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Authors: Kueppers, U.* 
Scheu, B.* 
Spieler, O.* 
Dingwell, D. B.* 
Title: Fragmentation efficiency of explosive volcanic eruptions: A study of experimentally generated pyroclasts
Issue Date: 15-May-2006
Series/Report no.: 153 (2006)
DOI: 10.1016/j.jvolgeores.2005.08.006
Keywords: experimental volcanology
fragmentation efficiency
particle analysis
Unzen volcano
Subject Classification04. Solid Earth::04.08. Volcanology::04.08.02. Experimental volcanism 
Abstract: Products of magma fragmentation can pose a severe threat to health, infrastructure, environment, and aviation. Systematic evaluation of the mechanisms and the consequences of volcanic fragmentation is very difficult as the adjacent processes cannot be observed directly and their deposits undergo transport-related sorting. However, enhanced knowledge is required for hazard assessment and risk mitigation. Laboratory experiments on natural samples allow the precise characterization of the generated pyroclasts and open the possibility for substantial advances in the quantification of fragmentation processes. They hold the promise of precise characterization and quantification of fragmentation efficiency and its dependence on changing material properties and the physical conditions at fragmentation. We performed a series of rapid decompression experiments on three sets of natural samples from Unzen volcano, Japan. The analysis comprised grain-size analysis and surface area measurements. The grain-size analysis is performed by dry sieving for particles larger than 250 Am and wet laser refraction for smaller particles. For all three sets of samples, the grain-size of the most abundant fraction decreases and the weight fraction of newly generated ash particles (up to 40 wt.%) increases with experimental pressure/potential energy for fragmentation. This energy can be estimated from the volume of the gas fraction and the applied pressure. The surface area was determined through Argon adsorption. The fragmentation efficiency is described by the degree of fineparticle generation. Results show that the fragmentation efficiency and the generated surface correlate positively with the applied energy.
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