin Peaks Caldera is included too. Repose periods: Toba (0.38 Ma),[27] Valles Caldera (0.35 Ma),[82][83] Yellowstone Caldera (0.7 Ma).[84] Kiloannum (ka), is a unit of time equal to one thousand years. Megaannum (Ma), is a unit of time equal to one million years, one can assume that "ago" is implied.

[edit] Volcanic Explosivity Index (VEI)

Main article: Volcanic Explosivity Index

VEI and ejecta volume correlation Tephra Volume VEI Example (cubic kilometers) 0 Effusive Masaya Volcano, Nicaragua, 1570 1 >0.00001 Pos Volcano, Costa Rica, 1991 2 >0.001 Mount Ruapehu, New Zealand, 1971 3 >0.01 Nevado del Ruiz, Colombia, 1985 4 >0.1 Eyjafjallajkull, Iceland, 2010 5 >1 Mount St. Helens, United States, 1980 6 >10 Krakatoa, Indonesia, 1883 7 >100 Mount Tambora, Indonesia, 1815 8 >1000 Yellowstone Caldera, United States, Pleistocene

[edit] Volcanic dimming

Main article: Global dimming The Global dimming through volcanism (ash aerosol and sulfur dioxide) is quite independent of the eruption VEI.[85][86][87] When sulfur dioxide (boiling point at standard state: -10C) reacts with water vapor, it creates sulfate ions (the precursors to sulfuric acid), which are very reflective; ash aerosol on the other hand absorbs Ultraviolet.[88] Global cooling through volcanism is the sum of the influence of the Global dimming and the influence of the high albedo of the deposited ash layer.[89] The lower snow line and its higher albedo might prolong this cooling period.[90] Bipolar comparison showed six sulfate events: Tambora (1815), Cosigina (1835), Krakatoa (1883),

Agung (1963), and El Chichn (1982), and the 180910 ice core event.[91] And the atmospheric transmission of direct solar radiation data from the Mauna Loa Observatory (MLO), Hawaii (1932'N) detected only five eruptions:[92]

Jun 11, 2009, Sarychev Peak (?), Kuril Islands, 400 tons of tephra, VEI 4

480530N 153120E

Jun 12-15, 1991 (eruptive climax), Mount Pinatubo, Philippines, 11,000 0.5 tons of tephra, VEI 6

Global cooling: 0.5C,[93]

15080N 120210E

Mar 28, 1982, El Chichn, Mexico, 2,300 tons of tephra, VEI 5

172136N 931340W

Oct 10, 1974, Volcn de Fuego, Guatemala, 400 tons of tephra, VEI 4

142822N 905249W

Feb 18, 1963, Agung, Lesser Sunda Islands, 100 tons of lava, more than 1,000 tons of tephra, VEI 5

Northern Hemisphere cooling: 0.3C,[94]

82030S 1153030E

But very large sulfur dioxide emissions overdrive the oxidizing capacity of the atmosphere. Carbon monoxide's and methane's concentration goes up (greenhouse gases), global temperature goes up, ocean's temperature goes up, and ocean's carbon dioxide solubility goes down.[2]

Location of Mount Pinatubo, showing area over which ash from the 1991 eruption fell.

Satellite measurements of ash and aerosol emissions from Mount Pinatubo.

MLO transmission ratio - Solar radiation reduction due to volcanic eruptions

NASA, Global Dimming - El Chichon, VEI 5; Pinatubo, VEI 6.

Sulfur dioxide emissions by volcanoes. Mount Pinatubo: 20 million tons of sulfur dioxide.

TOMS sulfur dioxide from the June 15, 1991 eruption of Mount Pinatubo.

Sarychev Peak: the sulphur dioxide cloud generated by the eruption on June 12, 2009 (in Dobson units).

[edit] Some maps

Yellowstone sits on top of three overlapping calderas. (USGS)

Diagram of Island Park and Henry's Fork Caldera.

Harney Basin, Steens Mountain, Owyhee and Malheur River.[66]

Steens Mountain, McDermitt volcanic field and Oregon/ Nevada stateline.

Location of Yellowstone Hotspot in Millions of Years Ago.

Snake River Plain, image from NASA's Aqua satellite, 2008

Location of Yucca Mountain in southern Nevada, to the west of the Nevada Test Site.

Jemez Ranger District and Jemez Mountains, Santa Fe National Forest.

Volcanic Explosivity Index

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia VEI redirects here. For the company, see Visual Entertainment Inc.

VEI and ejecta volume correlation The Volcanic Explosivity Index (VEI) was devised by Chris Newhall of the U.S. Geological Survey and Stephen Self at the University of Hawaii in 1982 to provide a relative measure of the explosiveness of volcanic eruptions. Volume of products, eruption cloud height, and qualitative observations (using terms ranging from "gentle" to "mega-colossal") are used to determine the explosivity value. The scale is openended with the largest volcanoes in history given magnitude 8. A value of 0 is given for nonexplosive eruptions, defined as less than 10,000 m3 (350,000 cu ft) of tephra ejected; and 8 representing a mega-colossal explosive eruption that can eject 1,000,000,000,000 m3 (3.51013 cu ft) of tephra and have a cloud column height of over 50 km (31 mi). The scale is logarithmic, with each interval on the scale representing a tenfold increase in observed ejecta criteria, with the exception of between VEI 0, VEI 1 and VEI 2.

Note that ash, volcanic bombs, and ignimbrite are all treated alike. Density and vesicularity (gas bubbling) of the volcanic products in question is not taken into account. In contrast, the DRE (Dense-Rock Equivalent) is sometimes calculated to give the actual amount of magma erupted. Another weakness of the VEI is that it does not take into account the power output of an eruption, which makes it extremely difficult to determine with prehistoric or unobserved eruptions.


1 Classification 2 List of eruptions 3 See also 4 References 5 External links

[edit] Classification
The VEI associated with an eruption is dependent on how much volcanic material is thrown out, to what height, and how long the eruption lasts; with the indices running from 0 to 8. The scale is logarithmic from VEI 2 and up; an increase of 1 index indicates an eruption that is 10 times more powerful. As such there is a discontinuity in the definition of the VEI between indices 1 and 2. The lower border of the volume of ejecta jumps by a factor of 100 from 10,000 to 1,000,000 m3 (350,000 to 35,000,000 cu ft) while the factor is 10 between all higher indices. VE Ejecta Classificati Descriptio Plum Frequenc I volume on n e y Tropospher Stratospher ic ic Examples injection injection[1] Klauea, < 10,000 < 100 0 Hawaiian effusive constant negligible none Piton de la m m Fournaise 100 Stromboli, > 10,000 Hawaiian / 1 gentle 1000 daily minor none Nyiragongo m Strombolian m (2002) Galeras > (1993), Strombolian 15 2 1,000,000 explosive weekly moderate none Mount / Vulcanian km m Sinabung (2010) Nevado del > Vulcanian / 315 few Ruiz (1985), 3 10,000,00 severe substantial possible Pelan km months Soufrire 0 m Hills (1995) Mount Pele Pelan / cataclysmi 1025 (1902), 4 > 0.1 km 1 yr substantial definite Plinian c km Eyjafjallajk ull (2010)

5 > 1 km


paroxysma 2035 10 yrs substantial l km


Plinian / 6 > 10 km UltraPlinian


> 30 100 yrs substantial km


> 100 km



> 40 1,000 km yrs



> 1,000 km

Supervolcan megaic colossal

> 50 10,000 substantial km yrs


Mount Vesuvius (79 CE), Mount St. Helens (1980) Krakatoa (1883), Mount Pinatubo (1991) Thera (Minoan Eruption, c. 1600 BC), Tambora (1815) Yellowstone (640,000 BP), Toba (74,000 BP)

A total of 47 eruptions of VEI 8 magnitude or above, ranging in age from Ordovician to Pleistocene, have been identified, of which 42 occurred in the past 36 million years. The most recent is Lake Taupo's Oruanui eruption, 26,500 years ago, which means that there have not been any Holocene (within the last 10,000 years) eruptions with a VEI of 8.[2] There have been at least 5 identified Holocene eruptions with a VEI of 7. There are also 58 plinian eruptions, and 13 caldera-forming eruptions, of large, but unknown magnitudes. There are likely many other eruptions that are not identified.

[edit] List of eruptions

List of largest volcanic eruptions List of large volcanic eruptions List of large volcanic eruptions of the 19th Century List of large volcanic eruptions of the 20th Century List of large volcanic eruptions of the 21st Century Supervolcano List of volcanoes List of deadliest natural disasters

[edit] See also

[edit] References

trombolian eruption
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A Strombolian eruption

A diagram of a strombolian eruption. Strombolian eruptions are relatively low-level volcanic eruptions, named after the Italian volcano Stromboli, where such eruptions consist of ejection of incandescent cinder, lapilli and lava bombs to altitudes of tens to hundreds of meters. They are small to medium in volume, with sporadic violence. They are defined as "...Mildly explosive at discrete but fairly regular intervals of seconds to minutes..."[citation needed] The tephra typically glows red when leaving the vent, but its surface cools and assumes a dark to black color and may significantly solidify before impact. The tephra accumulates in the vicinity of the vent, forming a cinder cone. Cinder is the most common product, the amount of volcanic ash is typically rather minor.

The lava flows are more viscous, and therefore shorter and thicker, than the corresponding Hawaiian eruptions; it may or may not be accompanied by production of pyroclastic rock. Instead the gas coalesces into bubbles, called gas slugs, that grow large enough to rise through the magma column, bursting near the top due to the decrease in pressure and throwing magma into the air. Each episode thus releases volcanic gases, sometimes as frequently as a few minutes apart. Gas slugs can form as deep as 3 kilometers, making them difficult to predict.[1][2] Strombolian eruptive activity can be very long-lasting because the conduit system is not strongly affected by the eruptive activity, so that the eruptive system can repeatedly reset itself. For example, the Parcutin volcano erupted continuously between 1943-1952, Mount Erebus, Antarctica has produced Strombolian eruptions for at least many decades, and Stromboli itself has been producing Strombolian eruptions for several thousand years.

[edit] See also

Vulcanian eruption
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Volcanic eruption: 1 Ash plume, 2 Lapilli, 3 Lava fountain, 4 Volcanic ash rain, 5 Volcanic bomb, 6 Lava flow, 7 Layers of lava and ash, 8 Stratum, 9 Sill, 10 Magma conduit, 11 Magma chamber, 12 Dike The term Vulcanian was first used by Giuseppe Mercalli, witnessing the 1888-1890 eruptions on the island of Vulcano. His description of the eruption style is now used all over the world for eruptions characterised by a dense cloud of ash-laden gas exploding from the crater and rising high above the peak. Mercalli described vulcanian eruptions as "...Explosions like cannon fire at irregular intervals..." Their explosive nature is due to increased silica content of the magma. Almost all types of magma can be involved, but magma with about 55% or more silica (basalt andesite) is most common. Increasing silica levels increase the viscosity of the magma which means increased explosiveness. They usually commence with phreatomagmatic eruptions which can be extremely noisy due the rising magma heating water in the ground. This is usually followed by the explosive clearing of the vent and the eruption column is dirty grey to black as old weathered rocks are blasted out of the vent. As the vent clears, further ash clouds become

grey-white and creamy in colour, with convolutions of the ash similar to those of plinian eruptions.


