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Authors: Dellino, P.* 
Dioguardi, F.* 
Zimanowski, B.* 
Buttner, R.* 
Mele, D.* 
La Volpe, L.* 
Sulpizio, R.* 
Doronzo, D. M.* 
Sonder, I.* 
Bonasia, R.* 
Calvari, S.* 
Marotta, E.* 
Title: Conduit flow experiments help constraining the regime of explosive eruptions
Issue Date: Dec-2009
Series/Report no.: / (2009)
DOI: 10.1029/2009JB006781
Keywords: explosive eruptions
Subject Classification04. Solid Earth::04.08. Volcanology::04.08.02. Experimental volcanism 
Abstract: It is currently impractical to measure what happens in a volcano during an explosive eruption, and up to now much of our knowledge depends on theoretical models. Here we show, by means of large-scale experiments, that the regime of explosive events can be constrained based on the characteristics of magma at the point of fragmentation and conduit geometry. Our model, whose results are consistent with the literature, is a simple tool for defining the conditions at conduit exit that control the most hazardous volcanic regimes. Besides the well-known convective plume regime, which generates pyroclastic fallout, and the vertically collapsing column regime, which leads to pyroclastic flows, we introduce an additional regime of radially expanding columns, which form when the eruptive gas-particle mixture exits from the vent at overpressure with respect to atmosphere. As a consequence of the radial expansion, a dilute collapse occurs, which favours the formation of density currents resembling natural base surges. We conclude that a quantitative knowledge of magma fragmentation, i.e. particle size, fragmentation energy and fragmentation speed, is critical for determining the eruption regime.
Description: Accepted for publication in (Geophysical Research Letters). Copyright (2009) American Geophysical Union.
Appears in Collections:Papers Published / Papers in press

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