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Dynamics of mild strombolian activity on Mt. Etna

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

  • T.D. Pering
  • G. Tamburello
  • A.J.S. McGonigle
  • A. Aiuppa
  • Michael James
  • Steve J. Lane
  • M. Sciotto
  • A. Cannata
  • D. Patanè
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>07/2015
<mark>Journal</mark>Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research
Number of pages9
Pages (from-to)103-111
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date24/12/14
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Here we report the first measurements of gas masses released during a rare period of strombolian activity at the Bocca Nuova crater, Mt. Etna, Sicily. UV camera data acquired for 195 events over an ≈27 minute period (27th July 2012) indicate erupted SO2 masses ranging from ≈0.1 to ≈14 kg per event, with corresponding total gas masses of ≈0.1 to 74 kg. Thus, the activity was characterised by more frequent and smaller events than typically associated with strombolian activity on volcanoes such as Stromboli. Events releasing larger measured gas masses were followed by relatively long repose periods before the following burst, a feature not previously reported on from gas measurement data. If we assume that gas transport within the magma can be represented by a train of rising gas pockets or slugs, then the high frequency of events indicates that these slugs must have been in close proximity. In this case the longer repose durations associated with the larger slugs would be consistent with interactions between adjacent slugs leading to coalescence, a process expedited close to the surface by rapid slug expansion. We apply basic modelling considerations to the measured gas masses in order to investigate potential slug characteristics overning the observed activity.We also cross correlated the acquired gas fluxes with contemporaneously obtained seismic data but found no relationship between
the series in line with the mild form of manifest explosivity.