Laboratory and numerical decompression experiments: an insight into the nucleation and growth of bubbles

Thursday, 18 December 2014
Simone Colucci1, Laura Spina2, Mattia De' Michieli Vitturi1, Bettina Scheu2 and Donald B Dingwell2, (1)National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology, section of Pisa, Rome, Italy, (2)Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, Earth & Environmental Sciences, Munich, Germany
Numerical modeling, joined with experimental investigations, is fundamental for studying the dynamics of magmatic fluid into the conduit, where direct observations are unattainable. Furthermore, laboratory experiments can provide invaluable data to vunalidate complex multiphase codes. With the aim on unveil the essence of nucleation process, as well as the behavior of the multiphase magmatic fluid, we performed slow decompression experiments in a shock tube system. We choose silicon oil as analogue for the magmatic melt, and saturated it with Argon at 10 MPa for 72h. The slow decompression to atmospheric conditions was monitored through a high speed camera and pressure sensors, located into the experimental conduit. The experimental conditions of the decompression process have then been reproduced numerically with a compressible multiphase solver based on OpenFOAM. Numerical simulations have been performed by the OpenFOAM compressibleInterFoam solver for 2 compressible, non-isothermal immiscible fluids, using a VOF (volume of fluid) phase-fraction based interface capturing approach. The data extracted from 2D images obtained from laboratory analyses were compared to the outcome of numerical investigation, showing the capability of the model to capture the main processes studied.