A new quantitative welding degree classification for ignimbrites

Akin M., TOPAL T., Dinçer İ., AKIN M., Özvan A., Orhan A., ...More

Environmental Earth Sciences, vol.82, no.13, 2023 (SCI-Expanded) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 82 Issue: 13
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s12665-023-11026-7
  • Journal Name: Environmental Earth Sciences
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, IBZ Online, PASCAL, Aerospace Database, Agricultural & Environmental Science Database, Applied Science & Technology Source, Aqualine, Aquatic Science & Fisheries Abstracts (ASFA), BIOSIS, CAB Abstracts, Compendex, Computer & Applied Sciences, Environment Index, Geobase, INSPEC, Pollution Abstracts, Veterinary Science Database, Civil Engineering Abstracts
  • Keywords: Ignimbrite, Oblateness ratio, Pumice, Strength, Welding, Welding degree classification
  • Van Yüzüncü Yıl University Affiliated: Yes


As a pyroclastic rock type, ignimbrites may reveal varying degrees of welding depending on the temperature (> 535 ℃) and overburden pressure conditions during its formation. The welding degree of ignimbrites increases as the formation temperature and the thickness of the overburden deposit in the depositional environment escalate, which are the most crucial factors controlling the rate of welding in ignimbrites. With the increasing temperature, plastic deformation is observed in ignimbrites and the glassy minerals are being welded. Furthermore, the thickness of the overburden causes the deformation of the ash matrix in ignimbrites at the lower sections and the pumice grains are flattened at different rates. An increase in the degree of welding of ignimbrites causes an improvement in the physical and mechanical properties of the rock material as well. Within the scope of this research, petrographical, mineralogical, and geochemical studies were carried out on a total of 16 different ignimbrite types, which have different color and texture properties, obtained from three different regions of Turkey (Kayseri, Nevşehir, Ahlat) where ignimbrites extensively crop out, and the physical and mechanical properties of these samples were revealed. Consequently, a new welding classification was developed for ignimbrites considering the uniaxial compressive strength and dry unit weight. The proposed welding classification consists of six classes ranging from non-welded to highly welded. When the welding degrees of the selected ignimbrites are evaluated, Kayseri ignimbrites mostly exhibit moderate welding characteristics. Nevşehir ignimbrites, on the other hand, have a low welding degree whereas the degree of welding in Ahlat ignimbrites may vary from low to high. Additionally, long and short axis lengths of pumice grains in the ignimbrite specimens were determined by measuring under the microscope, and shape ratios were determined by different shape parameter evaluation methods. As a result, it has been concluded that the pumice grains in Kayseri and Ahlat ignimbrites have a more lenticular structure than the pumice grains in Nevşehir ignimbrites. Eventually, the welding degree classes of ignimbrites and the classification developed by using threshold values of the oblateness ratio (OR) values of pumice grains at different welding degrees are quite compatible. The proposed welding degree classification is of great importance in the selection of ignimbrites widely used as dimension stone and in terms of engineering classification of this rock type as well as it will guide to the scientific studies to be performed on ignimbrites with varying physical and mechanical properties.