Make your own free website on



When Mount Pelee erupted in 1902, it emitted a pyroclastic flow. According to the U.S Geological Survey-2004, a pyroclastic flow occurs when "High-speed avalanches of hot ash, rock fragments, and gas move down the sides of a volcano during explosive eruptions or when the steep edge of a dome breaks apart and collapses. These pyroclastic flows, which can reach 1500 degrees F and move at 100-150 miles per hour, are capable of knocking down and burning everything in their paths."

Figure 2- Mount Pelee in the famous 1902 eruption

The Magma Within
The magma within Mount Pelee is known as Silicic (granitic) magma. This type of magma is formed at convergent plate boundaries. It is rich in silica (SiO2- 65 to 75%) and aluminum (Al), with temperatures less than 850 degrees Celsius. The composition of the magma makes it more viscous, causing it to be more explosive. A combination of water and carbon dioxide make the magma erupt more violently due to the expansion of gas bubbles. The explosive nature of this magma is a threat to human beings.

Figure 6-the subduction of the plates which led to the formation of Mount Pelee

Home | Location | The Formation of Mount Pelee | Explosion!! | Interesting Facts | Satellite Photos | Works Cited

Lynch, Lloyd, and Stacy Edwards. "Reducing Tsunami Risk in the Eastern Caribbean." UWI Today. 14 May 2006. The University of West Indies, St Augustine, Trinidad & Tobago. 4 Jan. 2008 <>. 


"Mount Pelee, West Indies." Volcano World. 2005. The Department of Geosciences At Oregon State University. 3 Jan. 2008 <>. 


"Pyroclastic Flows and Pyroclastic Surges." Mont Pelée, Martinique, West Indies. 2004. U.S. Geological Survey. 29 Dec. 2007 <>.