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Authors: Mulas, M.* 
Cioni, R.* 
Andronico, D.* 
Mundula, F.* 
Title: The explosive activity of the 1669 Monti Rossi eruption at Mt. Etna (Italy)
Journal: Journal of volcanology and geothermal research 
Series/Report no.: /328 (2016)
Publisher: Elsevier Science Limited
Issue Date: 2016
DOI: 10.1016/j.jvolgeores.2016.10.012
Keywords: Mt. Etna 1669 Monti Rossi eruption Eruption dynamics Eruption scenario Explosive activity
Subject Classification04. Solid Earth::04.08. Volcanology::04.08.08. Volcanic risk 
Abstract: Preceded by 14 days of intense seismic activity, a new eruption started on the south flank of Mt Etna, Sicily (Italy) early in the morning of 11 March 1669 opening up a series of NS eruptive fissures. The eruption is one of the most destructive flank eruptions of Etna in historical times; it lasted until 11 July, and was characterized by simultaneous explosive and effusive activity during the first three months, while only lava flow output in the last month. The activity built up the large composite cone of the ``Monti Rossi{'' at the lower end of the eruptive fissures, and caused severe damage to the nearby inhabited areas. The prolonged effusive activity generated lava flows for >15 km, which destroyed several villages and the western part of the town of Catania before reaching the coastline and entering the sea. In this paper, we examine the tephro-stratigraphy of the products of the explosie activity. An in-depth analysis of historical accounts was used to define the chronology of the main eruptive phases (precursors, explosive activity and initial effusive phenomena). The geology of the cone and of the fallout deposits were defined through a field survey over a distance of 5 km from the Monti Rossi. Textural (grain-size, morphological, componentry), density and petrological analyses of tephra samples provided a sedimentological, physical and geochemical characterization of erupted products. Integrating ground and historical data enabled defining the evolution of the cone, identifying and correlating four main cone-forming units. By tracing the dispersal map of the main distal tephra beds (the finer ash being dispersed mainly to the NE as far as Calabria and to the south of Sicily and the 10-cm isopach of the total deposit covering an area up to 53 km(2)), we estimated a total tephra fallout volume, including the Monti Rossi cone, of about 6.6 x 10(7) m(3) (about 32 x 10(7) m(3) DRE). The 1669 event can be considered an archetype of the most hazardous expected eruption on the densely populated flanks of Etna. Reconstructing the eruptive chronology and styles of the 1669 eruption therefore, represents the basic data to assess volcanic hazard from eventual similar flank events in the future. (C) 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.}
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