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Authors: Neri, M.* 
Guglielmino, F.* 
Rust, D.* 
Title: Flank instability on Mount Etna: radon, radar interferometry and geodetic data from the south-western boundary of the unstable sector
Series/Report no.: /112 (2007)
Publisher: American Geophysical Union
Issue Date: 27-Apr-2007
DOI: 10.1029/2006JB004756
Keywords: Multidisciplinary study; Ragalna fault system; radon and thoron; InSAR; EDM; volcano collapse models
Subject Classification04. Solid Earth::04.04. Geology::04.04.09. Structural geology 
Abstract: Understanding Etnean flank instability is hampered by uncertainties over its western boundary. Accordingly, we combine soil radon emission, InSAR and EDM data to study the Ragalna fault system (RFS) on the SW flank of the volcano. Valuable synergy developed between our differing techniques, producing consistent results and serving as a model for other studies of partly obscured active faults. The RFS, limited in its surface expression, is revealed as a complex interlinked structure ~14 km long that extends from the edifice base towards the area of summit rifting, possibly linking north-eastwards to the Pernicana fault system (PFS) to define the unstable sector. Short-term deformation rates on the RFS from InSAR data reach ~7 mm a-1 in the satellite line of sight on the upslope segment and ~5 mm a-1 on the prominent central segment. While combining this with EDM data confirms the central segment of the RFS as a dextral transtensive structure, with strike-slip and dip-slip components of ~3.4 and ~3.7 mm a-1 respectively. We measured thoron (220Rn, half-life 56 secs) as well as radon and, probably because of its limited diffusion range, this appears a more sensitive but previously unexploited isotope for pinpointing active near-surface faults. Contrasting activity of the PFS and RFS reinforces proposals that the instability they bound is divided into at least three sub-sectors by intervening faults, while, in section, fault-associated basal detachments also form a nested pattern. Complex temporal and spatial movement interactions are expected between these structural components of the unstable sector.
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