Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/2122/7581
AuthorsLautze, N. C.* 
Taddeucci, J.* 
Andronico, D.* 
Cannata, C.* 
Tornetta, L.* 
Scarlato, P.* 
Houghton, B.* 
Lo Castro, M. D.* 
TitleSEM-based methods for the analysis of basaltic ash from weak explosive activity at Etna in 2006 and the 2007 eruptive crisis at Stromboli
Issue Date2012
Series/Report no./45-46 (2012)
DOI10.1016/j.pce.2011.02.001
URIhttp://hdl.handle.net/2122/7581
Keywordsash
morphology
chemistry
Etna
Stromboli
Subject Classification04. Solid Earth::04.08. Volcanology::04.08.06. Volcano monitoring 
AbstractWe present results from a semi-automated field-emission scanning electron microscope investigation of basaltic ash from a variety of eruptive processes that occurred at Mount Etna volcano in 2006 and at Stromboli volcano in 2007. From a methodological perspective, the proposed techniques provide relatively fast (about 4 h per sample) information on the size distribution, morphology, and surface chemistry of several hundred ash particles. Particle morphology is characterized by compactness and elongation parameters, and surface chemistry data are shown using ternary plots of the relative abundance of several key elements. The obtained size distributions match well those obtained by an independent technique. The surface chemistry data efficiently characterize the chemical composition, type and abundance of crystals, and dominant alteration phases in the ash samples. From a volcanological perspective, the analyzed samples cover a wide spectrum of relatively minor ash-forming eruptive activity, including weak Hawaiian fountaining at Etna, and lava-sea water interaction, weak Strombolian explosions, vent clearing activity, and a paroxysm during the 2007 eruptive crisis at Stromboli. This study outlines subtle chemical and morphological differences in the ash deposited at different locations during the Etna event, and variable alteration patterns in the surface chemistry of the Stromboli samples specific to each eruptive activity. Overall, we show this method to be effective in quantifying the main features of volcanic ash particles from the relatively weak – and yet frequent – explosive activity occurring at basaltic volcanoes.
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