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Authors: Todesco, M.* 
Neri, A.* 
Esposti Ongaro, T.* 
Papale, P.* 
Rosi, M.* 
Title: Pyroclastic flow dynamics and hazard in a caldera setting: application to Phlegrean Fields (Italy)
Issue Date: 2006
Series/Report no.: 11 / 7 (2006)
DOI: 10.1029/2006GC001314
Keywords: Phlegrean Fields
multiphase flow
pyroclastic flows
dynamic pressure
volcanic hazard
Subject Classification04. Solid Earth::04.08. Volcanology::04.08.08. Volcanic risk 
Abstract: Numerical simulation of pyroclastic density currents has developed significantly in recent years and is increasingly applied to volcanological research. Results from physical modeling are commonly taken into account in volcanic hazard assessment and in the definition of hazard mitigation strategies. In this work, we modeled pyroclastic density currents in the Phlegrean Fields caldera, where flows propagating along the flat ground could be confined by the old crater rims that separate downtown Naples from the caldera. The different eruptive scenarios (mass eruption rates, magma compositions, and water contents) were based on available knowledge of this volcanic system, and appropriate vent conditions were calculated for each scenario. Simulations were performed along different topographic profiles to evaluate the effects of topographic barriers on flow propagation. Simulations highlighted interesting features associated with the presence of obstacles such as the development of backflows. Complex interaction between outward moving fronts and backflows can affect flow propagation; if backflows reach the vent, they can even interfere with fountain dynamics and induce a more collapsing behavior. Results show that in the case of large events ( 108 kg/s), obstacles affect flow propagation by reducing flow velocity and hence dynamic pressure in distal regions, but they cannot stop the advancement of flows. Deadly conditions (in terms of temperature and ash concentration) characterize the entire region invaded by pyroclastic flows. In the case of small events (2.5 107 kg/s), flows are confined by distal topographic barriers which provide valuable protection to the region beyond.
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