Artwork of a pyroclastic flow

Artwork of a pyroclastic flow

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Credit: MARK GARLICK/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Artwork of a pyroclastic flow destroying a forest. A pyroclastic flow (also known as a pyroclastic density current) is a rapidly-moving body of hot gas and rock ejected explosively from a volcano. They can move at speeds of up to 700 km/h and, harbouring internal temperatures of around 1000 Celsius, they typically incinerate and obliterate everything that crosses their path. This scene shows such a flow, hugging the ground in typical fashion as it approaches a forest bordering New Zealand's Lake Taupo, some 1800 years ago. In the foreground, a moa, startled, tries to outrun the devestation. Moas (dinornis) are now extinct.

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Keywords: artwork, ash, bird, cloud, density current, destruction, dinornis, erruption, forest, illustration, lake, moa, pyroclastic flow, trees, volcanism, volcano

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