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Authors: Caracausi, A.* 
Italiano, F.* 
Paonita, A.* 
Rizzo, A.* 
Nuccio, P. M.* 
Title: Evidence of deep magma degassing and ascent by geochemistry of peripheral gas emissions at Mount Etna (Italy): Assessment of the magmatic reservoir pressure
Issue Date: 2003
Series/Report no.: B10/108(2003
DOI: 10.1029/2002JB002095
Keywords: gas geochemistry
magma degassing
Subject Classification04. Solid Earth::04.04. Geology::04.04.12. Fluid Geochemistry 
04. 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::04.08.04. Thermodynamics 
04. Solid Earth::04.08. Volcanology::04.08.06. Volcano monitoring 
Abstract: Five gas discharges in the area of Mount Etna volcano (Italy) and in the near Hyblean plateau have been monitored since 1996. All the emissions displayed low contributions from crustal fluids, whereas magmatic gases were the main component. Selective dissolution of these gases into hydrothermal aquifers has been recognized and modeled, allowing us to calculate the original composition of the magma-released gases. The inferred composition of the magmatic gases exhibits synchronous variations of He/Ne and He/CO2 ratios, which are coherent with the magma degassing process. On the basis of numerical simulations of volatile degassing from Etnean basalts we have computed the initial and final pressures of the magma batches feeding the emissions. We thus can define the levels of the Etna plumbing system where magmas are stored. Pressure values were around 360 and 160 MPa for initial and final stages, respectively, meaning related depths of about 10 and 3 km below sea level, matching those obtained by geophysical investigations for the deep and shallow magma reservoirs. In addition, we have been able to recognize episodes of magma migration from the deeper reservoir toward the shallow one. An important magma injection into the shallow storage volume was detected during the onset of the 2001 eruption (17 July). No further injection had taken place during this period until September 2001, providing a possible reason for the quick exhaustion of the eruption. In view of this we suggest that the sampled emissions are a powerful geochemical tool to investigate the Etna’s plumbing system and its magma dynamics, as well as the development of eruptive events.
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