Pyroclastic eruptions involve either explosions of mainly solid rock, ash and hot gases or the collapse of a volcano during an eruption. Known as pyroclastic flows, these eruptions consist of emissions of large rock fragments that fall close to volcanoes and ash clouds that rise above them.
Pyroclastic flows result in severe destruction through various means. Large erupted boulders destroy through impact, clouds of smaller debris and ash bury surrounding areas, heated materials melt snow and cause mixtures of melted snow and sediment to flood an area and hot volcanic debris burns forests and buildings. Temperatures of pyroclastic material range from 200 to 700 degrees Celsius.