Illustrated Volcano Glossary
pyroclastic flow | rhyolite | shield volcano | skylight | smoke ring | tephrite | tephritic | tumulus | VAAC | viscosity | volcanic dike | Volcanology
- VolcanologyFluid avalanche of turbulently mixed ash, lava and or rock fragments, and air, that flows down the flanks of a volcano, driven by gravity. Pyroclastic flows are usually very hot and highly destructive.
A pyroclastic flow is a ground-hugging avalanche of hot ash, pumice, rock fragments, and volcanic gas that rushes down the side of a volcano as fast as 100 km/hour or more. The temperature within a pyroclastic flow may be greater than 500°C, sufficient to burn wood. Once deposited, the ash, pumice, and rock fragments may deform (flatten) and weld together because of the intense heat and the weight... -> See whole entry
- VolcanologyA type of highly viscous magma with high silica content; it is found as pumice (in airfall deposits or ignimbrites), lava or obsidian. Rhyolite is also the name given to the volcanic rock formed from rhyolitic magma.
- VolcanologyShield volcanoes are volcanoes that mainly erupt fluid (usually basaltic) lava flows that are able to travel over long distances and thus construct over time broad, gentle slopes. They are called shield volcanoes, because they resemble the shape of a warriors' shield.
Shield volcanoes are volcanoes that mainly erupt fluid (usually basaltic) lava flows that are able to travel over long distances and thus construct over time broad, gentle slopes. They are called shield volcanoes, because they resemble the shape of a warriors' shield.
While stratovolcanoes, the other major morphological type of volcanoes, are representative for most subduction-type volcanoes, sh... -> See whole entry
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- VolcanologySkylights are openings in the roof above a lava tube, from where the flowing lava flow can be seen. Usually, these holes are caused by the simple collapse of the roof of the tube.
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- Volcanology: volcanic smoke ring, gas ring, steam ringA rare phenomenon, where a visible vortex ring of steam and gas is expelled from a volcanic vent.
Under special conditions, gas and steam expelled from a vent can form gas rings. It probably requires a particular geolometric configuration of a circular vent exit, as well as expulsion of gas in individual puffs with just the right velocity.
This phenomenon is quite rare, but has been witnessed at several volcanoes, including Stromboli and Etna. At Etna, a spectacular period lasting several mo... -> See whole entry
- VolcanologyTephrite is an type of volcanic (extrusive) rock with low silica content, similar to basalt, but containing foid minerals (e.g. nephelinite, leucite) along with plagioclase. The composition of tephrite is called tephritic.
- VolcanologyTephritic refers to the mineral composition of tephrite, an type of volcanic (extrusive) rock with low silica content, similar to basalt, but containing foid minerals (e.g. nephelinite, leucite) along with plagioclase.
- VolcanologyFrom Latin "tumulus" = "little hill", tumuli (pl.) are uplifted sections of pahoehoe lava crust caused by pressure from still fluid lava accumulating beneath the hardened crust.
Tumuli are a characteristic feature of all pahoehoe lava flow fields, such as prominent on Kilauea volcano, Hawaii, but also many other basaltic volcanoes including Etna. -> See whole entry
- Volcanology: Volcanic Ash Advisory CentreVolcanic Ash Advisory Centers (VAAC) are research centres who monitor volcanic ash clouds in real time. Each time, a volcano erupts a significant ash cloud, short reports are issued and transmitted directly to air control centres. The 9 VAAC are located in London, Toulouse, Tokyo, Darwin, Anchorage, Washington, Montreal and Buenos Aireas and collectively cover most of the globe.
The Volcanic Ash Advisory Centers (VAAC) are groups of experts and government-funded bodies to montor volcanic ash clouds all over the planet in real time. As Europe experienced in April 2010, volcanic ash clouds are hazardous for aircraft and must be avoided to fly through, even if that means cancellation of flights.
As of 2010, there are 9 VAAC located in different areas and each focussing m... -> See whole entry
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- VolcanologyThe ability of a liquid to flow. Basalt magma has a relatively low viscosity making it runny, whereas rhyolite magma has a high viscosity making the magma thick and sticky.
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- Volcanology: volcanic dikePathways of rising magma inside vertical fissures.
Dikes are imaginable as the veins of a volcano, the pathways of rising magma. A dike is called a -usually more or less vertical- flat, sheet-like magma body that cuts unconformingly through older rocks or sediments.
Most dikes can be described as fractures into which magma intrudes or from which they might erupt. The fracture can be caused by the intrusion of pressurized magma, or vice versa, ... -> See whole entry
- VolcanologyThe science of studying volcanoes.
Volcanology comprises the study of volcanoes and volcanic phenomena and is mostly regarded as a sub-part of geology, but is interwoven with other science disciplines as well: chemistry, physics, but also sociology, history, archaeology. -> See whole entry