Talk:Types of volcanic eruptions

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Good article Types of volcanic eruptions has been listed as one of the Natural sciences good articles under the good article criteria. If you can improve it further, please do so. If it no longer meets these criteria, you can reassess it.
August 14, 2010 Good article nominee Listed
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Disagree with speedy deletion[edit]

I disagree with the speedy deletion nomination of this page. The tag is completely wrong- this is not a non-notable group of people, at all, it is a description of the different types of volcanic eruptions. There is no reason to delete this page, unless it is original research, which I do not believe it is. It needs sources, wikifying and sections, but the content of the article and its style of writing is sound. I will now contact the page author to ask them about sources. J Milburn 16:37, 14 January 2007 (UTC)

this article adds nothing[edit]

to the information already available in Volcano. Paul 16:40, 14 January 2007 (UTC)

I have not read the article from start to end, but I cannot see this information anywhere. Could you be more precise? Where is it explained in the Volcano article? J Milburn 16:56, 14 January 2007 (UTC)

Rewrite[edit]

I am currently in the process of rewriting the article, so that it is not a copyright violation, in my sandbox. Please do not delete it in the mean time. J Milburn 17:06, 14 January 2007 (UTC)

Done. J Milburn 17:24, 14 January 2007 (UTC)

much better[edit]

Good work - thanks for cleaning it up. Paul 17:28, 14 January 2007 (UTC)

Hawaiian eruption[edit]

In compiling information from various places on Wikipedia to improve Hawaiian eruption beyond stub status, I removed the description of Hawaiian eruptions from this page because it appeared to be WP:COPYVIO from a book called Geology Super Review. Further research, however, appears to reveal that the original source of the text was a U.S. government publication. So I'll restore the text but add a link to the above USGS glossary. Sorry for the confusion. PubliusFL 20:17, 1 April 2007 (UTC)

All information was originally copied from the link at the bottom by a new editor, and then edited by me to stop it being a copyvio. I'll move the external link to the references section. J Milburn 20:22, 1 April 2007 (UTC)


What is the difference?[edit]

It is not clear what is the the difference between Plinian and Vesuvian types of eruptions. Aren't these two names of one type? After all, the Plinian was named after the Mount Vesuvius eruption first description by Pliny the Younger.

I agree with the unsigned comment. I've read they were actually named for Pliny the Elder who died during the 79 eruption. I'm removing Vesuvian from the list. Anynobody 09:43, 24 May 2007 (UTC)

Plinian eruptions are so named because of the description written by Pliny the Younger in his letter to his Uncle Tacitus describing what had happened to his father Pliny the Elder. That letter remains an example of objective, impersonal subjective observation and writing. His description of the eruption column resembling a pine tree is mistaken by many as meaning the northern pine which is more commonly known as the Christmas Tree. The pine tree that Pliny refers to is the Mediterranean Pine or Stone Pine (Pinus pinea). It has a stem which is almost totally evoid of foliage, but the branches form a crown and spread out like an umbrella. It was in the latter half of the 20th Century that volcanologists began to refer to vesuvian eruptions as Plinian and the name is now becoming more widespread in its use. The term "vesuvian eruption" followed a convention that eruption styles were based upon the first place that the style of eruption was observed.The Geologist (talk) 17:46, 22 August 2013 (UTC)

Paroxysmal Eruptions[edit]

I came across a similar list in a Time-Life Planet Earth series book, "Volcano". However, it featured an additional category of eruption: the paroxysmal eruption. Quoting from the book (pg. 69): "Paroxysmal eruption: As viscous, high-pressure magma explodes from a large, shallow reservoir -- at Krakatoa in Indonesia or Santorini in Greece, for example -- it may span the spectrum of volcanism for days on end: A Plinian ash column shoots miles into the stratosphere, glowing avalanches sweep downward, and tens of cubic miles of airborne ejecta bury the countryside. After such eruptions, the entire volcano often collapses piecemeal into its empty magma chamber[;] the resulting caldera, a basin many miles across and perhaps a mile deep, may be filled by the ocean or by a lake like Oregon's Crater Lake." It seems like this category is worth adding, and I will do so if there are no objections, sinice the type of eruption that produces a Krakatau, Thera, Mazama, or Toba event is on a whole other scale of force compared to a Plinian eruption of the Vesuvian model. Sacxpert (talk) 13:11, 14 February 2008 (UTC)

