Related topics: volcano

Volcanic ash particles under the microscope

Volcanic ash is hazardous to many aspects of our lives. When airborne, it can damage aircraft: its particles abrade aeroplane surfaces and can even cause failure to critical instruments. Once the ash falls, it can harm our ...

2018's biggest volcanic eruption of sulfur dioxide

The Manaro Voui volcano on the island of Ambae in the nation of Vanuatu in the South Pacific Ocean made the 2018 record books. A NASA-NOAA satellite confirmed Manaro Voui had the largest eruption of sulfur dioxide that year.

Geological fingerprinting of volcanic ash

Volcanic ash consists of tiny particles containing minerals and glass. LMU researchers have now used a new analytical technique based on quantitative chemical analysis under a scanning electron microscope to link their surface ...

Death near the shoreline, not life on land

Our understanding of when the very first animals started living on land is helped by identifying trace fossils—the tracks and trails left by ancient animals—in sedimentary rocks that were deposited on the continents.

Guatemala's Fuego volcano erupts again

Guatemala's deadly Fuego volcano erupted anew early Friday, unleashing a 600-meter flow of lava and sending clouds of ash spiralling into the sky.

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Volcanic ash

Volcanic ash consists of small tephra, which are bits of pulverized rock and glass created by volcanic eruptions, less than 2 millimetres (0.079 in) in diameter. There are three mechanisms of volcanic ash formation: gas release under decompression causing magmatic eruptions; thermal contraction from chilling on contact with water causing phreatomagmatic eruptions and ejection of entrained particles during steam eruptions causing phreatic eruptions. The violent nature of volcanic eruptions involving steam results in the magma and solid rock surrounding the vent being torn into particles of clay to sand size. Volcanic ash can lead to breathing problems, malfunctions in machinery, and from more severe eruptions, years of global cooling.

Ash deposited on the ground after an eruption is known as ashfall deposit. Significant accumulations of ashfall can lead to the immediate destruction of most of the local ecosystem, as well the collapse of roofs on man-made structures. Over time, ashfall can lead to the creation of fertile soils. Ashfall can also become cemented together to form a solid rock called tuff. Over geologic time, the ejection of large quantities of ash can produce an ash cone.

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