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Geoscientific Model Development An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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https://doi.org/10.5194/gmd-2020-184
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/gmd-2020-184
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: model description paper 21 Sep 2020

Submitted as: model description paper | 21 Sep 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal GMD.

A discontinuous Galerkin finite element model for fast channelized lava flows v1.0

Colton J. Conroy1,2 and Einat Lev1 Colton J. Conroy and Einat Lev
  • 1Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Columbia University in the City of New York, USA
  • 2Roy M. Huffington Department of Earth Sciences, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, TX, USA

Abstract. Lava flows present a significant natural hazard to communities around volcanoes and are typically slow moving (< 1 to 5 cm/s) and laminar. Recent lava flows during the 2018 eruption of Kilauea Volcano, Hawai'i, however, reached speeds as high as 11 m/s and were transitional to turbulent. The Kilauea flows formed a complex network of braided channels departing from the classic rectangular channel geometry often employed by lava flow models. To investigate these extreme dynamics we develop a new lava flow model that incorporates nonlinear advection as well as a nonlinear expression for the fluid viscosity. The model makes use of novel discontinuous Galerkin (DG) finite element methods and resolves complex channel geometry through the use of unstructured triangular meshes. We verify the model against an analytic test case and demonstrate convergence rates of p + 1/2 for polynomials of degree p. Direct observations recorded by Unoccupied Aerial Systems (UASs) during the Kilauea eruption provide inlet conditions, constrain input parameters, and serve as a benchmark for model evaluation.

Colton J. Conroy and Einat Lev

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Status: open (until 16 Nov 2020)
Status: open (until 16 Nov 2020)
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Colton J. Conroy and Einat Lev

Data sets

Elevation data set, Lava speed data set USGS, Einat Lev, and Ryan Perroy https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.3863306

Model code and software

A discontinuous Galerkin finite element model for fast channelized lava flows v1.0 Colton J. Conroy https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.3863306

Colton J. Conroy and Einat Lev

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Latest update: 23 Oct 2020
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Short summary
Lava flows present a natural hazard to communities around volcanoes and are usually slow moving (< 1–5 cm/s). Lava flows during the 2018 eruption of Kilauea Volcano, Hawai’i, however, reached speeds as high as 11 m/s. To investigate these dynamics we develop a new lava flow computer model that incorporates a nonlinear expression for the fluid viscosity. Model results indicate that the lava flows at Site 8 of the eruption displayed shear thickening behavior due to the flows high bubble content.
Lava flows present a natural hazard to communities around volcanoes and are usually slow moving...
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