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Computer models of magmatic processes

The main products of the work at the department of Earth Sciences at Bristol University are numerical codes to describe the flow in volcanic conduits in extrusive and explosive eruptions. The mathematical models of this work are being described in various publications that have been published already or have been submitted or are in preparation.

Two main models have been developed:
- Models of transient explosive flows in conduits following a major pressure change that initiates explosive eruptions. The model considers in particular the role of molecular diffusion in governing the characteristics of the eruption. A major finding is that there is a spectrum of explosive eruptions for short-lived explosions to long-lasting and sustained explosive discharges.

- Models of conduit flows in extrusive eruptions that consider the several non-linear feedbacks in these systems. A particular development has been to include a much more realistic parameterisation of crystal growth kinetics in the models. The work confirms previous modelling work that volcanic systems can have multiple regimes and can be extraordinarily sensitive to slight changes of conditions near transition points between the regimes.

The codes that have been developed within MULTIMO will continue to be refined and will be open to the scientific community. A major direction of future research will be to integrate these models with models of magma chamber dynamics and elastic deformations of volcanic conduits. MULTIMO researchers at Bristol are participating in an international modelling group that is comparing the output of such codes on volcanic flows.

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University of Bristol
Wills Memorial Building, Queens Road
BS8 1RJ Bristol, Clifton
United Kingdom
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