Bulletin of Volcanology

, Volume 70, Issue 7, pp 805–812 | Cite as

Simulations of the 2004 lava flow at Etna volcano using the magflow cellular automata model

  • Ciro Del Negro
  • Luigi Fortuna
  • Alexis Herault
  • Annamaria Vicari
Research Article


Since the mechanical properties of lava change over time, lava flows represent a challenge for physically based modeling. This change is ruled by a temperature field which needs to be modeled. MAGFLOW Cellular Automata (CA) model was developed for physically based simulations of lava flows in near real-time. We introduced an algorithm based on the Monte Carlo approach to solve the anisotropic problem. As transition rule of CA, a steady-state solution of Navier-Stokes equations was adopted in the case of isothermal laminar pressure-driven Bingham fluid. For the cooling mechanism, we consider only the radiative heat loss from the surface of the flow and the change of the temperature due to mixture of lavas between cells with different temperatures. The model was applied to reproduce a real lava flow that occurred during the 2004–2005 Etna eruption. The simulations were computed using three different empirical relationships between viscosity and temperature.


Mount Etna Lava flow Simulation Cellular automata 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ciro Del Negro
    • 1
  • Luigi Fortuna
    • 2
  • Alexis Herault
    • 1
    • 3
  • Annamaria Vicari
    • 1
  1. 1.Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e VulcanologiaSezione di CataniaCataniaItaly
  2. 2.Dipartimento di Ingegneria Elettrica Elettronica e dei SistemiUniversità di CataniaCataniaItaly
  3. 3.Laboratoire de Science de InformationUniversité de Marne La Vallée, Paris XIIIMarne-la-Vallée Cedex 2France

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