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Remote Sensing at Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia (INGV) — Geophysics and Volcanology Experience

A special issue of Remote Sensing (ISSN 2072-4292). This special issue belongs to the section "Remote Sensing in Geology, Geomorphology and Hydrology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 1 September 2024 | Viewed by 15555

Special Issue Editors


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Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia, Osservatorio Etneo, 95125 Catania, Italy
Interests: volcanology; volcano monitoring; thermal imagery; lava flows; explosive volcanic activity; instability of volcanoes; hazard assessment
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia, Osservatorio Vesuviano, 80124 Napoli, Italy
Interests: ground deformation; physics of volcanic processes; volcano monitoring; instability of volcanoes; strain field analysis

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Guest Editor
Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia, Osservatorio Vesuviano, 80124 Napoli, Italy
Interests: volcano seismicity; geophysical precursors of eruptions; volcano monitoring; experimental geophysics; dynamics of active and dormant volcanoes
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia, Osservatorio Vesuviano, 80124 Napoli, Italy
Interests: thermal monitoring; remote sensing; physical volcanology; stratigraphy; structural geology; geomorphology and risk perception
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia, Sezione di Bologna, 40128 Bologna, Italy
Interests: volcanic–hydrothermal systems; volcanic hazards; numerical modelling; communication and scientific dissemination; risk communication

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia (INGV) is the reference institution for the Italian Government for the monitoring of volcanoes and earthquakes in Italy. INGV was established in 1999 with the D.L. 381/1999. INGV researchers are focused on the study of the geological processes causing volcanic activity and earthquakes. This field increasingly involves the use of remote sensing techniques for the safe, fast and reliable obtainment of information and monitoring of volcanoes and earthquakes over the entire Italian territory.

The interpretation of monitoring data infers the state of activity of a volcanic system. This requires a good understanding of the processes that drive volcanic activities and generate observable signals. Comparison between numerical modelling of volcanic processes and observations retrieved from remote sensing is useful for theoretical models and contributes to the interpretation of monitoring data. The multiparametric approach has been successfully implemented in data analysis, permitting the realization of an integrated method for the definition of the unrest phases and for accurate forecasting and characterization of volcanic activity. From this perspective, the elucidation of the correlations among different ground-based remote sensing systems and satellite imagery is critical. Contributions on novel methodologies and applications are welcome.

This Special Issue will collect a variety of papers on the integration of ground-based and remote sensing techniques for investigating recent eruptions occurring in the Italian territory and beyond, with a focus on data assimilation to volcano-related models and comparison between remote sensing data and theoretical models.

Papers on multiparametric analysis of data with different geodetic instruments and possible implications for emergency response and operational efforts of civil defence are welcome.

We also encourage case histories featuring the novel use of remote sensing techniques to monitor and mitigate volcanic events (unrest, eruptions).

Dr. Sonia Calvari
Dr. Bellina Di Lieto
Dr. Gaetana Ganci
Dr. Flora Giudicepietro
Dr. Enrica Marotta
Dr. Micol Todesco
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Remote Sensing is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2700 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • volcanic activity
  • explosive and effusive phases
  • volcanic hazard assessment
  • modelling of volcano processes
  • volcano hazard forecasting
  • monitoring active volcanoes

Published Papers (9 papers)

