Magnetic signatures of subsurface faults on the northern upper flank of Mt Etna (Italy)

Main Article Content

Rosalba Napoli
Gilda Currenti
Antonino Sicali


A ground magnetic study was performed on the northern upper flank of Mt. Etna to provide new insights into subsurface volcano-tectonic structures. The high resolution magnetic survey was focused on the main structures of Piano delle Concazze, a large flat area dominated by the North- East crater and bounded by the rim of the Valle del Leone depression and the extremity of the North- East Rift. More than 2,500 measurements were gathered with a sampling step of about 3 m covering an area of about 0.2 km2. The total-intensity anomaly field shows the presence of intense South- North aligned maxima related to shallow geological structures affecting this area. Filtering techniques and 2.5D modeling have been applied for the determination of the magnetic source parameters. In order to distinguish the near surface structure, filters of the vertical derivatives, Butterworth high-pass and the tilt derivative were used. The 3D Euler deconvolution has been applied to estimate the depth and the structural indices of the causative sources. The calculated structural indices, that express the geometrical nature of the source, are in agreement with forward modeling. They show that the area is mainly affected by subvertical normal fault and the estimated depth of magnetic sources ranges between 10 m and 40 m.

Our total field magnetic survey shows that characteristic magnetic anomalies are related to fault zones in the Piano delle Concazze that are well consistent with the local tectonics. The subsurface structures that have been detected allowed to delineate the general structural framework of the area. In particular, it was possible to clarify that these structures seem to be not deep rooted and consequently they can hardly act as preferential pathways for magma ascent.

Article Details

How to Cite
Napoli, R., Currenti, G. and Sicali, A. (2021) “Magnetic signatures of subsurface faults on the northern upper flank of Mt Etna (Italy)”, Annals of Geophysics, 64(1), p. PE108. doi: 10.4401/ag-8582.
Physics of the Earth Interior

Most read articles by the same author(s)