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Static stress changes induced by the magmatic intrusions during the 2002–2003 Etna eruption

Gilda M. Currenti, Ciro Del Negro, Gaetana Ganci, & Charles A. Williams

Published October 2008, SCEC Contribution #1215

The shallow intrusive processes that occurred during 2002–2003 Etna eruption, as well as the complex interaction between the magma intrusive events and the tectonic response of the volcano’s eastern flank, are investigated with numerical deformation modeling and the estimation of changes in the static Coulomb stress. Ground deformation and volcanologic evidence clearly indicate a composite mechanism of intrusion on both the southern and northeastern flanks of the volcano. Geodetic data inversions have been based on a homogeneous elastic half-space model, although geological data and seismic tomography indicate that Mt. Etna is elastically inhomogeneous and that rigidity layering and heterogeneities are likely to affect the magnitude and pattern of the deformation field. To account for topographic effects, as well as a complicated distribution of material properties, we use the finite element method (FEM) to provide a more realistic model. The presence of medium heterogeneity strongly affects the amplitudes of the static stress changes. Seismicity matches well
the areas of positive increase in the static stress caused by the intrusive events along the southern and northeastern flanks. The changes in the state of stress generated by the southern dike produce an extensional stress field that favors magma propagation along the north-east Rift. The highest seismic releases were associated with the activation of two fault systems, the Timpe Fault System and the Pernicana Fault. The static stress changes resolved onto these faults indicate that the magma intrusions on the southern and northeastern flanks encouraged these seismogenic structures to slip.

Currenti, G. M., Del Negro, C., Ganci, G., & Williams, C. A. (2008). Static stress changes induced by the magmatic intrusions during the 2002–2003 Etna eruption. Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth, 113(B10), B10206. doi: 10.1029/2007JB005301.