Despite Mt. Etna's long-standing reputation as an effusive volcano, since 1986 there has been an evident increase in mid-intensity explosive eruptions from its summit craters, with more than 240 episodes, better known as paroxysms (otherwise called paroxysmal episodes). These are characterized by strong Strombolian to lava fountaining activity that lasts from tens of minutes to a few days, producing some km-high volcanic plumes and tephra fallouts up to hundreds of km on the ground. Most paroxysms give life to sequences which are clustered like “episodic” eruptions for periods of a few days to a few months, their frequent recurrence causing hazard to air traffic and impacting densely inhabited areas. Nonetheless, a list containing the dates and data of these eruptions is lacking. In this paper, we tried to fill this gap by compiling a complete record, including master data (date, crater), eruption style and seismic parameters for identifying, characterizing and quantifying both the individual episodes and the entire period. This information comes from a critical review of surveillance reports, raw-data analysis and scientific literature. A retrieval of homogenous and comparable seismic data was possible only for episodes after 2006 following the renewal of seismic stations. The eruption list provides a complete picture of the 1986–2021 paroxysms, allowing to evaluate their temporal distribution, make a statistical analysis of their time-interval, and undertake a comprehensive investigation of the features of volcanic tremor. The results show a high probability (72%) of having a paroxysmal episode in the 10 days following the previous one. Moreover, a scaling relationship associated with the number-size distribution of the amplitude increases of volcanic tremor accompanying the explosive activities has been constrained. During sequences of paroxysms, combining these outputs can help improve the hazard assessment in terms of frequency of the associated tephra fallouts, and predict the duration of the entire sequence.

The 1986–2021 paroxysmal episodes at the summit craters of Mt. Etna: Insights into volcano dynamics and hazard

Cannata, Andrea
Secondo
;
2021

Abstract

Despite Mt. Etna's long-standing reputation as an effusive volcano, since 1986 there has been an evident increase in mid-intensity explosive eruptions from its summit craters, with more than 240 episodes, better known as paroxysms (otherwise called paroxysmal episodes). These are characterized by strong Strombolian to lava fountaining activity that lasts from tens of minutes to a few days, producing some km-high volcanic plumes and tephra fallouts up to hundreds of km on the ground. Most paroxysms give life to sequences which are clustered like “episodic” eruptions for periods of a few days to a few months, their frequent recurrence causing hazard to air traffic and impacting densely inhabited areas. Nonetheless, a list containing the dates and data of these eruptions is lacking. In this paper, we tried to fill this gap by compiling a complete record, including master data (date, crater), eruption style and seismic parameters for identifying, characterizing and quantifying both the individual episodes and the entire period. This information comes from a critical review of surveillance reports, raw-data analysis and scientific literature. A retrieval of homogenous and comparable seismic data was possible only for episodes after 2006 following the renewal of seismic stations. The eruption list provides a complete picture of the 1986–2021 paroxysms, allowing to evaluate their temporal distribution, make a statistical analysis of their time-interval, and undertake a comprehensive investigation of the features of volcanic tremor. The results show a high probability (72%) of having a paroxysmal episode in the 10 days following the previous one. Moreover, a scaling relationship associated with the number-size distribution of the amplitude increases of volcanic tremor accompanying the explosive activities has been constrained. During sequences of paroxysms, combining these outputs can help improve the hazard assessment in terms of frequency of the associated tephra fallouts, and predict the duration of the entire sequence.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11769/509362
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