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Authors: Solaro, G.*
Acocella, V.*
Pepe, S.*
Ruch, J.*
Neri, M.* 
Sansosti, E.*
Title: Anatomy of an unstable volcano from InSAR: Multiple processes affecting flank instability at Mt. Etna, 1994–2008
Other Titles: Insar at Etna between 1994–2008
Issue Date: 8-Oct-2010
Series/Report no.: /115(2010)
DOI: 10.1029/2009JB000820, 2010
Keywords: Flank instability
Subject Classification04. Solid Earth::04.01. Earth Interior::04.01.99. General or miscellaneous 
04. Solid Earth::04.01. Earth Interior::04.01.02. Geological and geophysical evidences of deep processes 
04. Solid Earth::04.02. Exploration geophysics::04.02.99. General or miscellaneous 
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::04.03. Geodesy::04.03.07. Satellite geodesy 
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::04.04.09. Structural geology 
04. Solid Earth::04.07. Tectonophysics::04.07.99. General or miscellaneous 
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::04.08.06. Volcano monitoring 
04. Solid Earth::04.08. Volcanology::04.08.08. Volcanic risk 
05. General::05.02. Data dissemination::05.02.03. Volcanic eruptions 
05. General::05.04. Instrumentation and techniques of general interest::05.04.99. General or miscellaneous 
05. General::05.08. Risk::05.08.99. General or miscellaneous 
Abstract: Volcano deformation may occur under different conditions. To understand how a volcano deforms, as well as relations with magmatic activity, we studied Mt. Etna in detail using interferometric synthetic aperture radar (InSAR) data from 1994 to 2008. From 1994 to 2000, the volcano inflated with a linear behavior. The inflation was accompanied by eastward and westward slip on the eastern and western flanks, respectively. The portions proximal to the summit showed higher inflation rates, whereas the distal portions showed several sectors bounded by faults, in some cases behaving as rigid blocks. From 2000 to 2003, the deformation became nonlinear, especially on the proximal eastern and western flanks, showing marked eastward and westward displacements, respectively. This behavior resulted from the deformation induced by the emplacement of feeder dikes during the 2001 and 2002–2003 eruptions. From 2003 to 2008, the deformation approached linearity again, even though the overall pattern continued to be influenced by the emplacement of the dikes from 2001 to 2002. The eastward velocity on the eastern flank showed a marked asymmetry between the faster sectors to the north and those (largely inactive) to the south. In addition, from 1994 to 2008 part of the volcano base (south, west, and north lower slopes) experienced a consistent trend of uplift on the order of ∼0.5 cm/yr. This study reveals that the flanks of Etna have undergone a complex instability resulting from three main processes. In the long term (103–104 years), the load of the volcano is responsible for the development of a peripheral bulge. In the intermediate term (≤101 years, observed from 1994 to 2000), inflation due to the accumulation of magma induces a moderate and linear uplift and outward slip of the flanks. In the short term (≤1 year, observed from 2001 to 2002), the emplacement of feeder dikes along the NE and south rifts results in a nonlinear, focused, and asymmetric deformation on the eastern and western flanks. Deformation due to flank instability is widespread at Mt. Etna, regardless of volcanic activity, and remains by far the predominant type of deformation on the volcano.
Description: An edited version of this paper was published by AGU. Copyright (2010) American Geophysical Union.
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