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Authors: Barberi, G.* 
Cocina, O.* 
Neri, G.* 
Privitera, E.* 
Spampinato, S.* 
Title: Volcanological inferences from seismic-strain tensor computations at Mt. Etna Volcano, Sicily
Issue Date: 26-Oct-2000
Series/Report no.: 4-5/62(2000)
DOI: 10.1007/s004450000101
Keywords: Mt. Etna
Seismic strain
Stress inversion
Volcanic processes
Subject Classification04. Solid Earth::04.06. Seismology::04.06.08. Volcano seismology 
Abstract: Kostrov's (1974) algorithm for seismic-strain tensor computations, in the version implemented by Wyss et al. (1992a) for error estimates, has been applied to shear-type earthquakes occurring beneath the Etna volcano during 1990-1996. Space-time variations of strain orientations and amplitudes have been examined jointly with ground-deformation and gravimetric data collected in the same period and reported in the literature. Taking also into account the information available from volcanological observations and structural geology, we propose a model assuming that hydraulic pressure by magma emplaced in nearly north-south vertical structures produces the E-W orientation of the maximum compressive strain found in the upper 10 km beneath the crater area. In contrast, regional tectonics deriving from the slow, north-south convergence between the African and European plates appear to play a dominant role in the generation of stress and strain fields at crustal depths deeper than 10 km below the volcano. According to our interpretation, the progressive ascent of magma through the upper crust prior to eruption produces the observed gravity changes, cone inflation and unusual seismic strain rate in the upper 10 km associated with a more sharply defined seismic deformation regime (i.e. very small confidence limits of the epsilon 1 orientation). In agreement with this model, deflation revealed by ground-deformation data during the course of the major 1991-1993 eruption was accompanied by a practically nil level of shallow seismicity.
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