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Volcanogenic particulates and gases from Etna volcano (Italy)

  • Autori: Calabrese, S.; Randazzo, L.; Scaglione, S.; Milazzo, S.; D'Alessandro, W.; Montana, G.; Parello, F.
  • Anno di pubblicazione: 2014
  • Tipologia: Proceedings (TIPOLOGIA NON ATTIVA)
  • OA Link:


Volcanic emissions represent one of the most relevant natural sources of trace elements to the troposphere. Due to their potential toxicity they may have important environmental impacts from the local to the global scale and they can severely affect the atmospheric and terrestrial environment also at timescales ranging from a few to million years. Etna volcano is known as one of the largest global contributors of magmatic gases (CO2, SO2, and halogens) and particulate matter, including some toxic trace elements. The aim of this study was to characterize the chemical composition and the mineralogical features of the volcanogenic aerosol passively emitted from Mt. Etna. Nine samples were collected by using the filtration technique at different sites on summer 2010 and 2011. Chemical and mineralogical analyses allowed to discriminate two main constituents: the first is mainly referable to the silicate component in the volcanic plume, like lithic and juvenile fragments, crystals (e.g., plagioclases, pyroxenes, oxides) and shards of volcanic glass; the second one is linked to the soluble components like sulfosalts or halide minerals (sulfates, chlorides and fluorides). These investigations are especially important in the study area because the summit of Mt. Etna is yearly visited by nearly one hundred thousand tourists that are exposed to potentially harmful compounds.