# How can a volcanic eruption's energy be Calculated?

by promeus
Tags: energy, kilotons, theoretical yield
 P: 27 The thread title speaks for itself,I am wondering how I would be able to this. Ex: Volcano A erupts Volcano A yielded 1 kiloton of energy. ^^^How would I calculate that? ^^^
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P: 329
 Quote by promeus The thread title speaks for itself,I am wondering how I would be able to this. Ex: Volcano A erupts Volcano A yielded 1 kiloton of energy. ^^^How would I calculate that? ^^^
I have never seen the calculation worked out, but it seems like a good first approximation is to calculate the increase in potential energy of the solid material that emerges used Ep=mgh. You could estimate the mass of the magma/lava from its volume and density (which will vary with magma composition). The change in height would be from the magma chamber to the altitude at which it cools.

More refined calculations could take into the mass of tephra in the plume and the heat lost as the lava cools. I suspect those contributions will not change order of magnitude, and perhaps give the same value to one significant figure.
 Admin P: 21,399 There is Volcanic Explosive Index - http://volcanoes.usgs.gov/images/pglossary/vei.php http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Volcanic_Explosivity_Index I believe that one option is to calculate the volume of earth ejected from a crater (from before and after pictures) then some assumption of the density is made to calculate the mass and how it was ejected. More recently - "Explosive Energy" During Volcanic Eruptions from Fractal Analysis of Pyroclasts http://www.earth-prints.org/bitstrea...l_fractals.pdf
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P: 1,958

## How can a volcanic eruption's energy be Calculated?

 Quote by Astronuc I believe that one option is to calculate the volume of earth ejected from a crater (from before and after pictures) then some assumption of the density is made to calculate the mass and how it was ejected.
yes thats true
one other link I followed the other day was along those lines

they look at the energy required to lift say 10 cubic km of rock of "x" density to 510m

its gives a reasonably definitive result.

cheers
Dave

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