Cooling of a channeled lava flow with non-Newtonian rheology: crust formation and surface radiance

Andrea Tallarico, Michele Dragoni, Marilena Filippucci, Antonello Piombo, Stefano Santini, Antonella Valerio

Abstract


We present here the results from dynamical and thermal models that describe a channeled lava flow as it cools by radiation. In particular, the effects of power-law rheology and of the presence of bends in the flow are considered, as well as the formation of surface crust and lava tubes. On the basis of the thermal models, we analyze the assumptions implicit in the currently used formulae for evaluation of lava flow rates from satellite thermal imagery. Assuming a steady flow down an inclined rectangular channel, we solve numerically the equation of motion by the finite-volume method and a classical iterative solution. Our results show that the use of power-law rheology results in relevant differences in the average velocity and volume flow rate with respect to Newtonian rheology. Crust formation is strongly influenced by power-law rheology; in particular, the growth rate and the velocity profile inside the channel are strongly modified. In addition, channel curvature affects the flow dynamics and surface morphology. The size and shape of surface solid plates are controlled by competition between the shear stress and the crust yield strength: the degree of crust cover of the channel is studied as a function of the curvature. Simple formulae are currently used to relate the lava flow rate to the energy radiated by the lava flow as inferred from satellite thermal imagery. Such formulae are based on a specific model, and consequently, their validity is subject to the model assumptions. An analysis of these assumptions reveals that the current use of such formulae is not consistent with the model.

Keywords


Rheology, Magmas, Thermodynamics, Lava flow, Effusion rate.

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References


DOI: https://doi.org/10.4401/ag-5335
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Published by INGV, Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia - ISSN: 2037-416X