KAJ R. SVENSSON / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY KAJ R. SVENSSON / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Pyroclastic rock. Bedded layers of pyroclastic rock and ash (upper frame, grey) on a volcanic crater. This type of rock is formed from the solid deposits that fall from volcanic eruptions, as opposed to solidified lava. Pyroclastic flows consist of a mass of dry, scorching rock fragments mixed with hot volcanic gases. The flow can move over 100km per hour, burning everything in its path. When the rock settles it forms a discrete layer, topped by ash. The multiple layers seen here represent successive eruptions. Photographed at Ubehebe Crater, Death Valley National Park, California, USA.
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