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Research

18 pages, 2907 KiB  
Article
Tracing Magma Migration at Mt. Etna Volcano during 2006–2020, Coupling Remote Sensing of Crater Gas Emissions and Ground Measurement of Soil Gases
by Salvatore Giammanco, Giuseppe Salerno, Alessandro La Spina, Pietro Bonfanti, Tommaso Caltabiano, Salvatore Roberto Maugeri, Filippo Murè and Paolo Principato
Remote Sens. 2024, 16(7), 1122; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs16071122 - 22 Mar 2024
Viewed by 675
Abstract
The geochemical monitoring of volcanic activity today relies largely on remote sensing, but the combination of this approach together with soil gas monitoring, using the appropriate parameters, is still not widely used. The main purpose of this study was to correlate data from [...] Read more.
The geochemical monitoring of volcanic activity today relies largely on remote sensing, but the combination of this approach together with soil gas monitoring, using the appropriate parameters, is still not widely used. The main purpose of this study was to correlate data from crater gas emissions with flank emissions of soil gases at Mt. Etna volcano from June 2006 to December 2020. Crater SO2 fluxes were measured from fixed stations around the volcano using the DOAS technique and applying a modeled clear-sky spectrum. The SO2/HCl ratio in the crater plume was measured with the OP-FTIR technique from a transportable instrument, using the sun as an IR source. Soil CO2 efflux coupled with the 220Rn/222Rn activity ratio in soil gases (named SGDI) were measured at a fixed monitoring site on the east flank of Etna. All signals acquired were subject both to spectral analysis and to filtering of the periodic signals discovered. All filtered signals revealed changes that were nicely correlated both with other geophysical signals and with volcanic eruptions during the study period. Time lags between parameters were explained in terms of different modes of magma migration and storage inside the volcano before eruptions. A comprehensive dynamic degassing model is presented that allows for a better understanding of magma dynamics in an open-conduit volcano. Full article
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29 pages, 7834 KiB  
Article
Statistical Insights on the Eruptive Activity at Stromboli Volcano (Italy) Recorded from 1879 to 2023
by Sonia Calvari and Giuseppe Nunnari
Remote Sens. 2023, 15(19), 4822; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs15194822 - 4 Oct 2023
Viewed by 1219
Abstract
Stromboli is an open-conduit active volcano located in the southern Tyrrhenian Sea and is the easternmost island of the Aeolian Archipelago. It is known as “the lighthouse of the Mediterranean” for its continuous and mild Strombolian-type explosive activity, occurring at the summit craters. [...] Read more.
Stromboli is an open-conduit active volcano located in the southern Tyrrhenian Sea and is the easternmost island of the Aeolian Archipelago. It is known as “the lighthouse of the Mediterranean” for its continuous and mild Strombolian-type explosive activity, occurring at the summit craters. Sometimes the volcano undergoes more intense explosions, called “major explosions” if they affect just the summit above 500 m a.s.l. or “paroxysms” if the whole island is threatened. Effusive eruptions are less frequent, normally occurring every 3–5 years, and may be accompanied or preceded by landslides, crater collapses and tsunamis. Given the small size of the island (maximum diameter of 5 km, NE–SW) and the consequent proximity of the inhabited areas to the active craters (maximum distance 2.5 km), it is of paramount importance to use all available information to forecast the volcano’s eruptive activity. The availability of a detailed record of the volcano’s eruptive activity spanning some centuries has prompted evaluations on its possible short-term evolution. The aim of this paper is to present some statistical insights on the eruptive activity at Stromboli using a catalogue dating back to 1879 and reviewed for the events during the last two decades. Our results confirm the recent trend of a significant increase in major explosions, small lava flows and summit crater collapses at the volcano, and might help monitoring research institutions and stakeholders to evaluate volcanic hazards from eruptive activity at this and possibly other open-vent active basaltic volcanoes. Full article
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15 pages, 4719 KiB  
Article
Environmental and Volcanic Implications of Volatile Output in the Atmosphere of Vulcano Island Detected Using SO2 Plume (2021–23)
by Fabio Vita, Benedetto Schiavo, Claudio Inguaggiato, Salvatore Inguaggiato and Agnes Mazot
Remote Sens. 2023, 15(12), 3086; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs15123086 - 13 Jun 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 951
Abstract
The volatiles released by the volcanic structures of the world contribute to natural environmental pollution both during the passive and active degassing stages. The Island of Vulcano is characterized by solfataric degassing mainly localized in the summit part (Fossa crater) and in the [...] Read more.
