Geochemical evidence of the renewal of volcanic activity inferred from CO2 soil and SO2 plume fluxes: the 2007 Stromboli eruption (Italy)

Research paper by Salvatore Inguaggiato, Fabio Vita, Dmitri Rouwet, Nicole Bobrowski, Sabina Morici, Aldo Sollami

Indexed on: 17 May '11Published on: 17 May '11Published in: Bulletin of Volcanology


On 27 February 2007, a new eruption occurred on Stromboli which lasted until 2 April. It was characterized by effusive activity on the Sciara del Fuoco and by a paroxysmal event (15 March). This crisis represented an opportunity for us to refine the model that had been developed previously (2002–2003 eruption) and to improve our understanding of the relationship between the magmatic dynamics of the volcano and the geochemical variations in the fluids. In particular, the evaluation of the dynamic equilibrium between the volatiles (CO2 and SO2) released from the magma and the corresponding fluids discharged from the summit area allowed us to evaluate the level of criticality of the volcanic activity. One of the major accomplishments of this study is a 4-year database of summit soil CO2 flux on the basis of which we define the thresholds (low–medium–high) for this parameter that are empirically based on the natural volcanological evolution of Stromboli. The SO2 fluxes of the degassing plume and the CO2 fluxes emitted from the soil at Pizzo Sopra la Fossa are also presented. It is noteworthy that geochemical signals of volcanic unrest have been clearly identified before, during and after the effusive activity. These signals were found almost simultaneously in the degassing plume (SO2 flux) and in soil degassing (CO2 flux) at the summit, although the two degassing processes are shown to be clearly different. The interpretation of the results will be useful for future volcanic surveillance at Stromboli.