Cyclic extrusion of a lava dome based on a stick-slip mechanism
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To link to this item DOI: 10.1016/j.epsl.2012.05.011
Lava dome eruptions are sometimes characterised by large periodic fluctuations in extrusion rate over periods of hours that may be accompanied by Vulcanian explosions and pyroclastic flows. We consider a simple system of nonlinear equations describing a 1D flow of lava extrusion through a deep elastic dyke feeding a shallower cylindrical conduit in order to simulate this short-period cyclicity. Stick-slip conditions depending on a critical shear stress are assumed at the wall boundary of the cylindrical conduit. By analogy with the behaviour of industrial polymers in a plastic extruder, the elastic dyke acts like a barrel and the shallower cylindrical portion of the conduit as a die for the flow of magma acting as a polymer. When we applied the model to the Soufrière Hills Volcano, Montserrat, for which the key parameters have been evaluated from previous studies, cyclic extrusions with periods from 3 to 30 h were readily simulated, matching observations. The model also reproduces the reduced period of cycles observed when a major unloading event occurs due to lava dome collapse.