py·​ro·​clas·​tic | \ ˌpī-rō-ˈkla-stik How to pronounce pyroclastic (audio) \

Definition of pyroclastic

: formed by or involving fragmentation as a result of volcanic or igneous action

Examples of pyroclastic in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The scattered set of bones mostly belonged to someone at least 50 years old, who may have been laying in bed when the pyroclastic flow swept through town. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "Archaeologists excavate ancient Roman takeout counter at Pompeii," 28 Dec. 2020 But both were equally helpless when the torrent of gas and dust, called a pyroclastic flow, swept down the slopes of Vesuvius. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "Archaeologists find two more bodies among the ruins of Pompeii," 23 Nov. 2020 On Monday, Italy’s Stromboli volcano fired ash hundreds of feet into the air and launched a pyroclastic flow tumbling down its slope, according to Italy’s Istituto Nazionale Geofisica e Vulcanologia (INGV). Alex Fox, Smithsonian Magazine, "Watch This Recent Giant Eruption at Italy’s Stromboli Volcano," 18 Nov. 2020 Radiocarbon dates on bits of wooden debris found in the pyroclastic layers could only narrow it down to somewhere between 270 and 562 CE. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "New data on a volcanic eruption that scattered ash across Maya lands," 28 Sep. 2020 But a 2001 study in Nature, co-authored by Petrone, estimated a temperature of 500° Celsius (932° Fahrenheit) for the pyroclastic surge that destroyed Pompeii, sufficient to kill inhabitants in fractions of a second. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Archaeologists find evidence of neurons in glassy brain of Vesuvius victim," 5 Oct. 2020 In a recent study, Oxford University archaeologist Victoria Smith and her colleagues used tree rings from a stump caught in a pyroclastic flow, along with data from polar ice cores obtained more than 7,000km (4,300 miles) away. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "New data on a volcanic eruption that scattered ash across Maya lands," 28 Sep. 2020 Avalanches of hot gas and debris called pyroclastic flows raced down the mountain, engulfing whole villages at the bottom, Tafreshi said. National Geographic, "What's behind the hurricanes and wildfires?," 26 Aug. 2020 Herculaneum is a little more than 9 miles from Pompeii, and the pyroclastic flow doesn’t hit until the late afternoon. Cody Cassidy, Wired, "How to Escape From an Erupting Volcano," 8 Sep. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'pyroclastic.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of pyroclastic

1862, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of pyroclastic was in 1862

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Last Updated

17 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Pyroclastic.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Mar. 2021.

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