Story: Volcanoes

Volcanic ash (2nd of 2)

Volcanic ash

These highly magnified photographs of volcanic ash, taken with a scanning electron microscope, reveal the ash as shattered fragments (shards) of natural glass. The holes in the shards record the presence of gas bubbles in the erupting magma. These shards, recovered from a peat bog near Hamilton, are about 0.15 to 0.25 millimetres across, and were erupted from Taupō caldera about 5,000 years ago.

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Private collection
Photograph by Maria Gehrels

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How to cite this page:

Richard Smith, David J. Lowe and Ian Wright, 'Volcanoes - What is a volcano?', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 15 June 2024)

Story by Richard Smith, David J. Lowe and Ian Wright, published 12 Jun 2006