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A two-layer depth-averaged model for both the dilute and the concentrated parts of pyroclastic currents

Abstract : Pyroclastic currents are very destructive and their complex behavior makes the related hazards difficult to predict. A new numerical model has been developed to simulate the emplacement of both the concentrated and the dilute parts of pyroclastic currents using two coupled depth– averaged approaches. Interaction laws allow the concentrated current (pyroclastic flow) to generate a dilute current (pyroclastic surge) and, inversely, the dilute current to form a concentrated current or a deposit. The density of the concentrated current is assumed to be constant during emplacement, whereas the density of the dilute current changes depending on the particle supply from the concentrated current and the mass lost through sedimentation. The model is explored theoretically using simplified geometries as a proxies for natural source conditions and topographies. It reproduces the relationships observed in the field between the surge genesis and the topography: the increase in surge production in constricted valleys, the decoupling between the concentrated and the dilute currents and the formation of surge-derived concentrated flows. The strong non linear link between the surge genesis and the velocity of the concentrated flow beneath it could explain the sudden occurrence of powerful and destructive surges and the difficulty of predicting this occurrence. A companion paper compares the results of the model with the field data for the eruption of Merapi in 2010 [Kelfoun et al., 2 submitted] and demonstrates that the approach is able to reproduce the natural emplacement of the concentrated and the dilute pyroclastic currents studied with good accuracy.
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Karim Kelfoun. A two-layer depth-averaged model for both the dilute and the concentrated parts of pyroclastic currents. Journal of Geophysical Research : Solid Earth, American Geophysical Union, 2017, 122 (6), pp.4293 - 4311. ⟨10.1002/2017JB014013⟩. ⟨hal-01684793⟩



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