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Sample records for sicily

  1. Endemic cretinism in Sicily.

    PubMed

    Squatrito, S; Delange, F; Trimarchi, F; Lisi, E; Vigneri, R

    1981-01-01

    This work reports the presence of endemic cretinism in a small district located inside an endemic goiter area in north-eastern Sicily, personally described. The study covers 19 mental defectives (11 females and 8 males, mean age 35.8 +/- 15.5 yr) selected on the basis of severe mental retardation recognized by the local doctors. No systematic survey for cretinism was carried out in the total population. Marked mental retardation was evident in all subjects. Nine of them exhibited clinical and biochemical signs of hypothyroidism (myxedematous cretins). The 10 others were clinically euthyroid and had deaf-mutism and/or pyramidal tract dysfunction (neurological cretinism). Familial aggregation of cretinism was also observed. In both myxedematous and neurological cretins and urinary iodine excretion was very low, but not significantly different from that recorded in the euthyroid controls of the same area. The data available do not clarify the pathogenesis of endemic cretinism in Sicily. However, the marked height retardation, the observation of delayed bone maturation and the severity of mental deficiency suggest that thyroid failure was present in early life. The presence of endemic cretinism today in Sicily constitutes a strong argument in favour of the immediate introduction of adequate iodine prophylaxis. PMID:7320434

  2. Smoke and Sediments in Sicily

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2002-01-01

    The waters along the shoreline of Sicily appear bright aquamarine in this image from April 7, 2002. Although other satellite images occasionally show lightening along the coast of Sicily and southern Italy, the water is unusually bright in this image. The bright water may have been caused by a recent storm that either stirred up sediment from relatively shallow sea bottom, or could be a springtime phytoplankton bloom. (Distinguishing phytoplankton from sediment is one of the challenges facing NASA researchers who study life in the oceans from satellites.) Another interesting feature of this image is the smoke plume from Mount Etna that is streaming almost directly to the East (right). Mt. Etna is one of the world's most active volcanos, and erupts up to several times a year. Image courtesy Jacques Descloitres, MODIS Land Rapid Response Team at NASA GSFC

  3. Canine visceral leishmaniasis in Sicily.

    PubMed

    Orndorff, G R; Cooper, B A; Smith, W; Ryan, J R

    2000-01-01

    The Sicilian province of Catania is an active foci for human visceral leishmaniasis (VL) in the Mediterranean area. Approximately 10 to 15 cases of VL are diagnosed via hospital admissions each year in this community. Recently, an increase in VL case reporting by Sicilian physicians was noted, with 38 and 37 VL cases in 1996 and 1997, respectively. Before 1995, there were no reported VL cases among U.S. military personnel or their family members living in Sicily. However, since 1996, there have been four cases referred to Walter Reed Army Medical Center for diagnosis and treatment, all involving the children of personnel assigned to Naval Air Station Sigonella. Exposure histories for all infected individuals excluded exposure to Leishmania parasites outside of Sicily. All patients lived in areas where vectoring sandflies are present. All had dogs as family pets. To evaluate the level of infection among dogs owned by Navy personnel and their families, U.S. Navy Environmental and Preventive Medicine Unit 7, in a collaborative study with the U.S. Army Veterinary Clinic, Naval Air Station Sigonella, and the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, performed clinical evaluation and serological testing of 50 dogs residing with U.S. personnel assigned to Naval Air Station Sigonella. The data indicate a high exposure rate to Leishmania (60% of the animals tested had elevated immunoglobulin M antibody levels) in the study population, suggesting that they were infected with Leishmania infantum. Distribution of seropositive dogs by sex was equal. Most of the dogs studied appeared to be in good health. However, inapparent infection of dogs, seen by Italian veterinarians, has been observed throughout all areas of Catania. Sandflies responsible for vectoring L. infantum were trapped in the same locations as the dogs sampled in this study. The level of subclinical infection was 75% among seropositive dogs. The overall level of canine infection observed was higher than expected

  4. Rainfall statistics changes in Sicily

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arnone, E.; Pumo, D.; Viola, F.; Noto, L. V.; La Loggia, G.

    2013-02-01

    Changes in rainfall characteristics are one of the most relevant signs of current climate alterations. Many studies have demonstrated an increase in rainfall intensity and a reduction of frequency in several areas of the world, including Mediterranean areas. Rainfall characteristics may be crucial for vegetation patterns formation and evolution in Mediterranean ecosystems, with important implications, for example, in vegetation water stress or coexistence and competition dynamics. At the same time, characteristics of extreme rainfall events are fundamental for the estimation of flood peaks and quantiles which can be used in many hydrological applications, such as design of the most common hydraulic structures, or planning and management of flood prone areas. In the past, Sicily has been screened for several signals of possible climate change. Annual, seasonal and monthly rainfall data in the entire Sicilian region have been analyzed, showing a global reduction of total annual rainfall. Moreover, annual maximum rainfall series for different durations have been rarely analyzed in order to detect the presence of trends. Results indicated that for short durations, historical series generally exhibit increasing trends while for longer durations the trends are mainly negative. Starting from these premises, the aim of this study is to investigate and quantify changes in rainfall statistics in Sicily, during the second half of the last century. Time series of about 60 stations over the region have been processed and screened by using the non parametric Mann-Kendall test. Particularly, extreme events have been analyzed using annual maximum rainfall series at 1, 3, 6, 12 and 24 h duration while daily rainfall properties have been analyzed in term of frequency and intensity, also characterizing seasonal rainfall features. Results of extreme events analysis confirmed an increasing trend for rainfall of short durations, especially for one hour rainfall duration. Instead

  5. Rainfall statistics changes in Sicily

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arnone, E.; Pumo, D.; Viola, F.; Noto, L. V.; La Loggia, G.

    2013-07-01

    Changes in rainfall characteristics are one of the most relevant signs of current climate alterations. Many studies have demonstrated an increase in rainfall intensity and a reduction of frequency in several areas of the world, including Mediterranean areas. Rainfall characteristics may be crucial for vegetation patterns formation and evolution in Mediterranean ecosystems, with important implications, for example, in vegetation water stress or coexistence and competition dynamics. At the same time, characteristics of extreme rainfall events are fundamental for the estimation of flood peaks and quantiles that can be used in many hydrological applications, such as design of the most common hydraulic structures, or planning and management of flood-prone areas. In the past, Sicily has been screened for several signals of possible climate change. Annual, seasonal and monthly rainfall data in the entire Sicilian region have been analyzed, showing a global reduction of total annual rainfall. Moreover, annual maximum rainfall series for different durations have been rarely analyzed in order to detect the presence of trends. Results indicated that for short durations, historical series generally exhibit increasing trends, while for longer durations the trends are mainly negative. Starting from these premises, the aim of this study is to investigate and quantify changes in rainfall statistics in Sicily, during the second half of the last century. Time series of about 60 stations over the region have been processed and screened by using the nonparametric Mann-Kendall test. In particular, extreme events have been analyzed using annual maximum rainfall series at 1, 3, 6, 12 and 24 h duration, while daily rainfall properties have been analyzed in terms of frequency and intensity, also characterizing seasonal rainfall features. Results of extreme events analysis confirmed an increasing trend for rainfall of short durations, especially for 1 h rainfall duration. Conversely

  6. Coastal dynamics in western Sicily

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liguori, Vincenzo; Manno, Giorgio; Agate, Francesca

    2014-05-01

    The study of the evolution of the beaches plays a fundamental role in every territorial politics regarding the coastal band. More than half the world population lives in coastal regions which support a florid touristic activity in many countries. The beach constitutes, in terms of economic value, the most important element of the coastal system, but also the more fragile and morphologically variable. Thus, studying its evolutions is fundamental in order to adopt the best management of this complex, densely populated and economically interesting zone. In this regard, the western coast of Sicily (Italy) is an effective example. It took its origin from variation of the sea middle level (Quaternary), with the consequent formation of marine terraces. Morphologically, the shore is made up by low and rock coast alternating beaches. The historical evolution of the coast has been performed through the use of aerial images identifying, despite several uncertainties, the position of the shoreline. Indeed the shoreline position extracted from an aerial image is a wet/dry line that describes the instantaneous land-water boundary at the time of imaging rather than a "normal" or "average" condition. Each wave instantaneously influences the shoreline position and hence, to take into account shoreline oscillations due to wave motion. Even if from a conceptual point of view the shore line is defined as a border between the emerged earth and the sea, its perennial variability makes it difficult to determine. In order to start a correct management, a cognitive geomorphological study has been carried on, as well as a study of high strategic value and environmental sustainability. It was based on a continuous decisional process based on objectives defined by the UE, in order to classify the beaches and to define the characteristic which are necessary for a correct coastal management. This study has been fundamental to start a monitoring of the coast; moreover, it has shown

  7. Genetic models of poljes in Sicily

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Di Maggio, Cipriano; Madonia, Giuliana; Vattano, Marco; De Waele, Jo

    2016-04-01

    Geomorphological and geological studies have been carried out to contribute to the recognition of controlling causes and to the definition of genetic models for poljes of Sicily. A polje is a kilometric closed depression developed mainly on karst rocks, with a conspicuously flat and alluviated bottom affected by intermittent flooding. A polje is usually characterised by relatively steep slopes enclosing an almost perfectly horizontal floor, caused by lateral solution planation related to flooding events. The origin of a polje is due to dissolution of the land surface, although geological structure generally influences its genesis. These large depressions are often elongated according to the direction of main faults, in consequence of a control due to tectonics or to differential erosion. The performed researches have shown the existence of at least seven poljes located along the north-western (chain zone) and the southern (deformed foredeep zone) areas of Sicily. These large karst depressions are developed on Mesozoic limestone/dolomitic rocks within the chain zone and on Messinian gypsum rocks within the deformed foredeep zone. They are up to 4 km in length, can reach surfaces of 3-8 km2 and are around hundred metres deep, with steep slopes and a flat bottom. Generally, they are open, occasionally active depressions and their genesis seems to be strongly controlled by structure. In particular, the studied poljes occur in two different geological/geomorphological settings: a) in graben-like tectonic depressions, where important fault slopes/scarps border the flat bottom; b) in complex depressions controlled by structure, where wide fault line slopes/scarps or large inclined degraded structural surfaces mark the poljes. Finally, landscape analysis leads to the proposition of two main genetic models in which the development of poljes is primarily due to tectonics or differential erosion followed by dissolution.

  8. View of eastern coast of Sicily area

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1973-01-01

    A vertical view of the eastern coast of Sicily area is seen in this Skylab 3 Earth Resources Experiments Package S190-B (five-inch earth terrain camera) infrared photograph taken from the Skylab space station in Earth orbit. Mount Etna, the highest volcano in Europe (10,958 feet), is still active as evidenced by the thin plume of smoke emaneting from its crest. On the flanks of Etna recent lava flows appear black in contrast to the older flows and volcanic debris that are red. Numerous small, circular cinder cones on the flanks represent sites of previous eruptions. Catania, on the Mediterranean coast south of Etna, is the largest of several cities and villages which appear as light-gray patches on the lower slopes of the volcano. Plano de Catania, south of the city of Catania, is outlined by polygonal light and dark agricultural tracts. Several lakes, the largest of which is Lake Pozzillo, show up as dark blue in the photograph. The unusual colors in the picture are due to the use of

  9. Emergence and Phylodynamics of Citrus tristeza virus in Sicily, Italy

    PubMed Central

    Davino, Salvatore; Willemsen, Anouk; Panno, Stefano; Davino, Mario; Catara, Antonino; Elena, Santiago F.; Rubio, Luis

    2013-01-01

    Citrus tristeza virus (CTV) outbreaks were detected in Sicily island, Italy for the first time in 2002. To gain insight into the evolutionary forces driving the emergence and phylogeography of these CTV populations, we determined and analyzed the nucleotide sequences of the p20 gene from 108 CTV isolates collected from 2002 to 2009. Bayesian phylogenetic analysis revealed that mild and severe CTV isolates belonging to five different clades (lineages) were introduced in Sicily in 2002. Phylogeographic analysis showed that four lineages co-circulated in the main citrus growing area located in Eastern Sicily. However, only one lineage (composed of mild isolates) spread to distant areas of Sicily and was detected after 2007. No correlation was found between genetic variation and citrus host, indicating that citrus cultivars did not exert differential selective pressures on the virus. The genetic variation of CTV was not structured according to geographical location or sampling time, likely due to the multiple introduction events and a complex migration pattern with intense co- and re-circulation of different lineages in the same area. The phylogenetic structure, statistical tests of neutrality and comparison of synonymous and nonsynonymous substitution rates suggest that weak negative selection and genetic drift following a rapid expansion may be the main causes of the CTV variability observed today in Sicily. Nonetheless, three adjacent amino acids at the p20 N-terminal region were found to be under positive selection, likely resulting from adaptation events. PMID:23818960

  10. Results of Skylab investigation over Italy. [Sicily and Sardinia

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cassinis, R.; Lechi, G. M.; Tonelli, A. M. (Principal Investigator)

    1975-01-01

    The author has identified the following significant results. Multispectral high resolution photography of S190A was successfully applied to the detection of paleoriverbeds in flat lands. Results of SL-3 mission were compared to those of LANDSAT for two regional geological surveys (linear structures) on the islands of Sicily and Sardinia. On Sicily, the seasonal conditions were unfavorable for Skylab while LANDSAT played a major role in discovering long, unknown lineaments of great interest for the geodynamics of the area. On Sardinia, owing to the vegetation type and to the geomorphic conditions, the Skylab imagery was successfully employed to describe the network of linears, both regional and local. Results can be used to study the relationship between linears, actual fracturing and the occurrence of mineral deposits.

  11. Wild food plants of popular use in Sicily

    PubMed Central

    Lentini, Francesca; Venza, Francesca

    2007-01-01

    In the present work the authors report the result of their food ethnobotanical researches, which have been carried out in Sicily during the last thirty years. Data concerning 188 wild species used in the traditional Sicilian cuisine are reported. The authors underline those species that are partially or completely unknown for their culinary use and they illustrate other species that local inhabitants suggested in the prevention or treatment of symptomatologies caused by a refined diet, poor in vegetables. These data want to contribute to avoid the loss of traditional knowledge on uses and recipes concerning wild food botanicals, and to encourage further studies for those species that have not yet been sufficiently researched in their food chemical and nutritional profile. These studies may also suggest new applications for a few botanicals in medico-nutritional fields. The work includes also a short review of the seaweeds and mushrooms traditionally gathered and consumed in Sicily. PMID:17397527

  12. Wide aperture seismic recording in offshore west Sicily and Bolivia

    SciTech Connect

    Tilander, N.G.; Lattimore, R.K.

    1994-12-31

    Seismic operations using the Wide Aperture Recording (WAR) technique were carried out in offshore west Sicily (16.5 km offsets) and in the Sub-Andean Cordillera of Bolivia (9.0 km offsets) where conventional offset data have traditionally proved inadequate for imaging complex subsurface structures. In both cases, noise-free wide aperture events were visible at long offsets, and were successfully stacked using both hyperbolic and linear moveout. In the Sicily datasets, the resulting seismic images disagree with earlier structural interpretations, but the lack of reliable ``calibration`` data in terms of well control or usable conventional seismic data make final evaluation and interpretation of the Sicily wide aperture data ambiguous. In Bolivia good quality seismic data are present across a portion of the WAR survey; the results show that the wide aperture technique may produce a valid structural image, provided the subsurface geometries are sufficiently broad and shallow. For tight structures, the technique is unlikely to produce valid images. In general, the authors` studies show that considerable effort is required at the data processing and interpretation stage, including full waveform and ray-trace modeling, in order to identify event arrivals and to attempt to validate the wide aperture structural images. Reliable calibration data in the form of well control or conventional seismic data are needed in order to provide an understanding of the WAR results.

  13. ESONET LIDO Demonstration Mission: the East Sicily node

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Riccobene, Giorgio; Favali, Paolo; Andrè, Michel; Chierici, Francesco; Pavan, Gianni; Esonet Lido Demonstration Mission Team

    2010-05-01

    Off East Sicily (at 2100 m depth, 25 km off the harbour of Catania) a prototype of a cabled deep-sea observatory (NEMO-SN1) was set up and has been operational in real-time since 2005 (the cabled deep-sea multi-parameter station SN1, equipped with geophysical and environmental sensors and the cabled NEMO-OνDE, equipped with 4 broadband hydrophones). The Western Ionian Sea is one of the node sites for the upcoming European permanent underwater network (EMSO). Within the activities of the EC project ESONET-NoE some demonstration missions have been funded. The LIDO-DM (Listening to the Deep Ocean-Demonstration Mission) is one of these and is related to two sites, East Sicily and Iberian Margin (Gulf of Cadiz), the main aims being geo-hazards monitoring and warning (seismic, tsunami, and volcanic) and bio-acoustics. The LIDO-DM East Sicily installation represents a further major step within ESONET-NoE, resulting in a fully integrated system for multidisciplinary deep-sea science, capable to transmit and distribute data in real time to the scientific community and to the general public. LIDO-DM East Sicily hosts a large number of sensors aimed at monitoring and studying oceanographic and environmental parameters (by means of CTD, ADCP, 3-C single point current meter, turbidity meter), geophysical phenomena (low frequency hydrophones, accelerometer, gravity meter, vector and scalar magnetometers, seismometer, absolute and differential pressure gauges), ocean noise monitoring and identification and tracking of biological acoustic sources in deep sea. The latter will be performed using two tetrahedral arrays of 4 hydrophones, located at a relative distance of about 5 km, and at about 25 km from the shore. The whole system will be connected and powered from shore, by means of the electro-optical cable net installed at the East Sicily Site Infrastructure, and synchronised with GPS. Sensors data sampling is performed underwater and transmitted via optical fibre link, with

  14. Isoleucine epimerization ages of the dwarf elephants of Sicily

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Belluomini, Giorgio; Bada, Jeffrey L.

    1985-07-01

    The isoleucine epimerization reaction has been used to date tooth enamel from dwarf elephants collected from the Sicilian caves of Spinagallo and Puntali. Elephant teeth from the Isernia la Pineta deposit in central Italy, dated at ˜700 ka by potassium-argon (K-Ar) and paleomagnetics, were used for calibration of the isoleucine epimerization rate. The ages determined for the dwarf elephants found at the Spinagallo Cave are considerably older than the more robust dwarf species found at the Puntali Cave. These dates suggest that more than one invasion of continental elephants have taken place on Sicily. The subsequent isolation of the continental species has apparently produced varying stages of dwarfism.

  15. Derivation of critical rainfall thresholds for landslide in Sicily

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Caracciolo, Domenico; Arnone, Elisa; Noto, Leonardo V.

    2015-04-01

    Rainfall is the primary trigger of shallow landslides that can cause fatalities, damage to properties and economic losses in many areas of the world. For this reason, determining the rainfall amount/intensity responsible for landslide occurrence is important, and may contribute to mitigate the related risk and save lives. Efforts have been made in different countries to investigate triggering conditions in order to define landslide-triggering rainfall thresholds. The rainfall thresholds are generally described by a functional relationship of power in terms of cumulated or intensity event rainfall-duration, whose parameters are estimated empirically from the analysis of historical rainfall events that triggered landslides. The aim of this paper is the derivation of critical rainfall thresholds for landslide occurrence in Sicily, southern Italy, by focusing particularly on the role of the antecedent wet conditions. The creation of the appropriate landslide-rainfall database likely represents one of main efforts in this type of analysis. For this work, historical landslide events occurred in Sicily from 1919 to 2001 were selected from the archive of the Sistema Informativo sulle Catastrofi Idrogeologiche, developed under the project Aree Vulnerabili Italiane. The corresponding triggering precipitations were screened from the raingauges network in Sicily, maintained by the Osservatorio delle Acque - Agenzia Regionale per i Rifiuti e le Acque. In particular, a detailed analysis was carried out to identify and reconstruct the hourly rainfall events that caused the selected landslides. A bootstrapping statistical technique has been used to determine the uncertainties associated with the threshold parameters. The rainfall thresholds at different exceedance probability levels, from 1% to 10%, were defined in terms of cumulated event rainfall, E, and rainfall duration, D. The role of rainfall prior to the damaging events was taken into account by including in the analysis

  16. Analyses of water, core material, and elutriate samples collected near Sicily Island, Louisiana (Sicily Island area levee project)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Demcheck, Dennis K.; Dupuy, Alton J.

    1980-01-01

    Samples consisting of composited core material were collected from five areas by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and analyzed by the U.S. Geological Survey to provide data on the impact of proposed channel excavation and levee construction in the Sicily Island area, Louisiana. Samples of receiving water from the five areas, selected to represent the water that will contact the proposed dredged material of the levee fill material, also were collected. Chemical and physical analyses were performed on samples of core material and native water and on elutriate samples of specific core material-receiving water mixtures. The results of these analyses are presented without interpretation. (USGS)

  17. Estimating temporal changes in extreme rainfall in Sicily Region (Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bonaccorso, Brunella; Aronica, Giuseppe

    2016-04-01

    An intensification of extreme rainfall events have characterized several areas of peninsular and insular Italy since the early 2000s, suggesting an upward ongoing trend likely driven by climate change. In the present study temporal changes in 1-, 3-, 6-, 12- and 24-hour annual maxima rainfall series from more than 200 sites in Sicily region (Italy) are examined. A regional study is performed in order to reduce the uncertainty in change detection related to the limited length of the available records of extreme rainfall series. More specifically, annual maxima series are treated according to a regional flood index - type approach to frequency analysis, by assuming stationarity on a decadal time scale. First a cluster analysis using at-site characteristics is used to determine homogeneous rainfall regions. Then, potential changes in regional L-moment ratios are analyzed using a 10-year moving window. Furthermore, the shapes of regional growth curves, derived by splitting the records into separate decades, are compared. In addition, a jackknife procedure is used to assess uncertainty in the fitted growth curves and to identify significant trends in quantile estimates. Results reveal that, despite L-moment ratios show a general decreasing trend and that growth curves corresponding to the last decade (2000-2009) are usually less steep than the ones of the previous periods, rainfall quantile estimates have increased during the 2000s due to a large increase in regional average median, mainly in Western Sicily.

  18. Regional frequency analysis of extreme precipitation for Sicily (Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Forestieri, Angelo; Blenkinsop, Stephen; Fowler, Hayley; Lo Conti, Francesco; Noto, Leonardo

    2016-04-01

    The analysis of extreme precipitation has always been included among most relevant hydrological applications because of the several important activities linked to the availability of tools for the estimation of extreme rainfall quantiles. These activities include the design of hydraulic civil structures and the evaluation and management of hydraulic and hydrological risk. In this study a frequency analysis of annual maxima precipitation measurements has been carried out for the area of Sicily (Italy). A typical hierarchical regional approach has been adopted for the parameter estimation procedure based on the L-moments method. The identification of homogeneous regions within the procedure has been pursued with a data driven procedure constituted by a principal component analysis of an ensemble of selected auxiliary variables, and a K-means cluster analysis algorithm. Auxiliary variables comprise meteo-climatic information and a representation of the average seasonal distribution of intense events. Results have been evaluated by means of a Monte Carlo experiment based on the comparison between at-site and regional fitted frequency distributions. Moreover, results have been compared with previous analyses performed for the same area. The study provides an updated tool for the modelling of extreme precipitation for the area of Sicily (Italy), with different features respect to previous tools both in terms of definition of homogeneous zones and in terms of parameters of the frequency distribution. Meteo-climatic information and the seasonality of extreme events retrieved from the dataset has been proficuously exploited in the analysis.

  19. Municipal waste management in Sicily: Practices and challenges

    SciTech Connect

    Messineo, Antonio Panno, Domenico

    2008-07-01

    There are numerous problems yet to be solved in waste management and although efforts towards waste recovery and recycling have been made, landfills are still the most common method used in the EU and many other industrialised countries. Thermal disposal, particularly incineration, is a tested and viable alternative. In 2004, only 11% of the annual waste production of Italy was incinerated. Sicily, with over five million inhabitants, is the second largest region in Italy where waste management is now a critical problem. The use of landfills can no longer be considered a satisfactory environmental solution; therefore, new methods have to be chosen and waste-to-energy plants could provide an answer. This paper gives details of municipal solid waste management in Sicily following a new Waste Management Plan. Four waste-to-energy plants will generate electricity through a steam cycle; the feedstock will become the residue after material recovery, which is calculated as 20-40% weight of the collected municipal solid waste.

  20. Municipal waste management in Sicily: practices and challenges.

    PubMed

    Messineo, Antonio; Panno, Domenico

    2008-01-01

    There are numerous problems yet to be solved in waste management and although efforts towards waste recovery and recycling have been made, landfills are still the most common method used in the EU and many other industrialised countries. Thermal disposal, particularly incineration, is a tested and viable alternative. In 2004, only 11% of the annual waste production of Italy was incinerated. Sicily, with over five million inhabitants, is the second largest region in Italy where waste management is now a critical problem. The use of landfills can no longer be considered a satisfactory environmental solution; therefore, new methods have to be chosen and waste-to-energy plants could provide an answer. This paper gives details of municipal solid waste management in Sicily following a new Waste Management Plan. Four waste-to-energy plants will generate electricity through a steam cycle; the feedstock will become the residue after material recovery, which is calculated as 20-40% weight of the collected municipal solid waste. PMID:17604152

  1. Introduction and prolonged circulation of G12 rotaviruses in Sicily.

    PubMed

    Giammanco, G M; Bonura, F; DI Bernardo, F; Cascio, A; Ferrera, G; Dones, P; Saporito, L; Collura, A; Terranova, D M; Valenzise, M; Allù, M T; Casuccio, N; Palermo, M; Bányai, K; Martella, V; DE Grazia, S

    2016-07-01

    Genotype G12 strains are now considered to be the sixth most prevalent human rotaviruses worldwide. In two Sicilian cities, Palermo and Messina, surveillance of rotavirus circulation performed since 1985 and 2009, respectively, did not detect G12 strains until 2012. From 2012 to 2014 rotavirus infection was detected in 29·7% of 1647 stool samples collected from children admitted for acute gastroenteritis to three Sicilian hospitals in Palermo, Messina and Ragusa. In 2012, G12P[8] was first detected in Palermo and then in Messina where it represented the second most frequent genotype (20% prevalence) after G1P[8]. Thereafter, G12 strains continued to circulate in Sicily, showing a marked prevalence in Ragusa (27·8%) in 2013 and in Palermo (21%) and Messina (16·6%) in 2014. All but one of the Sicilian G12 strains carried a P[8] VP4 genotype, whereas the single non-P[8] rotavirus strain was genotyped as G12P[9]. Phylogenetic analysis of the VP7 and VP4 sequences allowed distinction of several genetic lineages and separation of the G12P[8] strains into three cluster combinations. These findings indicate independent introductions of G12 rotavirus strains in Sicily in recent years. PMID:26743189

  2. The plants, rituals and spells that 'cured' helminthiasis in Sicily

    PubMed Central

    Napoli, Mariangela

    2008-01-01

    Background The author reports on the plants, rituals and spells used against worms and the so-called scantu (fright) in some areas of Sicily. The work is based on ethnobotanical research carried out, prevalently, between 2002-2006, in some areas of Eastern, South-Eastern, North-Central and South-Central Sicily. Methods This research is based on dialogue. Senior 'healers' were contacted; furthermore, doctors, teachers, farmers and in general 'experts' with herbs and 'magic' rituals. Information was collected about the way the plants of folk medicine are prepared. The interviewees were also invited to recite prayers and spells against helminthiasis. Results The author has highlighted the importance of how, in some parts of Sicily, some ailments like helminthiasis and other correlated pathologies like scantu are 'treated' and, especially within the rural social classes, by folk medicine remedies, herbal practises, particular prayers, rituals and spells. Conclusion As regards health/illness, it should be noted that in the last ten years conventional medicine has provided very satisfactory results even resolving potentially mortal pathologies. However, in certain social classes, there is no real collaboration between conventional and folk medicine; so for some senior citizens, the 'healer' with his rituals and empirical and magical herbs is still the person to turn to for the 'cure' of particular ailments. Interest in these practises from ancestral heritage in an advanced country like Italy, is only relevant if the aim is to recoup a cultural identity which is already in decline. It is significant to report a piece: on 14 October 2007 the news on a well-known national Italian TV channel reported an interview with a 94 year-old man from Arbatax (Sardinia) referred to as a 'healer' because both his townspeople and others from all over the world go to him for his cures. He is not paid except in kind and has been known to cure St. Anthony's fire, burns, scalding and marine

  3. Radon Concentration by SSNTD in South-East Sicily Buildings

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Immè, G.; Catalano, R.; Gianino, C.; Filincieri, R.; Mangano, G.; Morelli, D.

    Radon levels in buildings vary widely from area to area also depending on local geology. Thus, it is important to assess the radon prone area of a geographic region on the basis of geological data and to search for any possible correlation between the local geology and the indoor radon concentrations. We report about indoor radon measurements in Ragusa, a municipality of the SE Sicily, placed in the Hyblean Plateau (northern region of the African Plate), carried out in collaboration with schools. The survey was performed using Solid State Nuclear Track Detectors (SSNTD), CR-39 type, and a well-established methodology for chemical etching and reading, developed at the Radioactivity Laboratory of the Department of Physics - University of Catania.

  4. Anaplasma phagocytophilum seroprevalence in equids: a survey in Sicily (Italy).

    PubMed

    Giudice, Elisabetta; Giannetto, Claudia; Furco, Vincenzo; Alongi, Angela; Torina, Alessandra

    2012-08-01

    This study was undertaken to determine the prevalence of Anaplasma phagocytophilum infection in Equidae and investigate the possibility of exposure to the organism in Sicily (Southern Italy). During the study blood samples were collected in horses and donkeys housed in five of the nine provinces of Sicilian Island. Of 133 horses and 100 donkeys tested, respectively 9.0% and 6.0% were seroactive (IFAT) with A. phagocytophilum antigen. In only 4.7% of the horses, specific A. phagocytophilum DNA was recorded; in donkey, Anaplasma DNA was not found. Our results indicate a low prevalence of A. phagocytophilum in Sicilian equids. This condition does not justify the exclusion of equids from prophylactic plans for this multihost pathogen infection, a zoonosis with a wide distribution in other European countries. However, further studies are necessary to elucidate the possible mechanisms that involve the Equidae as host of this pathogen. PMID:22362364

  5. Cinder cone growth modeled after Northeast crater, Mount Etna, Sicily

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mcgetchin, T. R.; Settle, M.; Chouet, B. A.

    1974-01-01

    The structure, physical properties of ejecta, ballistics, and growth of Northeast crater, a young pyroclastic cone that originated in 1911 near the summit of Mount Etna, Sicily, were studied in order to form a model of volcano cinder cone growth. Four stages of growth were discerned: (1) a simple cone; (2) a cone with an outward-dipping talus slope; (3) destruction of rounded rim by the inward migration of the upper edge of the talus pile; and (4) extension of limits of talus pile beyond the ballistic limit of ejecta trajectories. The model is used to predict the features of lunar and Martian cones, assuming that they erupted under conditions qualitatively similar to Etna's Northeast crater.

  6. Coastal erosion in Sicily: geomorphologic impact and mitigation (Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liguori, V.; Manno, G.

    2009-04-01

    The coast of Sicily region stretches about 1400 km, bathing three different seas: the North tract, from Messina to Capo San Vito wash to the Tyrrhenian Sea, the oriental side, from Messina to Capo Passero, wash to the Ionian Sea, and finally the southern side wash to the Mediterranean. Of these, 395 km are made up of beaches and 970 km from rocky shores. The coastal morph-type were analyzed in relation to their evolutionary trend (backspace or advancement of the seaside), can be summarized as follows: a low shores of torrent plain (Messina), low shores with salt (Trapani), low shores beaches edged with dunal systems, subject to backspace, where urbanization has reduced or eliminated the internal sand dunes, shores on marine terraces, with beaches at the foot (Agrigento) and high shores non-affected of real phenomena of backspace, but subject to often dangerous events of detachment and collapse of blocks (high rocky shores). The marine and coastal environment is a complex and articulated, in balance with the Earth's environment, in which live together, but through different dynamics strongly interacting, ecosystems and marine ecosystems typically transition. The increasing density of population concentrated along the shores, the gradual expansion of activities related to the use of marine and coastal resources, are some of the issues that threaten the delicate balance of nature and the sea coast. The sicilian coastal areas most subject to erosion are those in Ragusa shores areas in south-eastern of Sicily, where the critical areas interesting low coastline and high shores. Following the coast, between Capo Peloro and Milazzo (Messina),where the erosion affects the coast with a low of about 23 km. In the coastal between Capo St. Marco and Capo Feto (Trapani) the critical areas interesting the low coastline and, in part erodible bluffs. One of this case is localized in the town of Mazara del Vallo. In general, the phenomenon erosive affects almost all the sicilian

  7. Astronomically oriented megaliths of the Monte Jato area (Sicily).

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scuderi, A.; Polcaro, V. F.; Mercadante, F.; Lo Cascio, P.; Maurici, F.

    An imposing megalith is visible from many kilometres of distance near the top of the hill named Monte Arcivocalotto (Sicily). It is made by a single sandstone slab, shaped in triangular form with a large circular hole pierced at the centre. It is known to local people as U Campanaru ("The Bell Tower") and it was considered as a magic place until recently. The megalith is oriented toward the sunrise of the winter solstice, when the Sun rises at the hole centre, becoming visible from a very large distance. At a few kilometres, on the top of another hill, significantly named "Cozzo Perciata" ("Hill of the pierced one") a similar megalith was standing until to a few decades ago. It is presently collapsed, probably by a lighting, but the remains clearly show that it is oriented toward the summer solstice sunrise. Both megaliths have to be considered in the framework of the Eneolithic / Early Bronze Age worship centre of Pizzo Pietralunga, located halfway between Monte Arcivocalotto and Cozzo Perciata.

  8. Analysis of treated wastewater reuse potential for irrigation in Sicily.

    PubMed

    Barbagallo, Salvatore; Cirelli, Giuseppe Luigi; Consoli, Simona; Licciardello, Feliciana; Marzo, Alessia; Toscano, Attilio

    2012-01-01

    In Mediterranean countries, water shortage is becoming a problem of high concern affecting the local economy, mostly based on agriculture. The problem is not only the scarcity of water in terms of average per capita, but the high cost to make water available at the right place, at the right time with the required quality. In these cases, an integrated approach for water resources management including wastewater is required. The management should also include treated wastewater (TWW) reclamation and reuse, especially for agricultural irrigation. In Italy, TWW reuse is regulated by a quite restrictive approach (Ministry Decree, M.D. 185/03), especially for some chemical compounds and microbiological parameters. The aim of the paper is the evaluation of TWW reuse potential in Sicily. A Geographic Information System (GIS) was built at regional level to quantify and locate the available TWW volumes. In particular, the characteristics of wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) were integrated, through the GIS, with data on irrigation district areas. Moreover, in order to evaluate the Italian approach for reuse practice in agriculture, the water quality of different TWW effluents was analysed on the basis of both the Italian standards and the WHO guidelines. PMID:22592474

  9. Probabilistic Tsunami Hazard Analysis for Eastern Sicily (Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lorito, S.; Piatanesi, A.; Romano, F.; Basili, R.; Kastelic, V.; Tiberti, M. M.; Valensise, G.

    2009-12-01

    We applied the method for Probabilistic Tsunami Hazard Analysis (PTHA), first introduced by Rikitake and Aida (1988), to the coasts of eastern Sicily (Italy), and focusing on important cities such as Messina, Catania, and Augusta. The method has been very recently improved by González et al. (2009) to explicitly include inundation. Our approach considers both far- and near-field sources. Based on the approach described by Lorito et al. (2008), we identified a few Source Zones (SZ), each of which is characterized by a Typical Fault (TF) floating within it and capable of generating the Maximum Credible Earthquake (MCE). Some of the MCE recall historical events such as the 1908 Messina, the 1693 Catania and the 365 AD Crete earthquakes. We calculated the combined probability for all considered SZs by assigning a recurrence interval to each of them and a Poisson distribution of the inter-event times. We performed the PTHA for different damage metrics, such as runup, current speed, momentum and Froude number, with probability of exceedance of given thresholds being evaluated for different time intervals.

  10. Paleoseismological investigation offshore eastern Sicily and south Calabria (Ionian Sea).

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    San Pedro, Laurine; Babonneau, Nathalie; Gutscher, Marc-André; Cattaneo, Antonio

    2016-04-01

    The Ionian Sea is a deep and narrow basin in the Central Mediterranean Sea, bounded by two accretionary wedges formed by the Calabrian and the Hellenic subduction zones, respectively to the North West and to the East. Eastern Sicily and Calabria have been repeatedly struck by destructive historical earthquakes and tsunamis (1693 AD Catania M7.4, 1908 AD Messina M7.2). The latter triggered a submarine landslide and turbidity current that ruptured submarine cables. In the Ionian Sea, preliminary sedimentological studies show that recent turbidite deposits could be directly correlated with large historical earthquakes. Other thick deposits imaged in seismic data as thick transparent layers in the Ionian abyssal plain have been termed megaturbidites or homogenites. This study is focused on the interpretation of turbidites and megaturbidites on the basis of new sediment cores located in the northwestern Ionian Sea. Understanding the sources and the origin of these deposits is crucial to interpret the paleoseismological record contained in the deep sediments of the Ionian Sea. The objective is to improve our understanding of the chronology and origin of large catastrophic events, which have affected the area. New data, including piston cores and CHIRP echosounder profiles, were collected during the CIRCEE cruise, with R/V Le Suroit in October 2013, in the western Ionian Sea, including the western part of Calabrian accretionary wedge and the base of the Malta Escarpment. With a wide regional distribution of the cores, this new dataset allows to refine the interpretation of gravity deposits in terms of sedimentary processes and to establish an event stratigraphy based on radiocarbon dating. The Augias megaturbidite was completely sampled in six cores: the origin of this deposit is associated to the 365 AD Crete mega-thrust earthquake. The sedimentological study and correlation of turbidite deposits provide the opportunity to obtain a paleoseismological record extending

  11. The ethnic minorities of southern Italy and Sicily: relationships through surnames.

    PubMed

    Vienna, A; Peña Garcia, J A; Mascie-Taylor, C G; Biondi, G

    2001-01-01

    Surnames of grandparents were collected from children in the primary schools of the Albanian-Italian, Croat-Italian and Greek-Italian villages of southern Italy and Sicily. The coefficients of relationships by isonymy show almost no relationship with ethnicity. Ethnolinguistic minorities of southern Italy and Sicily are geographically subdivided into two main clusters: the first cluster comprises the Albanian, Croat and Greek communities of the Adriatic area; and the second cluster comprises the Albanian and Greek communities of the Ionian, Thirrenian and Sicilian areas. PMID:11316393

  12. Sensitivity of the sea circulation to the atmospheric forcing in the Sicily Channel

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Omrani, Hiba; Arsouze, Thomas; Béranger, Karine; Boukthir, Moncef; Drobinski, Philippe; Lebeaupin-Brossier, Cindy; Mairech, Hanen

    2016-01-01

    We investigate the sensitivity of the sea surface circulation in the Sicily Channel to surface winds, using a 15-year long (1994-2008) air-sea coupled numerical simulation. Analysis is based on the clustering of six main wind regimes over the Sicily Channel domain. The analysis of the corresponding sea current clusters shows that sea circulation in this area is sensitive to surface wind patterns. This wind modulates the strength of the two main branches of the sea circulation in the Sicily Channel (i.e. the Atlantic Tunisian Current and the Atlantic Ionian Stream). The modulation of these two currents depends on the wind regime, and displays a strong seasonal variability. It is also shown that the sea circulation in the Sicily Channel is strongly controlled by the thermohaline circulation and the bathymetry (geostrophic current). However, the contribution to the total current of its ageostrophic component forced by the surface winds is significant, with a correlation coefficient varying from 0.3 to 0.7.

