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Authors: Carbone, D.* 
Currenti, G.* 
Del Negro, C.* 
Title: Elastic model for the gravity and elevation changes before the 2001 eruption of Etna volcano
Journal: Bulletin of Volcanology 
Series/Report no.: /69 (2007)
Publisher: Springer
Issue Date: 2007
DOI: 10.1007/s00445-006-0090-5
Keywords: Gravity
Elastic modeling
Subject Classification04. Solid Earth::04.03. Geodesy::04.03.05. Gravity variations 
Abstract: For 5 months before the 2001 Mt. Etna eruption, a progressive gravity decrease was measured along a profile of stations on the southern slope of the volcano. Between January and July 2001, the amplitude of the change reached 80 μGal, while the wavelength of the anomaly was of the order of 15 km. Elevation changes observed through GPS measurements during a period encompassing the 5-month gravity decrease, remained within 4–6 cm over the entire volcano and within 2–4 cm in the zone covered by the microgravity profile. We review both gravity and elevation changes by a model assuming the formation of new cracks, uniformly distributed in a rectangular prism. The inversion problem was formulated following a global optimization approach based on the use of Genetic Algorithms. Although it is possible to explain the observed gravity changes by means of the proposed analytical formulation, the results show that calculated elevation changes are significantly higher than those observed. Two alternative hypotheses are proposed to account for this apparent discrepancy: (1) that the assumptions behind the analytical formulation, used to invert the data, are fallacious at Etna, and thus, numerical models should be utilized; (2) that a second process, enabling a considerable mass decrease to occur without deformation, acted together with the formation of new cracks in the source volume.
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