Three‐Dimensional Modeling of Mount Etna Volcano: Volume Assessment, Trend of Eruption Rates, and Geodynamic Significance

Barreca  G., Branca S., Monaco C.
Source: Tectonics, Vol. 37, I. 3, Pagg. 842-857
Year: 2018

3‐D modeling of Mount Etna, the largest and most active volcano in Europe, has for the first time enabled acquiring new information on the volumes of products emitted during the volcanic phases that have formed Mount Etna and particularly during the last 60 ka, an issue previously not fully addressed. Volumes emitted over time allow determining the trend of eruption rates during the volcano's lifetime, also highlighting a drastic increase of emitted products in the last 15 ka. The comparison of Mount Etna's eruption rates with those of other volcanic systems in different geodynamic frameworks worldwide revealed that since 60 ka ago, eruption rates have reached a value near to that of oceanic‐arc volcanic systems, although Mount Etna is considered a continental rift strato‐volcano. This finding agrees well with previous studies on a possible transition of Mount Etna's magmatic source from plume‐related to island‐arc related. As suggested by tomographic studies, trench‐parallel breakoff of the Ionian slab has occurred north of Mount Etna. Slab gateway formation right between the Aeolian magmatic province and the Mount Etna area probably induced a previously softened and fluid‐enriched suprasubduction mantle wedge to flow toward the volcano with consequent magmatic source mixing.