EGU General Assembly 2020
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The 2019 eruptive phase of Stromboli volcano through multiparametric geophysical observations.

Massimo Orazi1, Flora Giudicepietro1, Carmen López2, Giovanni Macedonio1, Salvatore Alparone3, Francesca Bianco1, Sonia Calvari3, Walter De Cesare1, Dario Delle Donne1, Bellina Di Lieto1, Antonietta Esposito1, Rosario Peluso1, Eugenio Privitera3, Pierdomenico Romano1, Giovanni Scarpato1, and Anna Tramelli1
Massimo Orazi et al.
  • 1Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia, Osservatorio Vesuviano, Napoli, Italy
  • 2Observatorio Geofísico Central, Instituto Geográfico Nacional (IGN), Madrid, Spain
  • 3Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia, Osservatorio Etneo, Catania, Italy

In summer 2019, two paroxysmal explosions occurred in Stromboli. The first one occurred on July 3, when the Strombolian ordinary eruptive activity did not show a significant intensification. The explosion formed an eruptive column more than 3 km high. A pyroclastic flow ran down the “Sciara del Fuoco” slope causing a victim and some injuries. Moreover, the pyroclastic flow spread over the sea surface for about one kilometer. On August 28, a second paroxysmal explosion occurred, similar to the previous one. Also in this case the eruption formed an eruptive column of more than 3 km and a pyroclastic flow that expanded along the “Sciara del Fuoco” slope and traveled about 1 km on the sea surface. In the period between the two paroxysms, effusive activity occurred from the summit crater area. The eruptive phase of summer 2019, which began with the paroxysm of 3 July, was not preceded by significant changes in the routinely monitored parameters, such as the hourly frequency (daily average) of the VLP events (typical of Stromboli) and the amplitude of the seismic signal (RSAM). For this reason, we have analyzed the seismic and dilatometric data, which were recorded by the INGV geophysical network in the period November 2018 - September 2019, focusing our attention on other parameters that can give indications on the activity state of the volcano. In particular, we analyzed the data of the broadband seismic stations, equipped with the Guralp CMG40T sensors, and the data of one Sacks-Evertson borehole strainmeter. We defined the "VLP size", which takes into account the waveform of the VLP events, in terms of both amplitude and duration. We also applied time varying Fractal Dimension (FD) analysis to the seismograms of a seismic station close to the crater area and we analyzed the polarization of the same signal. We carried out the polarization analysis both without applying a filter and by filtering the seismic signal in the typical frequency bands of the Stromboli volcanic tremor (1-3 Hz) and of the VLPs (0.5-0.05 Hz). We found that the "VLP size", the FD and the polarization parameters showed significant changes about one month before the paroxysm of July 3. In the short term, we applied an appropriately tuned STA/LTA algorithm to the data of the borehole strainmeter, which is installed on the island at about 2km from the craters, and we obtained an automatic detection of the paroxysmal events 10 and 7.5 minutes before the explosion of July 3 and August 28, respectively.

How to cite: Orazi, M., Giudicepietro, F., López, C., Macedonio, G., Alparone, S., Bianco, F., Calvari, S., De Cesare, W., Delle Donne, D., Di Lieto, B., Esposito, A., Peluso, R., Privitera, E., Romano, P., Scarpato, G., and Tramelli, A.: The 2019 eruptive phase of Stromboli volcano through multiparametric geophysical observations., EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-11260,, 2020

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Presentation version 1 – uploaded on 30 Apr 2020
  • CC1: Questions and answers from the live chat during EGU2020, Michael Heap, 11 May 2020

    Q: You found a significant change in the VLP size before the July 3 eruption, but the VLP size seems stable before the August 28 eruption. How do you explain that? Have you checked at other volcanoes how the VLP size changes right before eruptions to see if this would be a valuable addition to an early warning system?

    A: Very interesting question. We think that the changes in VLP size before 3 July are related to the temporal evolution of the explosive source that should be relatet to the higher gas content in the strombolian explosive activity. We didn't check the VLP size changes to other volcanoes but surely could be a nice work to do!

    Q: So the gas content just before the 28 August eruption was lower than before the 3 July eruption? Thanks a lot, very interesting! I look forward to see more of your research.

    A: Sorry I losed my connection for a while. We saw a significative increasing of VLP size before the paroxym of 3 July but no changes between 3 July and 28 August. Anyway don't forget that between 3 July - 28 August we had a lava flow from crater area.