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Authors: Bisson, M.* 
Behncke, B.* 
Fornaciai, A.* 
Neri, M.* 
Title: LiDAR-based digital terrain analysis of an area exposed to the risk of lava flow invasion: the Zafferana Etnea territory, Mt. Etna (Italy)
Issue Date: Aug-2009
Series/Report no.: 2/50(2009)
DOI: 10.1007/s11069-009-9346-7
Keywords: LiDAR
Lava flow hazard
Land use planning
Subject Classification04. Solid Earth::04.02. Exploration geophysics::04.02.05. Downhole, radioactivity, remote sensing, and other methods 
04. Solid Earth::04.03. Geodesy::04.03.99. General or miscellaneous 
04. Solid Earth::04.03. Geodesy::04.03.06. Measurements and monitoring 
04. Solid Earth::04.04. Geology::04.04.99. General or miscellaneous 
04. Solid Earth::04.08. Volcanology::04.08.99. General or miscellaneous 
04. Solid Earth::04.08. Volcanology::04.08.06. Volcano monitoring 
04. Solid Earth::04.08. Volcanology::04.08.07. Instruments and techniques 
04. Solid Earth::04.08. Volcanology::04.08.08. Volcanic risk 
05. General::05.02. Data dissemination::05.02.03. Volcanic eruptions 
Abstract: The town of Zafferana Etnea, located on the southeastern slope of Mt. Etna volcano (Italy), has been repeatedly threatened by lava flows in recent centuries. The last serious threat occurred during the 1991–1993 eruption, when the lava front came to a halt only 1.7 km from the centre of town. Morphostructural data derived from light detection and ranging (LiDAR) surveys carried out on Etna in 2005 have enabled us to evaluate the risk of lava invasion in a section (16 km2) of the Zafferana Etnea territory. Qualitative and quantitative results are obtained combining the information derived from LiDAR analysis with geological, morphological and structural data using geographic information systems technology (GIS). The study quantifies in unprecedented detail the areal extent and volume of forested and urban areas and its degree of exposure to different levels of hazard from future lava invasion. Nearly 52% of the urban texture fall into areas of moderate to high risk from lava invasion. Future land use planning should take these findings into account and promote new development preferentially in areas of lower risk.
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