Assessing Tsunami Potential
Fast moving pyroclastic flows from a volcanic eruption can displace enough water to generate a destructive tsunami. Simulating pyroclastic flow and tsunamis in a laboratory can replicate the shape and long duration of tsunami, revealing valuable secrets about the little-understood waves and coastal inundation.
PELE - volcano-source simulator
Pyroclastic density currents are highly dangerous ground-hugging currents (flows) from volcanoes. These hot mixtures of volcanic particles and gas that can transport thousands to millions of tonnes of volcanic material across the Earth's surface over large areas, ignoring the terrain.
The PELE facility (Pyroclastic flow Eruption Large-scale Experiment) at Massey University is a vibrant international research site. The simulator allows researchers to synthesize the natural behaviour of pyroclastic flows and their tsunami generation potential, as they occur in nature…but safely and on a smaller scale.
Header photo credit: David Johnston