1 Characteristics 2 1930 eruption of Stromboli 3 Further reading 4 External links 5 References

[edit] Characteristics
Vulcanian eruptions display several common characteristics. The mass of rock ejected during the eruption is usually between 102 - 106 tonnes [1] and contains a high proportion of non-juvinial material (> 50%). During active periods of volcanic activity, intervals between explosions vary from less than 1 minute (e.g. Anak Krakatoa) to about a day. Pyroclastic flows are also common features of this type of eruption [2] [3]. The gas streaming phase of these eruptions are characterised discrete canon-like explosions, which are a particular features of vulcanian eruptions [4]. These expulsions of gas can reach supersonic velocities resulting in shock waves [5]. The tephra is dispersed over a wider areas than that from Strombolian eruptions. The pyroclastic rock and the base surge deposits form an ash volcanic cone, while the ash covers a large surrounding area. The eruption ends with a flow of viscous lava. Vulcanian eruptions may throw large metre-size blocks several hundred metres, occasionally up to several kilometres. Vulcanian eruptions are dangerous to persons within several hundred metres of the vent. One feature of this type of eruption is the "Volcanic bomb." These can be blocks often 2 to 3 m in dimensions. At Galeras a vulcanian eruption ejected bombs which impacted with several volcanologists who were in the crater and many died or suffered terrible injuries.

The Gran Cratere, Vulcano. A sense of scale is provided by the tourist visible near the centre of the crater.

[edit] 1930 eruption of Stromboli

The 11 September 1930 eruption of Stromboli was a vulcanian eruption. It started at 08:10 hours (local), when ash was vented for about 10 minutes. Then at 09:52 two incredibly powerful explosions occurred which shook the whole island. Blocks were hurled about 2 km. These fell out of the sky smashing through buildings etc. A tsunami 2 to 2.5m high was generated. By 10:40 the explosive phase of the eruption was over. Expulsion of lava followed, this flowed down the Sciara del Fuoco, lasting into the night. At the same time incandescent scoria flowed down the Vallonazzo Valley and entered the sea near Piscit. By the end, 6 people had died. Four fishermen died at sea when the avalanches of hot scoria caused the sea to become very disturbed. One person was killed in Stromboli village by falling blocks, and the 6th was killed by the tsunami. It is believed that water entered the conduit due to a partial collapse of the conduit. The water flashed into steam and took the easiest "escape route," via the open conduit. As it expanded in the molten magma it generated the two very large explosions.

[edit] Further reading

Italian Volcanoes, Chris Kilburn and Bill McGuire, Terra Publishing, ISBN 1-90354404-1 Volcanoes of Southern Italy, John Guest, Paul Cole, Angus Duncan and David Chester, The Geological Society (London) ISBN 1-86239-138-6 Encyclopedia of Volcanoes, Haraldur Sigurdsson, Bruce Houghton, Stephen R McNutt, Hazel Rymer and John Stix (eds) Academic Press, ISBN 0-12-643140-X The eruption of Soufrire Hills Volcano, Montserrat, from 1995 to 1999, T. H. Druitt and B. P. Kokelaar (eds), Geological Society Memoir No. 21. Geological Society (London), ISBN 1-86239-098-3,

Hawaiian eruption
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Hawaiian eruption: 1: Ash plume, 2: Lava fountain, 3: Crater, 4: Lava lake, 5: Fumaroles, 6: Lava flow, 7 Layers of lava and ash, 8: Stratum, 9: Sill, 10: Magma conduit, 11: Magma chamber, 12: Dike A Hawaiian eruption is a type of volcanic eruption where lava flows from the vent in a relative gentle, low level eruption, so called because it is characteristic of Hawaiian volcanoes. Typically they are effusive eruptions, with basaltic magmas of low viscosity, low content of gases, and high temperature at the vent. Very little amount of volcanic ash is produced. This type of eruption occurs most often at hotspot volcanoes such as Klauea, though it can occur near subduction zones (e.g. Medicine Lake Volcano in California, United States) and rift zones. Another example of Hawaiian eruptions occurred on Surtsey from 1964 to 1967, when molten lava flowed from the crater to the sea. Hawaiian eruptions may occur along fissure vents, such as during the eruption of Mauna Loa Volcano in 1950, or at a central vent, such as during the 1959 eruption in Klauea Iki Crater, which created a lava fountain 580 meters (1,900 ft) high and formed a 38 meter cone named Puu Puai. In fissure-type eruptions, lava spurts from a fissure on the volcano's rift zone and feeds lava streams that flow downslope. In central-vent eruptions, a fountain of lava can spurt to a height of 300 meters or more (heights of 1600 meters were reported for the 1986 eruption of Mount Mihara on Izu shima, Japan). Hawaiian eruptions usually start by the formation of a crack in the ground from which a curtain of incandescent magma or several closely spaced magma fountains appear. The lava can overflow the fissure and form a or phoehoe style of flows. When such an eruption from a central cone is protracted, it can form lightly sloped shield volcanoes, for example Mauna Loa or Skjaldbreiur in Iceland.


1 Petrology of Hawaiian Basalts 2 Safety 3 References 4 External links

[edit] Petrology of Hawaiian Basalts

The key factors in generating a Hawaiian eruption are basaltic magma and a low percentage of dissolved water (less than one percent). The lower the water content, the more peaceful is the resulting flow. Almost all lava that comes from Hawaiian volcanoes is basalt in composition. Hawaiian basalts that make up almost all of the islands are tholeiite. These rocks are similar but not identical to those that are produced at ocean ridges. Basalt relatively richer in sodium and potassium (more alkaline) has erupted at the undersea volcano of Lihi at the extreme southeastern end of the volcanic chain, and these rocks may be typical of early stages in the "evolution" of all Hawaiian islands. In the late stages of eruption of individual volcanoes, more alkaline basalt also was erupted, and in the very late stages after a period of erosion, rocks of unusual composition such as nephelinite were produced in very small amounts. These variations in magma composition have been investigated in great detail, in part to try to understand how mantle plumes may work.

[edit] Safety
Hawaiian eruptions are usually the most attractive to tourists and are the safest because there is little danger from ash. However, Hawaiian eruptions are not always safe. In 1790, 80 warriors marching on Klauea were killed in an eruption.[1] On May 18, 1924, a plantation accountant named Truman Taylor who was sightseeing on Klauea's caldera, was hit with debris from an explosion.[2] Although rushed to hospital, Taylor succumbed to his injuries later that day.[3]

Pelan eruption
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Pelan eruption: 1 Ash plume, 2 Volcanic ash rain, 3 Lava dome, 4 Volcanic bomb, 5 Pyroclastic flow, 6 Layers of lava and ash, 7 Strata, 8 Magma conduit, 9 Magma chamber, 10 Dike Pelan eruptions are a type of volcanic eruption. They can occur when viscous magma, typically of rhyolitic or andesitic type, is involved, and share some similarities with Vulcanian eruptions. The most important characteristics of a Pelan eruption is the presence of a glowing avalanche of hot volcanic ash, a pyroclastic flow. Formation of lava domes is another characteristical feature. Short flows of ash or creation of pumice cones may be observed as well. The initial phases of eruption are characterized by pyroclastic flows. The tephra deposits have lower volume and range than the corresponding Plinian and Vulcanian eruptions. The viscous magma then forms a steep-sided dome or volcanic spine in the volcano's vent. The dome may later collapse, resulting in flows of ash and hot blocks. The eruption cycle is usually completed in few years, but in some cases may continue for decades, like in the case of Santiaguito.[1] The 1902 explosion of Mount Pele is the first described case of a Pelan eruption, and gave it its name. Some other examples include the following[2]:

the 1948-1951 eruption of Hibok-Hibok; the 1951 eruption of Mount Lamington, which remains the most detailed observation of this kind;

the 1956 eruption of Bezymianny; the 1968 eruption of Mayon Volcano; and the 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens.

[edit] References

Plinian eruption
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

1822 artist rendition of the eruption of Vesuvius, depicting what the AD 79 eruption may have looked like. Plinian eruptions, also known as 'Vesuvian eruptions', are volcanic eruptions marked by their similarity to the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD 79 (as described in a letter written by Pliny the Younger, and which killed his uncle Pliny the Elder). Plinian eruptions are marked by columns of gas and volcanic ash extending high into the stratosphere, a high layer of the atmosphere. The key characteristics are ejection of large amount of pumice and very powerful continuous gas blast eruptions. Short eruptions can end in less than a day, but longer events can take several days to months. The longer eruptions begin with production of clouds of volcanic ash, sometimes with pyroclastic flows. The amount of magma erupted can be so large that the top of the volcano may collapse, resulting in a caldera. Fine ash can deposit over large areas. Plinian eruptions are often accompanied by loud noises, such as those generated by Krakatoa. The lava is usually rhyolitic and rich in silicates. Basaltic lavas are unusual for Plinian eruptions; the most recent example is the 1886 eruption of Mount Tarawera.[citation needed]


1 Pliny's description

2 Ultra Plinian 3 Examples 4 See also 5 References 6 External links

[edit] Pliny's description

A Stone Pine, the type of tree used by Pliny to describe the eruption.

April 21, 1990 eruption cloud from Redoubt Volcano as viewed to the west from the Kenai Peninsula Pliny described his uncle's involvement from the first observation of the eruption: On the 24th of August, about one in the afternoon, my mother desired him to observe a cloud which appeared of a very unusual size and shape. He had just taken a turn in the sun and, after bathing himself in cold water, and making a light luncheon, gone back to his books: he immediately arose and went out upon a rising ground from whence he might get a better sight of this very uncommon appearance. A cloud, from which mountain was uncertain, at this distance (but it was found afterwards to come from Mount Vesuvius), was ascending, the appearance of which I cannot give you a more exact description of than by likening it to that of a pine tree, for it shot up to a great height in the form of a very tall trunk, which spread itself out at the top into a sort of branches; occasioned, I imagine, either by a sudden gust of air that impelled it, the force of which decreased as it advanced upwards, or the cloud itself being pressed back again by its own weight, expanded in the manner I have mentioned; it appeared sometimes bright and

sometimes dark and spotted, according as it was either more or less impregnated with earth and cinders. This phenomenon seemed to a man of such learning and research as my uncle extraordinary and worth further looking into. Sixth Book of Letters, Letter 16, translation by William Melmoth Pliny the Elder set out to rescue the victims from their perilous position on the shore of the Bay of Naples, and launched his galleys, crossing the bay to Stabiae (near the modern town of Castellammare di Stabia). Pliny the Younger provided an account of his death, and suggested that he collapsed and died through inhaling poisonous gases emitted from the volcano. His body was found interred under the ashes of the Vesuvius with no apparent injuries on 26 August, after the plume had dispersed, confirming asphyxiation or poisoning.

