Types of Volcanic eruption

During a volcanic eruption, lava, tephra (ash, lapilli, volcanic bombs and blocks), and various gases are expelled from a volcanic vent or fissure. Several types of volcanic eruptions have been distinguished by volcanologists. These are often named after famous volcanoes where that type of behavior has been observed. Some volcanoes may exhibit only one characteristic type of eruption during a period of activity, while others may display an entire sequence of types all in one eruptive series.
There are three different metatypes of eruptions. The most well-observed are magmatic eruptions, which involve the decompression of gas within magma that propels it forward. Phreatomagmatic eruptions are another type of volcanic eruption, driven by the compression of gas within magma, the direct opposite of the process powering magmatic activity. The last eruptive metatype is the phreatic eruption, which is driven by the superheating of steam via contact with magma; these eruptive types often exhibit no magmatic release, instead causing the granulation of existing rock.
Within these wide-defining eruptive types are several subtypes. The weakest are Hawaiian and submarine, then Strombolian, followed by Vulcanian and Surtseyan. The stronger eruptive types are Pelean eruptions, followed by Plinian eruptions; the strongest eruptions are called "Ultra Plinian." Subglacial and phreatic eruptions are defined by their eruptive mechanism, and vary in strength. An important measure of eruptive strength is Volcanic Explosivity Index (VEI), a magnitudic scale ranging from 0 to 8 that often correlates to eruptive types.

Eruption mechanisms
Volcanic eruptions arise through three main mechanisms:
  • Gas release under decompression causing magmatic eruptions.
  • Thermal contraction from chilling on contact with water causing phreatomagmatic eruptions.
  • Ejection of entrained particles during steam eruptions causing phreatic eruptions
There are two types of eruptions in terms of activity, explosive eruptions and effusive eruptions. Explosive eruptions are characterized by gas-driven explosions that propels magma and tephra Effusive eruptions, meanwhile, are characterized by the outpouring of lava without significant explosive eruption Effusive eruptions, meanwhile, are characterized by the outpouring of lava without significant explosive eruption. Effusive eruptions, meanwhile, are characterized by the outpouring of lava without significant explosive eruption.
Volcanic eruptions vary widely in strength. On the one extreme there are effusive Hawaiian eruptions, which are characterized by lava fountains and fluid lava flows, which are typically not very dangerous. On the other extreme, Plinian eruptions are large, violent, and highly dangerous explosive events. Volcanoes are not bound to one eruptive style, and frequently display many different types, both passive and explosive, even the span of a single eruptive cycle.Volcanoes do not always erupt vertically from a single crater near their peak, either. Some volcanoes exhibit lateral and fissure eruptions. Notably, many Hawaiian eruptions start from rift zones,and some of the strongest Surtseyan eruptions develop along fracture zones.and some of the strongest Surtseyan eruptions develop along fracture zones.
and some of the strongest Surtseyan eruptions develop along fracture zones.
Scientists believed that pulses of magma mixed together in the chamber before climbing upward—a process estimated to take several thousands of years. But Columbia University volcanologists found that the eruption of Costa Rica’s Irazú Volcano in 1963 was likely triggered by magma that took a nonstop route from the mantle over just a few months. Study authors called it the highway from hell.

Volcano explosivity index
The Volcanic Explosivity Index (commonly shortened VEI) is a scale, from 0 to 8, for measuring the strength of eruptions. It is used by the Smithsonian Institution's Global Volcanism Program in assessing the impact of historic and prehistoric lava flows. It operates in a way similar to the Richter scale for earthquakes, in that each interval in value represents a tenfold increasing in magnitude (it is logarithmic). The vast majority of volcanic eruptions are of VEIs between 0 and 2

