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Authors: Badalamenti, B.* 
Bruno, N.* 
Caltabiano, T.* 
Di Gangi, F.* 
Giammanco, S.* 
Salerno, G.* 
Title: Continuous soil CO2 and discrete plume SO2 measurements at Mt. Etna (Italy) during 1997-2000: a contribution to volcano monitoring
Issue Date: 2004
Series/Report no.: 66(2004)
DOI: 10.1007/s00445-003-0305-y
Keywords: Mt. Etna
Soil CO2 emissions
Plume SO2 flux
Continuous geochemical monitoring
Eruptive activity
Degassing model
Subject Classification04. Solid Earth::04.08. Volcanology::04.08.01. Gases 
04. Solid Earth::04.08. Volcanology::04.08.06. Volcano monitoring 
04. Solid Earth::04.08. Volcanology::04.08.07. Instruments and techniques 
Abstract: Continuous monitoring of soil CO2 dynamic concentration (which is proportional to the CO2 flux through the soil) was carried out at a peripheral site of Mt. Etna during the period November 1997 - September 2000 using an automated station. The acquired data were compared with SO2 flux from the summit craters measured two to three times a week during the same period. The high frequency of data acquisition with both methods allowed us to analyze in detail the time variations of both parameters. Anomalous high values of soil CO2 dynamic concentration always preceded periods of increased flux of plume SO2, and these in turn were followed by periods of summit eruptions. The variations were modeled in terms of gas efflux increase due to magma ascent to shallow depth and its consequent depressurization and degassing. This model is supported by data from other geophysical and volcanological parameters. The rates of increase both of soil CO2 dynamic concentration and of plume SO2 flux are interpreted to be positively correlated both to the velocity of magma ascent within the volcano and to lava effusion rate once magma is erupted at the surface. Low rates of the increase were recorded before the nine-month-long 1999 subterminal eruption. Higher rates of increase were observed before the violent summit eruption of September-November 1999, and the highest rates were observed during shorter and very frequent spike-like anomalies that preceded the sequence of short-lived but very violent summit eruptions that started in late January 2000 and continued until late June of the same year. Furthermore, the time interval between the peaks of CO2 and SO2 in a single sequence of gas anomalies is likely to be controlled by magma ascent velocity.
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