Environmental Earth Sciences

, Volume 61, Issue 1, pp 159–171 | Cite as

Chemical composition of precipitation at Mt. Vesuvius and Vulcano Island, Italy: volcanological and environmental implications

Original Article

Abstract

Natural precipitation and water samples from passive devices were collected at Mt. Vesuvius and Vulcano Island, Italy, during the period 2004–2006, in order to investigate its possible interactions with fumarolic gases. Evidence of chemical reactions between fumarolic fluids and rain samples before and after its deposition into the sampling devices was found at Vulcano Island. Very low pH values (down to 2.5) and significant amounts of chlorine and sulfate (up to 22 mEq/l) were measured at sampling points located close to the fumarolic field. In contrast, anthropogenic contributions and/or dissolution of aerosols (both maritime and continental) influence the chemistry of rainwaters at Mt. Vesuvius, which show inter-annual variations that are highly consistent with those recorded at the coastal site at Vulcano Island. Chemistry of waters directly exposed to fumarolic fluids may then give useful information about its temporal evolution, holding the signal of the “maximum” chemical event occurred in the meanwhile. In addition, the observation of the health status of vegetation colonizing the immediate surroundings of the fumarolic fields, due to its strong dependence on the interactions with these fluids, may work as a possible biomarker of volcanic activity.

Keywords

Chemistry Fumarole Precipitation Vesuvius Vulcano Island 

References

  1. Aiuppa A, Federico C, Giudice G, Gurrieri S (2005) Chemical mapping of a fumarolic field: La Fossa Crater, Vulcano Island (Aeolian Islands, Italy). Geophys Res Lett 32:L13309. doi:10.1029/2005GL023207 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Aiuppa A, Bellomo S, Brusca L, D’Alessandro W, Di Paola R, Longo M (2006) Major-ion bulk deposition around an active volcano (Mt. Etna, Italy). Bull. Volcanol 68:255–265. doi:10.1007/s00445-005-0005-x CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Badalamenti B, Chiodini G, Cioni R, Favara R, Francofonte S, Gurrieri S, Hauser S, Inguaggiato S, Italiano F, Magro G, Nuccio PM, Parello F, Pennisi M, Romeo L, Russo M, Sortino F, Valenza M, Vurro F (1991) Special Field Workshop at Vulcano (Aeolian Islands) during summer 1988: geochemical results. Acta Vulcanol 1:223–228Google Scholar
  4. Bellomo S, D’Alessandro W, Longo M (2003) Volcanogenic fluorine in rainwater around active degassing volcanoes: Mt. Etna and Stromboli Island, Italy. Sci Total Environ 301:175–185. doi:10.1016/S0048-9697(02)00284-X CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bellomo S, Aiuppa A, D’Alessandro W, Parello F (2007) Environmental impact of magmatic fluorine emission in the Mt. Etna area. J Volcanol Geotherm Res 165(1–2):87–101. doi:10.1016/j.jvolgeores.2007.04.013 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Capasso G, Dongarrà G, Favara R, Francofonte S, Hauser S (1993) Composition of bulk precipitation on Island of Vulcano (Aeolian I. Italy). Naturalista Siciliano Serie IV 17(1–2):33–43Google Scholar
  7. Chiodini G, Marini L, Russo M (2001) Geochemical evidences of high temperature hydrothermal brines at Vesuvio volcano (Italy). Geochim Cosmochim Acta 65(13):2129–2147. doi:10.1016/S0016-7037(01)00583-X CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Delmelle P, Stix J, Baxter PJ, Garcia-Alvarez J, Barquero J (2002) Atmospheric dispersion, environmental effects and potential health hazard associated with the low-altitude gas plume of Masaya volcano, Nicaragua. Bul Volcanol 64(6):423–434. doi:10.1007/s00445-002-0221-6 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Edmonds M, Oppenheimer C, Pyle DM, Herd RA (2003) Rainwater and ash leachate analysis as proxies for plume chemistry at Soufriere Hills Volcano, Montserrat. In: Oppenheimer C, Pyle DM, Barclay J (eds) Volcanic degassing. Geological Society, London, pp 203–218Google Scholar
  10. Fulignati P, Sbrana A, Luperini W, Greco V (2002) Formation of rock coatings induced by the acid fumarole plume of the passively degassing volcano of La Fossa Vulcano Island, Italy. J Volcanol Geotherm Res 115(3–4):397–410. doi:10.1016/S0377-0273(02)00209-3 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Granieri D, Carapezza ML, Chiodini G, Avino R, Caliro S, Ranaldi M, Ricci T, Tarchini L (2006) Correlated increase in CO2 fumarolic content and diffuse emission from La Fossa crater (Vulcano, Italy): evidence of volcanic unrest or increasing gas release from a stationary deep magma body? Geophys Res Lett 33L13316. doi:10.1029/2006GL026460
  12. Kawaratani RK, Fujita SI (1990) Wet deposition of volcanic gases and ash in the vicinity of Mount Sakurajima. Atmos Environ 24A(6):1487–1492Google Scholar
  13. Liotta M, Brusca L, Grassa F, Inguaggiato S, Longo M, Madonia P (2006) Geochemistry of rainfall at Stromboli volcano (Aeolian Islands): isotopic composition and plume-rain interaction. Geochem Geophys Geosyst 7Q07006. doi:10.1029/2006GC001288
  14. Madonia P (2006) La distribuzione areale della vegetazione come indicatore dell’attivita’ esalativa: considerazioni vulcanologiche preliminari (in italian). Available on line at http://www.xvcongresso.societaitalianaecologia.org/articles/Madonia-31.pdf. Accessed 02 May 2009
  15. Mather TA, Oppenheimer C, Allen AG, McGonigle AJS (2004) Aerosol chemistry of emissions from three contrasting volcanoes in Italy. Atmos Environ 38(33):5637–5649. doi:10.1016/j.atmosenv.2004.06.017 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Oppenheimer C (2003) Volcanic degassing. In: Holland HD, Turekian KK (eds) The crust, vol 3, treatise on geochemistry. Elsevier-Pergamon, Oxford, pp 123–166Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e VulcanologiaSezione di PalermoPalermoItaly

Personalised recommendations