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Authors: Giammanco, S.* 
Gladys, M.* 
Neri, M.* 
Hernández, P.* 
Sortino, F.* 
Barrancos, J.* 
López, M.* 
Pecoraino, G.* 
Perez, N.* 
Title: Active tectonic features and structural dynamics of the summit area of Mt. Etna (Italy) revealed by soil CO2 and soil temperature surveying
Journal: Journal of volcanology and geothermal research 
Series/Report no.: /311 (2016)
Publisher: Elsevier Science Limited
Issue Date: 2016
DOI: 10.1016/j.jvolgeores.2016.01.004
Keywords: Mt. Etna
Soil CO2
Soil temperature
Hidden faults
Structural framework
Subject Classification04. Solid Earth::04.08. Volcanology::04.08.01. Gases 
Abstract: This work presents the results of an extensive geochemical survey aimed at measuring soil CO2 effluxes and soil temperatures over a large portion of Mt. Etna's summit area, coupled with an updated structural survey of the same area. The main goals of this study were i) to find concealed or hidden volcano-tectonic structures in the studied area by detecting anomalous soil gas emissions, ii) to investigate the origin of the emitted gas and the mechanism of gas and heat transport to the surface, iii) to produce a structural model based both on the surface geology and on the soil gas data and, lastly, iv) to contribute to the assessment of hazard from slope failure and crater collapses at Mt. Etna. The results revealed many concealed structural lines that followed the major directions of structural weakness in the summit area of Mt. Etna, mostly due to a combined action of gravitational spreading of the volcano and magma intrusions. Both recent and old volcano-tectonic lines were found to act as pathways for the leakage of magmatic gases to the surface. An important role in driving magmatic gases to the surface is also played by fracturing and faulting due to caldera-forming collapses and smaller crater collapses. Correlation between soil CO2 emissions and soil temperature allowed discriminating areas of active shallow hydrothermal circulation along deep fractures (characterized by high values of both parameters, but mostly soil temperature) from those affected by undeveloped fractures that did not reach the surface (characterized by high CO2 emissions at low temperature). The former corresponded to weak zones of the volcano edifice that were frequently site of past eruptions, indicating that those areas keep a high potential for future opening of eruptive fissures. The latter were likely related to sites where new eruptive fissures may open in the near future due to backward propagation of extensional tectonic stress.
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