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Authors: Cerminara, Matteo* 
Esposti Ongaro, Tomaso* 
Neri, Augusto* 
Title: Large Eddy Simulation of gas–particle kinematic decoupling and turbulent entrainment in volcanic plumes
Issue Date: 4-Jul-2016
Series/Report no.: /326 (2016)
DOI: 10.1016/j.jvolgeores.2016.06.018
Keywords: Volcanic plumes
Large eddy simulations
Dispersed multiphase turbulence
Entrainment coefficient
Grain size distribution
Numerical model
Abstract: In the framework of the IAVCEI (International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth Interior) intercomparison study on volcanic plume models, we present three-dimensional (3D) numerical simulations carried out with the ASHEE (ASH Equilibrium Eulerian) model. The ASHEE model solves the compressible balance equations of mass, momentum, and enthalpy of a gas-particle mixture and is able to describe the kinematic decoupling for particles characterized by Stokes number (i.e., the ratio between the particle equilibrium time and the flow characteristic time) lower than 0.2 (or particles smaller than about 1 mm). The computational fluid dynamic model is designed to accurately simulate a turbulent flow field using a Large Eddy Simulation approach, and is thus suited to analyze the role of particle non-equilibrium in the dynamics of turbulent volcanic plumes. The two reference scenarios analyzed correspond to a weak (mass eruption rate = 1.5 * 106 kg/s) and a strong volcanic plume (mass eruption rate = 1.5 * 109 kg/s) in absence of wind. For each scenario, we compare the 3D results, averaged in space and time, with theoretical results obtained from integral plume models. Such an approach enables quantitative evaluation of the effects of grid resolution and the subgrid-scale turbulence model, and the influence of gas-particle non-equilibrium processes on the large-scale plume dynamics. We thus demonstrate that the uncertainty on the numerical solution associated with such effects can be significant (of the order of 20%), but still lower than that typically associated with input data and integral model approximations. In the Weak Plume case, 3D results are consistent with the predictions of integral models in the jet and plume regions, with an entrainment coefficient around 0.10 in the plume region. In the Strong Plume case, the self-similarity assumption is less appropriate and the entrainment coefficient in the plume region is more unstable, with an average value of 0.24. For both cases, integral model predictions diverge from the 3D plume behavior in the umbrella region. The presented analysis of 3D numerical simulations thus enables identification of the critical hypotheses that underlie integral models used in operational studies. In addition, high-resolution 3D runs allow reproduction of observable quantities (such as infrasound signals) which can be useful for constraining eruption dynamics during real events.
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