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The formation of perched lava ponds on basaltic volcanoes: the influence of flow geometry on cooling-limited lava flow lengths.

Wilson, L. and Parfitt, E. A. (1993) The formation of perched lava ponds on basaltic volcanoes: the influence of flow geometry on cooling-limited lava flow lengths. Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, 56 (1-2). pp. 113-123.

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Abstract

Analysis of the formation of morphologically distinctive perched lava ponds produced in effusive basaltic eruptions focusses attention on the ways in which cooling and fluid dynamics interact to limit the distance a lava flow can travel. If a previously channelised flow spreads laterally on encountering a sudden decrease in the slope of the substrate or some other abrupt change in topography, its speed and thickness decrease progressively, in a way dictated by the requirements of mass and energy conservation. There is a consequent dramatic increase in heat loss from the lava as it thins. Where a flow spreads approximately radially in this way, it may form a perched lava pond. The high heat loss limits the size of any such pond to be at most a few hundred meters under almost all circumstances. Pond size depends much more strongly on lava volume flux than on any other physical parameter involved in the system, and the formation of these features provides a means of estimating eruption rates in paleo-eruptive episodes.

Item Type: Article
Journal or Publication Title: Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
Departments: Faculty of Science and Technology > Lancaster Environment Centre
ID Code: 22709
Deposited By: ep_ss_importer
Deposited On: 15 Jan 2009 09:45
Refereed?: No
Published?: Published
Last Modified: 26 Jul 2012 16:04
Identification Number:
URI: http://eprints.lancs.ac.uk/id/eprint/22709

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