Large Analogue Volcanic Apparatus (LAVA)
The large Analogue Volcano Apparatus was a novel, large-scale experimental facility for the investigation of the two-phase fluid dynamic phenomena that occur in basaltic volcanic conduits. The facility, which was situated in a quarry <10 km from Durham University, was designed to address two principle research areas:
1) How are regimes of eruptive behaviour controlled by the vesicularity of basaltic magma?
2) What are the physical controls on gas-slug driven eruptions?
The modular design of the facility ensured it's flexiblility to address many further research questions. At the heart of the facility was a vertical conduit of transparent polycarbonate which is 12.15m tall and 25cm in diameter. This conduit could be accessed and observed along its full height. At the base of the conduit was a tank – the analogue magma chamber – into which gas can be injected. The analogue magma was fed into the chamber from a header tank ensuring that strictly constant hydrostatic pressure can be maintained in the chamber. Buoyancy resulting from the injected gas drives eruption.
|Unique features |
A precursor to LAVA was featured on a National Geographic documentary "How to build a volcano".
Image credit: Kirstie Wright