I've often seen these eruptions called ultra-Plinian, rather than paroxysmal. "Paroxysmal" is also used more generally; there are hundreds of Google hits for "paroxysmal eruption" Vesuvius, for instance, and it is suggested as a descriptor for smaller VEI 5 eruptions. Some authors at least seem to end their list of eruption types at Plinian, treating ultra-Plinian eruptions as just a much larger version (see e.g. Volcanology by Jacques-Marie Bardintzeff & Alexander McBirney (2000), pp 98-99). I think we should cast a broader net than one Time-Life book before deciding whether to add this, and if so what to call it. -- Avenue (talk) 10:17, 15 February 2008 (UTC)
There doesn't seem to be much material readily available to explain where paroxysmal eruptions fit into the scheme of volcano classification. However, the name alone is a strong clue to the nature of a paroxysmal sequence eruption, and that is characterised by a sudden onset of severe explosive activity (see definitions for use of the term 'paroxysm' in medicine for a comparison). It should be made clear that any of the more energetic types of eruption MAY be called paroxysmal, and therefore virtually ANY eruption involving sudden severe explosive ejections could be correctly termed paroxysmal. Although this term has largely fallen from favour within the earth sciences, it can still be found in literature, and therefore needs some explanation. Until somebody can do better, I have inserted a sentence in the section on 'Eruption mechanisms' to try and explain this, as there is no other article which attempts to do so. Unfortunately I have not been able to locate a suitable source for this information as yet, so have marked it as requiring citation. Peter b (talk) 04:17, 2 March 2012 (UTC)

Paroxysm in the volcanic sense refers to any volcanic activity resulting in lava, ash being ejected. The opposite term "Hiatus" refers to the period when the volcano is active but resting and is not to be confused with a period of dormancy.The Geologist (talk) 17:46, 22 August 2013 (UTC)

you may be missing the point[edit]

There are three Types of volcanic eruption: Magmatic, Phreatomagmatic and Phreatic. Magmatic and phreatomagmatic eruptions produce juvenile clasts or new material, phreatic does not. magmatic eruptions do not include water. There are three mechanisms of ash formation: gas release under decompression causing magmatic eruptions; thermal contraction from chilling on contact with water causing phreatomagmatic eruptions and ejection entrained particles during steameruptions causing phreatic eruptions (Heiken & Wohletz 1985). The Types that you have listed are merely aspects of these groups,a hawaiian, strombolian, vulcanian, plinian these are all types of MAGMATIC eruption, with the different eruption styles being a result of varying mass flux. Ta-aalian, surtseyan and phreato-plinian are all types of phreatomagmatic eruption, with the only difference being the varying mass flux and the varying ratio of mass flux of lava to mass flux of water. For example a surtseyan eruption style is a phreatomagmatic eruption caused by thermal contraction on contact with water, where the mass flux of magma is relatively low compared to the mass flux of an ocean or large lake. The phreato-plinian on the other hand would have relatively equal mass flux of water and magma caused by, for example rising magma interacting with an acquifer. A distinction also needs to be made between effusive and explosive eruption; Hawaiian is effusive, strombolian is explosive [B] both[/B] are magmatic.

