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Authors: Berrino, G.* 
d'Errico, V.* 
Ricciardi, G.* 
Title: Toward Absolute Gravity Networks to Monitor the Neapolitan Volcanoes
Editors: Troise, C. 
Somma, R. 
D'Auria, L. 
Carlino, S. 
Scarpato, G. 
Berrino, G. 
Issue Date: 28-Sep-2015
Keywords: Absolute gravimetry
Neapolitan Volcanoes
Subject Classification04. Solid Earth::04.02. Exploration geophysics::04.02.02. Gravity methods 
04. Solid Earth::04.03. Geodesy::04.03.05. Gravity variations 
04. Solid Earth::04.03. Geodesy::04.03.06. Measurements and monitoring 
04. Solid Earth::04.03. Geodesy::04.03.09. Instruments and techniques 
04. Solid Earth::04.08. Volcanology::04.08.06. Volcano monitoring 
Abstract: As well known, measurements of the time-space changes of the gravity field are a powerful approach to detect the masses change/redistribution in the underground, such as those at volcanoes. The most common approach to detect gravity precursory signals is the use of repeated relative measurements at benchmarks on networks. This is very good, but has some and significant limits: 1) the networks must be linked to a reference station stable over long time and if possible external to the active area. This is quite simply for land volcanoes, but is generally difficult for volcanoes on islands, particularly when far from the terra firma; 2) to reach high precision, measurements require special operative procedure implying long time surveys; 3) relative gravity changes can be affected over the long-time by changes of instrumental sensitivity and loss of vacuum in the air-tight sealing system, therefore the instruments must be subject to continuous check. Measurements on network have the advantage to permit to define the position and the geometry of the masses change/redistribution, even if they suffer from the lack of information about the rate and/or quick changes, since variations are assumed linearly changing over the time between two consecutive surveys, usually spaced out some months or years. This is a fundamental information in the prediction of the volcanic activity changes and/or of volcanic eruptions and leads to conclude that measurements on networks cannot be excluded from a monitoring program, but moving toward absolute methodologies is advisable. Nowadays, and since some years, this is possible due to the commercially availability of a portable field absolute gravimeter (Micro-g_LaCoste A10), which we acquired at the end of 2014. The main advantages of the absolute measurements on networks are: i) they are independent from any reference and the field operation are faster and easier, permitting much frequent measurements and reducing the lack of information between two consecutive surveys; ii) they are directly linked to standards of time and length therefore fairly independent from instrumental references and drift, avoiding loss of long-term information; iii) the measured value can be used without loop reductions, post processing and benchmark links. This can be translated into large advantages, such as saving of human resources, survey’s time and costs. Before to start field surveys, we carried out several measurements to test the performances of the instrument and mainly to verify the repeatability of the measured value. The test was performed at the Old Building of the Osservatorio Vesuviano, on Mount Vesuvio, that is a very low noised and good logistic site; it is one of the absolute stations installed in 80’s in the Neapolitan area which value has been measured several time till 2010. In June 2015, starting from Campi Flegrei, we set the first absolute gravity networks on the Neapolitan volcanoes, formed by stations coinciding or close to the benchmarks of the already existing relative networks. Here we present and discuss the data collected during the test and the field surveys; we also will describe the new absolute networks.
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