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Authors: Bonaccorso, A.* 
Bonforte, A.* 
Gambino, S.* 
Title: Thermal expansion-contraction and slope instability of a fumarole field inferred from geodetic measurements at Vulcano
Issue Date: Sep-2010
Series/Report no.: 7/72 (2010)
DOI: 10.1007/s00445-010-0366-7
Keywords: Volcano monitoring
Ground deformation
slope instability
thermo-elastic deformation
Subject Classification04. Solid Earth::04.08. Volcanology::04.08.06. Volcano monitoring 
Abstract: Between 1987 and 1993, fumarole temperatures at the Fossa crater of Vulcano (Italy) were characterized by the highest values since the 1920’s, increasing from about 300°C in 1987 to 690°C in May 1993, before decreasing to 400°C by 1996–1997. During 1990, Vulcano’s Electronic Distance Measurement (EDM) network was expanded to provide more detailed coverage of the northern sector of the Fossa crater and, in particular, to monitor the movement of the northern flank the Fossa cone. Measurements, carried out between 1990 and 1994, showed shortening by about 6 to 7 cm along baselines measured to a small section of the northern rim. Over the following four years these baselines showed a slow extension by about 3 cm, to gradually recover part of the previous deformation. We believe that the shortening and lengthening of the EDM baselines was respectively due to the increasing and decreasing temperature of the rock body lying close to the deforming area. This caused thermal expansion, followed by contraction. The positive movement of the rim was not completely matched by a negative recovery, suggesting that a nonrecoverable sliding movement was also responsible for some of the shortening of the baselines. We verified our hypothesis by calculating the expected dilatation of a rock body, as a function of the volume of rock heated and its thermal expansion coefficient, and compared the expected deformation to that observed. The geodetic investigation showed that the unstable portion affects a small length of the rim (about 100 m long) and involves a volume of about 0.8×106 m3. However, this zone lies directly above a particularly unstable portion of the flank, as well as the main village and port on the island.
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