Experimental Multiblast Craters and Ejecta—Seismo-Acoustics, Jet Characteristics, Craters, and Ejecta Deposits and Implications for Volcanic Explosions

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Department of Geological and Mining Engineering and Sciences


Blasting experiments were performed that investigate multiple explosions that occur in quick succession in unconsolidated ground and their effects on host material and atmosphere. Such processes are known to occur during phreatomagmatic eruptions at various depths, lateral locations, and energies. The experiments follow a multi-instrument approach in order to observe phenomena in the atmosphere and in the ground, and measure the respective energy partitioning. The experiments show significant coupling of atmospheric (acoustic)- and ground (seismic) signal over a large range of (scaled) distances (30–330 m, 1–10 m J−1/3). The distribution of ejected material strongly depends on the sequence of how the explosions occur. The overall crater sizes are in the expected range of a maximum size for many explosions and a minimum for one explosion at a given lateral location. As previous research showed before, peak atmospheric over-pressure decays exponentially with scaled depth. An exponential decay rate of was measured. At a scaled explosion depth of 4 × 10−3 m J−1/3 ca. 1% of the blast energy is responsible for the formation of the atmospheric pressure pulse; at a more shallow scaled depth of 2.75 × 10−3 m J−1/3 this ratio lies at ca. 5.5%–7.5%. A first order consideration of seismic energy estimates the sum of radiated airborne and seismic energy to be up to 20% of blast energy. Finally, the transient cavity formation during a blast leads to an effectively reduced explosion depth that was determined. Depth reductions of up to 65% were measured.

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JGR Solid Earth