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Date of Award


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Geology (MS)

College, School or Department Name

Department of Geological and Mining Engineering and Sciences

First Advisor

William I Rose


Lucia Gurioli


We investigate compositionally monotonous, but energetically diverse, tephra samples from Pacaya to see if fossil bubbles in pyroclasts could reflect eruptive style. Bubble size distributions (BSD) were determined for four ash to lapilli size tephra samples using an adapted version of stereology conversion by Sahagian and Proussevitch (1998). Eruptions range from very weak to very energetic. Hundreds of ESEM BSEs images were processed throughout ImageJ software for a robust and statistically correct data set of vesicles (minimum 700 bubbles per sample). Qualitative textural analysis and major element chemical compositions were also executed. There is higher vesicularity for explosive pyroclasts and an inverse correlation between bubble number density (NV) and explosivity.