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Authors: Sicali, S.* 
Barberi, G.* 
Cocina, O.* 
Musumeci, C.* 
Patanè, D.* 
Title: Volcanic unrest leading to the July-August 2001 lateral eruption at Mt. Etna: seismological constraints
Issue Date: 2015
Series/Report no.: /304 (2015)
DOI: 10.1016/j.jvolgeores.2015.08.004
Keywords: Volcanic unrest
Mt. Etna
Subject Classification04. Solid Earth::04.06. Seismology::04.06.03. Earthquake source and dynamics 
Abstract: A close relationship between earthquake swarms, volcanic eruptions, and ground deformation at Mt. Etna was well documented shortly before the beginning of the July–August 2001 eruption. Past experiences at this volcano suggest how magma/dike intrusion in the shallow crust or in the upper part of the volcanic pile normally occurs after several years/months of internal recharging. Since seismic investigations provide a means to study the scale and origin of stress perturbations at active volcanoes, allowing to better investigating the preparation phase of an eruption, in this paper, we performed a close examination of the seismic activity recorded at Mt. Etna in the months preceding the 2001 eruption and in particular between November 2000 and July 2001. After integrating data recorded by the two networks operating during that time and run by the Istituto Internazionale di Vulcanologia and SISTEMA POSEIDON, we relocated 522 earthquakes by using the tomoDD code in a 3D velocity model, and then we computed their fault plane solutions. The application of different selection criteria enabled obtaining a good-quality revised data set consisting of 111 fault plane solutions. The high-precision locations identified well-defined seismic clusters, in different periods, suggesting a link with the magma migration from a depth of 8–13 km b.s.l. towards shallower zones. Moreover, the computed maximum compressive stress axis, as inferred from earthquake focal mechanisms, indicated a roughlyW-E-oriented σ1. This findings reflect an overpressure of the mid to shallow crust due to the progressive magma uprising in central portion of the volcano and also highlighted a rotation of the local stress field with respect to the regional one N-S trending. In addition, P-axis distribution pointed out the presence of a center of pressure located to the south of the Central Craters. These results provide particularly compelling evidence for a direct causal link between pressurization of the midlevel volcanic plumbing system by ascending magma and precursory local stress field reorientations, demonstrating that seismological analysis can be used to detect subtle local stress changes that herald eruptive activity.
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