Dome-building eruptions: Insights from analogue experiments
Published:January 01, 2008
S. J. Lane, J. C. Phillips, G. A. Ryan, 2008. "Dome-building eruptions: Insights from analogue experiments", Fluid Motions in Volcanic Conduits: A Source of Seismic and Acoustic Signals, S. J. Lane, J. S. Gilbert
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Laboratory flows, self-capped by high-viscosity fluid, exhibit vertical pressure gradients similar to those postulated within conduits feeding dome-building eruptions. Overpressure and pressure cycles exhibited at laboratory scale provide insight into the mechanism of tilt cycles at volcanic scale. Experimental pressure cycles correlated with the rate of gas escape, with pressure rise being controlled by diffusion of volatile into bubbles during times when gas escape from the flow was negligible. The increase in pressure continued until margin decrepitation created preferential pathways for rapid gas escape from permeable foam, thereby reducing pressure within the flow. As pressure reduced, the gas escape pathways sealed and diffusion repressurized the system. This implies that tilt cycles, such as those exhibited by the Soufrière Hills Volcano, Montserrat, result from a diffusively pumped process that oscillates around the viscous-elastic transition within the outer regions of the flow. Phases of open- and closed-system degassing result, with gas escaping through fractures created and maintained by the flow process itself. Fluid-dynamically, this mechanism generates an oscillation between Poiseuille flow and plug flow, with a 1-D model of plug motion giving a reasonable representation of observation in both experimental and volcanic cases.
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Fluid Motions in Volcanic Conduits: A Source of Seismic and Acoustic Signals
Volcanoes become active when fluids are in motion, and erupt when these fluids escape into the atmosphere. Volcanic fluids are a mixture of solid, liquid and gas. These mixtures result in a complex range of flow behaviour, especially during interaction with conduit geometry. These processes are not directly observable and must be inferred from interpretations of field observation and measurement. One of the outcomes of this complexity is the generation of pressure and force transients as high-density phases accelerate and decelerate during unsteady flow. These transients are one means of flexing the conduit wall, a process that manifests itself as ground motion and is detectable as volcano seismic signals. On eruption, volcanic fluids interact with the atmosphere and generate acoustic and thermal signals. In this Special Publication we present a series of papers based on field, numerical and experimental approaches that seek to establish links between geophysical signals and fluid motion in volcanic conduits.