Basalt melting by localized-microwave thermal-runaway instability

E. Jerby, Y. Meir, M. Faran

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


This paper presents an experimental and theoretical study of the thermal-runaway instability induced by localized microwaves in basalt stones. This effect leads to the inner melting of the basalt core, and further to its eruption similarly to a volcanic burst. The experiments are conducted in a single-mode cavity at 2.45 GHz, 0.9 kW. The microwave-induced miniature volcano exhibits hotspots, bursts and eruption of lava, and solidification of lava flows to volcanic glass (obsidian), similarly to real volcanic phenomena. The numerical simulation, taking into account the temperature dependence of the basalt properties, is compared to the experimental measurements. The results may lead to the development of new means for mining and construction in basalt, as well as for demonstrating volcanic phenomena in laboratories, schools and museums.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages4
StatePublished - 2013
Event14th International Conference on Microwave and High Frequency Heating, AMPERE 2013 - Nottingham, United Kingdom
Duration: 17 Sep 201319 Sep 2013


Conference14th International Conference on Microwave and High Frequency Heating, AMPERE 2013
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


  • Basalt
  • Localized heating
  • Melting
  • Microwaves
  • Thermal-runaway


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