Quantitative analysis of bubble textures in a large number of volcanic pyroclasts is critical to investigating the eruption dynamics in a volcanic conduit. Here, we used a digital stereo microscope with low-angled ring illumination (DSM-LaRI) to measure bubble textures on unpolished cutting surfaces of pumice clasts. As the DSM-LaRI enhances brightness contrast between the bubbles (pores) and the matrix, we easily obtained the two-dimensional data on the size and shape of bubbles by image analysis. The DSM-LaRI imaging provided the distributions of size and shape of bubbles at least 50 µm across. We applied the DSM-LaRI to analyze more than 1000 pumice clasts from the 232 AD Taupo eruption and measured the mean bubble radius (R¯ ) and the mean deformation degree (D¯ ) in the individual clasts. The distribution of R¯ and D¯ in each layer showed a distinctive difference between the fallout and the flow deposits. These quantitative data are consistent with a qualitative classification in a previous study. Although the new DSM-LaRI method has the disadvantage of the low spatial resolution, it allows for the analysis of a large number of pumice clasts in a short time, which can address larger scale heterogeneity, by efficiently generating a large representative suite of bubble size and shape data to link bubble textures to conduit processes. This provides vital information for quantitatively modeling eruption dynamics.[Figure not available: see fulltext.].
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Space and Planetary Science