Title : Ames Volcanic Science Research Highlighted in EOS — POC: Jennifer Heldmann —
Dr. Erika Rader (NPP, Code SST, Advisor Dr. Jennifer Heldmann) has conducted novel volcanic science experiments at the Syracuse Lava Project (SLP) which were recently highlighted in an article in EOS, the publication of the American Geophysical Union (AGU). Dr. Rader and team use the SLP facility to melt basaltic rock into lava to re-create a volcanic eruption in a laboratory setting. The team is recreating “spatter bombs”, or blobs of lava that get launched during explosive volcanic eruptions. Spatter bombs are found on Earth as well as multiple other Solar System bodies including the Moon and Mars. The spatter bomb formation process is indicative of lava conditions such as temperature, viscosity, cooling rate, etc. and provide key information regarding the volcanic history of a region. The unique combination of SLP lava experiments, field observations of spatter bombs through NASA Ames analog research, and numerical modeling of lava formation provides a new method for understanding the thermal history of planetary bodies in our Solar System.