Aaron Tran

Bubble Bursting in Mud Volcanoes

We are conducting laboratory experiments to study bubble dynamics in natural mud sampled from mud volcanoes near the Salton Sea in Southern California. Gas bubbles bursting at the muds free surface exhibit unusual behavior: bubble films first rupture away from the bubble apex, and often rupture at multiple locations simultaneously. I will use a high-speed video camera to measure features of multiple bubble bursts, and a cone-plate rheometer to characterize the muds rheology. Based on the experimental observations, I will formulate a simple physical model that can be used to numerically replicate observed bursting behavior. A successful model may be extended to other mud volcanoes, as well as magmatic volcanoes such as Stromboli, Italy.

Message to Sponsor

I thank the Rose Hills Foundation for generously supporting our project. The SURF fellowship has given me the freedom to concentrate entirely on research this summer, as well as the funding to conduct experiments and present our results to fellow students and scientists. Through the summers work, I will continue to grow as a student and scientist and prepare for a career in the physical sciences. Berkeley is a wonderful place to learn and work, and I look forward to exploring curiously complicated classical continuum mechanics with some of the best researchers in the world.
  • Major: Physics, Earth and Planetary Science, Mathematics (minor)
  • Sponsor: Rose Hills Foundation
  • Mentor: Michael Manga, Earth and Planetary Science