Essentials of Geology, 3: Chapter 5 Flashcards flashcards |

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A lava flow with a rubbly surface.

active volcano

A volcano that has erupted within the past few centuries and will likely erupt again.

ash fall

Ash that falls to the ground out of an ash cloud.


In the context of igneous materials, a block is a chunk of igneous rock blasted out of a volcano.


A frozen blob of rock formed when magma ejected from a volcano freezes in flight; bombs are typically streamlined.


A large circular depression with steep walls and a fairly flat floor, formed after an eruption as the center of the volcano collapses into the drained magma chamber below.

cinder cone

A subaerial volcano consisting of a cone-shaped pile of tephra whose slope approaches the angle of repose for tephra.

columnar jointing

A type of fracturing that yields roughly hexagonal columns of basalt; columnar joints form when a dike, sill, or lava flow cools.


(1) A circular depression at the top of a volcanic mound; (2) a depression formed by the impact of a meteorite.

dormant volcano

A volcano that has not erupted for hundreds to thousands of years but does have the potential to erupt again in the future.

effusive eruption

An eruption that yields mostly lava, not ash.

explosive eruption

Violent volcanic eruption that produces clouds and avalanches of pyroclastic debris.

extinct volcano

A volcano that was active in the past but has now shut off entirely and will not erupt in the future.

fissure track

A line of damage formed in the crystal lattice of a mineral by the impact of an atomic particle ejected during the decay of a radioactive isotope.

flood basalt

Vast sheets of basalt that spread from a volcanic vent over an extensive surface of land; they may form where a rift develops above a continental hot spot, and where lava is particularly hot and has low viscosity.


Rock formed when deposits of pyroclactic flows solidify.


A thick slurry formed when volcanic ash and debris mix with water, either in rivers or from rain or melting snow and ice on the flank of a volcano.


Marble-to-plum-sized fragments of pyroclastic debris.

lava tube

The empty space left when a lava tunnel drains; this happens when the surface of a lava flow solidifies while the inner part of the flow continues to stream downslope.

magma chamber

A space below ground filled with magma.


A lava flow with a surface texture of smooth, glassy, rope-like ridges.

pyroclastic debris

Fragmented material that sprayed out of a volcano and landed on the ground or sea floor in solid form.

pyroclastic flow

A fast-moving avalanche that occurs when hot volcanic ash and debris mix with air and flow down the side of a volcano.

shield volcano

A subaerial volcano with a broad, gentle dome, formed either from low-viscosity basaltic lava or from large pyroclastic sheets.


A large, cone-shaped subaerial volcano consisting of alternating layers of lava and tephra.


Unconsolidated accumulations of pyroclastic grains.


A pyroclastic igneous rock composed of volcanic ash and fragmented pumice, formed when accumulations of the debris cement together.


Open holes in igneous rock formed by the preservation of bubbles in magma as the magma cools into solid rock.

volcanic debris flow

A mixture of water and clasts of volcanic material that moves down the slope of a volcano.

volcaniclastic deposit

A layer composed of fragments of igneous material (e.g., tephra, ash, bombs) erupted from volcanoes.


(1) A vent from which melt from inside the Earth spews out onto the planet's surface; (2) a mountain formed by the accumulation of extrusive volcanic rock.

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