Did You Know? There are different types of volcanic eruptions, one of which is a Plinian eruption. It is named after Pliny the Younger, a young man who survived the attack of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD, and later described the event, although no one believed him at the time. A Plinian eruption consists firstly of a huge vertical column of gas and ash, and a rain of hardened drops of lava which fall from the ash and gas clouds dispersed above. Sometimes, the immense amount of magma being erupted can break off the summit of the volcano, creating what is called a caldera (sort of avalanche). A much more recent example of a Plinian eruption is in 2010, the Mount Eyjafjallajökull in Iceland. The ash and gas clouds dispersed in the atmosphere by the volcano caused an almost worldwide aerial disruption for a small week. I myself was 'stuck' in France because of this Plinian eruption.