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Authors: Caracausi, A.* 
Favara, R.* 
Giammanco, S.* 
Italiano, F.* 
Paonita, A.* 
Pecoraino, G.* 
Rizzo, A.* 
Nuccio, P. M.* 
Title: Mount Etna: Geochemical signals of magma ascent and unusually extensive plumbing system
Issue Date: 2003
Series/Report no.: 30/2(2003)
DOI: 10.1029/2002GL015463
Keywords: helium isotopes
geochemical monitoring
Subject Classification04. Solid Earth::04.08. Volcanology::04.08.01. Gases 
04. Solid Earth::04.08. Volcanology::04.08.03. Magmas 
04. Solid Earth::04.08. Volcanology::04.08.06. Volcano monitoring 
Abstract: Five years of gas monitoring from selected sites suggest that Mt Etna’s plumbing system is much more extensive than previously reported. It extends at least 40 km SW from the volcano’s boundary along the NE-SW regional fault, where it discharges about 200 tons/day of gas, containing helium with mantle-type isotopic composition. Synchronous variations of 3He/4He isotopic ratios in gas sampled at sites located 60 kilometers apart have allowed us to detect pulses of ascending magma in the plumbing system, thus providing a powerful tool for eruption forecasting. Following summer 2001 eruption, the still increasing trend of the 3He/4He ratios indicates that magma storage is even now occurring at a shallow depth. Hence, the volcano maintains a high capacity to re-erupt within the next few months.
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