So a vesuvian eruption is also a type of plinian eruption

Reference cited: Heiken, G. & Wohletz, K. 1985. Volcanic Ash. University of California Press, Berkeley. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Russjass (talkcontribs) 13:12, 12 May 2008 (UTC)

Although your observations are correct in respect of causation, the classifications discussed here are based on the overall violence (energy and mass release) exhibited by a given eruption, and hence a relative measure of the potential human/planetary impact. This is to some extent quantified by the VEI, but both schemes are useful and continue to be widely used. Peter b (talk) 04:52, 2 March 2012 (UTC)

Difference between plinian and vesuvian[edit]

Plinian and vesuvian and strombolian etc are all magmatic eruptions as i have said above. they are distinguished by eruption column height and mass flux with hawaiian fire fountains being the lowest and ultra-plinian being the heighest. Paraxysmal is a term that is not used any more. The column height of many old and ancient eruptions cannot be known, nor can mass flux, but they can be estimated by isopleth mapping of the tephra apron, wich will give an estimation. the system is subjective due to the relative ease with which tephra can be eroded, for example the 1991 eruption of Pinatubo, within months the majority of tephra had been reworked into the sea, giving very very conservative estimates of the column height, which were much lower than the observed column.

Phreatomagmatic eruptions are plotted on a different scale, because the eruptive mechanisms are too different to compare, but mass flux and column height are the distinguiching characteristics.

Russjass (talk) 13:33, 12 May 2008 (UTC)

Phreatomagmatic eruptions involve an interaction of hot magma and water. The first recorded eruption was that of Surtsey in 1963, which was an underwater strombolian eruption. Only when the ocean was prevented from entering the vent did it become more correctly a strombolian eruption. The resultant interaction of water and magma produces an extremely fine slurry which shows lamination and is usually welded formimg welded tuffs. The reusultant rock is usually a pale creamy yellow and often includes larger - 2 to 3 cm clasts plus occasional bombs.The Geologist (talk) 17:46, 22 August 2013 (UTC)

Peléan[edit]

Should I put the origins of the name of this eruption? Firio (talk) 17:40, 24 February 2009 (UTC)

No, because I already did. --The High Fin Sperm Whale (talk) 18:12, 22 October 2009 (UTC)

I have altered the description of the spine associated with the 1902 activity at Mount Pelée. Pictures taken before the eruption clearly show NO SPINE had formed - it formed towards the end of the activity several weeks or months after the 8th May 1902 eruption. Local observations prior to the eruption also do not make any mention of a spine.The Geologist (talk) 17:17, 25 May 2014 (UTC)

Antarctica Eruption[edit]

I think that it seems rather out of place. If it took place under a glacier, shouldn't it be a subglacial eruption? Thus, I see no reason why it should be put there arnd on the page "Volcano" because it was just another eruption. Sure, it might have beeen a very large eruption, but then it should be given its own page, if it hasn't been given one already. --Guanlong wucaii —Preceding undated comment added 09:01, 2 June 2009 (UTC).

I agree. If the eruption happened under an ice sheet it would therefore be a subglacial eruption. --The High Fin Sperm Whale (talk) 18:10, 22 October 2009 (UTC)

Kelud[edit]

Why does the article call Kelud 'Mt Kelut' when the WP article itself is named 'Kelud'? Also, I see the name Kelud/Kelut (without a 'Mt' in front) more often. --Guanlong wucaii 12:41, 4 February 2010 (UTC)

VEI[edit]

I think it would be worth including a link to the Volcanic Explosivity Index page, as this is an important part of classifying eruptions.

TimKasoar (talk) 10:31, 4 June 2010 (UTC)

Tisk...[edit]

This page is an absolute mess! I should probably get to it, after I'm done with Seamount. ResMar 02:44, 26 July 2010 (UTC)

Comming out good. Volcanoguy 22:55, 1 August 2010 (UTC)
It's at GAN now. ResMar 01:46, 10 August 2010 (UTC)

Name[edit]

Is there any real reason why this article can't be named volcanic eruption? Articles with "types of ..." in the title would normally be lists, and this is more than a list. JFW | T@lk 06:13, 11 August 2010 (UTC)

Volcanic Eruptions[edit]

'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 eruptionItalic texts are another type of volcanic eruption, driven by a 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 "Ulta Plinian." Subglacial and Phreatic eruptions are defined by their eruptive mechanism, and vary in strength. An important measure of erruptive strength is Volcanic Explosivity Index (VEI), a magnitudic scale ranging from 0 to 8 that often correlates to eruptive types.'Bold text —Preceding unsigned comment added by IloveMirza (talkcontribs) 12:47, 11 August 2010 (UTC)

GA Review[edit]

This review is transcluded from Talk:Types of volcanic eruptions/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

Reviewer: Xover (talk) 11:30, 14 August 2010 (UTC)

A well written and informative article on an interesting topic. Full review to follow. --Xover (talk) 11:30, 14 August 2010 (UTC)

GA review – see WP:WIAGA for criteria


A well written and informative article on an interesting topic.

