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Authors: Paredes-Mariño, J.* 
Morgavi, D.* 
Di Vito, Mauro* 
De Vita, S.* 
Sansivero, Fabio* 
Dueffels, K.* 
Beckmann, G.* 
Perugini, D.* 
Title: Syneruptive sequential fragmentation of pyroclasts from fractal modeling of grain size distributions of fall deposits: the Cretaio Tephra eruption (Ischia Island, Italy)
Issue Date: 2017
Series/Report no.: /345 (2017)
DOI: 10.1016/j.jvolgeores.2017.07.020
Keywords: Grain-size distribution
Fall deposits
Fractal analysis
Subject Classification04.08. Volcanology 
Abstract: In this work we use fractal statistics in order to decipher the mechanisms acting during explosive volcanic erup- tions by studying the grain size distribution (GSD) of natural pyroclastic-fall deposits. The method was applied to lithic-rich proximal deposits from a stratigraphic section of the Cretaio Tephra eruption (Ischia Island, Italy). Analyses were performed separately on bulk material, juvenile, and lithic fraction from each pyroclastic layer. Re- sults highlight that the bulk material is characterized by a single scaling regime whereas two scaling regimes, with contrasting power-law exponents, are observed for the juvenile and the lithic fractions. On the basis of these results, we infer that the bulk material cannot be considered as a good proxy for deducing eruption dynam- ics because it is the result of mixing of fragments belonging to the lithic and juvenile fraction, both of which underwent different events of fragmentation governed by different mechanisms. In addition, results from fractal analyses of the lithic fraction suggest that it likely experienced a fragmentation event in which the efficiency of fragmentation was larger for the coarser fragments relative to the finer ones. On the contrary, we interpret the different scaling regimes observed for the juvenile fraction to be due to sequential events of fragmentation in the conduit, possibly enhanced by the presence of lithic fragments in the eruptive mixture. In particular, collision- al events generated increasing amounts of finer particles modifying the original juvenile GSDs and determining the development of two scaling regimes in which the finer fragments record a higher efficiency of fragmentation relative to the coarser ones. We further suggest that in lithic-rich proximal fall deposits possible indications about the original GSDs of the juvenile fraction might still reside in the coarser particles fraction.
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