Share This Article:

Ash Features from Ordinary Activity at Stromboli Volcano

Abstract Full-Text HTML XML Download Download as PDF (Size:10204KB) PP. 1361-1382
DOI: 10.4236/ijg.2014.511111    3,595 Downloads   4,142 Views   Citations


In this work we focus our attention on micro-scale textural observations and chemical analysis of the surface of ash particles erupted from ordinary activity at Stromboli volcano (Aeolian Islands, Italy). Ashes are related to three vent systems: NE1, NE2 and SW showing different eruptive styles. Samples were collected during three campaigns: 1-5 September 2008; 20, 22 September 2008 and 18 June 2009, with two different methods: collection on a clean surface downwind and use of remotely controlled, electrically propelled aeromodels, which penetrate directly in the eruptive plume and collect ash samples that are less affected by transport-related sorting processes. A micro-textural approach has been conducted working at step: from preliminary observations under binocular microscope on a medium number of 700 particles, to thin sections and sub-micron investigations, using high resolution instruments. Micro-texture and morphology of ash particles were observed under FE-SEM, at high magnification (30,000/50,000×) measuring the main shape parameters (area, perimeter, max length, compactness, Feret’s diameter, Heywood’s diameter and elongation). Ashes are made up by a wide spectrum of fragments whose end-members are represented by two main textural types with different colour, shape, internal textures and vesicularity named “Type a” and “Type b”. “Type a” shows great similarities with fragments called “tachilite” while “Type b” fragments are very similar to the named “sideromelane” fragments. Fragments with intermediate textural features are present and named as “Type a1” and “Type b1”, respectively. The relative abundances of each type of fragments greatly vary in samples collected from different groups of vents. Chemical analysis of the external surfaces indicates that all the different grain types underwent alteration phenomena and precipitation of neo-formation minerals on their surfaces. The alteration is dependent from the atmospheric conditions around the vent and not from the type of fragments. During the periods of sampling, ash erupted from individual explosions of different vents, does not show big differences in morphology and chemistry of surface features, but mainly in terms of relative proportion of fragments. “Type b” fragments predominate in the ash erupted from typical strombolian activity whereas “Type a” fragments are ubiquitous.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Cite this paper

Cannata, C. , Rosa, R. , Donato, P. and Taddeucci, J. (2014) Ash Features from Ordinary Activity at Stromboli Volcano. International Journal of Geosciences, 5, 1361-1382. doi: 10.4236/ijg.2014.511111.


