Crustal Dynamics on Mt. Vesuvius from 1998 to 2005: Effects on Seismicity and Fluid Circulation

Alessandro Aiuppa, Paolo Madonia, Paola Cusano, Cinzia Federico, Simona Petrosino, Sergio Gurrieri

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Abstract

This paper presents the results of hydrogeochemical and seismological studies carried out at Mount Vesuvius during the period June 1998 to December 2005. Hydrogeochemical data show the occurrence of slowly varying long‐term variations in the total dissolved salts and bicarbonate contents of the groundwaters, accompanied by a general decline in water temperatures. The temporal distributions of air temperature and rainfall in the Vesuvius area suggest that these variations do not depend on changes in the hydrological regime. The changes in the geochemical parameters are accompanied by slight variations in both the seismicity rate and energy release. A further relationship between seismic activity and fluid discharge rate is highlighted by a particular episode that occurred in August 2005, when a soil thermal anomaly was observed a few weeks before the occurrence of a very shallow earthquake. Moment tensor analysis of this earthquake suggests that the most plausible source mechanism is a shear faulting combined with the opening of tensile crack. This feature is often observed in volcanic areas and it is usually related to fluid‐ and/or gas‐driven rock fracturing. The observed seismological, hydrological, and geochemical temporal changes are interpreted not as changes of the volcanic system but in terms of an external forcing as identified in the variation of the regional and local stress field acting on the volcano. This study has inferences onto the evaluation of the state of activity of volcanic systems and the eventual detection of unrest phenomena
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)1-12
Numero di pagine12
RivistaJOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH. SOLID EARTH
Volume113
Stato di pubblicazionePublished - 2008

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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geophysics
  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science

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