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Volcanology University of Washington

Volcanology simulations with MFiX-DEM

Prof. George Bergantz and its team at the Department of Earth and Space Sciences, University of Washington, are simulating volcanic eruptions and ash plumes using the MFiX-DEM code. The advantage of DEM is that the movement of each crystal inside of the volcano can be tracked. The objective is to better understand what is happening inside a magma chamber and correlate the mechanics inside the volcano with outside observations. This will lead with improved predictions of when a volcano may erupt and will better prepare nearby population response to such event. Team members include Prof. George Bergantz and Jillian Schleicher (University of Washington) and Alain Burgisser (University of Savoy Mont Blanc, France).

Mixing in basaltic olivine mush

Life cycle of mixing in olivine mush. New crystal-free magma intrudes an olivine mush at 40% porosity from below. The new melt is white, the resident melt is black. After a while the input is shut off and the crystal pile collapses, trapping mixed melts.

Stress chains in crystal-rich magma

An olivine mush with about 40% porosity is intruded from below and partially fluidized. The normal stress chains are shown that map the transmission of crystal-crystal stress while the bed is fluidized and then after shut off, it collapses. Stress chains contribute to the formation of fabric and non-affine deformation.

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All videos and links courtesy of Prof. George Bergantz and Jillian Schleicher, University of Washington.