Planning the improvement of a seismic network for monitoring active volcanic areas: the experience on Mt. Etna
- 1Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia, Centro Nazionale Terremoti, Roma, Italy
- 2Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia, Osservatorio Etneo – Sezione di Catania, Catania, Italy
Abstract. Seismology and geodesy are generally seen as the most reliable diagnostic tools for monitoring highly active or erupting volcanoes, like Mt. Etna. From the early 1980's, seismic activity was monitored at Mt. Etna by a permanent seismic network, progressively improved in the following years. This network has been considerably enhanced since 2005 by 24-bit digital stations equipped with broad-band (40 s) sensors. Today, thanks to a configuration of 33 broad-band and 12 short-period stations, we have a good coverage of the volcanic area as well as a high quality of the collected data. In the framework of the VULCAMED project a workgroup of Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia has taken on the task of developing the seismic monitoring system, through the installation of other seismic stations. The choice of optimal sites must be clearly made through a careful analysis of the geometry of the existing seismic network. In this paper, we applied the Seismic Network Evaluation through Simulation in order to evaluate the performance of the Etna Seismic Network before and after the addition of the stations in the candidate sites. The main advantage of the adopted method is that we can evaluate the improvement of the network before the actual installation of the stations. Our analysis has permitted to identify some critical issues of the current permanent seismic network related to the lack of stations in the southern sector of the volcano, which is nevertheless affected by a number of seismogenic structures. We have showed that the addition of stations at the candidate sites would greatly extend the coverage of the network to the south by significantly reducing the errors in the hypocenter parameters estimation.