GARY HINCKS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY GARY HINCKS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Surtseyan volcanic eruption. Artwork of a Surtseyan-type (or phreatomagmatic) eruption, in which rising magma (molten rock) comes into contact with water at the surface. Repeated explosive eruptions shoot jets of ash and steam into the air, forming a column which can be over 10 kilometres high. The upper part of the volcano's vent fills with a mixture of water and glassy fragments of cooled magma. Ejected ash and fragments form a cone known as a tuff ring. This type of eruption is named after the Icelandic island of Surtsey, which was formed by a series of such eruptions between 1963 and 1967.
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