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Diatremes and craters attributed to natural explosions

Trace Elements Memorandum 1090

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Abstract

Diatremes - volcanic pipes attributed to explosion - and craters have been studied to infer the ultimate causes and physical conditions attending natural explosive processes. Initial piercement of diatremes on the Navajo reservation, Arizona was probably along a fracture propagated by a high-pressure aqueous fluid. Gas rising at high velocity along the fracture would become converted to a gas-solid fluidized system by entrainment of wall- rock fragments. The first stages of widening of the vent are probably accomplished mainly by simple abrasion of the high-velocity fluidized system on the walls of the fracture. As the vent widens, its enlargement may be accelerated by inward spalling of the walls. The inferred mechanics of the Navajo-Hopi diatremes is used to illustrate the possibility of diatreme formation over a molten salt mass.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Report
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Title:
Diatremes and craters attributed to natural explosions
Series title:
Trace Elements Memorandum
Series number:
1090
Edition:
-
Year Published:
1956
Language:
ENGLISH
Description:
26 p.: ill. ; 27 cm.; 4 figs.