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Authors: Siniscalchi, A.* 
Tripaldi, S.* 
Neri, M.* 
Giammanco, S.* 
Piscitelli, S.* 
Balasco, M.* 
Behncke, B.* 
Magri, C.* 
Naudet, V.* 
Rizzo, E.* 
Title: Insights into fluid circulation across the Pernicana Fault (Mt. Etna, Italy) and implications for flank instability
Issue Date: 1-Apr-2010
Series/Report no.: /193 (2010)
DOI: 10.1016/j.jvolgeores.2010.03.013
Keywords: Pernicana Fault
fluid circulation
structural geology
electrical methods
Subject Classification04. Solid Earth::04.02. Exploration geophysics::04.02.99. General or miscellaneous 
04. Solid Earth::04.02. Exploration geophysics::04.02.01. Geochemical exploration 
04. Solid Earth::04.02. Exploration geophysics::04.02.04. Magnetic and electrical methods 
04. Solid Earth::04.02. Exploration geophysics::04.02.05. Downhole, radioactivity, remote sensing, and other methods 
04. Solid Earth::04.02. Exploration geophysics::04.02.07. Instruments and techniques 
04. Solid Earth::04.04. Geology::04.04.99. General or miscellaneous 
04. Solid Earth::04.04. Geology::04.04.06. Rheology, friction, and structure of fault zones 
04. Solid Earth::04.04. Geology::04.04.07. Rock geochemistry 
04. Solid Earth::04.04. Geology::04.04.09. Structural geology 
04. Solid Earth::04.04. Geology::04.04.11. Instruments and techniques 
04. Solid Earth::04.04. Geology::04.04.12. Fluid Geochemistry 
04. Solid Earth::04.07. Tectonophysics::04.07.99. General or miscellaneous 
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::04.08.01. Gases 
04. Solid Earth::04.08. Volcanology::04.08.02. Experimental volcanism 
04. Solid Earth::04.08. Volcanology::04.08.04. Thermodynamics 
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::05.08. Risk::05.08.99. General or miscellaneous 
Abstract: We conducted geophysical–geochemical measurements on a ∼2 kmN–S profile cutting across the Pernicana Fault, one of the most active tectonic features on the NE flank of Mt. Etna. The profile passes from the unstable E flank of the volcano (to the south) to the stable N flank and significant fluctuations in electrical resistivity, self-potential, and soil gas emissions (CO2, Rn and Th) are found. The detailed multidisciplinary analysis reveals a complex interplay between the structural setting, uprising hydrothermal fluids, meteoric fluids percolating downwards, ground permeability, and surface topography. In particular, the recovered fluid circulation model highlights that the southern sector is heavily fractured and faulted, allowing the formation of convective hydrothermal cells. Although the existence of a hydrothermal system in a volcanic area does not surprise, these results have great implications in terms of flank dynamics at Mt. Etna. Indeed, the hydrothermal activity, interacting with the Pernicana Fault activity, could enhance the flank instability. Our approach should be further extended along the full extent of the boundary between the stable and unstable sectors of Etna for a better evaluation of the geohazard in this active tectonic area.
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