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Dynamic Mixing of Water and Lava

Abstract

The heat content of lava is such that if roughly equal volumes of lava and water are rapidly mixed, the resulting pressure may be enough to cause further dynamic mixing of a lava flow under the ocean leading to a catastrophic explosion. The same mechanism of self-sustained mixing may explain several foundry explosions of liquid metal and water, and others of large volumes of liquid natural gas and water where the water serves as the hot fluid. The Krakatao volcanic explosion, equivalent to 200 megatons, may have the same explanation.

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COLGATE, S., SIGURGEIRSSON, T. Dynamic Mixing of Water and Lava. Nature 244, 552–555 (1973). https://doi.org/10.1038/244552a0

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