High-precision locations of the microseismicity preceding the 2002–2003 Mt. Etna eruption



[1] To recognize possible signals of intrusive processes leading to the last 2002–2003 flank eruption at Mt. Etna, we analyzed the spatial pattern of microseismicity between August 2001 and October 2002 and calculated 23 fault plane solutions (FPSs) for shocks with magnitude greater than 2.5. By applying the double-difference approach of Waldhauser and Ellsworth [2000] on 3D locations, we found that most of the scattered epicentral locations further collapse in roughly linear features. High-precision locations evidenced a distribution of earthquakes along two main alignments, oriented NE-SW to ENE-WSW and NW-SE, matching well both with the known tectonic and volcanic lineaments of Etna and FPSs results. Moreover, microseismicity and swarms located along the NNW-SSE volcano-genetic trend suggest, together with geodetic data and volcanological evidence that progressive magma refilling has occurred since February 2002.