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Authors: Andronico, D.*
Lodato, L.*
Title: Effusive Activity at Mount Etna Volcano (Italy) During the 20th Century: A Contribution to Volcanic Hazard Assessment
Title of journal: Natural Hazards
Series/Report no.: /36 (2005)
Publisher: Springer
Issue Date: 28-Jan-2005
DOI: 10.1007/s11069-005-1938-2
Keywords: Mt. Etna
effusive activity
lava flow length
eruptive fractures
vent elevation
hazard zonation
Abstract: Mount Etna is an open conduit volcano, characterised by persistent activity, consisting of degassing and explosive phenomena at summit craters, frequent flank eruptions, and more rarely, eccentric eruptions. All eruption typologies can give rise to lava flows, which represent the greatest hazard by the volcano to the inhabited areas. Historical documents and scientific papers related to the 20th century effusive activity have been examined in detail, and volcanological parameters have been compiled in a database. The cumulative curve of emitted lava volume highlights the presence of two main eruptive periods: (a) the 1900–1971 interval, characterised by a moderate slope of the curve, amounting to 436 · 106 m3 of lava with average effusion rate of 0.2 m3/s and (b) the 1971–1999 period, in which a significant increase in eruption frequency is associated with a large issued lava volume (767 · 106 m3) and a higher effusion rate (0.8 m3/s). The collected data have been plotted to highlight different eruptive behaviour as a function of eruptive periods and summit vs. flank eruptions. The latter have been further subdivided into two categories: eruptions characterised by high effusion rates and short duration, and eruptions dominated by low effusion rate, long duration and larger volume of erupted lava. Circular zones around the summit area have been drawn for summit eruptions based on the maximum lava flow length; flank eruptions have been considered by taking into account the eruptive fracture elevation and combining them with lava flow lengths of 4 and 6 km. This work highlights that the greatest lava flow hazard at Etna is on the south and east sectors of the volcano. This should be properly considered in future land-use planning by local authorities.
Appears in Collections:05.02.03. Volcanic eruptions
Papers Published / Papers in press

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