Volcanic Eruption Scale

I learned something new today. There is a scale they use to measure volcanic eruptions. So similar to the Saffir-Simpson scale for hurricanes, here is the Eruption Scale (or the Volcanic Explosivity Index):

Volcanic Explosivity Index (VEI) or Eruption Scale
0: Non-Explosive, 1: Gentle, 100-1000 m plume height, 10,000 cube meter volume
2: Explosive, 1-5 km plume height, 1 M cube meter volume
3: Severe, 3-15 km plume height, 10 M cube meter volume
4: Cataclysmic, 10-25 km plume height, 100 M cube meter volume
5: Paroxysmal, >25 km plume height, 1 km cube meter volume
6: Colossal, >25 km plume height, 10 km cube meter volume
7: Super-Colossal, >25 km plume height, 100 km cube meter volume
8: Mega-Colossal, >25 km plume height, 1000 km cube meter volume

Some of those sound like coffee sizes as Starbucks.

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  • Interesting. What was the explosion in ’80?

  • rob

    Mt. St. Helens in 1981 was a 5: Paroxysmal, >25 km plume height, 1 km cube meter volume