  13. Morphological and molecular characterization of Pratylenchus lentis n. sp. (Nematoda: Pratylenchidae) from Sicily

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Pratylenchus lentis n. sp. parasitizing roots of lentil in Sicily, Italy, is described and illustrated. The new species is characterized by a high lip region with three annuli, stylet mean length of 16 micrometers with anteriorly flattened knobs, cylindrical body with a relatively anterior vulva, l...

  14. Macroposthonia sicula n. sp. (Nematoda: Criconematidae), a Parasite of Olive Trees in Sicily

    PubMed Central

    Vovlas, N.

    1982-01-01

    Macroposthonia sicula n.sp. collected from rhizosphere and roots of olive (Olea europaea L.) at Kamarina, Sicily, Italy, is described and illustrated. It is distinguished from the related species (M. sphaerocephala and M. maskaka) by the longer styler and the characteristic narrowing postvulval portion of the body. PMID:19295680

  15. Occurrence and distribution of cyst nematodes infecting cereals in Sicily, Italy

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    During 2008 and 2009, a survey on specific composition, frequency and geographical distribution of cyst nematodes living on cereals was conducted in Sicily (Italy). Heterodera latipons Franklin and H. hordecalis Andersson appeared to be the most common species in durum wheat (Triticum durum Desf.) a...

  16. 78 FR 14619 - Culturally Significant Objects Imported for Exhibition Determinations: “Sicily: Art and Invention...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-03-06

    ... Greece and Rome'' ACTION: Notice, correction. SUMMARY: On September 5, 2012, notice was published on page... pertaining to the exhibit ``Sicily: Art and Invention Between Greece and Rome.'' The referenced notice is... and Invention Between Greece and Rome,'' imported from abroad for temporary exhibition within...

  17. Probabilistic Tsunami Hazard Analysis for Eastern Sicily (Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lorito, Stefano; Piatanesi, Alessio; Romano, Fabrizio; Basili, Roberto; Kastelic, Vanja; Tiberti, Mara Monica; Valensise, Gianluca; Selva, Jacopo

    2010-05-01

    We present preliminary results of a Probabilistic Tsunami Hazard Analysis (PTHA) for the coast of eastern Sicily. We only consider earthquake-generated tsunamis. We focus on important cities such as Messina, Catania, and Augusta. We consider different potentially tsunamigenic Source Zones (SZ) in the Mediterranean basin, basing on geological and seismological evidences. Considering many synthetic earthquakes for each SZ, we numerically simulate the entire tsunami propagation, from sea-floor displacement to inundation. We evaluate different tsunami damage metrics, as for example maximum runup, current speed, momentum and Froude number. We use a finite difference scheme in the shallow-water approximation for the tsunami propagation at open sea, and a finite volumes scheme for the inundation phase. For the shoaling and inundation stages, we have built a bathy-topo model by merging GEBCO database, multibeam soundings, and topographic data at 10 m of resolution. Accounting for their relative probability of occurrence, deterministic scenarios are merged together to assess PTHA at the selected target sites, expressed as a probability of exceedance of a given threshold (e.g. 1 m wave height) in a given time (e.g. 100 yr). First order epistemic and aleatory uncertainties are accessed through a logic tree, accounting for changes in the variables judged to have a major impact on PTHA, and for eventual incompleteness of the SZs. The SZs are located at short, intermediate and large distances with respect to the target coastlines. We thus highlight, for different source-target distances, the relative importance of the different source parameters, and/or the role of the uncertainties in the input parameters estimation. Our results suggest that in terms of inundation extent the Hellenic Arc SZ has the highest impact on the selected target coastlines. In terms of exceedance probability instead, there is a larger variability depending not only on location and recurrence but also on

  18. Asphaltene-bearing mantle xenoliths from Hyblean diatremes, Sicily

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scirè, Salvatore; Ciliberto, Enrico; Crisafulli, Carmelo; Scribano, Vittorio; Bellatreccia, Fabio; Ventura, Giancarlo Della

    2011-08-01

    Microscopic blebs of sulfur-bearing organic matter (OM) commonly occur between the secondary calcite grains and fibrous phyllosilicates in extensively serpentinized and carbonated mantle-derived ultramafic xenoliths from Hyblean nephelinite diatremes, Sicily, Italy. Rarely, coarse bituminous patches give the rock a blackish color. Micro Fourier transform infrared spectra (μ-FTIR) point to asphaltene-like structures in the OM, due to partially condensed aromatic rings with aliphatic tails consisting of a few C atoms. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) analysis indicates the occurrence of minor S═O (either sulphonyl or sulphoxide) functional groups in the OM. Solubility tests in toluene, thermo-gravimetric (TGA) and differential thermal (DTA) analyses confirm the presence of asphaltene structures. It is proposed that asphaltenes derive from the in situ aromatization (with decrease in H/C ratio) of previous light aliphatic hydrocarbons. Field evidence excludes that hydrocarbon from an external source percolated through the xenolith bearing tuff-breccia. The discriminating presence of hydrocarbon in a particular type of xenolith only and the lack of hydrocarbon in the host breccia matrix, are also inconsistent with an interaction between the ascending eruptive system and a supposed deep-seated oil reservoir. Assuming that the Hyblean unexposed basement consists of mantle ultramafics and mafic intrusive rocks having hosted an early abyssal-type hydrothermal system, one can put forward the hypothesis that the hydrocarbon production was related to hydrothermal activity in a serpentinite system. Although a bacteriogenesis or thermogenesis cannot be ruled out, the coexisting serpentine, Ni-Fe ores and hydrocarbon strongly suggest a Fischer-Tropsch-type (FTT) synthesis. Subsequent variations in the chemical and physical conditions of the system, for example an increase in the water/rock ratio, gave rise to partial oxidation and late carbonation of the serpentinite

  19. A multidisciplinary approach to reveal the Sicily Climate and Environment over the last 20 000 years

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Incarbona, Alessandro; Zarcone, Giuseppe; Agate, Mauro; Bonomo, Sergio; di Stefano, Enrico; Masini, Federico; Russo, Fabio; Sineo, Luca

    2010-06-01

    We present a thorough review of the knowledge on the climate and environment in Sicily over the last 20 000 years, taking into account results of several studies carried using terrestrial and marine records. We obtain a coherent framework of the most important changes succeeded in the island, even if some points need further investigation. All the reconstructions of surface temperatures of the seas and the air surrounding Sicily point out severe climatic conditions during the last glacial period. The steppe- and semisteppe-like vegetation pattern testifies, together with additional evidence from geochemical data of lacustrine evidence, markedly arid conditions. Fi-nally, significant episodes of sea level drop connected Sicily to the Italian Peninsula and favoured the dispersion of faunal elements from southern Italy. The transition between the last glacial and the Holocene was not characterized by a gradual warming but was punctuated by two abrupt suborbital climatic fluctuations: Bølling-Allerød (warm) and Younger Dryas (cold), as recognized in the sediments recovered close to the northern and southern coast of Sicily. A denser arboreal cover is possibly indicated by the occurrence of dormouse and Arvicola remains. Finally the sensitivity of Sicily to climate perturbations is demonstrated by the occurrence of repeated subtle climatic anomalies during the Holocene, including the Little Ice Age, also known from historical chronicles. Forests, woods and Mediterranean maquis developed in the early-middle Holocene. Thereafter was a general decline of arboreal vegetation, following a general aridification trend that seems to be a common feature in southern Europe and North Africa. Science Greek colonization (7th century before Christ), the landscape was intensively modelled for agriculture and breeding, leading to a significant loss of vegetation cover.

  20. Paleotsunamis Evidence In The Augusta Bay (Eastern Sicily, Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smedile, A.; de Martini, P.; Barbano, M. S.; Pantosti, D.; Gerardi, F.; Del Carlo, P.; Bellucci, L. G.; Gasperini, L.; Sagnotti, L.; Polonia, A.; Pirrotta, C.

    2008-12-01

    The Augusta Bay, in Eastern Sicily (Italy), was repeatedly hit by tsunami waves related to large historical earthquakes (e.g. 1908, 1693, 1169). The area is characterized by coastal lowlands or lagoons, and by a relatively wide continental shelf with a thick late-Holocene record that has been investigated through the acquisition of a tight grid of CHIRP-sonar profiles. Well targeted sediment samples have been collected both offshore and inland. The integrated interpretation of the geophysical and geological data has been carried out in order to recognize, date and correlate key-layers in the sediment column that may be directly or indirectly related to tsunami events. A total of 26 cores were collected inland at a maximum distance of 530 m from the present coastline. The clay and silt dominated stratigraphy is intercalated by at least 5 high-energy or anomalous depositional layers, repeatedly found in several cores. These layers are made of coarse to fine sand with sharp basal contacts and present a bioclastic component made of microfauna (foraminifera) and shell fragments both suggestive of a marine provenance. Chronological constraints on the age of these deposits is based on AMS radiocarbon datings and on the attribution of a tephra layer to the 122 BC Etna eruption (thanks to petro- chemical and morphoscopic analyses). Integrating these data, the inland sequence spans the last 4100 yrs and the two uppermost high-energy events could be related to the AD 1169 and 1693 historical tsunamis. The offshore record was studied from a 6.7 m-long piston-core collected at 70 m water depth. The homogeneous sequence of dark gray mud is interrupted at -3 m by the same Etna tephra deposit found inland. Through the analysis of tephrostratigraphy, radiocarbon datings, high resolution paleomagnetic analysis and radioactive tracers, the entire core sequence has been dated back to the last 4500 yrs. Moreover, the quantitative micropaleontological analysis on the benthic

  1. Vents Pattern Analysis at Etna volcano (Sicily, Italy).

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brancato, Alfonso; Tusa, Giuseppina; Coltelli, Mauro; Proietti, Cristina; Branca, Stefano

    2014-05-01

    Mount Etna is a composite stratovolcano located along the Ionian coast of eastern Sicily. It is characterized by basaltic eruptions, both effusive and explosive, occurred during a complex eruptive history over the last 500 ka. Flank eruptions occur at an interval of decades, mostly concentrated along the NE, S and W rift zones. A vent clustering at various scales is a common feature in many volcanic settings. In order to identify the clusters within the studied area, a spatial point pattern analysis is undertaken using vent positions, both known and reconstructed. It reveals both clustering and spatial regularity in the Etna region at different distances. The visual inspection of the vent spatial distribution suggests a clustering on the rift zones of Etna volcano. To confirm this evidence, a coarse analysis is performed by the application of Ξ2- and t-test simple statistics. Then, a refined analysis is performed by using the Ripley K-function (Ripley, 1976), whose estimator K(d), knowing the area of the study region and the number of vents, allow us to calculate the distance among two different location of events. The above estimator can be easier transformed by using the Besag L-function (Besag, 1977); the peaks of positive L(d)=[K(d)/π]1/2 -d values indicate clustering while troughs of negative values stand for regularity for their corresponding distances d (L(d)=0 indicates complete spatial randomness). Spatial pattern of flank vents is investigated in order to model the spatial distribution of likely eruptive vents for the next event, basically in terms of relative probabilities. For this, a Gaussian kernel technique is used, and the L(d) function is adopted to generate an optimal smoothing bandwidth based on the clustering behaviour of the Etna volcano. A total of 154 vents (among which 36 are reconstructed), related to Etna flank activity of the last 4.0 ka, is used to model future vent opening. The investigated region covers an area of 850 km2, divided

  2. Application of Skylab imagery to some geological and environmental problems in Italy. [and Sicily

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cassinis, R.; Lechi, G. M.; Tonelli, A. M.

    1975-01-01

    Four topics are considered: regional geology of Sicily, volcanic surveillance in southern Italy, hydrogeology (with special regard given to the discovery and mapping of paleoriverbeds), and crop investigation. The discovery of unknown lineaments and structures in Sicily contributes to the geological knowledge of this region and in particular to the mechanical phenomena involving the upper part of the crust. An attempt was made to relate the status of vegetation surrounding Etna volcano to the magmatic gas escapes filtering through the soil. False-color Skylab images were used to analyze the vigor of the Etnean forestal belt vegetation canopy in order to map possible gas-vent ways as well as the 'active' microfractures. In northern Italy, buried channels were mapped in the Venetian Plain, and a tentative cost-benefit evaluation was done in the field of vegetational studies, both disease detection and species inventory were performed in the Po River Delta and in northwestern Italy.

  3. Post-vaccine measles in a child with concomitant influenza, Sicily, Italy, March 2015.

    PubMed

    Tramuto, F; Dones, P; D Angelo, C; Casuccio, N; Vitale, F

    2015-01-01

    We describe the occurrence of measles in an 18 month-old patient in Sicily, Italy, in March 2015, who received the first dose of a measles-containing vaccine seven days before onset of prodromal symptoms. Measles virus infection was confirmed by PCR and detection of specific immunoglobulin; viral genotyping permitted the confirmation of a vaccine-associated illness. The patient had a concurrent influenza virus infection, during a seasonal epidemic outbreak of influenza. PMID:26027483

  4. Survey on fluoride, bromide and chloride contents in public drinking water supplies in Sicily (Italy).

    PubMed

    D'Alessandro, Walter; Bellomo, Sergio; Parello, Francesco; Brusca, Lorenzo; Longo, Manfredi

    2008-10-01

    Six hundred and sixty-seven water samples were collected from public drinking water supplies in Sicily and analysed for electric conductivity and for their Cl(-), Br(-) and F(-) contents. The samples were, as far as possible, collected evenly over the entire territory with an average sampling density of about one sample for every 7,600 inhabitants. The contents of Cl(-) and Br(-), ranging between 5.53 and 1,302 mg/l and between <0.025 and 4.76 mg/l respectively, correlated well with the electric conductivity, a parameter used as a proxy for water salinity. The highest values were found both along the NW and SE coasts, which we attributed to seawater contamination, and in the central part of Sicily, which we attributed to evaporitic rock dissolution. The fluoride concentrations ranged from 0.023 to 3.28 mg/l, while the highest values (only three exceeding the maximum admissible concentration of 1.5 mg/l) generally correlated either with the presence in the area of crystalline (volcanic or metamorphic) or evaporitic rocks or with contamination from hydrothermal activity. Apart from these limited cases of exceeding F(-) levels, the waters of public drinking water supplies in Sicily can be considered safe for human consumption for the analysed parameters. Some limited concern could arise from the intake of bromide-rich waters (about 3% exceeding 1 mg/l) because of the potential formation of dangerous disinfection by-products. PMID:18064536

  5. An Ancient Mediterranean Melting Pot: Investigating the Uniparental Genetic Structure and Population History of Sicily and Southern Italy

    PubMed Central

    Sarno, Stefania; Boattini, Alessio; Carta, Marilisa; Ferri, Gianmarco; Alù, Milena; Yao, Daniele Yang; Ciani, Graziella; Pettener, Davide; Luiselli, Donata

    2014-01-01

    Due to their strategic geographic location between three different continents, Sicily and Southern Italy have long represented a major Mediterranean crossroad where different peoples and cultures came together over time. However, its multi-layered history of migration pathways and cultural exchanges, has made the reconstruction of its genetic history and population structure extremely controversial and widely debated. To address this debate, we surveyed the genetic variability of 326 accurately selected individuals from 8 different provinces of Sicily and Southern Italy, through a comprehensive evaluation of both Y-chromosome and mtDNA genomes. The main goal was to investigate the structuring of maternal and paternal genetic pools within Sicily and Southern Italy, and to examine their degrees of interaction with other Mediterranean populations. Our findings show high levels of within-population variability, coupled with the lack of significant genetic sub-structures both within Sicily, as well as between Sicily and Southern Italy. When Sicilian and Southern Italian populations were contextualized within the Euro-Mediterranean genetic space, we observed different historical dynamics for maternal and paternal inheritances. Y-chromosome results highlight a significant genetic differentiation between the North-Western and South-Eastern part of the Mediterranean, the Italian Peninsula occupying an intermediate position therein. In particular, Sicily and Southern Italy reveal a shared paternal genetic background with the Balkan Peninsula and the time estimates of main Y-chromosome lineages signal paternal genetic traces of Neolithic and post-Neolithic migration events. On the contrary, despite showing some correspondence with its paternal counterpart, mtDNA reveals a substantially homogeneous genetic landscape, which may reflect older population events or different demographic dynamics between males and females. Overall, both uniparental genetic structures and TMRCA

  6. Estimation of drought transition probabilities in Sicily making use of exogenous variables

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bonaccorso, Brunella; di Mauro, Giuseppe; Cancelliere, Antonino; Rossi, Giuseppe

    2010-05-01

    Drought monitoring and forecasting play a very important role for an effective drought management. A timely monitoring of drought features and/or forecasting of an incoming drought do make possible an effective mitigation of its impacts, more than in the case of other natural disasters (e.g. floods, earthquakes, hurricanes, etc.). An accurate selection of indices, able to monitor the main characteristics of droughts, is essential to help decision makers to implement appropriate preparedness and mitigation measures. Among the several proposed indices for drought monitoring, the Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI) has found widespread use to monitor dry and wet periods of precipitation aggregated at different time scales. Recently, some efforts have been made to analyze the role of SPI for drought forecasting, as well as to estimate transition probabilities between drought classes. In the present work, a model able to estimate transition probabilities from a current SPI drought class or from a current SPI value to future classes, corresponding to droughts of different severities, is presented and extended in order to include information provided by an exogenous variable, such as a large scale climatic index as the North Atlantic Oscillation Index (NAO). The model has been preliminarily applied and tested with reference to SPI series computed on average areal precipitation in Sicily island, Italy, making use of NAO as exogenous variable. Results seem to indicate that winter drought transition probabilities in Sicily are generally affected by NAO index. Furthermore, the statistical significance of such influence has been tested by means of a Montecarlo analysis, which indicates that the effect of NAO on drought transition in Sicily should be considered significant.

  7. Application and comparison of tsunami vulnerability models in the gulf of Siracusa, Sicily

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pagnoni, Gianluca; Tinti, Stefano; Rallo, Francesco

    2014-05-01

    Siracusa is one of the most important cities of the eastern coast of Sicily, that according to historical records and to the present knowledge of the tectonic setting is exposed to tsunamis generated by landslides on the Hyblean-Malta escarpment and by local and remote (Eastern Hellenic Arc) earthquakes. For this reason the area of Siracusa and Augusta has been selected as one of the test sites where to conduct specific studies within the European FP7 project ASTARTE. In this context, this work focuses on the tsunami vulnerability of buildings that are found in the coastal zone subject to inundation in the Gulf of Siracusa. The classification of buildings is carried out following two different schemes, namely the SCHEMA and PTVA (Papathoma Tsunami Vulnerability Assessment) method. The former was developed in the frame of the EU project SCHEMA and applied to a number of sites, including the city of Catania which is located along the same coast of Sicily, to the north of the area under study here. The latter was proposed by Papathoma (2003) and applied in the original form in the city of Heraklion, Crete, and in subsequent refined versions in Stromboli, Tyrrhenian sea, and in other regions of the world (United States, Australia and Indian Ocean). In our study, the classification of buildings in the potentially flooded areas starts from digital databases (e.g. CTR and CTN) produced by the region of Sicily, which provides building size and location and some other few parameters. In a second step, use is made of satellite imagery which allows a better classification, usually sufficient for the SCHEMA method but not for the PTVA approach. The next step consists in a field survey in the most exposed areas to determine the attributes necessary for the PTVA method and also to confirm the data obtained in the second step. This study highlights similarities and differences of the two vulnerability models, also posing attention to the resources that each classification

  8. Nitrate, sulphate and chloride contents in public drinking water supplies in Sicily, Italy.

    PubMed

    D'Alessandro, Walter; Bellomo, Sergio; Parello, Francesco; Bonfanti, Pietro; Brusca, Lorenzo; Longo, Manfredi; Maugeri, Roberto

    2012-05-01

    Water samples collected from public drinking water supplies in Sicily were analysed for electric conductivity and for their chloride, sulphate and nitrate contents. The samples were collected as uniformly as possible from throughout the Sicilian territory, with an average sampling density of about one sample for every 7,600 inhabitants. Chloride contents that ranged from 5.53 to 1,302 mg/l were correlated strongly with electric conductivity, a parameter used as a proxy for water salinity. The highest values are attributable to seawater contamination along the coasts of the island. High chloride and sulphate values attributable to evaporitic rock dissolution were found in the central part of Sicily. The nitrate concentrations ranged from 0.05 to 296 mg/l, with 31 samples (4.7% of the total) exceeding the maximum admissible concentration of 50 mg/l. Anomalous samples always came from areas of intensive agricultural usage, indicating a clear anthropogenic origin. The same parameters were also measured in bottled water sold in Sicily, and they all were within the ranges for public drinking water supplies. The calculated mean nitrate intake from consuming public water supplies (16.1 mg/l) did not differ significantly from that of bottled water (15.2 mg/l). Although the quality of public water supplies needs to be improved by eliminating those that do not comply with the current drinking water limits, at present it does not justify the high consumption of bottled water (at least for nitrate contents). PMID:21717203

  9. Molecular Epidemiological and Antibiotic Susceptibility Characterization of Brucella Isolates from Humans in Sicily, Italy▿

    PubMed Central

    Marianelli, Cinzia; Graziani, Caterina; Santangelo, Carmela; Xibilia, Maria Teresa; Imbriani, Alida; Amato, Rosa; Neri, Domenico; Cuccia, Mario; Rinnone, Sebastiano; Di Marco, Vincenzo; Ciuchini, Franco

    2007-01-01

    Brucellosis is a serious problem in Sicily. Brucella melitensis was identified as the species most frequently isolated in humans in Italy. No data, however, are available about the molecular epidemiological characterization of Brucella isolates from humans. We have conducted this study to molecularly characterize clinical isolates of Brucella spp. and to evaluate their antimicrobial susceptibilities. Twenty Brucella isolates were studied. Differential growth characteristics and DNA polymorphisms such as the restriction patterns of the PCR-amplified omp2a and omp2b genes, rpoB nucleotide sequencing, and multiple-locus variable-number tandem repeat analysis of 16 loci (MLVA-16) were used to characterize the strains. In vitro antibiotic susceptibility was determined by the E-test method on two different agar media, and the results were compared. All isolates were identified as B. melitensis biovar 3. rpoB nucleotide sequence analysis allowed the identification of two different genotypes of B. melitensis biovar 3. On the other hand, the MLVA-16 typing assay recognized 17 distinct genotypes. All isolates were sensitive to all tested antibiotics (rifampin, doxycycline, ciprofloxacin, ceftriaxone, and trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole), and the Mueller-Hinton agar plate is recommended for antibiotic susceptibility testing by the E-test method. Our findings identify B. melitensis biovar 3 as the etiological agent isolated in Sicily and encourage the use of both molecular methods, and in particular of the MLVA-16 assay, in epidemiological trace-back analysis. This study represents the first epidemiological data from molecular typing of Brucella strains circulating in Italy and, in particular, in eastern Sicily. PMID:17634297

  10. Exploiting teleconnection indices for probabilistic forecasting of drought class transitions in Sicily region (Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bonaccorso, Brunella; Cancelliere, Antonino

    2015-04-01

    In the present study two probabilistic models for short-medium term drought forecasting able to include information provided by teleconnection indices are proposed and applied to Sicily region (Italy). Drought conditions are expressed in terms of the Standardized Precipitation-Evapotranspiration Index (SPEI) at different aggregation time scales. More specifically, a multivariate approach based on normal distribution is developed in order to estimate: 1) on the one hand transition probabilities to future SPEI drought classes and 2) on the other hand, SPEI forecasts at a generic time horizon M, as functions of past values of SPEI and the selected teleconnection index. To this end, SPEI series at 3, 4 and 6 aggregation time scales for Sicily region are extracted from the Global SPEI database, SPEIbase , available at Web repository of the Spanish National Research Council (http://sac.csic.es/spei/database.html), and averaged over the study area. In particular, SPEIbase v2.3 with spatial resolution of 0.5° lat/lon and temporal coverage between January 1901 and December 2013 is used. A preliminary correlation analysis is carried out to investigate the link between the drought index and different teleconnection patterns, namely: the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), the Scandinavian (SCA) and the East Atlantic-West Russia (EA-WR) patterns. Results of such analysis indicate a strongest influence of NAO on drought conditions in Sicily with respect to other teleconnection indices. Then, the proposed forecasting methodology is applied and the skill in forecasting of the proposed models is quantitatively assessed through the application of a simple score approach and of performance indices. Results indicate that inclusion of NAO index generally enhance model performance thus confirming the suitability of the models for short- medium term forecast of drought conditions.

  11. Calibration and validation of rainfall thresholds for shallow landslide forecasting in Sicily, southern Italy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gariano, S. L.; Brunetti, M. T.; Iovine, G.; Melillo, M.; Peruccacci, S.; Terranova, O.; Vennari, C.; Guzzetti, F.

    2015-01-01

    Empirical rainfall thresholds are tools to forecast the possible occurrence of rainfall-induced shallow landslides. Accurate prediction of landslide occurrence requires reliable thresholds, which need to be properly validated before their use in operational warning systems. We exploited a catalogue of 200 rainfall conditions that have resulted in at least 223 shallow landslides in Sicily, southern Italy, in the 11-year period 2002-2011, to determine regional event duration-cumulated event rainfall (ED) thresholds for shallow landslide occurrence. We computed ED thresholds for different exceedance probability levels and determined the uncertainty associated to the thresholds using a consolidated bootstrap nonparametric technique. We further determined subregional thresholds, and we studied the role of lithology and seasonal periods in the initiation of shallow landslides in Sicily. Next, we validated the regional rainfall thresholds using 29 rainfall conditions that have resulted in 42 shallow landslides in Sicily in 2012. We based the validation on contingency tables, skill scores, and a receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis for thresholds at different exceedance probability levels, from 1% to 50%. Validation of rainfall thresholds is hampered by lack of information on landslide occurrence. Therefore, we considered the effects of variations in the contingencies and the skill scores caused by lack of information. Based on the results obtained, we propose a general methodology for the objective identification of a threshold that provides an optimal balance between maximization of correct predictions and minimization of incorrect predictions, including missed and false alarms. We expect that the methodology will increase the reliability of rainfall thresholds, fostering the operational use of validated rainfall thresholds in operational early warning system for regional shallow landslide forecasting.

  12. Crustal Structure of Northeastern Sicily, South Italy, From Tomographic Inversion of Local Earthquake Arrival-times

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Orecchio, B.; Aloisi, M.; Barberi, G.; Neri, G.

    After integrating the databases of the local and national seismic networks relative to lithospheric seismicity that occurred in and around Northeastern Sicily bet ween 1978 and 2001, we selected 932 events for 3D local tomography of P- and S-wave velocity. A dataset of 10241 P and 5597 S arrival times was inverted for Vp, Vs and hypocenter distributions using the SIMULPS12 algorithm. Analysis of the Derivative Weight Sum and Spread Function detected a rather good level of constraint of velocity at nodes of a grid with horizontal and vertical spacing of 10 and 6 km respectively, spanning the upper 30 Km beneath the area including Central and Northeastern Sicily, Southern Calabria and the Southeasternmost Tyrrhenian Sea. Standard deviation of arrival-time residuals after 3D inversion was about 20% lower than obtained by locating the same earthquakes using the minimum 1D model. Four main spatial domains can be distinguished in the obtained velocity structure: i) a high-velocity domain corresponding to Tyrrhenian structural units; ii) low-velocity domain corresponding to Sicilian units; iii) a domain corresponding to the Calabrian Arc characterized by positive velocity anomalies at shallow depth (nodes in the range 0-12 Km) and by negative velocity ones below (18-30 Km); iv) positive anomalies at deep nodes (18-30 Km) and negative anomalies above, in the area including the Etna volcano and the Ionian coast of Sicily near the volcanic edifice. Velocity distributions were analyzed jointly with the geophysical and geological information available in the literature in order to improve our knowledge of the crustal structure in the study area. Furthermore, comparisons were made with the most recent regional geodynamic models and led us to state that the crustal features evidenced in the present investigation match well with the model assuming gravity- induced southeastward roll-back of an Ionian lithospheric slab subducting beneath the Tyrrhenian sea.

  13. Interplay of plate convergence and arc migration in the central Mediterranean (Sicily and Calabria)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nijholt, Nicolai; Govers, Rob; Wortel, Rinus

    2016-04-01

    Key components in the current geodynamic setting of the central Mediterranean are continuous, slow Africa-Eurasia plate convergence (~5 mm/yr) and arc migration. This combination encompasses roll-back, tearing and detachment of slabs, and leads to back-arc opening and orogeny. Since ~30 Ma the Apennnines-Calabrian and Gibraltar subduction zones have shaped the western-central Mediterranean region. Lithospheric tearing near slab edges and the accompanying surface expressions (STEP faults) are key in explaining surface dynamics as observed in geologic, geophysical and geodetic data. In the central Mediterranean, both the narrow Calabrian subduction zone and the Sicily-Tyrrhenian offshore thrust front show convergence, with a transfer (shear) zone connecting the distinct SW edge of the former with the less distinct, eastern limit of the latter (similar, albeit on a smaller scale, to the situation in New Zealand with oppositely verging subduction zones and the Alpine fault as the transfer shear zone). The ~NNW-SSE oriented transfer zone (Aeolian-Sisifo-Tindari(-Ionian) fault system) shows transtensive-to-strike slip motion. Recent seismicity, geological data and GPS vectors in the central Mediterranean indicate that the region can be subdivided into several distinct domains, both on- and offshore, delineated by deformation zones and faults. However, there is discussion about the (relative) importance of some of these faults on the lithospheric scale. We focus on finding the best-fitting assembly of faults for the transfer zone connecting subduction beneath Calabria and convergence north of Sicily in the Sicily-Tyrrhenian offshore thrust front. This includes determining whether the Alfeo-Etna fault, Malta Escarpment and/or Ionian fault, which have all been suggested to represent the STEP fault of the Calabrian subduction zone, are key in describing the observed deformation patterns. We first focus on the present-day. We use geodynamic models to reproduce observed GPS

  14. Application and Comparison of Tsunami Vulnerability and Damage Models for the Town of Siracusa, Sicily, Italy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pagnoni, Gianluca; Tinti, Stefano

    2016-03-01

    Siracusa is one of the most important cities of the eastern coast of Sicily, which according to historical records and to the present knowledge of the tectonic setting, is exposed to tsunamis generated by landslides on the Malta escarpment and by local and remote (e.g., Eastern Hellenic Arc) earthquakes. For this reason, the area of Siracusa has been selected as one of the test sites to conduct specific studies within the European FP7 project ASTARTE. In this frame, this work focuses on the assessment of tsunami vulnerability of (and damage to) the building stock of the town. The analysis is carried out following two different models, namely the SCHEMA and the Papathoma Tsunami Vulnerability Assessment (PTVA-3) methods. Topographic and building stock data in the potentially flooded areas are taken from detailed digital databases produced by the region of Sicily, integrated with satellite and photographic imagery from Google Earth and further validated by field surveys. We have explored three inundation scenarios corresponding to a constant-level tsunami flooding with assumed sea level rise of 1, 3 and 5 m, and evaluated the damage to the town buildings using both methods that make use of a 5-degree scale. The main result is that the level of damage of both models is not consistent, and that consistency may be improved if one changes from a 5- to a 3-degree damage scale.

  15. Tidal currents in the Malta - Sicily Channel from high-frequency radar observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cosoli, Simone; Drago, Aldo; Ciraolo, Giuseppe; Capodici, Fulvio

    2015-10-01

    Two years of sea surface current measurements acquired since August 2012 by High-Frequency SeaSonde radars over the relatively shallow shelf area dividing the Maltese Islands from Sicily (the Malta - Sicily Channel), are used to characterize the surface tidal currents in the region. Tidal currents are generally weak and concentrated in the semidiurnal and diurnal bands, barely exceeding 3 cm s-1 in the semidiurnal band (M2, S2), and below 6 cm s-1 in the diurnal band (K1, O1). In the middle part of the basin, the M2 currents oscillate along the main Channel axis; on the contrary the S2 oscillations are oriented along the energetic Atlantic Ionian Stream (AIS) flow. Diurnal tides have a more circular pattern, also following the AIS path and with a significant intensification in proximity of the shelf break, thus suggesting a substantial contribution from internal tides in the region. Phase contours suggest the presence of amphidromic points for both the semidiurnal and diurnal constituents, located in the central area of the Channel for S2, O1 and K1, but slightly shifted towards north-west for the M2 component.

  16. High-resolution analysis of 1 day extreme precipitation in Sicily

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maugeri, Maurizio; Brunetti, Michele; Garzoglio, Mistral; Simolo, Claudia; Bertolini, Andrea

    2016-04-01

    Sicily, the major Mediterranean island, experienced several exceptional precipitation episodes and floods during the last century, with serious damage to human life and environment. A long term, rational planning of urban development is indispensable to protect the population and to avoid huge economic losses in the future. This requires a thorough knowledge of the distributional features of extreme precipitation over the complex territory of Sicily. In this study, we perform a detailed investigation of observed 1-day precipitation extremes and their frequency distribution, based on a dense data-set of high-quality, homogenized station records in 1921-2005. We estimate very high quantiles (return levels) corresponding to 10-, 50- and 100-yr return periods, as predicted by a generalized extreme value distribution. Return level estimates are produced on a regular high-resolution grid (30 arcsec) using a variant of regional frequency analysis combined with regression techniques. Results clearly reflect the complexity of this region, and show the high vulnerability of its eastern and northeastern parts as those prone to the most intense and potentially damaging events.

  17. High-resolution analysis of 1 day extreme precipitation in Sicily

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maugeri, M.; Brunetti, M.; Garzoglio, M.; Simolo, C.

    2015-04-01

    Sicily, the major Mediterranean island, experienced several exceptional precipitation episodes and floods during the last century, with dramatic consequences on human life and environment. A long term, rational planning of urban development is mandatory for protecting population and avoiding huge economic losses in the future. This requires a deep knowledge of the distributional features of extreme precipitation over the complex territory of Sicily. In the present study, we address this issue, and attempt a detailed investigation of observed 1-day precipitation extremes and their frequency distribution, based on a dense data-set of high-quality, homogenized station records in 1921-2005. We extrapolate very high quantiles (return levels) corresponding to 10-, 50- and 100-year return periods, as predicted by a generalized extreme value distribution. Return level estimates are produced on a regular high-resolution grid (30 arcsec) using a variant of regional frequency analysis combined with regression techniques. Results clearly reflect the complexity of this region, and make evident the high vulnerability of its eastern and northeastern parts as those prone to the most intense and potentially damaging events. This analysis thus provides an operational tool for extreme precipitation risk assessment and, at the same time, is an useful basis for validation and downscaling of regional climate models.

  18. High-resolution analysis of 1 day extreme precipitation in Sicily

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maugeri, M.; Brunetti, M.; Garzoglio, M.; Simolo, C.

    2015-10-01

    Sicily, a major Mediterranean island, has experienced several exceptional precipitation episodes and floods during the last century, with serious damage to human life and the environment. Long-term, rational planning of urban development is indispensable to protect the population and to avoid huge economic losses in the future. This requires a thorough knowledge of the distributional features of extreme precipitation over the complex territory of Sicily. In this study, we perform a detailed investigation of observed 1 day precipitation extremes and their frequency distribution, based on a dense data set of high-quality, homogenized station records in 1921-2005. We estimate very high quantiles (return levels) corresponding to 10-, 50- and 100-year return periods, as predicted by a generalized extreme value distribution. Return level estimates are produced on a regular high-resolution grid (30 arcsec) using a variant of regional frequency analysis combined with regression techniques. Results clearly reflect the complexity of this region, and show the high vulnerability of its eastern and northeastern parts as those prone to the most intense and potentially damaging events.

  19. Groundwater Nitrate Contamination Risk Assessment in Canicattì area (Sicily)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pisciotta, Antonino; Cusimano, Gioacchino; Favara, Rocco

    2010-05-01

    Groundwaters play a dominant role in the Sicily, because as most part of Mediterranean countries this island is interested by the phenomenon of desertification and the quality of the groundwater reservoir is one of the most important aim for the management policy strategies. During last decade most of the Italian regions the nitrate levels in river and groundwaters have increased gradually over mainly as a consequence of large-scale agricultural application of manure and fertilizers, thereby threatening drinking water quality. The excessive use of chemicals and fertilizers increases the risk to pollution of surface and groundwater from diffuse source, an important reflex to human health and the environment. The studied area is located in Canicattì (central Sicily, Italy), the current land use (grape, olive grove and almond) is the main source of groundwater pollution. In order to investigate the effect of the over farming on the groundwater quality we report the study on the potential risk of contamination from nitrate of agricultural origin through the join of the application of two parametric methods: the IPNOA method (the intrinsic nitrate contamination risk from Agricultural sources) applied to define the Nitrate Vulnerable Zones and the SINTACS method applied to determine the aquifer vulnerability to contamination.