The volatiles released by the volcanic structures of the world contribute to natural environmental pollution both during the passive and active degassing stages. The Island of Vulcano is characterized by solfataric degassing mainly localized in the summit part (Fossa crater) and in the peripheral part in the Levante Bay. The normal solfataric degassing (high-temperature fumarolic area of the summit and boiling fluids emitted in the Levante Bay area), established after the last explosive eruption of 1888–90, is periodically interrupted by geochemical crises characterized by anomalous degassing that are attributable to increased volcanic inputs, which determine a sharp increase in the degassing rate. In this work, we have used the data acquired from the INGV (Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia) geochemical monitoring networks to identify, evaluate, and monitor the geochemical variations of the extensive parameters, such as the SO2 flux from the volcanic plume (solfataric cloud) and the CO2 flux from the soil in the summit area outside the fumaroles areas. The increase in the flux of volatiles started in June–July 2021 and reached its maximum in November of the same year. In particular, the mean monthly flux of SO2 plume of 22 tons day−1 (t d−1) and of CO2 from the soil of 1570 grams per square meter per day (g m2 d−1) increased during this event up to 89 t d−1 and 11,596 g m2 d−1, respectively, in November 2021. The average annual baseline value of SO2 output was estimated at 7700 t d−1 during normal solfataric activity. Instead, this outgassing increased to 18,000 and 24,000 t d−1 in 2021 and 2022, respectively, indicating that the system is still in an anomalous phase of outgassing and shows no signs of returning to the pre-crisis baseline values. In fact, in the first quarter of 2023, the SO2 output shows average values comparable to those emitted in 2022. Finally, the dispersion maps of SO2 on the island of Vulcano have been produced and have indicated that the areas close to the fumarolic source are characterized by concentrations of SO2 in the atmosphere higher than those permitted by European legislation (40 μg m−3 for 24 h of exposition) on human health. Full article
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31 pages, 11697 KiB  
Article
Inferences on the 2021 Ongoing Volcanic Unrest at Vulcano Island (Italy) through a Comprehensive Multidisciplinary Surveillance Network
by Cinzia Federico, Ornella Cocina, Salvatore Gambino, Antonio Paonita, Stefano Branca, Mauro Coltelli, Francesco Italiano, Valentina Bruno, Tommaso Caltabiano, Marco Camarda, Giorgio Capasso, Sofia De Gregorio, Iole Serena Diliberto, Roberto Maria Rosario Di Martino, Susanna Falsaperla, Filippo Greco, Giovannella Pecoraino, Giuseppe Salerno, Mariangela Sciotto, Sergio Bellomo, Giuseppe Di Grazia, Ferruccio Ferrari, Alessandro Gattuso, Leonardo La Pica, Mario Mattia, Antonino Fabio Pisciotta, Lucia Pruiti and Francesco Sortinoadd Show full author list remove Hide full author list
Remote Sens. 2023, 15(5), 1405; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs15051405 - 2 Mar 2023
Cited by 17 | Viewed by 2456
Abstract
In September 2021, the La Fossa crater at Vulcano, in Italy, entered a new phase of unrest. We discuss a set of monitoring parameters included in the INGV surveillance network, which closely tracked the sequence of effects related to the crisis. The low-frequency [...] Read more.
In September 2021, the La Fossa crater at Vulcano, in Italy, entered a new phase of unrest. We discuss a set of monitoring parameters included in the INGV surveillance network, which closely tracked the sequence of effects related to the crisis. The low-frequency local seismicity sharply increased, while the GPS and tiltmeter networks recorded the inflation of the cone, as an effect of fluid expansion in the hydrothermal system. Gravity variations were probably the effects of fast processes within shallow sources. The anomalies in soil CO2 flux, fumarole temperature, and in plume SO2 flux marked the strong increase in the vapor output from crater fumaroles. The signs of the impending crisis had been evident in the chemical and isotopic composition of fumarole gases since July 2021. These geochemical anomalies were clearly indicative of the enhanced input of gases from a magmatic source. In October, the massive degassing also influenced the areas at the base of the cone. In some areas, soil CO2 degassing and the thermal aquifer recorded strong anomalies. By early November, the crisis reached its acme. Afterward, the monitored parameters started a slow and discontinuous decreasing trend although remaining, some of them, sensibly above the background for several months. The multidisciplinary approach proved decisive for the interpretation of the underlying processes acting in the different phases of the unrest, thus allowing a consistent evaluation of the multiple hazards. Full article
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12 pages, 1903 KiB  
Communication
A Multi-Sensor Satellite Approach to Characterize the Volcanic Deposits Emitted during Etna’s Lava Fountaining: The 2020–2022 Study Case
by Gaetana Ganci, Giuseppe Bilotta, Francesco Zuccarello, Sonia Calvari and Annalisa Cappello
Remote Sens. 2023, 15(4), 916; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs15040916 - 7 Feb 2023
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 1712
Abstract
Between December 2020 and February 2022, the South East Crater of Etna has been the source of numerous eruptions, mostly characterized by the emission of lava fountains, pyroclastic material and short-lasting lava flows. Here we estimate the volume and distribution of the lava [...] Read more.
