• Causes and consequences of coupled crystallization and vesiculation in ascending mafic magmas

      Lindoo, Amanda N.; Larsen, Jessica F.; Freymueller, Jeffrey; Izbekov, Pavel; Trainor, Tom (2017-08)
      Transitions in eruptive style and eruption intensity in mafic magmas are poorly understood. While silicic systems are the most researched and publicized due to their explosive character, mafic volcanoes remain the dominant form of volcanism on the earth. Eruptions are typically effusive, but changes in flow behavior can result in explosive, ash generating episodes. The efficiency of volatiles to degas from an ascending magma greatly influences eruption style. It is well known that volatile exsolution in magmas is a primary driving force for volcanic eruptions, however the roles vesicles and syn-eruptive crystallization play in eruption dynamics are poorly understood. Permeability development, which occurs when gas bubbles within a rising magma form connected pathways, has been suspected to influence eruption style and intensity. Numerous investigations on natural eruptive products, experimental samples, and analog experiments have extended the understanding of permeability development and fragmentation processes. However, these studies have focused on silicic, high viscosity, crystal-poor magmas. Little progress has been made in understanding fragmentation mechanisms in mafic or alkali magmas. Mafic systems involve lower viscosity magmas that often form small crystals, also known as microlites, during ascent. Because the merging of bubbles in magma is mitigated by melt viscosity, it is predicted that permeability development in mafic magma will occur at lower bubble volume fractions than in silicic magma. However, no study has been performed on experimental samples to provide evidence for this hypothesis. Furthermore, it is unknown how microlites affect the degassing process in terms of facilitating or hindering permeability development. This thesis employs experimental petrology to: 1) experimentally observe how melt viscosity alone affects permeability development, 2) Understand the effects of syn-eruptive crystallization in vesiculating mafic magmas and synergizes these results to 3) relate experimental findings to the 2008 eruption of Kasatochi volcano.
    • A multi-sensor approach to determining volcanic plume heights in the North Pacific

      Ekstrand, Angela L. (2012-05)
      During a volcanic eruption, accurate height information is necessary to forecast a volcanic plume's trajectory with volcanic ash transport and dispersion (VATD) models. Recent events in the North Pacific (NOPAC) displayed significant discrepancies between different methods of plume height determination. This thesis describes two studies that attempted to resolve this discrepancy, and identify the most accurate method for plume height determination. The first study considered the 2009 eruption of Redoubt Volcano. This study found that the basic satellite temperature method, in which satellite thermal infrared temperatures are compared to temperature-altitude profiles, vastly underestimates volcanic plume height due to decreased optical depth of plumes soon after eruption. This study also found that the Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer (MISR) produced very accurate plume heights, even for optically thin plumes. The second study investigated the application of MISR data to multiple eruptions in the NOPAC: Augustine Volcano in 2006, Okmok, Cleveland, and Kasatochi volcanoes in 2008, and Redoubt and Sarychev Peak volcanoes in 2009. This study found that MISR data analysis retrieves accurate plume heights regardless of grain size, altitude, or water content. Exceptions include plumes of low optical depth over bright backgrounds. MISR is also capable of identifying ash clouds by aerosol type.