Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/2122/7006
AuthorsMadonia, P.* 
Grassa, F.* 
Cangemi, M.* 
Musumeci, C.* 
TitleGeomorphological and geochemical characterization of the August 11, 2008 mud volcano eruption at S. Barbara village (Sicily, Italy) and its possible relationship with seismic activity
Issue Date24-May-2011
Series/Report no./11 (2011)
DOI10.5194/nhess-11-1545-2011
URIhttp://hdl.handle.net/2122/7006
Keywordsmud volcanoes
geomorphology
geochemistry
seismology
Subject Classification04. Solid Earth::04.04. Geology::04.04.12. Fluid Geochemistry 
AbstractOn August 11, 2008 a paroxysmal eruption occurred at Santa Barbara mud volcano (MV), located close to Caltanissetta, one of the most densely populated cities of Sicily (Italy). An associated minor event took place on August, 2009. Both the events caused severe damages to civil infrastructures located within a range of about 2 km from the eruptive vent. Geomorphological, geochemical and seismological investigations were carried out for framing the events in the appropriate geodynamic context. Geomorphological surveys recognized, in the immediate surrounding of the main emission point, two different families of processes and landforms: ground deformations and changes in morphology and number of the fluid emitting vents. These processes were associated to a wider network of fractures, seemingly generated by the shock wave produced by the gas blast occurred at the main paroxysm. Geochemical characterization allowed to estimate the source of the fluids, or at least their last standing, at about 3 km depth. Finally, the close time relationships observed between anomalous increments of seismic activity and the two main paroxysmal events, accounted for a common possible trigger for both the phenomena, even if with a different timing due to the very different initial conditions and characteristics of the two processes, i.e. seismogenesis and gas overloading.
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