- Location: Room OB11, Basement, Kathleen Lonsdale Building
- Telephone Extension: 30149
- Laboratory Manager: Professor Peter Sammonds
The mechanical properties of volcanic rocks at high
temperatures and low pressures are key properties in the understanding
of a range of volcanological problems, in particular lava
flow dynamics. The measurement of these properties on extrusive
volcanic samples under the appropriate pressure and temperature
conditions has a direct application in the assessment of volcanic
Research Equipment Includes:
High-temperature (700ºC) fracture mechanics apparatus using water/brine or gas as a pore fluid medium (up to 70 MPa) utilizing short rod specimen. This apparatus is used to simulate conditions in a volcanic ediface and lava flows.
A development of the above fracture mechanics apparatus
has been to modify it's design to a triaxial deformation
cell to obtain mechanical strength data on rock samples
at temperatures up to 1000‡C and pressures up to 30
MPa. Significantly, the cell uses large cylindrical rock
specimens, 25 mm diameter by 75 mm long, never previously
employed in such a high-temperature apparatus. The large
specimen size is necessary to test volcanic rocks with their
large crystals and vesicles.
Its operating temperature and pressure range encompasses the conditions of an advancing flow from the vent to the front, as well as the conditions of the volcanic rocks hosting magma at equivalent depths of up to 2 km.