Fluid dynamic induced break-up during volcanic eruptions

Jones, T.J. and Reynolds, C.D. and Boothroyd, S.C. (2019) Fluid dynamic induced break-up during volcanic eruptions. Nature Communications, 10 (1). ISSN 2041-1723

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Determining whether magma fragments during eruption remains a seminal challenge in volcanology. There is a robust paradigm for fragmentation of high viscosity, silicic magmas, however little is known about the fragmentation behaviour of lower viscosity systems-the most abundant form of volcanism on Earth and on other planetary bodies and satellites. Here we provide a quantitative model, based on experiments, for the non-brittle, fluid dynamic induced fragmentation of low viscosity melts. We define the conditions under which extensional thinning or liquid break-up can be expected. We show that break-up, both in our experiments and natural eruptions, occurs by both viscous and capillary instabilities operating on contrasting timescales. These timescales are used to produce a universal break-up criterion valid for low viscosity melts such as basalt, kimberlite and carbonatite. Lastly, we relate these break-up instabilities to changes in eruptive behaviour, the associated natural hazard and ultimately the deposits formed.

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Journal Article
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Nature Communications
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06 Oct 2022 13:55
Last Modified:
22 Nov 2022 11:50