[1] Heiken, G. and Wohletz, K.H. (1985) Volcanic Ash. University of California Press, Berkeley, 245 p.
[2] Sheridan, M.F. and Marshall, J.R. (1983) Interpretation of Pyroclast Surface Features Using SEM Images. Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, 16, 153-159.
[3] Palladino, D.M. and Taddeucci, J. (1998) The Basal Ash Deposit of the Sovana Eruption (Vulsini Volcanoes, Central Italy): The Product of a Dilute Pyroclastic Density Current. Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, 87, 233-254.
[4] Mangan, M.T., Cashman, K.V. and Newman, S. (1993) Vesiculation of Basaltic Magma during Eruption. Geology, 21, 157-160.<0157:VOBMDE>2.3.CO;2
[5] Cashman, K.V. and Mangan, M.T. (1994) Physical Aspects of Magmatic Degassing II. Constraints on Vesiculation Processes from Textural Studies of Eruptive Products. In: Carroll, M.R. and Holloway, J.R., Eds., Volatiles in Magmas, Mineralogical Society of America, Chantilly, 447-478.
[6] Hammer, J.E., Cashman, K.V., Hoblitt, R.P. and Newman, S. (1999) Degassing and Microlite Crystallization during the Pre-Climatic Events of the 1991 Eruption of Mt. Pinatubo, Philippines. Bulletin of Volcanology, 60, 355-380.
[7] Polacci, M., Pioli, L. and Rosi, M. (2003) The Plinian Phase of the Campanian Ignimbrite Eruption (Phlegrean Fields, Italy): Evidence from Density Measurements and Textural Characterization of Pumice. Bulletin of Volcanology, 65, 418-432.
[8] Houghton, B.F., Wilson, C.J.N., Del Carlo, P., Coltelli, M., Sable, J.E. and Carey, R.J. (2004) The Influence of Conduit Processes on Changes in Style of Basaltic Plinian Eruptions: Tarawera 1886 and Etna 122 BC. Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, 137, 1-14.
[9] Gurioli, L., Houghton, B., Cashman, K. and Cioni, R. (2004) Complex Changes in Eruption Dynamics during the 79 AD Eruption of Vesuvius. Bulletin of Volcanology, 67, 144-159.
[10] Lautze, N.C. and Houghton, B.F. (2007) Linking Variable Explosion Style and Magma Textures during 2002 at Stromboli Volcano, Italy. Bulletin of Volcanology, 69, 445-460.
[11] Taddeucci, J., Pompilio, M. and Scarlato, P. (2002) Monitoring the Explosive Activity of the July-August 2001 Eruption of Mt. Etna (Italy) by Ash Characterization. Geophysical Research Letters, 29, 1-4.
[12] Taddeucci, J., Scarlato, P.G., Andronico, D., Cristaldi, A., Büttner, R., Zimanowsky, B. and Küppers, U. (2007) Advances in the Study of Volcanic Ash. Eos, 88, 253-260.
[13] Cas, R.A.F. and Wright, J.V. (1987) Volcanic Successions: Modern and Ancient. Allen and Unwin, London.
[14] Fisher, R.V. and Schmincke, H.U. (1984) Pyroclastic Rocks. Springer Berlin Heidelberg, New York.
[15] De Rosa, R. (1999) Compositional Modes in the Ash Fraction of Some Modern Pyroclastic Deposits: Their Determination and Significance. Bulletin of Volcanology, 61, 162-173.
[16] Wohletz, K.H. (1986) Explosive Magma-Water Interactions: Thermodynamics, Explosion Mechanisms and Field Studies. Bulletin of Volcanology, 48, 245-264.
[17] Dellino, P. and La Volpe, L. (1996) Image Processing Analysis in Reconstructing Fragmentation and Transportation Mechanisms of Pyroclastic Deposits. The Case of Monte Pilato-Rocche Rosse Eruptions, Lipari (Aeolian Islands, Italy). Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, 71, 13-29.
[18] Dellino, P. and Liotino, G. (2002) The Fractal and Multifractal Dimension of Volcanic Ash Particles Contour: A Test Study on the Utility and Volcanological Relevance. Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, 113, 1-18.
[19] Maria, A. and Carey, S. (2002) Using Fractal Analysis to Quantitatively Characterize the Shape of Volcanic Particles. Journal of Geophysical Research, 107, ECV 7-1-ECV 7-17.
[20] Riley, C.M., Rose, W.I. and Bluth, G.J.S. (2003) Quantitative Shape Measurements of Distal Volcanic Ash. Journal of Geophysical Research, 108, 2504.
[21] Ersoy, O., Gourgaud, A., Aydar, E., Chinga, G. and Thouret, J.-C. (2007) Quantitative Scanning-Electron Microscope Analysis of Volcanic Ash Surfaces: Application to the 1982-1983 Galunggung Eruption (Indonesia). Geological Society of America Bulletin, 119, 743-752.
[22] Ersoy, O. (2010) Surface Area and Volume Measurements of Volcanic Ash Particles by SEM Stereoscopic Imaging. Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, 190, 290-296.
[23] De Rosa, R. and Sheridan, M.F. (1983) Evidence for Magma Mixing in the Surge Deposits of the Mt. Guardia Sequence, Lipari. Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, 17, 313-328.
[24] Cioni, R., D’Oriano, C. and Bertagnini, A. (2008) Fingerprinting Ash Deposits of Small Scale Eruptions by Their Physical and Textural Features. Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, 177, 277-287.
