Comparison of Bubble Shape Model Results With Textural Analysis: Implications for the Velocity Profile Across a Volcanic Conduit

Masatoshi Ohashi, Mie Ichihara, Ben Kennedy, Darren Gravley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Tube pumice, which is characterized by aligned elongated bubbles, is valuable for our understanding of the shear field in a volcanic conduit. Most previous studies interpreted that tube pumice forms through simple shear, assuming a parabolic velocity profile across a volcanic conduit. However, simple shear cannot account for the observation that tube pumice is rare in plinian fall deposits but frequent in ignimbrites at the Taupō volcano, if the pyroclastic flows that formed them erupted through a wider vent and had a lower average shear rate. Here, we analyze the dynamics of bubble deformation that occurred during the 232 CE Taupō eruption by combining a bubble deformation model with a conduit flow model. The results indicate that bubble deformation is largely controlled by the velocity profile across a conduit. If the conduit flow has a parabolic velocity profile, the amount of bubble elongation is unrealistic compared to the Taupō fall deposits. It is more likely that the conduit flow has a plug-like velocity profile due to viscous heating. We numerically confirmed that bubbles in the plug-like flow are subject mainly to pure shear and accumulate less strain for elongation. We also calculated a viscous heating flow of the ignimbrite phase. We modeled a wider conduit, which suppresses viscous heating around the conduit walls and causes a higher proportion of the conduit to experience parabolic flow, compared to the plinian phase. The increased proportion of a parabolic profile may explain the high frequency of elongated bubbles in the ignimbrite phase pumice.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2021JB021841
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Geophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)


Dive into the research topics of 'Comparison of Bubble Shape Model Results With Textural Analysis: Implications for the Velocity Profile Across a Volcanic Conduit'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this