Somma-Vesuvius is considered one of the highest-risk volcanic systems in the world due to its high population density and record of highly destructive explosive activity. Eruptive style at Vesuvius varies greatly, alternating between effusive and explosive activities, and is likely strongly controlled by the evolution of the physical and chemical properties of the magma. Nevertheless, with the exception of the 1631 eruption, the rheological properties of Vesuvius magmas remain largely unconstrained. Here, we investigate the Newtonian shear viscosity (eta) of dry and hydrous melts from the Mercato (plinian) and 1906 (violent strombolian) eruptions. These eruptions differ in size, eruptive style and magma chemistry (from phonolite to phono-tephrite). To evaluate the dry liquid viscosity variation covered by the eruptive products of the recent activity at Vesuvius, we measured the melt viscosities of bulk rock compositions and, for highly crystalline samples, of the separated groundmasses of tephras from the Pollena and 1906 eruptions. Hydrated samples with up to 4.24 wt% dissolved water were synthesised in a piston cylinder apparatus at con. ning pressure up to 10 kbar. The dry high temperature and the dry and hydrous low-temperature viscosities were obtained by combining the concentric cylinder and micropenetration techniques. The measured viscosities were parameterized by a modified Vogel-Fulcher-Tammann equation, accounting for the effect of water content, and were compared with previous measurements and models. At magmatic temperatures, the viscosities of Mercato samples are about four orders of magnitude higher than that of the least viscous investigated products from the 1906 eruption. Complex numerical models to forecast eruptive scenarios and their environmental impact are extremely sensitive to the accuracy of the input parameters and constitutive equations of magma properties. As a consequence, the numerical expressions obtained here are of particular relevance in the context of hazard assessment related to the different possible eruptive scenarios at Vesuvius through numerical simulation tools. The effect of composition on the liquid viscosities is compared to other high-Na (e. g., samples from Teide and Etna) and high-K (e. g., samples from Stromboli and Phlegrean Fields) alkaline magmas. (C) 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Giordano, D. Ardia, P. Romano, C. Dingwell, D. B. Di Muro, A. Schmidt, M. W. Mangiacapra, A. Hess, K. -U.