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Geosciences 2019, 9(3), 115; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences9030115

Volcanic Tremor of Mt. Etna (Italy) Recorded by NEMO-SN1 Seafloor Observatory: A New Perspective on Volcanic Eruptions Monitoring

1
Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia, 00143 Rome, Italy
2
Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia, Osservatorio Etneo, 95125 Catania, Italy
3
EMSO ERIC (European Multidisciplinary Seafloor and water-column Observatory European Research Infrastructure Consortium), 00143 Rome, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 22 January 2019 / Revised: 26 February 2019 / Accepted: 27 February 2019 / Published: 5 March 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Submarine Volcanic Hazards: Ancient and Modern Perspectives)
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Abstract

The NEMO-SN1 seafloor observatory, located 2100 m below sea level and about 40 km from Mt. Etna volcano, normally records a background seismic signal called oceanographic noise. This signal is characterized by high amplitude increases, lasting up to a few days, and by two typical 0.1 and 0.3 Hz frequencies in its spectrum. Particle motion analysis shows a strong E-W directivity, coinciding with the direction of sea waves; gravity waves induced by local winds are considered the main source of oceanographic noise. During the deployment of NEMO-SN1, the vigorous 2002–2003 Mt. Etna eruption occurred. High-amplitude background signals were recorded during the explosive episodes accompanying the eruption. The spectral content of this signal ranges from 0.1 to 4 Hz, with the most powerful signal in the 0.5–2 Hz band, typical of an Etna volcanic tremor. The tremor recorded by NEMO-SN1 shows a strong NW-SE directivity towards the volcano. Since the receiver is underwater, we inferred the presence of a circulation of magmatic fluids extended under the seafloor. This process is able to generate a signal strong enough to be recorded by the NEMO-SN1 seafloor observatory that hides frequencies linked to the oceanographic noise, permitting the offshore monitoring of the volcanic activity of Mt. Etna. View Full-Text
Keywords: Mt. Etna volcano; oceanographic noise; volcanic tremor; volcanic monitoring by seafloor observatories Mt. Etna volcano; oceanographic noise; volcanic tremor; volcanic monitoring by seafloor observatories
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Sgroi, T.; Di Grazia, G.; Favali, P. Volcanic Tremor of Mt. Etna (Italy) Recorded by NEMO-SN1 Seafloor Observatory: A New Perspective on Volcanic Eruptions Monitoring. Geosciences 2019, 9, 115.

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