  20. An outbreak of bovine tuberculosis in a fallow deer herd (Dama dama) in Sicily.

    PubMed

    Amato, Benedetta; Mignacca, Sebastian Alessandro; Pacciarini, Maria Lodovica; Vitale, Maria; Antoci, Salvatore; Cucinotta, Salvatore; Puleio, Roberto; Biasibetti, Elena; Fiasconaro, Michele; Capucchio, Maria Teresa; Di Marco Lo Presti, Vincenzo

    2016-06-01

    Wild ruminants have an important role in the epidemiology of bovine tuberculosis (bTB). This study describes an outbreak of bovine tuberculosis occurring in a fallow deer herd in Sicily. In 2012 a Sicilian herd of 47 animals was referred for cachexia. Pathological examination of 2 dead animals revealed disseminated granulomas predominantly involving the skin and subcutaneous tissues. Tissue samples were submitted for histological analysis, bacteriological culture, and biomolecular assay. PCR analysis identified Mycobacterium strains. Genotyping by spoligotyping and MIRU-VNTR profiles identified Mycobacterium bovis spoligotype SB0120 in both animals. In 2014, bTB skin testing of 28 fallow deer from the same group was positive in 4 and inconclusive in another 4. All 8 positive/inconclusive reactors were euthanized. Disseminated granulomatous lesions were noted in 6 of these animals, 3 of which (2 positive and 1 negative to skin tests) also presented cutaneous lesions. M. bovis spoligotype SB0120 was identified from all animals in which tuberculous-like lesions were observed, including 2 negative reactors. Many of the animals involved in this outbreak presented diffuse skin lesions, a potential route of transmission of M. bovis infection. Given the epidemiological role wildlife play in the maintenance of bTB infection and its potential risk for humans, a comprehensive monitoring plan for this zoonosis in wildlife species in Sicily is needed. PMID:27234548

  1. Celiac disease in subjects with type 1 diabetes mellitus: a prevalence study in western Sicily (Italy).

    PubMed

    Greco, Domenico; Pisciotta, Maria; Gambina, Francesco; Maggio, Filippo

    2013-02-01

    The association between celiac disease and type 1 diabetes mellitus is well known. Up to now, celiac disease prevalence in children and adults with type 1 diabetes in Sicily has not been reported. The aim of this study was to assess the prevalence of celiac disease in patients with type 1 diabetes mellitus who come from a defined geographical area in western Sicily and to investigate the clinical features of these subjects. The records of 492 consecutive patients with type 1 diabetes mellitus referred in a period of 5 years were analyzed. During the period of the survey, out of 492 patients with type 1 diabetes, 22 (4.5 %) had a previous diagnosis of celiac disease. There were 14 females and 8 males; these patients showed a mean age of 13 years at diabetes onset. Diagnosis of celiac disease was often simultaneous or subsequent to that of diabetes. Autoimmune thyroiditis was coexisting in 8 patients (36 %). Our data confirm, in a Sicilian population, the not unusual association between celiac disease and type 1 diabetes, although prevalence rate is lower than in others Italian studies. Autoimmune thyroiditis is present with high prevalence in these patients. Celiac disease diagnosis often followed onset of type 1 diabetes, particularly in female subjects with a young age at diabetes onset; therefore, in these subjects, an active search for the presence of celiac disease is warranted for many years after appearance of diabetes. PMID:22707396

  2. The Greeks in the West: genetic signatures of the Hellenic colonisation in southern Italy and Sicily.

    PubMed

    Tofanelli, Sergio; Brisighelli, Francesca; Anagnostou, Paolo; Busby, George B J; Ferri, Gianmarco; Thomas, Mark G; Taglioli, Luca; Rudan, Igor; Zemunik, Tatijana; Hayward, Caroline; Bolnick, Deborah; Romano, Valentino; Cali, Francesco; Luiselli, Donata; Shepherd, Gillian B; Tusa, Sebastiano; Facella, Antonino; Capelli, Cristian

    2016-03-01

    Greek colonisation of South Italy and Sicily (Magna Graecia) was a defining event in European cultural history, although the demographic processes and genetic impacts involved have not been systematically investigated. Here, we combine high-resolution surveys of the variability at the uni-parentally inherited Y chromosome and mitochondrial DNA in selected samples of putative source and recipient populations with forward-in-time simulations of alternative demographic models to detect signatures of that impact. Using a subset of haplotypes chosen to represent historical sources, we recover a clear signature of Greek ancestry in East Sicily compatible with the settlement from Euboea during the Archaic Period (eighth to fifth century BCE). We inferred moderate sex-bias in the numbers of individuals involved in the colonisation: a few thousand breeding men and a few hundred breeding women were the estimated number of migrants. Last, we demonstrate that studies aimed at quantifying Hellenic genetic flow by the proportion of specific lineages surviving in present-day populations may be misleading. PMID:26173964

  3. Fast geodetic strain-rates in eastern Sicily (southern Italy): New insights into block tectonics and seismic potential in the area of the great 1693 earthquake

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mastrolembo Ventura, Brunella; Serpelloni, Enrico; Argnani, Andrea; Bonforte, Alessandro; Bürgmann, Roland; Anzidei, Marco; Baldi, Paolo; Puglisi, Giuseppe

    2014-10-01

    Along the ˜500 km long Sicily-Calabria segment of the Nubia-Eurasia plate boundary GPS data highlight a complex, and debated, kinematic pattern. We focus on eastern Sicily, where the style of crustal deformation rapidly changes in the space of few tens of kilometers. In southeastern Sicily, struck by the 1693 MW˜7.4 earthquake, GPS measurements highlight a steep velocity gradient, with ˜2.4 mm/yr of ˜N-S shortening in ˜10 km, changing to broader extension (˜3 mm/yr in ˜60 km) in northern Sicily and shortening in the southern Tyrrhenian Sea. GPS data and kinematic elastic block models highlight a complex fragmentation of the Sicilian domain into three tectonic blocks, which move independently from Nubia, describing an overall clockwise rotation of this crustal domain with respect to Eurasia. Shortening in southeastern Sicily is associated with a system of high-angle reverse faults resulting from tectonic inversion of extensional faults at the northern tip of the Hyblean plateau. Extension in northern Sicily occurs on a broader deformation belt, developed on the former Kumeta-Alcantara line, extending west of Mount Etna toward the southwestern Tyrrhenian Sea, accommodating the faster rotation of the northeastern Sicily block with respect to central Sicily. Although the seismic potential of inland faults is not negligible, our results strengthen the hypothesis that the Malta escarpment is the likely source of the large 1693 earthquake and tsunami. The observed kinematics appears only subordinately driven by the Nubia-Eurasia convergence and the dynamics of the Mediterranean subduction system is likely playing a major role in governing block motions and active tectonics in Sicily.

  4. GPS velocity and strain fields in Sicily and southern Calabria, Italy: Updated geodetic constraints on tectonic block interaction in the central Mediterranean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Palano, M.; Ferranti, L.; Monaco, C.; Mattia, M.; Aloisi, M.; Bruno, V.; Cannavò, F.; Siligato, G.

    2012-07-01

    We present an improved rendition of the geodetic velocity and strain fields in Sicily and southern Calabria obtained through the analysis of 18 years of GPS observations from continuous and survey station networks. The dense spatial coverage of geodetic data provides precise quantitative estimates of previously established first-order active kinematic features, including: i) a narrow east-west-elongated belt of contraction (˜1-1.5 mm/yr) extending offshore northern Sicily from Ustica to Stromboli across the Aeolian Islands; ii) a narrow east-west-trending contractional belt located along the northern rim of the Hyblean Plateau in southern Sicily, with shortening at up to 4.4 mm/yr; iii) right motion (˜3.6 mm/yr) on the Aeolian-Tindari-Letojanni fault (ATLF) system, a main shear zone extending from the Aeolian Islands to the Ionian coast of Sicily, with significant transpression and transtension partitioned between discrete sectors of the fault; iv) transtension (˜1 mm/yr) across the Sicily Channel between Sicily and North Africa. We use geodetic observations coupled to geological constraints to better elucidate the interplay of crustal blocks revealed in the investigated area. In particular, we focus on the ATLF, which forms the primary boundary between the Sicilian and Calabrian blocks. The ATLF juxtaposes north-south contraction between Sicily and the Tyrrhenian block with northwest-southeast extension in northeastern Sicily and Calabria. Contraction between Sicily and Tyrrhenian blocks probably arises from the main Europe-Nubia convergence, although Sicily has a component of lateral motion away from Nubia. We found that convergence is not restricted to the northern offshore, as commonly believed, but is widely accommodated between the frontal belt and the northern rim of the Hyblean foreland in southern Sicily. Geodetic data also indicate that active right shear on the ATLF occurs to the southeast of the mapped fault array in northern Sicily, suggesting the

  5. Seismic stratigraphy and structural setting of the Adventure Plateau (Sicily Channel)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Civile, D.; Lodolo, E.; Alp, H.; Ben-Avraham, Z.; Cova, A.; Baradello, L.; Accettella, D.; Burca, M.; Centonze, J.

    2014-03-01

    Within the central Mediterranean, the northwestern sector of the Sicily Channel is the unique area where two independent tectonic processes can be analyzed: the building of the Sicilian-Maghrebian Chain occurred in Late Miocene and the continental lithospheric rifting of the northern African margin occurred since Early Pliocene. These two geodynamic processes generated a peculiar structural style that is largely recognizable in the Adventure Plateau. This plateau is the shallowest part of the Sicily Channel, where water depths do not generally exceed 150 m. It hosts several areas of geomorphic relief, which in some cases rise up to less than 20 m beneath sea-level. A series of submarine magmatic manifestations occur in this area, mainly associated with the extensional phase which produced the rift-related depressions of Pantelleria, Malta and Linosa. Seismic-stratigraphic and structural analyses, based on a large set of multichannel seismic reflection profiles and well information acquired mostly for commercial purposes in the 1970s and 1980s, have allowed us to reconstruct the Triassic-Quaternary sedimentary succession of the Adventure Plateau and define its structural setting. A broad lithological distinction can be made between the successions ranging from Triassic to Paleogene, predominantly carbonate, and the successions ranging from Miocene to Quaternary, predominantly siliciclastic. Three main structural belts have been identified within the Adventure Plateau: (1) the northern belt, affected during Late Miocene time by ESE-verging thrusts belonging to the External Thrust System orogenic domain, which represents the lowermost structural level of the Sicilian-Maghrebian Orogen; (2) the Apenninic-Maghrebian domain of the Sicilian-Maghrebian Orogen, which occupies the northwestern sector of the Adventure Plateau, and that is overthrusted on the External Thrust System orogenic domain during the Late Miocene; (3) the extensional belt of the southwestern sector of

  6. Modelling the distribution of outbreaks and Culicoides vectors in Sicily: towards predictive risk maps for Italy.

    PubMed

    Purse, B V; Caracappa, S; Marino, A M F; Tatem, A J; Rogers, D J; Mellor, P S; Baylis, M; Torina, A

    2004-01-01

    Vector (911 light-trap catches from 269 sites) and serological surveillance data were obtained during recent bluetongue (BT) outbreaks in Sicily. The distributions of Culicoides vectors are compared with that of bluetongue virus (BTV) to determine the relative role of different vectors in BTV transmission in Sicily. The 'best' climatic predictors of distribution for each vector species were selected from 40 remotely-sensed variables and altitude at a 1 km spatial resolution using discriminant analysis. These models were used to predict species presence in unsampled pixels across Italy. Although Culicoides imicola, the main European vector, was found in only 12% of sites, there was close correspondence between its spatial distribution and that of the 2000 and 2001 outbreaks. All three candidate vectors C. pulicaris, C. newsteadi and C. obsoletus group were widespread across 2002 outbreak sites but C. newsteadi was significantly less prevalent in outbreak versus non-outbreak sites in Messina and BTV has been isolated from wild-caught adults of both C. pulicaris and C. obsoletus in Italy. The yearly distribution and intensity of outbreaks is attributable to the distribution and abundance of the vectors operating in each year. Outbreaks were few and coastal in 2000 and 2001 due to the low abundance and prevalence of the vector, C. imicola. They were numerous and widespread in 2002, following hand-over of the virus to more prevalent and abundant novel vector species, C. pulicaris and C. obsoletus. Climatic determinants of distribution were species-specific, with those of C. obsoletus group and C. newsteadi predicted by temperature variables, and those of C. pulicaris and C. imicola determined mainly by normalised difference vegetation index (NDVI), a variable correlated with soil moisture, vegetation biomass and productivity. The predicted continuous presence of C. pulicaris along the Appenine mountains, from north to south Italy, suggests BTV transmission may be

  7. Evidence of a new branch in the surface circulation in the Sicily Channel

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jouini, Manel; Béranger, Karine; Arsouze, Thomas; Thiria, Sylvie; Beuvier, Jonathan; Crépon, Michel

    2015-04-01

    The Sicily Channel (SC) plays a key role in the Mediterranean circulation. The SC circulation can be described as a two-layer exchange of inflowing Atlantic Water (AW) and outflowing of dense eastern Mediterranean waters discharging in the Tyrrhenian Sea. In this study, we focus on the interannual variability of the surface circulation. At the SC entrance due to topographic effect, the Algerian Current splits into three branches, one entering into the Tyrrhenian Sea, the Bifurcation Tyrrhenian Current (BTC), trapped by the topography while the two others pass through the SC and enter into the Eastern Mediterranean. These later branches are the Atlantic Tunisian Current (ATC), and the Atlantic Ionian Stream (AIS). We investigated the interannual variability of the SC surface circulation using a 50-year simulation of a high resolution model of the whole Mediterranean Sea. This eddy-resolving NEMO-MED12 model was forced by daily atmospheric fields from ARPERA forcing during the 1958-2012 period. The first five years of the simulation are considered as the model spinup. To separate large and mesoscale variability, we first investigate the different important regimes by clustering 30-m depth currents into groups having close statistical properties, applying a neuronal network classifier, the Self Organizing Algorithm (SOM), which is an unsupervised classification method made of a competitive neural network structured in two layers. Secondly, we applied a Hierarchical Ascendant Classification method (HAC) to reduce the number of classes. We then obtained 8 typical circulation regimes, which have a strong seasonal signature. For examples, Classes 1 and 2 mainly occur in winter and present an enhancement of the ATC while Classes 3 and 4 mainly occur in summer and characterize an enhancement of the AIS. While investigating the 8 typical regimes, we can see particular inter-annual variability, especially with the absence of the AIS (Classes 2 and 7) or a very strong coastal

  8. Spectroscopic techniques applied to the characterization of decorated potteries from Caltagirone (Sicily, Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barilaro, D.; Barone, G.; Crupi, V.; Donato, M. G.; Majolino, D.; Messina, G.; Ponterio, R.

    2005-06-01

    The aim of the present work is the characterization of decorated pottery samples from Caltagirone (Sicily, Italy), a renowned production centre of this kind of artwork. These fragments were found during archaeological excavations and were attributed to historical periods extremely far in time from each other (from XVIII century b.C. to XVI a.C.). Therefore, we expect that the manufacture techniques result rather different over so long time. The measurements, performed by Fourier Transform-InfraRed (FT-IR) absorbance and micro-Raman scattering, allowed us a non-destructive study of so precious artefacts. Some pigments were identified, various elements of ceramic paste and glazed layer were characterized.

  9. Atmospheric Stability & Turbulence from Temperature Profiles over Sicily During Summer 2002 & 2003 HASI Balloon Campaigns

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Colombatti, G.; Ferri, F.; Angrilli, F.; Fulchignoni, M.

    2005-01-01

    Experimental results and interpretation of the temperature measurements data retrieved during the balloon campaigns (in 2002 and in 2003) for testing HASI (Huygens Atmospheric Structure Instrument), launched from the Italian Space Agency Base in Trapani (Sicily), are presented. Both ascending and descending phases are analysed; data reveal interesting features near the tropopause (present in the region between 11km-14km), where temperature cooling can be related to layers with strong winds (2002 flight); in the troposphere a multistratified structure of the temperature field is observed and discussed (particularly in the 2003 flight) Finally, stability and turbulence of the atmosphere are analysed; the buoyancy N2 parameters for both the flights show lowers value respect to standard tropospheric values corresponding to a lower stability of the atmosphere; still there is a higher stability above the tropopause. The energy spectrum of temperature data is consistent with the Kolmogorov theory: the characteristic k(sup -5/3) behaviour is reproduced.

  10. Morphological and molecular characterization of Pratylenchus lentis n. sp. (Nematoda: Pratylenchidae) from Sicily

    PubMed Central

    De Luca, F.; Handoo, Z. A.; Di Vito, M.

    2008-01-01

    Pratylenchus lentis n. sp. parasitizing roots of lentil in Sicily, Italy, is described and illustrated. The new species is characterized by a relatively high lip region with three annuli, mean stylet length of 16 μm, with anteriorly flattened knobs, cylindrical body with a relatively anterior vulva, large and ovoid spermatheca full of sperm, plump tail with truncate, irregularly annulated terminus, and by the presence of males. Molecular ITS-RFLP and sequencing analyses of the new species showed clear differences from other most morphologically similar species, such as P. thornei and P. mediterraneus. Preliminary host range tests revealed that chickpea, pea, faba bean and durum wheat are good hosts of P. lentis n. sp., whereas common bean, alfalfa and barley are less robust hosts and tomato, bell pepper, eggplant, melon and sunflower are poor hosts for the nematode. PMID:19440258

  11. The Hyblean xenolith suite (Sicily): an unexpected legacy of the Ionian-Tethys realm

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Manuella, Fabio Carmelo; Scribano, Vittorio; Carbone, Serafina; Brancato, Alfonso

    2015-07-01

    The extensive study of a great number of deep-seated xenoliths from Tortonian tuff-breccia pipes in the Hyblean area (Sicily) revealed the following fundamental evidence: (1) typical continental crust rocks are completely absent in the entire xenolith suite; (2) mantle ultramafics are more abundant than gabbroids; (3) sheared oxide-gabbros, closely resembling those from oceanic fracture zones, are relatively common; (4) secondary mineral assemblages, compatible with alteration processes in serpentinite-hosted hydrothermal systems, occur both in peridotites and gabbros. Among the products of this hydrothermal activity, organic compounds, having abiotic origin via Fischer-Tropsch synthesis, occur in some hydrothermally altered gabbro and ultramafic xenoliths, as well as in hydrothermal clays. Moreover, the U-Pb dating of hydrothermal zircon grains, hosted in a xenolith of metasomatized tectonic breccia, indicated an Early-Middle Triassic age of the fossil hydrothermal system. Another line of evidence for the oceanic nature of the Hyblean-Pelagian basement is the complete absence of continental crust lithologies (granites, felsic metaigneous, and metasedimentary rocks) in outcrops and in boreholes, and the oceanic affinity of the Tertiary volcanic rocks from the Hyblean Plateau and the Sicily Channel (Pantelleria and Linosa Islands), which lack of any geochemical signature for continental crust contamination. A reappraisal of existing geophysical data pointed out that serpentinites form the dominant lithologies in the lithospheric basement of the Hyblean-Pelagian area down to a mean depth of 19 km, which represents the regional Moho considered as the serpentinization front, marking the transition from serpentinites to unaltered peridotites. On these grounds, we confirm that Hyblean xenoliths contain mineralogical, compositional, and textural evidence for tectonic, magmatic, and hydrothermal processes indicating the existence of fossil oceanic core complexes, in the

  12. Resistance to clarithromycin and genotypes in Helicobacter pylori strains isolated in Sicily.

    PubMed

    Fasciana, Teresa; Calà, Cinzia; Bonura, Celestino; Di Carlo, Enza; Matranga, Domenica; Scarpulla, Giuseppe; Manganaro, Michele; Camilleri, Salvatore; Giammanco, Anna

    2015-11-01

    The resistance of Helicobacter pylori strains to clarithromycin is increasing in several developed countries and their association with a genetic pattern circulation has been variously explained as related to different geographical areas. In this study we have reported: the prevalence of the resistance of H. pylori, isolated in Sicily, to clarithromycin; the principal point of mutation associated with this resistance; and the more frequent association between resistance to clarithromycin and cagA, the EPIYA motif, and the vacA and oipA genes. Resistance to clarithromycin was detected in 25% of cases, the main genetic mutation involved being A2143G. The cagA gene was present in 48% of cases and the distribution of the EPIYA motif was: ABC in 35 cases; ABCC in 8 cases; ABCCC in 2 cases; ABC-ABCC in 2 cases; and ABC-ABCC-ABCCC in 1 case. Regarding the vacA allele, an s1i1m1 combination was detected in 35% of cases, s1i1m2 in 12 %, s1i2m2 in 12%, s2i2m2 in 40%, and a double s1m1-m2 mosaic in 1% of cases. The status of the oipA gene was 'off' in 45% of cases and 'on' in 55%. Resistance to clarithromycin was found to be high in Sicily, but no correlation was found among resistance to clarithromycin, the vacA gene and oipA status; a higher correlation was observed between resistant strains and cagA-negative strains. PMID:26338221

  13. A Molecular Survey of Rickettsia felis in Fleas from Cats and Dogs in Sicily (Southern Italy)

    PubMed Central

    Giudice, Elisabetta; Di Pietro, Simona; Alaimo, Antonio; Blanda, Valeria; Lelli, Rossella; Francaviglia, Francesco; Caracappa, Santo; Torina, Alessandra

    2014-01-01

    Rickettsia felis, the agent of flea-borne spotted fever, has a cosmopolitan distribution. Its pathogenic role in humans has been demonstrated through molecular and serologic tests in several cases. The cat flea (Ctenocephalides felis) is considered the main reservoir and the biological vector. The aim of this study was to assess the presence and occurrence of R. felis in fleas collected from dogs and cats in various sites of Palermo (Sicily). Between August and October 2012, 134 fleas were collected from 42 animals: 37 fleas from 13 dogs and 97 fleas from 29 cats. Two species of fleas were identified: 132 Ctenocephalides felis (98.51%) collected on all animals and only two C. canis (1.49%) on one dog. Out of 132 C. felis, 34 (25.76%), 12 from dogs (32.43%) and 22 (22.68%) from cats, were positive for R. felis DNA by a polymerase chain reaction (PCR), confirmed by sequencing. The only two C. canis fleas were negative. About half of examined animals (47.62%, 20/42) were infested with at least one infected flea; in particular 46.15% of dogs (6/13) and 48.28% of cats (14/29). It seems that in the Palermo district there is a peri-domestic cycle, with a relatively high prevalence of R. felis infection in the cat flea, an insect widely diffused in home environments and which can frequently bite humans. The results also suggest that R. felis should be considered in the human differential diagnosis of any spotted-like fever or febrile illness without a clear source of infection in Sicily, especially if the patient is known to have been exposed to flea bites. PMID:25203839

  14. Organochlorine pesticides and polychlorinated biphenyls in common buzzard (Buteo buteo) from Sicily (Italy).

    PubMed

    Licata, Patrizia; Naccari, Francesco; Dugo, Giacomo; Fotia, Vincenzo; Lo Turco, Vincenzo; Potorti, Angela Giorgia; Di Bella, Giuseppa

    2012-05-01

    In the present study, we investigated the concentrations and distribution of organochlorine pesticides (OCs) and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in intestine, liver, and muscle samples of 11 common buzzards (Buteo buteo) from Sicily used as bioindicator for monitoring pollution in environment. All samples of common buzzards were collected at the "Recovery Center of Wild Fauna" of Palermo, through the Zooprophilactic Institute. Quantitative determination of OCs and PCBs in the samples examined has been carried out using HRGC-ECD and GC-MS. The results obtained show the presence of concentrations of ∑DDT and ∑PCB in almost all samples. Regarding ∑DDT (4,4(')-DDE, 2,4(')-DDD, 4,4(')-DDD, 2,4(')-DDT, and 4,4(')-DDT), the highest concentrations were found in intestine (0.411 ± 0.050 μg/g) followed by muscle (0.130 ± 0.017 μg/g) and liver samples (0.109 ± 0.014 μg/g). As regards the ∑PCB congeners (PCB-28, PCB-52, PCB-95, PCB-99, PCB-101, PCB-110, PCB-138, PCB-146, PCB-149, PCB-151, PCB-153, PCB-170, PCB-177, PCB-180, PCB-183, and PCB-187), the highest concentrations were found in intestine (1.686 ± 0.144 μg/g) followed by liver (1.064 ± 0.162 μg/g) and muscle samples (0.797 ± 0.078 μg/g). Our data deserve particular attention not only for their significance but especially because they were recorded in Sicily, a region with a very low risk of environmental pollution due to the shortage of industries. PMID:21739282

  15. Autosomal microsatellite and mtDNA genetic analysis in Sicily (Italy).

    PubMed

    Romano, V; Calì, F; Ragalmuto, A; D'Anna, R P; Flugy, A; De Leo, G; Giambalvo, O; Lisa, A; Fiorani, O; Di Gaetano, C; Salerno, A; Tamouza, R; Charron, D; Zei, G; Matullo, G; Piazza, A

    2003-01-01

    DNA samples from 465 blood donors living in 7 towns of Sicily, the largest island of Italy, have been collected according to well defined criteria, and their genetic heterogeneity tested on the basis of 9 autosomal microsatellite and mitochondrial DNA polymorphisms for a total of 85 microsatellite allele and 10 mtDNA haplogroup frequencies. A preliminary account of the results shows that: a) the samples are genetically heterogeneous; b) the first principal coordinates of the samples are correlated more with their longitude than with their latitude, and this result is even more remarkable when one outlier sample (Butera) is not considered; c) distances among samples calculated from allele and haplogroup frequencies and from the isonymy matrix are weakly correlated (r = 0.43, P = 0.06) but such correlation disappears (r = 0.16) if the mtDNA haplogroups alone are taken into account; d) mtDNA haplogroups and microsatellite distances suggest settlements of people occurred at different times: divergence times inferred from microsatellite data seem to describe a genetic composition of the town of Sciacca mainly derived from settlements after the Roman conquest of Sicily (First Punic war, 246 BC), while all other divergence times take root from the second to the first millennium BC, and therefore seem to backdate to the pre-Hellenistic period. A more reliable association of these diachronic genetic strata to different historical populations (e.g. Sicani, Elymi, Siculi), if possible, must be postponed to the analysis of more samples and hopefully more informative uniparental DNA markers such as the recently available DHPLC-SNP polymorphisms of the Y chromosome. PMID:12556234

  16. Holocene vegetation and fire history of the mountains of northern Sicily (Italy)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Tinner, Willy; Vescovi, Elisa; Van Leeuwen, Jacqueline; Colombaroli, Daniele; Henne, Paul; Kaltenrieder, Petra; Morales-Molino, Cesar; Beffa, Giorgia; Gnaegi, Bettina; Van der Knaap, Pim W O; La Mantia, Tommaso; Pasta, Salvatore

    2016-01-01

    Knowledge about vegetation and fire history of the mountains of Northern Sicily is scanty. We analysed five sites to fill this gap and used terrestrial plant macrofossils to establish robust radiocarbon chronologies. Palynological records from Gorgo Tondo, Gorgo Lungo, Marcato Cixé, Urgo Pietra Giordano and Gorgo Pollicino show that under natural or near natural conditions, deciduous forests (Quercus pubescens, Q. cerris, Fraxinus ornus, Ulmus), that included a substantial portion of evergreen broadleaved species (Q. suber, Q. ilex, Hedera helix), prevailed in the upper meso-mediterranean belt. Mesophilous deciduous and evergreen broadleaved trees (Fagus sylvatica, Ilex aquifolium) dominated in the natural or quasi-natural forests of the oro-mediterranean belt. Forests were repeatedly opened for agricultural purposes. Fire activity was closely associated with farming, providing evidence that burning was a primary land use tool since Neolithic times. Land use and fire activity intensified during the Early Neolithic at 5000 bc, at the onset of the Bronze Age at 2500 bc and at the onset of the Iron Age at 800 bc. Our data and previous studies suggest that the large majority of open land communities in Sicily, from the coastal lowlands to the mountain areas below the thorny-cushion Astragalus belt (ca. 1,800 m a.s.l.), would rapidly develop into forests if land use ceased. Mesophilous Fagus-Ilex forests developed under warm mid Holocene conditions and were resilient to the combined impacts of humans and climate. The past ecology suggests a resilience of these summer-drought adapted communities to climate warming of about 2 °C. Hence, they may be particularly suited to provide heat and drought-adaptedFagus sylvatica ecotypes for maintaining drought-sensitive Central European beech forests under global warming conditions.

  17. New Spotted Fever Group Rickettsia in a Rhipicephalus turanicus Tick Removed from a Child in Eastern Sicily, Italy

    PubMed Central

    Eremeeva, Marina E.; Stromdahl, Ellen Y.

    2011-01-01

    A new genotype of spotted fever group Rickettsia (SFGR) was identified in Rhipicephalus turanicus from eastern Sicily. On the basis of current molecular criteria, the genetic characteristics obtained from multiple locus sequence typing satisfy the requirements for Candidatus status of this SFGR. Further detection and identification of this SFGR during entomological and clinical surveys will be required to establish the prevalence of this Rickettsia and its potential pathogenicity for humans. PMID:21212209

  18. Bioaccumulation of trace elements in the sandhopper Talitrus saltator (Montagu) from the Ionian sandy coasts of Sicily.

    PubMed

    Conti, Erminia; Dattilo, Sandro; Costa, Giovanni; Puglisi, Concetto

    2016-07-01

    The Ionian beaches of Sicily are of particular ecological interest because they include the basin of the largest active volcano in Europe and hosts both sites subject to natural protection constraints, as well as important industrial settlements. Consequently, the possibilities for these areas to become polluted are numerous. The sandhopper Talitrus saltator has proven to be a good bioindicator of contamination by numerous trace metals on some European coasts. Nevertheless, no data are available for the populations inhabiting the shores of the southern Mediterranean. Now, as metal accumulation has been shown to vary intraspecifically, the aim of this study was to evaluate trace metal accumulation in adults of T. saltator inhabiting Ionian coastal areas of Sicily and make an assessment of natural and anthropogenic metal pollution of this strip of coast. We also extended our survey to As, Co, Mo, Se, Sn and V never investigated before in this species. Significant differences in metal concentration among sites were found in both sand samples and amphipod tissues. The highest metal content was observed near the mouth of Simeto, the longest river of Sicily which collects waters coming from the volcanic territory of Mount Etna. The bioaccumulation of Cd, Cu, Hg and Zn in T. saltator is fully confirmed; it is also proven for As and Mo and assumed for Cr, Fe, Mn and V. Our outcomes let us to evaluate the prevailing influence of telluric contamination of the Ionian sandy shores of Sicily by trace metals. We also come to the conclusion that in the northern sites, pollution originates from volcanic emission while anthropogenic influence prevails in the southern ones. PMID:26990940

  19. Persistence and co-occurrence of demersal nurseries in the Strait of Sicily (central Mediterranean): Implications for fishery management

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Garofalo, G.; Fortibuoni, T.; Gristina, M.; Sinopoli, M.; Fiorentino, F.

    2011-08-01

    This study investigated the nurseries of seven commercially important demersal species of the northern sector of the Strait of Sicily (central Mediterranean): red mullet, European hake, horned octopus, deep-water rose shrimp, greater forkbeard, Norway lobster and giant red shrimp. An eleven-year series of data collected through experimental trawling in the Strait of Sicily during spring and autumn was analyzed. The spatio-temporal persistence of the high-density aggregations (hot spots) of juvenile individuals in their first year of life was investigated to identify habitats that serve as nurseries. The density of recruits within the persistent nurseries was used as a proxy of the unit area contribution of individuals which recruit to the adult population. The spatial distribution patterns of the recruits of most the species were well defined and very stable in the long term. Persistent and potentially highly productive nurseries of European hake, deep-water rose shrimp and greater forkbeard were identified off the southern coast of Sicily. Persistent areas of recruits concentration were also observed for the other species investigated, but their specific potential contribution of individuals to the adult population was not substantial compared to adjacent grounds. The close or overlapped localization of sites which regularly host vulnerable life stages of different exploited species, revealed an area of great ecological significance which probably plays a major role in the dynamics of the fishery resources in the Strait of Sicily. Appropriate spatial protection measures of this area, including marine protected area designation, could complement conventional management approach for ensuring the long-term sustainability of these fisheries and stocks conservation.

  20. Paleoseismological investigation offshore eastern Sicily and Calabria (Ionian Sea) and possible origin of megaturbidites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gutscher, M. A.; San Pedro, L.; Babonneau, N.; Cattaneo, A.

    2014-12-01

    E Sicily and Calabria have been repeatedly struck by destructive historical earthquakes and tsunamis (1693 Catania M7.4, 1908 Messina 7.2). The latter triggered a submarine landslide and turbidity current that ruptured submarine cables. We present the preliminary results of a paleoseismological investigation on a set of deep marine sediment cores from the Ionian Sea acquired during the CIRCEE survey (R/V Le Suroit in Oct. 2013). The objective is to improve our understanding of the chronology and origin of large catastrophic events, which have affected the area. One of the thickest and well known deposits is the up to 10-12 m thick Augias "homogenite" (or megaturbidite) which covers the entire floor of the Ionian abyssal plain and represents a volume of ~100km3. The origin of this deposit once thought to be associated to the Santorini collapse event dated at 3.5 ka (Cita et al., 1996) is enigmatic and more recent work suggests it may have been caused by the 365 AD Crete mega-thrust earthquake (Polonia et al., 2013) In order to better understand the extreme events that led to such deposits in the Ionian abyssal plain and along the Sicily/ Malta slope, our study aims to correlate the megaturbidites observed in the slope and in the deep Ionian basin by CHIRP echosounder profiles and sedimentary facies analysis. Seismic profiles show several superposed acoustically transparent units identified as megaturbidites. The Augias megaturbidite was completely sampled in 6 new cores. An older megaturbidite, possibly the Deeper Transparent Layer (DTL), is also sampled in 3 new cores. Geochemical signatures, thicknesses and grain sizes show wide variability for the same deposit among the cores. For example, the thickness of the Augias deposit varies between 70 cm and 605 cm, and the lithology and sedimentary structures of the base of the deposit is also highly variable, ranging from massive and laminated medium sand to silty-clay. For the two megaturbidites described in the cores

  1. Predicting storm-triggered debris flow events: application to the 2009 Ionian Peloritan disaster (Sicily, Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cama, M.; Lombardo, L.; Conoscenti, C.; Agnesi, V.; Rotigliano, E.

    2015-08-01

    The main assumption on which landslide susceptibility assessment by means of stochastic modelling lies is that the past is the key to the future. As a consequence, a stochastic model able to classify past known landslide events should be able to predict a future unknown scenario as well. However, storm-triggered multiple debris flow events in the Mediterranean region could pose some limits on the operative validity of such an expectation, as they are typically resultant of a randomness in time recurrence and magnitude and a great spatial variability, even at the scale of small catchments. This is the case for the 2007 and 2009 storm events, which recently hit north-eastern Sicily with different intensities, resulting in largely different disaster scenarios. The study area is the small catchment of the Itala torrent (10 km2), which drains from the southern Peloritani Mountains eastward to the Ionian Sea, in the territory of the Messina province (Sicily, Italy). Landslides have been mapped by integrating remote and field surveys, producing two event inventories which include 73 debris flows, activated in 2007, and 616 debris flows, triggered by the 2009 storm. Logistic regression was applied in order to obtain susceptibility models which utilize a set of predictors derived from a 2 m cell digital elevation model and a 1 : 50 000 scale geologic map. The research topic was explored by performing two types of validation procedures: self-validation, based on the random partition of each event inventory, and chrono-validation, based on the time partition of the landslide inventory. It was therefore possible to analyse and compare the performances both of the 2007 calibrated model in predicting the 2009 debris flows (forward chrono-validation), and vice versa of the 2009 calibrated model in predicting the 2007 debris flows (backward chrono-validation). Both of the two predictions resulted in largely acceptable performances in terms of fitting, skill and reliability

  2. Predicting storm triggered debris flow events: application to the 2009 Ionian-Peloritan disaster (Sicily, Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cama, M.; Lombardo, L.; Conoscenti, C.; Rotigliano, R.

    2015-03-01

    The main assumption on which landslide susceptibility assessment by means of stochastic modelling lays is that the past is the key to the future. As a consequence, a stochastic model able to classify a past known landslide scenario should be able to predict a future unknown one as well. However, storm triggered landslide events in the Mediterranean region could pose some limits on the operative validity of such expectation, as they typically result by a randomness in time recurrence and magnitude. This is the case of the 2007/09 couple of storm events, which recently hit north-eastern Sicily resulting in largely different disaster scenarios. The purpose of this study is to test whether a susceptibility model based on stepwise binary logistic regression is able to predict a storm triggered debris flow scenario. The study area is the small catchment of the Itala torrent (10 km2), which drains from the southern Peloritan Mountains eastward to the Ionian sea, in the province of the Messina territory (Sicily, Italy). The shallow landslides activated in the occasion of two close intense rainfall events have been mapped by integrating remote and field surveys, producing two event inventories which include 73 landslides, activated in 2007, and 616 landslides, triggered by the 2009 storm. The set of predictors were derived from a 2 m cell digital elevation model and a 1 : 50 000 scale geologic map. The topic of the research was explored by performing two types of validation procedures: self-validation, based on the random partition of each event inventory and chrono-validation, based on the time partition of the landslide inventory. It was therefore possible to analyse and compare the performances both of the 2007-calibrated model in predicting the 2009 landslides (forward chronovalidation) and vice versa of the 2009-calibrated model in predicting the 2007 landslides (backward chronovalidation). Both the two predictions resulted in largely acceptable performances, in terms

  3. Analysis of spatial and temporal rainfall trends in Sicily during the 1921-2012 period

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liuzzo, Lorena; Bono, Enrico; Sammartano, Vincenzo; Freni, Gabriele

    2015-07-01

    Precipitation patterns worldwide are changing under the effects of global warming. The impacts of these changes could dramatically affect the hydrological cycle and, consequently, the availability of water resources. In order to improve the quality and reliability of forecasting models, it is important to analyse historical precipitation data to account for possible future changes. For these reasons, a large number of studies have recently been carried out with the aim of investigating the existence of statistically significant trends in precipitation at different spatial and temporal scales. In this paper, the existence of statistically significant trends in rainfall from observational datasets, which were measured by 245 rain gauges over Sicily (Italy) during the 1921-2012 period, was investigated. Annual, seasonal and monthly time series were examined using the Mann-Kendall non-parametric statistical test to detect statistically significant trends at local and regional scales, and their significance levels were assessed. Prior to the application of the Mann-Kendall test, the historical dataset was completed using a geostatistical spatial interpolation technique, the residual ordinary kriging, and then processed to remove the influence of serial correlation on the test results, applying the procedure of trend-free pre-whitening. Once the trends at each site were identified, the spatial patterns of the detected trends were examined using spatial interpolation techniques. Furthermore, focusing on the 30 years from 1981 to 2012, the trend analysis was repeated with the aim of detecting short-term trends or possible changes in the direction of the trends. Finally, the effect of climate change on the seasonal distribution of rainfall during the year was investigated by analysing the trend in the precipitation concentration index. The application of the Mann-Kendall test to the rainfall data provided evidence of a general decrease in precipitation in Sicily during the

  4. Holocene environmental and climatic changes at Gorgo Basso, a coastal lake in southern Sicily, Italy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tinner, Willy; van Leeuwen, Jacqueline F. N.; Colombaroli, Daniele; Vescovi, Elisa; van der Knaap, W. O.; Henne, Paul D.; Pasta, Salvatore; D'Angelo, Stefania; La Mantia, Tommaso

    2009-07-01

    We used a new sedimentary record to reconstruct the Holocene vegetation and fire history of Gorgo Basso, a coastal lake in south-western Sicily (Italy). Pollen and charcoal data suggest a fire-prone open grassland near the site until ca 10,000 cal yr BP (8050 cal BC), when Pistacia shrubland expanded and fire activity declined, probably in response to increased moisture availability. Evergreen Olea europaea woods expanded ca 8400 to decline abruptly at 8200 cal yr BP, when climatic conditions became drier at other sites in the Mediterranean region. Around 7000 cal yr BP evergreen broadleaved forests ( Quercus ilex, Quercus suber and O. europaea) expanded at the cost of open communities. The expansion of evergreen broadleaved forests was associated with a decline of fire and of local Neolithic ( Ficus carica-Cerealia based) agriculture that had initiated ca 500 years earlier. Vegetational, fire and land-use changes ca 7000 cal yr BP were probably caused by increased precipitation that resulted from (insolation-forced) weakening of the monsoon and Hadley circulation ca 8000-6000 cal yr BP. Low fire activity and dense coastal evergreen forests persisted until renewed human activity (probably Greek, respectively Roman colonists) disrupted the forest ca 2700 cal yr BP (750 BC) and 2100 cal yr BP (150 BC) to gain open land for agriculture. The intense use of fire for this purpose induced the expansion of open maquis, garrigue, and grassland-prairie environments (with an increasing abundance of the native palm Chamaerops humilis). Prehistoric land-use phases after the Bronze Age seem synchronous with those at other sites in southern and central Europe, possibly as a result of climatic forcing. Considering the response of vegetation to Holocene climatic variability as well as human impact we conclude that under (semi-)natural conditions evergreen broadleaved Q. ilex- O. europaea (s.l.) forests would still dominate near Gorgo Basso. However, forecasted climate change and

  5. Evidence for activity of the Calabrian arc system and implications for historical seismicity in Eastern Sicily

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gallais, F.; Gutscher, M.-A.; Graindorge, D.; Polonia, A.

