Computer simulations of pyroclastic flows from dome collapse

G. Wadge, P. Jackson, S. M. Bower, A. W. Woods, E. Calder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We present a method of simulating both the avalanche and surge components of pyroclastic flows generated by lava collapsing from a growing Pelean dome. This is used to successfully model the pyroclastic flows generated on 12 May 1996 by the Soufriere Hills volcano, Montserrat. In simulating the avalanche component we use a simple 3-fold parameterisation of flow acceleration for which we choose values using an inverse method. The surge component is simulated by a 1D hydraulic balance of sedimentation of clasts and entrainment of air away from the avalanche source. We show how multiple simulations based on uncertainty of the starting conditions and parameters, specifically location and size (mass flux), could be used to map hazard zones.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3677-3680
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number19
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 1998


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