Numerical simulation of explosive volcanic eruptions from the conduit flow to global atmospheric scales

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C. Textor
H. Graf
A. Longo
A. Neri
T. E. Ongaro
P. Papale
C. Timmreck
G. G. J. Ernst


Volcanic eruptions are unsteady multiphase phenomena, which encompass many inter-related processes across the
whole range of scales from molecular and microscopic to macroscopic, synoptic and global. We provide an
overview of recent advances in numerical modelling of volcanic effects, from conduit and eruption column processes
to those on the Earth s climate. Conduit flow models examine ascent dynamics and multiphase processes like
fragmentation, chemical reactions and mass transfer below the Earth surface. Other models simulate atmospheric
dispersal of the erupted gas-particle mixture, focusing on rapid processes occurring in the jet, the lower convective
regions, and pyroclastic density currents. The ascending eruption column and intrusive gravity current generated
by it, as well as sedimentation and ash dispersal from those flows in the immediate environment of the volcano are
examined with modular and generic models. These apply simplifications to the equations describing the system depending
on the specific focus of scrutiny. The atmospheric dispersion of volcanic clouds is simulated by ash tracking
models. These are inadequate for the first hours of spreading in many cases but focus on long-range prediction
of ash location to prevent hazardous aircraft - ash encounters. The climate impact is investigated with global models.
All processes and effects of explosive eruptions cannot be simulated by a single model, due to the complexity
and hugely contrasting spatial and temporal scales involved. There is now the opportunity to establish a closer integration
between different models and to develop the first comprehensive description of explosive eruptions and
of their effects on the ground, in the atmosphere, and on the global climate.

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How to Cite
Textor C, Graf H, Longo A, Neri A, Ongaro TE, Papale P, Timmreck C, Ernst GGJ. Numerical simulation of explosive volcanic eruptions from the conduit flow to global atmospheric scales. Ann. Geophys. [Internet]. 2005Dec.25 [cited 2022Jun.27];48(4-5). Available from: