Volcano eruptions are classified by volcanologists in one of five ways, from most to least violent: Pelean, Vulcanian, Strombolian, Hawaiian, or Icelandic.
The names of the classifications come from specific volcanoes or places where volcanoes have erupted.
What is a Pelean eruption like?
Gases, steam, pumice, and ash are the major players in Pelean eruptions.
The great strength of the explosion is a result of hardened magma stopping up the crater. Underneath, heat and pressure grow until the magma plug blows.
Then gases, steam, frothy pumice, and ash rocket skyward. Lava appears only after the build-up of other materials has been released.
Pelean eruptions are named after Mount Pelee on the island of Martinique, in the Caribbean Sea.