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Hyaloclastite is a hydrated tuff-like breccia rich in black volcanic glass, formed during volcanic eruptions under water or under ice. It has the appearance of angular flat fragments sized between a millimeter to few centimeters. The fragmentation occurs by the force of the volcanic explosion, or by thermal shock during rapid cooling.
Additional recommended knowledge
Several minerals are found in hyaloclastite masses. Sideromelane is a basalt glass rapidly quenched in water. It is transparent and pure, lacking the iron oxide crystals dispersed in the more commonly occurring tachylite. Fragments of these glasses are usually surrounded by a yellow waxy layer of palagonite, formed by reaction of sideromelane with water.
Hyaloclastite ridges, formed by subglacial eruptions during the Ice age, are a prominent landscape feature of Iceland and British Columbia. Hyaloclastite is usually found at subglacial volcanoes, such as tuyas, which is type of distinctive, flat-topped, steep-sided volcano formed when lava erupts through a thick glacier or ice sheet.
|This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Hyaloclastite". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.|