Stokes settling and particle-laden plumes: implications for deep-sea mining and volcanic eruption plumes

Mingotti, Nicola and Woods, Andrew W. (2020) Stokes settling and particle-laden plumes: implications for deep-sea mining and volcanic eruption plumes. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences. ISSN 1364-503X (Submitted)

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Abstract

Turbulent buoyant plumes moving through density stratified environments transport large volumes of fluid vertically. Eventually, the fluid reaches its neutral buoyancy level at which it intrudes into the environment. For single-phase plume, the well known theory of Morton, Taylor and Turner [1] describes the height of the intrusion with great accuracy. However, in multiphase plumes, such as descending particle plumes formed from the surface vessel during deep- sea mining operations, or ascending volcanic plumes, consisting of hot gas and dense ash particles, the sedimentation of particles can change the buoyancy of the fluid very significantly. Even if the plume speed far exceeds the sedimentation speed, the ultimate intrusion height of the fluid may be significantly affected by particle sedimentation. We explore this process, illustrating the phenomena with a series of analogue experiments and some simple modelling, and we discuss the applications in helping to quantify some environmental impacts of deep-sea mining and in helping to assess the eruption conditions leading to the formation of large laterally spreading ash clouds in the atmosphere.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 2020AREP; IA76
Subjects: 02 - Geodynamics, Geophysics and Tectonics
Divisions: 08 - Green Open Access
Journal or Publication Title: Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences
Depositing User: Sarah Humbert
Date Deposited: 28 May 2020 02:18
Last Modified: 28 May 2020 02:18
URI: http://eprints.esc.cam.ac.uk/id/eprint/4752

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