Bulletin of Volcanology

, Volume 54, Issue 8, pp 623–630 | Cite as

Volcanic steam output directly measured in fumaroles: the observed variations at Vulcano Island, Italy, between 1983 and 1987

  • F Italiano
  • P M Nuccio


The mass of steam emitted by the fumaroles of the crater of Vulcano (Aeolian Islands, Italy) was evaluated by using a direct measuring method. Measurements were effected with this method between 1983 and 1987 in nine field campaigns, the results of which are given in this paper. The steam flux measurements were performed by an instrument expressly designed for steam condensation. The estimates of the thermal energy transported daily by the steam gave values of up to 10E12 J. The sharp variations in the total mass outputs recorded in 1984 and 1985 are here interpreted as being a consequence of the probable accumulation of fluid pressure at depth, during the evolution of volcanic activity. The different results obtained from the various areas of the fumarolic field during the evolutionary phases have led to the hypothesis that different subsystems exist that feed the fumaroles, and that their activity is triggered by volcano-tectonics. This method can be applied in the evaluation of both fumarolic steam and thermal energy outputs, and therefore it is particularly useful in geothermal exploration, in the evaluation of the environmental impact of volcanic degassing, and in the forecasting of volcanic eruptions. The evaluation of the steam output is also useful for quantifying the release of other gaseous species and giving univocal interpretations regarding their variations in concentrations. Furthermore this direct method provides a new way of calibrating the flux estimates effected by other telemetric techniques (Lidar, Cospec, etc.).


Steam Thermal Energy Lidar Flux Estimate Mass Output 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • F Italiano
    • 1
  • P M Nuccio
    • 2
  1. 1.Istituto di Geochimica dei FluidiCNRPalermoItaly
  2. 2.Istituto di Mineralogia, Petrografia e GeochimicaUniversity of PalermoItaly

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