Fluid Dynamics of High Pressure Volcanic Eruptions

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ProQuest, 2008 - 115 pages
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In large explosive volcanic eruptions, the eruptive fluid issues from the vent as a high speed, compressible gas with entrained solid particulates. It is important to quantify the behavior of this gas-thrust region because it provides a connection between the fluid dynamics in volcanic conduits with those of the buoyant column. If the eruptive fluid velocity is at or greater than sonic and vent pressure is higher than atmospheric pressure, the dynamics will be complicated by the presence of standing shock waves that can drastically alter the distribution of the vertical heat flux necessary for eruption column stability. Although application of compressible jet dynamics to explosive volcanic eruptions was first suggested over 25 years ago by Kieffer (1981), the concept has yet to be widely applied in modeling and analysis of explosive eruption columns. Here I present results from computational simulations of high pressure volcanic eruptions. I show that the dynamics resulting from high pressure volcanic vents can have a large influence on the downstream dynamics of the eruption column. The effects of standing shock waves may change the stability of the column and lead to the formation of pyroclastic flows.

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Effects of Vent Overpressure on Eruption Column Stability
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