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Authors: Caramanna, Giorgio* 
Voltattorni, Nunzia* 
de Vittor, Cinzia* 
Conte, Aida Maria* 
Maroto-Valer, Mercedes* 
Title: Panarea natural-lab: eight years of underwater research
Issue Date: 2-Nov-2010
Keywords: natural gas release
scientific diving technique
Subject Classification05. General::05.08. Risk::05.08.01. Environmental risk 
Abstract: The volcanic island of Panarea is characterized by the presence of continuous emission of volcanic gases from the seafloor. In November 2002 the system increased its flow of some order of magnitude and since then a steady release of gas is present generating bubble plumes that, in the shallowest points, reach the sea surface. Due to the environmental conditions, the area close to the shore and shallow water can be utilized as a “natural lab” to study the effect of high levels of CO2on the marine realm by surface techniques and directly by means of SCUBA diving. Since 2002, over one hundred hours of diving have been utilized to collect samples of fluids and sediments and to study the biota. After a first phase of volcanic surveillance, the island is more recently studied as a “natural analogue” for the development of reliable monitoring techniques for potential seepage from sub-seabed carbon storage sites. Hereby we present a synthesis of eight years of research in the area.
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