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© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  09 Oct 2020

09 Oct 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal SE.

Reproducing pyroclastic density currents deposits of the AD 79 eruption of the Somma-Vesuvius volcano using the box-model approach

Alessandro Tadini1,2,3, Andrea Bevilacqua2, Augusto Neri2, Raffaello Cioni3, Giovanni Biagioli4, Mattia de'Michieli Vitturi2, and Tomaso Esposti Ongaro2 Alessandro Tadini et al.
  • 1Laboratoire Magmas et Volcans, Université Clermont Auvergne, CNRS, IRD, OPGC, 6 Avenue Blaise Pascal – 63178 Aubière, France
  • 2Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia, Sezione di Pisa, Via Cesare Battisti, 53 – 56125 Pisa, Italy
  • 3Dipartimento di Scienze della Terra, Università di Firenze, Via G. La Pira, 4 – 50121 Firenze, Italy
  • 4Dipartimento di Matematica e Geoscienze, Università degli Studi di Trieste, Via Weiss 2 – 34128 Trieste, Italy

Abstract. In this study we use PyBox, a new numerical implementation of the box-model approach, to reproduce pyroclastic density current (PDC) deposits from the Somma-Vesuvius volcano (Italy). Our simplified model assumes inertial flow front dynamics and mass deposition equations, and axisymmetric conditions inside circular sectors. Tephra volume and density, and Total Grain Size Distribution of EU3pf and EU4b/c, two well-studied PDC units from different phases of the AD 79 Pompeii eruption of Somma-Vesuvius (Italy) are used as input parameters. Such units correspond to the deposits from variably dilute, turbulent PDCs. We perform a quantitative comparison and uncertainty quantification of numerical model outputs with respect to the observed data of unit thickness, inundation areas, and grain size distribution as a function of the radial distance to the source. The simulations that we performed with PyBox were done considering: (i) polydisperse conditions, given by the total grain size distribution of the deposit, or monodisperse conditions, given by the mean Sauter diameter of the deposit; (ii) round-angle axisymmetrical collapses or divided in two circular sectors. We obtain a range of plausible initial volume concentrations of solid particles from 2.5 % to 6 %, depending on the unit and the circular sector. Optimal modelling results of flow extent and deposit thickness are reached on the EU4b/c unit in a polydisperse and sectorialized situation, indicating that using total grain size distribution and particle densities as close as possible to the real conditions significantly improve the performance of the PyBox code. The study findings suggest that the box model simplified approaches adopted have promising applications in constraining the plausible range of the input parameters of more computationally expensive models.

Alessandro Tadini et al.

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Alessandro Tadini et al.

Alessandro Tadini et al.


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Latest update: 24 Oct 2020
Publications Copernicus
Short summary
In this paper we test a simplified numerical model for pyroclastic density currents or PDCs (mixtures of hot gas, lapilli and ash moving across the landscape under the effect of gravity). The aim is quantifying the differences between real and modelled deposits of some PDCs of the AD 79 eruption of Vesuvius, Italy. This step is important because in the paper it is demostrated that this simplified model is useful for constraining input parameters for more computationally expensive models.
In this paper we test a simplified numerical model for pyroclastic density currents or PDCs...