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Prof. Dr. Ulrich Hansen

Corrensstraße 24 48149 Münster
Tel.: +49 251 83-33590
Fax: +49 251 83-36100

A numerical method for investigating crystal settling in convecting magma chambers

 Jan Verhoeven,  Jörg Schmalzl

 


 

Magma chambers can be considered as thermochemically driven convection systems. We present a new numerical method that describes the movement of crystallized minerals in terms of active spherical particles in a convecting magma that is represented by an infinite Prandtl number fluid. The main part focuses on the results we obtained. A finite volume thermochemical convection model for two and three dimensions and a discrete element method, which is used to model granular material, are combined. The new model is validated with floating experiments using particles of different densities and an investigation of single and multiparticle settling velocities. The resulting velocities are compared with theoretical predictions by Stokes's law and a hindered settling function for the multiparticle system. Two fundamental convection regimes are identified in the parameter space that is spanned by the Rayleigh number and the chemical Rayleigh number, which is a measure for the density of the particles. We define the T regime that is dominated by thermal convection. Here the thermal driving force is strong enough to keep all particles in suspension. As the particles get denser, they start settling to the ground, which results in a C regime. The C regime is characterized by the existence of a sediment layer with particle-rich material and a suspension layer with few particles. It is shown that the presence of particles can reduce the vigor of thermal convection. In the frame of a parameter study we discuss the change between the regimes that is systematically investigated. We show that the so-called TC transition fits a power law. Furthermore, we investigate the settling behavior of the particles in vigorous thermal convection, which can be linked to crystal settling in magma chambers. We develop an analytical settling law that describes the number of settled particles against time and show that the results fit the observations from numerical and laboratory experiments. 



Geochem. Geophys. Geosyst., 10, Q12007, doi:10.1029/2009GC002509. 


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Institut für Geophysik Geschäftsführender Direktor:
Prof. Dr. Ulrich Hansen

Corrensstraße 24
· 48149 Münster
Tel.: +49 251 83-33590 · Fax: +49 251 83-36100
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