Stability of foams in silicate melts
Bubble coalescence and the spontaneous disruption of high-porosity foams in silicate melts are the result of physical expulsion of interpore melt (syneresis) leading to bubble coalescence, and diffusive gas exchange between bubbles. Melt expulsion can be achieved either along films between pairs of bubbles, or along Plateau borders which represent the contacts between 3 or more bubbles. Theoretical evaluation of these mechanisms is confirmed by experimental results, enabling us to quantify the relevant parameters and determine stable bubble size and critical film thickness in a foam as a function of melt viscosity, surface tension, and time. Foam stability is controlled primarily by melt viscosity and time. Melt transport leading to coalescence of bubbles proceeds along inter-bubble films for smaller bubbles, and along Plateau borders for larger bubbles. Thus the average bubble size accelerates with time. In silicate melts, the diffusive gas expulsion out of a region of foam is effective only for water (and even then, only at small length scales), as the diffusion of CO2 is negligible. The results of our analyses are applicable to studies of vesicularity of lavas, melt degassing, and eruption mechanisms.
Earth Systems Research Center
Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Proussevitch, A. A., Sahagian, D. L., & Kutolin, V. A. (1993). Stability of foams in silicate melts. Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, 59(1-2), 161-178. doi:10.1016/0377-0273(93)90084-5
© 1993 Published by Elsevier B.V.