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Authors: Billi, A.* 
Acocella, V.* 
Funiciello, R.* 
Giordano, G.* 
Lanzafame, G.* 
Neri, M.* 
Title: Mechanisms for ground-surface fracturing and incipient slope failure associated with the 2001 eruption of Mt. Etna, Italy: analysis of ephemeral field data
Issue Date: 2003
Series/Report no.: /122 (2003)
DOI: 10.1016/S0377-0273(02)00507-3
Keywords: dykes
extensional fractures
slope failures
Subject Classification04. Solid Earth::04.04. Geology::04.04.99. General or miscellaneous 
04. Solid Earth::04.04. Geology::04.04.09. Structural geology 
04. Solid Earth::04.07. Tectonophysics::04.07.02. Geodynamics 
04. Solid Earth::04.07. Tectonophysics::04.07.05. Stress 
04. Solid Earth::04.07. Tectonophysics::04.07.07. Tectonics 
04. Solid Earth::04.08. Volcanology::04.08.99. General or miscellaneous 
04. Solid Earth::04.08. Volcanology::04.08.03. Magmas 
04. Solid Earth::04.08. Volcanology::04.08.05. Volcanic rocks 
04. Solid Earth::04.08. Volcanology::04.08.06. Volcano monitoring 
04. Solid Earth::04.08. Volcanology::04.08.08. Volcanic risk 
05. General::05.02. Data dissemination::05.02.03. Volcanic eruptions 
Abstract: During the July^August 2001 eruption of Mt. Etna development of extensional fractures/faults and grabens accompanied magma intrusion and subsequent volcanic activity. During the first days of the eruption, we performed an analysis of attitude, displacement and propagation of fractures and faults exposed on the ground surface in two sites, Torre del Filosofo and Valle del Leone, located along the same fracture system in the region surrounding the Valle del Bove depression on the eastern flank of Mt. Etna. Fractures and faults formed as the consequence of a shallow intruding dyke system that fed the several volcanic centres developed along the fracture system. The investigated sites differ in slope attitude and in geometrical relationships between fractures and slopes. In particular, the fracture system propagated parallel to the gentle slope (67‡ dip) in the Torre del Filosofo area, and perpendicular to the steep slope (V25‡ dip) in the Valle del Leone area. In the Torre del Filosofo area, slight graben subsidence and horizontal extension of the ground surface by about 3 m were recorded. In the Valle del Leone area, extensional faulting forming a larger and deeper graben with horizontal extension of the ground surface by about 10 m was recorded. For the Valle del Leone area, we assessed a downhill dip of 14‡ for the graben master fault at the structural level beneath the graben where the fault dip shallows. These results suggest that dyke intrusion at Mount Etna, and particularly in the region surrounding the Valle del Bove depression, may be at the origin of slope failure and subsequent slumps where boundary conditions, i.e. geometry of dyke, slope dip and initial shear stress, amongst others, favour incipient failures.
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