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Abstract

We have simulated the dynamics of convection, mixing and ascent of two basaltic magmas differing in their volatile and crystal content, giving rise to a gravitationally unstable configuration along a dyke or fissure. Numerical simulations are performed by a recently developed code which describes the transient 2D dynamics of multicomponent fluids from the incompressible to the compressible regime, and the initial and boundary conditions are inspired to the paroxysmal eruption which occurred at Stromboli in 2003 (D'Auria et al. 2006). Multicomponent (H2O+CO2) saturation is accounted for by modelling the non-ideal equilibrium between the gas phase and the melt. The numerical results show the formation of a rising bulge of light magma, and the sink of discrete batches of dense magma towards deep fissure regions. Such dynamics are associated with a complex evolution of the pressure field, which shows variations occurring over a wide spectrum of frequencies. A first order analysis of the propagation of such pressure disturbances through the country rocks shows that the pre-eruptive fissure dynamics are able to produce mm-size, mainly radial deformation of the volcano, and a detectable seismic signal with spectral peaks at periods of about 50 s.

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