Volcanic Explosively Index of VEI

VEI Description Plume Height Volume Classification
0 non-explosive <100 m 1000s m3 Hawaiian
1 gentle 100-1000 m 10,000s m3 Haw/Strombolian
2 explosive 1-5 km 1,000,000s m3 Strom/Vulcanian
3 severe 3-15 km 10,000,000s m3 Vulcanian
4 cataclysmic 10-25 km 100,000,000s m3 Vulc/Plinian
5 paroxysmal >25 km 1 km3 Plinian
6 colossal >25 km 10s km3 Plin/Ultra-Plinian
7 >25 km 100s km3 Ultra-Plinian
8 >25 km 1,000s km3 Ultra-Plinian

The VEI is the eruption magnitude scale that volcanologists use to rate eruptions. It is based on a number of things that can be observed during an eruption.

Adapted from VEI Scale at: http://volcano.und.nodak.edu/vwdocs/eruption_scale.html