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Preliminary Observations of the First MeV-Class XCT Scan of a Newly Erupted Pyroclastic Rock from Hunga Tonga Hunga Ha’apai (HTHH) in Tonga

A newly formed and emplaced pyroclastic volcanic rock about ~30 cm in diameter from the newly-erupted (and formed) island of Hunga Tonga Hunga Ha’apai (HTHH) in the Kingdom of Tonga [Garvin et al., 2018] was analyzed using volumetric 3D interior imaging methods by North Star Imaging (NSI)’s 6 MeV x-ray Computed Tomography (xCT) system for the purpose of evaluating the assembly history of this dense type of rock.

The MeV xCT (MCT) scan of the pyroclastic rock sample revealed distinctive patterns within its interior consistent with a multi-phase formation and emplacement history that would otherwise not have been possible to decipher without multiple rock-saw-based “slices” through a multi-layered specimen with wildly contrasting densities (and associated mineral assemblages).

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