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The influence of viscous and latent heating on crystal-rich magma flow in a conduit

Hale, A.J., Wadge, G. and Mulhaus, H. (2007) The influence of viscous and latent heating on crystal-rich magma flow in a conduit. Geophysical Journal International, 171 (3). pp. 1406-1429. ISSN 0956-540X

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-246X.2007.03593.x


The flow dynamics of crystal-rich high-viscosity magma is likely to be strongly influenced by viscous and latent heat release. Viscous heating is observed to play an important role in the dynamics of fluids with temperature-dependent viscosities. The growth of microlite crystals and the accompanying release of latent heat should play a similar role in raising fluid temperatures. Earlier models of viscous heating in magmas have shown the potential for unstable (thermal runaway) flow as described by a Gruntfest number, using an Arrhenius temperature dependence for the viscosity, but have not considered crystal growth or latent heating. We present a theoretical model for magma flow in an axisymmetric conduit and consider both heating effects using Finite Element Method techniques. We consider a constant mass flux in a 1-D infinitesimal conduit segment with isothermal and adiabatic boundary conditions and Newtonian and non-Newtonian magma flow properties. We find that the growth of crystals acts to stabilize the flow field and make the magma less likely to experience a thermal runaway. The additional heating influences crystal growth and can counteract supercooling from degassing-induced crystallization and drive the residual melt composition back towards the liquidus temperature. We illustrate the models with results generated using parameters appropriate for the andesite lava dome-forming eruption at Soufriere Hills Volcano, Montserrat. These results emphasize the radial variability of the magma. Both viscous and latent heating effects are shown to be capable of playing a significant role in the eruption dynamics of Soufriere Hills Volcano. Latent heating is a factor in the top two kilometres of the conduit and may be responsible for relatively short-term (days) transients. Viscous heating is less restricted spatially, but because thermal runaway requires periods of hundreds of days to be achieved, the process is likely to be interrupted. Our models show that thermal evolution of the conduit walls could lead to an increase in the effective diameter of flow and an increase in flux at constant magma pressure.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > Environmental Systems Science Centre
ID Code:819
Publisher:Blackwell Publishing

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