Additional Theory of Origin of Fiamme in Ignimbrites

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THE pantelleritic Quaternary volcano Fantale (lat. 8° 58′ N., long. 39° 54′ E.) is situated at the northern end of the main Ethiopian rift valley. During a field excursion to this volcano, we made a brief examination of a recent ignimbrite. This pale green ash flow, which was probably erupted in association with the formation of the Fantale Caldera1, is particularly rich in fiamme. Fiamme are flattened, black, glassy inclusions with flame-like cross sections. These are usually considered to have formed by the collapse of included molten pumice under the load of the overlying portions of the pyroclastic flow2. As we shall show, it seems unlikely that the fiamme in the Fantale ignimbrite originated in this way; the purpose of this communication is to suggest an alternative origin.

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    Ross, C. S., and Smith, R. L., US Geol. Survey Prof. Paper, 366 (1961).

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    Shepherd, E. S., Amer. J. Sci., fifth series, 35A, 311 (1938).

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    McCall, G. J. H., Geol. Runds., 54, 1148 (1964).

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    Bordet, P., Marinelli, G., Mittempergher, M., and Tazieff, H., Mém. Soc. Belge Geol., 17 (1963).

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GIBSON, I., TAZIEFF, H. Additional Theory of Origin of Fiamme in Ignimbrites. Nature 215, 1473–1474 (1967) doi:10.1038/2151473a0

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