Acocella et al. (2003) Flank slip and 2002-2003 eruption at Mt. Etna (Italy)

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Valerio Acocella, Boris Behncke, Marco Neri and Salvatore D'Amico (2003)
Link between major flank slip and 2002-2003 eruption at Mt. Etna (Italy)
Geophysical Research Letters, volume 30, No. 24, 2286
DOI: 10.1029/2003GL018642


The 2002-2003 Etna eruption is studied through earthquake distributions and surface fracturing. In September 2002, earthquake-induced surface rupture (sinistral offset ~0.48 m) occurred along the E-W striking Pernicana Fault (PF), on the NE flank. In late October, a flank eruption accompanied further (~0.77 m) surface rupturing, reaching a total sinistral offest of 1.25 m; the deformation then propagated for 18 km eastwards to the coastline (sinistral offest 0.03 m) and southwards, along the NW-SE striking Timpe (dextral offset 0.04 m) and, later, Trecastagni faults (dextral offset 0.035 m). Seismicity (<4 km bsl) on the E flank accompanied surface fracturing: fault plane solutions indicate an overall ESE-WNW extension direction, consistent with ESE slip of the E flank also revealed by ground fractures. A three-stage model of flank slip is propsed: inception (September earthquake), climax (accelerated slip and eruption) and propagation (E and S migration of the deformation).

Keywords: volcano seismology, surface fracturing, flank slip, eruption, Etna.

Copyright © Boris Behncke, "Italy's Volcanoes: The Cradle of Volcanology"

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