Diatremes and craters attributed to natural explosions

Trace Elements Memorandum 1090



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
DOI 10.3133/tem1090
Edition -
Year Published 1956
Language ENGLISH
Description 26 p.: ill. ; 27 cm.; 4 figs.
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page