A variety of complex hazards
Recent research funded by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) has focused on the mechanisms associated with so-called ‘Vulcanian explosions’ at Colima volcano in western Mexico (Cassidy et al. 2015).
Such explosions can generate a variety of complex hazards. Larger explosions, such as those at Soufrière Hills volcano in Montserrat can generate pyroclastic flows (also known as ‘pyroclastic density currents’), which are lateral currents of ash and gas that have temperatures of up to 600°C and move down the flanks at velocities of up to 300m/s.
Other hazards include ash fallout and volcanic mudflows (lahars).