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A model for Plinian eruptions of Vesuvius


The term ‘Plinian’ has been widely used1–4 to describe continuous gas-blast eruptions of large magnitude a typical example5, of which is the AD 79 eruption of Vesuvius which destroyed Pompei and the surrounding region. We develop a new model here for the AD 79 event that explains the complete Plinian eruptive episode including pyroclastic fall, pyroclastic flow, base surge, laharic and phreatic activity. This model has widespread implications with regard to volcanic hazard evaluation and geothermal exploration at Vesuvius and other volcanoes with similar patterns of activity, such as Mount St Helens.

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Sheridan, M., Barberi, F., Rosi, M. et al. A model for Plinian eruptions of Vesuvius. Nature 289, 282–285 (1981).

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