Chiara P. Montagna



We have developed a numerical framework to model magmatic and volcanic processes based on the OpenFOAM library. The tool solves the multiphase, multi-component fluid dynamics of magmatic mixtures, and includes state-of-the-art constitutive equations for the relevant physical properties such as viscosity and density.
It is freely available here for downlaod.

Brogi, F., Colucci, S., Matrone, J., Montagna, C. P., De’ Michieli Vitturi, M., & Papale, P. (2022). ‘MagmaFOAM-1.0: a modular framework for the simulation of magmatic systems.‘ Geoscientific Model Development, 15(9), 3773-3796.
Brogi, F., Colucci, S., Montagna, C.P., Papale, P., Towards MagmaFOAM, a computational tool to simulate magmatic systems‘, EGU 2018.

CO2 flushing in volcanic systems

Gas measurements in active volcanic areas show that the amount of magma that erupts at the surface is 1 to 10% of the magma cooling at depth. Because CO2 is less soluble that H2O in magmas, during crystallisation and ascent large amounts of CO2-rich fluids are released that interact with upper crustal reservoirs containing H2O-rich and CO2-poor magmas (CO2-flushing), leading to the exsolution of H2O, which causes increase of magma volume (density decrease) and magma crystallisation. CO2-flushing has an important effect on physical properties of magmas, and can lead to spontaneous bubble accumulation and destabilization in volcanic conduits.
We have setup an equilibrium model that predicts the evolution of a basaltic system as it is flushed by deep CO2. It is available on GitHub.

Caricchi, L., Montagna, C.P., Aiuppa, A., Lages, J., Tamburello, G., & Papale, P. (2023). ‘CO2 flushing triggers large eruptions at open conduit volcanoes: the case of Stromboli (Italy)‘. ResearchSquare preprint.

Magma reservoir dynamics and associated geophysical signals

We model the space-time evolution of magmatic plumbing systems using a variety of approaches, and calculate how the underground dynamics reflects into observable geophysical signals on Earth’s surface. This allows us to provide a consistent framework that includes magmatic processes as well as observational datasets.

Longo, A., Garg, D., Papale, P., Montagna, C.P. (2023). ‘Dynamics of magma chamber replenishment under buoyancy and pressure forces‘. ROHub.
Longo, A., Garg, D., Papale, P., Montagna, C.P. (2023). ‘Dynamics of magma chamber replenishment under buoyancy and pressure forces‘. Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth, 128(1), e2022JB025316.

Magma mingling and mixing

I am trying to understand the dynamics of mechanical and chemical mixing of magmas in shallow magmatic reservoirs. Evidences for processes of this kind are almost ubiquitous, as is the process of injection of primitive magma from depth to shallower regions where it can intercept already emplaced, degassed, more evolved residing magmas. The aim is to understand the time scales over which the process is effective, and under what circumstances this mechanism can trigger an eruptive event.

Montagna, C.P., Papale, P., Longo, A., ‘Timescales of mingling in shallow magmatic reservoirs‘. In: L. Caricchi, J.D. Blundy (eds), Chemical, Physical and Temporal Evolution of Magmatic Systems, Geological Society, London, Special Publications 422, 6 (2015).
Montagna, C.P., Longo, A., Bagagli, M., Papale, P., ‘Buoyancy-driven convection and mixing in magma chambers – the case of Phlegraean Fields caldera’, EGU 2016.
Montagna, C.P., Papale, P., ‘Time scales of shallow magma chamber replenishment at Campi Flegrei caldera‘, pre-print, in preparation.

Ground displacement at volcanoes

Using results from the numerical simulations of magma fluid dynamics, we produce synthetic ground deformation signals on the whole frequency spectrum and compare them to monitoring records. A lot of effort needs to be put into the cleaning and interpretation of the instrumental records, to obtain time and frequency analyses to compare with the synthetics. Being able to identify similarities among the two provides a mean to detect ongoing deep magmatic processes from routine monitoring data.

Bagagli, M., Montagna, C.P., Papale, P., Longo, A. (2018), ‘Signature of magmatic processes in strainmeter records at Campi Flegrei (Italy)’, Geophys. Res. Lett., doi: 10.1002/2016GL071875.
Bagagli, M., Montagna, C.P., Papale, P., ‘Signature of magmatic processes in strainmeter records at Campi Flegrei (Italy)’, EGU 2017.

The coupling of magmatic and hydrothermal systems

The numerical simulations of magma chamber replenishment provide also details on the space-time evolution of gas volume fraction in the magmatic systems. We are now trying to use these results to infer the consequences of magmatic gas release on the hydrothermal system, specifically focusing on Campi Flegrei. This work is being carried out in collaboration with M. Todesco, at INGV Bologna.

Todesco, M., Afanasyev, A., Montagna, C.P., Longo, A., ‘Interaction between hydrothermal and magmatic systems: modelling of magmatic gas release and ascent at Campi Flegrei (Italy)’, EGU 2016.

Non-Newtonian flow in volcanic conduits

We are developing a model for magma ascent in volcanic conduits that takes into account the non-Newtonian rheology due to the presence of gas bubbles in the magmatic mixtures. The results show that the more realistic rheology results in higher mass flwo rates for explosive basaltic eruptions.

Colucci, S., Papale, P., Montagna, C.P. (2017), ‘Non-Newtonian flow of bubbly magmas in volcanic conduits’, J. Geophys. Res.-Sol. Ea., doi:10.1002/2016JB013383.


Go Back