Bulletin of Volcanology

, Volume 69, Issue 1, pp 51–56 | Cite as

An analogue experimental model of depth fluctuations in lava lakes

  • Fred Witham
  • Andrew W. Woods
  • Charlotte Gladstone
Research Article

Abstract

Lava lakes, consisting of molten degassing lava in summit craters of active basaltic volcanoes, sometimes exhibit complex cycles of filling and emptying on time-scales of hours to weeks such as recorded at Pu’u’O’o in Hawaii and Oldoinyo Lengai in Tanzania. Here we report on a new series of analogue laboratory experiments of two-phase flow in a reservoir-conduit-lava lake system which spontaneously generates oscillations in the depth of liquid within the lake. During the recharge phase, gas supplied from a subsurface reservoir of degassing magma drives liquid magma up the conduit, causing the lake to fill. As the magmastatic pressure in the lake increases, the upward supply of magma, driven by the gas bubbles, falls. Eventually the upflow becomes unstable, and liquid drains downwards from the lake, driven by the magmastatic pressure of the overlying lake, suppressing the ascent of any more bubbles from the chamber. At a later stage, once the lake has drained sufficiently, the descent speed of liquid through the conduit decreases below the ascent speed of the bubbles, and the recharge cycle resumes. Application of a quantitative model of the experiments to the natural system is broadly consistent with field data.

References

  1. Barker SR, Sherrod DR, Lisowski M, Heliker C, Nakata JS (2003) Correlation between lava-pond drainback, seismicity, and ground deformation at Pu’u ‘O’o. US Geol Surv Prof Pap 1676, USGS, Boulder, CO, pp 53–62Google Scholar
  2. Head JW III, Wilson L (1987) Lava fountain heights at Pu’u ‘O’o, Kilauea, Hawaii: indicators of amount and variations of exsolved magma volatiles. J Geophys Res 92(B13):13715–13719CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Jaupart C, Vergniolle S (1988) Laboratory models of Hawaiian and Strombolian eruptions. Nature 331:58–60CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Pyle DM, Pinkerton H, Norton GE, Dawson JB (1995) The dynamics of degassing at Oldoinyo Lengai. In: Bell, Keller (eds) Carbonatite volcanism: Oldoinyo Lengai and the petrogenesis of natrocarbonatites. IAVCEI Proceedings in Volcanology, Springer, Berlin Heidelberg New YorkGoogle Scholar
  5. Seyfried R, Fruendt A (2000) Experiments on conduit flow and eruption behaviour of basaltic volcanic eruptions. J Geophys Res 105:23727–23740CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Swanson DA, Duffield WA, Jackson DB, Peterson DW (1979) Chronological narrative of the 1969-71 Mauna Ulu eruption of Kilauea volcano. USGS Prof Paper no. 1056, USGS, Boulder, COGoogle Scholar
  7. Vergniolle S, Jaupart C (1986) Separated two-phase flow and basaltic eruptions. J Geophys Res 91(B12):12842–12860CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Wallis GB (1969) One dimensional, two phase flow. McGraw Hill, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  9. Wilson L, Head JW (1981) The ascent of basaltic magma on the earth and moon. J Geophys Res 86:2971–3001CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Wilson L, Parfitt EA, Head JW III (1994) Explosive volcanic eruptions VIII: the role of magma recycling in controlling the behaviour of Hawaiian-style lava fountains. Geophys J Int 121(1):215–225CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Wolfe EW, Garcia MO, Jackson DB, Koyanagi RY, Neal CA, Okamura AT (1987) The Pu’u ‘O’o eruption of Kilauea volcano, episodes 1–20, January 3 1983 to June 8 1984. USGS Prof Paper no. 1350, USGS, Boulder, CO, pp 471–508Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Fred Witham
    • 1
    • 2
  • Andrew W. Woods
    • 1
  • Charlotte Gladstone
    • 1
  1. 1.BP InstituteUniversity of CambridgeCambridgeUK
  2. 2.Department of Earth SciencesUniversity of BristolBristolUK

Personalised recommendations