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Authors: Feuillet, N.* 
Cocco, M.* 
Musumeci, C.* 
Nostro, C.* 
Title: Stress interaction between seismic and volcanic activity at Mt Etna
Issue Date: 2006
Series/Report no.: /164 (2006)
DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-246X.2005.02824.x
Keywords: Coulomb stress modelling
earthquakes–volcanoes interaction
historical eruptions
Mt Etna
stress transfer
Subject Classification04. Solid Earth::04.06. Seismology::04.06.08. Volcano seismology 
Abstract: Mt Etna lies on the footwall of a large normal fault system, which cuts the eastern coast of Sicily and crosses the volcano eastern flank. These faults are responsible for both large magnitude historical earthquakes and smaller damaging seismic events, closer to the volcano. We investigate here the two-way mechanical coupling between such normal faults and Mt Etna through elastic stress transfer. The comparison between eruptive sequences and historical seismicity reveals that the large earthquakes which struck the eastern Sicily occurred after long periods of activity along the Mt Etna rift zone. The larger the erupted lava volumes, the stronger the earthquake. The smaller earthquakes located on the eastern flank of the volcano occur during periods of rift zone eruptions.We point out that the seismicity rates are well correlated with the rate of erupted lava. By modelling elastic stress changes caused by earthquakes and eruptions in a 3-D elastic half-space, we investigate their interaction. Earthquake dislocations create a vertical stress gradient along fissures oriented perpendicular to the minimum compressive stress and compress shallow reservoirs beneath the volcano. This may perturb the magmatic overpressures in the Etna plumbing system and influence the transport and storage of the magma as well as the style of the eruptions. Conversely, the large rift zone eruptions increase up to several tenths MPa the Coulomb stress along the eastern Sicily normal fault system and may promote earthquakes. We show that the seismic activity of the normal faults that cut the eastern flank of the volcano is likely to be controlled by Coulomb stress perturbations caused by the voiding of shallow reservoirs during flank eruptions.
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