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Authors: Carbone, D.* 
Greco, F.* 
Title: Review of Microgravity Observations at Mt. Etna: A Powerful Tool to Monitor and Study Active Volcanoes.
Issue Date: 2007
Series/Report no.: / 164 (2007)
DOI: 10.1007/s00024-007-0194-7
Keywords: Mt. Etna
Subject Classification04. Solid Earth::04.03. Geodesy::04.03.05. Gravity variations 
Abstract: Microgravity observations at Mt. Etna have been routinely performed as both discrete (since 1986) and continuous (since 1998) measurements. In addition to describing the methodology for acquiring and reducing gravity data from Mt. Etna, this paper provides a collection of case studies aimed at demonstrating the potential of microgravity to investigate the plumbing system of an active volcano and detect forerunners to paroxysmal volcanic events. For discrete gravity measurements, results from 1994– 1996 and 2001 are reported. During the first period, the observed gravity changes are interpreted within the framework of the Strombolian activity which occurred from the summit craters. Gravity changes observed during the first nine months of 2001 are directly related to subsurface mass redistributions which preceded, accompanied and followed the July-August 2001 flank eruption of Mt. Etna. Two continuous gravity records are discussed: a 16-month (October 1998 to February 2000) sequence and a 48-hour (26–28 October, 2002) sequence, both from a station within a few kilometers of the volcano’s summit. The 16-month record may be the longest continuous gravity sequence ever acquired at a station very close to the summit zone of an active volcano. By cross analyzing it with contemporaneous discrete observations along a summit profile of stations, both the geometry of a buried source and its time evolution can be investigated. The shorter continuous sequence encompasses the onset of an eruption from a location only 1.5 km from the gravity station. This gravity record is useful for establishing constraints on the characteristics of the intrusive mechanism leading to the eruption. In particular, the observed gravity anomaly indicates that the magma intrusion occurred ‘‘passively’’ within a fracture system opened by external forces.
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