Short Scientific Communication

Bulletin of Volcanology

, 71:219

First online:

Dike propagation within active central volcanic edifices: constraints from Somma-Vesuvius, Etna and analogue models

  • V. AcocellaAffiliated withDip. Scienze Geologiche Roma Tre Email author 
  • , M. NeriAffiliated withIstituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia
  • , R. SulpizioAffiliated withCIRISIVU, c/o Dip. Geomineralogico

Rent the article at a discount

Rent now

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access


Dikes within stratovolcanoes are commonly expected to have radial patterns. However, other patterns may also be found, due to regional stresses, magmatic reservoirs and topographic variations. Here, we investigate dike patterns within volcanic edifices by studying dike and fissure complexes at Somma-Vesuvius and Etna (Italy) using analogue models. At the surface, the dikes and fissures show a radial configuration. At depths of tens to several hundreds of metres, in areas exposed by erosion, tangential and oblique dikes are also present. Analogue models indicate that dikes approaching the flanks of cones, regardless of their initial orientation, reorient to become radial (parallel to the maximum gravitational stress). This re-orientation is a significant process in shallow magma migration and may also control the emplacement of dike-fed fissures reaching the lower slopes of the volcano.


Dike propagation Central volcanic edifices Stress