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Modulation of Ground Deformation and Earthquakes by Rainfall at Vesuvius and Campi Flegrei (Italy)

Authors
  • Petrosino, Simona
  • Ricco, Ciro
  • Aquino, Ida
Type
Published Article
Journal
Frontiers in Earth Science
Publisher
Frontiers Media S.A.
Publication Date
Nov 02, 2021
Volume
9
Identifiers
DOI: 10.3389/feart.2021.758602
Source
Frontiers
Keywords
Disciplines
  • Earth Science
  • Brief Research Report
License
Green

Abstract

Volcanoes are complex systems whose dynamics is the result of the interplay between endogenous and exogenous processes. External forcing on volcanic activity by seasonal hydrological variations can influence the evolution of a volcanic system; yet the underlying mechanisms remain poorly understood. In the present study, we analyse ground tilt, seismicity rates and rainfall amount recorded over 6 years (2015–2021) at Vesuvius and Campi Flegrei, two volcanic areas located in the south of Italy. The results indicate that at both volcanoes the ground deformation reflects the seasonality of the hydrological cycles, whereas seismicity shows a seasonal pattern only at Campi Flegrei. A correlation analysis on shorter time scales (days) indicates that at Vesuvius rain and ground tilt are poorly correlated, whereas rain and earthquakes are almost uncorrelated. Instead, at Campi Flegrei precipitations can affect not only ground deformation but also earthquake rate, through the combined action of water loading and diffusion processes in a fractured medium, likely fostered by the interaction with the shallow hydrothermal fluids. Our observations indicate a different behavior between the two volcanic systems: at Vesuvius, rain-induced hydrological variations poorly affect the normal background activity. On the contrary, such variations play a role in modulating the dynamics of those metastable volcanoes with significant hydrothermal system experiencing unrest, like Campi Flegrei.

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