Multiphase Flow in Explosive Volcanic Eruptions: Field and Numerical Results
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The fluid dynamics at the impact zone of an impinging jet dictate the initial conditions for the resulting downstream flow. Current understanding of this impact zone is limited to small scale, single phase or monodisperse impinging jet experiments with a focus on industrial and engineering applications. Here, we present multifield numerical modeling results of mono- and polydisperse impinging jets with length scales and physical parameters relevant to large explosive volcanic eruptions. Our modeling shows that particle behavior is sensitive to whether a jet is monodisperse or polydisperse. For a monodisperse jet, the downstream flow behavior can be predicted by the coupling between the particles and gas which we characterize by a form of the Stokes number (Stimp) where the time scale of changes in fluid motion is defined by the length scale and velocity change associated with vertical deceleration as a mixture approaches an impact surface. We find that the length scale of deceleration is sensitive to the mixture Mach number, as high Mach number flows produce standing shocks upstream of the impact site. For low Stimp, monodisperse cases the particles make the transition from axial to radial flow easily and the flow continues downstream relatively unimpeded and well mixed. In contrast, in situations where the monodisperse particles are sufficiently poorly coupled (high Stimp), the particles rebound and/or concentrate at the impact zone, which results in a radial acceleration of gas as it is expelled from the concentrating mixture. In polydisperse jets, larger particles become better coupled to the gas in the free jet zone when in the presence of smaller, well-coupled particles due to particle-particle drag. However, the larger particles still lose significant momentum in the impact zone, which results in a lag effect where the smaller particles and gas are expelled and advance radially at a greater velocity. Although the simulations are simplified compared to real volcanic eruption scenarios, the results suggest that processes in the impact zone contribute directly to the formation of different types of gas-particle flows (concentrated versus dilute) that move outward across the ground.