Most lava flows carry bubbles and crystals in suspension. From earlier works, it is known that spherical bubbles increase the effective viscosity while bubbles deformed by rapid flow decrease it. Changes in the spatial distribution of bubbles can lead to variable rheology and flow localization and thus modify the resulting lava flow structure and morphology. To understand the roles of bubble and solid phase crystal distributions, we conducted a series of analog experiments of high bubble fraction suspensions. We poured the analog lava on an inclined slope, observed its shape, calculated the velocity field, and monitored its local thickness. A region of localized rapid flow and low vesicularity, whose thickness is thinner than the surrounding area, develops at the center of the bubbly flows. These features suggest that the locally higher liquid fraction decreases the effective viscosity, increases the fluid density, and accelerates the flow. We also found that a halted particle‐bearing bubbly flow can resume flowing. We interpret this to result from the upward vertical separation of bubbles, which generates a liquid‐rich layer at the bottom of the flow. In our experiment, bubbles are basically spherical and decrease the flow velocity, while our estimate suggests that bubbles inmore »
 Award ID(s):
 1929008
 Publication Date:
 NSFPAR ID:
 10373933
 Journal Name:
 Proceedings of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences
 Volume:
 477
 Issue:
 2254
 ISSN:
 13645021
 Sponsoring Org:
 National Science Foundation
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Abstract 
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