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    Rights statement: Accepted for publication in Journal of Geophysical Research. Solid Earth. Copyright 2016 American Geophysical Union. Further reproduction or electronic distribution is not permitted.

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  • Woodcock et al 2016

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Ice-melt rates during volcanic eruptions within water-drained, low pressure subglacial cavities

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>18/02/2016
<mark>Journal</mark>Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth
Issue number2
Volume121
Number of pages15
Pages (from-to)648-662
Publication statusPublished
Early online date27/01/16
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Subglacial volcanism generates proximal and distal hazards including large-scale flooding and
increased levels of explosivity. Direct observation of subglacial volcanic processes is infeasible; therefore, we model heat transfer mechanisms during subglacial eruptions under conditions where cavities have become depressurized by connection to the atmosphere.We consider basaltic eruptions in a water-drained, low-pressure subglacial cavity, including the case when an eruption jet develops. Such drained cavities may develop on sloping terrain, where ice may be relatively shallow and where gravity drainage of meltwater will be promoted.
We quantify, for the first time, the heat fluxes to the ice cavity surface that result from steam condensation during free convection at atmospheric pressure and from direct and indirect radiative heat transfer from an eruption jet. Our calculations indicate that the direct radiative heat flux from a lava fountain (a “dry” end-member eruption jet) to ice is c. 25 kW m-2 and is a minor component. The dominant heat transfer mechanism involves free convection of steam within the cavity; we estimate the resulting condensation heat flux to be c. 250 kW m-2.
Absorption of radiation froma lava fountain by steamenhances convection, but the increase in condensing heat flux is modest at c. 25 kW m-2. Overall, heat fluxes to the ice cavity surface are likely to be no greater than c. 300 kW m-2. These are comparable with heat fluxes obtained by single phase convection of water in a subglacial cavity but much less than those obtained by two-phase convection.

Bibliographic note

Accepted for publication in Journal of Geophysical Research. Solid Earth. Copyright 2016 American Geophysical Union. Further reproduction or electronic distribution is not permitted.