    2009-04-01

    The Wadati-Benioff zone under Calabria and the Tyrrhenian Sea is located in the centre of the Mediterranean Sea, a region characterized by complex tectonics. The presence of deep earthquakes under the Tyrrhenian Sea to a depth of 500 km, depicting an Ionian slab dipping about 70° towards the NW (Selvaggi and Chiarabba, 95), related with an active volcanic arc (the Aeolian Islands). The Calabrian peninsula is among the most seismically active regions in the Mediterranean area. Several historical seismic events, such as 1169 and 1693 earthquakes, reached MCS intensities of XI and are associated with destructive tsunami (Piatanesi and Tinti, 1998). The source of these two strongest earthquakes has still not been identified with certainty. The 1693 earthquake struck Eastern Sicily (60000 people killed) and generated a 5-10 m high tsunami (Piatanesi and Tinti, 1998). The 1169 earthquake had similar intensities and a comparable isoseismal pattern, suggesting an equivalent source. Because of the tsunami generated in 1693 and because the isoseismals are open to the sea, the source region appears to be offshore. The subduction fault plane would then be a good candidate for the 1693 event. However, a lack of instrumentally recorded thrust earthquakes, characteristic of active subduction zone, suggests that if subduction is active, the fault plane may be locked since the instrumental period. Reported recent GPS motions suggest that the subduction of the Ionian lithosphere beneath the Tyrrhenian basin plays an minor role in controlling the active deformation of the Eurasia-Nubia plate boundary, but may be locally still active in particular in the Calabrian arc (D'Agostino et al., 08). Moreover the offshore accretionary wedge is known to include compressional anticlines and ongoing hydrological activity (mud volcanoes). We present preliminary results from reprocessed 96-channels seismic reflection profiles acquired during the French "Archimede" cruise (1997) crossing the

  6. Evidences of a Lithospheric Fault Zone in the Sicily Channel Continental Rift (Southern Italy) from Instrumental Seismicity Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Parisi, L.; Calo, M.

    2013-12-01

    The Sicily Channel continental rift is located in the African Plate and is submerged by a shallow sea extending from the northern coast of Africa to the southern coast of Sicily (southern Italy). The area is affected by an extensional regime since early Pliocene, which thins the continental crust and produces NW-SE oriented Pantelleria, Linosa and Malta grabens. The rift-related volcanic activity is represented by Pantelleria and Linosa Islands and a series of magmatic manifestations roughly NNE-SSW aligned, from Linosa Island to the Nameless Bank, in proximity of the Sicilian coast. Recent rapid magmatic ascents occurred along the strip near to the Sicilian coast in a region named Graham Bank. The NNE-SSW strip has already been recognised as a separation belt between the western sector of the rift (Pantelleria graben) and the eastern one (Linosa and Malta grabens). Seismic profiles suggest the presence of near vertical structures associated with strike slip fault zones. Bathymetric data show a 15-20 km wide zone characterised by several shallow basins irregularly alternated by topographic highs. However, evidences of a N-S or NNE-SSW orientated faults have not been found. In this work we re-localised the instrumental seismicity recorded between 1981 and 2012 in the Sicily Channel and western Sicily using the Double Difference method (Waldhauser, 2001, 2012) and 3D Vp and Vs models (Calò et al., 2013). The statistical analysis of the relocated seismicity together with the study of seismic energy release distribution allows us to describe the main patterns associated with the active faults in the western Sicily Straits. Here we find that most of the events in the Sicily Channel are highly clustered between 12.5°- 13.5°E and 35.5°-37°N with hypocentral depth between 5-40 km, reaching in some cases 70 km of depth. Seismic events seem to be aligned along a sub-vertical shear zone that is long at least 250 km and oriented approximately NNE-SSW. The spatial

  7. Relationships between seismicity and tectonic in northern Sicily and southern Tyrrhenian: some important open problems.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Orioli, Silvia; Giunta, Giuseppe; Giorgianni, Alessandra; di Trapani, Francesco; Luzio, Dario

    2009-04-01

    The widespread seismic activity which characterizes the Northern Sicily and its Tyrrhenian off-shore, is related to a very complex geodynamic context. The different tectonic structures are associated, first, to the collision between African and European Plate, and then to the evolution of Tyrrhenian Basin. Sicily represents the easternmost sector of Maghrebian Chain, built since Oligocene, by the foreland migration of foredeep-deformation front couple. The recent deformation pattern of Sicilian Maghrebides is interpreted as a result of brittle and brittle-ductile neotectonic structures with strike-slip kinematics developed since Middle-Late Miocene in the internal zones of thrust belt. This structures are related to recent Tyrrhenian opening. In particular, we tried to make a comparison among recent structure and seismicity in the hinge zone between northern Sicily and southern Tyrrhenian, corresponding to both emerged and submerged northern portion of the Maghrebian chain. This hinge zone is part of a wider W-E trending right-lateral shear zone, mainly characterized by both a synthetic NW-SE/W-E oriented, and antithetic left-lateral N-S/NE-SW fault systems, which has been affecting the tectonic edifice, since the Pliocene. The seismicity in the sicilian Maghrebides is mainly located in the hinge zone, either crustal or deeper, and limited in two main hypocentral sectors (Giunta et al., 2002b;Gueguen et al., 2002; Giunta et al., 2004; 2008). Deep seismicity, concentrated in north-eastern Sicily, is associated with the subduction of the Ionian lithospheric slab beneath the Calabrian arc, while the shallow seismicity results as expression of the brittle strain crossing the whole orogen (Neri et al., 1996). The seismogenic process complexity requires that descriptive models are based on a large amount of experimental information about both a huge number of earthquakes and the structural features of the main seismogenic volumes in the investigated area. At the moment

  8. Prevalence of antibodies anti-Bartonella henselae in western Sicily: children, blood donors, and cats.

    PubMed

    Mansueto, Pasquale; Pepe, Ilenia; Cillari, Enrico; Arcoleo, Francesco; Micalizzi, Anna; Bonura, Floriana; Seidita, Aurelio; Palillo, Letizia; Di Gregorio, Maria Francesca; Affronti, Mario; Di Rosa, Salvatore; Rini, Giovambattista; Vitale, Giustina

    2012-01-01

    To evaluate seroprevalence of B. henselae infection both in Sicilian children and healthy blood donors. Furthermore, circulation of Bartonella in the natural reservoir was also studied. Two hundred forty-three children, living in Sicily (Palermo), affected by various diseases, without clinical features suggesting B. henselae infection, together with 122 healthy blood donors were serologically investigated for IgG and IgM antibodies by indirect fluorescent antibody test (IFAT). One hundred twenty stray and 62 pet cats were also analyzed only for IgG. Among children 25.1% had IgG antibodies to B. henselae; 18.5% showed a titer 1:64, 2.4% 1:128, 2.4% 1:256, 0.8% 1:512, 0.4% 1:1024, and 0.4% 1:5120. Among healthy blood donors 11.4% had IgG class antibodies to B. henselae; 9.8% showed a titer 1:64 and 1.6% 1:128. All the human serum samples did not show positive results for B. henselae IgM class antibodies. Stray cats (68.3%) and pet cats (35.4%) also had IgG class antibodies to B. henselae. We demonstrated high frequency of serologic evidence of past B. henselae infection, in young Italian children, affected by various diseases, apparently free of any clinical features suggesting B. henselae infection. This observation is supported by high circulation of Bartonella in cats. PMID:22181817

  9. Aflatoxin M₁ in raw, UHT milk and dairy products in Sicily (Italy).

    PubMed

    Santini, Antonello; Raiola, Assunta; Ferrantelli, Vincenzo; Giangrosso, Giuseppe; Macaluso, Andrea; Bognanno, Matteo; Galvano, Fabio; Ritieni, Alberto

    2013-01-01

    A survey on 73 milk samples from different animal breeds and 24 dairy products samples from Sicily, Italy, was carried out for the presence of aflatoxin M₁ (AFM1) by LC-fluorescence detection after immunoaffinity cleanup. AFM1 was detected in 48% and 42% of the milk and dairy samples at concentration ranges between <5.0-16.0 and <5.0-18.0 ng L⁻¹, respectively. Within the raw milk samples, 92% had an AFM1 content below 5.0 ng L⁻¹, in 7% of the cases it was in the range 5.0-10.0 ng L⁻¹ and 1% was contaminated between 10.0 and 20.0 ng L⁻¹. For the dairy products, ultra-high-temperature treated (UHT) milk, milk cream and cheese, the incidence was 42%, of which 83% contained less than 5.0 ng L⁻¹ and 17% contained 10.0-20.0 ng L⁻¹ AFM1. The levels of contamination found justify continuous monitoring for public health and to reduce consumer exposure. PMID:24779902

  10. Wind forcing and fate of Sardinella aurita eggs and larvae in the Sicily Channel (Mediterranean Sea)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Torri, M.; Corrado, R.; Falcini, F.; Cuttitta, A.; Palatella, L.; Lacorata, G.; Patti, B.; Arculeo, M.; Mazzola, S.; Santoleri, R.

    2015-09-01

    Multidisciplinary studies are recently seeking to define diagnostic tools for fishery sustainability by coupling ichthyoplanktonic datasets, physical and bio-geochemical oceanographic measurements, and ocean modelling. The main goal of these efforts is the understanding of those processes that control fate and dispersion of fish larvae and eggs and thus tune the inter-annual variability of biomass of fish species. We here analyzed eggs and larvae distribution and biological features of Sardinella aurita in the northeast sector of the Sicily Channel (Mediterranean Sea) collected during the 2010 and 2011 summer cruises. We make use of satellite sea surface temperature, wind, and chlorophyll data to recognize the main oceanographic patterns that mark eggs and larvae transport processes and we pair these data with Lagrangian runs. To provide a physical explanation of the transport processes that we observe, we hire a potential vorticity (PV) model that takes into account the role of wind stress in generating those cold filaments responsible for the offshore delivery of eggs and larvae. Our results show that the strong offshore transport towards Malta occurring in 2010 is related to a persistent wind forcing along the southern Sicilian coast that generated an observable cold filament. Such a pattern is not found in the 2011 analysis, which indeed shows a more favorable condition for sardinella larvae recruiting with a weak offshore transport. Our results want to add some insights regarding operational oceanography for sustainable fishery.

  11. Lagrangian simulations and interannual variability of anchovy egg and larva dispersal in the Sicily Channel

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Palatella, Luigi; Bignami, Francesco; Falcini, Federico; Lacorata, Guglielmo; Lanotte, Alessandra S.; Santoleri, Rosalia

    2014-02-01

    The interannual variability in the transport of anchovy eggs and larvae in the Sicily Channel, relatively to the period 1999-2012, is studied by means of numerical simulations of the Mediterranean Forecasting System (MFS) circulation model provided by INGV. Subgrid-scale dynamics not resolved by the MFS model is parameterized in terms of kinematic fields. The latter affect small-scale tracer relative dispersion, while leaving the mean large-scale advection substantially unchanged. A Lagrangian Transport Index (LTI) can be defined to characterize the efficiency of the main currents, e.g., the Atlantic Ionian Stream, in connecting spawning and nursery areas to each other. In our case, this indicator comes from the first arrival time statistics of tracers traveling from a spawning area near Sciacca to a nursery area in proximity of Cape Passero. We observe, on the basis of LTI values, that there are years when the Lagrangian connectivity is very efficient (2004, 2008, 2012) and years when it is weak (2000, 2001, 2003, 2010). Lagrangian indicators like the LTI concur to explain observed fluctuations of larval density and, also, can be employed, more in general, in multivariate models of population dynamics.

  12. Analysis of climate change effects on extreme precipitation for the area of Sicily (Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Forestieri, Angelo; Fowler, Hayley; Lo Conti, Francesco; Noto, Leonardo

    2016-04-01

    In this study possible effects of the climate change on the extreme precipitation events have been analyzed by means of the CORDEX (Coordinated Regional climate Downscaling Experiment) data, a WCRP-sponsored program for the study of climate change effects at regional scales. In particular, some models runs from the EURO-CORDEX and the MED-CORDEX, i.e., two branch of the main project, have been exploited for the analysis of possible effects on extreme rainfall for the area of Sicily (Italy). In order to improve the reliability of reference data retrieved from the CORDEX datasets, a bias correction procedure based on hystorical measurements has been designed. Moreover, a simple cascade temporal downscaling procedure, has been applied for the derivation of sub-daily data. Results highlight that mean annual precipitation for the period 2006-2050 shows a reduction of the average total precipitation for both scenarios, rcp8.5 more than rcp4.5. The precipitation for the shorter durations has shown an increase respect to higher durations. This behaviour is confirmed by many works of the scientific community, which underline this trend. Therefore, results report the indications that in this area the up to date climate predictions are congruent with future scenarios characterized by a decrease of the total amount of precipitation with an increase of the extreme rainfall events.

  13. Rockfall hazard assessment along a road on the Peloritani Mountains (northeastern Sicily, Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pappalardo, G.; Mineo, S.; Rapisarda, F.

    2014-10-01

    A hazard assessment has been performed on rock slopes impending over a segment of the Taorminese Road, which connects two popular tourist destinations in northeastern Sicily: the urban centers of Taormina and Castelmola. The road crosses steep rock slopes with a complex geological and tectonic history. The section of the road close to Castelmola is often affected by rockfall phenomena, causing injury to people and serious damage to buildings and traffic. The study analyzes the geostructural setting of the unstable rock masses, by evaluating their mechanical properties and the kinematics of potential failures. Rockfall simulations confirm that falling rocks would involve the Taorminese Road with different kinetic energy rates and prove useful for suggesting the most suitable mitigation technologies for future remedial works. The modified Rockfall Hazard Rating System has been applied to highlight the different levels of hazard along the road. The compiled hazard map shows that portions of the slopes need urgent remedial works, especially because Taorminese is the only access road to Castelmola and its interruption would lead to the isolation of the village.

  14. Factors Associated with Adherence to the Mediterranean Diet among Adolescents Living in Sicily, Southern Italy

    PubMed Central

    Grosso, Giuseppe; Marventano, Stefano; Buscemi, Silvio; Scuderi, Alessandro; Matalone, Margherita; Platania, Alessio; Giorgianni, Gabriele; Rametta, Stefania; Nolfo, Francesca; Galvano, Fabio; Mistretta, Antonio

    2013-01-01

    The present study aimed to examine the factors associated with increased Mediterranean diet (MD) adherence among a sample of Italian adolescents. A cross-sectional survey was conducted on 1135 students (13–16 years) attending 13 secondary schools of Sicily, southern Italy. Validated instruments were used for dietary assessment and the KIDMED score to assess adolescents’ adherence to the MD. A higher adherence to the MD was associated with high socioeconomic status (Odds Ratio [OR] 1.53, 95% Confidence Interval [CI]: 1.03–2.26) and high physical activity (OR 1.19, 95% CI: 1.02–1.70), whereas lower adherence was associated with living in an urban environment (OR 0.65, 95% CI: 0.44–0.97) and being obese (OR 0.59, 95% CI: 0.37–0.94). The adolescents’ KIDMED scores were inversely associated with adolescents’ intake of sweets, fast foods, fried foods, and sugary drinks, and directly with fruit, vegetables, pasta, fish, and cheese intakes. Urban-living adolescents were less likely to eat fruit and more prone to consume meat, sugary drinks, and fast food than rural-living adolescents. The latter were more likely to eat sweets and snacks. A general poor quality of food consumption in Italian adolescents away from the MD was reported, especially among those living in urban areas. PMID:24304608

  15. Baseline trace metals in seagrass, algae, and mollusks in a southern Tyrrhenian ecosystem (Linosa Island, Sicily).

    PubMed

    Conti, Marcelo Enrique; Bocca, Beatrice; Iacobucci, Marta; Finoia, Maria Grazia; Mecozzi, Mauro; Pino, Anna; Alimonti, Alessandro

    2010-01-01

    Trace elements were analyzed in organisms collected at five sampling stations along coastal areas of Linosa Island, Sicily (southern Tyrrhenian Sea, Italy). Concentrations of Cd, Cr, Cu, Pb, and Zn were measured in Posidonia oceanica L. Delile tissues, the two brown algae Padina pavonica (L.) Thivy and Cystoseira sp., and the two gastropod mollusks Monodonta turbinata Born and Patella caerulea L. Seawater samples were also collected at each site to assess soluble metal concentrations and to gain relevant information on their bioaccumulation ability. Data were processed by multivariate techniques, such as principal component analysis (PCA) and linear discriminant analysis on PCA factors. The scoreplots obtained showed that the pollutant distribution is more significantly correlated with species than with sites. For seaweeds, P. oceanica was associated with higher Cd, Cu, and Zn levels; Padina species had higher Cr concentrations, and Cystoseira had higher Pb levels. For mollusks, Monodonta species had high concentrations of Cu and Cr and Patella species were associated with Cd. Some general metal bioaccumulation patterns are described but no one sampling site was more contaminated than the others. The hypothesis of Linosa island serving as a reference ecosystem for baseline trace metal levels in southern Tyrrhenian areas is indeed supported by the statistical comparison among other southern Tyrrhenian ecosystems performed with Kruskall Wallis and Mann-Whitney tests. For P. oceanica leaves, P. pavonica, M. turbinata, and P. caerulea, this study confirms their usefulness as possible cosmopolitan biomonitors of trace metals in marine Mediterranean areas. PMID:19458990

  16. Common buzzards (Buteo buteo) bio-indicators of heavy metals pollution in Sicily (Italy).

    PubMed

    Naccari, C; Cristani, M; Cimino, F; Arcoraci, T; Trombetta, D

    2009-04-01

    The aim of this study was to evaluate the accumulation of toxic (As, Cd and Pb) and essential (Cu, Mn and Zn) metals in samples (feathers, liver, kidney, lung, intestine and muscle) of common buzzards (Buteo buteo) from Sicily, used as bio-indicators for monitoring environmental metals pollution. All samples of buzzards were collected at the "Recovery Center of Wild Fauna" of Palermo, through the Zooprophilactic Institute. The quantitative determinations of metals were carried out using an atomic absorbtion spectrophotometer (AAS). The results obtained showed the presence of metals in all samples analyzed. For toxic metals the highest levels of Pb and As were found in liver and those of Cd in kidney; for essential metals Zn levels were higher than Cu and Mn in all tissues analyzed. Significant differences are observed in metal levels between female and male and juvenile and adult bird samples. Highest metal levels found in liver, kidney and muscle can be considered indicative of chronic exposure to metals while the presence of metals in feathers can be consequential to storing and elimination processes. The results obtained suggest that common buzzards (Buteo buteo) may be very useful as bio-indicators for monitoring environmental pollution. PMID:19167074

  17. Climate forcing of volcano lateral collapse: evidence from Mount Etna, Sicily.

    PubMed

    Deeming, K R; McGuire, B; Harrop, P

    2010-05-28

    In this study, we present evidence for early Holocene climatic conditions providing circumstances favourable to major lateral collapse at Mount Etna, Sicily. The volcano's most notable topographic feature is the Valle del Bove, a 5 x 8 km cliff-bounded amphitheatre excavated from the eastern flank of the volcano. Its origin due to prehistoric lateral collapse is corroborated by stürtzstrom deposits adjacent to the amphitheatre's downslope outlet, but the age, nature and cause of amphitheatre excavation remain matters for debate. Cosmogenic (3)He exposure ages determined for eroded surfaces within an abandoned watershed flanking the Valle del Bove support channel abandonment ca 7.5 ka BP, as a consequence of its excavation in a catastrophic collapse event. Watershed development was largely dictated by pluvial conditions during the early Holocene, which are also implicated in slope failure. A viable trigger is magma emplacement into rift zones in the eastern flank of a water-saturated edifice, leading to the development of excess pore pressures, consequent reduction in sliding resistance, detachment and collapse. Such a mechanism is presented as one potential driver of future lateral collapse in volcanic landscapes forecast to experience increased precipitation or melting of ice cover as a consequence of anthropogenic warming. PMID:20403842

  18. Risk of classic Kaposi sarcoma with residential exposure to volcanic and related soils in Sicily

    PubMed Central

    Pelser, Colleen; Dazzi, Carmelo; Graubard, Barry I.; Lauria, Carmela; Vitale, Francesco; Goedert, James J.

    2009-01-01

    Purpose Before AIDS, endemic (African) Kaposi sarcoma (KS) was noted to occur in volcanic areas and was postulated to result from dirt chronically embedded in the skin of the lower extremities. The primary cause of all KS types is KS-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) infection, but co-factors contribute to the neoplasia. We investigated whether residential exposure volcanic or related soils was associated with the risk of classic Kaposi sarcoma (cKS) in Sicily. Methods Risk of incident cKS (n=141) compared to population-based KSHV seropositive controls (n=123) was estimated for residential exposure to four types of soil, categorized with maps from the European Soil Database and direct surveying. Questionnaire data provided covariates. Results Residents in communities high in luvisols were approximately 2.7-times more likely to have cKS than those in communities with no luvisols. Risk was not specific for cKS on the limbs, but it was elevated approximately 4–5-fold with frequent bathing or tap water drinking in high luvisols communities. Risk was unrelated to communities high in andosols, tephra, or clay soils. Conclusions Iron and alumino-silicate clay, major components of luvisols, may increase cKS risk, but formal investigation and consideration of other soil types and exposures are needed. PMID:19576540

  19. [Drug resistance in endemic and imported tuberculosis cases in Sicily (Italy)].

    PubMed

    Marranzano, Marina; Castronovo, Pietro; Cicciù, Francesca; Ragusa, Rosalia; Mauro, Luisa; Salvo, Santa

    2009-01-01

    This study was performed to evaluate the prevalence of anti-tuberculosis (TB) drug resistance in Sicily (Italy). A total of 92 Mycobacterium tuberculosis strains were tested, 43 of which were isolated from outpatients between 2004 and 2007 and 49 isolated from patients hospitalized in various eastern Sicilian hospitals. The 92 strains were all isolated from adult patients (mean age 56 years), 71 of which were Italian and the remaining 21non-Italian. Drug sensitivity testing was performed by using the Canetti proportion method and revealed a large proportion of strains (48.9%) found to be resistant to one or more drugs. The most frequent type of resistance was found to be towards rifampicin (38%). Simultaneous resistance to rifampicin and isoniazid, which characterizes multi-drug resistant TB (MDR-TB), was observed in 19.5% of strains; this was always associated with resistance to at least one other anti-tuberculosis drug. No significant differences were found in the distribution of drug resistance, including multi-drug resistance, between strains isolated from Italian and non-Italian patients. A higher percentage of resistance was found amongst strains isolated from hospitalized patients with respect to those from outpatients: rifampicin 53% vs 21%; isoniazid 41% vs 9%; Mdr-TB 47% vs 12%. PMID:20010989

  20. Geological and geophysical evidences for mud diapirism in south-eastern Sicily (Italy) and geodynamic implications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barreca, Giovanni

    2014-12-01

    A recent investigation on the northern margin of the Hyblean Plateau in south-eastern Sicily highlights the occurrence of a clayey diapiric intrusion into the foreland carbonate series. The piercing body, exposed along a ∼270 long and ∼30 m deep NE-SW elongated quarry, consists of serpentinite-bearing clayey material. As suggested by the internal contractional features and by its geometric relations with the adjacent rocks, the clayey body intruded in the foreland series producing on its flanks a set of domino-arranged normal faults which nucleated as a result of gravitative collapse. Taking into account previous petrological studies, which provided information about the origin of the mud, a deep geodynamic model for the northern part of the Hyblean Plateau is here presented. The mud diapirs originated from the uprising of pre-existing serpentinite bodies and others products of alteration probably developed along an ancient ridge-transform intersection where a hydrothermally altered mantle wedge occurred. This interpretation is supported by seismic, magnetic and gravimetric anomalies beneath the analyzed area and has implications on its geodynamic evolution.

  1. Geology of the Strait of Sicily: An example of geological mapping

    SciTech Connect

    Yutsis, V.V. )

    1988-08-01

    The Strait of Sicily is a comparatively shallow-water threshold which divides the Mediterranean into western and eastern deep-water hollows. The author composed a geologic map of the bottom of the Sicilian Strait and adjacent aquatories with a scale of 1:500,000. This map is based on the geologic-geophysical data of Soviet and foreign investigations (including more than 15,000 km of seismic reflection profiles, dredging, sampling, and drilling data) and their seismostratigraphic interpretation. Most of this region is underlain by the continental crust with a thick sedimentary cover. The most widespread sediments are Pliocene-Quaternary. On the map they are shown only in basins where thickness exceeds 200 m (Hammamet, Gabes, Tunisian, etc). Additionally, there are mapped outcrops of Messinian evaporites at the steep slopes of the Malta escarpment, Pantelleria and Malta grabens, Adventure and Skerki banks, etc. Also shown are outcrops of Paleogene, Cretaceous, Jurassic, and Upper Triassic rocks. This new geologic map should generate great interest because of the high petroleum potential of this region.

  2. New data on the Holocenic sea-level rise in NW Sicily (Central Mediterranean Sea)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Antonioli, F.; Cremona, G.; Immordino, F.; Puglisi, C.; Romagnoli, C.; Silenzi, S.; Valpreda, E.; Verrubbi, V.

    2002-09-01

    The emerged and submerged coastal tracts of selected areas in NW Sicily (San Vito Lo Capo Promontory and Marettimo Island in the Egadi Archipelago) have been studied by means of an interdisciplinary approach (geomorphological and neotectonic surveys, palaeontological, depositional and petrographical observations) with the aim to characterize the coastal evolution of the sector over a wide time frame (Late Pleistocene and Holocene) and to recognize the geological indicators of relative sea-level fluctuations. Neotectonic studies performed all along the coastal sector through the check of the present-day height of marine notches and of the inner margin of marine terraces of Eutyrrhenian age allowed to assess the entity of post-Tyrrhenian differential crustal movements in the area. The calculated rates of uplift confirm the relative stability of the area in the last 125 ka and that the relative corrections introduced can be considered negligible in the reconstruction of sea-level rise in the last thousand years. On the base of these considerations, the sea-level rise curve which has been drawn for the Holocene through the radiometric dating ( 14C and U/Th) of submerged speleothems and Vermetid reefs is assumed to gain a regional significance and to represent a good reference datum for the Central-Southern Mediterranean Sea. In addition, the sea-level rise data are in good agreement with the predicted sea-level curves based on geophysical models previously applied to the same study areas.

  3. Sustainability evaluation of Sicily's lemon and orange production: an energy, economic and environmental analysis.

    PubMed

    Pergola, M; D'Amico, M; Celano, G; Palese, A M; Scuderi, A; Di Vita, G; Pappalardo, G; Inglese, P

    2013-10-15

    The island of Sicily has a long standing tradition in citrus growing. We evaluated the sustainability of orange and lemon orchards, under organic and conventional farming, using an energy, environmental and economic analysis of the whole production cycle by using a life cycle assessment approach. These orchard systems differ only in terms of a few of the inputs used and the duration of the various agricultural operations. The quantity of energy consumption in the production cycle was calculated by multiplying the quantity of inputs used by the energy conversion factors drawn from the literature. The production costs were calculated considering all internal costs, including equipment, materials, wages, and costs of working capital. The performance of the two systems (organic and conventional), was compared over a period of fifty years. The results, based on unit surface area (ha) production, prove the stronger sustainability of the organic over the conventional system, both in terms of energy consumption and environmental impact, especially for lemons. The sustainability of organic systems is mainly due to the use of environmentally friendly crop inputs (fertilizers, not use of synthetic products, etc.). In terms of production costs, the conventional management systems were more expensive, and both systems were heavily influenced by wages. In terms of kg of final product, the organic production system showed better environmental and energy performances. PMID:23850762

  4. Isolation of Enterobacter sakazakii from ass' milk in Sicily: case report, safety and legal issues.

    PubMed

    Conte, F; Passantino, A

    2008-07-01

    Enterobacter sakazakii (Es) infections are likely to involve newborns and infants, causing meningitis and necrotizing enterocolitis and sepsis. Contamination of infant formulae milk during factory production or bottle preparation is implicated. Es has been isolated from environmental sources and from food other than infant formula and milk powder, but why it is associated only with the consumption of infant formulae, is unclear. According to Regulation (EC) No. 2073/2005 on the microbiological criteria for foodstuffs, Es is considered a microorganisms of greatest concern in infant formulae and follow-on formulae. Es is included between "safety criteria". The isolation of two strains of Es from 50 samples of ass' milk in Sicily is described. The antibiotic resistance profile of the isolates revealed a multiple resistance profile, including fluoroquinolones, commonly used to treat the infections. The authors underline the importance of survey because in Italy ass' milk is considered one of the solutions for infants suffering from hypersensitivity to milk protein of some animal species. There is scarce information about the ecology and the uncertainty concerning the source of infection in the children and adults; the authors are concerned that ass' milk could become a high-risk food. PMID:18571118

  5. Metals content in otoliths of Dicentrarchus labrax from two fish farms of Sicily.

    PubMed

    Traina, A; Oliveri, E; Salvagio Manta, D; Barra, M; Mazzola, S; Cuttitta, A

    2015-06-01

    Otoliths of cultured sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax) from two different fish farms of Sicily were collected and analyzed by using inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectroscopy. Metal content (Ba, Cd, Fe, Mg, Mn, Sr, and Zn) was measured in order to test the potential use of biogenic carbonates as proxies of dissimilar environmental conditions since the fish farms are implanted in opposite coastal marine areas (Gulf of Castellammare and Gulf of Gela) characterized by different oceanographic features and human activities. Cluster analysis discriminates samples as different groups on the basis of metal content. Results show that concentrations of Sr in the otoliths have a similar range of distribution and not significantly different between the two farms. Otherwise, Fe, Mg, Mn, and Cd show higher concentrations in otoliths collected from fish reared in the farm in the southern coast (Gulf of Gela), an area subject to a great anthropogenic pressure. Zn is the only element with higher values in the otoliths from the farm in the northern coast (Gulf of Trappeto) probably due to industrial effluent. In this work, obtained data confirm the high potential of trace elements measurements in these biogenic carbonates as proxies of different environmental conditions. PMID:25980727

  6. Sulfuric acid speleogenesis (SAS) close to the water table: Examples from southern France, Austria, and Sicily

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    De Waele, Jo; Audra, Philippe; Madonia, Giuliana; Vattano, Marco; Plan, Lukas; D'Angeli, Ilenia M.; Bigot, Jean-Yves; Anoux, Catherine; Nobécourt, Jean-Claude

    2016-01-01

    Caves formed by rising sulfuric waters have been described from all over the world in a wide variety of climate settings, from arid regions to mid-latitude and alpine areas. H2S is generally formed at depth by reduction of sulfates in the presence of hydrocarbons and is transported in solution through the deep aquifers. In tectonically disturbed areas major fractures eventually allow these H2S-bearing fluids to rise to the surface where oxidation processes can become active producing sulfuric acid. This extremely strong acid reacts with the carbonate bedrock creating caves, some of which are among the largest and most spectacular in the world. Production of sulfuric acid mostly occurs at or close to the water table but also in subaerial conditions in moisture films and droplets in the cave environment. These caves are generated at or immediately above the water table, where condensation-corrosion processes are dominant, creating a set of characteristic meso- and micromorphologies. Due to their close connection to the base level, these caves can also precisely record past hydrological and geomorphological settings. Certain authigenic cave minerals, produced during the sulfuric acid speleogenesis (SAS) phase, allow determination of the exact timing of speleogenesis. This paper deals with the morphological, geochemical and mineralogical description of four very typical sulfuric acid water table caves in Europe: the Grotte du Chat in the southern French Alps, the Acqua Fitusa Cave in Sicily (Italy), and the Bad Deutsch Altenburg and Kraushöhle caves in Austria.

  7. Problems of soil and groundwater pollution in the disposal of ``marble'' slurries in NW Sicily

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rizzo, G.; D'Agostino, F.; Ercoli, L.

    2008-09-01

    This work deals with disposal of slurries generated during the cutting and polishing processes of slabs of decorative sedimentary carbonate rocks in the north western Sicily. At present, they are used as fillers of dismantled quarries near the sawmills and, as a final step of reclamation, are covered with earth layers. In spite of such inexpensive solution, there is lack of knowledge about the composition of the waste. In order to assess if there is any threat for the environment and to suggest indications for alternative solutions, such as recycling or inactivation processes, the slurries were analysed by XR diffraction, simultaneous thermal analysis, ICP/MS, ionic chromatography, FTIR, UV-Vis, COD and TOC measurements, grain size analysis. Results indicate that the slurries can threaten the groundwater, because of the high chemical oxygen demand; furthermore they can modify the mechanism of groundwater recharge, because of their grain size distribution. Some laboratory tests show that, even in very aggressive conditions, the solid pollutants persist in the waste and slowly release into water the products of their degradation. The slurry therefore should be subjected to inactivation treatment before disposal or, alternatively, recycled as secondary raw material for a suitable process.

  8. Spirocerca lupi isolated from gastric lesions in foxes (Vulpes vulpes) in Sicily (Italy).

    PubMed

    Ferrantelli, V; Riili, S; Vicari, D; Percipalle, M; Chetta, M; Monteverde, V; Gaglio, G; Giardina, G; Usai, F; Poglayen, G

    2010-01-01

    Spirocerca lupi (Rudolphi 1809) is a cosmopolitan nematode of dogs and wild carnivores. In the past it has been reported in Italy, mainly in southern regions and in Sicily, where the parasite was observed in foxes in 2005. The parasite typically produces nodular masses in the oesophagus and thoracic aorta. During the 2003-2004 hunting season, the authors investigated a total of 55 foxes (Vulpes vulpes) hunted or killed by car accidents in the provinces of Palermo and Agrigento. All the foxes were subjected to necropsy and 6 (9.16%) had S. lupi nodules located exclusively in the gastric wall. The nature of the nodules was determined by opening them and detecting the nematodes inside, which were identified as S. lupi. Some of the nodules were characterized anatomopathologically and histopathologically. The formation of the parasitic nodule in the stomach only suggests a deviation from the route commonly followed by the nematode to reach the oesophagus, the elective anatomical site for completion of its lifecycle. This survey gives a contribution to the epidemiology of this parasite which is severely outdated in Italy and highlights some distinctive features of the life cycle and parasite migration. PMID:21033560

  9. Rockfall hazard assessment along a road on Peloritani Mounts (northeastern Sicily, Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pappalardo, G.; Mineo, S.; Rapisarda, F.

    2013-12-01

    A hazard assessment has been performed on rock slopes impending over a segment of the Taorminese Road, which connects two popular tourist destinations in northeastern Sicily: the urban centers of Taormina and Castelmola. The road crosses steep, rock slopes, with a complex geological and tectonic history. The section of the road close to Castelmola is often affected by rockfall phenomena, causing injury to people and serious damage to buildings and traffic. The study analyzes the geostructural setting of the unstable rock masses, by evaluating their mechanical properties and the kinematics of potential failures. Rockfall simulations confirm that falling rocks would involve the Taorminese Road with different kinetic energy rates and prove useful for suggesting the most suitable mitigation technologies for future remedial works. The modified Rockfall Hazard Rating System has been applied to highlight the different levels of hazard along the road. The compiled hazard map shows that the slopes need urgent remedial works, especially because Taorminese is the only access road to Castelmola and its interruption would lead to the isolation of the entire village.

  10. Assessment of hazards and risks for landscape protection planning in Sicily.

    PubMed

    La Rosa, Daniele; Martinico, Francesco

    2013-09-01

    Landscape protection planning is a complex task that requires an integrated assessment and involves heterogeneous issues. These issues include not only the management of a considerable amount of data to describe landscape features but also the choice of appropriate tools to evaluate the hazards and risks. The landscape assessment phase can provide fundamental information for the definition of a Landscape Protection Plan, in which the selection of norms for protection or rehabilitation is strictly related to hazards, values and risks that are found. This paper describes a landscape assessment methodology conducted by using GIS, concerning landscape hazards, values and risk. Four hazard categories are introduced and assessed concerning urban sprawl and erosion: landscape transformations by new planned developments, intensification of urban sprawl patterns, loss of agriculture land and erosion. Landscape value is evaluated by using different thematic layers overlaid with GIS geoprocessing. The risk of loss of landscape value is evaluated, with reference to the potential occurrence of the previously assessed hazards. The case study is the Province of Enna (Sicily), where landscape protection is a relevant issue because of the importance of cultural and natural heritage. Results show that high value landscape features have a low risk of loss of landscape value. For this reason, landscape protection policies assume a relevant role in landscapes with low-medium values and they should be addressed to control the urban sprawl processes that are beginning in the area. PMID:22766043

  11. [The medico-social problem of rheumatic valve disease in Sicily].

    PubMed

    Mangiameli, S; Circo, A; Lombardo, D; Galassi, A

    1977-09-30

    The incidence of rheumatism and rheumatic valvulopathy in Sicily is assessed and the sites most commonly involved in the first and second attacks described. The medical aspects of te question are examined from several points of view: prophylaxis of sites, medical treatment personal and ambient hygiene, gradual defectiveness of the pump, associated diseases, etc. The concept of invalidity is viewed in terms of direct and associated anatomical damage and frank and potential invalidity (absolute or relative), the weight or assistance attributable to the family and the incidence of the local social environment in the question of finding work, etc. The basic criteria for surgery are noted. Care must be taken to preserve the few remaining structures. Mortality is still high and the incidence of heart disease is higher among rheumatic Sicilian children. Not enough is known about overcrowding, the schools attended by the poor, and the higher incidence in low-income classes. Failure to affront some of these features, determined as much by action (or its postponement) by government as by income, results in meaningless medicine, divorced from social reform and true the scientific spirit, a cover for special interests and a demonstration of profit factors wherein the commercialising relationship is increasingly evident. PMID:917336

  12. Study of tsunami hazard associated with large earthquakes along the coasts of Calabria and Sicily (southern Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tinti, S.; Armigliato, A.; Pagnoni, G.

    2003-04-01

    Messina Straits, the eastern coast of Sicily and the Tyrrhenian coasts of Calabria are known to have been affected by large tsunamis. Since development of urban, industrial and tourist settlements is remarkably increased in recent years on the coastal zones here as well as elsewhere in southern Italy, the problem of evaluating the effect of possible future events on coastal environment and structures has become a critical issue for civil protection and for the economic and balanced growth of the littoral zones. To this purpose, basic seismotectonic information on active faults and numerical simulations of tsunamis provide an indispensable tool to evaluate hazard, vulnerability and risk associated with plausible scenarios of disasters. The two most destructive tsunamis reported to have occurred in Calabria and Sicily were caused by the earthquakes of January 11, 1693 in eastern Sicily and of December 28, 1908 in the Messina Straits. Here we explore different scenarios of tsunami impact taking into account some of the most reliable fault models that are proposed in the literature. The simulations are performed by means of a finite-element code which implements and solves the non-linear Navier-Stokes equations in the shallow water approximation. Special attention is devoted to the study of the action of the water waves on the most important coastal towns in the source region. Very interesting features are expectedly played by the local coastal morphology and by harbour structures: for example, in the case of Augusta, the peninsula on which the town is built and the breakwaters of the Augusta harbour have the effect to screen the tsunami waves reducing sensibly their amplitude within the harbour basin, which is a non-trivial fact, that not always is reported to occur for tsunamis attacking harbours.

