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Intrusive Mechanisms at Mt. Etna Forerunning the July-August 2001 Eruption from Seismic and Ground Deformation Data

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In this work we present seismological and ground deformation evidence for the phase preparing the July 18 to August 9, 2001 flank eruption at Etna. The analysis performed, through data from the permanent seismic and ground deformation networks, highlighted a strong relationship between seismic strain release at depth and surface deformation. This joint analysis provided strong constraints on the magma rising mechanisms. We show that in the last ten years, after the 1991–1993 eruption, an overall accumulation of tension has affected the volcano. Then we investigate the months preceding the 2001 eruption. In particular, we analyse the strong seismic swarm on April 20–24, 2001, comprising more than 200 events (Mmax = 3.6) with prevalent dextral shear fault mechanisms in the western flank. The swarm showed a ca. NE-SW earthquake alignment which, in agreement with previous cases, can be interpreted as the response of the medium to an intrusive process along the approximately NNW-SSE volcano-genetic trend. These mechanisms, leading to the July 18 to August 9, 2001 flank eruption, are analogous to ones observed some months before the 1991–1993 flank eruption and, more recently, in January 1998 before the February-November 1999 summit eruption.

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Correspondence to A. Bonaccorso.

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Bonaccorso, A., D’Amico, S., Mattia, M. et al. Intrusive Mechanisms at Mt. Etna Forerunning the July-August 2001 Eruption from Seismic and Ground Deformation Data. Pure appl. geophys. 161, 1469–1487 (2004). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00024-004-2515-4

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00024-004-2515-4

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