Turbulence-induced bubble nucleation in hydrothermal fluids beneath Yellowstone Lake
Sohn, Robert A.
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Volcanic systems generate large amounts of gas, and understanding gas fluxes is a fundamental aspect of volcanology and hazard mitigation. Volcanic gases can be challenging to measure, but acoustic methods hold promise in underwater environments because gas bubbles are powerful sound sources. We deployed an acoustic system to study the nature of gas discharge at a large (~30 MW) thermal field on the floor of Yellowstone Lake, which has experienced numerous hydrothermal explosions since the last glaciation (~13.4 ka). We find that small (<10 Pa) turbulent flow instabilities trigger the nucleation of CO2 bubbles in the saturated fluids. The observation of CO2 bubbles nucleating in hydrothermal fluids due to small pressure perturbations informs our understanding of hydrothermal explosions in Yellowstone Lake, and demonstrates that acoustic data in underwater environments can provide insight into the stability of gas-rich systems, as well as gas fluxes.
© The Author(s), 2022. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License. The definitive version was published in Caudron, C., Vandemeulebrouck, J., & Sohn, R. A. Turbulence-induced bubble nucleation in hydrothermal fluids beneath Yellowstone Lake. Communications Earth & Environment, 3(1), (2022): 103, https://doi.org/10.1038/s43247-022-00417-6.
Suggested CitationCaudron, C., Vandemeulebrouck, J., & Sohn, R. A. (2022). Turbulence-induced bubble nucleation in hydrothermal fluids beneath Yellowstone Lake. Communications Earth & Environment, 3(1), 103.
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