Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/2122/3221
AuthorsEsposti Ongaro, T.* 
Clarke, A. B.* 
Neri, A.* 
Voight, B.* 
Widiwijayanti, C.* 
TitleFluid-dynamics of the 1997 Boxing Day volcanic blast on Montserrat, W.I.
Issue Date2007
URIhttp://hdl.handle.net/2122/3221
KeywordsPyroclastic flow
Montserrat
Subject Classification04. Solid Earth::04.08. Volcanology::04.08.08. Volcanic risk 
AbstractDirected volcanic blasts are powerful explosions with a significant laterally¬directed component, which can generate devastating, high-energy pyroclastic density currents (PDCs). Such blasts are an important class of eruptive phenomena, but quantified understanding of their dynamics and effects is still incomplete. Here we use 2D and 3D multiparticle thermofluid dynamic flow codes to examine a powerful volcanic blast that occurred on Montserrat in December 1997. Based on the simulations, we divide the blast into three phases; an initial burst phase lasts roughly 5 s and involves rapid expansion of the gas-pyroclast mixture, a gravitational collapse phase which occurs when the erupted material fails to mix with sufficient air to form a buoyant column and thus collapses asymmetrically, and a PDC phase which is dominated by motion parallel to the ground surface and is influenced by topography. We vary key input parameters such as total gas energy and total solid mass to understand their influence on simulations, and compare the simulations with independent field observations of damage and deposits, demonstrating that the models generally capture important large-scale features of the natural phenomenon. We also examine the 2D and 3D model results to estimate the flow Mach number and conclude that the range of damage sustained at villages on Montserrat can be reasonably explained by the spatial and temporal distribution of the dynamic pressure associated with subsonic PDCs.
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