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Concept: Pumice


The 2012 submarine eruption of Havre volcano in the Kermadec arc, New Zealand, is the largest deep-ocean eruption in history and one of very few recorded submarine eruptions involving rhyolite magma. It was recognized from a gigantic 400-km2 pumice raft seen in satellite imagery, but the complexity of this event was concealed beneath the sea surface. Mapping, observations, and sampling by submersibles have provided an exceptionally high fidelity record of the seafloor products, which included lava sourced from 14 vents at water depths of 900 to 1220 m, and fragmental deposits including giant pumice clasts up to 9 m in diameter. Most (>75%) of the total erupted volume was partitioned into the pumice raft and transported far from the volcano. The geological record on submarine volcanic edifices in volcanic arcs does not faithfully archive eruption size or magma production.

Concepts: New Zealand, Pumice, Volcano, Magma, Basalt, Lava, Volcanology, Komatiite


Columnar joints form by cracking during cooling-induced contraction of lava, allowing hydrothermal fluid circulation. A lack of direct observations of their formation has led to ambiguity about the temperature window of jointing and its impact on fluid flow. Here we develop a novel thermo-mechanical experiment to disclose the temperature of columnar jointing in lavas. Using basalts from Eyjafjallajökull volcano (Iceland) we show that contraction during cooling induces stress build-up below the solidus temperature (980 °C), resulting in localised macroscopic failure between 890 and 840 °C. This temperature window for incipient columnar jointing is supported by modelling informed by mechanical testing and thermal expansivity measurements. We demonstrate that columnar jointing takes place well within the solid state of volcanic rocks, and is followed by a nonlinear increase in system permeability of <9 orders of magnitude during cooling. Columnar jointing may promote advective cooling in magmatic-hydrothermal environments and fluid loss during geothermal drilling and thermal stimulation.

Concepts: Fundamental physics concepts, Rock, Pumice, Volcano, Magma, Basalt, Lava, Volcanology


Preservation of fossil vertebrates in volcanic rocks is extremely rare. An articulated skull (cranium and mandible) of a rhinoceros was found in a 9.2±0.1 Ma-old ignimbrite of Cappadocia, Central Turkey. The unusual aspect of the preserved hard tissues of the skull (rough bone surface and brittle dentine) allows suspecting a peri-mortem exposure to a heating source.

Concepts: Bone, Skull, Temporal bone, Volcanic rock, Tetrapod, Synapsid, Pumice, Turkey


Improving lava flow hazard assessment is one of the most important and challenging fields of volcanology, and has an immediate and practical impact on society. Here, we present a methodology for the quantitative assessment of lava flow hazards based on a combination of field data, numerical simulations and probability analyses. With the extensive data available on historic eruptions of Mt. Etna, going back over 2000 years, it has been possible to construct two hazard maps, one for flank and the other for summit eruptions, allowing a quantitative analysis of the most likely future courses of lava flows. The effective use of hazard maps of Etna may help in minimizing the damage from volcanic eruptions through correct land use in densely urbanized area with a population of almost one million people. Although this study was conducted on Mt. Etna, the approach used is designed to be applicable to other volcanic areas.

Concepts: Pumice, Volcano, Sicily, Magma, Lava, Volcanology, Mount Vesuvius, Volcanic gas


Pumice rafts are floating mobile accumulations of low-density pumice clasts generated by silicic volcanic eruptions. Pumice in rafts can drift for years, become waterlogged and sink, or become stranded on shorelines. Here we show that the pumice raft formed by the impressive, deep submarine eruption of the Havre caldera volcano (Southwest Pacific) in July 2012 can be mapped by satellite imagery augmented by sailing crew observations. Far from coastal interference, the eruption produced a single >400 km(2) raft in 1 day, thus initiating a gigantic, high-precision, natural experiment relevant to both modern and prehistoric oceanic surface dispersal dynamics. Observed raft dispersal can be accurately reproduced by simulating drift and dispersal patterns using currents from an eddy-resolving ocean model hindcast. For future eruptions that produce potentially hazardous pumice rafts, our technique allows real-time forecasts of dispersal routes, in addition to inference of ash/pumice deposit distribution in the deep ocean.

