Probabilistic modeling of future volcanic eruptions at Mount Etna

Authors

  • Annalisa Cappello,

    1. Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia, Sezione di Catania, Osservatorio Etneo, Catania, Italy
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  • Giuseppe Bilotta,

    1. Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia, Sezione di Catania, Osservatorio Etneo, Catania, Italy
    2. Dipartimento di Matematica e Informatica, Università di Catania, Catania, Italy
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  • Marco Neri,

    1. Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia, Sezione di Catania, Osservatorio Etneo, Catania, Italy
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  • Ciro Del Negro

    Corresponding author
    1. Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia, Sezione di Catania, Osservatorio Etneo, Catania, Italy
    • Corresponding author: C. Del Negro, Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia, Sezione di Catania, Osservatorio Etneo, Italy. E-mail: (ciro.delnegro@ct.ingv.it)

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Abstract

[1] The statistical analysis of volcanic activity at Mt Etna was conducted with the twofold aim of (1) constructing a probability map for vent opening of future flank eruptions and (2) forecasting the expected number of eruptive events at the summit craters. The spatiotemporal map of new vent opening at Etna volcano is based on the analysis of spatial locations and frequency of flank eruptions starting from 1610. Thanks to the completeness and accuracy of historical data over the last four centuries, we examined in detail the spatial and temporal distribution of flank eruptions showing that effusive events follow a nonhomogenous Poisson process with space-time varying intensities. After demonstrating the spatial nonhomogeneity and the temporal nonstationarity of flank eruptions at Etna, we calculated the recurrence rates (events expected per unit area per unit time) and produced different spatiotemporal probability maps of new vent opening in the next 1, 10 and 50 years. These probabilistic maps have an immediate use in evaluating the future timing and areas of Etna prone to volcanic hazards. Finally, the results of the analysis of the persistent summit activity during the last 110 years indicate that the hazard rate for eruptive events is not constant with time, differs for each summit crater of Mt Etna, highlighting a general increase in the eruptive frequency starting from the middle of last century and particularly from 1971, when the SE crater was formed.

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