  13. Origin and Diet of the Prehistoric Hunter-Gatherers on the Mediterranean Island of Favignana (Ègadi Islands, Sicily)

    PubMed Central

    Mannino, Marcello A.; Catalano, Giulio; Talamo, Sahra; Mannino, Giovanni; Di Salvo, Rosaria; Schimmenti, Vittoria; Lalueza-Fox, Carles; Messina, Andrea; Petruso, Daria; Caramelli, David; Richards, Michael P.; Sineo, Luca

    2012-01-01

    Hunter-gatherers living in Europe during the transition from the late Pleistocene to the Holocene intensified food acquisition by broadening the range of resources exploited to include marine taxa. However, little is known on the nature of this dietary change in the Mediterranean Basin. A key area to investigate this issue is the archipelago of the Ègadi Islands, most of which were connected to Sicily until the early Holocene. The site of Grotta d’Oriente, on the present-day island of Favignana, was occupied by hunter-gatherers when Postglacial environmental changes were taking place (14,000-7,500 cal BP). Here we present the results of AMS radiocarbon dating, palaeogenetic and isotopic analyses undertaken on skeletal remains of the humans buried at Grotta d’Oriente. Analyses of the mitochondrial hypervariable first region of individual Oriente B, which belongs to the HV-1 haplogroup, suggest for the first time on genetic grounds that humans living in Sicily during the early Holocene could have originated from groups that migrated from the Italian Peninsula around the Last Glacial Maximum. Carbon and nitrogen isotope analyses show that the Upper Palaeolithic and Mesolithic hunter-gatherers of Favignana consumed almost exclusively protein from terrestrial game and that there was only a slight increase in marine food consumption from the late Pleistocene to the early Holocene. This dietary change was similar in scale to that at sites on mainland Sicily and in the rest of the Mediterranean, suggesting that the hunter-gatherers of Grotta d’Oriente did not modify their subsistence strategies specifically to adapt to the progressive isolation of Favignana. The limited development of technologies for intensively exploiting marine resources was probably a consequence both of Mediterranean oligotrophy and of the small effective population size of these increasingly isolated human groups, which made innovation less likely and prevented transmission of fitness

  14. Probabilistic forecasting of drought class transitions in Sicily (Italy) using Standardized Precipitation Index and North Atlantic Oscillation Index

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bonaccorso, Brunella; Cancelliere, Antonino; Rossi, Giuseppe

    2015-07-01

    Since the mid-90s the Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI) has found widespread use to monitor drought periods at different time scales. Recently, some efforts have been made to analyze the role of SPI for drought forecasting, as well as to estimate transition probabilities between SPI drought classes. In the present paper probabilistic models for short and middle term forecasting of SPI drought class transition probabilities are presented and extended in order to include information provided by an exogenous variable, such as an index of large scale atmospheric circulation pattern like, for instance, the North Atlantic Oscillation index (NAO). In particular, the proposed models result from evaluating conditional probability of future SPI classes with respect to current SPI (and NAO) classes or current SPI (and NAO) values, under the hypothesis of multivariate normal distribution of the underlying joint variables. SPI series are computed on average areal precipitation in Sicily region (Italy). As a significant negative correlation exists between NAO and SPI series in Sicily during recent decades, the proposed models are calibrated on the period from 1979 to 2008. Both SPI and NAO values are categorized in four classes. Transition probabilities to future SPI classes are evaluated based on SPI and NAO current classes or values and compared to the corresponding probabilities when NAO is neglected. Results indicate that drought transition probabilities in Sicily are generally affected by NAO index. In particular, transition probabilities related to persisting or worsening drought conditions significantly increase as NAO index tends toward extremely positive values. On the other hand transition probabilities to a less severe drought class decrease as NAO values increase. Furthermore, application of a simple score approach to quantitatively assess the skill in forecasting of the proposed models shows that assessing transition probabilities to future SPI classes from

  15. Geodynamical aspects of the Eurasia-Nubia collision zone in Sicily (Italy): new data from a dense CGPS network

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bruno, V.; Mattia, M.; Palano, D.; Rossi, M.; Gresta, S.

    2006-12-01

    The collisional processes acting along the boundary between the Eurasian and Nubian plates in Sicily (Italy) is a critical geological context for the definition of the hazard related to intense volcanic activity and to a diffuse low-to-medium seismic activity. The Catania section of the Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia (INGV-Ct) currently manage a network of about 40 continuous GPS stations. Many of these stations are devoted to the monitoring of active volcanic areas (Etna, Stromboli, Vulcano and Pantelleria), but some of these stations can help to improve the current knowledge of the geodynamical aspects of Sicily. In this work we show the first results of the analysis of the data from the INGV-Ct GPS network finalised to the estimation of velocity fields. The time span covered by our stations is different, ranging from 10 years to, at least, 3 years. We analysed the data using the GAMIT/GLOBK software (King and Bock, 1995; Herring, 1995) in a two step approach: in the first step we used double-differenced phase observations from each day to estimate station coordinates, atmospheric zenith delays at each station, and orbital and Earth orientation parameters, applying loose constrains to all parameters. In the second step we used the estimated station coordinates and their covariances from each day as quasi-observations to estimate a consistent set of coordinates and velocities for the entire period (10 years). Our estimates are computed in ITRF00 system with respect to an Eurasia and also Nubia-fixed reference frame, in order to distinguish the kinematic of the different plates. The analysis of these velocities and of the main strain parameters in some peculiar areas more densely covered by our network (Aeolian Islands, Eastern Sicily) gives new insights in the small scale processes linking the geodynamical aspects and the volcanic activity and a description of the features related to the large scale process of the collision.

  16. Foreland segmentation along an active convergent margin: New constraints in southeastern Sicily (Italy) from seismic and geodetic observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Musumeci, Carla; Scarfì, Luciano; Palano, Mimmo; Patanè, Domenico

    2014-09-01

    We performed an in-depth analysis of the ongoing tectonics of a large sector of southern Sicily, including the Hyblean Foreland and the front of the Maghrebian Chain, as well as the Ionian Sea offshore, through the integration of seismic and GPS observations collected in the nearly two decades. In particular, a dataset consisting of more than 1100 small-to moderate-magnitude earthquakes (1.0 ≤ ML ≤ 4.6) has been used for local earthquake tomography in order to trace the characteristics of the faulting systems, and for focal mechanisms computation to resolve the current local stress field and to characterise the faulting regime of the investigated area. In addition, GPS measurements, carried out on both episodic and continuous stations, allowed us to infer the main features of the current crustal deformation pattern. Main results evidence that the Hyblean Plateau is subject to a general strike-slip faulting regime, with a maximum horizontal stress axis NW-SE to NNW-SSE oriented, in agreement with the Eurasia-Nubia direction of convergence. The Plateau is separated into two different tectonic crustal blocks by the left-lateral strike-slip Scicli-Ragusa Fault System. The western block moves in agreement with central Sicily while the eastern one accommodates part of the contraction arising from the main Eurasia-Nubia convergence. Furthermore, we provided evidences leading to consider the Hyblean-Maltese Escarpment Fault System as an active boundary characterised by a left-lateral strike-slip motion, separating the eastern block of the Plateau from the Ionian basin. All these evidences lend credit to a crustal segmentation of the southeastern Sicily.

  17. GIS-analysis of gully erosion susceptibility: a key study in north-central Sicily, Italy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Agnesi, Valerio; Angileri, Silvia; Cappadonia, Chiara; Conoscenti, Christian; Costanzo, Dario; Maerker, Michael; Rotigliano, Edoardo

    2010-05-01

    Erosion by water is responsible for severe geo-environmental problems in semi-humid to arid Mediterranean areas. Large sectors of Sicily are affected by intense soil erosion phenomena leading to severe damages in agriculture lands that, in some cases, experience high soil loss rates. An important contribution to sediment yield from these areas is given by gully erosion phenomena; the latter, in the last decades, attracted attention of many researches that developed and applied methods to quantify soil loss volumes and to evaluate proneness of territory to this process. The present research aims to assess gully erosion susceptibility in the basin of the San Giorgio torrent, a mountain stream flowing in north-central Sicily and draining an area of about 9.5 km2; the watershed, which is mainly covered by arable lands, has highly erodible slopes characterized by the outcropping of clays and marls. In order to predict gully erosion susceptibility, a multivariate geostatistical approach is adopted here. In particular, the method is based on the definition of spatial relationships between the geographical variability of a set of controlling factors and the occurrence of gullies on slopes; the linear density of gullies computed on homogeneous domains is selected as the probabilistic function expressing how proneness to gully erosion spatially changes in the studied area. Available thematic maps, which were integrated by field and remote surveys, and a high quality DEM, were used to derive eight layers of terrain variables, selected according to geomorphological criteria and expressing both soil erodibility (bedrock lithology, land use) and erosivity of flowing waters (slope angle, Stream Power Index, SL-factor, Topographic Wetness Index, plan and profile curvature). All the parameters were computed for homogeneous spatial domains, created by intersecting a grid of 50m square polygons and a layer of slope units automatically derived from DEM; therefore, the eight layers

  18. Holocene paleoclimate inferred from salinity histories of adjacent lakes in southwestern Sicily (Italy)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Curry, B Brandon; Henne, Paul; Mezquita-Joanes, Francesc; Marrone, Federico; Pieri, Valentina; La Mantia, Tommaso; Calo, Camilla; Tinner, Willy

    2016-01-01

    Marked uncertainties persist regarding the climatic evolution of the Mediterranean region during the Holocene. For instance, whether moisture availability gradually decreased, remained relatively constant, or increased during the last 7000 years remains a matter of debate. To assess Holocene limnology, hydrology and moisture dynamics, the coastal lakes Lago Preola and Gorgo Basso, located in southwestern Sicily, were investigated through several stratigraphic analyses of ostracodes, including multivariate analyses of assemblages, transfer functions of salinity, and biochemical analyses of valves (Sr/Ca, δ18O and δ13C). During the early Holocene, the Gorgo Basso and Lago Preola ostracode records are similar. After an initial period of moderate salinity (1690–6100 mg/l from ca. 10,000–8190 cal yr BP), syndepositional or diagenetic dissolution of ostracode valves suggests that salinity declined to <250 mg/L from ca. 8190 to 7000 cal yr BP at both sites. After ca. 6250 cal yr BP, the ostracode records are strikingly different. Lago Preola became much more saline, with paleosalinity values that ranged from 2270 to about 24,420 mg/L. We suggest that Lago Preola's change from a freshwater to mesosaline lake at about 6250 cal yr BP was related to sea level rise and resulting intrusion of seawater-influenced groundwater. In contrast, Gorgo Basso remained a freshwater lake. The salinity of Gorgo Basso declined somewhat after 6250 cal yr BP, in comparison to the early Holocene, ranging from about 550 to 1680 mg/L. Cypria ophtalmica, a species capable of rapid swimming and flourishing in waters with low dissolved oxygen levels, became dominant at approximately the time when Greek civilization took root in Sicily (2600 cal yr BP), and it completely dominates the record during Roman occupation (roughly 2100 to 1700 cal yr BP). These freshwater conditions at Gorgo Basso suggest high effective moisture when evergreen olive-oak forests collapsed in response

  19. Culture and biology: surnames in evaluating genetic relationships among the ethnic minorities of Southern Italy and Sicily.

    PubMed

    Vienna, A; Biondi, G

    2001-06-01

    Surnames of grandparents were collected from children in the primary schools of the Albanian-Italian, Croat-Italian, and Greek-Italian villages. The coefficients of relationships by isonymy show almost no relationship with ethnicity. Ethnolinguistic minorities of Southern Italy and Sicily are geographically subdivided in two main clusters: the first cluster comprises the Albanian, Croat, and Greek communities of the Adriatic area; and the second cluster comprises the Albanian communities of the Ionian, Thirrenian and Sicilian area. The Greeks of Reggio Calabria Province are completely separated from the other communities. PMID:11787541

  20. A radiometric and petrographic approach to risk assessment at Alte Madonie Mounts region (Sicily, Italy).

    PubMed

    Lanzo, G; Rizzo, S; Tomarchio, E

    2014-03-01

    The main goal of this work was to assess the radiological hazard at Alte Madonie Mounts region (north-central Sicily, Italy) in response to rumours of an increase in the incidence of cancer in this area. A correlation between the natural radionuclide contents and the petrographic features of the soil and rock samples was also evaluated. A total of 41 samples of selected soils and rocks were collected, powdered, dried and sealed in 'Marinelli' beakers for 20 d prior to measurement to ensure that a radioactive equilibrium between (226)Ra and (214)Bi had been reached. A gamma-ray spectrometer was used to quantify the radioactivity concentrations. To determine (238)U and (232)Th activities, the 609.3-keV line from (214)Bi in secular equilibrium with (226)Ra and the 911-keV line from (228)Ac, with which (232)Th can be assumed to be in equilibrium, were used, respectively. The gamma transition of 1461 keV was used to determine (40)K activity. The average values of the concentrations of (214)Bi, (228)Ac and (40)K were 30, 17 and 227 Bq kg(-1), respectively, whereas the greatest values were 134, 59 and 748 Bq kg(-1), respectively. A linear relationship was found between the activity values of (214)Bi, (228)Ac and (40)K. An exception was found for a group of samples in which the (214)Bi activities were much higher than expected. The chemical compositions and mineralogical features of the samples permitted the justification of these anomalies. The results of the primordial radionuclide contents are reassuring from a radiation protection point of view because the activities of the uranium and thorium series products and of the (40)K do not present a significant radiological hazard. PMID:24106332

  1. Active tectonics along the Nebrodi-Peloritani boundary in northeastern Sicily (Southern Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pavano, F.; Romagnoli, G.; Tortorici, G.; Catalano, S.

    2015-09-01

    In the epicentral area of the seismic swarm of the June-September 2011, at southern edge of the Calabrian arc in NE Sicily, very recent extensional motions remobilised two main NW-SE dextral faults. The extensional reactivation of strike-slip faults responded to a new regional dynamic, also evidenced by GPS and seismological data. The inverted structures are aligned at the margin of a wide crustal block that is moving apart from the rest of the island and is uplifting faster than the adjacent regions. The active faults terminate to the northwest at the intersection with a prominent NNE trending fault that represents the western boundary of the mobile block. The vertical displacement along this border exactly matches the difference in elevation of the marine terraces resting inside and outside the block, respectively. On the contrary, only part of differential displacement of the marine terraces was actually accommodated as cumulative motion along the two NW oriented inverted faults, across the southwestern boundary of the block. Amounts of the vertical displacement were distributed on distinct fault planes of the previous dextral shear belts. The widespread fracturing is also the best explanation for the seismic swarm of the 2011, whose epicenters spread on a discrete rock volume rather than concentrated along a single fault plane. The diffuse fracturing seems to represent a peculiar style of deformation, connected to the tectonic inversion of previous strike-slip shear zones. Seismic swarm also affects the northern termination of the Calabrian arc where active extensional deformation reactivated previous strike-slip faults. The similarity of the two regions suggests that seismic swarm can be peculiar of extensional belts developed on previous strike-slip shear zones, along which the pre-existing geometry favours the dispersion of the tectonic motion on a network of small linked fault planes.

  2. Annual Acoustic Presence of Fin Whale (Balaenoptera physalus) Offshore Eastern Sicily, Central Mediterranean Sea.

    PubMed

    Sciacca, Virginia; Caruso, Francesco; Beranzoli, Laura; Chierici, Francesco; De Domenico, Emilio; Embriaco, Davide; Favali, Paolo; Giovanetti, Gabriele; Larosa, Giuseppina; Marinaro, Giuditta; Papale, Elena; Pavan, Gianni; Pellegrino, Carmelo; Pulvirenti, Sara; Simeone, Francesco; Viola, Salvatore; Riccobene, Giorgio

    2015-01-01

    In recent years, an increasing number of surveys have definitively confirmed the seasonal presence of fin whales (Balaenoptera physalus) in highly productive regions of the Mediterranean Sea. Despite this, very little is yet known about the routes that the species seasonally follows within the Mediterranean basin and, particularly, in the Ionian area. The present study assesses for the first time fin whale acoustic presence offshore Eastern Sicily (Ionian Sea), throughout the processing of about 10 months of continuous acoustic monitoring. The recording of fin whale vocalizations was made possible by the cabled deep-sea multidisciplinary observatory, "NEMO-SN1", deployed 25 km off the Catania harbor at a depth of about 2,100 meters. NEMO-SN1 is an operational node of the European Multidisciplinary Seafloor and water-column Observatory (EMSO) Research Infrastructure. The observatory was equipped with a low-frequency hydrophone (bandwidth: 0.05 Hz-1 kHz, sampling rate: 2 kHz) which continuously acquired data from July 2012 to May 2013. About 7,200 hours of acoustic data were analyzed by means of spectrogram display. Calls with the typical structure and patterns associated to the Mediterranean fin whale population were identified and monitored in the area for the first time. Furthermore, a background noise analysis within the fin whale communication frequency band (17.9-22.5 Hz) was conducted to investigate possible detection-masking effects. The study confirms the hypothesis that fin whales are present in the Ionian Sea throughout all seasons, with peaks in call detection rate during spring and summer months. The analysis also demonstrates that calls were more frequently detected in low background noise conditions. Further analysis will be performed to understand whether observed levels of noise limit the acoustic detection of the fin whales vocalizations, or whether the animals vocalize less in the presence of high background noise. PMID:26581104

  3. Evaluation of groundwater contamination in a coastal area of south-eastern Sicily.

    PubMed

    Licciardello, Feliciana; Antoci, Maria Lucia; Brugaletta, Luana; Cirelli, Giuseppe Luigi

    2011-01-01

    This investigation was under taken to evaluate the groundwater resources contamination due to intensive agricultural practices (particularly greenhouses). The study-area is located in the coastal area of the Ragusa province (South-East Sicily), where numerous existing greenhouses may cause the contamination of groundwater systems (unconfined and confined aquifers) beneath the cropped land. The pollution risk is mainly related with the seepage process of macro-elements nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), potassium (K), held in the irrigation water and the massive use of fertilizers and pesticides, that may pass through the unsaturated zone of the soil profile. Moreover, the area is characterized by the presence of several wells (about 15 wells/km²) for agricultural use that cause the aquifer overexploitation and the consequent risk of seawater intrusion. The agriculture practices adopted in the study area (irrigation volumes, fertilizer concentrations, use of pesticides…) were monitored since February 2009; moreover, the pollution risk of the aquifers was evaluated through the analysis of groundwater water samples collected (monthly) in the monitoring wells; in particular, nitrogen compounds, soluble phosphorous (PO₄²⁻), potassium, as well as the main pesticides commonly used in the study area, were measured.The results show that electrical conductivity and chloride concentration values can cause reduction of production and leaf damage problems, respectively, for most of the monitored farm systems. The high nitrogen compounds concentrations observed in the monitored wells can cause health and environmental problems. Moreover high pesticide contamination of groundwater was found in two of the five monitored wells. PMID:21726148

  4. Quaternary normal faulting in southeastern Sicily (Italy):a seismic source for the 1693 large earthquake

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bianca, Marcello; Monaco, Carmelo; Tortorici, Luigi; Cernobori, Licio

    1999-11-01

    We present geological and morphological data, combined with an analysis of seismic reflection lines across the Ionian offshore zone and information on historical earthquakes, in order to yield new constraints on active faulting in southeastern Sicily. This region, one of the most seismically active of the Mediterranean, is affected by WNW-ESE regional extension producing normal faulting of the southern edge of the Siculo-Calabrian rift zone. Our data describe two systems of Quaternary normal faults, characterized by different ages and related to distinct tectonic processes. The older NW-SE-trending normal fault segments developed up to ~400 kyr ago and, striking perpendicular to the main front of the Maghrebian thrust belt, bound the small basins occurring along the eastern coast of the Hyblean Plateau. The younger fault system is represented by prominent NNW-SSE-trending normal fault segments and extends along the Ionian offshore zone following the NE-SW-trending Avola and Rosolini-Ispica normal faults. These faults are characterized by vertical slip rates of 0.7-3.3 mm yr-1 and might be associated with the large seismic events of January 1693. We suggest that the main shock of the January 1693 earthquakes (M~7) could be related to a 45 km long normal fault with a right-lateral component of motion. A long-term net slip rate of about 3.7 mm yr-1 is calculated, and a recurrence interval of about 550+/-50 yr is proposed for large events similar to that of January 1693.

  5. Anthropogenic sinkholes in the Marsala area (western Sicily) linked to underground quarries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bonamini, M.; Di Maggio, C.; Lollino, P.; Madonia, G.; Parise, M.; Vattano, M.

    2012-04-01

    Marsala territory (western Sicily) is characterized by the presence of a Lower Pleistocene (Calabrian) calcarenite succession (Marsala Calcarenite Fm). It can be divided into three lithofacies that show the regressive evolution of the depositional system: a) coarse to fine yellow bio- and lithoclastic calcarenites, b) sands, and c) gray sandy clays. At least 80 m-thick, this succession gently dips (5-10°) towards the south and the south-west. At some locations the Marsala Calcarenite is covered by Middle and Upper Pleistocene marine terraced deposits. Since the Roman period, due to the great abundance of calcarenite rocks, and to the facility of extraction, the Marsala area has been characterized by a high number of quarries for the extraction of this building materials. Many of them were excavated underground, at depth varying from a few meters to about 25 m, and are arranged in one or two levels, following the galleries and pillars excavation technique. With time, the underground quarries have been progressively abandoned for the decay of the physical and mechanical properties of the calcarenite rock mass, the interaction with the groundwater, the high costs of extraction, and the dangers and difficulties encountered in working underground. Since the 1960's the quarries have been affected by instability processes, visible through collapses and deformations of vaults and pillars. These phenomena often propagate upward reaching the topographic surface and forming sinkholes which affect and severely damage the built-up area. In particular, two case studies of sinkholes related to different underground quarries will be analyzed in this paper. The aim is to provide a description of the most significant processes and factors responsible of the instability processes based on field surveys, as well as to understand the generation mechanisms of these anthropogenic sinkholes by means of numerical modeling, based on rock laboratory testing data, that represents in these

  6. Climate change effects on hydropower potential of the Alcantara river basin in Sicily (Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tito Aronica, Giuseppe; Bonaccorso, Brunella

    2013-04-01

    In recent years an increasing attention has been paid to hydropower generation, since it is a renewable, efficient, and reliable source of energy, as well as an effective tool to reduce the atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases resulting from human activities. At the same time, however, hydropower is high vulnerable to global warming, because water resources are closely linked to climate changes. Indeed, the effects of climate change on water availability are expected to affect hydropower generation with special reference to Southern countries which are supposed to face dryer conditions in the next decades. The aim of this paper is to assess the impact of future climate change on the hydrological regime of the Alcantara river basin, Eastern Sicily (Italy), based on Monte Carlo simulations. Synthetic series of daily rainfall and temperature are generated, based on observed data, through a first order Markov chain and an ARMA model respectively, for the current scenario and two future scenarios at 2025. In particular, the mean and standard deviation values of daily rainfall and temperature at 2025, calculated using simulations of the Hadley Centre Ocean-Atmosphere General Circulation Model (HadCM3), are adopted to generate future scenarios of precipitation and temperature. Synthetic series for the two climatic scenarios are, then, introduced as input into the IHACRES model to simulate the hydrological response of the basin. The effects of climate change are, then, investigated by analysing potential modification of the resulting flow duration curves and utilisation curves, which allow to estimate a site's energy potential for the design of run-of-river hydropower plants.

  7. Annual Acoustic Presence of Fin Whale (Balaenoptera physalus) Offshore Eastern Sicily, Central Mediterranean Sea

    PubMed Central

    Sciacca, Virginia; Caruso, Francesco; Beranzoli, Laura; Chierici, Francesco; De Domenico, Emilio; Embriaco, Davide; Favali, Paolo; Giovanetti, Gabriele; Larosa, Giuseppina; Marinaro, Giuditta; Papale, Elena; Pavan, Gianni; Pellegrino, Carmelo; Pulvirenti, Sara; Simeone, Francesco; Viola, Salvatore; Riccobene, Giorgio

    2015-01-01

    In recent years, an increasing number of surveys have definitively confirmed the seasonal presence of fin whales (Balaenoptera physalus) in highly productive regions of the Mediterranean Sea. Despite this, very little is yet known about the routes that the species seasonally follows within the Mediterranean basin and, particularly, in the Ionian area. The present study assesses for the first time fin whale acoustic presence offshore Eastern Sicily (Ionian Sea), throughout the processing of about 10 months of continuous acoustic monitoring. The recording of fin whale vocalizations was made possible by the cabled deep-sea multidisciplinary observatory, “NEMO-SN1”, deployed 25 km off the Catania harbor at a depth of about 2,100 meters. NEMO-SN1 is an operational node of the European Multidisciplinary Seafloor and water-column Observatory (EMSO) Research Infrastructure. The observatory was equipped with a low-frequency hydrophone (bandwidth: 0.05 Hz–1 kHz, sampling rate: 2 kHz) which continuously acquired data from July 2012 to May 2013. About 7,200 hours of acoustic data were analyzed by means of spectrogram display. Calls with the typical structure and patterns associated to the Mediterranean fin whale population were identified and monitored in the area for the first time. Furthermore, a background noise analysis within the fin whale communication frequency band (17.9–22.5 Hz) was conducted to investigate possible detection-masking effects. The study confirms the hypothesis that fin whales are present in the Ionian Sea throughout all seasons, with peaks in call detection rate during spring and summer months. The analysis also demonstrates that calls were more frequently detected in low background noise conditions. Further analysis will be performed to understand whether observed levels of noise limit the acoustic detection of the fin whales vocalizations, or whether the animals vocalize less in the presence of high background noise. PMID:26581104

  8. Time-lapse Imaging of Active Lava Flows at Mt. Etna, Sicily

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    James, M. R.; Pinkerton, H.; Applegarth, L. J.; Hancock, A.; Slatcher, N.; Owen, J.; Calvari, S.; Ganci, G.

    2014-12-01

    Over the last ~6 years, remote time-lapse cameras have been deployed on Mt. Etna, Sicily, with a view to capturing the emplacement of a substantial lava flow field. Initial deployment of wildlife trail-style cameras in 2008 acquired data on lava channel processes during the 2008-9 eruption. In 2009, just in time to capture the dying phases of the eruption, an upgraded network of dSLRs was installed. The network has subsequently captured the steady growth of the New South East crater and the rapid emplacement of short-lived sheet flows that have accompanied the recent paroxysmal fire fountaining events. Most of the imagery has been acquired over distances of multiple kilometres, but the portability of the time-lapse setup has also allowed several opportunistic close range (hundreds of metres or less) deployments, to observe near-vent processes or effusion inside the Bocca Nuova crater. Here, we provide an overview of the equipment, and the approaches used to georeference the monoscopic time-lapse imagery through integrating with 3D data (e.g. existing DEMs, or data simultaneously collected by terrestrial laser scanner or photogrammetric techniques). The acquired observations of flow front emplacement, flow inflation, channel breaching and effusion rate variations that provide insight into the processes involved in long lived flow fields will be presented. Significant opportunities remain, for example, in the near real-time derivation of bulk rheological parameters, and integration with numerical flow models, and the challenges involved in using such imagery will be discussed.

  9. Potential tsunami impact on a refinery in North-Eastern Sicily

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cruz, A. M.; Franchello, G.; Krausmann, E.

    2009-04-01

    Industrial facilities located in coastal areas subject to tsunami hazards may be at risk of tsunami impact and damage. Furthermore, if hazardous materials are present these can be accidentally released impacting nearby residents and dispersing into the environment. We have analysed the potential impact of two tsunami scenarios originating in the Tyrrhenian Sea and their consequences at an industrial facility located on the coast in North-Eastern Sicily. The results of the tsunami simulations indicate that in both scenarios there would be between 30-45 storage tanks at the industrial facility (potentially exposing up to 1.4 million m3 of chemicals) subject to flooding, with tanks closer to the beach suffering up to 1.6 m inundation. Flow velocities in most areas are less than 1 m/s. This indicates that any damage would occur due to hydrostatic uplift forces due to buoyancy particularly in the western part of the facility where inundation levels are higher and storage tanks are less protected. Damage to the facility due to impact of floating debris may be a problem at the eastern most tip of the refinery where the distance between the waterline and the refinery fence line is less than 20 m. Foundation soils and foundation systems could also be at risk from shear- and liquefaction-induced scour in this section of the plant. The likelihood for hazardous materials releases from inundated storage tanks is low but could occur due to breakage of connected pipelines and flanges due to floating off of storage tanks and other connected appurtenances. Flooding of electrical equipment such as control panels, pumps and motors, not raised above the inundation level could suffer water intrusion.

  10. Post-Messinian evolutionary relationships across the Sicilian channel: Mitochondrial and nuclear markers link a new green toad from Sicily to African relatives

    PubMed Central

    2008-01-01

    Background Little attention has been paid to the consequences of the last landbridge between Africa and Sicily on Mediterranean biogeography. Previous paleontological and scarce molecular data suggest possible faunal exchange later than the well-documented landbridge in the Messinian (5.3 My); however, a possible African origin of recent terrestrial Sicilian fauna has not been thoroughly tested with molecular methods. To gain insight into the phylogeography of the region, we examine two mitochondrial and two nuclear markers (one is a newly adapted intron marker) in green toads (Bufo viridis subgroup) across that sea barrier, the Strait of Sicily. Results Extensive sampling throughout the western Mediterranean and North Africa revealed a deep sister relationship between Sicilian (Bufo siculus n.sp.) and African green toads (B. boulengeri) on the mitochondrial and nuclear level. Divergence times estimated under a Bayesian-coalescence framework (mtDNA control region and 16S rRNA) range from the Middle Pliocene (3.6 My) to Pleistocene (0.16 My) with an average (1.83 to 2.0 My) around the Pliocene/Pleistocene boundary, suggesting possible land connections younger than the Messinian (5.3 My). We describe green toads from Sicily and some surrounding islands as a new endemic species (Bufo siculus). Bufo balearicus occurs on some western Mediterranean islands (Corsica, Sardinia, Mallorca, and Menorca) and the Apennine Peninsula, and is well differentiated on the mitochondrial and nuclear level from B. siculus as well as from B. viridis (Laurenti), whose haplotype group reaches northeastern Italy, north of the Po River. Detection of Calabrian B. balearicus haplotypes in northeastern Sicily suggests recent invasion. Our data agree with paleogeographic and fossil data, which suggest long Plio-Pleistocene isolation of Sicily and episodic Pleistocene faunal exchange across the Strait of Messina. It remains unknown whether both species (B. balearicus, B. siculus) occur in

  11. The Tyrrhenian stage geodinamic evolution of Apenninic-Maghrebian orogen (Southern Apennines and Sicily)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lentini, F.; Carbone, S.; Barreca, G.

    2009-04-01

    In the Central Mediterranean region the foreland domains are represented by two continental blocks, the Apulian Block to the north and the Pelagian Block to the south, respectively belonging to the Adria and to the Africa plates. They are separated since Permo-Triassic times by the oceanic crust of the Ionian Sea. The Apenninic-Maghrebian orogen is located between two oceanic crusts: the old Ionian crust, at present time subducting beneath the Calabrian Arc, and the new crust of the opening Tyrrhenian Sea. The orogenic belt is represented by a multilayer allochthonous edifice, composed of the Calabride Chain (CC) tectonically overlying the Apenninic-Maghrebian Chain (AMC), which in turn overthrust onto the Upper Miocene and Pliocene top-levels of a deep seated thrust system, originating by the deformation of the innermost carbonates of the Pelagian/Apulian blocks (External Thrust System: ETS). The AMC tectonic units derive from the orogenic transport during Oligo-Miocene times of sedimentary sequences deposited in palaeogeographical domains located between the Europe and the Afro-Adriatic plates. These units are composed of Meso-Cenozoic shallow-water carbonate successions detached from a continental type crust sector, the Panormide/Apenninic Block, recognizable by means of seismic lines shot in the Tyrrhenian offshore of Southern Apennines and Northern Sicily. The Meso-Cenozoic basinal units, that compose the AMC, can be distinguished into two main groups of sequences, originally located on oceanic crusts separated by the Panormide/Apenninic Block: the external ones (Ionides) related to an original basin belonging to branches of the Ionian Palaeobasin involved in the orogenesis, and the internal ones ascribed to the Alpine Tethys (Sicilide Units). The terrigenous deposits of the basinal sequences belonging to the Ionides are represented by Tertiary foreland/foredeep deposits, whose relationships with the substratum are occasionally preserved, although large

  12. Organochlorine pesticides and polychlorinated biphenyl congeners in lanner Falco biarmicus feldeggli Schlegel chicks and lanner prey in Sicily, Italy.

    PubMed

    Movalli, Paola; Lo Valvo, Mario; Pereira, M Glória; Osborn, Daniel

    2008-09-01

    This paper reports on research conducted to elucidate the risk posed to the Sicilian population of the endangered lanner falcon Falco biarmicus feldeggii Schlegel by organochlorine (OC) pesticides and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), as part of a wider study on contaminant risk to the lanner. Seventeen lanner nest sites were studied in northern and central Sicily. Sampling (in 2005) and analysis were carried out for selected OC pesticides and PCB congeners in lanner chick blood (15 chicks from 6 nest sites) and in two of the main lanner prey species, magpie Pica pica (36 individuals from 6 lanner nest sites) and rock dove Columba livia (10 individuals from 2 lanner nest sites). No OC and PCB residues were found in lanner chick blood above the detection limits, except for one solitary congener PCB153 (21.8 ng g(-1) wet weight), suggesting that these contaminants do not pose a significant risk to lanner chicks in the study area. Magpie and dove appeared mostly free of contamination with OC pesticides, though contamination levels were significantly higher in magpie than in dove. The presence of exceptional DDE and HEOD values in approximately 8% of the P. pica sample, and one P. pica sample showing recent DDT contamination, may indicate a local OC pesticide hazard to some lanner. Future research to further elucidate the contaminant risk to lanner in Sicily is suggested. PMID:18833798

  13. Tectonic expression of an active slab tear from high-resolution seismic and bathymetric data offshore Sicily (Ionian Sea)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gutscher, Marc-André; Dominguez, Stephane; Lepinay, Bernard Mercier; Pinheiro, Luis; Gallais, Flora; Babonneau, Nathalie; Cattaneo, Antonio; Le Faou, Yann; Barreca, Giovanni; Micallef, Aaron; Rovere, Marzia

    2016-01-01

    Subduction of a narrow slab of oceanic lithosphere beneath a tightly curved orogenic arc requires the presence of at least one lithospheric scale tear fault. While the Calabrian subduction beneath southern Italy is considered to be the type example of this geodynamic setting, the geometry, kinematics and surface expression of the associated lateral, slab tear fault offshore eastern Sicily remain controversial. Results from a new marine geophysical survey conducted in the Ionian Sea, using high-resolution bathymetry and seismic profiling reveal active faulting at the seafloor within a 140 km long, two-branched fault system near Alfeo Seamount. The previously unidentified 60 km long NW trending North Alfeo Fault system shows primarily strike-slip kinematics as indicated by the morphology and steep-dipping transpressional and transtensional faults. Available earthquake focal mechanisms indicate dextral strike-slip motion along this fault segment. The 80 km long SSE trending South Alfeo fault system is expressed by one or two steeply dipping normal faults, bounding the western side of a 500+ m thick, 5 km wide, elongate, syntectonic Plio-Quaternary sedimentary basin. Both branches of the fault system are mechanically capable of generating magnitude 6-7 earthquakes like those that struck eastern Sicily in 1169, 1542, and 1693.

  14. The good, the bad and the ugly: Emys trinacris, Placobdella costata and Haemogregarina stepanowi in Sicily (Testudines, Annelida and Apicomplexa).

    PubMed

    Arizza, Vincenzo; Sacco, Francesco; Russo, Debora; Scardino, Rita; Arculeo, Marco; Vamberger, Melita; Marrone, Federico

    2016-01-01

    Endemic Sicilian pond turtles Emys trinacris Fritz, Fattizzo, Guicking, Tripepi, Pennisi, Lenk, Joger et Wink were examined for the presence of haemogregarine parasites. The presence of haemogregarines, occurring mainly in the microgametocyte stage (13.2 ± 0.12 μm in length and 6.4 ± 0.52 μm in width), was observed in approximately 9% of the sampled E. trinacris. Based on the observed morphology and on the sequencing of nuclear 18S rDNA, we identified the parasite as Haemogregarina stepanowi Danilewsky, 1885. Morphometric study of uninfected and infected red blood cells has shown that H. stepanowi induces different changes in erythrocyte shape depending on the infective stage. The differential count of leukocytes in specimens infected with H. stepanowi showed no significant difference compared with healthy specimens. However, considering the health problems which might be induced by H. stepanowi in the closely related European pond turtle Emys orbicularis (Linneaus), monitoring of the health status of the infected Sicilian populations of E. trinacris is desirable. The restricted distribution of populations of Emys infected with haemogregarines in Sicily is quite puzzling and the possible human-mediated introduction of the parasite in Sicily is briefly discussed. PMID:27579559

  15. Staphylococcal food poisoning case and molecular analysis of toxin genes in Staphylococcus aureus strains isolated from food in Sicily, Italy.

    PubMed

    Vitale, Maria; Scatassa, Maria Luisa; Cardamone, Cinzia; Oliveri, Giuseppa; Piraino, Chiara; Alduina, Rosa; Napoli, Concetta

    2015-01-01

    A case of staphylococcal food poisoning was observed in two individuals of the same family after consumption of primosale, a semiripened sheep cheese produced in Sicily. Staphylococcus aureus isolated from the cheese produced enterotoxin C (SEC) and carried both the enterotoxin C (sec) and the toxic shock syndrome toxin (tsst-1) gene. Following this case, an extensive survey was conducted on 971 food samples (raw milk, cheese, meat, and food preparations). S. aureus was detected in 102 of 971 food samples, from all types of food with the exception of ricotta cheese. The tsst-1 gene was present in 42% of the strains, either alone or in combination with other toxin genes. The enterotoxin C gene was the most represented enterotoxin, but it was only found in dairy products. Six S. aureus isolates carried the sea gene alone, two isolates carried both sea and seb, and one isolate carried both sea and sec. A significant percentage (46%) of all isolates carried a toxin gene, creating significant concern that virulent S. aureus can be transmitted through food in Sicily. PMID:25384106

  16. A new Kinematic Approach to Calculate Seismic Hazard Scenarios (Intensity and Peak Ground Displacement); an Example in SE Sicily

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sirovich, L.; Pettenati, F.

    2007-05-01

    The part of the seismic hazard map of Italy (http:zonesismiche.mi.ingv.it/mappa_ps_apr04/italia.html) that regards SE Sicily has recently been modified on the basis also of the new location of the source of one of the strongest earthquakes that ever struck the Mediterranean basin (in 1693 in SE Sicily; 54,000 casualties; see Sirovich and Pettenati, 2001 in BSSA). That source was located inland according to the KF geophysical inversion of the regional damage patterns of the earthquake of Jan. 11, 1693 and of its destructive foreshock of Jan. 9 (see Gentile et al., 2004 in BSSA, and Sirovich and Pettenati, 2004 in JGR, for the genetic KF inversion technique). The damage patterns of Jan. 9 and 11, 1693 had been evaluated by three different groups of historians and seismologists on three different intensity scales. (Detailed information was available from the reports of the Officers of the "Regno delle Due Sicilie" of the time as well as from many other documents). Previously, both earthquakes were traditionally ascribed to the well known Malta Escarpment, the most prominent physiographical and structural feature of the area, which is found offshore, south-east of Sicily. However, given the inland damage of 1693, an offshore epicenter would imply a mean radius of 45 km for the virtual area of degree XI (70 km for degree X) and, thus, a magnitude of 8.3±0.2 with a fault length of approximately 280 km. This fault source would cross the NE part of Sicily from the southern Jonian Sea to the Island of Lipari in the Tyrrhenian Sea; but tectonically this seems unrealistic. All the inversion tests, however, pointed to a complex source inland which could have hosted both earthquakes. Here, we used our kinematic KF model in the direct mode in a parametric, deterministic-Montecarlo way to produce a seismic hazard scenario, in terms of maximum ground displacement. This scenario will be compared with PSHA results for long recurrence times in the frame of a project of the Civil

  17. Seismotectonics of northeastern Sicily and southern Calabria (Italy): New constraints on the tectonic structures featuring in a crucial sector for the central Mediterranean geodynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scarfı, L.; Barberi, G.; Musumeci, C.; Patanè, D.

