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Hot magma rising through the Earth's crust releases gases that expand and may come into contact with external water that vaporizes. The magma is then fragmented into an accelerating gas-particle/droplet mixture that is shot into the atmosphere, possibly in an overpressured state, where it may buoyantly rise up into the stratosphere as an ash plume, partially or totally collapse back to the surface, or rapidly expand sideways, or undergo a combination of these processes. Tephra is then deposited on the Earth's surface by pyroclastic fall, flow or surge, or some hybrid mechanism. The combination of processes that operate from the degassing of magma to the emplacement of tephra makes an explosive volcanic eruption, and the physical characterization of these processes is the scope of this book. This text summarizes the insights into key aspects of explosive volcanic eruptions gained from physical modelling to date. The seven chapters are arranged in an order reflecting the sequence from processes acting within the volcanic conduit through dynamics of eruption and transport through the atmosphere to mechanisms of emplacement on the Earth's surface.
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