Between December 2020 and February 2022, the South East Crater of Etna has been the source of numerous eruptions, mostly characterized by the emission of lava fountains, pyroclastic material and short-lasting lava flows. Here we estimate the volume and distribution of the lava deposits by elaborating multi-source satellite imagery. SEVIRI data have been elaborated using CL-HOTSAT to estimate the lava volume emitted during each event and calculate the cumulative volume; Pléiades and WorldView-1 data have been used to derive Digital Surface Models, whose differences provide thickness distributions and hence volumes of the volcanic deposits. We find a good agreement, with the total average lava volume obtained by SEVIRI reaching 73.2 × 106 m3 and the one from optical data amounting to 67.7 × 106 m3. This proves the robustness of both techniques and the accuracy of the volume estimates, which provide important information on the lava flooding history and evolution of the volcano. Full article
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16 pages, 1734 KiB  
Article
Etna Output Rate during the Last Decade (2011–2022): Insights for Hazard Assessment
by Sonia Calvari and Giuseppe Nunnari
Remote Sens. 2022, 14(23), 6183; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs14236183 - 6 Dec 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1545
Abstract
During the last two decades, the Etna volcano has undergone several sequences of lava fountaining (LF) events that have had a major impact on road conditions, infrastructure and the local population. In this paper, we consider the LF episodes occurring between 2011 and [...] Read more.
During the last two decades, the Etna volcano has undergone several sequences of lava fountaining (LF) events that have had a major impact on road conditions, infrastructure and the local population. In this paper, we consider the LF episodes occurring between 2011 and 2022, calculating their erupted volumes using the images recorded by the monitoring thermal cameras and applying a manual procedure and a dedicated software to determine the lava fountain height over time, which is necessary to obtain the erupted volume. The comparison between the results indicates the two procedures match quite well, the main differences occurring when the visibility is poor and data are interpolated. With the aim of providing insights for hazard assessment, we have fitted some probabilistic models of both the LF inter-event times and the erupted volumes of pyroclastic material. In more detail, we have tested power-law distributions against log-normal, Weibull, generalised Pareto and log-logistic. Results show that the power-law distribution is the most likely among the alternatives. This implies the lack of characteristic scales for both the inter-event time and the pyroclastic volume, which means that we have no indication as to when a new episode of LF will occur and/or how much material will be erupted. What we can reasonably say is only that short inter-event times are more frequent than long inter-event times, and that LF characterised by small volumes are more frequent than LF with high volumes. However, if the hypothesis that magma accumulates on Etna at a rate of about 0.8 m3s1 holds, the material accumulated in the source region from the beginning of the observation period (2011) to the present (2022) has already been ejected. In simple terms, there is no accumulated magma in the shallow storage that is prone to be erupted in the near future. Full article
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15 pages, 20681 KiB  
Article
Automatic Detection of the Explosive Activity of the Mt. Etna Volcano through Doppler Radar Monitoring
by Giuseppe Giammello, Marco Firetto Carlino and Mauro Coltelli
Remote Sens. 2022, 14(22), 5663; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs14225663 - 9 Nov 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1825
Abstract
Improving the capability to detect volcanic explosive activity could be strategic for the task of a volcano observatory to inform civil protection authorities and air traffic controllers. The detection of explosive volcanic activity can be done in real time and also under bad [...] Read more.
Improving the capability to detect volcanic explosive activity could be strategic for the task of a volcano observatory to inform civil protection authorities and air traffic controllers. The detection of explosive volcanic activity can be done in real time and also under bad visibility conditions by using the radar remote sensing technique. Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia, Osservatorio Etneo (INGV-OE) installed an S-band pulse Doppler radar in a shelter located at about 3 km south of the active volcanic vents in order to enhance the Etna volcano’s surveillance. Here, we describe the realisation of a system that exploits such device, aimed at continuously monitoring the explosive eruptive activity at the Mt. Etna summit craters through an automatic processing flow of the radar data. We analysed the signals recorded during 23 eruptive episodes that occurred at the Etna South-East Crater during the second half of 2021; these episodes were characterised by an opening Strombolian activity and the subsequent evolution into a lava fountain. To identify the onset of both volcanic phenomena, empirical thresholds of radar time series were extracted with the help of thermal and visible images acquired by the INGV-OE cameras’ network. The resulting monitoring tool automatically operates 24/7 for volcanic surveillance, providing real-time data to the INGV-OE control room. Full article
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21 pages, 8793 KiB  
Article
Explosive Paroxysmal Events at Etna Volcano of Different Magnitude and Intensity Explored through a Multidisciplinary Monitoring System