    2016-03-01

    The purpose of this study is to gain a better understanding on the tectonic structures featuring in a crucial sector of central Mediterranean area, including the Aeolian Islands, southern Calabria, and northeastern Sicily, where the convergence between Eurasian and African Plates has given rise to a complicated collisional/subduction complex. A high-quality data set of about 3000 earthquakes has been exploited for local earthquake tomography and focal mechanisms computation together with available source mechanisms from published catalogues. The results depict new details of a network of faults which enables the concurrent existence of adjacent compressional and extensional domains. In particular, tomographic images, seismic events distribution, and focal mechanisms pinpoint the geometry and activity of a lithospheric-scale tear faults system which, with a NW-SE trend through Sicily and the Tyrrhenian and Ionian Seas, represents the southern edge of the Ionian subduction trench zone. At crustal depth, this tearing is well highlighted by a rotation of the maximum horizontal stress, moving across the area from west toward east. In addition, the shallow normal fault regime, characterizing the southern Calabria and northeastern Sicily mainland, south of the NW-SE lineament, changes in the deeper part of the crust. Indeed, a NE-SW earthquake distribution, gently dipping NW, and inverse fault solutions indicate a still active contractional deformation in eastern Sicily, caused by the Africa-Eurasia convergence and well framed with the current compressive regime along the southern Tyrrhenian zone and at the front of the Sicilian Chain-Foreland.

  18. Seismotectonics of Northeastern Sicily and Southern Calabria (Italy): New constraints on the tectonic structures featuring in a crucial sector for the Central Mediterranean geodynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scarfì, Luciano; Barberi, Graziella; Musumeci, Carla; Patanè, Domenico

    2016-04-01

    The purpose of this study is to gain a better understanding on the tectonic structures featuring in a crucial sector of central Mediterranean area, including the Aeolian Islands, southern Calabria and northeastern Sicily, where the convergence between Eurasian and African plates has given rise to a complicated collisional/subduction complex. A high quality dataset of about 3000 earthquakes has been exploited for local earthquake tomography and focal mechanisms computation. Results depict undiscovered details of a network of faults which enables the contemporary existence of adjacent compressional and extensional domains. In particular, tomographic images, seismic events distribution and focal mechanisms pinpoint the geometry and activity of a lithospheric-scale tear faults system which, with a NW-SE trend through Sicily and the Tyrrhenian and Ionian Seas, represents the southern edge of the Ionian subduction trench zone. At crustal depth, this tearing is well highlighted by a rotation of the maximum horizontal stress, moving across the area from west toward east. In addition, the shallow normal fault regime, characterising the northeastern Sicily mainland, south of the NW-SE lineament, changes in the deeper part of the crust. Indeed, a NE-SW earthquake distribution, NW gently dipping, and inverse fault solutions indicate a still active contractional deformation in the eastern Sicily, caused by the Africa-Eurasia convergence and well framed with the current compressive regime along the southern Tyrrhenian zone and at the front of the Sicilian Chain-Foreland.

  19. The diversity of terrestrial isopods in the natural reserve “Saline di Trapani e Paceco” (Crustacea, Isopoda, Oniscidea) in northwestern Sicily

    PubMed Central

    Messina, Giuseppina; Pezzino, Elisa; Montesanto, Giuseppe; Caruso, Domenico; Lombardo, Bianca Maria

    2012-01-01

    Abstract Ecosystems comprising coastal lakes and ponds are important areas for preserving biodiversity. The natural reserve “Saline di Trapani e Paceco” is an interesting natural area in Sicily, formed by the remaining strips of land among salt pans near the coastline. From January 2008 to January 2010, pitfall trapping was conducted in five sampling sites inside the study area. The community of terrestrial isopods was assessed using the main diversity indices. Twenty-four species were collected, only one of them endemic to western Sicily: Porcellio siculoccidentalis Viglianisi, Lombardo & Caruso, 1992. Two species are new to Sicily: Armadilloniscus candidus Budde-Lund, 1885 and Armadilloniscus ellipticus (Harger, 1878). This is high species richness for a single reserve in Sicily. The extended sampling period also allowed us to study species phenology. Most of the species exhibited higher activity in spring than in autumn while some species also exhibited lower activity in the summer. The species richness revealed that the study area is in an acceptable conservation status; Shannon and Pielou indices also confirmed a more or less even distribution of individuals belonging to different species. PMID:22536110

  20. A Case Study in Archaeoseismology: the Collapses of the Temples at Selinunte (South-Western Sicily)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guidoboni, E.

    2001-12-01

    This work presents the results of a research that was carried out to further our knowledge of the active faults in south-western Sicily. The only seismic event of particular significance that is known to have occurred is that of 15 January 1968 (Io= XMCS, Me 6.5) in the Belice valley. The archaeological park of Selinunte, the largest in the Mediterranean area, with its great temples and evidence of spectacular collapses, has been taken as a source of information capable of analysis by means of the methodological approach of archaeoseismology. The identification of the seismic indicators at Selinunte necessitated a detailed analysis of both old and new archaeological evidence, together with a critical re-examination of all the archaeological literature and existing documents dating from to the eighteenth century, together with travelers' accounts of that time. The history of the archaeological deposits, spoliation, and excavations has been reconstructed. These data are reinterpreted in the light of both the new discoveries of the most recent research, and of a number of methodological criteria already used in previous works on archaeoseismology. This long and complex analysis was carried out in 1998-99 with Anna Muggia, Clemente Marconi and Enzo Boschi in the research programme of the Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia. It resulted in the identification of two seismic events that struck Selinunte and led to the collapse of the temples. The chronology of the earthquakes can be dated, for the first, to a period between the fourth and third century BC; for the second, to a period between the sixth and the thirteen century AD. Although the time span proposed, particularly for the second earthquake, is very broad, it does not mean that this earthquake is in anyway hypothetical from a geophysical point of view. Its traces are clear, but the long periods when the site was abandoned mitigate against the fixing of a precise date for the event. In order to reach

  1. A preliminary census of engineering activities located in Sicily (Southern Italy) which may "potentially" induce seismicity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aloisi, Marco; Briffa, Emanuela; Cannata, Andrea; Cannavò, Flavio; Gambino, Salvatore; Maiolino, Vincenza; Maugeri, Roberto; Palano, Mimmo; Privitera, Eugenio; Scaltrito, Antonio; Spampinato, Salvatore; Ursino, Andrea; Velardita, Rosanna

    2015-04-01

    The seismic events caused by human engineering activities are commonly termed as "triggered" and "induced". This class of earthquakes, though characterized by low-to-moderate magnitude, have significant social and economical implications since they occur close to the engineering activity responsible for triggering/inducing them and can be felt by the inhabitants living nearby, and may even produce damage. One of the first well-documented examples of induced seismicity was observed in 1932 in Algeria, when a shallow magnitude 3.0 earthquake occurred close to the Oued Fodda Dam. By the continuous global improvement of seismic monitoring networks, numerous other examples of human-induced earthquakes have been identified. Induced earthquakes occur at shallow depths and are related to a number of human activities, such as fluid injection under high pressure (e.g. waste-water disposal in deep wells, hydrofracturing activities in enhanced geothermal systems and oil recovery, shale-gas fracking, natural and CO2 gas storage), hydrocarbon exploitation, groundwater extraction, deep underground mining, large water impoundments and underground nuclear tests. In Italy, induced/triggered seismicity is suspected to have contributed to the disaster of the Vajont dam in 1963. Despite this suspected case and the presence in the Italian territory of a large amount of engineering activities "capable" of inducing seismicity, no extensive researches on this topic have been conducted to date. Hence, in order to improve knowledge and correctly assess the potential hazard at a specific location in the future, here we started a preliminary study on the entire range of engineering activities currently located in Sicily (Southern Italy) which may "potentially" induce seismicity. To this end, we performed: • a preliminary census of all engineering activities located in the study area by collecting all the useful information coming from available on-line catalogues; • a detailed compilation

  2. Multi-proxy constraints on sapropel formation during the late Pliocene of central Mediterranean (southwest Sicily)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Plancq, Julien; Grossi, Vincent; Pittet, Bernard; Huguet, Carme; Rosell-Melé, Antoni; Mattioli, Emanuela

    2015-06-01

    The late Pliocene (Piacenzian) in the Mediterranean region was punctuated by short-lived episodes of widespread deposition of organic-rich sedimentary layers known as sapropels. The causes of their formation remain a long-standing debate in the science community, and require disentangling the roles of climatic/oceanographic processes that triggered higher primary productivity or enhanced organic matter preservation. The lack of data, especially of sea temperatures at sufficient temporal resolution, is one of the main challenges to solve this debate. Here, we present new organic geochemistry and micropaleontological data from the late Pliocene at Punta Grande/Punta Piccola sections (southwest Sicily) that allow untangling the mechanisms that favored the formation of two sapropel series (noted S and A) in the central Mediterranean area during this period. Sea surface (SSTs) and subsurface temperatures were estimated using three distinct organic geochemical proxies namely the alkenone unsaturation index (UK‧37), the long-chain diol index (LDI) and the tetraether index (TEX86). Reconstructed SSTs are relatively stable throughout the late Pliocene and ∼4 °C higher than modern Mediterranean SSTs, which is consistent with the climatic conditions inferred for this period from paleoclimate modeling. An increase in SST is, however, recorded by UK‧37 and LDI proxies across each sapropel horizon, supporting that the two sapropel series S and A were formed during warmer climate conditions. The comparison of SST data with variations in accumulation rates of total organic carbon and lipid-biomarkers (alkenones, long-chain alkyl diols, archaeal and bacterial tetraethers), and with changes in calcareous nannofossil assemblages, indicates that the studied sapropels might have formed under different environmental conditions. The first series of sapropels (S), deposited between 3.1 and 2.8 Ma, is likely due to a better preservation of organic matter, induced by the development

  3. Exploring the effect of absence selection on landslide susceptibility models: A case study in Sicily, Italy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Conoscenti, Christian; Rotigliano, Edoardo; Cama, Mariaelena; Caraballo-Arias, Nathalie Almaru; Lombardo, Luigi; Agnesi, Valerio

    2016-05-01

    A statistical approach was employed to model the spatial distribution of rainfall-triggered landslides in two areas in Sicily (Italy) that occurred during the winter of 2004-2005. The investigated areas are located within the Belice River basin and extend for 38.5 and 10.3 km2, respectively. A landslide inventory was established for both areas using two Google Earth images taken on October 25th 2004 and on March 18th 2005, to map slope failures activated or reactivated during this interval. Geographic Information Systems (GIS) were used to prepare 5 m grids of the dependent variables (absence/presence of landslide) and independent variables (lithology and 13 DEM-derivatives). Multivariate Adaptive Regression Splines (MARS) were applied to model landslide susceptibility whereas receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves and the area under the ROC curve (AUC) were used to evaluate model performance. To evaluate the robustness of the whole procedure, we prepared 10 different samples of positive (landslide presence) and negative (landslide absence) cases for each area. Absences were selected through two different methods: (i) extraction from randomly distributed circles with a diameter corresponding to the mean width of the landslide source areas; and (ii) selection as randomly distributed individual grid cells. A comparison was also made between the predictive performances of models including and not including the lithology parameter. The models trained and tested on the same area demonstrated excellent to outstanding fit (AUC > 0.8). On the other hand, predictive skill decreases when measured outside the calibration area, although most of the landslides occur where susceptibility is high and the overall model performance is acceptable (AUC > 0.7). The results also showed that the accuracy of the landslide susceptibility models is higher when lithology is included in the statistical analysis. Models whose absences were selected using random circles showed a

  4. Spatially distributed OClO-profiles in the volcanic plume of Mt. Etna, Sicily

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gliss, Jonas; Bobrowski, Nicole; Huwe, Marco; Mayer, Constantin; Finkenzeller, Henning; Vogel, Leif; Platt, Ulrich

    2013-04-01

    The study of the chemical composition of volcanic plumes is important both for the understanding of volcanic processes and the influence of volcanic activity on the atmosphere. Reactive halogen-species such as BrO, ClO, OClO are abundant in volcanic plumes and can have several effects on the atmosphere (e.g. local ozone depletion by catalytic halogen-reactions). Multi Axis Differential Absorption Spectroscopy (MAX-DOAS) is an established method to determine reactive components in volcanic plumes by analysing scattered sunlight which has traversed the plume. We present MAX-DOAS measurements that were performed at Mt. Etna, Sicily in September 2012 with a newly developed MAX-DOAS-instrument. Both, vertical and horizontal plume-scans as well as point measurements were done in distances of several hundred meter up to 30 km from the emission source. For the first time it was possible to measure spatial distributions of the halogen compound chlorine dioxide (OClO) in a volcanic plume. OClO column-densities (SCDs) up to 2 ? 1014 molecules/cm2 were measured in an area of about 2 km around the emission source. OClO/SO2-ratios between 1 ? 10-5 and 4 ? 10-4 were determined. Along with the evaluation of OClO the species bromine monoxide (BrO) as well as sulphur-dioxide (SO2) were evaluated for each data set. BrO-SCDs up to 1.1 ? 1015 molecules/cm2 and BrO/SO2-ratios between 2 ? 10-5 and 5 ? 10-4 were determined. Assuming a plume width of less than 1 km the measured values correspond to OClO and BrO concentrations of several hundred ppt in the plume. From the measured OClO- and BrO-SCDs and by assuming steady-state between the production of OClO from BrO and ClO and its photolytic destruction, ClO concentrations between 70 ppt and 1.0 ppb were derived. We will discuss these results and their importance to improve our knowledge about chlorine-chemistry in volcanic plumes.

  5. Effects of ephemeral gully erosion on soil degradation in a cultivated area in Sicily

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    La Spada, Carmelo; Capra, Antonina; Gelsomino, Antonio; Ollobarren del Barrio, Paul

    2015-04-01

    Water erosion is the main cause of soil degradation on cultivated lands under Mediterranean climate. In this conditions, gully erosion is a major contributor to loss of soil productivity due to the big amounts of soil removed from the most productive top-layer. However, only few studies on the effects of gully erosion and artificial controlling measures on soil degradation are available. The study analyzes the effects of the ephemeral gully erosion and infilling by tillage operations on several physical-chemical soil properties influencing the soil productivity. The study area is located in the center of Sicily, in an agricultural context characterized by ephemeral gully erosion. Five fields with different crops and soil characteristics affected by this type of erosion were selected. Currently, local farmers adopt the artificial measure to gully filling activities to control gully erosion and continue the same agricultural management practice. Therefore, the studied ephemeral gullies show a cyclic behavior. They appear during the rainy season, are erased from July to October by soil infill from areas adjacent to the channel using ordinary tillage equipment, and, in most years, they reappear in the same position during the following rainy season. For each situation, 20 samples were taken, located on 5 transects in the direction perpendicular to the ephemeral gully, in specific positions: 2 outside the erosive channel (one in the valley-deposit area and one upstream of the basin in the undisturbed area), and 3 along the same. For each transect, the samples were collected in 4 different positions: one inside the ephemeral gully, the other 3 in external points spaced to represent the areas affected by the annual process of erosion and infilling of the gully. For each sample, a set of the main chemical and physical soil characteristics which influence the soil fertility were determined: particle size, pH, electrical conductivity, total content of carbonates, nitrates

  6. Bioweathering of a basalt from Etna (Sicily) by the moss Grimmia pulvinata (Hedw.) Sm.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Giordano, S.; Vingiani, S.; Adamo, P.

    2012-04-01

    Lichens and mosses, as pioneer plants, firstly colonize rocky surfaces enhancing biogeophysical and biogeochemical degradation of their substrates. Indeed, the contact area between the lithological substrates and the cryptogams is considered a simplified environment for studying the mechanisms of bioweathering, which, in many cases, characterize the initial stages of pedogenesis. In this paper we report the results of a study conducted for the recognition and characterization of the bioweathering processes of a basaltic lava present on the slopes of Mt Etna (western Sicily) at an altitude of 1550 m above sea level, associated with the growth of the moss Grimmia pulvinata (Hedw.) Sm. The Etnean rock, characterised by a porphiric structure, is mainly made by a microcrystalline groundmass in which are immersed abundant phenocrysts of plagioclase, augite and rare olivine crystals. The groundmass shows the same mineral assemblage. With the use of X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy, we determined the chemical composition of the fresh rock, of the materials collected at the rock-moss interface and of the plant tissues. The X-ray diffraction has allowed to have detailed information on the mineralogy of the bioaltered rocky and interface materials. Scanning electron microscope observations and microanalytical investigations carried out on fragments of rock colonized by moss showed a significant disintegration of the rock and the presence of crystals with tabular habit, containing Cu and Fe, aligned tangentially to the surface of Grimmia pulvinata rhizoids. The weathered material covered by the moss cushion has the chemical and physical characteristics of low pedogenized soils. The high value of the C/N ratio has to be referred to the presence of plant residues with high resistance to mineralize. The significant amount of plant available phosphorus, as assessed by Olsen extraction, confirmed the possibility that the bryophytes constitute important reserves of phosphorus

  7. Timing and recurrence of failure within NE Gela Basin, Sicily Channel

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kuhlmann, Jannis; Asioli, Alessandra; Trincardi, Fabio; Huhn, Katrin

    2014-05-01

    Submarine mass movements represent a common phenomenon in the evolution of continental margins. In order to enhance knowledge on trigger mechanisms and assess the geologic risk of slope failure, many studies focus on extensive and voluminous slide complexes, since these may have catastrophic and largely unpredictable consequences for offshore infrastructures and coastal communities alike. However, rather thick and complex deposits often hinder the definition of internal structures and hence the recognition of individual failure events. Small-scaled slide complexes are uniquely positioned in this context, as full data coverage often allows for a more detailed evaluation of the timing and recurrence rates of failure. We present evidence from a multidisciplinary study combining high-resolution acoustic data with deep-drilled core material (MeBo type) from a prominent example - the NE portion of Gela Basin within Sicily Channel, Central Mediterranean Sea. Morphological data (Kongsberg Simrad EM120 and EM1002 multibeam echosounder) and subsurface imagery (Atlas parametric sediment echosounder) from this submarine landslide complex between 200 and 700 m water depth reveal multiple slope failures and stacked mass transport deposits of varying thicknesses and lateral distributions. Correlations of the acoustic data to 14C-dated core material (GeoB14401, 35.5 mbsf) drilled through the stacked mass transport deposits suggest the occurrence of four major failure events within the basin during the last ~30 ka. Failure times of these events relate to different palaeo-environments including (1) the MIS2/3 boundary, (2) the Last Glacial Maximum [LGM], (3) the deposition of Sapropel S1 equivalent, and (4) the late Holocene. In addition to these major events, the occasional presence of reworked shelf-benthic foraminifera species within the core sedimentary record hints towards the presence of additional, small-scaled events during the period of the LGM chronozone. Frequent failure

  8. Active fault kinematics and crustal stresses along the Ionian margin of southeastern Sicily

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Adam, J.; Reuther, C.-D.; Grasso, M.; Torelli, L.

    2000-11-01

    strike-slip faulting, as recently indicated in mid-crustal levels by the moderate 1990 Augusta earthquake, and re-establishes the long-term extensional state of stress. Because the strike-slip faults and shear zones in the study area were formed as surface ruptures, they additionally give indications of episodic large earthquakes in this region with magnitudes greater than 6.0, as reported by several large earthquakes devastating E and SE Sicily in historical times.

  9. Fast geodetic strain-rates in eastern Sicily (southern Italy): new insights into block tectonics and seismic potential in the area of the great 1693 earthquake

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mastrolembo Ventura, B.; Serpelloni, E.; Argnani, A.; Bonforte, A.; Burgmann, R.; Anzidei, M.; Baldi, P.; Puglisi, G.

    2013-12-01

    Sicily and Calabria lye at the boundary between the converging Nubia and Eurasian plates and this sector of the plate boundary is consensually recognized as a key area for understanding the ongoing kinematics and geodynamics of the Mediterranean region. The kinematics of the complex tectonic blocks mosaic that characterizes the central Mediterranean, and particularly southern Italy, is, infact, still matter of debate. The increasing number of GPS stations available from mid-2000, particularly from continuous GPS networks, suggest a partially independent motion of this block with respect to Nubia. Interseismic GPS velocities in Eastern Sicily show two significant velocity gradients along a SSENNW direction, highlighting a contraction of ~2 mm/yr and an extension of ~2.5 mm/yr that are accommodated within a few tens of kilometers in correspondence of the northern rim of the Hyblean Plateau, the locus of the 1693 (Mw ~7.4) event, and the Nebrodi mountains, respectively. This complex velocity pattern suggests that different active tectonic structures likely contribute to the observed crustal deformation. This also suggests a significant internal deformation of the Sicily block, which deserves further investigation. In this work we first develop a kinematic block model to test different hypotheses about the tectonic blocks configuration in the study area. Then we model the observed ~N-S velocity gradients in eastern Sicily running a suite of block models, while varying the geometric parameters (dip angle and locking depth) and the top-edge position of the fault bounding the SES block to the north. Our kinematic analysis and performed statistical tests confirm the hypothesis of a kinematic independence of Sicily with respect to both Nubia and Eurasia, and highlights a more complex internal fragmentation of the tectonic blocks into three blocks, a north-eastern (NES), a central (CS) and a south-eastern (SES) Sicily crustal blocks. Results from the NNW-SSE velocity

  10. Active upper crust deformation pattern along the southern edge of the Tyrrhenian subduction zone (NE Sicily): Insights from a multidisciplinary approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Palano, Mimmo; Schiavone, Domenico; Loddo, Mariano; Neri, Marco; Presti, Debora; Quarto, Ruggiero; Totaro, Cristina; Neri, Giancarlo

    2015-08-01

    Using a multidisciplinary dataset based on gravimetric, seismic, geodetic and geological observations, we provide an improved picture of the shallow structure and dynamics of the southern edge of the Tyrrhenian subduction zone. With a local earthquake tomography we clearly identify two main crustal domains in the upper 15 km characterized by different P-wave velocity values: a high-velocity domain comprising southeasternmost Tyrrhenian Sea, NE Sicily and Messina Straits, and a low-velocity domain comprising Mt. Etna and eastern Sicily. The transition between the two domains shows a good spatial correspondence with a wider set of faults including the Taormina Fault System (TFS) and the Aeolian-Tindari-Letojanni Fault System (ATLFS), two nearly SE-striking fault systems crossing northeastern Sicily and ending on the Ionian shoreline of Sicily according to many investigators. Within this set of faults, most of the deformation/seismicity occurs along the northern and central segments of ATLFS, compared to low activity along TFS. A lack of seismicity (both recent and historical) is observed in the southern sector of ATLFS where, however, geodetic data reveal significant deformation. Our multidisciplinary dataset including offshore observations suggests the southeastward continuation of the ATLFS into the Ionian Sea until joining with the faults cutting the Ionian accretionary wedge described in the recent literature. Our findings imply the existence of a highly segmented crustal shear zone extending from the Aeolian Islands to the Ionian Abyssal plain, that we believe plays the role of accommodating differential motion between the Southern Tyrrhenian unit and the western compressional domain of Sicily. The ATLFS, which is a main part of the inferred shear zone, behaves similarly to what often observed at the edges of retreating subduction slabs, where the overriding plate drifts with a highly non-uniform transform motion along the lateral borders.

  11. Modelling the distributions of Culicoides bluetongue virus vectors in Sicily in relation to satellite-derived climate variables.

    PubMed

    Purse, B V; Tatem, A J; Caracappa, S; Rogers, D J; Mellor, P S; Baylis, M; Torina, A

    2004-06-01

    Surveillance data from 268 sites in Sicily are used to develop climatic models for prediction of the distribution of the main European bluetongue virus (BTV) vector Culicoides imicola Kieffer (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae) and of potential novel vectors, Culicoides pulicaris Linnaeus, Culicoides obsoletus group Meigen and Culicoides newsteadi Austen. The models containing the 'best' climatic predictors of distribution for each species, were selected from combinations of 40 temporally Fourier-processed remotely sensed variables and altitude at a 1 km spatial resolution using discriminant analysis. Kappa values of around 0.6 for all species models indicated substantial levels of agreement between model predictions and observed data. Whilst the distributions of C. obsoletus group and C. newsteadi were predicted by temperature variables, those of C. pulicaris and C. imicola were determined mainly by normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI), a variable correlated with soil moisture and vegetation biomass and productivity. These models were used to predict species presence in unsampled pixels across Italy and for C. imicola across Europe and North Africa. The predicted continuous presence of C. pulicaris along the appenine mountains, from north to south Italy, suggests BTV transmission may be possible in a large proportion of this region and that seasonal transhumance (seasonal movement of livestock between upland and lowland pastures) even in C. imicola-free areas should not generally be considered safe. The predicted distribution of C. imicola distribution shows substantial agreement with observed surveillance data from Greece and Iberia (including the Balearics) and parts of mainland Italy (Lazio, Tuscany and areas of the Ionian coast) but is generally much more restricted than the observed distribution (in Sardinia, Corsica and Morocco). The low number of presence sites for C. imicola in Sicily meant that only a restricted range of potential C. imicola habitats were

  12. Scientific activity and needs among medical oncology units in sicily: a survey of the italian association of medical oncology.

    PubMed

    Amadio, P; Bordonaro, R; Borsellino, N; Butera, A; Caruso, M; Ferraù, F; Russello, R; Savio, G; Valenza, R; Zerilli, F; Gebbia, V

    2010-02-01

    In the era of targeted therapies and combined modalities of treatment, scientific research plays a role of paramount importance in improving knowledge of cancer treatment. The aim of this survey was to review the scientific activity of medical oncology units in Sicily and to analyze their needs and possible pitfalls in order to improve future scientific cooperation.The regional section of the Italian Association of medical Oncology (AIOM) approved this survey in November, 2007. A systematic review of scientific activity produced by medical oncology units in Sicily during the last 5 years has been reviewed. papers dealing with solid tumors reported in the pubmed web site have been included in the analysis. Data were reported as absolute number of published papers and impact factor per medical oncology unit and also as a ratio between global impact factor and the number of personnel working in each single unit to analyze scientific production according to the workforce of each institution.We identified a total of 283 papers reported in pubmed between 2004 and march, 2009. The mean number of publications/unit was 10.9 with a range of 0-50. The mean number of publications/year was 11.7 with a range of 0.2-10. The 15 units included in the impact factor evaluation published 252 papers with a total impact factor of 1014.6 points in 5 years with a mean of 63.4 points per institution and a mean of 4.02 points/paper. However only four medical oncology units reported a cumulative 5-year impact factor >100 points.This survey has shown that a minority of medical oncology units in Sicily is constantly involved in clinical research although at different levels of activity. Overall the percentage of patients enrolled in clinical trials is very low. The main reasons for lack of participation in clinical trials include insufficient medical personnel, the absence of a specifically dedicated research unit inside the medical oncology structures and in some cases lack of research

  13. Global positioning system survey data for active seismic and volcanic areas of eastern Sicily, 1994 to 2013.

    PubMed

    Bonforte, Alessandro; Fagone, Sonia; Giardina, Carmelo; Genovese, Simone; Aiesi, Gianpiero; Calvagna, Francesco; Cantarero, Massimo; Consoli, Orazio; Consoli, Salvatore; Guglielmino, Francesco; Puglisi, Biagio; Puglisi, Giuseppe; Saraceno, Benedetto

    2016-01-01

    This work presents and describes a 20-year long database of GPS data collected by geodetic surveys over the seismically and volcanically active eastern Sicily, for a total of more than 6300 measurements. Raw data were initially collected from the various archives at the Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia, Sezione di Catania-Osservatorio Etneo and organized in a single repository. Here, quality and completeness checks were performed, while all necessary supplementary information were searched, collected, validated and organized together with the relevant data. Once all data and information collections were completed, raw binary data were converted into the universal ASCII RINEX format; all data are provided in this format with the necessary information for precise processing. In order to make the data archive readily consultable, we developed software allowing the user to easily search and obtain the needed data by simple alphanumeric and geographic queries. PMID:27479914

  14. Chemical composition of the essential oil from Thapsia garganica L. (Apiaceae) grown wild in Sicily and its antimicrobial activity.

    PubMed

    Casiglia, Simona; Riccobono, Luana; Bruno, Maurizio; Rosselli, Sergio; Senatore, Federica; Senatore, Felice

    2016-05-01

    In this study, the chemical composition of the essential oil from flowers and leaves of Thapsia garganica L. collected in Sicily was evaluated by GC and GC-MS. The main components of T. garganica flower oil (T.f.) were chamazulene (58.3%), humulene oxide II (9.0%), tricosane (8.2%) and pentacosane (8.2%). Also the oil from leaves (T.l.) was characterised by high content of chamazulene (49.2%). Other abundant metabolites were 1,4-dimethylazulene (18.5%), (E)-phytol (6.3%) and neophytadiene (5.1%). The comparison with other studied oils of genus Thapsia is discussed. Antimicrobial activity against several micro-organisms, including some ones infesting historical art craft, was also determined. PMID:26540577

  15. Heavy metals concentrations in fish from Sicily (Mediterranean Sea) and evaluation of possible health risks to consumers.

    PubMed

    Copat, Chiara; Bella, Francesca; Castaing, Marine; Fallico, Roberto; Sciacca, Salvatore; Ferrante, Margherita

    2012-01-01

    Cadmium, lead, mercury and chromium concentrations in fish muscle tissue taken from various Sicilian areas were detected. Fish caught in Siracusa, nearby a petrochemical industrial area, were more contaminated by cadmium, lead and chromium (respectively 0.366, 0.32, 0.72 μg/g) than those from the other sites. In the Sicily Channel, we found the highest bioaccumulation of mercury (0.31 μg/g). Although some metals concentrations exceed the limits set by the European regulation, the estimated weekly intake was below the Provisional Tolerable Weekly Intake established by the European Food and Safety Authority, and the Target Hazard Quotient values indicate that there is no carcinogenic risk for humans. PMID:22020920

  16. [Leishmaniasis vectors (Diptera, Psychodidae) in 3 different environments of western Sicily and 2 of the Aeolian Islands].

    PubMed

    Maroli, M; Lavagnino, A; Ansaldi, G; Cavallini, C

    1990-12-01

    Some cases of visceral leishmaniasis in children and in adults have been diagnosed in the last fifteen years in Western Sicily and an increasing number of cases of canine leishmaniasis has been recorded, mainly in the province of Palermo. Such a human leishmaniasis recrudescence, after the antimalaria campaign had reduced the transmission, and the increase of canine leishmaniasis in the city of Palermo and its suburbs suggest that transmission in urban areas may be possible. Using the oiled paper method, a survey of phlebotomine sandflies was carried out during June and July 1988 both in the centre and suburbs of Palermo, and during July and August '88 in the Madonie mountains (at 800 to 1200 meters above sea level) and in two Eolian Islands: Lipari and Filicudi. Details of collected species are given. In both surveys, the oiled paper method did not turn out to be selective towards any given species of sandflies. PMID:2132442

  17. Molecular epidemiology of Pseudomonas aeruginosa from cystic fibrosis in Sicily: genome macrorestriction analysis and rapid PCR-ribotyping.

    PubMed

    Agodi, A; Sciacca, A; Campanile, F; Messina, C; Barchitta, M; Sciacca, S; Stefani, S

    2000-07-01

    This study addresses the epidemiologic relatedness of a collection of Pseudomonas aeruginosa isolates from cystic fibrosis patients attending the Pediatric Clinic, Catania, Sicily. Genome macrorestriction analysis after pulsed field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) was used to characterise all strains. Furthermore, a rapid typing procedure, developed in this study, based on polymerase chain reaction amplified ribosomal DNA spacer polymorphisms (PCR-ribotyping), straight from bacterial cultures, was used. On the basis of macrorestriction analysis after PFGE, persistence of infection was shown in all patients; two cross-transmission episodes were identified in the nosocomial as well as in the familiar environment. PCR-ribotyping proved to be useful for a DNA-based identification test, suitable for screening purposes. The rapid amplification protocol here tested is proposed to evaluate the discriminatory power of other specific target sequences in PCR-based typing assays, for epidemiologic purposes. PMID:10939047

  18. Pb isotope composition in lichens and aerosols from eastern Sicily: Insights into the regional impact of volcanoes on the environment

    SciTech Connect

    Monna, F. ); Aiuppa, A.; Varrica, D. ); Dongarra, G. CNR, Palermo . Istituto Geochimica dei Fluidi)

    1999-08-01

    A total of 25 lichen thalli of Parmelia conspersa (Ehrh), collected at Vulcano island and at Mt. Etna, during a one-year biogeochemical survey, were analyzed for Pb, br, Al, Sc,[sup 206]Pb/[sup 207]Pb, and [sup 208]Pb/[sup 206]Pb ratios. Lead isotope ratios were also measured on aerosol samples from urban areas and industrial sites of Sicily. The observed [sup 206]Pb/[sup 207]Pb range for urban and industrial aerosols matches the anthropogenic signature. Lichens instead, are closer to the compositional field of [sup 206]Pb rich geogenic sources. This natural input is more evident at Vulcano island than at Mt. Etna, where the anthropogenic activities are considerably more effective. On the basis of lead isotope data, Pb/Br ratios and calculated lead enrichment factors, a natural lead pollution from volcanoes is suggested. Volcanic lead contribution ranges from 10 to 30% at Mt. Etna to 10--80% at Vulcano island.

  19. Prevalence of mastitis pathogens in Ragusa, Sicily, from 2000 to 2006.

    PubMed

    Ferguson, J D; Azzaro, G; Gambina, M; Licitra, G

    2007-12-01

    The objective of this study was to report the prevalence of intramammary infections (IMI) in Ragusa, Sicily, from milk samples (n = 18,711) collected between October 2000 and June 2006 from 101 dairy herds. Milk samples were collected at 9,747 cow sampling events from 5,285 individual cows. Samples were individual quarter (92.8%) or composite samples (7.2%) from an individual cow. Logistic regression was used to examine the prevalence of IMI at the level of milk sample and at the level of cow, controlling for year and season of collection, type of sample (individual quarter or composite), and type of housing and bedding of the cow at the time of collection. Bedding and housing types were as follows, respectively (number of herd groups): bedding: none (61), organic [51 (straw, 50; sawdust, 1)], and sand (3); housing: bedded pack (37), free stalls (57), tie stalls (4), and paddock (17). Raw prevalence of cow IMI for a sample event was as follows (percentage of cow samples): no growth, 47.4%; coagulase-negative staphylococci, 22.6%; Staphylococcus aureus, 20.6%; other Streptococcus spp., 11.1%; Streptococcus agalactiae, 2.3%; coliform bacteria, 2.9%; and other organisms, 5.8%. Prevalence of IMI differed by bedding type for Staph. aureus (none, 24.5%; organic, 12.7%; sand, 12.3%) and coagulase-negative staphylococci (none, 13.1%; organic, 27.4%; sand, 26.9%) but not for Streptococcus spp. or coliform bacteria. Prevalence of Streptococcus spp. IMI differed by housing type (tie stalls, 22.2%; bedded pack, 12.8%; free stalls, 8.4%; paddock, 7.1%). Housing was not associated with the prevalence of IMI for other bacteria. Herd monthly prevalence of Staph. aureus and Streptococcus spp. IMI was associated with decreased mean milk production (Staph. aureus, -1.42 kg/d per cow, SEM 0.51; Streptococcus spp., -1.31 kg/d per cow, SEM 0.64) and increased mean linear score (Staph. aureus, 1.01 units/d per cow, SEM 0.16; Streptococcus spp., 0.59 units/d per cow, SEM 0.22). Herds (n

  20. Modelling a strike-slip fault system affecting porous carbonates in Favignana Island (Sicily, southern Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cilona, A.; Tondi, E.; Agosta, F.; Johnson, G.; Shackleton, R.

    2012-12-01

    Investigating the deformation processes as well as the characteristics and distribution of their end-products is a crucial issue to improve geo-fluid exploitation in carbonate reservoirs (≈50% of natural geo-fluids). Indeed, besides the primary controls on the petrophysical properties of limestones, which are due to nature and organization/shape of the constituent elements (i.e. grains, pores, cement, clay minerals), both containment and migration of fluids in these rocks are influenced by fault zones and fractures. In this contribution we integrate quantitative structural analysis and numerical modelling approaches aiming at testing a new workflow useful to create a 3D discrete fracture network (DFN) model of a reservoir starting from outcrop data collected in Favignana Island (Sicily, southern Italy). The presence of several quarries in the Island provides 3D exposures of ≈25 m-thick Lower-Pleistocene high-porosity grainstones crosscut by two conjugate sets of strike-slip faults. This fault system, documented by Tondi et al. (2012), is comprised of three types of structure: single compactive shear bands (CSB); zones of bands (ZB); and, faults. CSBs are narrow tabular features with porosity less than the surrounding host rocks, and have thicknesses and displacements on the order of a few mm. The growth process for these structures involves localizing further deformation within zones of closely-spaced CSBs and, possibly, along continuous slip surfaces within fault rocks overprinting older ZBs. The transitions from one growth step to another are recorded by different values of the dimensional parameters (i.e. length, thickness and displacement) for the structures. These transitions are also reflected by the ratios and distributions of the dimensional parameters. The DFN model was built by means of the Fracture Modelling module of the commercial software package Move from Midland Valley©. The analysis of an aerial photo was performed firstly to delimit the

  1. GIS analysis to assess landslide susceptibility in a fluvial basin of NW Sicily (Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Conoscenti, Christian; Di Maggio, Cipriano; Rotigliano, Edoardo

    Landslide hazard assessment, effected by means of geostatistical methods, is based on the analysis of the relationships between landslides and the spatial distributions of some instability factors. Frequently such analyses are based on landslide inventories in which each record represents the entire unstable area and is managed as a single instability landform. In this research, landslide susceptibility is evaluated through the study of a variety of instability landforms: landslides, scarps and areas uphill from crown . The instability factors selected were: bedrock lithology, steepness, topographic wetness index and stream power index. The instability landform densities computed for all the factors, which were arranged in Unique Condition Unit, allowed us to derive a total of three prediction images for each landslide typology. The role of the instability factors and the effects generated by the use of different landforms were analyzed by means of: a) bivariate analysis of the relationships between factors and landslide density; b) predictive power validations of the prediction images, based on a random partition strategy. The test area was the Iato River Basin (North-Western Sicily), whose slopes are moderately involved in flow and rotational slide landslides (219 and 28, respectively). The area is mainly made up of the following complexes: Numidian Flysch clays (19%, 1%), Terravecchia sandy clays (5%, 1%), Terravecchia clayey sands (3%, 0.3%) and San Cipirello marly clays (9%, 0%). The steepness parameter shows the highest landslide density in the [11-19°] class for both the typologies (8%, 1%), even if the density distributions for rotational slides are right-asymmetric and right-shifted. We obtained significant differences in shape when we used different instability landforms. Unlike scarps and areas uphill from crowns, landslide areas produce left-asymmetric and left-shifted density distributions for both the typologies. As far as the topographic wetness

  2. Geological record of the 365 A.D. Crete tsunami in south-eastern Sicily

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gerardi, Flavia; Serafina Barbano, Maria; de Martini, Paolo Marco; Pirrotta, Claudia; Smedile, Alessandra; Pinzi, Stefania; Del Carlo, Paola

    2010-05-01

    Five years ago we started a coring campaign with the purpose to identify evidence for tsunami inundations along the coastal areas of eastern Sicily, that were affected in historical times by devastating tsunamis, generated both by local earthquakes, such as the 1169, 1693 and 1908 events, and by distant seismic sources, such as those belonging to the Aegean subduction zone (e.g. the A.D. 365 Crete earthquake). Following a multi-theme approach, we used the available historical information to address geomorphological study of the coastal landscape: aerial-photographs analysis, satellite images interpretation and field surveys allowed us to select areas likely invaded by tsunami waves in the past, representing potential trap-site for high energy deposits sedimentation and preservation. Given the variability in the nature of tsunami deposit characteristics, they are not uniquely identifiable, and other kinds of high energy deposits may share some of their features. Despite the abundant literature regarding diagnostic criteria for tsunami deposits, their distinction from storm and hurricane deposits remains a debated issue. We present the geological evidence of a tsunami inundation that left continuous onshore sandy deposit inside the Pantano Morghella along the south-eastern Sicilian coast. Pantano Morghella an almost flat area, about 1.3 km long and 0.8 km wide, surrounded by Upper Cretaceous lavas and volcanoclastic deposits, Late Cretaceous limestone calciruditi, calcarenites and marls. To the east Quaternary deposits, beach sands and 3 m high, partially cemented, dunal system (Holocene and Late Pleistocene) separate the Pantano from the sea forming the intertidal pond with a little channel from which sea water can rush into. The site was partially used as salt-pans in the recent past. In this site, we dug 33 cores down to a maximum depth of 5.80 m, from 200 m up to 1200 m from the coastline. The sedimentological core analysis reveals a fine stratigraphic sequence

  3. Simulation of debris flow events in Sicily by cellular automata model SCIDDICA_SS3

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cancelliere, A.; Lupiano, V.; Peres, D. J.; Stancanelli, L.; Avolio, M.; Foti, E.; Di Gregorio, S.