 VEI Plume height Eruptive volume *  Eruption type  Frequency **  Example
 0 <100 m (330 ft) 1,000 m3 (35,300 cu ft)  Hawaiian  Continuous  Kilauea 
 1 100–1,000 m (300–3,300 ft) 10,000 m3 (353,000 cu ft)  Hawaiian/Strombolian  Months  Stromboli
 2 1–5 km (1–3 mi)  1,000,000 m3 (35,300,000 cu ft) †  Strombolian/Vulcanian Months  Galeras (1992)
 3 3–15 km (2–9 mi)  10,000,000 m3 (353,000,000 cu ft)Vulcanian   Yearly  Nevado del Ruiz (1985)
 4 10–25 km (6–16 mi)  100,000,000 m3 (0.024 cu mi)  Vulcanian/Peléan  Few years  Eyjafjallajökull (2010)
 5 >25 km (16 mi) 1 km3 (0.24 cu mi) Plinian  5–10 years  Mount St. Helens (1980)
 6 >25 km (16 mi) 10 km3 (2 cu mi)  Plinian/Ultra Plinian  1,000 years Krakatoa (1883)             
 7 25 km (16 mi) 100 km3 (20 cu mi) Ultra Plinian  10,000 years  Tambora (1815)
 8 >25 km (16 mi) 1,000 km3 (200 cu mi)  Ultra Plinian  100,000 years Lake Toba (74 ka) 

* This is the minimum eruptive volume necessary for the eruption to be considered within the category.
** Values are a rough estimate. Exceptions occur.
† There is a discontinuity between the 2nd and 3rd VEI level; instead of increasing by a magnitude of 10, the value increases by a magnitude of 100 (from 10,000 to 1,000,000).
Magmatic eruptions
Magmatic eruptions produce juvenile clasts during explosive decompression from gas release. They range in intensity from the relatively small lava fountains on Hawaii to catastrophic Ultra Plinian eruption columns more than 30 km (19 mi) high, bigger than the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 that buried Pompeii.

Hawaiian
Hawaiian eruptions are a type of volcanic eruption, named after the Hawaiian volcanoes with which this eruptive type is hallmark. Hawaiian eruptions are the calmest types of volcanic events, characterized by the effusive eruption of very fluid basalt-type lavas with low gaseous content. The volume of ejected material from Hawaiian eruptions is less than half of that found in other eruptive types. Steady production of small amounts of lava builds up the large, broad form of a shield volcano. Eruptions are not centralized at the main summit as with other volcanic types, and often occur at vents around the summit and from fissure vents radiating out of the center. Read more

Strombolian
Strombolian eruptions are a type of volcanic eruption, named after the volcano Stromboli, which has been erupting continuously for centuries.[10] Strombolian eruptions are driven by the bursting of gas bubbles within the magma. These gas bubbles within the magma accumulate and coalesce into large bubbles, called gas slugs. These grow large enough to rise through the lava column.[11] Upon reaching the surface, the difference in air pressure causes the bubble to burst with a loud pop,throwing magma in the air in a way similar to a soap bubble. Because of the high gas pressures associated with the lavas, continued activity is generally in the form of episodic explosive eruptions accompanied by the distinctive loud blasts. During eruptions, these blasts occur as often as every few minutes. Read more

Vulcanian
Vulcanian eruptions are a type of volcanic eruption, named after the volcano Vulcano, which means the word Volcano. It was named so following Giuseppe Mercalli's observations of its 1888-1890 eruptions. In Vulcanian eruptions, highly viscous magma within the volcano make it difficult for vesiculate gases to escape. Similar to Strombolian eruptions, this leads to the buildup of high gas pressure, eventually popping the cap holding the magma down and resulting in an explosive eruption. However, unlike Strombolian eruptions, ejected lava fragments are not aerodynamic; this is due to the higher viscosity of Vulcanian magma and the greater incorporation of crystalline material broken off from the former cap. They are also more explosive than their Strombolian counterparts, with eruptive columns often reaching between 5 and 10 km (3 and 6 mi) high. Lastly, Vulcanian deposits are andesitic to dacitic rather than basaltic. Read more

Peléan
Peléan eruptions (or nuée ardente) are a type of volcanic eruption, named after the volcano Mount Pelée in Martinique, the site of a massive Peléan eruption in 1902 that is one of the worst natural disasters in history. In Peléan eruptions, a large amount of gas, dust, ash, and lava fragments are blown out the volcano's central crater, driven by the collapse of rhyolite, dacite, and andesite lava dome collapses that often create large eruptive columns. An early sign of a coming eruption is the growth of a so-called Peléan or lava spine, a bulge in the volcano's summit preempting its total collapse. The material collapses upon itself, forming a fast-moving pyroclastic flow (known as a block-and-ash flow) that moves down the side of the mountain at tremendous speeds, often over 150 km (93 mi) per hour. These massive landslides make Peléan eruptions one of the most dangerous in the world, capable of tearing through populated areas and causing massive loss of life. The 1902 eruption of Mount Pelée caused tremendous destruction, killing more than 30,000 people and competely destroying the town of St. Pierre, the worst volcanic event in the 20th century. Read more