by Sonia Calvari, Emilio Biale, Alessandro Bonaccorso, Andrea Cannata, Luigi Carleo, Gilda Currenti, Giuseppe Di Grazia, Gaetana Ganci, Adriana Iozzia, Emilio Pecora, Michele Prestifilippo, Mariangela Sciotto and Simona Scollo
Remote Sens. 2022, 14(16), 4006; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs14164006 - 17 Aug 2022
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 2148
Abstract
Between 13 December 2020 and 21 February 2022, Etna volcano produced a sequence of 66 paroxysmal explosive eruptions, with Strombolian activity at the summit craters climaxing in lava fountains and eruption columns extending several kilometers above the craters, accompanied by minor and short-lasting [...] Read more.
Between 13 December 2020 and 21 February 2022, Etna volcano produced a sequence of 66 paroxysmal explosive eruptions, with Strombolian activity at the summit craters climaxing in lava fountains and eruption columns extending several kilometers above the craters, accompanied by minor and short-lasting lava flows from the crater rim. We selected three of these episodes that occurred within a short space of time, between 13 December 2020 and 12 March 2021, of different magnitude (i.e., erupted volume) and intensity (i.e., mass eruption rate or instantaneous eruption rate), and analyzed them from a multidisciplinary perspective. The aim was to gain insights into those parameters that mostly reveal the eruptive process for hazard assessment purposes. The multidisciplinary data consist of calibrated visible images, thermal images, seismic and infrasound data, ground deformation detected from the strainmeters, as well as satellite SEVIRI images. From these data, we obtained the timing of each paroxysmal event, the erupted volume in terms of tephra and lava flows, and the corresponding deflation of the source region, together with the development of the lava fountains and eruption columns with time. The results enabled determining that the smallest episode was that of 13 December 2020, which comprised three distinctive pulses but did not produce an eruptive column detectable from either monitoring cameras or satellites. The 28 February 2021 episode was remarkable for the short amount of time required to reach the climax, and was the most intense, whereas the 12 March 2021 event showed the longest duration but with an intensity between that of the previous two. Our results show that these three paroxysmal events display a typical trend, with the first event also being the smallest in terms of both erupted volume and intensity, the second being the most intense, and the third the one of greatest magnitude but less intense than the second. This is coherent with the end of the first paroxysmal phase on 1 April 2021, which was followed by 48 days of eruptive pause before starting again. In this context, the end of the paroxysmal phase was anticipated by a more effusive episode, thus heralding a temporary decline in the gas content within the feeding magma batch. Full article
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26 pages, 21966 KiB  
Article
Remote Sensing and Mineralogical Analyses: A First Application to the Highly Active Hydrothermal Discharge Area of Pisciarelli in the Campi Flegrei Volcanic Field (Italy)
by Teresa Caputo, Angela Mormone, Ermanno Marino, Giuseppina Balassone and Monica Piochi
Remote Sens. 2022, 14(15), 3526; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs14153526 - 22 Jul 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1624
Abstract
This paper explored the relationship between acidic sulfate alteration, geostructural frameworks, and geomorphological changes that can be observed in active volcanic hydrothermal systems. The target area was Pisciarelli in the Campi Flegrei volcano, where diffuse acidic sulfate alteration and hydrothermal dynamics have been [...] Read more.
This paper explored the relationship between acidic sulfate alteration, geostructural frameworks, and geomorphological changes that can be observed in active volcanic hydrothermal systems. The target area was Pisciarelli in the Campi Flegrei volcano, where diffuse acidic sulfate alteration and hydrothermal dynamics have been growing since 2012, causing a progressive deterioration of landscapes. Terrestrial Laser Scanner (TLS), photogrammetry of proximity survey, geological field work, mineralogical and geochemical analysis with Optical Microscopy (OM), electron microscopy, and energy dispersive micro-analysis (BSEM-EDS) and X-ray Powder Diffraction (XRPD) to characterize (and monitor) altered rock outcrops were repeatedly carried out in the area. We present the multi-temporal acquisition and analysis referring to Terrestrial Laser Scanning (TLS) datasets (2014 survey) with 3D-point clouds obtained from the Structure for Motion (SfM) photogrammetry (2021 survey) with a high-resolution digital camera aimed at evaluating volumetric changes on the mostly damaged and altered fault scarp. For each survey, we obtained a vertical Digital Elevation Model (DEM) and a true color RGB orthomosaic that provided the setting of the area at the different times and its evolution through their comparison. Changing sites were examined in the field and characterized for mineralogical and geochemical purposes. The investigated slope lost up to about 4 m3 of deposits between 2014 and 2021, mostly related to hydrothermal alteration induced by gas emissions and meteoric infiltration. Our methodological approach appears promising to evaluate evolution and rock-fall susceptibility of solfataric terrains subjected to hydrothermal dynamics. Full article
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