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Section of Seismology and Tectonophysics
Total Impact Points
Etna Observatory

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    ABSTRACT: Volcanic activity is normally characterised by above environment temperatures, and this makes it easy to detect active volcanic features through the use of thermal cam-eras. Thermal imaging has in fact been introduced in volcanology to analyse a num-ber of different processes, and has been extensively used at INGV-CT since 2001 for monitoring the eruptive activity of Etna and Stromboli volcanoes. Thermal mapping allows us to detect magma movements within the summit conduits of volcanoes, and to reveal volcanic activity within the craters even through the thick curtain of gases generally released by Mt. Etna and Stromboli. Thermal mapping is essential during ef-fusive eruptions, because it allows distinguishing between lava flows of different age, even differences of just one or a few days (Andronico et al., 2005). Thermal mapping is also essential in revealing the paths of concealed lava tubes (Burton et al., 2005), thus improving hazard evaluation related to lava flow emplacement. Excellent results have been obtained by researchers at INGV-CT in terms of volcanic prediction during the two recent eruptions of Mt Etna and Stromboli, both occurred in 2002-2003. On Etna, thermal images on the summit of the volcano, recorded monthly by helicopter, revealed the opening of fissure systems several months before the 2002 flank eruption. After the onset of this eruption, daily thermal mapping by helicopter allowed moni-toring a complex lava flow field spreading within a forest, below a thick plume of ash. At Stromboli, helicopter-borne thermal surveys allowed us to follow the emplacement of the complex lava flow field (Calvari et al., 2005; Lodato et al., in print) and, us-ing the system of Harris et al. (2005), to calculate instantaneous effusion rate from helicopter-borne thermal images taken during daily surveys. This in turn can be used to estimate the maximum extension that a lava flow can attain. We believe that a more extensive use of thermal cameras in volcano monitoring, both on the ground and from fixed positions, will significantly improve our understanding of volcanic phenomena and hazard during volcanic crises. L. (2005) -A multi-disciplinary study of the 2002-03 Etna eruption: insights for into a complex plumbing system. L. (2005) – Etna 2004-05: an archetype for geodynamically-controlled effusive erup-tions. Geophysical Research Letters, vol. 32, L09303, doi:10.1029/2005GL022527.
    EGU General Assembly 2006, Vienna, 2-7 aprile 2006, oral presentation. 10/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: We present GEOFIM (GEOphysical Forward/Inverse Modeling), a WebGIS application for integrated interpretation of multiparametric geophysical observations. It has been developed to jointly interpret scalar and vector magnetic data, gravity data, as well as geodetic data, from GPS, tiltmeter, strainmeter and InSAR observations, recorded in active volcanic areas. GEOFIM gathers a library of analytical solutions, which provides an estimate of the geophysical signals due to perturbations in the thermal and stress state of the volcano. The integrated geophysical modeling can be performed by a simple trial and errors forward modeling or by an inversion procedure based on NSGA-II algorithm. The software capability was tested on the multiparametric data set recorded during the 2008–2009 Etna flank eruption onset. The results encourage to exploit this approach to develop a near-real-time warning system for a quantitative model-based assessment of geophysical observations in areas where different parameters are routinely monitored.
    Computers & Geosciences 09/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: A set of analogue models has been carried out to understand the role of an asymmetric magma chamber on the resurgence-related deformation of a previously deformed crustal sector. The results are then compared with those of similar experiments, previously performed using a symmetric magma chamber. Two lines of experiments were performed to simulate resurgence in an area with a simple graben-like structure and resurgence in a caldera that collapsed within the previously generated graben-like structure. On the basis of commonly accepted scaling laws, we used dry-quartz sand to simulate the brittle behaviour of the crust and Newtonian silicone to simulate the ductile behaviour of the intruding magma. An asymmetric shape of the magma chamber was simulated by moulding the upper surface of the silicone. The resulting empty space was then filled with sand. The results of the asymmetric-resurgence experiments are similar to those obtained with symmetrically shaped silicone. In the sample with a simple graben-like structure, resurgence occurs through the formation of a discrete number of differentially displaced blocks. The most uplifted portion of the deformed caldera floor is affected by newly formed, high-angle, inward-dipping reverse ring-faults. The least uplifted portion of the caldera is affected by normal faults with similar orientation, either newly formed or resulting from reactivation of the pre-existing graben faults. This asymmetric block resurgence is also observed in experiments performed with a previous caldera collapse. In this case, the caldera-collapse-related reverse ring-fault is completely erased along the shortened side, and enhances the effect of the extensional faults on the opposite side, so facilitating the intrusion of the silicone. The most uplifted sector, due to an asymmetrically shaped intrusion, is always in correspondence of the thickest overburden. These results suggest that the stress field induced by resurgence is likely dictated by the geometry of the intruding magma body, and the related deformation is partially controlled by pre-existing tectonic and/or volcano-tectonic structures.
    Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research 02/2014;


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