[edit] Ultra Plinian

See also: Volcanic Explosivity Index According to the Smithsonian Institution's Volcanic Explosivity Index, a VEI of 6 to 8 is classified as "Ultra Plinian." They are defined by ash plumes over 25 km (16 mi) high and a volume of erupted material 10 km3 (2 cu mi) to 1,000 km3 (200 cu mi) in size. Eruptions in the "Ultra Plinian" category include Lake Toba (74 ka), Tambora (1815), and Krakatoa (1883).[1]

[edit] Examples

The 2010 eruptions of Eyjafjallajkull in Iceland The June 2009 eruption of Sarychev Peak in Russia The 1991 Mount Pinatubo eruption in Luzon in the Philippines; The 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens in USA The 1883 eruption of Krakatoa in Indonesia The 1815 eruption of Mount Tambora in Indonesia The 1667 and 1739 eruptions of Mount Tarumae in Japan The AD 79 eruption of Mount Vesuvius in Italy, which was the prototypical Plinian eruption. The 400s BC eruption of Mount Meager in British Columbia, Canada The 1645 BC eruption of Santorini in Greece[2] The 4860 BC eruption forming Crater Lake in USA The Long Valley Caldera eruption in USA over 760,000 years ago.

[edit] See also

Types of volcanic eruptions

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia "Eruption" redirects here. For other uses, see Eruption (disambiguation).

Mosaic of some eruptive structures formed during volcanic activity: An eruption column from a Plinian eruption, Pahoehoe lava flow from a Hawaiian eruption, and a lava arc from a Strombolian eruption. During a volcanic eruption, lava, tephra (ash, lapilli, volcanic bombs and blocks), and various gases are expelled from a volcanic vent or fissure. Several types of volcanic eruptions have been distinguished by volcanologists. These are often named after famous volcanoes where that type of behavior has been observed. Some volcanoes may exhibit only one characteristic type of eruption during a period of activity, while others may display an entire sequence of types all in one eruptive series. There are three different metatypes of eruptions. The most well-observed are magmatic eruptions, which involve the decompression of gas within magma that propels it forward. Phreatomagmatic eruptions are another type of volcanic eruption, driven by the compression of gas within magma, the direct opposite of the process powering magmatic activity. The last eruptive metatype is the Phreatic eruption, which is driven by the superheating of steam via contact with magma; these eruptive types often exhibit no magmatic release, instead causing the granulation of existing rock. Within these wide-defining eruptive types are several subtypes. The weakest are Hawaiian and submarine, then Strombolian, followed by Vulcanian and Surtseyan. The stronger eruptive types are Pelean eruptions, followed by Plinian eruptions; the strongest eruptions are called "Ultra Plinian." Subglacial and Phreatic eruptions are defined by their eruptive mechanism, and vary in strength. An important measure of eruptive strength is Volcanic Explosivity Index (VEI), a magnitudic scale ranging from 0 to 8 that often correlates to eruptive types.


1 Eruption mechanisms

1.1 Volcano explosivity index 2.1 Hawaiian 2.2 Strombolian 2.3 Vulcanian 2.4 Pelan 2.5 Plinian 3.1 Surtseyan 3.2 Submarine 3.3 Subglacial

2 Magmatic eruptions

3 Phreatomagmatic eruptions

4 Phreatic eruptions 5 See also 6 References 7 Further reading 8 External links

[edit] Eruption mechanisms

Diagram showing the scale of VEI correlation with total ejecta volume. Volcanic eruptions arise through three main mechanisms:

Gas release under decompression causing magmatic eruptions.

Thermal contraction from chilling on contact with water causing phreatomagmatic eruptions. Ejection of entrained particles during steam eruptions causing phreatic eruptions.[1]

There are two types of eruptions in terms of activity, explosive eruptions and effusive eruptions. Explosive eruptions are characterized by gas-driven explosions that propels magma and tephra.[1] Effusive eruptions, meanwhile, are characterized by the outpouring of lava without significant explosive eruption.[2] Volcanic eruptions vary widely in strength. On the one extreme there are effusive Hawaiian eruptions, which are characterized by lava fountains and fluid lava flows, which are typically not very dangerous. On the other extreme, Plinian eruptions are large, violent, and highly dangerous explosive events. Volcanoes are not bound to one eruptive style, and frequently display many different types, both passive and explosive, even the span of a single eruptive cycle.[3] Volcanoes do not always erupt vertically from a single crater near their peak, either. Some volcanoes exhibit lateral and fissure eruptions. Notably, many Hawaiian eruptions start from rift zones,[4] and some of the strongest Surtseyan eruptions develop along fracture zones.[5]

[edit] Volcano explosivity index

See also: List of largest volcanic eruptions The Volcanic Explosivity Index (commonly shortened VEI) is a scale, from 0 to 8, for measuring the strength of eruptions. It is used by the Smithsonian Institution's Global Volcanism Program in assessing the impact of historic and prehistoric lava flows. It operates in a way similar to the Richter scale for earthquakes, in that each interval in value represents a tenfold increasing in magnitude (it is logarithmic).[6] The vast majority of volcanic eruptions are of VEIs between 0 and 2.[3] Volcanic eruptions by VEI index[6] VEI Plume height Eruptive volume * 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 <100 m 1,000 m3 (35,300 (330 ft) cu ft) 1001,000 m 10,000 m3 (353,000 (3003,300 cu ft) ft) 15 km (13 1,000,000 m3 mi) (35,300,000 cu ft) 315 km (29 10,000,000 m3 mi) (353,000,000 cu ft) 1025 km (6 100,000,000 m3 16 mi) (0.024 cu mi) >25 km 1 km3 (0.24 cu mi) (16 mi) >25 km 10 km3 (2 cu mi) (16 mi) >25 km 100 km3 (20 cu mi) (16 mi) >25 km 1,000 km3 Eruption type Hawaiian Frequency ** Example

Continuous Kilauea Stromboli Galeras (1992)

Hawaiian/Strombolian Months Strombolian/Vulcanian Months Vulcanian Vulcanian/Pelan Plinian Plinian/Ultra Plinian Ultra Plinian Ultra Plinian Yearly

Nevado del Ruiz (1985) Eyjafjallajkull Few years (2010) Mount St. Helens 510 years (1980) 1,000 years Krakatoa (1883) 10,000 years Tambora (1815) 100,000 Lake Toba (74 ka)

(16 mi)

(200 cu mi)


* This is the minimum eruptive volume necessary for the eruption to be considered within the category. ** Values are a rough estimate. Exceptions occur. There is a discontinuity between the 2nd and 3rd VEI level; instead of increasing by a magnitude of 10, the value increases by a magnitude of 100 (from 10,000 to 1,000,000).

[edit] Magmatic eruptions

Magmatic eruptions produce juvenile clasts during explosive decompression from gas release. They range in intensity from the relatively small lava fountains on Hawaii to catastrophic Ultra Plinian eruption columns more than 30 km (19 mi) high, bigger than the AD 79 eruption that buried Pompeii.[1]

[edit] Hawaiian
Main article: Hawaiian eruption

Diagram of a Hawaiian eruption. (key: 1. Ash plume 2. Lava fountain 3. Crater 4. Lava lake 5. Fumaroles 6. Lava flow 7. Layers of lava and ash 8. Stratum 9. Sill 10. Magma conduit 11. Magma chamber 12. Dike) Click for larger version. Hawaiian eruptions are a type of volcanic eruption, named after the Hawaiian volcanoes with which this eruptive type is hallmark. Hawaiian eruptions are the calmest types of volcanic events, characterized by the effusive eruption eruption of very fluid basalt-type lavas with low gaseous content. The volume of ejected material from Hawaiian eruptions is less than half of that found in other eruptive types. Steady production of small amounts of lava builds up the large, broad form of a shield volcano. Eruptions are not centralized at the main summit as with other volcanic types, and often occur at vents around the summit and from fissure vents radiating out of the center.[4] Hawaiian eruptions often begin as a line of vent eruptions along a fissure vent, a so-called "curtain of fire." These die down as the lava beings to concentrate at a few of the vents. Centralvent eruptions, meanwhile, often take the form of large lava fountains (both continuous and sporadic), which can reach heights of hundreds of meters or more. The particles from lava fountains usually cool in the air before hitting the ground, resulting in the accumulation of cindery scoria fragments; however, when the air is especially thick with clasts, they cannot cool off fast enough due to the surrounding heat, and hit the ground still hot, the accumulation of which forms splatter cones. If eruptive rates are high enough, they may even form splatter-fed

lava flows. Hawaiian eruptions are often extremely long lived; Pu'u O'o, a cinder cone of Kilauea, has been erupting continuously since 1983. Another Hawaiian volcanic feature is the formation of active lava lakes, self-maintaining pools of raw lava with a thin crust of semicooled rock; there are currently only 5 such lakes in the world, and the one at Klauea's Kupaianaha vent is one of them.[4]

Ropey pahoehoe lava from Kilauea, Hawaii. Flows from Hawaiian eruptions are basaltic, and can be divided into two types by their structural characteristics. Pahoehoe lava is a relatively smooth lava flow that can be billowy or ropey. They can move as one sheet, by the advancement of "toes," or as a snaking lava column. A'a lava flows are denser and more viscous then pahoehoe, but tend to move slower. Flows can measure 2 to 20 m (7 to 66 ft) thick. A'a flows are so thick that the outside layers cools into a rubble-like mass, insulating the still-hot interior and preventing it from cooling. A'a lava moves in a peculiar waythe front of the flow steepens due to pressure from behind until it breaks off, after which the general mass behind it moves forward. Pahoehoe lava can sometimes become A'a lava due to increasing viscosity or increasing rate of shear, but A'a lava never turns into pahoehoe flow.[7] Hawaiian eruptions are responsible for several unique volcanological objects. Small volcanic particles are carried and formed by the wind, chilling quickly into teardrop-shaped glassy fragments known as Pele's tears (after Pele, the Hawaiian volcano deity). During especially high winds these chunks may even take the form of long drawn out rods, known as Pele's hair. Sometimes basant aerates into reticulite, the lowest density rock type on earth.[4] Although Hawaiian eruptions are named after the volcanoes of Hawaii, they are not necessarily restricted to them; the largest lava fountain ever recorded formed on the island of Izu shima (on Mount Mihara) in 1986, a 1,600 m (5,249 ft) gusher that was more than twice as high as the mountain itself (which stands at 764 m (2,507 ft)).[4][8] Volcanoes known to have Hawaiian activity include:

