Environmental Monitoring and Assessment

, Volume 173, Issue 1–4, pp 431–446 | Cite as

Salinity variations in the water resources fed by the Etnean volcanic aquifers (Sicily, Italy): natural vs. anthropogenic causes

  • Walter D’Alessandro
  • Sergio Bellomo
  • Pietro Bonfanti
  • Lorenzo Brusca
  • Manfredi Longo


In this paper, in an attempt to reveal possible changes connected to natural or anthropogenic causes, the main results of hydrogeochemical monitoring carried out at Mount Etna are evaluated. We report on the salinity contents of the groundwaters that flow in fractured volcanics, which make up the flanks of the volcano. These waters, analyzed for major ion chemistry, were sampled regularly from 1994 to 2004. Basing on nonparametric Sen’s slope estimator, time series of groundwater composition reveal that the salinity of most of the Etnean aquifers increased by 0.5% to 3.5% each year during this period. This change in the water chemistry is clearly referable to the overexploitation of the aquifers. This increasing trend needs to be inverted urgently; otherwise, it will cause a shortage of water in the near future, because the maximum admissible concentration of salinity for drinking water will be exceeded.


Hydrochemistry Salinization Over-abstraction Groundwater monitoring Sen’s slope estimator 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Walter D’Alessandro
    • 1
  • Sergio Bellomo
    • 1
  • Pietro Bonfanti
    • 1
  • Lorenzo Brusca
    • 1
  • Manfredi Longo
    • 1
  1. 1.Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia, Sezione di PalermoPalermoItaly

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