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Authors: Giammanco, S.* 
Ottaviani, M.* 
Veschetti, E.* 
Title: Temporal variability of major and trace elements concentrations in the groundwaters of Mt. Etna (Italy): effects of transient input of magmatic fluids highlighted by means of Cluster Analysis.
Issue Date: Dec-2007
Series/Report no.: / 164 (2007)
DOI: 10.1007/s00024-007-0286-4
Keywords: trace elements
Mount Etna
cluster analysis
volcanic activity
Subject Classification03. Hydrosphere::03.04. Chemical and biological::03.04.03. Chemistry of waters 
Abstract: Data for major, minor and trace elements in groundwaters from Mt. Etna volcano collected in 1994, 1995 and 1997 were analysed using Cluster Analysis (CA). Two groups of sampling sites were identified (named clusters A and B), mainly on the basis of their different salinity and content of dissolved CO2. The highest levels of both of these parameters were observed in the sites of cluster A, located in the lower south-western and central eastern flanks of the volcano. For both of the statistical groups, CA was repeated taking into account the mean values of each parameter in time, and the results allowed us to recognize four distinct groups of parameters for each group of sites on the basis of their temporal patterns. Four different types of temporal patterns were recognised: concave, convex, increasing, decreasing. The observed changes were basically interpreted as a result of the different response of dissolved chemical elements to changes in the aqueous environment and/or in their solubility/mobility in water due to different rates of input of magmatic gases to Etna’s aquifers. The main changes occurred in 1995, when Etna’s volcanic activity resumed after a two-year period of rest. The temporal changes of the majority of the studied parameters (water temperature, water conductivity, Eh, pH, Al, Mg, B, Ca, Cl-, Hg, Mn, Mo, Na, Ni, Se, Si, Sr, Cr Zn and pCO2) were not cluster-dependent, therefore they were not apparently affected by differences in water salinity between the two groups of sampling sites. A limited number of parameters (Ti, K, Li, HCO3-, As, Fe, SO42-, Cu and V), however, showed different behaviours depending on the cluster of sites which they belonged to, thus suggesting their apparent dependency on water salinity.
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