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WP5 : Etna volcano laboratory

This WP is devoted to improve the knowledge of the processes occurring at Mt. Etna. It aims at providing a scientific and modelling framework to forecasting the short-term evolution of future eruptive
events, estimating the volume of magma feeding an eruption, the temporal trends in magma and gas emission rates, the spatial/temporal evolution and volume of lava flows ; the physical characteristics (dispersal, grain-size distribution and optical depth in atmosphere) of the eruptive plumes and the total mass of pyroclastic fall deposits.

Questions addressed will be : storage, evolution, dynamics of the magma in the plumbing system ; interaction between the magmatism and tectonics ; quantification and modelling of subsurface and surface processes. We will focus on the major threatening phenomena : the violent short-lived or long-lasting explosive events (lava fountains), both producing consistent volcanic plumes, the opening of mid- and low-altitude eruptive fissures, the surface faulting and the reactivation of landslides. Test cases well monitored by EO and in-situ data in recent years (e.g., the 2001 or 2002-03 eruptions, 2011 explosives events at the SE crater) will be used to cross-calibrate studies on earlier devastating eruptions (e.g., 122 B.C., 1669 ad) that may represent “end-members” of the hazard at Mt. Etna. We will use data mining methods to rapidly detect anomalies on the huge multiparametric data set. Specific laboratory and field experiments will be performed to constrain the physical and chemical parameters of rocks/magma in complement to the seismic tomography.which will be partly performed through a marine experiment supported by UGR during a cruise of the R/V Sarmiento de Gamboa.

Mt. Etna has a nearly continuous activity, with eruptions that strongly impacts its surroundings and require near real-time updating and assessment. We will quantitatively characterize eruptions by improving the performance and extending the monitoring capability with improved ground systems and the systematic use of EO data
(SAR and optical imagery) and ground based imagery (HD, high-speed, and TIR cameras, DOAS and FTIR spectrometers) including active sensors (LIDAR and Doppler Radar). Ash aggregation/settling experiments will help constraining plume dispersal simulations. Results of the ongoing “Vamos Seguro” project on volcano plume
monitoring in the central Mediterranean area will also be used.

Tasks list :

  • Task 5.1 : Characterisation of the threatening phenomena from space and ground
  • Task 5.2 Mt Etna dynamics
  • Task 5.3 Mt Etna structure
  • Task 5.4 Models and software

Deliverables list :

  • D5.1 : Mt. Etna test cases
  • D5.2 : WP 5 harmonisation and standards
  • D5.3 : SW tools for data mining
  • D5.4 : Report on the TOMO-Etna experiment
  • D5.5 : Fieldwork and multidisciplinary experiments on gas dynamics and ash aggregation
  • D5.6 : Constraints on the structure of Mt Etna
  • D5.7 : Gas budget
  • D5.8 : Stress and strain transfer
  • D5.9 : Prototype of a deformation modelling
  • D5.10 : Global structural model of Etna
  • D5.11 : Characterization of volcanic processes
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Last update : 11-07-2016