Title

Subglacial Lava Propagation, Ice Melting and Heat Transfer During Emplacement of an Intermediate Lava Flow in the 2010 Eyjafjallajökull Eruption

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

6-2016

Department

Earth Sciences

Language

English

Publication Title

Bulletin of Volcanolgy

Abstract

During the 2010 Eyjafjallajökull eruption in South Iceland, a 3.2-km-long benmoreite lava flow was emplaced subglacially during a 17-day effusive-explosive phase from April 18 to May 4. The lava flowed to the north out of the ice-filled summit caldera down the outlet glacier Gígjökull. The flow has a vertical drop of about 700 m, an area of ca. 0.55 km2, the total lava volume is ca. 2.5·107 m3 and it is estimated to have melted 10–13·107 m3 of ice. During the first 8 days, the lava advanced slowly (day−1), building up to a thickness of 80–100 m under ice that was initially 150–200 m thick. Faster advance (up to 500 m day−1) formed a thinner (10–20 m) lava flow on the slopes outside the caldera where the ice was 60–100 m thick. This subglacial lava flow was emplaced along meltwater tunnels under ice for the entire 3.2 km of the flow field length and constitutes 90 % of the total lava volume. The remaining 10 % belong to subaerial lava that was emplaced on top of the subglacial lava flow in an ice-free environment at the end of effusive activity, forming a 2.7 km long a'a lava field. About 45 % of the thermal energy of the subglacial lava was used for ice melting; 4 % was lost with hot water; about 1 % was released to the atmosphere as steam. Heat was mostly released by forced convection of fast-flowing meltwater with heat fluxes of 125–310 kWm−2.

Comments

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DOI

10.1007/s00445-016-1041-4

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