Pu'u O'o, a parasitic cinder cone located on Kilauea on the island of Hawaii which has been erupting continuously since 1983. The eruptions began with a 6 km (4 mi)-long fissure-based "curtain of fire" on January 3. These gave way to centralized eruptions on the site of Kilauea's east rift, eventually building up the still active cone.[4]

For a list of all of the volcanoes of Hawaii, see List of volcanoes in the Hawaiian Emperor seamount chain. Mount Etna, Italy.[4] Mount Mihara in 1986 (see above paragraph)[4]

[edit] Strombolian
Main article: Strombolian eruption

Diagram of a Strombolian eruption. (key: 1. Ash plume 2. Lapilli 3. Volcanic ash rain 4. Lava fountain 5. Volcanic bomb 6. Lava flow 7. Layers of lava and ash 8. Stratum 9. Dike 10. Magma conduit 11. Magma chamber 12. Sill) Click for larger version. Strombolian eruptions are a type of volcanic eruption, named after the volcano Stromboli, which has been erupting continuously for centuries.[9] Strombolian eruptions are driven by the bursting of gas bubbles within the magma. These gas bubbles within the magma accumulate and coalesce into large bubbles, called gas slugs. These grow large enough to rise through the lava column.[10] Upon reaching the surface, the difference in air pressure causes the bubble to burst with a loud pop,[9] throwing magma in the air in a way similar to a soap bubble. Because of the high gas pressures associated with the lavas, continued activity is generally in the form of episodic explosive eruptions accompanied by the distinctive loud blasts.[9] During eruptions, these blasts occur as often as every few minutes.[11] The term "Strombolian" has been used indiscriminately to describe a wide variety of volcanic eruptions, varying from small volcanic blasts to large eruptive columns. In reality, true Strombolian eruptions are characterized by short-lived and explosive eruptions of lavas with intermediate viscosity, often ejected high into the air. Columns can measure hundreds of meters in height. The lavas formed by Strombolian eruptions are a form of relatively viscous basaltic lava, and its end product is mostly scoria.[9] The relative passivity of Strombolian eruptions, and its non-damaging nature to its source vent allow Strombolian eruptions to continue unabated for thousands of years, and also makes it one of the least dangerous eruptive types.[11]

An example of the lava arcs formed during Strombolian activity. This image is of Stromboli itself. Strombolian eruptions eject volcanic bombs and lapilli fragments that travel in parabolic paths before landing around their source vent. The steady accumulation of small fragments builds cinder cones composed completely of basaltic pyroclasts. This form of accumulation tends to result in well-ordered rings of tephra.[9] Strombolian eruptions are similar to Hawaiian eruptions, but there are differences. Strombolian eruptions are noisier, produce no sustained eruptive columns, do not produce some volcanic products associated with Hawaiian volcanism (specifically Pele's tears and Pele's hair), and produce fewer molten lava flows (although the eruptive material does tend to form small rivulets).[9][11] Volcanoes known to have Strombolian activity include:

Parcutin, Mexico, which erupted from a fissure in a cornfield in 1943. Two years into its life, pyroclastic activity began to wane, and the outpouring of lava from its base became its primary mode of activity. Eruptions ceased in 1952, and the final height was 424 m (1,391 ft). This was the first time that scientists are able to observe the complete life cycle of a volcano.[9] Mount Etna, Italy, which has displayed Strombolian activity in recent eruptions, for example in 1981, 1999,[12] 2002-2003, and 2009.[13] Mount Erebus in Antarctica, the southernmost active volcano in the world, having been observed erupting since 1972.[14] Eruptive activity at Erebrus consists of frequent Strombolian activity.[15] Stromboli itself. The namesake of the mild explosive activity that it possesses has been active throughout historical time; essentially continuous Strombolian eruptions, occasionally accompanied by lava flows, have been recorded at Stromboli for more than a millennium.[16]

[edit] Vulcanian
Main article: Vulcanian eruption

Diagram of a Vulcanian eruption. (key: 1. Ash plume 2. Lapilli 3. Lava fountain 4. Volcanic ash rain 5. Volcanic bomb 6. Lava flow 7. Layers of lava and ash 8. Stratum 9. Sill 10. Magma conduit 11. Magma chamber 12. Dike) Click for larger version. Vulcanian eruptions are a type of volcanic eruption, named after the volcano Vulcano, which also gives its name to the word Volcano.[17] It was named so following Giuseppe Mercalli's observations of its 1888-1890 eruptions.[18] In Vulcanian eruptions, highly viscous magma within the volcano make it difficult for vesiculate gases to escape. Similar to Strombolian eruptions, this leads to the buildup of high gas pressure, eventually popping the cap holding the magma down and resulting in an explosive eruption. However, unlike Strombolian eruptions, ejected lava fragments are not aerodynamical; this is due to the higher viscosity of Vulcanian magma and the greater incorporation of crystalline material broken off from the former cap. They are also more explosive than their Strombolian counterparts, with eruptive columns often reaching between 5 and 10 km (3 and 6 mi) high. Lastly, Vulcanian deposits are andesitic to dacitic rather than basaltic.[17] Initial Vulcanian activity is characterized by a series of short-lived explosions, lasting a few minutes to a few hours and typified by the ejection of volcanic bombs and blocks. These eruptions wear down the lava dome holding the magma down, and it disintegrates, leading to much more quiet and continuous eruptions. Thus an early sign of future Vulcanian activity is lava dome growth, and its collapse generates an outpouring of pyroclastic material down the volcano's slope.[17]

Tavurvur in Papua New Guinea erupting.

Deposits near the source vent consist of large volcanic blocks and bombs, with so-called "breadcrust bombs" being especially common. These deeply cracked volcanic chunks form when the exterior of ejected lava cools quickly into a glassy or fine-grained shell, but the inside continues to cool and vesiculate. The center of the fragment expands, cracking the exterior. However the bulk of Vulcanian deposits are fine grained ash. The ash is only moderately dispersed, and its abundance indicates a high degree of fragmentation, the result of high gas contents within the magma. In some cases these have been found to be the result of interaction with meteoric water, suggesting that Vulcanian eruptions are partially hydrovolcanic.[17] Volcanoes that have exhibited Vulcanian activity include:

Sakurajima, Japan has been the site of Vulcanian activity near-continuously since 1955.

Tavurvur, Papua New Guinea, one of several volcanoes in the Rabaul Caldera.[17] Iraz Volcano in Costa Rica exhibited Vulcanian activity in its 1965 eruption.[20]

[edit] Pelan
Main article: Pelan eruption

Diagram of Pelan eruption. (key: 1. Ash plume 2. Volcanic ash rain 3. Lava dome 4. Volcanic bomb 5. Pyroclastic flow 6. Layers of lava and ash 7. Stratum 8. Magma conduit 9. Magma chamber 10. Dike) Click for larger version. Pelan eruptions (or nue ardente) are a type of volcanic eruption, named after the volcano Mount Pele in Martinique, the site of a massive Pelan eruption in 1902 that is one of the worst natural disasters in history. In Pelan eruptions, a large amount of gas, dust, ash, and lava fragmets are blown out the volcano's central crater,[21] driven by the collapse of rhyolite, dacite, and andesite lava dome collapses that often create large eruptive columns. An early sign of a coming eruption is the growth of a so-called Pelan or lava spine, a bulge in the volcano's summit preempting its total collapse.[22] The material collapses upon itself, forming a fastmoving pyroclastic flow[21] (known as a block-and-ash flow)[23] that moves down the side of the mountain at tremendous speeds, often over 150 km (93 mi) per hour. These massive landslides make Pelan eruptions one of the most dangerous in the world, capable of tearing through populated areas and causing massive loss of life. The 1902 eruption of Mount Pele caused tremendous destruction, killing more than 30,000 people and competely destroying the town of St. Pierre, the worst volcanic event in the 20th century.[21]

Pelan eruptions are characterized most prominently by the incandescent pyroclastic flows that they drive. The mechanics of a Pelan eruption are very similar to that of a Vulcanian eruption, except that in Pelan eruptions the volcano's structure is able to withstand more pressure, hence the eruption occurs as one large explosion rather than several smaller ones.[24] Volcanoes known to have Pelan activity include:

Mount Pele, Martinique. The 1902 eruption of Mount Pele completely devastated the island, destroying the town of St. Pierre and leaving only 3 survivors.[25] The eruption was directly preceded by lava dome growth.[17] Mayon Volcano, the Philippines most active volcano. It has been the site of many different types of eruptions, Pelan included. Approximarly 40 ravines radiate from the summit and provide pathways for frequent pyroclastic flows and mudslides to the lowlands below. Mayon's most violent eruption occurred in 1814 and was responsible for over 1200 deaths.[26] The 1951 Pelan eruption of Mount Lamington. Prior to this eruption the peak had not even been recognized as a volcano. Over 3,000 people were killed, and it has become a benchmark for studying large Pelan eruptions.[27]

Pyroclastic flows at Mayon Volcano, Philippines, 1984.

The lava spine that developed before the 1902 eruption of Mount Pele

Mount Lamington following the devastating 1951 eruption.

