Articles | Volume 17, issue 2
Nonlin. Processes Geophys., 17, 221–235, 2010
https://doi.org/10.5194/npg-17-221-2010

Special issue: Geocomplexity: novel approaches to understanding geosystems

Nonlin. Processes Geophys., 17, 221–235, 2010
https://doi.org/10.5194/npg-17-221-2010

  20 Apr 2010

20 Apr 2010

The effect of volatile bubble growth rate on the periodic dynamics of shallow volcanic systems

I. L'Heureux I. L'Heureux
  • Ottawa-Carleton Institute of Physics and Department of Physics, University of Ottawa, 150 Louis Pasteur, Ottawa, Ontario K1N6N5, Canada

Abstract. Many volcanic eruptions exhibit periodic behavior. For instance, periodic ground inflations and deflations in proximity to a volcano are the consequences of periodic overpressure variations in the magma conduit and periodic magma flow rate. The period varies from a few hours to many years, depending on the volcano parameters. On the other hand, volatile components exsolve from an ascending magma by forming bubbles. The strong dependence of the melt viscosity with the volatile concentration generates a positive feedback on the magma flow. We consider here the effect of the growth of volatile bubbles on the dynamics of a magmatic flow in a shallow volcanic system. Various expressions for the bubble growth rate are treated, thus generalizing previous work. In particular, a growth rate law derived from a recent many-bubble theory is considered. It is seen that, for a range of flow rate values at the base of the magma conduit, the system undergoes a Hopf bifurcation. Periodic solutions compatible with the observations are generated. This work shows that measurements of volcanic activity have the potential to test various bubble growth models in magmatic systems.