Gravity and magma induced spreading of Mount Etna volcano revealed by satellite radar interferometry

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Abstract

[1] Mount Etna underwent a cycle of eruptive activity over the past ten years. Here we compute ground displacement maps and deformation time series from more than 400 radar interferograms to reveal Mount Etna's average and time varying surface deformation from 1992 to 2001. We find that during this time interval it experienced magmatic inflation and radial spreading to the West, South, and East. Steady relative motion between the West and South flanks, and between the East and North flanks, during this time interval, suggests they are related to gravitational spreading of the volcanic edifice. Time series analysis shows that growth of a southeastern basal anticline began with the end of magma recharge in 1995, thus showing a direct link between deep-seated magma intrusions and edifice spreading. These observations support a complex mode of radial gravitational collapse underlain by deeper magma driven basal spreading, although ultimately the two must be related.

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