Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Department of Computer Science


This work represents the synthesis of a number of areas including literate programming, parallel processing, scientific visualisation and turbulent, reactive fluid dynamics and the application of this synthesis to a significant physical system, gas explosions in confined areas.

This thesis presents a parallel program developed to simulate the transient physical phenomena associated with the detonation of a gaseous fuel-air mixture in a confined volume, along with the support programs developed to assist in the data input and analysis tasks. Also contained are discussions of some results produced by the simulation system, specifically, the modelling of the Norfuss 10 metre ignition tube and the modelling of a complex mine development heading based on the Moura No. 4 Mine at which a major explosion occurred in 1986. Finally a number of possible extensions and enhancements to the simulator are discussed.

The program is shown to provide close agreement with a number of physical experiments and its use as a diagnostic or predictive tool is examined.

Accompanying the printed text of the thesis is a CD-Rom containing the graphical results of the models discussed in the form of both graphs and animations of a number of the key variables in the explosion process.


Accompanying disc can be consulted with the hard copy of the thesis in the Archives Collection, call no. is 004.35/90



Unless otherwise indicated, the views expressed in this thesis are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the University of Wollongong.