    2013-12-01

    Debris flow models are widely used for hazard mapping or for evaluating the effectiveness of risk mitigation measures. Several models analyze the dynamics of debris flow runout solving Partial Differential Equations. In use of such models, difficulties arise in estimating kinematic geotechnical soil parameters for real phenomena. In order to overcome such difficulties, alternative semi-empirical approaches can be employed, such as macroscopic Cellular Automata (CA). In particular, for CA simulation purposes, the runout of debris flows emerges from local interactions in a dynamical system, subdivided into elementary parts, whose state evolves within a spatial and temporal discretum. The attributes of each cell (substates) describe physical characteristics. For computational reasons, the natural phenomenon is splitted into a number of elementary processes, whose proper composition makes up the CA transition function. By simultaneously applying this function to all the cells, the evolution of the phenomenon can be simulated in terms of modifications of the substates. In this study, we present an application of the macroscopic CA semi-empirical model SCIDDICA_SS3 to the Peloritani Mountains area in Sicily island, Italy. The model was applied using detailed data from the 1 October 2009 debris flow event, which was triggered by a rainfall event of about 250 mm falling in 9 hours, that caused the death of 37 persons. This region is characterized by river valleys with large hillslope angles (30°-60°), catchment basins of small extensions (0.5-12 km2) and soil composed by metamorphic material, which is easy to be eroded. CA usage implies a calibration phase, that identifies an optimal set of parameters capable of adequately play back the considered case, and a validation phase, that tests the model on a sufficient (and different) number of cases similar in terms of physical and geomorphological properties. The performance of the model can be measured in terms of a fitness

  4. Probability hazard map for future vent opening at Etna volcano (Sicily, Italy).

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brancato, Alfonso; Tusa, Giuseppina; Coltelli, Mauro; Proietti, Cristina

    2014-05-01

    Mount Etna is a composite stratovolcano located along the Ionian coast of eastern Sicily. The frequent flank eruptions occurrence (at an interval of years, mostly concentrated along the NE, S and W rift zones) lead to a high volcanic hazard that, linked with intense urbanization, poses a high volcanic risk. A long-term volcanic hazard assessment, mainly based on the past behaviour of the Etna volcano, is the basic tool for the evaluation of this risk. Then, a reliable forecast where the next eruption will occur is needed. A computer-assisted analysis and probabilistic evaluations will provide the relative map, thus allowing identification of the areas prone to the highest hazard. Based on these grounds, the use of a code such BET_EF (Bayesian Event Tree_Eruption Forecasting) showed that a suitable analysis can be explored (Selva et al., 2012). Following an analysis we are performing, a total of 6886 point-vents referring to the last 4.0 ka of Etna flank activity, and spread over an area of 744 km2 (divided into N=2976 squared cell, with side of 500 m), allowed us to estimate a pdf by applying a Gaussian kernel. The probability values represent a complete set of outcomes mutually exclusive and the relative sum is normalized to one over the investigated area; then, the basic assumptions of a Dirichlet distribution (the prior distribution set in the BET_EF code (Marzocchi et al., 2004, 2008)) still hold. One fundamental parameter is the the equivalent number of data, that depicts our confidence on the best guess probability. The BET_EF code also works with a likelihood function. This is modelled by a Multinomial distribution, with parameters representing the number of vents in each cell and the total number of past data (i.e. the 6886 point-vents). Given the grid of N cells, the final posterior distribution will be evaluated by multiplying the a priori Dirichlet probability distribution with the past data in each cell through the likelihood. The probability hazard map

  5. The Tyrrhenian stage geodinamic evolution of Apenninic-Maghrebian orogen (Southern Apennines and Sicily)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lentini, F.; Carbone, S.; Barreca, G.

    2009-04-01

    In the Central Mediterranean region the foreland domains are represented by two continental blocks, the Apulian Block to the north and the Pelagian Block to the south, respectively belonging to the Adria and to the Africa plates. They are separated since Permo-Triassic times by the oceanic crust of the Ionian Sea. The Apenninic-Maghrebian orogen is located between two oceanic crusts: the old Ionian crust, at present time subducting beneath the Calabrian Arc, and the new crust of the opening Tyrrhenian Sea. The orogenic belt is represented by a multilayer allochthonous edifice, composed of the Calabride Chain (CC) tectonically overlying the Apenninic-Maghrebian Chain (AMC), which in turn overthrust onto the Upper Miocene and Pliocene top-levels of a deep seated thrust system, originating by the deformation of the innermost carbonates of the Pelagian/Apulian blocks (External Thrust System: ETS). The AMC tectonic units derive from the orogenic transport during Oligo-Miocene times of sedimentary sequences deposited in palaeogeographical domains located between the Europe and the Afro-Adriatic plates. These units are composed of Meso-Cenozoic shallow-water carbonate successions detached from a continental type crust sector, the Panormide/Apenninic Block, recognizable by means of seismic lines shot in the Tyrrhenian offshore of Southern Apennines and Northern Sicily. The Meso-Cenozoic basinal units, that compose the AMC, can be distinguished into two main groups of sequences, originally located on oceanic crusts separated by the Panormide/Apenninic Block: the external ones (Ionides) related to an original basin belonging to branches of the Ionian Palaeobasin involved in the orogenesis, and the internal ones ascribed to the Alpine Tethys (Sicilide Units). The terrigenous deposits of the basinal sequences belonging to the Ionides are represented by Tertiary foreland/foredeep deposits, whose relationships with the substratum are occasionally preserved, although large

  6. Dynamic rockfall risk assessment along the SS113 coastal road (Northern Sicily)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mastrolembo, V. Brunella; Penna, Ivanna; Voumard, Jérémie; Jaboyedoff, Michel

    2016-04-01

    Rockfalls are natural hazards that usually affect only small areas. However, due to the big amount of material that can be moved and the associated kinetic energy they can cost serious damages to infrastructures and people. Even fairly small rockfall fragments are a significant hazard if deposited on a highway or along a rail-road track since they are not easily detected and can cause accidents or derailments. Rockfalls can also cause the closure of streets resulting in long term indirect economic losses due to transportation delays as well as to the impact on the commercial and tourist activities. In letterature there are numerous examples of rockfall risk assessments along transportation corridors, most of them are based on the use of standard risk estimation methods. The latters are static approaches founded on a macroscopic view of road traffic, assumed as uniform in space and time, thus characterized by average values of parameters. Lately, a new dynamic approach has been developed within the 'risk analysis group' at the University of Lausanne (Voumard, 2013). It consists of a kinematic interpretation of road traffic where vehicles are parametrized as single entities with different characteristics, speed, dimensions and behaviour. We apply this new approach to estimate the dynamic risk due to rockfall occurrence on the SS113 national road running along the northern coast of Sicily. In this work we focus our attention on a ≈10 km section along which the SS113 road and a railway connect all the costal villages going through very steep cliffs and very close to the sea with evident problems of erosion and maintenance. The area is a tourist destination and many hotels and facilities are found along the road. Moreover the area was already hit in the past by numerous rockfalls resulting in the closure of the road for periods running from a few days up to a few years with big direct and indirect damages to the local socio-economic activities. In order to achieve a

  7. 3D numerical modeling of an anthropogenic sinkhole in the Marsala area of western Sicily

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bonamini, Marco; Di Maggio, Cipriano; Lollino, Piernicola; Madonia, Giuliana; Parise, Mario; Vattano, Marco

    2013-04-01

    The Marsala area (western Sicily) is characterized by the presence of a Lower Pleistocene (Calabrian) calcarenite succession (Marsala Calcarenite Fm). It can be divided into three lithofacies that show the regressive evolution of the depositional system: a) coarse to fine yellow bio- and lithoclastic calcarenites, b) sands, and c) gray sandy clays. At least 80 m-thick, this succession gently dips (5-10°) towards the south and the south-west. Locally, the Marsala Calcarenite may be covered by Middle and Upper Pleistocene marine terraced deposits. The town of Marsala presents several historical quarries for the extraction of this building material. Many of them were excavated underground, at depth ranging from a few meters to about 25 m, and are arranged in one or two levels, following the galleries and pillars excavation technique. With time, the underground quarries have been progressively abandoned due to the high costs of extraction, as well as to the dangers and difficulties encountered in working underground. Since the 1960's the quarries, as a matter of fact, have been affected by several instability processes for the decay of the physical and mechanical properties of the calcarenite rock mass and the interaction with the groundwater. Such instability processes are represented by collapses and deformations of vaults and pillars. These phenomena often propagate upward reaching the topographic surface and forming sinkholes which may likely affect and severely damage the built-up areas above. In particular, two case studies of sinkholes related to different underground quarries have been already described by the Authors in a previous contribution at EGU 2012, also integrated by a two-dimensional numerical study. The aim of the present work is to develop a three-dimensional numerical analysis aimed at describing the most significant processes and factors responsible of the instability processes, as well as to investigate the three-dimensional features of the same

  8. [Environment and health in Gela (Sicily): present knowledge and prospects for future studies].

    PubMed

    Musmeci, Loredana; Bianchi, Fabrizio; Carere, Mario; Cori, Liliana

    2009-01-01

    The study area includes the Municipalities of Gela, Niscemi and Butera located in the South of Sicily, Italy. In 1990 it was declared Area at High Risk of Environmental Crisis. In 2000 part of it was designated as Gela Reclamation Site of National Interest, RSNI. The site includes a private industrial area, public and marine areas, for a total of 51 km(2). Gela populationin 2008 was 77,145 (54,774 in 1961). Sea level:46 m. Total area: 276 km(2). Grid reference: 37 degrees 4' 0" N, 14 degrees 15' 0" E. Niscemi and Butera are located border to Gela. Populations are respectively 26,541 and 5,063. Sea level respectively: 332 m and 402 m. Close to the city of Gela, the industrial area, operating since 1962, includes chemical production plants, a power station and an oil refinery plant, one of the larger in Europe, refining 5 millions tons of crude per year. From the beginning the workforces decreased from 7,000 to the current 3,000 units. Over the years, these industrial activities have been a major source of environmental pollution. Extremely high levels of toxic, persistent and bio-accumulating chemical pollutants have been documented. Many relevant environmental and health data are available. Prior to the studies described in the present publication, their use in order to identify environmental pressures on health has been limited. Nevertheless, since several years different epidemiological studies have provided evidence of the occurrence of health outcomes significantly higher than in neighbouring areas and compared to regional data. In 2007 a Multidisciplinary Working Group has been established, to analyze the existing data on pollution-exposure-effect and to complete current knowledge on the cycle of pollutants, from migration in the environment to health impact. The present publication is a collection of contribution of this group of experts, supported by the following projects: Evaluation of environmental health impact and estimation of economic costs at of

  9. Investigation on potential landslide sources along the Hyblaean-Malta escarpment for the 1693 tsunami in Eastern Sicily (Southern Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zaniboni, Filippo; Pagnoni, Gianluca; Armigliato, Alberto; Tinti, Stefano

    2015-04-01

    The study of the source of 1693 tsunami in eastern Sicily (South Italy) is still debated in the scientific community. Macroseismic analyses provide inland location for the epicenter of the earthquake, while historical reports describing 1-2 m waves hitting the coast suggest the existence of at least an offshore extension of the fault. Furthermore, an anomalous water elevation was described in Augusta (between Siracusa and Catania), that was interpreted as the manifestation of a local submarine landslide. The presence of the steep Hyblaean-Malta escarpment, that runs parallel to the eastern coast of Sicily at a short distance from the shoreline and is cut by several canyons and scars, corroborates the hypothesis of a landslide occurrence, though no clear evidence has been found yet. This research, realized in the frame of the project ASTARTE (Assessment, Strategy And Risk Reduction for Tsunamis in Europe - FP7-ENV2013 6.4-3, Grant 603839), aims at assessing the effect of landslide-generated tsunamis on the coastal stretch around Augusta considering different scenarios of collapsing masses along the Hyblaean-Malta escarpment. The slide dynamics is computed by means of the numerical code UBO-BLOCK1 (developed by the University of Bologna Tsunami Research Team), and the corresponding tsunami is simulated via the code UBO-TSUFD. The sliding bodies are placed in different positions in order to assess which of them could produce significant effects on the town of Augusta, providing then clues on the possible source area for the hypothesized slide related to the 1693 tsunami. The sensitivity analysis shows the spatial dependence of the coastal tsunami height on the source volume, position, distance from the coast, and on other parameters.

  10. Fault reactivation by stress pattern reorganization in the Hyblean foreland domain of SE Sicily (Italy) and seismotectonic implications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cultrera, Fabrizio; Barreca, Giovanni; Scarfì, Luciano; Monaco, Carmelo

    2015-10-01

    Between the October 2011 and the July 2012, several seismic swarms occurred in the Hyblean foreland domain of SE Sicily (Italy) along the Cavagrande Canyon, one of the most impressive fluvial incisions of Sicily. Despite the low magnitude of the events (main shock with M ~ 3.7), they represent the biggest strain release of the Hyblean area over the last 10 years. A careful waveform analysis of the earthquakes revealed that most of them form a family of "multiplets". These findings allow us to reconstruct the attitude of the accountable fault plane by interpolating their high-precision 3D location parameters into a GIS platform. A detailed morpho-structural analysis, performed at the ideal updip projection of the modeled plane, showed that during the Middle-Late Pleistocene the epicentral area has been deformed by a belt of extensional faults, a segment of which matches well with the computer-generated surface. Despite the field evidence, computed focal solutions support contrasting strike-slip kinematics on the same fault plane, clearly indicating a dextral shearing on this pre-existing normal fault. The seismic swarms nucleated on a small rupture area along a ~ 10 km long, NW-SE trending fault segment, that could be able to generate M ~ 6 earthquakes. Following our analysis and looking at seismicity distribution in the SE portion of Hyblean area, we assess that a stress pattern reorganization occurred all over the Hyblean foreland between the Late Pleistocene and present-day. Change in the trajectory of the max stress axes (from vertical to horizontal) seems to have involved a pre-existing large-scale fault configuration with considerable seismotectonic implications.

  11. Chemical composition of the essential oil of Moluccella spinosa L. (Lamiaceae) collected wild in Sicily and its activity on microorganisms affecting historical textiles.

    PubMed

    Casiglia, Simona; Jemia, Mariem Ben; Riccobono, Luana; Bruno, Maurizio; Scandolera, Elia; Senatore, Felice

    2015-01-01

    In this study the chemical composition of the essential oil from aerial parts of Moluccella spinosa L. collected in Sicily was evaluated by GC and GC-MS. The main components of M. spinosa L. were α-pinene (26.6%), caryophyllene oxide (16.8%) and β-caryophyllene (8.6%). A comparison with other studied oils of genus Moluccella is made. Antibacterial and antifungal activities against some microorganisms infesting historical textiles were also determined. PMID:25554361

  12. Enriched asthenosphere melting beneath the nascent North African margin: trace element and Nd isotope evidence in middle-late Triassic alkali basalts from central Sicily (Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cirrincione, Rosolino; Fiannacca, Patrizia; Lustrino, Michele; Romano, Vanessa; Tranchina, Annunziata; Villa, Igor M.

    2016-03-01

    During the dismembering of the Pangea supercontinent, middle-late Triassic sub-volcanic alkaline rocks were emplaced in central Sicily. These rocks have an alkali basaltic composition and show OIB-like incompatible element patterns in primitive mantle-normalized diagrams (e.g., enrichments in HFSE and LREE coupled with high HFSE/LILE ratios), as well as slightly positive \\varepsilon_{Nd} values. Only subtle effects of crustal contamination at shallow depths emerge from geochemical data. These characteristics are very different compared with the Permian calcalkaline magmas from elsewhere in SW Europe still carrying the geochemical signature of modifications related to the Variscan orogeny. The mineralogical, geochemical and isotopic compositions of the investigated samples from central Sicily are also different from the coeval shoshonitic volcano-plutonic formations of Southern Alps (Dolomites). The incompatible element composition and Nd isotopic ratios are consistent with low-degree partial melting of a moderately depleted asthenospheric mantle source, with a negligible involvement of the thinned continental crust. The studied alkaline basalts represent the only known evidence of a segment of the Triassic rift system associated with early Pangea breakup in central Sicily. The close similarity of the central Sicily Triassic alkali basalts with coeval basalts emplaced along former orogenic sutures across the peri-Mediterranean area suggests a common origin related, at least partly, to asthenospheric passive upwelling following the tectonic collapse of the Variscan Belt. These rocks provide new constraints on the spatial-temporal distribution, magma source evolution and geodynamic meaning of the widespread Permo-Triassic basic magmatism developed after the end of the Variscan Orogeny in southwestern Europe.

  13. Tsunami hazard assessment for the area of Siracusa and Augusta (eastern Sicily, Italy) by means of numerical techniques

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tinti, Stefano; Armigliato, Alberto; Pagnoni, Gianluca; Zaniboni, Filippo

    2014-05-01

    The eastern coast of Sicily is one of the littorals most prone to tsunami hazard in the Mediterranean Sea. The potential tsunamigenic sources are many, all connected to the complex geological pattern of the area, and they span different scales. On the local scale one can find the Hyblaean-Malta Escarpment (HME), characterized by mass failures that have been hypothesized as possible causes of local tsunami generation (see e.g. the deep-sea slide off Augusta that was speculatively associated to the 1693 earthquake). On the medium range, the faults along the HME, the Ionian Sea, the Messina Straits, as a part of the wider Calabrian Arc system, provided several relevant earthquakes in the past, some of which producing large tsunamis, such as the 1693 and the 1908 events. In the far field, the western Hellenic Arc, characterized by the largest earthquakes in the whole Mediterranean Sea, has the potential of big trans-Mediterranean tsunamis capable of severe effects also on the coasts of Sicily. In the framework of the EU-FP7 project ASTARTE, the area embracing the cities of Siracusa and Augusta, located in the southern part of the Ionian coast of Sicily, has been chosen as a test site for the evaluation of the tsunami hazard and risk by means of various techniques. In this work we adopt the worst-case credible scenario approach, which means that after taking into account the possible sources in different zones we select the largest events on the basis of historical and geo- and seismo-tectonical considerations and we compute the corresponding tsunami. The numerical calculations are carried out by means of in-house developed models: UBO-BLOCK to simulate the dynamics of the tsunamigenic slides, a code implementing the Okada equations to compute the co-seismic displacements of the sea floor, UBO-TSUFD to calculate the tsunami propagation over a domain covered by one or more regularly spaced grids with different resolution (the finer grids being nested within the coarser

  14. Fluid escape structures in the Graham Bank region (Sicily Channel, Central Mediterranean) revealing volcanic and neotectonic activity.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Spatola, Daniele; Pennino, Valentina; Basilone, Luca; Interbartolo, Francesco; Micallef, Aaron; Sulli, Attilio; Basilone, Walter

    2016-04-01

    In the Sicily Channel, (Central Mediterranean), two geodynamic processes overlap each other, the Maghrebides-Apennines accretionary prism and the Sicily Channel rift. Moreover, the northwestern sector (Banks sector) is characterised by an irregular seafloor morphology linked to the recent volcanic and tectonic activity.In order to discriminate the role exerted by both the processes in the morphostructural setting of the area we used a dataset of both high and very high resolution single-channel and multi-channel profiles, acquired in the frame of the RITMARE project respectively with CHIRP and sparker, and airgun sources, and high resolution (5 m cell) morpho-bathymetric data. The data allowed us to identify and characterise two areas where different geological features (sedimentary and volcanic) are prevailing. They present fluid escaping evidence, which often appears to be active and generating different types of morphologies (both positive and negative). In the western sector we recognised pockmarks at water depths of 195 to 317 m, with diameters from 25 to 580 m, depths from 1.3 to 15 m, and slope up to 23°. They show sub-circular shape in plan-view and reflectors with upward concavity in cross section, and are oriented along a NW-SE trend.The CHIRP and multichannel profiles highlight fluids that affect the Plio-Quaternary succession, especially in areas where the top surface of the Messinian succession is shallower. Conversely, wipe-out acoustic facies were recognised in proximity of: i) extensional faults of Mesozoic age with NW-SE trend; ii) dip/strike slip faults of Cenozoic age with NW-SE, N-S and about NNE-SSW trends, and iii) extensional neo-tectonic faults with NW-SE and NNW-SSE trends. We cannot exclude that they could feed the shallower reservoir producing a mixing between the two. In the eastern sector we recognised a cluster of volcanoes composed of seven cone-shaped structures (SCV1-7), pertaining to a wide area known as Graham Bank. A detailed

  15. Modeling, Analysis, and Preservation Techniques for Historic Reinforced Concrete Structures in Seismic Prone Regions Case Study: Augusta Airship Hangar, Sicily

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cronin, Kelly; Reiner, Tom; Whyte, Catherine

    2008-07-01

    Throughout the world there are hundreds of historic monuments and structures considered to be invaluable and irreplaceable. They are symbols of cultural identity and a means of educating people about history. Preservation of historic monuments and structures is therefore an important part of safeguarding these cultural heritage sites so that they retain their value for future generations. This report discusses a procedure for the investigation of seismic hazards in existing buildings and possible steps that can be taken to avoid damage caused by these hazards. The Augusta Airship Hangar located in Sicily, will be used as a case study however the topics addressed in this paper can be applied to other structures of historic value around the world. First state-of-the-art scanning procedures were used to create scale digital models that were imported into a structural analysis program. Within this program dynamic analyses were performed on the model based on actual ground motions taken close to the site. This data was used to determine the period and mode shapes of the structure. Then a nonlinear analysis, including a static pushover analysis, was implemented on a two-dimensional model of the structural frame. From this analysis the failure mechanisms of the structure were revealed with relation to an allowable roof displacement. The structural integrity of the structure was evaluated based on pre-defined performance goals. Finally multiple suggestions were made how the Augusta Airship Hangar might be repaired and strengthened so that this structure will not be destroyed should an earthquake occur. The results of our study show that historic structures, despite their age, can still be strong and ductile. Also there are a multitude of effective preservation and retrofit techniques that can be used to strengthen these historic structures, should an earthquake occur. Through this study, the Augusta Airship Hangar has proven to be not only a historic symbol for Sicily but

  16. Modeling, Analysis, and Preservation Techniques for Historic Reinforced Concrete Structures in Seismic Prone Regions Case Study: Augusta Airship Hangar, Sicily

    SciTech Connect

    Cronin, Kelly; Whyte, Catherine; Reiner, Tom

    2008-07-08

    Throughout the world there are hundreds of historic monuments and structures considered to be invaluable and irreplaceable. They are symbols of cultural identity and a means of educating people about history. Preservation of historic monuments and structures is therefore an important part of safeguarding these cultural heritage sites so that they retain their value for future generations.This report discusses a procedure for the investigation of seismic hazards in existing buildings and possible steps that can be taken to avoid damage caused by these hazards. The Augusta Airship Hangar located in Sicily, will be used as a case study however the topics addressed in this paper can be applied to other structures of historic value around the world.First state-of-the-art scanning procedures were used to create scale digital models that were imported into a structural analysis program. Within this program dynamic analyses were performed on the model based on actual ground motions taken close to the site. This data was used to determine the period and mode shapes of the structure. Then a nonlinear analysis, including a static pushover analysis, was implemented on a two-dimensional model of the structural frame. From this analysis the failure mechanisms of the structure were revealed with relation to an allowable roof displacement. The structural integrity of the structure was evaluated based on pre-defined performance goals. Finally multiple suggestions were made how the Augusta Airship Hangar might be repaired and strengthened so that this structure will not be destroyed should an earthquake occur.The results of our study show that historic structures, despite their age, can still be strong and ductile. Also there are a multitude of effective preservation and retrofit techniques that can be used to strengthen these historic structures, should an earthquake occur. Through this study, the Augusta Airship Hangar has proven to be not only a historic symbol for Sicily but

  17. Worst-Case Scenario Tsunami Hazard Assessment in Two Historically and Economically Important Districts in Eastern Sicily (Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Armigliato, A.; Tinti, S.; Pagnoni, G.; Zaniboni, F.; Paparo, M. A.

    2015-12-01

    The portion of the eastern Sicily coastline (southern Italy), ranging from the southern part of the Catania Gulf (to the north) down to the southern-eastern end of the island, represents a very important geographical domain from the industrial, commercial, military, historical and cultural points of view. Here the two major cities of Augusta and Siracusa are found. In particular, the Augusta bay hosts one of the largest petrochemical poles in the Mediterranean, and Siracusa is listed among the UNESCO World Heritage Sites since 2005. This area was hit by at least seven tsunamis in the approximate time interval from 1600 BC to present, the most famous being the 365, 1169, 1693 and 1908 tsunamis. The choice of this area as one of the sites for the testing of innovative methods for tsunami hazard, vulnerability and risk assessment and reduction is then fully justified. This is being developed in the frame of the EU Project called ASTARTE - Assessment, STrategy And Risk Reduction for Tsunamis in Europe (Grant 603839, 7th FP, ENV.2013.6.4-3). We assess the tsunami hazard for the Augusta-Siracusa area through the worst-case credible scenario technique, which can be schematically divided into the following steps: 1) Selection of five main source areas, both in the near- and in the far-field (Hyblaean-Malta escarpment, Messina Straits, Ionian subduction zone, Calabria offshore, western Hellenic Trench); 2) Choice of potential and credible tsunamigenic faults in each area: 38 faults were selected, with properly assigned magnitude, geometry and focal mechanism; 3) Computation of the maximum tsunami wave elevations along the eastern Sicily coast on a coarse grid (by means of the in-house code UBO-TSUFD) and extraction of the 9 scenarios that produce the largest effects in the target areas of Augusta and Siracusa; 4) For each of the 9 scenarios we run numerical UBO-TSUFD simulations over a set of five nested grids, with grid cells size decreasing from 3 km in the open Ionian

  18. Assessment of daily reference evapotranspiration in Sicily by means of POWER-NASA agro-climatology archive

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Negm, Amro; Jabro, Jay; Provenzano, Giuseppe

    2016-04-01

    The importance of evapotranspiration, ET, processes has long been recognized in many disciplines, including hydrologic and drainage studies as well as for irrigation system design and management. A wide number of equations have been proposed to estimate crop reference evapotranspiration, ET0, based on the variables affecting the process. When a full data set of climate variables is available, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations recommended to use the physically based FAO-56 Penman-Monteith equation. The lack of climate variables and particularly of solar radiation has led several researchers to propose simplified ET0 estimation equations using a limited number of climate variables. These equations, however, need site-specific validation prior to their use and cannot be generalized. Recently, the American National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), created an efficient and open access agro-climatology archive in the frame of the Prediction Of Worldwide Energy Resource (POWER) project containing, on global scale, a long-series of meteorological variables and surface solar energy fluxes. The main objective of the research was to assess the suitability of POWER-NASA open access archive to estimate daily reference evapotranspiration, ET0, in Sicily, for the period 2006-2014. Daily ET0 were evaluated according to FAO-56 PM equation, by considering the POWER-NASA database characterized by a grid resolution of 1° latitude × 1° longitude, as well as the climate data measured on the ground, by a network of 36 meteorological stations installed in Sicily and belonging to the Agro-meteorological Information Service (SIAS). After comparing the climate data available in both databases (minimum, maximum and average air temperature and relative air humidity, wind speed, solar radiation and air pressure), a statistical comparison was also carried out on ET0 values estimated with the FAO-56 PM equation. The analysis showed a good correlation

  19. A radiometric and petrographic interpretation of discrepancies on uranium content in samples collected at Alte Madonie Mounts region (Sicily, Italy).

    PubMed

    Lanzo, G; Rizzo, S; Tomarchio, E

    2014-03-01

    The main goal of this work is to evaluate a correlation between anomalous Uranium (U) content and petrographic features of some soil and rock samples collected at Alte Madonie Mounts region (North-central Sicily, Italy). A total of 41 samples of selected soils and rocks were collected, powdered, dried and sealed in "Marinelli" beakers for 20 days before the measurement to ensure that radioactive equilibrium between (226)Ra and (214)Bi was reached. Gamma-ray spectrometric analysis was used to quantify radioactivity concentrations. Mineralogical and chemical features of the samples were determined by X-ray Fluorescence (XRF), X-ray Diffractometry (XRD), Attenuated Total Reflection-Fourier Transform Infrared (ATR-FTIR) and Scanning Electron Microscope - Energy Dispersive Spectrometry (SEM-EDS) analyses. The average values of concentrations of (226)Ra, (228)Ac and (40)K were respectively 30, 17 and 227 Bq kg(-1) while the greatest values were 134, 59 and 748 Bq kg(-1). Linear relationships were observed between (226)Ra, (228)Ac and (40)K concentrations: the activities of (226)Ra and (228)Ac were comparable, while those of (40)K were about 10 times greater. An exception was highlighted for a group of samples where (226)Ra activities were much higher than expectations. Chemical compositions and mineralogical features of the samples have made it possible to justify these anomalies. PMID:24389108

  20. The role of native flower visitors in pollinating Opuntia ficus-indica (L.) Mill., naturalized in Sicily

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lo Verde, Gabriella; La Mantia, Tommaso

    2011-09-01

    The role of insects in pollination and consequently in fruit set and quality was assessed in two commercial orchards of the cactus pear, Opuntia ficus-indica (L.) Mill., in Agrigento Province, Sicily. In 1997, insects visiting flowers were sampled during May-June (the first bloom) and July (the second bloom, induced by the "scozzolatura" practise). More than 50 insect species belonging to 10 orders were collected in May-June, while only five species of Hymenoptera Apoidea were collected in July. The quality of fruits arising from the second bloom showed that Hymenoptera alone were able to guarantee effective pollination. To verify the role of insects in pollination in 1996 (during only the second bloom), and in 1997 and 2009 (during both blooms), 60 single flowers were marked during each bloom; 30 of them covered with paper sleeves (which prevented natural pollination), while the others were not covered. After withering, fruits produced by marked flowers were analyzed in laboratory: in all years and blooms, the total number of seeds, the number of developed seeds, and the weight and the percentage of pulp were significantly lower for covered flowers than for non-covered flowers. The results are consistent with the hypothesis that native insects effectively carry out the pollination of cactus pear flowers.

  1. Subsurface constructed wetlands for wastewater treatment and reuse in agriculture: five years of experiences in Sicily, Italy.

    PubMed

    Cirelli, G L; Consoli, S; Di Grande, V; Milani, M; Toscano, A

    2007-01-01

    The paper reports the results of an investigation on a H-SSF constructed wetland for tertiary treatment in a small community located in eastern Sicily, Italy. The system is designed to reuse wastewater for the irrigation of olive orchards covering about 150 hectares. From March 2001 to September 2005, wastewater samples were collected and the following chemical-physical parameters were determined according to Standard Methods: temperature, pH, EC, DO, TSS (105degrees C), BOD5, COD, TN, TP. The following microbiological parameters were also evaluated: total coliforms, faecal coliforms, Escherichia coli, faecal streptococci, Salmonella, helminth eggs. Mean removal efficiencies ranged from 77 to 92% (TSS), 37 to 72% (BOD5), 51 to 79% (COD), 97 to 99.5% (E. coli). Removal efficiency of Salmonella and helminth eggs was always 100% in all samples; however, only 150% of total samples matched the limit of E. coli (< 50 CFU/100 mL) fixed by Italian legislation for wastewater reuse. PMID:17802854

  2. Biodiversity of Indigenous Saccharomyces Populations from Old Wineries of South-Eastern Sicily (Italy): Preservation and Economic Potential

    PubMed Central

    Di Maio, Sabina; Polizzotto, Giuseppe; Di Gangi, Enrico; Foresta, Giusy; Genna, Giuseppe; Verzera, Antonella; Scacco, Antonio; Amore, Gabriele; Oliva, Daniele

    2012-01-01

    In recent years, the preservation of biodiversity has become an important issue. Despite much public discussion, however, current practices in the food industry seldom take account of its potential economic importance: on the contrary, the introduction of industrialized agriculture practices over large areas has often resulted in a dramatic reduction in biodiversity. In this paper, we report on the remarkable degree of biodiversity in the wine yeast populations naturally present in a small area of Sicily (Italy) where traditional (non-industrial) winery practices are still in place. Out of more than 900 Saccharomyces yeast isolates recovered from late spontaneous fermentations, we detected at least 209 strains. Most interestingly, when evaluated at the fermentation and technological level, a number of isolates were found to be superior to industrial yeast strains. Out of a selected group, isolates from two strains were used for experimental fermentations in a winery environment and the quality of the wines produced was assessed at the technological, quality and sensory levels. Given that the characteristics of the wines produced were found to be industrially appealing, the study demonstrated the economic potential of preserving the patrimony of Sicilian yeast biodiversity and highlighted the importance of maintaining traditional wine making practices. PMID:22393353

  3. Propagation of a lithospheric tear fault (STEP) through the western boundary of the Calabrian accretionary wedge offshore eastern Sicily (Southern Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gallais, Flora; Graindorge, David; Gutscher, Marc-André; Klaeschen, Dirk

    2013-08-01

    The rollback of a segmented slab of oceanic lithosphere is typically accompanied by vertical lithospheric tear fault(s) along the lateral slab edge(s) and by strike slip movement in the upper plate, defined as a STEP fault (Subduction Tear Edge Propagator). The Neogene evolution of the Central Mediterranean is dominated by the interaction between the slow Africa-Eurasia convergence and the SE-ward rollback of the Ionian slab, that leads to the back-arc opening of the Tyrrhenian Sea. Here, we present post-stack time migrated and pre-stack depth migrated Archimede (1997) multichannel seismic lines, that were acquired offshore eastern Sicily, at the foot of the Malta escarpment. First, we identify the recent deformation along the lateral ramp of the Calabrian accretionary wedge. Towards the east, the Calabrian wedge is formed by the accretion of the post-evaporitic sediments, above a decollement at the base of the Messinian evaporites. At the latitude of Syracuse, 50 km east of the Malta escarpment, a major N150°E trending crustal scale and vertical fault slices through the entire accretionary wedge. This fault cuts by several kilometers, through the pre-evaporitic Messinian sediments and into the basement. The vertical offset along this vertical fault decreases from north to south, and the fault is no longer observed on the seismic lines, 50 km SE of the Alfeo seamount. A previously published Moho depth isocontour map, offshore Sicily and the recent GPS data, combined with the presence of strike slip movements NE onshore Sicily, allow us to identify this 200 km long crustal-scale fault as the surface expression of a STEP fault. The presence of syntectonic Pleistocene sediments on top this crustal-scale fault suggests a recent lithospheric vertical movement of the STEP fault, in response to the rollback of the Ionian slab and to the SE-ward advance of the Calabria-Peloritan block.

  4. some morphological effects related to a non-uniform uplifting of crustal blocks in Northern Sicily (Central Mediterranean)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nigro, Fabrizio; Renda, Pietro; Favara, Rocco

    2010-05-01

    -in section- constitute polylines assimilable to arcs of circumference with different rays of bending. In map view, the evolution of the drainage network is characterised also from a different development of the river channels of different orders. Particularly, in the slope that is more subject to uplift the drainage network is more branched, with larger formation of river orders with respect to the opposite slope. If we suppose that the crustal block underwent to uplift and tilting is eroded from several idrographic networks that are identified in more drainage basins, at the end of the process, in absence of large-scale deformations as folding and faulting, the slope asimmetry of every main valley is maintained but, for tilting direction about orthogonal with respect to the directions of the rivers, a different altimetric development will be observed of the main rivers. If to the tilting and uplift of the crustal block are associated internal deformations as folds and faults, then the asymmetry of the slopes not always may result clearly evident, as well as the altimetric development of the main valleys. Regarding the above concepts, we recognised a non-uniform uplift and large-scale recent faulting in Northern Sicily (Central Mediterranean), both from drainage network pattern analisys, slopes geometries and structural data. The data sets have been compared with the uplift rate and seismicity distributions, allowing us to recognise different crustal blocks in which the northern Sicily chain may be divided. Each chain block reflects characteristic morphometric pattern of the drainage basins. The morphostructural setting, the distribution of seismicity and the orientation of the recent faults indicate that the main neotectonic narrow deformation zones bounding the crustal blocks range from NW-SE, NE-SW and W-E.

  5. Multi-scale properties of strike-slip faults crosscutting the Pleistocene carbonate grainstones of Favignana Island (NW Sicily, Italy).

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cilona, Antonino; Agosta, Fabrizio; Giunta, Giuseppe; Renda, Pietro; Tondi, Emanuele

    2010-05-01

    After detailed field (stratigraphic and structural) and laboratory analyses of intact and deformed rocky outcrops, we studied the multi-scale properties of strike-slip faults nucleated and developed in Pleistocene carbonate grainstones of Favignana Island (Sicily, Italy). This skeletal carbonate rocks ranging in thickness between 5 and 20 meters make up the whole eastern side of the Island, where they unconformably lie on silicoclastic deposits of the Upper Pliocene. The studied structures are very similar to those one affecting carbonate grainstones of San vito Lo Capo Peninsula (Sicily, Italy) and already documented in a recent paper. There strain localization into narrow bands encompass first compaction, shear, pressure solution formation, their subsequent shearing, and finally cataclasis. The transitions from one deformation process to another, which were likely controlled by changes in the material properties, are recorded by different ratios and dissimilar distributions of the fault dimensional attributes. In Favignana Island, the results of our study allow us to: (i) indentify two conjugate sets of faults trending NW and NNE, characterized by right-lateral and left-lateral kinematics, respectively; (ii) document the progression of the deformation from single compactive shear bands, with an offset ranging between mm's to cm's, to zones of compactive shear bands, characterized by a larger amount of offset with discontinuous cataclasis and slip surfaces, and finally to well developed faults, with an inner cataclastic core surrounded by wider damage zones made up of compactive shear bands, joints, and possible dilational bands; (iii) decipher that linkage processes, responsible for fault development, took place by mechanical interaction of adjacent individual structures at any deformation stage (single bands, zone of shear bands or well developed faults) with formation of characteristic ramp and eye structures. Based on their internal architecture and

  6. 1891 Submarine eruption of Foerstner volcano (Pantelleria, Sicily) : insights into the vent structure of basaltic balloon eruptions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kelly, J. T.; Carey, S.; Bell, K. L.; Rosi, M.; Marani, M.; Roman, C.; Pistolesi, M.; Baker, E. T.

