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Phreatic (non-juvenile) eruptions are the most common type of magmatic activity on Earth. Here we review the characteristics of phreatic eruptions, which occur when overheated water is rapidly vaporized. Tephra layers produced by phreatic eruptions are composed mainly of clay-rich volcanic ash with variably altered lapilli and volcanic blocks. A single phreatic eruption can last between one hour and one day; however, eruptions may occur successively over a period of years to decades. The totaldoi:10.5575/geosoc.2017.0071 fatcat:qtwa6thkw5hibf666mkjaeidsu