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Colombier, M.; Gurioli, L.; Druitt, T. H.; Shea, T.; Boivin, P.; Miallier, D.; Cluzel, N. (2017): Textural evolution of magma during the 9.4-ka trachytic explosive eruption at Kilian Volcano, Chaine des Puys, France. In: Bulletin of Volcanology, Vol. 79, No. 2, 17
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Textural parameters such as density, porosity, pore connectivity, permeability, and vesicle size distributions of vesiculated and dense pyroclasts from the 9.4-ka eruption of Kilian Volcano, were quantified to constrain conduit and eruptive processes. The eruption generated a sequence of five vertical explosions of decreasing intensity, producing pyroclastic density currents and tephra fallout. The initial and final phases of the eruption correspond to the fragmentation of a degassed plug, as suggested by the increase of dense juvenile clasts (bimodal density distributions) as well as non-juvenile clasts, resulting from the reaming of a crater. In contrast, the intermediate eruptive phases were the results of more open-conduit conditions (unimodal density distributions, decreases in dense juvenile pyroclasts, and non-juvenile clasts). Vesicles within the pyroclasts are almost fully connected;however, there are a wide range of permeabilities, especially for the dense juvenile clasts. Textural analysis of the juvenile clasts reveals two vesiculation events: (1) an early nucleation event at low decompression rates during slow magma ascent producing a population of large bubbles (>1 mm) and (2) a syn-explosive nucleation event, followed by growth and coalescence of small bubbles controlled by high decompression rates immediately prior to or during explosive fragmentation. The similarities in pyroclast textures between the Kilian explosions and those at Soufriere Hills Volcano on Montserrat, in 1997, imply that eruptive processes in the two systems were rather similar and probably common to vulcanian eruptions in general.