European Commission logo
English English
CORDIS - EU research results
CORDIS

laboratory Experiments, Numerical moDellinG and field observAtions of basaltic Magma fragmEntation

Project description

Improving predictability of volcano eruptions

Basaltic eruptions are the most common form of volcanism on Earth. Prediction is difficult, and rapid and unpredictable transitions between effusive and explosive activity make it difficult to mitigate the risks associated with basaltic eruptions. The EU-funded ENDGAME project will investigate transitions in eruptive styles at basaltic volcanoes by studying fragmentation of basaltic magmas. It will use a combination of targeted cutting-edge fluid dynamics experiments, new holistic numerical modelling of magma ascent and brand-new field observations collected during basaltic eruptions. This interdisciplinary approach will shed light on one of the biggest challenges in volcanic hazard assessment.

Objective

For low viscosity magmas such as basalts, rapid and unpredictable transitions between effusive and explosive activity may occur. These transitions dramatically alter the impact of an eruption and pose a real challenge to policymakers tasked with mitigating the risks associated with basaltic eruptions. Mechanisms controlling these transitions, however, are not well understood, mainly due to the lack of a clear understanding of basaltic magma fragmentation.

The ENDGAME project proposes to investigate transitions in eruptive styles at basaltic volcanoes by studying fragmentation of basaltic magmas through a combination of targeted cutting-edge fluid dynamics experiments, new holistic numerical modelling of magma ascent and brand new field observations collected during a basaltic eruption.

ENDGAME will aim to:
1) define new constitutive equations for basaltic magma fragmentation by implementing and performing jet flow and shock-tube experiments with a bubble- and particle-bearing analogue material in combination with high-speed Schlieren shadow photography;
2) extend a state-of-the-art 3D transient model of magma ascent to model the evolution of the particle-size distribution resulting from fragmentation through time by using a numerical technique which has been recently applied in volcanology, the “Method of Moments”;
3) use the new 3D magma ascent model to investigate the transitions in eruptive style by comparing numerical results with laboratory experiments and field observations that will be collected during an eruption at Piton de la Fournaise.

The interdisciplinary approach that characterizes ENDGAME, e.g. linking cutting-edge fluid-dynamics experiments with state-of-the-art 3D magma ascent modelling and field observations of an active eruption, will allow us to shed light on one of the biggest challenges in volcanic hazard assessment: what parameters and how they control the transition in eruptive style at basaltic volcanoes?

Coordinator

ISTITUTO NAZIONALE DI GEOFISICA E VULCANOLOGIA
Net EU contribution
€ 171 473,28
Address
Via di Vigna Murata 605
00143 Roma
Italy

See on map

Region
Centro (IT) Lazio Roma
Activity type
Research Organisations
Links
Total cost
€ 171 473,28