Hybrid fall deposits in the Bishop Tuff show features common to both archetypal fall and surge deposits. Like normal-fall deposits, they have an overall plane-parallel bedding and flat-lying pumice clasts but also, like surge deposits, they show variable development of cross-bedding, some crystal and pumice sorting, and some rounding of pumice clasts. All variations exist from normal-fall deposits, through streaky material with incipient development of cross-bedding, to the hybrid fall deposits with well-developed cross-bedding. The streaky and hybrid deposits are interpreted as fall material contemporaneously redeposited by strong (up to 40 m/s) swirling winds, comparable to firestorm whirlwinds, generated by air currents associated with coeval emplacement of pyroclastic flows. Recognition of hybrid fall deposits is important in interpreting the dynamics of explosive eruptions and correctly assessing volcanic hazards. However, although such deposits may be commonly produced by explosive eruptions, especially where pyroclastic flows accompany fall activity, they are likely to be overlooked, or wrongly interpreted as surge deposits or secondary, reworked material.
Additional publication details
Hybrid fall deposits in the Bishop Tuff, California: A novel pyroclastic depositional mechanism