Lacuna Bajada 2012: Demonstration of an Explosive Volcanic Eruption
Mount St. Helen's-style Lateral Blast
For more video, click here: https://picasaweb.google.com/113862934948087583202/May22012#5738054295662448034
To conduct this demonstration, brick weights were taped to a 2-L soda bottle, which was filled with ~3 cm of liquid nitrogen, capped, and dropped into a plastic garbage can filled ~80% with water. The lateral eruption column was spiked with orange Jell-O, and foam dinosaurs and Cheerios were used to demonstrate the distribution of tephra. The maximum dispersal distance for the foam dinosaurs was 2.3 m in the lateral blast, though one of the bricks weighting down the soda bottle was carried 3.9 m by the flowing water.
Demonstration carried out by Madeline and Jansen with assistance from Jeff Thole and Karl Wirth. (Photos and video by Jeff Thole).
For complete instructions and more information on the background and specifics on conducting this demonstration, please see Karen Harpp et al.'s article on Volcanoes in the Classroom: A Simulation of an Eruption Column: http://classes.colgate.edu/kharpp/Depth_Charge/default.htm.