Lava flow eruption and emplacement dynamics in different environments (on land, under water, on Mars, Io and Venus)
Lava flows, and their associated destruction of property, are indeed extreme events. Dr. Gregg is working on determining what controls how a lava flow will move, and where it will go; she used a combination of field work, petrologic studies, laboratory simulations and numerical modeling to constrain lava flow dynamics. Recent work has focused on volcanic eruptions on Io, and how they are similar to and different from volcanic behavior on Earth. The image shows an eruption within Tvashtar Patera on Io. The dark feature is a lava flow, and the heat from the lava is vaporizing the underlying ground, causing white jets of gas to shoot out from the flow margins. The image, collected by NASA’s Galileo spacecraft, is ~120 km across.