Geometry Properties of Porosity Waves during Magma Migration: The Influence of Viscosities and Damage

Monday, 15 December 2014
Zhengyu Cai and David Bercovici, Yale University, New Haven, CT, United States
Partial melting occurs along grain boundaries and migrates through porous flow, leading to magma segregation in the mantle. Solitary porosity waves created by a perturbation in melting have been studied in the flow of a low viscosity fluid in a deformable matrix (McKenzie 1984, Scott and Stevenson 1986, Barcilon and Richter 1986, Spiegelman 1993, Wiggins and Spiegelman 1995). However, in a fairly complicated multi-physics, multi-scale process of magma migration, the geometry and instability of porosity waves can be affected by both mechanical and thermal factors, leaving different propagation signatures. In this work we develop a two-dimensional, two-phase damage model of magma-fracturing, and study the influence of viscosities and damage (void generation and microcracking) on the geometry properties of porosity waves. We first benchmark our solitary solutions with previous works and solve 2-D finite-amplitude waves numerically using spectral and semi-spectral method. We show that damage, decompaction weakening of the matrix and porosity-driven viscosities can alter the geometry of stable porosity waves, and result in an elongated or flattened wave front with a trail of smaller porosity. Such trails may localize subsequent waves and form porosity passage in the matrix. Scaling analysis of the time-dependent porosity waves are conducted and amount of magma reaching to the top of the melting region are estimated. Future work will include evaluating the thermal and seismic signatures during and after melt migration in two-phase porous flow.