6:15 PM - 7:30 PM
[SVC46-P19] Numerical assessment of the potential for future limnic eruptions in Cameroon, based on regular monitoring data
Keywords:Limnic eruption, Lake Nyos, Lake Monoun, Numerical model, Degassing pipe
The evolution of the CO2 profiles suggests one particular scenario for producing an eruption: supply of CO2-undersaturated fluid from the lake bottom that induces upwards growth of the bottom layer, leading eventually to CO2-saturation at mid-depths of the lake. By using a numerical model for the ascent of a plume of CO2 bubbles, we investigated whether bubble formation in this scenario leads to a bubble plume reaching the lake surface (i.e., a limnic eruption). We found that under realistic conditions (e.g., a CO2 profile deduced from the regular monitoring data), a bubble plume generated from mid-depths can reach the lake surface with a CO2 high flux, which corresponds to a limnic eruption. This indicates that the ascent of the bubble plume caused by the upward growth of the CO2-undersaturated layer is a possible mechanism for inducing a limnic eruption.
Another important factor that affects the current CO2 profiles in Lakes Nyos and Monoun is the artificial removal of dissolved CO2 (“controlled degassing”) using degassing pipes. As CO2-rich water is withdrawn from the deep layer through a pipe, the pipe flow becomes self-sustaining due to bubble formation and expansion caused by decompression in the rising water column. This leads to the formation of a fountain on the lake surface. The most recent CO2 profiles obtained by the regular monitoring indicate a drastic decrease in the CO2 concentration at the bottom of the lake. We developed a numerical model for degassing pipe flow so that we could investigate the effects of changes in CO2 concentration at the lake bottom on the dynamics of the pipe flow and the degree of degassing. From the model, the quantitative relationship between CO2 concentration at the lake bottom and fountain height observed on the surface of the lake is established. Our results agree well with the observed heights, indicating that our model is successful in capturing the dynamics of the degassing pipe flow in Lakes Nyos and Monoun.