We analyze similarities and differences between three natural phenomena of common occurrence on Earth, which are studied in environmental geosciences: dust storms, volcanic ash hurricanes, and turbidity currents. The discussion combines field and experimental observations and physical concepts with the aim of proposing general guidelines for multiphase flow modeling in geosciences. All of these phenomena are fascinating, but their potentially dangerous interaction with the environment and human infrastructures makes them worthy of particular attention. The main similarity between the three phenomena is the transportation of fine particles, i.e., dust, over distances of several tens to thousands of kilometers, whereas the main difference is the origin and distribution of the particle load in the environment. Finally, we propose a thermal model for the volcanic case, which is applicable to any particulate currents sedimenting and depositing dust on Earth.
Doronzo, D.M., Martí, J., Dellino, P., Giordano, G., Sulpizio, R. (2016). Dust storms, volcanic ash hurricanes, and turbidity currents: physical similarities and differences with emphasis on flow temperature. ARABIAN JOURNAL OF GEOSCIENCES, 9(4) [10.1007/s12517-016-2351-8].