Bagdassarov, Nikolai and Dingwell, Donald B.
Deformation of foamed rhyolites under internal and external stresses: an experimental investigation.
In: Bulletin of Volcanology, Vol. 55, No. 3: pp. 147-154
The style of magma eruption depends strongly on the character of melt degassing and foaming. Depending on the kinetics of these processes the result can be either explosive or effusive volcanism. In this study the kinetics of foaming due to the internal stresses of gas expansion of two types of obsidian have been investigated in time series experiments (2 min-24 h) followed by quenching the samples. The volumetric gas-melt ratio has been estimated through the density measurements of foamed samples.
The variation of gas volume (per unit or rhyolite melt volume) with time may be described by superposition of two exponentials responsible for gas generation and gas release processes respectively. An observed difference in foaming style in this study is interpreted as the result of variations in initial contents of microlites that serve as bubble nucleation centers during devolatilization of the melts. Quantitatively the values of the gas generation rate constants (k g) are more than an order of magnitude higher in microlite-rich obsidian than in microlite-free obsidian. Possible origins of differences in the degassing style of natural magmas are discussed in the light of bubble nucleation kinetics in melts during foaming. In a complementary set of experiments the mechanical response of vesicular melt to external shear stress has been determined in a concentric cylinder viscometer. The response of vesicular melt to the pulse of shear deformation depends on the volume fraction of bubbles. The obtained response function can be qualitatively described by a Burgers body model. The experimental shear stress response function for bubble-bearing melt has an overshoot due to the strain-dependent rheology of a twophase liquid with viscously deformable inclusions.