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Styles of Eruptions

and
Volcanic Hazards
Styles of volcanic eruptions
 Some volcanoes may erupt only once
- monogenetic (Diamond Head)
 Other volcanoes erupt many times -
polygenetic (Kilauea)
 Some erupt very gently (Kilauea)
 Others are very violent and explosive
(Mt. St. Helens, Mt. Pinatubo)
 How come?
Explosive volcanoes found
associated with subduction zones

 Explosiveness is a function of magma


viscosity (resistance to flow)
 Magmas that generate the explosive
volcanoes are much more viscous
than the non-explosive magmas
 More silica, cooler magma, more gas
Hawaiian magmas

 Not very explosive


 Not very viscous
 Low silica, hot magma, moderate gas content
Eruptive styles are
Classified by level of eruption
explosiveness
I. Flood eruptions
 Least explosive eruptions
 Very fluid basalt erupted in very large
quantities VERY FAST
 Lavas erupted over large areas

 Thought to develop as hot spots burn


thru crust
Columbia
Plateau
More than
420,000
cubic km
of lava
Flood basalts
II. Hawaiian-type eruptions
Hawaiian-type eruptions

 The next least explosive kind of


eruption
 Fluid magmas with small amounts of
gas
 Eruptions relatively gentle

 Periodically have a violent eruption but


very rare - Drive in volcanoes
Hawaiian-type eruptions
Build shield volcanoes
Surtseyan phreatoplinian
Fragmentation (grain size)

Plinian
Peléan
Vulcanian
Strombolian

Intensity (dispersal)
Modified from Julia Sable

Styles of explosive volcanism


III. Strombolian eruptions
 Named for volcanic island off coast of Italy
 Characterized by less fluid lavas
 Moderate explosive activity
 Tephra common
 Lots of ash blankets country side
 Basalt and andesite common
 Large steep-sided composite volcanoes built by
repeated Strombolian eruptions
More explosive eruptions
Build composite cones
Mt. Shasta,
California

‘A’a flows
IV. Vulcanian eruptions

 Characterized by more viscous lavas


 “Stubbly” flows are common

 Lots of ash

 Andesite most common


Arenal Volcano, Costa Rica
V. Peléan eruptions

 Named for 1902 eruptions of Mount


Pelée on Martinique in the
Caribbean
Mt. Pelé
eruption
Almost
30,000
people
were killed
instantly
Peléan eruptions

 Lavas highly viscous, very explosive


 Explosive eruption of highly gas-charged
lava leads to nuée ardente (glowing
avalanche) or pyroclastic flow which
move at 60+ kph and are 300deg C inside
 Don’t outrun these guys!!!
Pyroclastic flows
formed during 1968
eruption of Mt. Mayon

Ash cloud is 30,000 ft


high

Flows caused by ash


cloud collapse or
lava dome collapse
VI. Plinian Eruption
most powerful eruption

 Named for Roman naturalist killed in


explosion of Mt. Vesuvius in 79 A.D
 Very destructive

 Accompanied by major collapse


Plinian Eruption
Mt. St. Helens is good example

before during
Plinian = most powerful eruption

 Crater Lake in Oregon formed by similar


explosive eruption
 Ash from this volcano (Mt. Mazama)
found all over the Pacific Northwest &
as far east as the Mississippi River!
Plinian = most powerful
eruption
 Greatest Plinian eruptions of modern
times:
 1813 explosion of Tambora volcano
(eastern Indonesia)
 1883 explosion of Krakatau (Sunda
Strait between Java and Sumatra)
 Explosion heard in northern Australian, 2400
km away
Other Recent Eruptions

 Pinatubo = Vulcanian-type eruption


 Mt. Unzen (Japan,1991) -- generated a
number of lava domes that collapsed,
sending pyroclastic flows down the side
of the volcano, so it can be classified as a
Peléan eruption
Volcanoes & Plate Tectonics

 OK. So, where do you find all these


volcanic eruptive styles?
 Flood eruptions - atop hot spots
 Hawaiian - at hot spots & along MOR
 All the rest are associated with subduction!
Surtseyan phreatoplinian
Fragmentation (grain size)

Plinian
Peléan
Vulcanian
Strombolian

Intensity (dispersal)

Styles of explosive volcanism


What are the hazards?
Volcanic
Hazards
1. Lava
Flows
Volcanic Hazards
2. Falling Tephra
Like one sees at the
beginning of the
movie Dante’s Peak.
Falling tephra in Yakima, Washington
during Mt. St. Helens eruption
More Volcanic Hazards

 Pyroclastic flows
 Mudflows - Lahars

 Toxic volcanic gases


Hazards in Hawaii
Lava flows
Note:
The next few slides are courtesy of
G&G graduate student Chris Gregg
Lava Flow Hazard
Zone Map of Hawaii

Historic Eruptions
Mauna Loa:
33 flows since 1843
5 reached ocean in Kona
Hualalai:
3 flows since ~1800
2 reached ocean in Kona
High effusion rates:
3-12 x 106 m3 day -1

Steep slopes > 6 %:


Hualalai: >50 %
Mauna Loa: 35 %
Kilauea: <5 %

Fast transit times:


< 24
hours
Lava Flows
From Hualalai and
Mauna Loa That
Have Affected
Kailua-Kona
1877
Resorts

Airport
Subdivision

Hualalai’s last eruptions (c. 1800-1801)


MAUNA LOA’s
Radial Vents (33)
and Rift Zones

Historic radial vent


eruptions: 1843,
1859, 1877, 1935
Typical Mauna Loa
Eruptions:
Summit followed by
fissure eruptions
What Controls the Flow Paths
of Lava Flows? Topography

What Controls the Speed of


Lava Flows? Slope angle,
surface roughness, eruption
rate, lava type (viscosity)
1950 Eruption:
Flow velocities
16-48 km/hr

Note that all of these hazards are associated with the big island! How come?
Worst volcanic hazards often
occur after major eruptions
 Ash covers sides of volcano
 Ash becomes unstable during heavy
rain
 Ash mud flow - LAHARS
 10 years+ after Pinatubo eruption,
mudflows were still killing people
LAHAR - ASH MUD FLOW
Volcanic gases

 Very dangerous
 CO2, CO, SO2, H2S, HCl and HF
Hawaiian volcanoes

 Do not usually emit enough gas to


harm people
 Except for Vog which forms as
volcano erupts and as lava enters the
ocean (Even reaches O`ahu with
Kona wind)
Attempts to control flows
 In the past, people have tried to control,
direct lava flows by:
 Diverting the flow with barriers built with
bulldozers
 Diverting by bombing one or all of the
following locations - the vent, edge of a flow,
tube entrance
 Water the flow front - not very successful!
Avoiding volcanic hazards

 Predict them
 Volcanologists getting good at predicting
eruptions of dangerous volcanoes
 Mt. St. Helens, Unzen and Pinatubo

 But, missed 1993 Mayon eruption


Predictions eruptions
 Mostly made based on monitoring:
 Seismic activity increases
 Ground tilting

 Increased heat flow

 Increase in %sulfur in volcanic gas

 Because magma is moving into


shallow levels under volcano!
Cyclic nature of Kilauea eruptions
Wai`anae
Volcano
Ko`olau
Volcano
Thurston Lava Tube
Meteorites have struck
the Earth in the past.
Many meteorites are made
of iron and nickel.
We think this represents
material of planets similar
to Earth.
Earth’s interior (core) is
probably also composed of
iron and nickel.
The end!