Papers on Chemistry and Physics of Minerals and Rocks Volcanology
Dynamics of gas-driven eruptions: Experimental simulations using CO2-H2O-polymer system
Article first published online: 20 SEP 2012
Copyright 1997 by the American Geophysical Union.
Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth (1978–2012)
Volume 102, Issue B2, pages 3077–3096, 10 February 1997
How to Cite
1997), Dynamics of gas-driven eruptions: Experimental simulations using CO2-H2O-polymer system, J. Geophys. Res., 102(B2), 3077–3096, doi:10.1029/96JB03181., , and (
- Issue published online: 20 SEP 2012
- Article first published online: 20 SEP 2012
- Manuscript Accepted: 14 OCT 1996
- Manuscript Received: 12 APR 1996
We report exploratory experiments simulating gas-driven eruptions using the CO2-H2O system at room temperature as an analog of natural eruptive systems. The experimental apparatus consists of a test cell and a large tank. Initially, up to 1.0 wt% of CO2 is dissolved in liquid water under a pressure of up to 735 kPa in the test cell. The experiment is initiated by suddenly reducing the pressure of the test cell to a typical tank pressure of 10 kPa. The following are the main results: (1) The style of the process depends on the decompression ratio. There is a threshold decompression ratio above which rapid eruption occurs. (2) During rapid eruption, there is always fragmentation at the liquid-vapor interface. Fragmentation may also occur in the flow interior. (3) Initially, the top of the erupting column ascends at a constant acceleration (instead of constant velocity). (4) Average bubble radius grows as t2/3. (5) When viscosity is 20 times that of pure water or greater, a static foam may be stable after expansion to 97% vesicularity. The experiments provide several insights into natural gas-driven eruptions, including (1) the interplay between bubble growth and ascent of the erupting column must be considered for realistic modeling of bubble growth during gas-driven eruptions, (2) buoyant rise of the bubbly magma is not necessary during an explosive volcanic eruption, and (3) CO2-driven limnic eruptions can be explosive. The violence increases with the initial CO2 content dissolved in water.