[edit] Plinian
Main article: Plinian eruption

Diagram of a Plinian eruption. (key: 1. Ash plume 2. Magma conduit 3. Volcanic ash rain 4. Layers of lava and ash 5. Stratum 6. Magma chamber) Click for larger version. Plinian eruptions (or Vesuvian) are a type of volcanic eruption, named for the historical AD 79 eruption of Mount Vesuvius that buried the Roman towns of Pompeii and Herculaneum, and specifically for its chronicler Pliny the Younger.[28] The process powering Plinian eruptions starts in the magma chamber, where dissolved volatile gases are stored in the magma. The gases vesiculate and accumulate as they rise through the magma conduit. These bubbles agglutinate and once they reach a certain size (about 75% of the total volume of the magma conduit) they explode. The narrow confines of the conduit force the gases and associated magma up, forming an eruptive column. Eruption velocity is controlled by the gas contents of the column, and lowstrength surface rocks commonly crack under the pressure of the eruption, forming a flared outgoing structure that pushes the gases even faster.[29] These massive eruptive columns are the distinctive feature of a Plinian eruption, and reach up 2 to 45 km (1 to 28 mi) into the atmosphere. The densest part of the plume, directly above the volcano, is driven internally by gas expansion. As it reaches higher into the air the plume expands and becomes less dense, convection and thermal expansion of volcanic ash drive it even further up into the stratosphere. At the top of the plume, powerful prevailing winds drive the plume in a direction away from the volcano.[29]

21 April 1990 eruptive column from Redoubt Volcano, as viewed to the west from the Kenai Peninsula. These highly explosive eruptions are associated with volatile-rich dacitic to rhyolitic lavas, and occur most typically at stratovolcanoes. Eruptions can last anywhere from hours to days, with

longer eruptions being associated with more felsic volcanoes. Although they are associated with felsic magma, Plinian eruptions can just as well occur at basaltic volcanoes, given that the magma chamber differentiates and has a structure rich in silicon dioxide.[28] Plinian eruptions are similar to both Vulcanian and Strombolian eruptions, except that rather than creating discrete explosive events, Plinian eruptions form sustained eruptive columns. They are also similar to Hawaiian lava fountains in that both eruptive types produce sustained eruption columns maintained by the growth of bubbles that move up at about the same speed as the magma surrounding them.[28] Regions affected by Plinian eruptions are subjected to heavy pumice airfall affecting an area 0.5 to 50 km3 (0 to 12 cu mi) in size.[28] The material in the ash plume eventually finds its way back to the ground, covering the landscape in a thick layer of many cubic kilometers of ash.[30]

Lahar flows from the 1985 eruption of Nevado del Ruiz, which literally wiped out the town of Armero in Colombia. However the most dangerous eruptive feature are the pyroclastic flows generated by material collapse, which move down the side of the mountain at extreme speeds[28] of up to 700 km (435 mi) per hour and with the ability to extend the reach of the eruption hundreds of kilometers. [30] The ejection of hot material from the volcano's summit melts snowbanks and ice deposits on the volcano, which mixes with tephra to form lahars, fast moving mudslides with the consistency of wet concrete that move at the speed of a river rapid.[28] Major Plinian eruptive events include:

The historical AD 79 eruption of Mount Vesuvius buried the Roman towns of Pompeii and Herculaneum under a layer of ash and tephra. It is the model Plinian eruption. Mount Vesuvius has erupted multiple times since then, for example in 1822.[28] The 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens in Washington, which ripped apart the volcano's summit, was a Plinian eruption of Volcanic Explosivity Index (VEI) 5.[3] The strongest types of eruptions, with a VEI of 8, are so-called "Ultra-Plinian" eruptions, such as the most recent one at Lake Toba 74 thousand years ago, which put out 2800 times the material erupted by Mount St. Helens in 1980.[6][31] Hekla in Iceland, an example of basaltic Pilian volcanism being its 1947-48 eruption. The past 800 years have been a pattern of violent initial eruptions of pumice followed by prolonged extrusion of basaltic lava from the lower part of the volcano.[28] Pinatubo in the Philippines on 15 June 1991, which produced 5 km3 (1 cu mi) of dacitic magma, a 40 km (25 mi) high eruption column, and released 17 megatons of sulfur dioxide.[32]

[edit] Phreatomagmatic eruptions

Main article: Phreatomagmatic eruption Phreatomagmatic eruptions are eruptions that arise from interactions between water and magma. They are driven from thermal contraction (as opposed to magmatic eruptions, which are driven by thermal expansion) of magma when it comes in contact with water. This temperature difference between the two causes violent water-lava interactions that make up the eruption. The products of phreatomagmatic eruptions are believed to be more regular in shape and finer grained than the products of magmatic eruptions because of the differences in eruptive mechanisms.[1][33] There is debate about the exact nature of Phreatomagmatic eruptions, and some scientists believe that fuel-coolant reactions may be more critical to the explosive nature than thermal contraction. [33] Fuel coolant reactions may fragment the volcanic material by propagating stress waves, widening cracks and increasing surface area that ultimetly lead to rapid cooling and explosive contraction-driven eruptions.[1]

[edit] Surtseyan
Main article: Surtseyan eruption

Diagram of a Surtseyan eruption. (key: 1. Water vapor cloud 2. Compressed ash 3. Crater 4. Water 5. Layers of lava and ash 6. Stratum 7. Magma conduit 8. Magma chamber 9. Dike) Click for larger version. A Surtseyan eruption (or hydrovolcanic) is a type of volcanic eruption caused by shallowwater interactions between water and lava, named so after its most famous example, the eruption and formation of the island of Surtsey off the coast of Iceland in 1963. Surtseyan eruptions are the "wet" equivalent of ground-based Strombolian eruptions, but because of where they are taking place they are much more explosive. This is because as water is heated by lava, it flashes in steam and expands violently, fragmenting the magma it is in contact with into fine-grained ash. Surtseyan eruptions are the hallmark of shallow-water volcanic oceanic islands, however they are not specifically confined to them. Surtseyan eruptions can happen on land as well, and are caused by rising magma that comes into contact with an aquifer (water-bearing rock formation) at shallow levels under the volcano.[5] The products of Surtseyan eruptions are generally oxidized palagonite basalts (though andesitic eruptions do occur, albeit rarely), and like Strombolian eruptions Surtseyan eruptions are generally continuous or otherwise rhythmic.[34]

A distinct defining feature of a Surtseyan eruption is the formation of a pyroclastic surge (or base surge), a ground hugging radial cloud that develops along with the eruption column. Base surges are caused by the gravitational collapse of a vaperous eruptive column, one that is denser overall then a regular volcanic column. The densest part of the cloud is nearest to the vent, resulting a wedge shape. Associated with these laterally moving rings are dune-shaped depositions of rock left behind by the lateral movement. These are occasionally disrupted by bomb sags, rock that was flung out by the explosive eruption and followed a ballistic path to the ground. Accumulations of wet, spherical ash known as accretionary lapilli is another common surge indicator.[5] Over time Surtseyan eruptions tend to form maars, broad low-relief volcanic craters dug into the ground, and tuff rings, circular structures built of rapidly quenched lava. These structures are associated with a single vent eruption, however if eruptions arise along fracture zones a rift zone may be dug out; these eruptions tend to be more violent then the ones forming a tuff ring or maars, an example being the 1886 eruption of Mount Tarawera.[5][34] Littoral cones are another hydrovolcanic feature, generated by the explosive deposition of basaltic tephra (although they are not truly volcanic vents). They form when lava accumulates within cracks in lava, superheats and explodes in a steam explosion, breaking the rock apart and depositing it on the volcano's flank. Consecutive explosions of this type eventually generate the cone.[5] Volcanoes known to have Surtseyan activity include:

Surtsey, Iceland. The volcano built itself up from depth and emerged above the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Iceland in 1963. Initial hydrovolcanics were highly explosive, but as the volcano grew out rising lava started to interact less with the water and more with the air, until finally Surtseyan activity waned and became more Strombolian in character.

Ukinrek Maars in Alaska, 1977, and Capelinhos in the Azores, 1957, both examples of above-water Surtseyan activity.[5] Mount Tarawera in New Zealand erupted along a rift zone in 1886, killing 150 people.[5] Ferdinandea, a seamount in the Mediterranean Sea, breached sea level in July 1831 and was the source of a dispute over sovereignty between Italy, France, and Great Britain. The volcano did not build tuff cones strongly enough to withstand erosion, and disappeared back below the waves soon after it appeared.[35] The underwater volcano Hunga Tonga in Tonga breached sea level in 2009. Both of its vents exhibited Surtseyan activity for much of the time. It was also the site of an earlier eruption in May 1988.[36]

Surtsey, erupting 13 days after breaching the water. A tuff ring surrounds the vent.

The fissure formed by the 1886 eruption of Mount Tarawera, an example of a fracture zone eruption.

[edit] Submarine
Main article: Submarine eruption

Diagram of a Submarine eruption. (key: 1. Water vapor cloud 2. Water 3. Stratum 4. Lava flow 5. Magma conduit 6. Magma chamber 7. Dike 8. Pillow lava) Click to enlarge. Submarine eruptions are a type of volcanic eruption that occurs underwater. An estimated 75% of the total volcanic eruptive volume is generated by submarine eruptions near mid ocean ridges alone, however because of the problems associated with detecting deep sea volcanics, they remained virtually unknown until advances in the 1990s made it possible to observe them.[37] Submarine eruptions may produce seamounts which may break the surface to form volcanic islands and island chains. Submarine volcanism is driven by various processes. Volcanoes near plate boundaries and midocean ridges are built by the decompression melting of mantle rock that rises on an upwelling portion of a convection cell to the crustal surface. Eruptions associated with subducting zones, meanwhile, are driven by subducting plates that add volatiles to the rising plate, lowering its melting point. Each process generates different rock; mid-ocean ridge volcanics are primarily basaltic, whereas subduction flows are mostly calc-alkaline, and more explosive and viscous.[38] Spreading rates along mid-ocean ridges vary widely, from 2 cm (0.8 in) per year at the MidAtlantic Ridge, to up to 16 cm (6 in) along the East Pacific Rise. Higher spreading rates are a probably cause for higher levels of volcanism. The technology for studying seamount eruptions did not exist until advancements in hydrophone technology made it possible to "listen" to acoustic waves, known as T-waves, released by submarine earthquakes associated with submarine volcanic eruptions. The reason for this is that land-based seismometers cannot detect sea-based earthquakes below a magnitude of 4, but acoustic waves travel well in water and long periods of time. A system in the North Pacific, maintained by the United States Navy and

originally intended for the detection of submarines, has detected an event on average every 2 to 3 years.[37] The most common underwater flow is pillow lava, a circular lava flow named after its unusual shape. Less common are glassy, marginal sheet flows, indicative of larger-scale flows. Volcaniclastic sedimentary rocks are common in shallow-water environments. As plate movement starts to carry the volcanoes away from their eruptive source, eruption rates start to die down, and water erosion grinds the volcano down. The final stages of eruption caps the seamount in alkalic flows.[38] There are about 100,000 deepwater volcanoes in the world,[39] although most are beyond the active stage of their life.[38] Some exemplery seamounts are Loihi Seamount, Bowie Seamount, Davidson Seamount, and Axial Seamount.