[25] Lautze, N., Taddeucci, J., Andronico, D., Cannata, C., Tornetta, L., Scarlato, P., Houghton, B. and Lo Castro, M.D. (2012) SEM-Based Methods for the Analysis of Basaltic Ash Applied from Weak Explosive Activity at Etna in 2006 and the 2007 Eruptive Crisis at Stromboli. Physics and Chemistry of the Earth, 45-46, 113-127.
[26] Andronico, D., Scollo, S., Cristaldi, A. and Caruso, S. (2008) The 2002-2003 Etna Explosive Activity: Tephra Dispersal and Features of the Deposit. Journal of Geophysical Research, 113, Article ID: B04209.
[27] Cimarelli, C., Di Traglia, F. and Taddeucci, J. (2010) Basaltic Scoria Textures from a Zoned Conduit as Precursors to Violent Strombolian Activity. Geology, 38, 439-442.
[28] Horwell, C.J., Fenoglio, I., Vala Ragnarsdottir, K., Sparks, R.S.J. and Fubini, B. (2003) Surface Reactivity of Volcanic Ash from the Eruption of Soufrière Hills Volcano, Montserrat, West Indies with Implications for Health Hazards. Environmental Research, 93, 202-215.
[29] Delmelle, P., Lambert, M., Dufrene, Y., Gerin, P. and Oskarsson, N. (2007) Gas/Aerosol-Ash Interaction in Volcanic Plumes: New Insights from Surface Analyses of Fine Ash Particles. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 259, 159-170.
[30] Witham, C.S., Oppenheimer, C. and Horwell, C.J. (2005) Volcanic Ash-Leachates: A Review and Recommendations for Sampling Methods. Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, 141, 299-326.
[31] Allard, P., Carbonnelle, J., Metrich, N., Loyer, H. and Zettwoog, P. (1994) Sulphur Output and Magma Degassing Budget of Stromboli Volcano. Nature, 368, 326-330.
[32] Allard, P., Aiuppa, A., Loyer, H., Carrot, F., Gaudry, A., Pinte, G., Michel, A. and Dongarrà, G. (2000) Acid Gas and Metal Emission Rates during Long-Lived Basalt Degassing at Stromboli Volcano. Journal of Geophysical Research, 27, 1207-1210.
[33] Bertagnini, A., Coltelli, M., Landi, P., Pompilio, M. and Rosi, M. (1999) Violent Explosions Yield New Insights into Dynamics of Stromboli Volcano. Eos, 80, 633-636.
[34] Rosi, M., Bertagnini, A., Harris, A.J.L., Pioli, L., Pistolesi, M. and Ripepe, M. (2006) A Case History of Paroxysmal Explosions at Stromboli: Timing and Dynamics of the April 5, 2003 Event. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 243, 594-606.
[35] Bertagnini, A., Métrich, N., Francalanci, L., Landi, P., Tommasini, S. and Conticelli, S. (2008) Volcanology and Magma Geochemistry of the Present-Day Activity: Constraints on the Feeding System. In: Calvari, S., Inguaggiato, S., Puglisi, G., Ripepe, M. and Rosi, M., Eds., Learning from Stromboli, American Geophysical Union, Washington, DC, 19-38.
[36] Pasquarè, G., Francalanci, L., Garduno, V.H. and Tibaldi, A. (1993) Structure and Geologic Evolution of the Stromboli Volcano, Aeolian Islands, Italy. Acta Vulcanologica, 3, 79-89.
[37] Tibaldi, A. (2001) Multiple Sector Collapses at Stromboli Volcano, Italy: How They Work. Bulletin of Volcanology, 63, 112-125.
[38] Landi, P., Corsaro, R.A., Francalanci, L., Civetta, L., Miraglia, L., Pompilio, M. and Tesoro, R. (2009) Magma Dynamics during the 2007 Stromboli Eruption (Aeolian Islands, Italy). Mineralogy, Geochemistry and Isotope Data. Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, 182, 255-268.
[39] Patrick, M.R., Harris, A.J.L., Ripepe, M., Dehn, J., Rothery, D. and Calvari, S. (2007) Strombolian Explosive Styles and Source Conditions: Insights from Thermal (FLIR) Video. Bulletin of Volcanology, 69, 769-784.
[40] Walker, G.P.L. (1973) Explosive Volcanic Eruptions—A New Classification Scheme. Geologische Rundschau, 62, 431-446.
[41] Blackburn, E.A., Wilson, L. and Sparks, R.S.J. (1976) Mechanisms and Dynamics of Strombolian Activity. Journal of the Geological Society, 132, 429-440.
[42] Self, S., Sparks, R.S.J., Booth, B. and Walker, G.P.L. (1974) The 1973 Heimaey Strombolian Scoria Deposit, Iceland. Geological Magazine, 111, 539-548.
[43] Ripepe, M., Marchetti, E., Poggi, P., Harris, A.J.L., Fiaschi, A. and Ulivieri, G. (2004) Seismic, Acoustic and Thermal Network Monitors the 2003 Eruption of Stromboli Volcano. Eos, Transactions American Geophysical Union, 85, 329-336.
[44] Andronico, D., Cristaldi, A., Del Carlo, P. and Taddeucci, J. (2009) Shifting Styles of Basaltic Explosive Activity during the 2002-2003 Eruption of Mt. Etna, Italy. Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, 180, 110-122.
[45] Andronico, D., Scollo, S., Cristaldi, A. and Ferrari, F. (2009) Monitoring Ash Emission Episodes at Mt. Etna: The 16 November 2006 Case Study. Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, 180, 123-134.
[46] Taddeucci, J., Spieler, O., Kennedy, B.M., Pompilio, M., Dingwell, D.B. and Scarlato, P. (2004) Experimental and Analytical Modeling of Basaltic Ash Explosions at Mount Etna, Italy, 2001. Journal of Geophysical Research, 109, Article ID: B08203.

comments powered by Disqus

Copyright © 2019 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.