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Authors: Costa, A.* 
Macedonio, G.* 
Title: Numerical simulation of lava flows based on depth-averaged equations
Issue Date: 2005
Series/Report no.: 32, L05304
DOI: 10.1029/2004GL021817
Keywords: Etna eruptions
1-D models
cellular automata
Subject Classification05. General::05.01. Computational geophysics::05.01.05. Algorithms and implementation 
Abstract: Risks and damages associated with lava flows propagation (for instance the most recent Etna eruptions) require a quantitative description of this phenomenon and a reliable forecasting of lava flow paths. Due to the high complexity of these processes, numerical solution of the complete conservation equations for real lava flows is often practically impossible. To overcome the computational difficulties, simplified models are usually adopted, including 1-D models and cellular automata. In this work we propose a simplified 2D model based on the conservation equations for lava thickness and depthaveraged velocities and temperature which result in first order partial differential equations. The proposed approach represents a good compromise between the full 3-D description and the need to decrease the computational time. The method was satisfactorily applied to reproduce some analytical solutions and to simulate a real lava flow event occurred during the 1991–93 Etna eruption.
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