Particle sizes of andesitic ash fallout from vertical eruptions and co-pyroclastic flow clouds, Volcán de Colima, Mexico

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We report particle-size distributions for andesitic ash fall from vertical eruptions and clouds above block-and-ash fl ows at Volcán de Colima, Mexico, during 2004–2006. We analyzed 17 samples using laser diffraction: 11 from vertical eruptions and 6 from block-and-ash fl ows (copyroclastic fl ow ash). Vertical eruptions produce well-sorted fall deposits, whereas co-pyroclastic fall deposits are poorly sorted, with high proportions of very fi ne grained ash (<30 >µm). Statistical analysis shows particle-size distributions of vertical eruptions are more leptokurtic (peaked) than co-pyroclastic samples. Deconvolution of grain-size histograms shows that copyroclastic samples have at least one subpopulation with a mode of 8.3–8.7 φ (2.4–3.1 µm). Estimates of the number of particles in different size ranges show that co-pyroclastic samples contain much greater numbers of very fi ne particles than vertical eruption samples. Our results provide no direct evidence that milling or comminution produces hazardous fi ne ash particles in pyroclastic fl ows, but are consistent with that interpretation.

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© 2009 Geological Society of America. Publisher's version of record: https://dx.doi.org/10.1130/G30208A.1

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