Volcanoes in the Classroom: A Simulation of an Eruption Column
Karen S. Harpp, Alison M. Koleszar, Dennis J. Geist March 2005 Journal of Geoscience Education v53 n2 p173
This article from the Journal of Geoscience Education presents instructions for the safe demonstration of an explosive volcanic eruption. In less than a second, the explosion carries up to 20 gallons of water into an eruption column more than 10 meters high. Boiling liquid nitrogen encased in a plastic soda bottle provides the driving force for the explosion. The demonstration is appropriate for levels ranging from elementary to graduate school and dramatically illustrates how the rapid expansion of a liquid-hosted gas can cause explosions. Students can perform quantitative calculations to describe the physical principles of the eruption, in this case, for an event they have actually witnessed.