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Magma behaving brittly

Liu, EJ; (2021) Magma behaving brittly. Nature Geoscience , 14 (4) pp. 180-181. 10.1038/s41561-021-00724-1.

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Explosive volcanic eruptions can produce multiple hazards, including widespread dispersal of volcanic ash and pyroclastic density currents. Magma fragmentation generates the explosive force during eruptions and the style of fragmentation determines the nature and scale of the eruption and its hazards1. Brittle fragmentation is a signature of the most energetic eruptions that produce large hazard footprints. While long-associated with viscous, silica-rich magmas, a mechanistic understanding of brittle fragmentation in low-viscosity magmas remains elusive. Two studies in Nature Geoscience explore the fragmentation of mafic magmas and find that brittle behaviour in low-viscosity melts may be more common than previously thought, occurring prior to and following fragmentation by fluidal processes. Namiki and colleagues2 show that rapid cooling of the outer surface of liquid clasts combined with continuing expansion of gas trapped inside the still-hot interior promotes secondary brittle fragmentation within lava fountains (Fig. 1). Taddeucci and colleagues3 suggest that fracturing and healing of low-viscosity melts may precede many explosive mafic eruptions.

Type: Article
Title: Magma behaving brittly
DOI: 10.1038/s41561-021-00724-1
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41561-021-00724-1
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.
Keywords: Geology, Natural hazards, Petrology, Solid Earth sciences, Volcanology
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences > Dept of Earth Sciences
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10126031
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