• Pumice
Not to be confused with pomace.
Pumice ( /'pamis/), called pumicite in its powdered or dust form, is a volcanic rock that consists of highly vesicular rough textured volcanic glass, which may or may not contain crystals. It is typically light colored. Scoria is another vesicular volcanic rock that differs from pumice in having larger vesicles, thicker vesicle walls and being dark colored and denser. !"!!2!
Pumice is created when super-heated, highly pressurized rock is violently ejected from a volcano. The unusual foamy configuration of pumice happens because of simultaneous rapid cooling and rapid depressurization. The depressurization creates bubbles by lowering the solubility of gases (including water and CO,) that are dissolved in the lava, causing the gases to rapidly exsolve (like the bubbles of
CO, that appear when a carbonated drink is opened). The simultaneous cooling and depressurization freezes the bubbles in a matrix. Eruptions under water are rapidly cooled and the large volume of pumice created can be a shipping hazard for cargo The pores of pumice and pumicite can have sizes from a wide range. Namely, the size of the pores can be as large as parts of micrometre
(um) and more rough pores with sizes up to 2-3 mm. The main difference between pumice and the pumicite is in the size of the grains. More specifically, the material with grain size of 2 mm or larger (up to large blocks) is classified as pumice. On the other hand, the material with size of grains smaller than
2 mm (including the fine dispersed material) is classified as
Contents v
Specimen of highly porous pumice from Teide volcano on Tenerife,
Canary Islands. Density of specimen approximately 0.25 scale in centimeters.
Kutkhiny Baty, a pumice rock
formation outcrop located 4 km from the source of the Ozernaya
River (Lake Kurile), near the
southern tip of the Kamchatka
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