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Mobility of pyroclastic flows and surges at the Soufriere Hills Volcano, Montserrat

Geophysical Research Letters

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Abstract

The Soufriere Hills Volcano on Montserrat has produced avalanche-like pyroclastic flows formed by collapse of the unstable lava dome or explosive activity. Pyroclastic flows associated with dome collapse generate overlying dilute surges which detach from and travel beyond their parent flows. The largest surges partially transform by rapid sedimentation into dense secondary pyroclastic flows that pose significant hazards to distal areas. Different kinds of pyroclastic density currents display contrasting mobilities indicated by ratios of total height of fall H, run-out distance L, area inundated A and volume transported V. Dome-collapse flow mobilities (characterised by either L/H or A/V 2/3) resemble those of terrestrial and extraterrestrial cold-rockfalls (Dade and Huppert, 1998). In contrast, fountain-fed pumice flows and fine-grained, secondary pyroclastic flows travel slower but, for comparable initial volumes and heights, can inundate greater areas.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Mobility of pyroclastic flows and surges at the Soufriere Hills Volcano, Montserrat
Series title:
Geophysical Research Letters
Volume
26
Issue:
5
Year Published:
1999
Language:
English
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Geophysical Research Letters
First page:
537
Last page:
540
Number of Pages:
4