Bulletin of Volcanology

, Volume 72, Issue 6, pp 735–746 | Cite as

Simulating bubble number density of rhyolitic pumices from Plinian eruptions: constraints from fast decompression experiments

  • Morihisa Hamada
  • Didier Laporte
  • Nicolas Cluzel
  • Kenneth T. Koga
  • Tatsuhiko Kawamoto
Research Article


Decompression experiments of a crystal-free rhyolitic liquid with ≈ 6.6 wt. % H2O were carried out at a pressure range from 250 MPa to 30–75 MPa in order to characterize effects of magma ascent rate and temperature on bubble nucleation kinetics, especially on the bubble number density (BND, the number of bubbles produced per unit volume of liquid). A first series of experiments at 800°C and fast decompression rates (10–90 MPa/s) produced huge BNDs (≈ 2 × 1014 m−3 at 10 MPa/s ; ≈ 2 × 1015 m−3 at 90 MPa/s), comparable to those in natural silicic pumices from Plinian eruptions (1015–1016 m−3). A second series of experiments at 700°C and 1 MPa/s produced BNDs (≈ 9×1012 m−3) close to those observed at 800°C and 1 MPa/s (≈ 6 × 1012 m−3), showing that temperature has an insignificant effect on BNDs at a given decompression rate. Our study strengthens the theory that the BNDs are good markers of the decompression rate of magmas in volcanic conduits, irrespective of temperature. Huge number densities of small bubbles in natural silicic pumices from Plinian eruptions imply that a major nucleation event occurs just below the fragmentation level, at which the decompression rate of ascending magmas is a maximum (≥ 1 MPa/s).


Rhyolite Pumice Degassing Bubble number density Decompression experiment 



All the experiments and analyses were carried out at the Laboratoire Magmas et Volcans, Clermont-Ferrand, France. We thank Jean-Marc Hénot for his assistance with the scanning electron microscope, Ariel Provost for the scientific guidance, and Jean-Louis Fruquière and Franck Pointud for their technical assistance in the laboratory. We also thank Atsushi Toramaru for his fruitful discussions and encouragements. The manuscript was improved by a careful review by Jim Gardner. This study was supported by both the JSPS Japan-France integrated action program (SAKURA 2006–2007 to T. Kawamoto and D. Laporte) and the Agence Nationale de la Recherche (ANR-EXPLANT, contract No ANR-05-CATT-0003 to C. Martel).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Morihisa Hamada
    • 1
    • 5
  • Didier Laporte
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
  • Nicolas Cluzel
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
  • Kenneth T. Koga
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
  • Tatsuhiko Kawamoto
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute for Geothermal SciencesKyoto UniversityBeppuJapan
  2. 2.Clermont Université, Université Blaise Pascal, Laboratoire Magmas et VolcansClermont-FerrandFrance
  3. 3.CNRS, UMR 6524, LMVClermont-FerrandFrance
  4. 4.IRD, R 163, LMVClermont-FerrandFrance
  5. 5.Department of Earth and Planetary SciencesTokyo Institute of TechnologyTokyoJapan

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