[edit] Subglacial
Main article: Subglacial eruption

A diagram of a Subglacial eruption. (key: 1. Water vapor cloud 2. Crater lake 3. Ice 4. Layers of lava and ash 5. Stratum 6. Pillow lava 7. Magma conduit 8. Magma chamber 9. Dike) Click for larger version. Subglacial eruptions are a type of volcanic eruption characterized by interactions between lava and ice, often under a glacier. The nature of glaciovolcanism dictates that it occurs at areas of high latitude and high altitude.[40] It has been suggested that subglacial volcanoes that are not actively erupting often dump heat into the ice covering them, producing meltwater.[41] This meltwater mix means that subglacial eruptions often generate dangerous jkulhlaups (floods) and lahars.[40] The study of glaciovolcanism is still a relatively new field. Early accounts described the unusual flat-topped steep-sided volcanoes (called tuyas) in Iceland that were suggested to have formed from eruptions below ice. The first English-language paper on the subject was published in 1947 by William Henry Mathews, describing the Tuya Butte field in northwest British Columbia, Canada. The eruptive process that builds these structures, originally inferred in the paper,[40] begins with volcanic growth below the glacier. At first the eruptions resemble those that occur in the deep sea, forming piles of pillow lava at the base of the volcanic structure. Some of the lava shatters when it comes in contact with the cold ice, forming a glassy breccia called hyaloclastite. After a while the ice finally melts into a lake, and the more explosive eruptions of Surtseyan activity begins, building up flanks made up of mostly hyaloclastite. Eventually the lake boils off from continued volcanism, and the lava flows become more effusive and thicken as the lava

cools much more slowly, often forming columnar jointing. Well-preserved tuyas show all of these stages, for example Hjorleifshofdi in Iceland.[42] Products of volcano-ice interactions stand as various structures, whose shape is dependent on complex eruptive and environmental interactions. Glacial volcanism is a good indicator of past ice distribution, making it an important climatic marker. Since they are imbedded in ice, as ice retracts worldwide there are concerns that tuyas and other structures may destabalize, resulting in mass landslides. Evidence of volcanic-glacial interactions are evident in Iceland and parts of British Columbia, and it's even possible that they play a role in deglaciation.[40]

Herubrei, a tuya in Iceland. Glaciovolcanic products have been identified in Iceland, the Canadian province of British Columbia, the U.S. states of Hawaii and Alaska, the Cascade Range of western North America, South America and even on the planet Mars.[40] Volcanoes known to have subglacial activity include:

Mauna Kea in tropical Hawaii. There is evidence of past subglacial eruptive activity on the volcano in the form of a subglacial deposit on its summit. The eruptions originated about 10,000 years ago, during the last ice age, when the summit of Mauna Kea was covered in ice.[43] In 2008, the British Antarctic Survey reported a volcanic eruption under the Antarctica ice sheet 2,200 years ago. It is believed to be that this was the biggest eruption in Antarctica in the last 10,000 years. Volcanic ash deposits from the volcano were identified through an airborne radar survey, buried under later snowfalls in the Hudson Mountains, close to Pine Island Glacier.[41] Iceland, well known for both glaciers and volcanoes, is often a site of subglacial eruptions. An example an eruption under the Vatnajkull ice cap in 1996, which occurred under an estimated 2,500 ft (762 m) of ice.[44] As part of the search for life on Mars, scientists have suggested that there may be subglacial volcanoes on the red planet. Several potential sites of such volcanism have been reviewed, and compared extensively with similar features in Iceland:[45]

"Viable microbial communities have been found living in deep (2800 m) geothermal groundwater at 349 K and pressures over 300 bar..Furthermore, microbes have been postulated to exist in basaltic rocks in rinds of altered volcanic glass. All of these conditions could exist in polar regions of Mars today where subglacial volcanism has occurred." Jack Farmer, Arizona State University[45]

[edit] Phreatic eruptions

Main article: Phreatic eruption

Diagram of a phreatic eruption. (key: 1. Water vapor cloud 2. Volcanic bomb 3. Magma conduit 4. Layers of lava and ash 5. Stratum 6. Water table 7. Explosion 8. Magma chamber) Phreatic eruptions (or steam-blast eruptions) are a type of eruption driven by the expansion of steam. When cold ground or surface water come into contact with hot rock or magma it superheats and explodes, fracturing the surrounding rock[46] and thrusting out a mixture of steam, water, ash, volcanic bombs, and volcanic blocks.[47] The distinguishing feature of phreatic explosions is that they only blast out fragments of pre-existing solid rock from the volcanic conduit; no new magma is erupted.[48] Because they are driven by the cracking of rock stata under pressure, phreatic activity does not always result in an eruption; if the rock face is strong enough to withstand the explosive force, outright eruptions may not occur, although cracks in the rock will probably develop and weaken it, furthering future eruptions.[46] Often a precursor of future volcanic activity,[49] phreatic eruptions are generally weak, although there have been exceptions.[48] Some phreatic events may be triggered by earthquake activity, another volcanic precursor, and they may also travel along dike lines.[46] Phreatic eruptions form base surges, lahars, avalanches, and volcanic block "rain." They may also release deadly toxic gas able to suffocate anyone in range of the eruption.[49] Volcanoes known to exhibit phreatic activity include:

Mount St. Helens, which exhibited Phreatic activity just prior to its catastrophic 1980 eruption (which was itself Plinian).[47] Taal Volcano, Philippines, 1965.[48] La Soufrire of Guadeloupe (Lesser Antilles), 1975-1976 activity.[48]

[edit] See also

List of large volcanic eruptions

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia For a list of the largest recorded eruptions, see World's largest eruptions. This is a sortable summary of the pages Timetable of major worldwide volcanic eruptions, List of Quaternary volcanic eruptions, and Large volume volcanic eruptions in the Basin and Range

Province. Uncertainties as to dates and tephra volumes are not restated, and references are not repeated. Volcanic Explosivity Index (VEI) values for events in the Miocene epoch sometimes lack references. They are given as VEI-equivalent, as orientation[clarification needed] of the erupted tephra volume.

[edit] Overview
VEI 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 Caldera name Yellowstone Caldera Whakamaru Caldera Taupo Volcano Toba Caldera Heise volcanic field Heise volcanic field Island Park Caldera Volcanic arc/belt, subregion, or hotspot Yellowstone hotspot Taupo Volcanic Zone Taupo Volcanic Zone Sunda Arc Yellowstone hotspot Yellowstone hotspot Yellowstone hotspot Andes, Central Volcanic Zone Andes, Central Volcanic Zone Andes, Central Volcanic Zone Southwest Nevada volcanic field Southwest Nevada volcanic field Southwest Nevada volcanic field Taupo Volcanic Zone eastern California, USA Taupo Volcanic Zone Taupo Volcanic Zone South Aegean Volcanic Arc Taupo Volcanic Zone Lesser Sunda Islands Balhae (China North Korea border) Source unknown Date 0.64 Ma 0.254 Ma 24.5 ka 73 ka 4.45 Ma 6.62 Ma 2.1 Ma 2.2 Ma 4 Ma 15 Ma 12.7 Ma 11.6 Ma 12.8 Ma 0.28 Ma 0.76 Ma 0.97 Ma 1.01 Ma 1610 BC Tephra or eruption name Lava Creek Tuff Whakamaru Ignimbrite Oruanui eruption Youngest Toba Tuff Kilgore Tuff Blacktail Tuff Huckleberry Ridge Tuff Cerro Galn Ignimbrite Atana Ignimbrite Huaylillas Ignimbrite Paintbrush Tuff - Topopah Spring member Timber Mountain Tuff Rainer Mesa member Paintbrush Tuff - Tiva Canyon member Matahina Ignimbrite Bishop Tuff Rocky Hill Ignimbrite Unit E Minoan eruption

8 Cerro Galn 8 Pacana Caldera 8 Source unknown 8 Paintbrush Caldera 8 Timber Mountain caldera complex

8 Paintbrush Caldera 7 Haroharo Caldera 7 Long Valley Caldera 7 Mangakino Caldera 7 Mangakino Caldera Youngest Caldera, 7 Santorini 7 Taupo Volcano 7 Mount Tambora 7 Baekdu Mountain 7? Source unknown Crater Lake 7 (as Mount Mazama) 7 Kikai Caldera 7 Kurile Lake Pastos Grandes 7 Caldera

230 AD Hatepe eruption Apr 10, 1815 969 AD 1258 Tianchi eruption 1258 ice core event[2] Akahoya eruption Ilinsky eruption Sifon Ignimbrite

Cascade Volcanic Arc 5677 BC Ryukyu Islands 4350 BC Kamchatka Peninsula 6440 BC Andes, Central 8.3 Ma Volcanic Zone

VEI 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7

Volcanic arc/belt, subregion, or hotspot Andes, Central Cerro Panizos Volcanic Zone Mangakino Caldera Taupo Volcanic Zone Henry's Fork Caldera Yellowstone hotspot New Mexico, USA Valles Caldera (Raton hotspot) Pastos Grandes Andes, Central Caldera Volcanic Zone McDermitt volcanic Yellowstone hotspot field, North Silent Canyon caldera Southwest Nevada complex volcanic field Black Mountain Southwest Nevada Caldera volcanic field Timber Mountain Southwest Nevada caldera complex volcanic field Central America Lago de Atitln Volcanic Arc Mount Aso Japan Kurile Lake Kamchatka Peninsula Okataina Volcanic Taupo Volcanic Zone Complex Maninjau Caldera Sunda Arc Aira Caldera Japan Campanian volcanic Campi Flegrei arc Maroa Caldera Taupo Volcanic Zone Reporoa Caldera Taupo Volcanic Zone Rotorua Caldera Taupo Volcanic Zone Andes, Southern Diamante Caldera Volcanic Zone Marysvale volcanic Monroe Peak Caldera field McDermitt volcanic Yellowstone hotspot field, South Mount Belknap Marysvale volcanic Caldera field Southwest Nevada Crater Flat Group volcanic field McDermitt volcanic Yellowstone hotspot field, North McDermitt volcanic Yellowstone hotspot field, South Caldera name

Date 6.1 Ma 1.23 Ma 1.3 Ma 1.15 Ma 2.9 Ma 15 Ma 13 Ma 7 Ma 11.45 Ma 84 ka 90 ka 41.5 ka 50 ka 52 ka 22 ka 37 ka 0.23 Ma 0.23 Ma 0.22 Ma 0.45 Ma 23 Ma 16.548 Ma 19 Ma 13.25 Ma 15.8 Ma 15.6 Ma

Tephra or eruption name Panizos Ignimbrite Ongatit Ignimbrite Mesa Falls Tuff Upper Bandelier eruption Pastos Grandes Ignimbrite Whitehorse Creek Tuff Belted Range Tuff Thirsty Canyon Tuff Timber Mountain Tuff Ammonia Tanks member Los Chocoyos eruption Golygin eruption Rotoiti Ignimbrite

Campanian Ignimbrite

Osiris Tuff Oregon Canyon Tuff Joe Lott member Crater Flat Tuff, Bullfrog member Trout Creek Mountains Tuff Longridge Tuff member 5


Caldera name

Volcanic arc/belt, subregion, or hotspot Yellowstone hotspot Yellowstone hotspot Sunda Arc Source unknown

Date 15.6 Ma 15.7 Ma Aug 2627, 1883 1809

Tephra or eruption name Longridge Tuff member 2-3 Double H Tuff

McDermitt volcanic field, South McDermitt volcanic 7 field, South 6 Krakatoa 6? Source unknown 6 Pago 6 Dakataua 6 Ceboruco 6 Katla 6 Quilotoa 6 Kuwae 6 Laacher See 6 Nevado de Toluca 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 Lvinaya Past Grmsvtn Ulleungdo Menengai Sakurajima Crater Lake Karymsky (volcano) Fisher Caldera Mount Pinatubo Mount St. Helens

