Nuées Ardentes of the 1968 Eruption of Mayon Volcano, Philippines

Bulletin Volcanologique
By:  and 



Mayon Volcano, southeastern Luzon, began a series of explosive eruptions at 0900 April 21, 1968, and by May 15 more than 100 explosions had occurred, at least 6 people had been killed, and roughly 100 square km had been covered by more than 5 cm of airfall ash, blocky ash flows, and a lava flow. All material crupted was porphyritic augite-hypersthene andesite.

Explosions from the summit crater (elevation 2460 m) ejected large quantities of ash and incandescent blocks to a height exceeding 600 m and produced ash-laden clouds which rose to heights of 3 to 10 km. Backfall of the coarser material fed nuées ardentes which repeatedly swept down ravines on all sides of the volcanic cone. The velocity of one nuée ardente ranged from 9 to 63 m per sec. The largest nuées descended to the southwest and reached as far as 7 km from the summit. An aa lava flow also descended 3 1/2 km down this flank.

The nuées ardentes deposited pyroclastic flows that contained large breadcrust-surfaced blocks averaging about 30 cm across, but occasionally reaching 25 m in greatest dimension. These blocks were still very hot in their interiors several days later. Surrounding the pyroclastic flows is a seared zone as much as 2 km wide, but averaging a few hundred meters, in which vegetation is charred and splintered, but over which only a thin layer of airfall ash was deposited.

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Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Nuées Ardentes of the 1968 Eruption of Mayon Volcano, Philippines
Series title Bulletin Volcanologique
DOI 10.1007/BF02596528
Volume 33
Year Published 1969
Language English
Publisher Springer Nature
Contributing office(s) Volcano Science Center
Description 21 p.
First page 600
Last page 620
Country Philippines
Other Geospatial Mayon Volcano
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