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Authors: Currenti, Gilda* 
Bonaccorso, Alessandro* 
Title: Cyclic magma recharge pulses detected by high-precision strainmeter data: the case of 2017 inter-eruptive activity at Etna volcano
Journal: Scientific Reports 
Series/Report no.: /9 (2019)
Issue Date: 2019
DOI: 10.1038/s41598-019-44066-w
Abstract: Unprecedented ultra-small strain changes (~10 −8 –10 −9 ), preceding and accompanying the 2017 explosive-effusive activity, were revealed by a high precision borehole strainmeter at Etna. No pre- or co-eruptive deformation was detected by the GPS measurements, which often fail to detect ground deformation engendered by short-term small volcanic events due to their limited accuracy (millimetres to few centimetres). Through the analysis and detection of ultra-small strain changes (few tens of nanostrain), revealed by filtering the raw data, a significant time correspondence with the eruptive activity is observed. For the first time, cyclic fast exponential strain changes, preceding the onset of eruptive events, with a timescale of about 2–7 days, were detected. These variations are attributable to the expansion of the shallow magma reservoir, which is replenished with new magma from depth during the inter-eruptive periods. Interpreting the strain changes in terms of pressurization/depressurization of the chamber due to the cyclic influx and withdrawal of magma, allows placing some constraints on the magma recharge volume rate. A Finite Element model has been developed to simulate the temporal evolution of the strain changes generated by the re-pressurization of a spheroidal magma source using a dynamical approach. An average total mass budget of about 1–2 × 10 9 kg, which is in the range of the erupted mass, is estimated to be accumulated within a shallow vertically elongated magma chamber during the inter-eruptive periods. Such evidence demonstrates that the near-real time analysis of strainmeter records is remarkable for its ability to record small transients and highlight recharging phases preceding eruptive activity, which would go undetected with other current methodologies. Under these conditions, the ability to simulate inter-eruptive periods offers an opportunity to estimate the magma recharge rate with important implications for volcano hazard assessment.
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