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Authors: Spampinato, Salvatore* 
Ursino, Andrea* 
Barbano, Maria Serafina* 
Pirrotta, Claudia* 
Rapisarda, Salvatore* 
Larocca, Graziano* 
Platania, Pier Raffaele* 
Title: A Reappraisal of Seismicity and Eruptions of Pantelleria Island and the Sicily Channel (Italy)
Issue Date: 2017
Series/Report no.: /174 (2017)
DOI: 10.1007/s00024-017-1550-x
Keywords: Pantelleria, Sicily Channel
Volcano, eruptive activity
Subject Classification04.06. Seismology 
04.08. Volcanology 
Abstract: Three main tectonic depressions (the Pantelleria, Linosa and Malta troughs), the expression of a continental rift, characterize the Sicily Channel, a region with recent volcanic activity attested by the Pantelleria and Linosa volcanic islands, as well as numerous seamounts. To understand the seismic and eruptive behaviour of this area, we compare historical and instrumental seismicity retrieved from catalogues with recordings from both a mobile seismic network and a permanent station deployed at Pantelleria. A review of historical eruptions affecting the Sicily Channel is also presented. Recent instrumental seismicity shows that the Sicily Channel is characterized by a low level of seismicity, with earthquakes mainly occurring as isolated events, rather than swarms as observed during the few documented eruptive periods. The results of a seismic survey in 2006–2007, as well as the signals recorded by a permanent station in 2010–2014, enable stating that also Pantelleria is characterized by a very low rate of seismicity. The available, though scant, historical information suggests a recurrence time of about a century for the volcanic activity and that eruptions are usually preceded by seismic swarms. In the only historical known eruption of Pantelleria, in addition to shocks, uplifting and increasing fumarole activity, were observed. Notwithstanding the lack of eruptions over the past century, and despite the low recent seismic rate, we believe that the geophysical monitoring of the Sicily Channel needs improving since it is an area of potentially high seismic and volcanic hazard given the presence of several active submarine eruptive centres.
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