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Controls on magma permeability in the volcanic conduit during the climactic phase of the Kos Plateau Tuff eruption (Aegean Arc)

Abstract : X-ray computed microtomography (μCT) was applied to pumices from the largest Quaternary explosive eruption of the active South Aegean Arc (the Kos Plateau Tuff; KPT) in order to better understand magma permeability within volcanic conduits. Two different types of pumices (one with highly elongated bubbles, tube pumice; and the other with near spherical bubbles, frothy pumice) produced synchronously and with identical chemical composition were selected for μCT imaging to obtain porosity, tortuosity, bubble size and throat size distributions. Tortuosity drops on average from 2.2 in frothy pumice to 1.5 in tube pumice. Bubble size and throat size distributions provide estimates for mean bubble size (~93– 98 μm) and mean throat size (~23–29 μm). Using a modified Kozeny-Carman equation, variations in porosity, tortuosity, and throat size observed in KPT pumices explain the spread found in laboratory measurements of the Darcian permeability. Measured difference in inertial permeability between tube and frothy pumices can also be partly explained by the same variables but require an additional parameter related to the internal roughness of the porous medium (friction factor f0). Constitutive equations for both types of permeability allow the quantification of laminar and turbulent gas escape during ascent of rhyolitic magma in volcanic conduits.
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Wim Degruyter, Olivier Bachmann, Alain Burgisser. Controls on magma permeability in the volcanic conduit during the climactic phase of the Kos Plateau Tuff eruption (Aegean Arc). Bulletin of Volcanology / Bull Volcanic Eruptions, 2010, 72, pp.63-74. ⟨10.1007/s00445-009-0302-x⟩. ⟨insu-00409820⟩

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