We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. By continuing to browse this repository, you give consent for essential cookies to be used. You can read more about our Privacy and Cookie Policy.

Durham Research Online
You are in:

Vesiculation and quenching during Surtseyan eruptions at Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai Volcano, Tonga.

Colombier, M. and Scheu, B. and Wadsworth, F. B. and Cronin, S. and Vasseur, J. and Dobson, K. J. and Hess, K.-U. and Tost, M. and Yilmaz, T. I. and Cimarelli, C. and Brenna, M. and Ruthensteiner, B. and Dingwell, D. B. (2018) 'Vesiculation and quenching during Surtseyan eruptions at Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai Volcano, Tonga.', Journal of geophysical research : solid earth., 123 (5). pp. 3762-3779.


Surtseyan eruptions are shallow to emergent subaqueous explosive eruptions that owe much of their characteristic behavior to the interaction of magma with water. The difference in thermal properties between water and air affects the cooling and postfragmentation vesiculation processes in magma erupted into the water column. Here we study the vesiculation and cooling processes during the 2009 and 2014–2015 Surtseyan eruptions of Hunga Tonga‐Hunga Ha'apai volcano by combining 2‐D and 3‐D vesicle‐scale analyses of lapilli and bombs and numerical thermal modeling. Most of the lapilli and bombs show gradual textural variations from rim to core. The vesicle connectivity in the lapilli and bombs increases with vesicularity from fully isolated to completely connected and also increases from rim to core in transitional clasts. We interpret the gradual textural variations and the connectivity‐vesicularity relationships as the result of postfragmentation bubble growth and coalescence interrupted at different stages by quenching in water. The measured vesicle size distributions are bimodal with a population of small and large vesicles. We interpret this bimodality as the result of two nucleation events, one prefragmentation with the nucleation and growth of large bubbles and one postfragmentation with nucleation of small vesicles. We link the thermal model with the textural variations in the clasts—showing a dependence on particle size, Leidenfrost effect, and initial melt temperature. In particular, the cooling profiles in the bombs are consistent with the gradual textural variations from rim to core in the clasts, likely caused by variations in time available for vesiculation before quenching.

Item Type:Article
Full text:(VoR) Version of Record
Download PDF
Publisher Web site:
Publisher statement:Colombier, M., Scheu, B., Wadsworth, F. B., Cronin, S., Vasseur, J., Dobson, K. J., Hess, K.-U., Tost, M., Yilmaz, T. I., Cimarelli, C., Brenna, M., Ruthensteiner, B. & Dingwell, D. B. (2018). Vesiculation and Quenching During Surtseyan Eruptions at Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai Volcano, Tonga. Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth 123(5): 3762-3779, 10.1029/2017JB015357 (DOI). To view the published open abstract, go to and enter the DOI.
Date accepted:06 May 2018
Date deposited:22 June 2018
Date of first online publication:31 May 2018
Date first made open access:01 December 2018

Save or Share this output

Look up in GoogleScholar