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Authors: Giordano, D.* 
Polacci, M.* 
Longo, A.* 
Papale, P.* 
Dingwell, D. B.* 
Boschi, E.* 
Kasereka, M.* 
Title: Thermo-rheological magma control on the impact of highly fluid lava flows at Mt. Nyiragongo
Issue Date: 2007
Series/Report no.: / 34 (2007)
DOI: 10.1029/2006GL028459
Keywords: Nyiragongo volcano
textural and rheological measurements
numerical simulations
Subject Classification04. Solid Earth::04.08. Volcanology::04.08.99. General or miscellaneous 
Abstract: In January 2002 Mount Nyiragongo erupted foiditic lavas that covered the Southern volcano flank devastating vast urban areas. Lava flows originated from vents at different heights on the eruptive fissure displayed different velocities, from tens of km/h at the highest vents to slow-advance (0.1–1 km/h) in Goma town several km away from the volcano. To understand the different behavior of lava flows and their threat to the local population, we undertook a multidisciplinary study involving textural and rheological measurements and numerical simulations of heat transfer during magma ascent. We demonstrate that pre-eruptive cooling and syn-eruptive undercooling of magma determined the different rheological behavior of lava flows erupted from vents at diverse heights. Venting at lower altitudes is expected to produce viscous, slowly advancing lavas, although development of fluid, faster flows should be included among possible future eruptive scenarios.
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