Plinian
Plinian eruptions (or Vesuvian) are a type of volcanic eruption, named for the historical eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 of Mount Vesuvius that buried the Roman towns of Pompeii and Herculaneum, and specifically for its chronicler Pliny the Younger.[29] The process powering Plinian eruptions starts in the magma chamber, where dissolved volatile gases are stored in the magma. The gases vesiculate and accumulate as they rise through the magma conduit. These bubbles agglutinate and once they reach a certain size (about 75% of the total volume of the magma conduit) they explode. The narrow confines of the conduit force the gases and associated magma up, forming an eruptive column. Eruption velocity is controlled by the gas contents of the column, and low-strength surface rocks commonly crack under the pressure of the eruption, forming a flared outgoing structure that pushes the gases even faster. Read more

Phreatomagmatic eruptions
Phreatomagmatic eruptions are eruptions that arise from interactions between water and magma. They are driven from thermal contraction (as opposed to magmatic eruptions, which are driven by thermal expansion) of magma when it comes in contact with water. This temperature difference between the two causes violent water-lava interactions that make up the eruption. The products of phreatomagmatic eruptions are believed to be more regular in shape and finer grained than the products of magmatic eruptions because of the differences in eruptive mechanisms. There is debate about the exact nature of phreatomagmatic eruptions, and some scientists believe that fuel-coolant reactions may be more critical to the explosive nature than thermal contraction. Fuel coolant reactions may fragment the volcanic material by propagating stress waves, widening cracks and increasing surface area that ultimetly lead to rapid cooling and explosive contraction-driven eruptions.

Surtseyan
A Surtseyan eruption (or hydrovolcanic) is a type of volcanic eruption caused by shallow-water interactions between water and lava, named so after its most famous example, the eruption and formation of the island of Surtsey off the coast of Iceland in 1963. Surtseyan eruptions are the "wet" equivalent of ground-based Strombolian eruptions, but because of where they are taking place they are much more explosive. This is because as water is heated by lava, it flashes in steam and expands violently, fragmenting the magma it is in contact with into fine-grained ash. Surtseyan eruptions are the hallmark of shallow-water volcanic oceanic islands, however they are not specifically confined to them. Surtseyan eruptions can happen on land as well, and are caused by rising magma that comes into contact with an aquifer (water-bearing rock formation) at shallow levels under the volcano. The products of Surtseyan eruptions are generally oxidized palagonite basalts (though andesitic eruptions do occur, albeit rarely), and like Strombolian eruptions Surtseyan eruptions are generally continuous or otherwise rhythmic. Read more

Submarine
Submarine eruptions are a type of volcanic eruption that occurs underwater. An estimated 75% of the total volcanic eruptive volume is generated by submarine eruptions near mid ocean ridges alone, however because of the problems associated with detecting deep sea volcanics, they remained virtually unknown until advances in the 1990s made it possible to observe them. Read more

Subglacial
Subglacial eruptions are a type of volcanic eruption characterized by interactions between lava and ice, often under a glacier. The nature of glaciovolcanism dictates that it occurs at areas of high latitude and high altitude. It has been suggested that subglacial volcanoes that are not actively erupting often dump heat into the ice covering them, producing meltwater. This meltwater mix means that subglacial eruptions often generate dangerous jökulhlaups (floods) and lahars. Read more

Phreatic eruption
Phreatomagmatic eruptions are eruptions that arise from interactions between water and magma. They are driven from thermal contraction (as opposed to magmatic eruptions, which are driven by thermal expansion) of magma when it comes in contact with water. This temperature difference between the two causes violent water-lava interactions that make up the eruption. The products of phreatomagmatic eruptions are believed to be more regular in shape and finer grained than the products of magmatic eruptions because of the differences in eruptive mechanisms. There is debate about the exact nature of phreatomagmatic eruptions, and some scientists believe that fuel-coolant reactions may be more critical to the explosive nature than thermal contraction. Fuel coolant reactions may fragment the volcanic material by propagating stress waves, widening cracks and increasing surface area that ultimetly lead to rapid cooling and explosive contraction-driven eruptions.

Source: wikipedia.org