Measuring 12 feet by 12 feet, a test-bed was filled with gravel, limestone and asphalt and post-holes surrounding the bed were filled with explosives. Greg Valentine, the geology professor working on this project stated that the eruption was “exactly what we wanted” which blew the test-beds contents 50 feet into the air. PhD volcanologist Jacopo Taddeucci, from Rome, Italy, using high-speed cameras, recorded the experiment.
The project aims to provide an insight into what occurs during and after an eruption. Obviously these experiments are not accurate to naturally occurring eruptions, but researchers can control the strength of the blast making the test-bed an accurate barometer.
Results from this experiment need to be analysed by Valentine with hopes of a journal publication in the future.
A video of the experimental blast is available from the following link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VeN7R_H5N8w