Donald Dingwell#

Some examples of Prof.Dingwell's research activities at the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences Section for Mineralogy, Petrology and Geochemistry, Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich:

Rheology - Magmatology#

The need for an adequate understanding of the nature and extent of physico-chemical processes involved in explosive volcanism is considerable. The growth of population centres and industry surrounding active volcanic centres means that, due to the threat to life, property and environment, this need is increasing. In recent years much effort has focused on rhyolitic melts under conditions relevant to explosive volcanism. Modelling of the emplacement and eruption of silicic domes is still hampered by the lack of a sufficiently accurate rheological database for multi-phase lavas with crystals and vesicles, and no simple expression can be used to describe their rheology. Our research group has been involved in rheological studies of magma for the past 20 years. The work has concentrated in 3 major themes:
  • simple melts
  • multi-component melts
  • multi-component magmas

These studies were aimed to reveal the effect of temperature (high and low), pressure, volatiles (e.g. H2O, F, Cl), redox state of iron, crystals (for small crystal contents), and bubbles on the flow behavior of melts and magmas. Ongoing work is to incorporate the effects of non-Newtonian flow behavior due to a) crystalcontent, b) viscous heating effects, c) non-Newtonian flow behavior of crystal-free melt. This will be a major advancement in constraining ascent and emplacement models.

Experimental Volcanology#

Study volcanism in Munich? There are four experimental volcanoes to study the phenomena of explosive volcanism at the department. The laboratories of experimental volcanism at the Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich provide unique opportunities to study the physics of mechanisms that are beyond direct access. Experiments are designed to analyze the behavior of magma under conditions as close to nature as possible. Here experiments meet physical volcanism and numerical modeling. International projects and cooperation are the basis of our success.

The equipment comprises

  • 4 high temperature shock tubes
  • 2 internally heated high pressure autoclaves
  • 1 laser particle sizer (Coulter Beckmann)
  • 1 He pycnometry (Micromeritics)
  • 1 Nitrogen sorption (Micromeritics)
  • 1 vacuum furnace
  • 1 vacuum rotation extraction, video equipment
  • 1 high speed video system

Our research
  • Mechanisms of magma fragmentation
  • Speed of magma fragmentation
  • Fragmentation energy
  • Influence of permeability
  • Volcanoes under examination
  • Mt. St. Helens, Augustine (USA)
  • Krakatau, Kelut, Merapi (Indonesia)
  • Unzen (Japan)
  • Shiveluch, Bezymiany (Russia)
  • Etna, Vesuv, Stromboly, Campi Flegrei (Italy)
  • Colima (Mexico)
  • Santorini (Greece)

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