GEOG103 Physical Geography

Table of Contents


You can choose an active volcano or inactive volcano, and where is it located.

What is its age (ie.

Which orogenic event is it related to?

Please describe its features and the type of volcano it might be.

What type of development does it associate with (ie.

It is what kind of rock?

What year was it the last time it erupted?

Damage caused, fallout, and lava, as well as human impact, are some examples.

It is expected to erupt again in the future. When and how will it do so? Explain to people/organisms surrounding it, monitor it, etc.



De Guzman (2004) stated Mount Pinatubo volcano mountain is located on Luzon Island, Philippines. It can be found on South East Asia.

It lies at the border of Eurasian and Philippine plates.

Newhall, Hendley, and Stauffer (1997) claim that Mount Pinatubo’s largest eruption took place 35000 years ago.

The eruption produced pyroclastic materials that reached a thickness up to 100m along the sides of the volcano mountain.

Type Descriptions

Pallister and colleagues (1996) said that Mount Pinatubo was a stratovolcano, and is located in Luzon. Its historical eruption can be divided into two parts.

The transition from an old volcano to the formation of Pinatubo was the first part. It occurred 35000 years ago.

The old Pinatubo was composed of both andesite as well as dacite.

It is located exactly at the current location of the Pinatubo.

The modern Pinatubo is the second distinctive part. It has a dome-like shape and is classified stratovolcano. It is made of both andesite as well as dacite.

It is surrounded both by lahar deposits as well as pyroclastic.

Its explosive eruptions occurred in clusters on the eruptive range of 6-12 periods.

While the 1991 eruption was considered to have the smallest eruption period, the eruption that occurred 460 year ago was considered to have a shorter period than other volcanic periods.

The highest elevation recorded above sea level after the 1991 eruption was 5725 feet. This meant that a volcano of approximately 500 feet was active at the time the eruption occurred.

Pinatubo was formed from dacite magma, cooled ash, and resulted in the formation of a shallow magma chamber below the volcano.

An explosive eruption occurs when magma-rich gas and crystals form in this chamber.

Pinatubo, although it has been active since the 1992 eruption, is now considered dormant.


Cole and Stewart (2009) claim that Pinatubo volcano was formed by subduction of an oceanic plate.

The subduction zone is the area where tectonic plates meet with Earth’s crust.

The boundary where the large portions of the Earth’s crust interact with one another is called the plate boundaries.

The subduction zone is formed when the plates collide.

Because the magma’s density is lower than the rock, it resurfaces. The magma will then be pushed up through cracks and exploded to form a volcano mountain by the pressure through smaller cracks.

Types of Rock

Analyses of the rock samples from Mount Pinatubo revealed that they are mostly composed of dacite and andesitic andesiticxenoliths.

Andesite’s physical appearance is gray-black. Its formation is based upon stratovolcanoes.

The main association with Plinian eruptions is the color of dacite rocks, which range from dark gray to black.

Dacite lava contains about 65% silica. Its eruption takes place at a temperature around 900 0C. The main minerals that it is composed of are feldspar, pyroxene and amphibole.

Pumice is porous, light-weight, and formed during volcanic eruptions. It is also known as volcanic glass or mineral.

Physical Features

Volcanic plug is a landform that forms on active volcanoes when the lava inside the vent hardens.

High pressure will build up beneath the magma, which can lead to an explosive eruption.

Vents are areas where there is an eruption of pyroclastic materials and they are the same area where lava flows. Their orientation forms can be used to determine many eruption characteristics based upon their association.

A lahar is usually triggered by a volcanic eruption. The mudslides that form these lava flows down the volcano mountain.

History of Eruption

Mount Pinatubo’s eruption of June 1991 was traced back to July 1990, when an earthquake of 7.8 magnitude struck one hundred kilometers north of Mount Pinatubo. This caused a land slide near the summit. In early 1991, several Earth tremors as well as earthquakes, were also experienced.

Early June 1991 saw the emission of sulfur dioxide. While earthquakes continued to occur, the mountain began bulging as magma moved towards the surface.

Finally, the violet explosion at Mount Pinatubo on 14 June 1991 occurred.

Impact of the Eruption

Legmay et al (2007) stated that the eruption caused a significant disaster where approximately 800 people lost their lives. The damage also resulted in a loss of around one and half billion dollars in property and economic losses.

The eruption caused serious disruption to the central Luzon economy, causing damage to 4,979 homes.

Tilling (2005) stated that the major cause of the destruction following the eruption of Mount Pinatubo’s eruption was due to lahars rain. The debris that hurled down the Mountain killed people and buried homes.

Hansen, Lacis and Ruedy (1992) claim that the volcanic eruption at Mount Pinatubo caused a significant change in the climate and the rainfall patterns in Asia.

Although the eruption took place 27 years ago, it is difficult to predict if similar eruptions will occur.

The expected eruption will occur in 500 years, if the Pinatubo records it. Previous history suggests that the eruption of 1991 took approximately 500 years.

Refer to

In June 1991, Mount Pinatubo erupted in the Philippines.

Asian Disaster Reduction Center Retrieved From.

Potential climate impact from Mount Pinatubo’s eruption.

Geophysical Research Letters 19(2), 215-218.

Geology and hazard implications for the Maraunot notch, Pinatubo Caldera (Philippines).

Bulletin of volcanology, 1969(7), 797-809.

The benefits of volcano monitoring far exceed costs: Mount Pinatubo.

US Geological Survey.

The 1991 deposits provide petrographic and chemical evidence of magma mixing at Mount Pinatubo.

687-731. Fire and mud: Mount Pinatubo’s eruptions and lahars.

Radiative forcing caused by the 1991 Mount Pinatubo volcanic explosion.

Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres. 103D12, 13837-13857.

The environment and volcanic hazards.

Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 55-89

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