Abstract

Time-averaged seismic moments (M0) of earthquakes in the Etna region between 1874 and 1998 show good inverse correlations with functions of time-lagged volumetric lava output rates at Mount Etna. The highest correlation coefficients are for a time lag of 25 yr. Because earthquake activity precedes lava emission, the relationship can be used to forecast lava output years in advance. The method has valuable potential for forward planning at a destructive volcano, and applying it to the immediate future, it is predicted that 170 ± 50 × 106 m3 of lava will be erupted from Mount Etna between the years 2007 and 2015. This is about half the volume of lava erupted between 1987 and 1995.

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