VICTOR HABBICK VISIONS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY VICTOR HABBICK VISIONS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Volcanic eruption. Computer artwork of a type of volcanic eruption known as a pyroclastic flow, or nuee ardente (glowing avalanche). This is a highly destructive phenomenon that consists of a very hot cloud of volcanic ash, dust and gases. The cloud cascades down the slopes of the volcano, supported by searingly hot volcanic gases that can exceed 800 degrees Celsius. The low friction of the gas allows the cloud to reach speeds of over 160 kilometres per hour. The cloud will incinerate the trees in its path. Lightning can also accompany volcanic eruptions.
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