Surface roughness of pyroclastic deposits at Mt. Etna by 3D laser scanning

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F. Mazzarini
M. Favalli
I. Isola
M. Neri
M. T. Pareschi


The terrestrial 3D Laser Scanning technique has been applied to analyse the surface roughness of pyroclastic deposits on volcanic surfaces at Mt. Etna. This technique allowed the construction of high accuracy digital elevation models of small surfaces, about 1 m across. Sampled surfaces differ for percentage of coverage and for grain size of the pyroclastic deposits. The change in grain size distribution for the pyroclastic unconsolidated deposits affects the surface roughness. The roughness of the site where the finest pyroclastic deposits occur is mainly governed by large scale wavelength morphology (Hurst exponent H = 0.77 for lengths larger than 16 mm). The other sampled surfaces have self-affine characters with low (0.15) to intermediate (0.35 - 0.38) Hurst exponents for lengths higher than 10 22 mm. Here we show results of the analysis of the surface roughness of the pyroclastic deposits emplaced during the 2001 and 2002-2003 eruptions at Mt. Etna. Grain size and thickness of pyroclastic deposits mainly control the overall roughness of such as volcanic surface.

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Mazzarini F, Favalli M, Isola I, Neri M, Pareschi MT. Surface roughness of pyroclastic deposits at Mt. Etna by 3D laser scanning. Ann. Geophys. [Internet]. 2008Dec.25 [cited 2021Oct.22];51(5-6):813-22. Available from:

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