Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/2122/3761
AuthorsColtelli, M.* 
Miraglia, L.* 
Scollo, S.* 
TitleCharacterization of shape and terminal velocity of tephra particles erupted during the 2002 eruption of Etna volcano, Italy
Issue Date27-Mar-2008
Series/Report no.9/70 (2008)
DOI10.1007/s00445-007-0192-8
URIhttp://hdl.handle.net/2122/3761
Keywordsshape parameters
terminal settling velocity
Subject Classification04. Solid Earth::04.08. Volcanology::04.08.99. General or miscellaneous 
AbstractAbstract In this paper, we present a complete morphological characterization of the ash particles erupted on 18 December 2002 from Etna volcano, Italy. The work is based on the acquisition and processing of bidimensional digital images carried out by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) to obtain shape parameters by image analysis. We measure aspect ratio (AR), form factor (FF), compactness (CC), and rectangularity (RT) of 2065 ash particles with size between 0.026 and 1.122 mm. We evaluate the variation of these parameters as a function of the grainsize. Ash particles with a diameter of <0.125 mm vary from mostly equant to very equant, ash particles between 0.125 and 0.250 mm have an intermediate shape, and particles with diameters >0.250 mm are subelongate. We find that, on average, particles with a diameter of <0.250 mm are subrounded, particles between 0.250 and 0.50 mm are subangular, and particles >0.50 mm are angular. Using this morphological analysis and an empirical relation between the drag coefficient (CD) and Reynolds number (Re) of Wilson and Huang (Earth Planet Sci Lett 44:311–324, 1979), we calculate the terminal settling velocities (VWH). The comparisons between these velocities and those calculated with the formula of Kunii and Levenspiel (Fluidization engineering. Wiley, New York, pp 97, 1969) (VKL), which considers ash particles as spheres, show that VKL are in average 1.28 greater than VWH. Hence, we quantify the systematic error on the spatial distribution of the mass computed around the volcano carried out by tephra dispersal models when the particles are assumed to be spherical.
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