Explosive Volcanic Eruptions

  • A.W. Woods
Part of the Lecture Notes in Physics book series (LNP, volume 582)


During explosive volcanic eruptions, up to 1014 kg of volcanic ash may be erupted from a vent forming violent ash flows or towering eruption columns. This massive amount of material is subsequently deposited on the ground, with much of the coarser fraction of the flow being deposited within a few hundred kilometres of the volcanic edifice. This may lead to a substantial regional change to the topography, with ash flow deposits being tens to hundreds of metres deep and air-fall deposits being several metres deep. In addition, the eruption of such a large mass of material from a volcanic edifice may lead to collapse of the crust above the sub-surface magma reservoir. This leads to the formation of calderas which are large depressions in the surface topography, often extending tens of kilometres in diameter and being several hundred metres deep. In summary, explosive volcanic eruptions can produce major changes in surface topography owing to the very powerful transport and redistribution of mass. In this contribution, we aim to develop quantitative models to predict the dynamics and deposition patterns of this erupted material, and where possible we compare this with field data.


Magma Reservoir Eruption Column Eruption Rate Runout Distance Turbulent Drag 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    S. Bower, A.W. Woods: J. Volc. and Geoth. Res. 73, 19–32 (1996)CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    P. Bruce, H.E. Huppert: ‘Solidification and melting in dykes’. In: Ryan, MP, Magma Transport and Storage (Wiley, New York 1989) pp. 87–101Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    M.I. Bursik, A.W. Woods: Bull. Volc. 58, 175–193 (1996)CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    S.N. Carey, H. Sigurdsson, R.S.J. Sparks: J. Geophys. Res. 93, 15314–15328 (1988)ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    B. Dade, H.E. Huppert: Nature 381, 509–512 (1996)CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    J. Eichelberger, C. Carrigan, H. Westrich, R. Price: Nature 323, 598–602 (1986)CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    P. Lipman, D. Mullineaux: USGS Prof. Pap. 1250. The 1980 eruptions of Mount St Helens, Washington, USA (1981)Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    B. Morton, G.I. Taylor, J.S. Turner: Proc. Roy. Soc. A256, 1–23 (1956)MathSciNetADSGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    R.S.J. Sparks, M.I. Bursik, S.N. Carey, J. Gilbert, J. Glaze, H. Sigurdsson, A.W. Woods: Volcanic Plumes (Wiley, New York 1997)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    G. Veitch, A.W. Woods: J. Geophys. Res. 105, 2829–2842 (2000)CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    C.N.J. Wilson: Phil. Trans. Roy. Soc. Lond. A314, 229–310 (1985)CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    L. Wilson, R.S.J. Sparks, G.P.L. Walker: Geophy. J. Roy. Astron. Soc. 63, 117–148 (1980)Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    A.W. Woods: Phil. Trans. Roy. Soc. Lond. A358, 1705–1724 (2000)CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    A.W. Woods, S.N. Bower: Earth Plan. Sci. Lett. 131, 189–205 (1995)CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    A.W. Woods, M.I. Bursik: Bull. Volcanol. 53, 559–570 (1991)CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    A.W. Woods, M.I. Bursik, A. Kurbatov: Bull. Volc. 60, 38–51 (1998)CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    A.W. Woods, C.P. Caulfield: J. Geophys. Res. 97, 6699–6712 (1992)ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    A.W. Woods, J.C. Phillips: J. Volc. Geoth. Res. 92, 259–270 (1999)CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • A.W. Woods
    • 1
  1. 1.BP InstituteUniversity of CambridgeCambridgeEngland

Personalised recommendations