Etude de la formation et de la mise en place des déferlantes pyroclastiques par modélisations numérique et expérimentale

Abstract : Small volume pyroclastic density currents are complex volcanic flows, whose physical behaviour is still debated. They comprise two parts: the pyroclastic flow, rich in particles and blocks, overridden by the ash-cloud surge, a turbulent and dilute flow. The interactions between these two parts are not fully understood, as well as their exchanges of mass and momentum. Therefore, the thesis focuses on the investigation of ash-cloud surge formation mechanisms from the pyroclastic flow. The experiments reveal a mechanism of dilute flow formation by alternation of air incorporation into and elutriation of fine particles from a dense granular bed subjected to vibrations. The air is aspirated into the granular bed during dilatations, and expulsed during the contraction phases. A part of the particles are then sustained by the turbulent expulsed air and form a mixture of gas and particles that transforms into a gravity current. Extrapolated to a volcanic edifice, this mechanism of air incorporation and elutriation can be reproduced by a rough topography, where each obstacle generates a compaction followed by a dilatation of the pyroclastic flow. The quantification of the mechanism has been accomplished and the mass flux from the dense flow to the ash-cloud surge has been deduced.The numerical model is first used to study the pyroclastic flow rheology, which controls the velocity of the flow, and then the mass flux previously mentioned. One chapter is dedicated to the fluidization effect on the pyroclastic flow rheology. Results show that this mechanism can explain the long runout of these flows, and also the formation of levées and channel morphologies. The air ingestion in the flow during its movement could explain a part of the pyroclastic flows dynamic. Simple rheologies has also been analyzed: a Coulomb rheology, a plastic rheology, and a variable friction coefficient rheology. Results show that the plastic rheology seems to be the most adapted rheology to simulate the pyroclastic flow dynamic. Then, the numerical model has been used to test the mass flow law obtained through experiments. Applied to the 25 June 1997 dome collapse at Soufrière Hills Volcano at Montserrat, results show that the simulations reproduce accurately the extension and the thickness of the surge deposits. The simulations are also able to reproduce the surge derived pyroclastic flow, generated by remobilisation of surge deposits. The cycles of ingestion/expulsion of air in the pyroclastic flow by interactions with the topography could explain both the great fluidity of these flows and the formation of ash-cloud surge. These results highlight a new mechanism that could be a key process in pyroclastic flow dynamic, which could improve significantly the hazard and risk assessment using numerical model.
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Valentin Gueugneau. Etude de la formation et de la mise en place des déferlantes pyroclastiques par modélisations numérique et expérimentale. Sciences de la Terre. Université Clermont Auvergne, 2018. Français. ⟨NNT : 2018CLFAC050⟩. ⟨tel-02066355⟩

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