Concepts: Pumice, Volcano, Lava, Volcanology, Caldera, Teide, Ignimbrite, Yellowstone Caldera


In different regions across the globe, elevated arsenic contents in the groundwater constitute a major health problem. In this work, a biopolymer chitosan has been blended with volcanic rocks (red scoria and pumice) for arsenic (V) removal. The effect of three blending ratios of chitosan and volcanic rocks (1:2, 1:5 and 1:10) on arsenic removal has been studied. The optimal blending ratio was 1:5 (chitosan: volcanic rocks) with maximum adsorption capacity of 0.72 mg/g and 0.71 mg/g for chitosan: red scoria (Ch-Rs) and chitosan: pumice (Ch-Pu), respectively. The experimental adsorption data fitted well a Langmuir isotherm (R² > 0.99) and followed pseudo-second-order kinetics. The high stability of the materials and their high arsenic (V) removal efficiency (~93%) in a wide pH range (4 to 10) are useful for real field applications. Moreover, the blends could be regenerated using 0.05 M NaOH and used for several cycles without losing their original arsenic removal efficiency. The results of the study demonstrate that chitosan-volcanic rock blends should be further explored as a potential sustainable solution for removal of arsenic (V) from water.

Concepts: Concentration, Chemistry, Rock, Volcanic rock, Pumice, Basalt, Lava, Volcanology


Contamination of drinking water with arsenic causes severe health problems in various world regions. Arsenic exists predominantly as As(III) and As(V) depending on the prevailing redox conditions of the environment. Most of the techniques developed for treating As(V) are not very effective for As(III), which is more toxic and mobile than As(V). In this study, novel cerium-loaded pumice (Ce-Pu) and red scoria (Ce-Rs) adsorbents were developed to remove both As(III) and As(V) ions from water. The Ce-Pu and Ce-Rs adsorbents were characterized using ICP-OES, EDX, and SEM. The experimental equilibrium sorption data fitted well Freundlich and Dubinin-Radushkevich (D-R) isotherms. The adsorption was very fast and reached an equilibrium within 2 h. Both Ce-Rs and Ce-Pu showed high As(III) and As(V) removal efficiency in a wide pH range between 3 and 9, which is an important asset for practical applications. The Ce-Pu and Ce-Rs adsorbents can be recycled and used up to three adsorption cycles without significant loss of their original efficiency. Accordingly, Ce-Pu and Ce-Rs seem to be suitable for removal of arsenic from aqueous systems.

Concepts: Water, Chemistry, Adsorption, PH, Solutions, Volcanic rock, Pumice, Volcanology


Natural materials such as ignimbrites are preferred commonly not only in historical places but also in houses or in different kind of buildings all over the world especially around Ahlat in Bitlis-Turkey. Durability, lightness and good-insulation are the significative properties of these stones. Also, pumice is an another preferred material because of its advantages in construction industry. In this paper, four kinds of ignimbrite (light-yellow, yellow, black and white) and pumice from Ahlat region have been investigated by EPR method to determine magnetic properties of them. The results obtained by EPR, EDS and XRD methods are evaluated together. SEM technique is also used to understand the surface morphology of the samples.

Concepts: Light, Pumice, Volcano, Construction, Building, Lava, Volcanology, Ignimbrite


Massive volcano-related materials (VRMs) erupted from volcanoes bring the impacts to natural environment and humanity health worldwide, which include generally volcanic ash (VA), volcanic pumice (VP), volcanic tuff (VT), etc. Considering the pozzolanic activities and mechanical characters of these materials, civil engineers propose to use them in low carbon/cement and environment-friendly concrete industries as supplementary cementitious materials (SCMs) or artificial/natural aggregates. The utilization of VRMs in concretes has attracted increasing and pressing attentions from research community. Through a literature review, this paper presents comprehensively the properties of VRMs and VRM concretes (VRMCs), including the physical and chemical properties of raw VRMs and VRMCs, and the fresh, microstructural and mechanical properties of VRMCs. Besides, considering environmental impacts and the development of long-term properties, the durability and stability properties of VRMCs also are summarized in this paper. The former focuses on the resistance properties of VRMCs when subjected to aggressive environmental impacts such as chloride, sulfate, seawater, and freezing-thawing. The latter mainly includes the fatigue, creep, heat-insulating, and expansion properties of VRMCs. This study will be helpful to promote the sustainability in concrete industries, protect natural environment, and reduce the impacts of volcano disaster. Based on this review, some main conclusions are discussed and important recommendations regarding future research on the application of VRMs in concrete industries are provided.

Concepts: Natural environment, Pumice, Volcano, Pozzolana, Concrete, Lava, Volcanology, Tuff


The aim of this article is to correlate the radiological features of pleuro-pulmonary damage caused by inhalation of pumice (an extrusive volcanic rock classified as a non-fibrous, amorphous, complex silicate) with exposure conditions.

Concepts: Igneous rock, Mineral, Silicon dioxide, Volcanic rock, Pumice, Basalt, Lava, Volcanology