During explosive volcanic eruptions, volcanic ash is ejected into the atmosphere, impacting aircraft safety and downwind communities. These volcanic clouds tend to be dominated by fine ash (<63 μm in diameter), permitting transport over hundreds to thousands of kilometers. However, field observations show that much of this fine ash aggregates into clusters or pellets with faster settling velocities than individual particles. Models of ash transport and deposition require an understanding of aggregation processes, which depend on factors like moisture content and local particle collision rates. In this study, we develop a Plume Model for Aggregate Prediction, a one‐dimensional (1D) volcanic plume model that predicts the plume rise height, concentration of water phases, and size distribution of resulting ash aggregates from a set of eruption source parameters. The plume model uses a control volume approach to solve mass, momentum, and energy equations along the direction of the plume axis. The aggregation equation is solved using a fixed pivot technique and incorporates a sticking efficiency model developed from analog laboratory experiments of particle aggregation within a novel turbulence tower. When applied to the 2009 eruption of Redoubt Volcano, Alaska, the 1D model predicts that the majority of the plume is over‐saturated with water, leading to a high rate of aggregation. Although the mean grain size of the computed Redoubt aggregates is larger than the measured deposits, with a peak at 1 mm rather than 500 μm, the present results provide a quantitative estimate for the magnitude of aggregation in an eruption.
Abstract. Plume-SPH provides the first particle-based simulation ofvolcanic plumes. Smoothed particle hydrodynamics (SPH) has several advantagesover currently used mesh-based methods in modeling of multiphase freeboundary flows like volcanic plumes. This tool will provide more accurateeruption source terms to users of volcanic ash transport anddispersion models (VATDs), greatly improving volcanic ash forecasts. The accuracy ofthese terms is crucial for forecasts from VATDs, and the 3-D SPH modelpresented here will provide better numerical accuracy. As an initial effortto exploit the feasibility and advantages of SPH in volcanic plume modeling,we adopt a relatively simple physics model (3-D dusty-gas dynamic modelassuming well-mixed eruption material, dynamic equilibrium and thermodynamicequilibrium between erupted material and air that entrained into the plume,and minimal effect of winds) targeted at capturing the salient features of avolcanic plume. The documented open-source code is easily obtained andextended to incorporate other models of physics of interest to the largecommunity of researchers investigating multiphase free boundary flows ofvolcanic or other origins.
The Plume-SPH code (https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.572819) also incorporates several newly developed techniques inSPH needed to address numerical challenges in simulating multiphasecompressible turbulent flow. The code should thus be also of general interestto the much larger community of researchers using and developing SPH-basedtools. In particular, the SPH−ε turbulence model is used to capturemixing at unresolved scales. Heat exchange due to turbulence is calculated bya Reynolds analogy, and a corrected SPH is used to handle tensile instabilityand deficiency of particle distribution near the boundaries. We alsodeveloped methodology to impose velocity inlet and pressure outlet boundaryconditions, both of which are scarce in traditional implementations of SPH.
The core solver of our model is parallelized with the message passinginterface (MPI) obtaining good weak and strong scalability using novel techniquesfor data management using space-filling curves (SFCs), object creationtime-based indexing and hash-table-based storage schemes. These techniques areof interest to researchers engaged in developing particles in cell-typemethods. The code is first verified by 1-D shock tube tests, then bycomparing velocity and concentration distribution along the central axis andon the transverse cross with experimental results of JPUE (jet or plume thatis ejected from a nozzle into a uniform environment). Profiles of severalintegrated variables are compared with those calculated by existing 3-D plumemodels for an eruption with the same mass eruption rate (MER) estimated forthe Mt. Pinatubo eruption of 15 June 1991. Our results are consistent withexisting 3-D plume models. Analysis of the plume evolution processdemonstrates that this model is able to reproduce the physics of plumedevelopment.more » « less
- Award ID(s):
- NSF-PAR ID:
- Date Published:
- Journal Name:
- Geoscientific Model Development
- Page Range / eLocation ID:
- 2691 to 2715
- Medium: X
- Sponsoring Org:
- National Science Foundation
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