  1. Is it reasonably well written?
    A. Prose quality:
    B. MoS compliance:
    The only issue is that there's a list facing a left-aligned image in the Subglacial section.
  2. Is it factually accurate and verifiable?
    A. References to sources:
    B. Citation of reliable sources where necessary:
    C. No original research:
  3. Is it broad in its coverage?
    A. Major aspects:
    B. Focused:
  4. Is it neutral?
    Fair representation without bias:
  5. Is it stable?
    No edit wars, etc:
  6. Does it contain images to illustrate the topic?
    A. Images are copyright tagged, and non-free images have fair use rationales:
    B. Images are provided where possible and appropriate, with suitable captions:
    Excellent use of pictures to illustrate the topic, including several Featured Pictures. One issue is File:VEIfigure en.svg in the Eruption mechanisms section, which needs to be larger so that the text is legible.
  7. Overall:
    Pass or Fail:
    Excellent treatment and a great article. My recommendation would be to get thee to WP:FAC post-haste.


Excellent article, that certainly qualifies on the Good Article criteria. My only reservation is that, despite the high-school paper on Surtsey I once wrote, I'm not a subject matter expert, so I can't vouch for specific issues of balance or controversy; but I see no reason to believe such exist. Passing the article (as soon as I figure out the various administrativa ;D).

Kudos on great work in this article! --Xover (talk) 12:16, 14 August 2010 (UTC)

Subglacial eruption[edit]

Quote, former wiki text: "Only five of these types of eruptions have occurred in historical times, often in very remote regions, ("Kinds of Volcanic Eruptions". Volcano World. Oregon State University. Retrieved 5 August 2010. )..." I think this revision is wrong. Does not a subglacial eruption only occur when tuyas are formed ??? --Chris.urs-o (talk) 15:17, 30 August 2010 (UTC)

Subglacial eruptions can also occur without the formation of a tuya. They can happen when subglacial mounds are being formed or when shields, calderas, etc erupt under ice sheets. The only historical subglacial eruptions I know of took place in Iceland. Volcanoguy 00:30, 4 June 2011 (UTC)

Other planets and moons[edit]

I would very much like to understand more about volcanic eruptions on Jupiter's moon Io and other non-Earth instances. How does the liquid magma on such a cold far-from-the-sun extra-terrestrial body, Io, compare to that on Earth? Do we believe that it is the same type of gases causing the eruptions? Do we gain any new understanding about volcanic eruptions from witnessing them on other moons or planets? Are there surprising results that do not fit with what is expected? Please provide a chapter on extra-terrestrial volcanic eruptions. --Sally Seaver Shabaka72.74.241.10 (talk) 03:13, 15 July 2011 (UTC)

Volcanism on Io is a Featured article. ResMar 03:10, 2 March 2012 (UTC)

I think you will find that the magma on Io is actually sulfur.The Geologist (talk) 17:46, 22 August 2013 (UTC)

Possible small error.[edit]

In the section on Submarine Eruptions there is the following sentence;

Eruptions near subducting zones, meanwhile, are driven by subducting plates that adds volatiles to the rising plate, raising its melting point.

I think it should be lowering instead of raising. Apologies if I am wrong. E E Leigh (talk) 16:00, 23 November 2011 (UTC)

Changed it, thanks for noticing that. And I checked the reference to verify there wasn't some confusion in reading it - clear cut. Vsmith (talk) 16:22, 23 November 2011 (UTC)

carbon dioxide emissions[edit]

What are the carbon dioxide emissions of volcanic eruptions? --41.150.174.58 (talk) 15:16, 13 March 2014 (UTC)