Undocumented 1809 eruption[1]

6 Mount Hudson 6 Mount Pinatubo 6 Taal Volcano 6 Pago Long Island (Papua 6 New Guinea) 6 Black Peak 6 Macauley Island 6 Mount Hudson 6 Khangar 6 Mount Aniakchak

Bismarck Volcanic Arc 710 AD Bismarck Volcanic Arc 800 AD Trans-Mexican 930 AD Volcanic Belt Iceland 934-940 AD Eldgj eruption Andes, Northern 1280 Volcanic Zone Vanuatu 1452-53 Eifel hotspot 12.9 ka Trans-Mexican 10.5 ka Upper Toluca Pumice Volcanic Belt Kuril Islands 7480 BC Iceland 8230 BC South Korea 8750 BC East African rift 6050 BC Japan 6200 BC Cascade Volcanic Arc 5900 BC Kamchatka Peninsula 6600 BC Aleutian Islands 7420 BC Luzon Volcanic Arc 7460 BC Cascade Volcanic Arc 1860 BC Andes, Southern 1890 BC Volcanic Zone Luzon Volcanic Arc 3550 BC Luzon Volcanic Arc 3580 BC Bismarck Volcanic Arc 4000 BC Bismarck Volcanic Arc 2040 BC Aleutian Range Kermadec Islands Andes, Southern Volcanic Zone Kamchatka Peninsula Aleutian Range 1900 BC 4360 BC 4750 BC 5700 BC 5250 BC


Caldera name

6 Tao-Rusyr Caldera 6 Lake Mashu 6 Masaya Volcano 6 Grmsvtn Long Island (Papua 6 New Guinea) 6 Kolumbo, Santorini

Volcanic arc/belt, subregion, or hotspot Kuril Islands Japan Central America Volcanic Arc Iceland

Date 5550 BC 5550 BC 4050 BC 1783-85

Tephra or eruption name

Skaftreldar at Laki

Bismarck Volcanic Arc 1660

South Aegean Sep 27, 1650 Volcanic Arc Andes, Central February 19, 6 Huaynaputina Volcanic Zone 1600 Bougainville & 6 Billy Mitchell 1580 Solomon Is. 6 Brarbunga Iceland 1477 6 Mount Aso Japan 0.270 Ma 6 Emmons Lake caldera Aleutian Range 0.233 ka Lesser Antilles island 6 Morne Diablotins 30 ka arc Campanian volcanic 6 Mount Vesuvius 18.3 ka arc South Aegean 6 Kos-Nisyros Caldera 161 ka Volcanic Arc Trans-Mexican 6 Sierra La Primavera 95 ka Volcanic Belt 6 Emmons Lake caldera Aleutian Range 17 ka 6 Mount Aso Japan 120 ka Campanian volcanic 6 Campi Flegrei 14.9 Ma arc 6 Mount Veniaminof Aleutian Range 1750 BC 6 Mount Aniakchak Aleutian Range 1645 BC 6 Taupo Volcano Taupo Volcanic Zone 1460 BC 6 Pago Bismarck Volcanic Arc 1370 BC 6 Raoul Island Kermadec Islands 250 BC 6 Mount Pinatubo Luzon Volcanic Arc 1050 BC 6 Rabaul caldera Bismarck Volcanic Arc 540 AD Central America 6 Lake Ilopango 450 AD Volcanic Arc 6 Ksudach Kamchatka Peninsula 240 AD 6 Mount Churchill eastern Alaska, USA 700 AD 6 Mount Okmok Aleutian Islands 100 BC Central America 6 Apoyeque 50 BC Volcanic Arc 6 Mount Aso Japan 140 ka

Grand Savanne Ignimbrite Basal Pumice Kos Plateau Tuff Tala Tuff

Neapolitan Yellow Tuff

VEI 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 ?

Volcanic arc/belt, Date subregion, or hotspot Roccamonfina Caldera Campania, Italy 0.385 Ma Uzon-Geyzernaya Kamchatka Peninsula 0.28 Ma calderas Andes, Northern Galeras 0.56 Ma Volcanic Zone Central America Santa Mara Oct 24, 1902 Volcanic Arc Mount Pinatubo Luzon Volcanic Arc Jun 15, 1991 Novarupta Aleutian Range Jun 6, 1912 Mount Churchill eastern Alaska, USA 60 AD Ambrym Vanuatu 50 AD Campanian volcanic Campi Flegrei 39.28 ka arc Andes, Northern Galeras 150 ka Volcanic Zone Andes, Northern Galeras 40 ka Volcanic Zone Campanian volcanic Mount Vesuvius 16 ka arc Mount Tongariro Taupo Volcanic Zone 9650 BC Taupo Volcano Taupo Volcanic Zone 9460 BC Mount Tongariro Taupo Volcanic Zone 9450 BC Taupo Volcano Taupo Volcanic Zone 8130 BC Rotoma Caldera Taupo Volcanic Zone 7560 BC Campanian volcanic Mount Vesuvius 6940 BC arc Haroharo Caldera Taupo Volcanic Zone 6060 BC Avachinsky Kamchatka Peninsula 5980 BC Mayor Island/Tuhua Taupo Volcanic Zone 5560 BC Avachinsky Kamchatka Peninsula 4340 BC Haroharo Caldera Taupo Volcanic Zone 3580 BC Avachinsky Kamchatka Peninsula 3200 BC Campanian volcanic Mount Vesuvius 2420 BC arc Avachinsky Kamchatka Peninsula 1500 BC Avachinsky Kamchatka Peninsula 1350 BC Mount Tongariro Taupo Volcanic Zone 550 BC Garibaldi Volcanic Mount Meager 400 BC Belt Campanian volcanic Mount Vesuvius 79 AD arc Mount Tarawera Taupo Volcanic Zone Jun 10, 1886 Columbia River Basalt Yellowstone hotspot 17 Ma Caldera name

Tephra or eruption name

Campanian Tuff

Green Pumice

Mercato eruption tephra layer IAv1 tephra layer IAv12; AV4 tephra layer IAv20; AV3 Avellino eruption tephra layer IIAV3

Pompeii eruption

VEI ? ? ? ? ?

Caldera name Group Northwest Nevada volcanic field McDermitt volcanic field, South Lake Owyhee volcanic field Owyhee-Humboldt volcanic field Bruneau-Jarbidge volcanic field Twin Falls volcanic field Heise volcanic field Heise volcanic field Source unknown Valles Caldera Toba Caldera Toba Caldera Toba Caldera Southern Caldera, Santorini Yellowstone Caldera Skaros Caldera, Santorini Menengai Laguna Caldera Cape Riva Caldera, Santorini

Volcanic arc/belt, subregion, or hotspot Yellowstone hotspot? Yellowstone hotspot

Date 15.5 to 16.5 Ma 16 Ma

Tephra or eruption name

Hoppin Peaks Tuff

Yellowstone hotspot? 15 to 15.5 Ma Yellowstone hotspot Yellowstone hotspot Yellowstone hotspot Yellowstone hotspot Yellowstone hotspot Yellowstone hotspot Japan New Mexico, USA Sunda Arc Sunda Arc Sunda Arc South Aegean Volcanic Arc Yellowstone hotspot South Aegean Volcanic Arc East African rift Luzon Volcanic Arc South Aegean Volcanic Arc Andes, Central Volcanic Zone 12.8 to 13.9 Ma 10.0 to 12.5 Ashfall Fossil Beds eruption Ma 10.09 and Arbon Valley Tuffs 10.21 Ma 8.6 to 10 Ma 6.27 Ma 5.51 Ma 1.75 Ma 1.47 Ma 1.2 Ma 0.84 Ma 0.501 Ma 0.18 Ma 70-150 ka 70 ka 29 ka 27-29 ka 21 ka 19 Ma Oxaya Ignimbrites magmatic Walcott Tuff Conant Creek Tuff Ebisutoge-Fukuda tephras Lower Bandelier eruption Haranggoal Dacite Tuff Oldest Toba Tuff Middle Toba Tuff

? Picabo volcanic field ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?

? Source unknown

[edit] Further reading

List of largest volcanic eruptions

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (Redirected from World's largest eruptions) This is an incomplete list, which may never be able to satisfy particular standards for completeness. You can help by expanding it with reliably sourced entries.

The 1991 eruption of Mount Pinatubo, the largest eruption since 1912, is dwarfed by the eruptions in this list In a volcanic eruption, lava, tephra (volcanic bombs, lapilli, and ash), and various gases are expelled from a volcanic vent or fissure. While many eruptions only pose dangers to the immediately surrounding area, Earth's largest eruptions can have a major regional or even global impact, with some affecting the climate and contributing to mass extinctions.[1][2] Volcanic eruptions can generally be characterized as either explosive eruptions, sudden ejections of rock and ash, or effusive eruptions, relatively gentle outpourings of lava.[3] A separate list is given below for each type. All of the eruptions listed below have produced at least 1,000 km3 (240 cu mi) of lava and tephra; for explosive eruptions, this corresponds to a Volcanic Explosivity Index (or VEI) of 8.[4] They are at least a thousand times larger than the 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens which produced only 1 km3 (0.2 cu mi) of material,[5] and at least six times larger than the 1815 eruption of Mount Tambora, the largest eruption in recent history, which produced 160 km3 (38 cu mi) of volcanic deposits. There have probably been many such eruptions during Earth's history beyond those shown in these lists. However erosion and plate tectonics have taken their toll, and many eruptions have not left enough evidence for geologists to establish their size. Even for the eruptions listed here, estimates of the volume erupted can be subject to considerable uncertainty.[6]

Comparison of four large VEI 7 and 8 eruptions (left) with major recent eruptions (right), including the 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens (the smallest shown).


1 Explosive eruptions 2 Effusive eruptions 3 Large igneous provinces 4 See also 5 Notes 6 References

[edit] Explosive eruptions

Further information: Supervolcano#Massive explosive eruptions In explosive eruptions, the eruption of magma is driven by the rapid release of pressure, often involving the explosion of gas previously dissolved within the material. The most famous and destructive historical eruptions are mainly of this type. An eruptive phase can consist of a single eruption, or a sequence of several eruptions spread over several days, weeks or months. Explosive eruptions usually involve thick, highly viscous felsic magma, high in volatiles like water vapor and carbon dioxide. Pyroclastic materials are the primary product, typically in the form of tuff. Eruptions the size of that at Lake Toba 74,000 years ago (2800 km3 or more) occur worldwide every 50,000 to 100,000 years.[1][n 1] Volcano Eruption[7] Guarapuava TamaranaSarusas Santa MariaFria Guarapuava Ventura Sam Ignimbrite and Green Tuff Goboboseb Messum volcanic centreSpringbok quartz latite unit Caxias do Sul Grootberg La Garita Caldera Age (Ma)[n


Volume (km3)[n 3] 8,600 7,800 7,600 6,800



Paran and Etendeka traps Paran and ~132 Etendeka traps Paran and ~132 Etendeka traps 132 29.5 Yemen



Volume includes 5550 km of distal tuffs. This estimate is uncertain to a factor of 2 or 3.


