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Authors: Andronico, D.* 
Scollo, S.* 
Cristaldi, A.* 
Ferrari, F.* 
Title: Monitoring ash emission episodes at Mt. Etna: the 16 November 2006 case study
Issue Date: 2008
DOI: 10.1016/j.jvolgeores.2008.10.019
Keywords: Mt. Etna
volcanic ash monitoring
tephra deposit
2006 eruption
Subject Classification04. Solid Earth::04.06. Seismology::04.06.06. Surveys, measurements, and monitoring 
Abstract: Mt. Etna in Sicily (Italy) is one of the best monitored basaltic volcanoes in the world due to the frequent eruptions from its summit and flanks. Routine monitoring carried out by the Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia, Sezione di Catania, for surveillance purposes permits following the evolution of volcanic events. In this paper, a description of the ash monitoring system as occurred during the August-December 2006 summit eruption at the Southeast Crater (SEC) is shown. This eruption was characterized by lava flow effusions and vigorous Strombolian activity. Eighteen paroxysmal episodes occurred up to the end of November, forming weak ash plumes accompanied by moderate tephra fallout over Etna’s slopes. During these events, we applied a multidisciplinary approach to promptly monitor the paroxysmal activity and the associated tephra fallout, through analysis from seismic tremor and observation from live-cameras, sampling operations, mapping and analysis of the deposit. During the most significant episodes, we carried out textural and grain-size analysis on tephra samples and evaluated the whole grain-size deposit and the erupted volume, while numerical simulations of tephra dispersal allowed better understanding eruptive dynamics. An example of this methodology is applied to the 16 November episode, during which seismic tremor furnished important constraints on the chronology. This paroxysmal eruption produced light fallout on the north-east sector of the volcano for about ten hours and a number of debris-avalanches over the slopes of the SEC cone. The erupted deposit was composed for the most part of lithic components and characterized by a whole grain-size distribution centered on 2.2 , while its total mass was evaluated 7 x 106 kg. On the whole, such integrated studies help to obtain information on magma fragmentation and eruptive mechanisms, to characterize the explosive styles shown by Etna and finally, to better approach the monitoring of imminent eruptions.
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