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Authors: Aiuppa, A.*
Allard, P.*
D'Alessandro, W.*
Giammanco, S.*
Parello, F.*
Valenza, M.*
Title: Magmatic gas leakage at Mount Etna (Sicily, Italy): relationships with the volcano-tectonic structures, the hydrological pattern and the eruptive activity
Issue Date: 2004
ISBN: 0875904084
Keywords: Mt. Etna
Geochemical surveillance
Volcanic gases
Abstract: In this paper we provide a review of chemical and isotopic data gathered over the last three decades on Etna volcano's fluid emissions and we present a synthetic framework of their spatial and temporal relationships with the volcano-tectonic structures, groundwater circulation and eruptive activity. We show that the chemistry, intensity and spatial distribution of gas exhalations are strongly controlled by the main volcano-tectonic fault systems. The emission of mantle-derived magmatic volatiles, supplied by deep to shallow degassing of alkali-hawaiitic basalts, persistently occurs through the central conduits, producing a huge volcanic plume. The magmatic derivation of the hot gases is verified by their He, C and S isotopic ratios. Colder but widespread emanations of magma-derived CO2 and He also occur through the flanks of the volcano and through aquifers, mainly concentrated within two sectors of the south-southwest (Paternò-Belpasso) and eastern (Zafferana) flanks. In these two peripheral areas, characterized by intense local seismicity and gravity highs, magma-derived CO2 and helium are variably diluted by shallower crustal-derived fluids (organically-derived carbon, radiogenic helium). Thermal and geochemical anomalies recorded in groundwaters and soil gases within these two areas prior to the 1991-1993 eruption are consistent with an input of hot fluids released by ascending magma. Magmatic fluids interacted with the shallow aquifers, modifying their physico-chemical conditions, and led to strong variations of the soil CO2 flux. In addition to routine survey of the crater plume emissions, geochemical monitoring of remote soil gases and groundwaters may thus contribute to forecasting Etna's eruptions.
Appears in Collections:Book chapters
04.08.06. Volcano monitoring

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