Paran and 132 Etendeka traps, 6,340 Brazil and Namibia ~132 Paran and 5,650 Etendeka traps 27.8 San Juan volcanic 5,000



Commonly regarded as the


Volcano Eruption[7]

Age (Ma)[n


Volume (km3)[n 3]

Notes largest tuff ever measured on Earth, or largest confidentlymeasured tuff on earth. It is part of at least 20 large caldera-forming eruptions in the San Juan volcanic field and surrounding area that formed around 26 to 35 Ma.


Fish Canyon tuff

field, Colorado

JacuiGoboboseb II Ourinhos Khoraseb Jabal Kura'a Ignimbrite Windows Butte tuff Anita Garibaldi Beacon Indian Peak Caldera ComplexWah Wah Springs tuff Oxaya ignimbrites Lund Tuff

Paran and Etendeka traps Paran and ~132 Etendeka traps ~132 29.6 Yemen William's Ridge, central Nevada Paran and ~132 Etendeka traps 31.4 Eastern 29.5 Nevada/Western Utah 19 Chile

4,350 3,900 3,800 3,500 3,450 3,200 Volume estimate is uncertain to a factor of 2 or 3. Part of the Mid-Tertiary ignimbrite flare-up







29 Great Basin, USA 3,000

Lake Toba Youngest Toba Tuff Pacana Caldera Atana ignimbrite Iftar Alkalb Tephra 4 W Yellowstone caldera Huckleberry Ridge Tuff Whakamaru


Sunda Arc, Indonesia


Indian Peak Caldera Complex total volume over 10,000 [14][15] cubic km, Wah Wah Springs tuff being the largest Really a regional correlation of many ignimbrites originally [16] thought to be distinct Similar in composition to the [17] Fish Canyon Tuff Largest eruption on earth in at least the last 25 million years, responsible for the Toba [18] catastrophe theory, a population bottleneck of the human species Forms a resurgent caldera.

4 Chile 29.5 Afro-Arabian 2.059 0.254 Yellowstone hotspot

2,800 2,700 2,450


Largest Yellowstone eruption on record Largest in the Southern Hemisphere in the Late Quaternary


Taupo Volcanic 2,000 Zone, New Zealand


Volcano Eruption[7] Palmas BRA-21 Wereldsend Kilgore tuff Sana'a Ignimbrite Tephra 2W63 Millbrig eruptions Bentonites Blacktail tuff Emory Caldera Kneeling Nun tuff Timber Mountain tuff Paintbrush tuff (Topopah Spring Member) Bachelor Carpenter Ridge tuff BursumApache Springs Tuff Taupo Volcano Oruanui eruption Huaylillas Ignimbrite Bursum Bloodgood Canyon tuff Yellowstone CalderaLava Creek Tuff Cerro Galn Paintbrush tuff (Tiva Canyon

Age (Ma)[n


Volume (km3)[n 3] 1,900 1,800 1,600




Paran and Etendeka traps Near Kilgore, 4.3 Idaho

Last of the eruptions from the Heise volcanic field


29.5 Afro-Arabian


England, exposed One of the oldest large [7][23][24] 454 in Northern Europe 1,509[n 4] eruptions preserved and Eastern US First of several eruptions from [22] 6.5 Blacktail, Idaho 1,500 the Heise volcanic field Southwestern New [25] 33 1,310 Mexico Also includes a 900 cubic km Southwestern 11.6 1,200 tuff as a second member in the [26] Nevada tuff Related to a 1000 cubic km Southwestern tuff (Tiva Canyon Member) as [26] 12.8 1,200 Nevada another member in the Paintbrush tuff Part of at least 20 large caldera-forming eruptions in San Juan volcanic [11] 28 1,200 the San Juan volcanic field field and surrounding area that formed around 26 to 35 Ma Related to a 1050 cubic km Southern New 28.5 1,200 tuff, the Bloodgood Canyon [27] Mexico tuff Taupo volcanic 0.027 1,170 Most recent VEI 8 eruption [28] zone, New Zealand Predates half of the uplift of [29] 15 Bolivia 1,100 the central Andes 28.5 0.639 Southern New Mexico Yellowstone hotspot 1,050 1,000 1,000 1,000 Related to a 1200 cubic km tuff, the Apache Springs tuff Last large eruption in the Yellowstone National Park area Elliptical caldera is ~35 km wide Related to a 1200 cubic km tuff (Topopah Spring


Catamarca 2.2 Province, Argentina 12.7 Southwestern Nevada



Volcano Eruption[7] Member) San JuanSapinero Mesa Tuff

Age (Ma)[n


Volume (km3)[n 3]

Notes Member) as another member in the Paintbrush tuff Part of at least 20 large caldera-forming eruptions in the San Juan volcanic field and surrounding area that formed around 26 to 35 Ma Part of at least 20 large caldera-forming eruptions in the San Juan volcanic field and surrounding area that formed around 26 to 35 Ma Part of at least 20 large caldera-forming eruptions in the San Juan volcanic field and surrounding area that formed around 26 to 35 Ma Helped cause the exceptional preservation at Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument



San Juan volcanic 1,000 field


Uncompahgre Dillon & Sapinero Mesa Tuffs


San Juan volcanic 1,000 field


PlatoroChiquito Peak tuff


San Juan volcanic 1,000 field


Mount Princeton Wall Mountain tuff

Thirtynine Mile 35.3 volcanic area, Colorado



[edit] Effusive eruptions

Effusive eruption of lava from Krafla, Iceland Effusive eruptions involve a relatively gentle, steady outpouring of lava rather than large explosions. They can continue for years or decades, producing extensive fluid mafic lava flows. [33] For example, Klauea on Hawaii has continued erupting from 1983 to the present, producing 2.7 km3 (1 cu mi) of lava covering more than 100 km2 (40 sq mi).[34] The largest effusive eruption in history occurred in Iceland during the 17831784 eruption of Laki, which produced about 15 km3 (4 cu mi) of lava and killed one fifth of Iceland's population.[33] The ensuing disruptions to the climate may also have killed millions elsewhere.[35]

Eruption Mahabaleshwar Rajahmundry Traps (Upper) Wapshilla Ridge flows McCoy Canyon flow Umtanum flows Sand Hollow flow Pruitt Draw flow Museum flow Moonaree Dacite Rosalia flow Joseph Creek flow Ginkgo Basalt California Creek Airway Heights flow Stember Creek flow

Age (Ma)


Volume (km3)



64.8 Deccan traps, India 9,300 Columbia River ~15.5 Basalt Group, United States Columbia River 15.6 Basalt Group, United States Columbia River ~15.6 Basalt Group, United States Columbia River 15.3 Basalt Group, United States Columbia River 16.5 Basalt Group, United States Columbia River 15.6 Basalt Group, United States Gawler Range 1591 Volcanics, Australia Columbia River 14.5 Basalt Group, United States Columbia River 16.5 Basalt Group, United States Columbia River 15.3 Basalt Group, United States Columbia River 15.6 Basalt Group, United States Columbia River 15.6 Basalt Group, United States 5,000 10,000 4,300 2,750 2,660 2,350 2,350 2,050 1,900 1,850 1,600 1,500 1,200 One of the oldest large eruptions preserved Two flows with a total volume of 5,500 km3 Member comprises 810 flows with a total volume of ~50,000 km3













[edit] Large igneous provinces

Extent of the Siberian Traps large igneous province (map in German) Highly active periods of volcanism in what are called large igneous provinces have produced huge oceanic plateaus and flood basalts in the past. These can comprise hundreds of large eruptions, producing millions of cubic kilometers of lava in total. No large flood basalt type eruptions have occurred in human history, the most recent having occurred over 10 million years ago. They are often associated with breakup of supercontinents such as Pangea in the geologic record,[37] and may have contributed to a number of mass extinctions. Most large igneous provinces have either not been studied thoroughly enough to establish the size of their component eruptions, or are not preserved well enough to make this possible. Many of the eruptions listed above thus come from just two large igneous provinces: the Paran and Etendeka traps and the Columbia River Basalt Group. The latter is the most recent large igneous province, and also one of the smallest.[35] A list of large igneous provinces follows to provide some indication of how many large eruptions may be missing from the lists given here. Igneous province Age (Ma) Volume (millions of km3)


Notes Largest igneous body on Earth, later split into three widely separated oceanic plateaus, with a fourth component perhaps now accreted onto South America. Possibly linked to the Louisville hotspot. Linked to the Kerguelen hotspot. Volume includes Broken Ridge and the Southern and Central Kerguelen Plateau (produced 12095 Ma), but not the Northern Kerguelen Plateau (produced after 40 Ma). Linked to the Iceland hotspot.


Ontong Java Manihiki Hikurangi Plateau

121 Southwest Pacific Ocean

5977[n 5]


Kerguelen Plateau Broken Ridge


South Indian Ocean, Kerguelen Islands

17[n 5]


North Atlantic Igneous Province

55.5 North Atlantic Ocean

6.6[n 6]


Igneous province

Age (Ma)


Volume (millions of km3)



Mid-Tertiary ignimbrite flare-up Caribbean large igneous province

Southwest United States: mainly in Colorado, 32.5 Nevada, Utah, and New Mexico Caribbean-Colombian oceanic plateau


Mostly andesite to rhyolite explosive (.5 km3) to effusive (5 km3) [44] eruptions, 2540 Ma. Includes many volcanic centers, including the San Juan volcanic field. Linked to the Galpagos hotspot.


Siberian Traps 249.4 Siberia, Russia


Possibly the largest outpouring of lava on land ever recorded, thought to [46] have caused PermianTriassic extinction, largest mass extinction event ever. Formed as Gondwana broke up Linked to the Tristan hotspot Formed as Pangea broke up May have helped kill the dinosaurs. Along with Siberian Traps, may have contributed to the PermianTriassic extinction event. Consists of at least 150 individual flows. Associated with silicic, explosive tuffs

Karoo-Ferrar Paran and Etendeka traps Central Atlantic Magmatic Province Deccan Traps Emeishan Traps Coppermine River Group Afro-Arabian flood volcanism Columbia River Basalt Group

Mainly Southern Africa and Antarctica. Also South 183 2.5 America, India, Australia and New Zealand 133 Brazil/Angola and Namibia 2.3 200 Laurasia continents 65.5 Deccan Plateau, India 2 1.5




256.5 Southwestern China Mackenzie Large Igneous Province/Canadian Shield Ethiopia/Yemen/Afar, Arabian-Nubian Shield Pacific Northwest, United States


1267 28.5 16

0.65 0.35