    2012-12-01

    Numerous shallow water basaltic eruptions have produced abundant floating scoria up to several meters in diameter, yet little is known about the conditions that give rise to this unusual style of volcanism. On October 17, 1891, a submarine eruption began 4 kilometers northwest of the island of Pantelleria, Sicily. The eruptive vent was located at a depth of 250 meters along the NW-SE trending Sicily Channel Rift Zone. Evidence for the eruption was provided by the occurrence of hot, scoriaceous lava "balloons" floating on the sea surface along a narrow line about 850-1000 meters long trending along the rift. These extremely vesicular fragments were spherical to ellipsoidal in shape and ranged from <50 to 250 cm in diameter. Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROVs) and existing bathymetric maps have been used to conduct the first detailed investigation of a vent site associated with this unique style of volcanism. In 2011 the ROV Hercules, deployed from the E/V Nautilus, explored the 1891 Foerstner vent using high definition video cameras and produced a high resolution bathymetric map of the area using a BlueView multibeam imaging sonar. Light backscattering and oxidation-reduction potential sensors (MAPRs) were added to Hercules to detect discharge from active venting. ROV video footage has been used in conjunction with the high resolution bathymetric data to construct a geologic map of the vent area based on a variety of facies descriptors, such as abundance of scoria bombs, occurrence of pillow or scoria flow lobes, extent of sediment cover, and presence of spatter-like deposits. Initial results of the mapping have shown that there are two main vents that erupted within the observed area of floating scoria and most likely erupted at the same time as evidenced by similar bulk chemical compositions of recovered samples. Scoria bomb beds and some scoria flow lobes largely cover the suspected main vent, located at a depth of 250 meters. Distinct pillow flow lobes cover the

  7. Deep sequencing and analysis of small RNAs in sweet orange grafted on sour orange infected with two citrus tristeza virus isolates prevalent in Sicily.

    PubMed

    Licciardello, Grazia; Scuderi, Giuseppe; Ferraro, Rosario; Giampetruzzi, Annalisa; Russo, Marcella; Lombardo, Alessandro; Raspagliesi, Domenico; Bar-Joseph, Moshe; Catara, Antonino

    2015-10-01

    Two representative isolates of a citrus tristeza virus population in Sicily, SG29 (aggressive) and Bau282 (mild), were sequenced via viral small RNAs (vsRNA) produced in budlings of sweet orange grafted on sour orange. Phylogenetic relationships with Mediterranean and exotic isolates revealed that SG29 clustered within the "VT-Asian" subtype, whereas Bau282 belonged to the cluster T30. The study confirms that molecular data need to be integrated with bio-indexing in order to obtain adequate information for risk assessment. PMID:26175068

  8. Chemical composition of the essential oil from Pulicaria vulgaris var. graeca (Sch.-Bip.) Fiori (Asteraceae) growing wild in Sicily and its antimicrobial activity.

    PubMed

    Casiglia, Simona; Riccobono, Luana; Bruno, Maurizio; Senatore, Federica; Senatore, Felice

    2016-01-01

    In this study the chemical composition of the essential oil from aerial parts of Pulicaria vulgaris var. graeca (Sch.-Bip.) Fiori collected in Sicily was evaluated by GC and GC-MS. The main components of P. vulgaris var. graeca oil were hexadecanoic acid (21.7%), β-caryophyllene (14.3%) and geranyl propionate (8.2%). The comparison with other studied oils of genus Pulicaria is discussed. Antibacterial activity against several bacteria, including some ones infesting historical art craft, was also determined. PMID:26180932

  9. Composition of the Essential Oil of Allium neapolitanum Cirillo Growing Wild in Sicily and its Activity on Microorganisms Affecting Historical Art Crafts.

    PubMed

    Casiglia, Simona; Bruno, Maurizio; Senatore, Federica; Senatore, Felice

    2015-01-01

    Essential oil of the aerial parts of Allium neapolitanum Cirillo collected in Sicily were analyzed by gas-chromatography-flame-ionization detection and gas-chromatography-mass spectrometry. Nineteen compounds were identified in the oil and the main components were found to be (E)-chrysanthenyl acetate (28.1%), (Z)-chrysanthenyl acetate (23.8%), (E)-β-farnesene (9.6%), dimethyl trisulfide (9.6%), camphor (7.4%), methyl allyl disulfide (6.8%) and 1-methyl-3-allyl trisulfide (5.8%). The essential oil showed good antimicrobial activity against 11 strains of test microorganisms, including several species infesting historical material. PMID:26632947

  10. Geogenic and atmospheric sources for volatile organic compounds in fumarolic emissions from Mt. Etna and Vulcano Island (Sicily, Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tassi, F.; Capecchiacci, F.; Cabassi, J.; Calabrese, S.; Vaselli, O.; Rouwet, D.; Pecoraino, G.; Chiodini, G.

    2012-09-01

    In this paper, fluid source(s) and processes controlling the chemical composition of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in gas discharges from Mt. Etna and Vulcano Island (Sicily, Italy) were investigated. The main composition of the Etnean and Volcano gas emissions is produced by mixing, to various degrees, of magmatic and hydrothermal components. VOCs are dominated by alkanes, alkenes and aromatics, with minor, though significant, concentrations of O-, S- and Cl(F)-substituted compounds. The main mechanism for the production of alkanes is likely related to pyrolysis of organic-matter-bearing sediments that interact with the ascending magmatic fluids. Alkanes are then converted to alkene and aromatic compounds via catalytic reactions (dehydrogenation and dehydroaromatization, respectively). Nevertheless, an abiogenic origin for the light hydrocarbons cannot be ruled out. Oxidative processes of hydrocarbons at relatively high temperatures and oxidizing conditions, typical of these volcanic-hydrothermal fluids, may explain the production of alcohols, esters, aldehydes, as well as O- and S-bearing heterocycles. By comparing the concentrations of hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) in the fumarolic discharges with respect to those of background air, it is possible to highlight that they have a geogenic origin likely due to halogenation of both methane and alkenes. Finally, chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) abundances appear to be consistent with background air, although the strong air contamination that affects the Mt. Etna fumaroles may mask a possible geogenic contribution for these compounds. On the other hand, no CFCs were detected in the Vulcano gases, which are characterized by low air contribution. Nevertheless, a geogenic source for these compounds cannot be excluded on the basis of the present data.

  11. Comparison of Logistic Regression and Random Forests techniques for shallow landslide susceptibility assessment in Giampilieri (NE Sicily, Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Trigila, Alessandro; Iadanza, Carla; Esposito, Carlo; Scarascia-Mugnozza, Gabriele

    2015-11-01

    The aim of this work is to define reliable susceptibility models for shallow landslides using Logistic Regression and Random Forests multivariate statistical techniques. The study area, located in North-East Sicily, was hit on October 1st 2009 by a severe rainstorm (225 mm of cumulative rainfall in 7 h) which caused flash floods and more than 1000 landslides. Several small villages, such as Giampilieri, were hit with 31 fatalities, 6 missing persons and damage to buildings and transportation infrastructures. Landslides, mainly types such as earth and debris translational slides evolving into debris flows, were triggered on steep slopes and involved colluvium and regolith materials which cover the underlying metamorphic bedrock. The work has been carried out with the following steps: i) realization of a detailed event landslide inventory map through field surveys coupled with observation of high resolution aerial colour orthophoto; ii) identification of landslide source areas; iii) data preparation of landslide controlling factors and descriptive statistics based on a bivariate method (Frequency Ratio) to get an initial overview on existing relationships between causative factors and shallow landslide source areas; iv) choice of criteria for the selection and sizing of the mapping unit; v) implementation of 5 multivariate statistical susceptibility models based on Logistic Regression and Random Forests techniques and focused on landslide source areas; vi) evaluation of the influence of sample size and type of sampling on results and performance of the models; vii) evaluation of the predictive capabilities of the models using ROC curve, AUC and contingency tables; viii) comparison of model results and obtained susceptibility maps; and ix) analysis of temporal variation of landslide susceptibility related to input parameter changes. Models based on Logistic Regression and Random Forests have demonstrated excellent predictive capabilities. Land use and wildfire

  12. 3D Subsoil Model of the San Biagio `Salinelle' Mud Volcanoes (Belpasso, Sicily) derived from Geophysical Surveys

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Imposa, S.; Grassi, S.; De Guidi, G.; Battaglia, F.; Lanaia, G.; Scudero, S.

    2016-07-01

    Mud volcanoes are common in active mountain fronts. At Mt. Etna, located just between the Apennine front in Sicily and its foredeep, there are some manifestations of mud volcanism in the lower border of the volcanic edifice. The activity of these mud volcanoes is characterized by persistent emission of muddy water mixed with salts, which rises to the surface due to the gas pressure in the subsoil. The San Biagio Salinelle is one of the three mud volcano fields located around the Paternò eruptive monogenic apparatus; this old volcanic structure was one of the first subaerial volcanic manifestations that formed in the pre-Etnean phase. It is not fully clear whether and how the activity of the mud fields is connected with the volcanic activity of Mt. Etna. Noninvasive geophysical surveys were carried out in the area of the active cone of the San Biagio Salinelle, in order to identify the probable ascent path of the emitted products. Seismic ambient noise records were collected at the nodes of a specially designed grid and, subsequently, the V s values were obtained from an active seismic survey. A digital elevation model (DEM) of the area was obtained by a topographic survey, carried out with the GNSS technique (global navigation satellite system), in real-time kinematic mode. The DEM and the topographic benchmark installed will represent the reference surface for future periodic monitoring of the ongoing deformation in the area. Our results provide an accurate and detailed 3D subsurface model showing the shallower feeding system of the investigated mud volcano.

  13. Modeling the baroclinic circulation in the area of the Sicily channel: The role of stratification and energy diagnostics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Napolitano, Ernesto; Sannino, Gianmaria; Artale, Vincenzo; Marullo, Salvatore

    2003-07-01

    Aspects of the circulation of the Sicily channel region are studied with a high-resolution, primitive equation, sigma coordinate model. This work is an attempt to study the process governing the purely baroclinic dynamics and its sensitivity to seasonal stratification, thus no atmospheric forcing is used. Two numerical experiments are analyzed using, as initial conditions, diagnostic velocity fields derived from the winter and summer climatological hydrologies. The quasi-steady state is characterized by circulation patterns, in the depth range of the Modified Atlantic Water (MAW) and the Levantine Intermediate Water (LIW), strongly controlled by mesoscale eddies and topography. Seasonal difference is found in the surface current which exhibits the major variability on the African side, downstream of Adventure Bank and the Ionian Slope where the absolute maximum occurs. The intermediate circulation instead does not show relevant seasonal differences. LIW enters through the two passages south of Malta Plateau and preferentially flows along the Sicilian shelf edge exiting over the northern sill. Its pathway is strongly controlled by subsurface cyclonic and anticyclonic cells. The results are in good agreement with observations. An energy diagnostics is applied to model results and sheds important light on dynamical characteristics of the mesoscale eddy field and indicates seasonal differences in the energetic exchange with the mean flow. The analysis of the mean (MKE) and eddy (EKE) kinetic energy, the transfer terms between energy compartments and the eddy momentum flux divergence indicates how eddies are strongly energetic in summer and exchange energy more efficiently with the mean flow. In the quasi-steady state MAW volume transport and MKE and EKE fluctuations are strongly correlated. This result suggests that mesoscale motions can control up to 40% of volume transport variability.

  14. Tectonics and sedimentation of the Lower and Middle Pleistocene mixed siliciclastic/bioclastic sedimentary successions of the Ionian Peloritani Mts (NE Sicily, Southern Italy): the onset of opening of the Messina Strait

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stefano, Agata; Longhitano, Sergio

    2009-03-01

    Biostratigraphic analyses carried out on siliciclastic/bioclastic deposits discontinuously cropping out along the Ionian flank of NE Sicily, indicate that they form two sedimentary events of Early and Middle Pleistocene, respec tively. Vertical facies successions, showing transgressive trends, suggest that sedimentation occurred within semi-enclosed marine embayments, where sublittoral coastal wedges developed on steep ramp-type shelves. Sediments accumulated in shoreface to offshore transitions along steep bottom profiles. This depositional scenario was strongly conditioned by the tectonic activity of the rift zone linking Western Calabria and Eastern Sicily. The effects of glacio-eustatism were also recognized. According to our reconstruction, the study area was controlled by a transfer fault system which affected the coastal margin producing major episodes of uplift and subsidence. Block-faulting was responsible for significant cannibalization and recycling of older deposits during the Middle Pleistocene. Such a tectonic setting can be considered the precursor scenario for the formation of the Messina Strait between Calabria and Sicily. This narrow, linear basin influences the hydrodynamic setting of sublittoral deposits along the Ionian coast of Sicily, giving rise to strong flood/ebb tidal currents. The uppermost part of the Middle Pleistocene succession recognized in the study area is indeed dominated by tide-influenced associations of sedimentary structures which most likely record the first stage of the opening of this `seaway' of the central Mediterranean Sea.

  15. Water erosion susceptibility mapping by applying Stochastic Gradient Treeboost to the Imera Meridionale River Basin (Sicily, Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Angileri, Silvia Eleonora; Conoscenti, Christian; Hochschild, Volker; Märker, Michael; Rotigliano, Edoardo; Agnesi, Valerio

    2016-06-01

    Soil erosion by water constitutes a serious problem affecting various countries. In the last few years, a number of studies have adopted statistical approaches for erosion susceptibility zonation. In this study, the Stochastic Gradient Treeboost (SGT) was tested as a multivariate statistical tool for exploring, analyzing and predicting the spatial occurrence of rill-interrill erosion and gully erosion. This technique implements the stochastic gradient boosting algorithm with a tree-based method. The study area is a 9.5 km2 river catchment located in central-northern Sicily (Italy), where water erosion processes are prevalent, and affect the agricultural productivity of local communities. In order to model soil erosion by water, the spatial distribution of landforms due to rill-interrill and gully erosion was mapped and 12 environmental variables were selected as predictors. Four calibration and four validation subsets were obtained by randomly extracting sets of negative cases, both for rill-interrill erosion and gully erosion models. The results of validation, based on receiving operating characteristic (ROC) curves, showed excellent to outstanding accuracies of the models, and thus a high prediction skill. Moreover, SGT allowed us to explore the relationships between erosion landforms and predictors. A different suite of predictor variables was found to be important for the two models. Elevation, aspect, landform classification and land-use are the main controlling factors for rill-interrill erosion, whilst the stream power index, plan curvature and the topographic wetness index were the most important independent variables for gullies. Finally, an ROC plot analysis made it possible to define a threshold value to classify cells according to the presence/absence of the two erosion processes. Hence, by heuristically combining the resulting rill-interrill erosion and gully erosion susceptibility maps, an integrated water erosion susceptibility map was created. The

  16. Defective neuromotor and cognitive ability in iodine-deficient schoolchildren of an endemic goiter region in Sicily.

    PubMed

    Vermiglio, F; Sidoti, M; Finocchiaro, M D; Battiato, S; Lo Presti, V P; Benvenga, S; Trimarchi, F

    1990-02-01

    Visual perceptual integrative motor ability was investigated in 719 6- to 12-yr-old, presumably normal, primary schoolchildren living in 2 iodine-deficient endemic goiter areas in Sicily, identified on the basis of the presence (area A) or absence (area B) of endemic cretinism, by administrating the Bender Gestalt test. All of these clinically euthyroid schoolchildren were also examined neurologically by an investigator unaware of the result of the Bender test. Ninety-nine (13.76%) schoolchildren were found to be defective by the Bender test; this prevalence was significantly higher than that (3.0%) found in an iodine-sufficient goiter-free control area (area C) lying at sea level (chi 2 = 36.25; P less than 0.000001). No difference in the prevalence of Bender abnormalities was apparent if the children were divided according to the area of provenience (area A, 14.4%; area B, 13.1%). A high percentage of children falling in the lower range of normality was found in both area A (15.5%) and area B (19.0%); this was significantly higher than that in area C (3.8%; chi 2 = 77.55; P less than 0.000001). Neuromuscular and neurosensorial abnormalities, including increased tendon reflexes, clonus of the foot, Babinski sign, minor disturbances in balance, and gait, and minor defects in hearing and speech, were apparent in 19.3% (area A) and 18.5% (area B) of the children. These disorders were significantly more frequent in defective children identified by the Bender test (33.3%) than in normal children (15.3%; (chi 2 = 17.29; P less than 0.00005). The general intellectual aptitude in Bender deficient subjects was evaluated by the Terman Merrill test and was found to be impaired in 95%, thus confirming the existence of an endemic cognitive deficiency (ECD), distinct from the endemic mental deficiency previously found in other endemic goiter, iodine-deficient areas. ECD seems to be epidemiologically independent of the existence of endemic cretinism. Further clinical auxological

  17. Using Logistic Regression and Random Forests multivariate statistical methods for landslide spatial probability assessment in North-Est Sicily, Italy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Trigila, Alessandro; Iadanza, Carla; Esposito, Carlo; Scarascia-Mugnozza, Gabriele

    2015-04-01

    North-East Sicily is strongly exposed to shallow landslide events. On October, 1st 2009 a severe rainstorm (225.5 mm of cumulative rainfall in 9 hours) caused flash floods and more than 1000 landslides, which struck several small villages as Giampilieri, Altolia, Molino, Pezzolo, Scaletta Zanclea, Itala, with 31 fatalities, 6 missing persons and damage to buildings and transportation infrastructures. Landslides, mainly consisting in earth and debris translational slides evolving into debris flows, triggered on steep slopes involving colluvium and regolith materials which cover the underlying metamorphic bedrock of Peloritani Mountains. In this area catchments are small (about 10 square kilometres), elongated, with steep slopes, low order streams, short time of concentration, and discharge directly into the sea. In the past, landslides occurred at Altolia in 1613 and 2000, at Molino in 1750, 1805 and 2000, at Giampilieri in 1791, 1918, 1929, 1932, 2000 and on October 25, 2007. The aim of this work is to define susceptibility models for shallow landslides using multivariate statistical analyses in the Giampilieri area (25 square kilometres). A detailed landslide inventory map has been produced, as the first step, through field surveys coupled with the observation of high resolution aerial colour orthophoto taken immediately after the event. 1,490 initiation zones have been identified; most of them have planimetric dimensions ranging between tens to few hundreds of square metres. The spatial hazard assessment has been focused on the detachment areas. Susceptibility models, performed in a GIS environment, took into account several parameters. The morphometric and hydrologic parameters has been derived from a detailed LiDAR 1×1 m. Square grid cells of 4×4 m were adopted as mapping units, on the basis of the area-frequency distribution of the detachment zones, and the optimal representation of the local morphometric conditions (e.g. slope angle, plan curvature). A

  18. Application of a cross correlation-based picking algorithm to an active seismic experiment in Sicily and Aeolian Islands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Diaz, Alejandro; Álvarez, Isaac; De la Torre, Ángel; García, Luz; Benítez, Ma Carmen; Cortés, Guillermo

    2014-05-01

    The detection of the arrival time of seismic waves or picking is of great importance in many seismology applications. Traditionally, picking has been carried out by human operators. This process is not systematic and relies completely on the expertise and judgment of the analysts. The limitations of manual picking and the increasing amount of data daily stored in the seismic networks worldwide distributed and in active seismic experiments lead to the development of automatic picking algorithms. Current conventional algorithms work with single signals, such as the "short-term average over long-term average" (STA/LTA) algorithm, autoregressive methods or the recently developed "Adaptive Multiband Picking Algorithm" (AMPA). This work proposes a correlation-based picking algorithm, whose main advantage is the fact of using the information of a set of signals, improving the signal to noise ratio and therefore the picking accuracy. The main advantage of this approach is that the algorithm does not require to set up sophisticated parameters, in contrast to other automatic algorithms. The accuracy of the conventional STA/LTA algorithm, the recently developed AMPA algorithm, an autoregressive method, and a preliminary version of the cross correlation-based picking algorithm were assessed using a huge data set composed by active seismic signals from experiments in Tenerife Island (January 2007, Spain). The experiment consisted of the deployment of a dense seismic network on Tenerife Island (125 seismometers in total) and the shooting of air-guns around the island with the Spanish oceanographic vessel Hespérides (6459 air shots in total). Only 110937 signals (13.74% of the total) had the signal to noise ratio enough to be manually picked. Results showed that the use of the cross correlation-based picking algorithm significantly increases the number of signals that can be considered in the tomography. A new active seismic experiment will cover Sicily and Aeolian Islands (TOMO

  19. Multianalytical approach to diagnosis and conservation of building materials: the case of Punta Troia Castle in Marettimo (Aegadian Islands—Sicily, Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Antonelli, Fabrizio; Savalli, Angela; Cantisani, Emma; Fratini, Fabio; Giamello, Marco; Lezzerini, Marco; Pecchioni, Elena; Tesser, Elena

    2016-04-01

    The paper presents the results of a multianalytical study carried out through laboratory investigations on building materials of "Punta Troia Castle" in Marettimo Island (Sicily). The main aims of the work were to characterize the petrographic nature and to determine the geological provenance of the stone materials used to build the castle as well as to define the causes and mechanisms at the origin of their decay, in order to support and ensure greater durability to the restoration interventions. Based on the collected data, the local dolomitic limestone may be stated as the main stone for reconstruction purposes. In fact, this building stone shows low porosity, high compactness and a very good durability with respect to any other lithotypes identified in the building structure of the castle.

  20. New structural and seismological evidence and interpretation of a lithospheric-scale shear zone at the southern edge of the Ionian subduction system (central-eastern Sicily, Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barreca, G.; Scarfı, L.; Cannavò, F.; Koulakov, I.; Monaco, C.

    2016-06-01

    Geological, gravimetric, and seismological data from the central-eastern Sicily (Italy) provide evidences of a NW-SE oriented shear zone at the southern edge of the Ionian subduction system. This structure consists of a near 100 km long lithospheric-scale structural and seismic boundary. In the near-surface, it shows Plio-Pleistocene vertical-axis structural rotations, kilometer-scale topographic imprint, progressive wrenching, and large down-faulting. All these features, together with its location south-west of the subduction system, allow us to interpret the shear zone as the upper plate expression of an abandoned Subduction Transform Edge Propagator fault, working before slab detachment, currently reactivated by elastic rebound or mantle upwelling mechanism triggered by slab detachment, to form an incipient transform belt separating compartments characterized by different motion in the modern context of Africa-Europe convergence.

  1. Characterisation and antimicrobial activity of the volatile components of the flowers of Magydaris tomentosa (Desf.) DC. collected in Sicily and Algeria.

    PubMed

    Khaoukha, Guesmia; Ben Jemia, Mariem; Amira, Smain; Laouer, Hocine; Bruno, Maurizio; Scandolera, Elia; Senatore, Felice

    2014-01-01

    The essential oils of the flowers of Magydaris tomentosa (Desf.) DC. (Apiaceae) collected in Sicily (MSi) and Algeria (MAl), respectively, were obtained by hydrodistillation, and their compositions were analysed. The analyses allowed the identification and quantification of 23 components in MSi and 60 compounds in MAl, respectively, showing a very different profile in the composition of the two populations. The main components of MSi were cembrene (28.2%), α-springene (17.5%) and β-springene (14.8%), also present in MAl but in lesser amount (0.4%, 1.8% and 0.9%, respectively), whereas the principal constituents of MAl were (E)-nerolidol (35.4%), α-costol (13.3%) and β-costol (6.8%). Both MSi and MAl exhibited a significant antibacterial activity against Staphylococcus epidermidis (minimum inhibitory concentration = 25 and 12.5 μg/mL, respectively). The chemotaxonomy markers of the species were identified. PMID:24871127

  2. Deep-sea, high-resolution, hydrography and current measurements using an autonomous underwater vehicle: The overflow from the Strait of Sicily

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stansfield, Kate; Smeed, David A.; Gasparini, Gian Pietro; McPhail, Stephen; Millard, Nick; Stevenson, Peter; Webb, Andy; Vetrano, Anna; Rabe, Benjamin

    AUTOSUB-2, an autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) developed by the Southampton Oceanography Centre, was used for high resolution hydrographic surveys in the Sicily Strait. A combination of “seasoar” type profiling and terrain following missions were undertaken and velocity and hydrographic measurements taken from AUTOSUB-2 were compared with concurrent shipboard hydrographic and velocity profiles. Even though shipboard stations were separated by just 5 to 8 km along the mission path, data from the AUV showed small scale variability that was missed by the shipboard sampling. In this paper we present the example of an intense jet, with maximum speed greater than 0.50 m s-1, less than 4 km wide.

  3. Production technology and provenance study of archaeological ceramics from relevant sites in the Alcantara River Valley (North-eastern Sicily, Italy)

    SciTech Connect

    Belfiore, Cristina Maria; Di Bella, Marcella; Triscari, Maurizio; Viccaro, Marco

    2010-04-15

    In this paper, volcanic-rich ceramic remains from the archaeological sites of Francavilla, Naxos and Taormina (Province of Messina, North-eastern Sicily) were studied by using inclusions as main provenance marker. Technological features, such as temper choice, vitrification degree and firing temperatures, were investigated by polarizing microscopy, X-ray diffractometry (XRD) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Information on the production centres was obtained through the identification of the source area of raw materials used as temper. Indeed, petrochemical analysis of the volcanic inclusions within the examined ceramics displayed strong affinities with structures/textures and compositions of the locally outcropping mugearitic products, probably ascribed to the eruptive activity of an eccentric vent of Mt. Etna (Mt. Mojo). A local production for the studied pottery samples has been therefore advanced, assuming that the used volcanic temper was easily available from the alluvial deposits along the Alcantara River stream, which is connected to the lava flow of Mt. Mojo.

  4. Philometra spicarae sp. n. (Nematoda: Philometridae) from the abdominal cavity of the marine fish (picarel) Spicara smaris (Centracanthidae) off Sicily, Italy.

    PubMed

    Moravec, Frantisek; Gaglio, Gabriella; Giannetto, Salvatore; Marino, Fabio

    2010-07-01

    A new nematode species, Philometra spicarae sp. n. (Philometridae), is described from a gravid female found in the abdominal cavity of spicarel, Spicara smaris (Linnaeus) (Centracanthidae, Perciformes), from the Ionian Sea off Sicily, Italy. The new species differs from most other Philometra spp. parasitic in the abdominal cavity of marine fishes by the oesophagus without an anterior inflation, resembling thus only Philometra cheilopogoni Mordvinova, 1986 and Philometra justinei Moravec, Ternengo and Levron, 2006; these two species can be differentiated from P. spicarae by the relative length of the oesophagus to body length (0.6-0.8% vs. 6%) and some other features. From the gonad-infecting species Philometra filiformis (Stossich, 1896), a parasite of Pagellus erythrinus (Linnaeus), P. spicarae differs mainly in having a conspicuously long (1.4 mm) intestinal ligament. It is the first nominal philometrid species described from the fish of the family Centracanthidae. PMID:20428890

  5. Record of the end-Triassic crisis in south-western Sicily: palaeoenvironmental changes reflected by the carbonate facies architecture.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cacciatore, M. S.; di Stefano, P.

    2009-04-01

    The Sciacca-Monti Sicani area, in south-western Sicily, offers a regional example of the facies architecture in an Upper Triassic/Lower Jurassic carbonate shelf margin to slope zone. It allows us to evaluate the interplay of different controlling factors on the sedimentary dynamics of a South Tethyan basin margin across the Triassic/Jurassic boundary. In this segment of the Maghrebian thrust and fold belt, the Triassic/Jurassic facies associations and their spatial relationships were restored by the correlation of selected sections from several structural units. The Triassic carbonate shelf consists of thick successions of peritidal-lagoonal cycles (Sciacca Fm.). Our studies reveal that a NW-SE trending Dachstein-type reef edged the shelf of the platform towards east. This implies the contiguity of the carbonate shelf with a high-energy, open-marine environment, providing the optimum oligotrophic life conditions for sponge-coral-algae communities. A terminal complex, consisting of chaetetid-dominated boundstones, characterizes the Rhaetian topmost zone of the reef, probably because of the end-Triassic biotic crisis. A sharp discontinuity surface on top of the uppermost Triassic platform strata (Triasina facies) is overprinted in places by karstic dissolution. It is interpreted as a result of a Late Rhaetian sea-level fall. A lowering of the sea-level is also supported by the presence of fine skeletal grainstones in the slope-basinal successions. This implies a downslope forced shedding of reef-derived biodetritus, favoured probably by the shifting of the active bioconstruction to the outer shelf margin/upper slope. Around the Rhaetian-Hettangian boundary, a widespread clastic carbonate wedge was formed downslope by the cannibalization of the Upper Triassic reef. The selective source of clastics (Upper Triassic reef extraclasts) suggests, as trigger mechanisms, margin collapses coupled to an intense wave erosion of the reef limestones during the lowstand stage

  6. Lateral slab tear tectonics of Calabria (S. Italy): investigating the STEP fault offshore eastern Sicily (the CIRCEE and DIONYSUS seismic surveys)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gutscher, M. A.; Kopp, H.; Klaeschen, D.; Klingelhoefer, F.; Graindorge, D.

    2014-12-01

    Subduction and roll-back of narrow slabs is common in the Mediterranean region and is necessarily accompanied by a lithospheric scale slab edge tear fault or "STEP" (Subduction Transform Edge Propagator). We report on two recent marine geophysical surveys conducted in the Ionian Sea, offshore Eastern Sicily to investigate this type of structure: CIRCEE October 2013 R/V Le Suroit and DIONYSUS October 2014 R/V Meteor. The aim of the CIRCEE survey was to map potentially seismogenic faults offshore eastern Sicily and to seek the surface expression of the STEP fault (through high-resolution 72-channel seismic reflection profiles and swath mapping bathymetry). Strong historical earthquakes have struck this region repeatedly, whose origin in some cases remains unknown (1169, 1542, 1693). Two major crustal scale structures have been proposed as being related to the STEP: the Malta escarpment, and a combined normal-fault and strike-slip-fault system 20-50 km further east, striking roughly N50°W and well imaged by the CIRCEE data. The main objectives of the DIONYSUS deep seismic survey in autumn 2014 are to image the deep structure (crustal thickness, nature of the crust) of this ancient Tethyan age margin (likely a transform margin) and to seek deeper expressions of reactivation (lithospheric scale faulting) related to the slab tear. The internal geometry of the Calabrian subduction zone - the crystalline basement backstop, the slab dip, the accretionary wedge composition (detritic vs. evaporitic) and its thickness, is also a target of the deep seismic survey. To achieve these goals a German-French-Italian wide-angle seismic survey was performed in October 2014 using 60 OBS (30 from Kiel-Geomar and 30 from Ifremer/Univ. Brest) deployed along 4 long profiles, 3 of which are collocated along existing multi-channel seismic lines (Italian CROP profiles) depth processed at Geomar.

  7. An X-ray spectroscopic perspective on Messinian evaporite from Sicily: Sedimentary fabrics, element distributions, and chemical environments of S and Mg

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yoshimura, Toshihiro; Kuroda, Junichiro; Lugli, Stefano; Tamenori, Yusuke; Ogawa, Nanako O.; Jiménez-Espejo, Francisco J.; Isaji, Yuta; Roveri, Marco; Manzi, Vinicio; Kawahata, Hodaka; Ohkouchi, Naohiko

    2016-04-01

    The Messinian salinity crisis is a dramatic hydrological and biological crisis that occurred in the Mediterranean basin at 5.97-5.33 Ma. The interpretation of the facies and stratigraphic associations of the Messinian salt deposits is still the object of active research because of the absence of modern depositional analogues of comparable scale. In this study, the spatial distributions of Na, Mg, S, O, Si, and Al in a potassic-magnesian salt and a halite layers of Messinian evaporites from the Realmonte mine on Sicily were determined using synchrotron based micro-X-ray fluorescence. The dominant molecular host site of Mg and S obtained by X-ray absorption near edge structure (XANES) is applied to specify the hydrochemistry of hypersaline brines and the presence of diagenetic minerals, thus shedding light on evaporative concentration processes in the Caltanissetta Basin of Sicily. Mg and S K-edge XANES spectra revealed the presence of highly soluble Mg-bearing sulfates. The massive halite layer "unit C," contains less soluble minerals, thus did not exceed the stage of halite crystallization. We infer that as evaporative concentration increased, the density of the brine at the shallow margin of the basin increased as salinity increased to concentrations over 70 times the starting values, creating brines that were oversaturated with Mg-sulfate. Density stratification of the deep basin caused heavy brines to sink to the bottom and become overlain by more dilute brines. We propose lateral advection of dense Mg-sulfate brines that certainly affected marine biota.

  8. The role of sea surface circulation and hydrographic processes in anchovy spawning and larvae distribution in the Strait of Sicily (Central Mediterranean).

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Falcini, Federico; Palatella, Luigi; Cuttitta, Angela; Bignami, Francesco; Patti, Bernardo; Santoleri, Rosalia; Fiorentino, Fabio

    2014-05-01

    The European Anchovy (Engraulis encrasicolus, Linnaeus, 1758) is one of the most important resources of the Mediterranean Sea. Despite its abundance and relevance, the anchovy population off the Mediterranean coasts exhibits a patchy distribution. Moreover, its biology and the influence of environment on its variability is poorly known. We here use data from ichthyoplankton-surveys carried out during the peak spawning season in order to analyze abundance and age of anchovy larvae in the Strait of Sicily, with respect to sea surface dynamic and hydrographic parameter patterns. The Strait of Sicily dynamics is characterized by upwelling regions, fronts, vortices, and filaments, with a consequent complexity in the spatial distribution of oceanographic parameters and anchovy larvae. To investigate the role of mesoscale features and oceanographic environment on the latter, anchovy larvae observations were paired to remote sensing data (such as sea surface temperature, chlorophyll, primary production, surface wind speed as well as light attenuation, absorption, and particle backscattering coefficients) and Lagrangian and Eulerian numerical simulations results for ocean currents and larval transport. The subsequent analysis shows and quantifies how the Atlantic Ionian Stream (AIS, a meandering current of Atlantic origin) path and variability, as well as the upwelling-induced south Sicilian coastal current, have consequences for anchovy spawning and larvae distribution. These currents transport anchovy larvae towards the Sicilian coast's south-eastern tip, where larvae are then retained in a frontal structure. However, significant cross-shore transport events due to relatively cold filament-like baroclinic instabilities generated by wind-induced coastal upwelling were also observed. Finally, the larval age distribution qualitatively agrees well with this transport pattern.

  9. SMART: A Spatially Explicit Bio-Economic Model for Assessing and Managing Demersal Fisheries, with an Application to Italian Trawlers in the Strait of Sicily

    PubMed Central

    Russo, Tommaso; Parisi, Antonio; Garofalo, Germana; Gristina, Michele; Cataudella, Stefano; Fiorentino, Fabio

    2014-01-01

    Management of catches, effort and exploitation pattern are considered the most effective measures to control fishing mortality and ultimately ensure productivity and sustainability of fisheries. Despite the growing concerns about the spatial dimension of fisheries, the distribution of resources and fishing effort in space is seldom considered in assessment and management processes. Here we propose SMART (Spatial MAnagement of demersal Resources for Trawl fisheries), a tool for assessing bio-economic feedback in different management scenarios. SMART combines information from different tasks gathered within the European Data Collection Framework on fisheries and is composed of: 1) spatial models of fishing effort, environmental characteristics and distribution of demersal resources; 2) an Artificial Neural Network which captures the relationships among these aspects in a spatially explicit way and uses them to predict resources abundances; 3) a deterministic module which analyzes the size structure of catches and the associated revenues, according to different spatially-based management scenarios. SMART is applied to demersal fishery in the Strait of Sicily, one of the most productive fisheries of the Mediterranean Sea. Three of the main target species are used as proxies for the whole range exploited by trawlers. After training, SMART is used to evaluate different management scenarios, including spatial closures, using a simulation approach that mimics the recent exploitation patterns. Results evidence good model performance, with a noteworthy coherence and reliability of outputs for the different components. Among others, the main finding is that a partial improvement in resource conditions can be achieved by means of nursery closures, even if the overall fishing effort in the area remains stable. Accordingly, a series of strategically designed areas of trawling closures could significantly improve the resource conditions of demersal fisheries in the Strait of

  10. [The Health Department of Sicily "Regional recommendations for hospital discharge and communication with patients after admission due to a cardiologic event" decree].

    PubMed

    Abrignani, Maurizio Giuseppe; De Luca, Giovanni; Gabriele, Michele; Tourkmani, Nidal

    2014-06-01

    Mortality and rehospitalizations still remain high after discharge for an acute cardiologic event. In this context, hospital discharge represents a potential pitfall for heart disease patients. In the setting of care transitions, the discharge letter is the main instrument of communication between hospital and primary care. Communication, besides, is an integral part of high-quality, patient-centered interventions aimed at improving the discharge process. Inadequate information at discharge significantly affects the quality of treatment compliance and the adoption of lifestyle modifications for an effective secondary prevention. The Health Department of Sicily, in 2013, established a task force with the aim to elaborate "Regional recommendations for hospital discharge and communication with patients after admission due to a cardiologic event", inviting to participate GICR-IACPR and many other scientific societies of cardiology and primary care, as discharge letter and communication are fundamental junctions of care transitions in cardiology. These recommendations have been published as a specific decree and contain: a structured model of discharge letter, which includes all of the parameters characterizing patients at high clinical risk, high thrombotic risk and low risk according to the Consensus document ANMCO/GICR-IACPR/GISE; is thus possible to identify these patients, choosing consequently the most appropriate follow-up pathways. A particular attention has been given to the "Medication Reconciliation" and to the identification of therapeutic targets; an educational Kit, with different forms on cardiac diseases, risk factors, drugs and lifestyle; a check-list about information given to the patient and caregivers. The "Recommendations" represent, in conclusion, the practical realization of the fruitful cooperation between scientific societies and political-administrative institutions that has been realized in Sicily in the last years. PMID:25845093

  11. Worst-case scenario approach to the tsunami hazard assessment for the coastal areas between Augusta and Siracusa, eastern Sicily, Italy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Armigliato, Alberto; Pagnoni, Gianluca; Zaniboni, Filippo; Tinti, Stefano

    2015-04-01

    The province of Siracusa encompasses a very long portion of the eastern Sicily coastline, ranging from the southern part of the Catania Gulf to the north down to the southern-eastern end of the island, known as Capo Passero. Within this domain, the area comprised between the towns of Augusta and Siracusa has been selected as one of the sites for the testing of innovative methods for tsunami hazard, vulnerability and risk assessment and reduction developed in the frame of the EU Project called ASTARTE - Assessment, STrategy And Risk Reduction for Tsunamis in Europe (Grant 603839, 7th FP, ENV.2013.6.4-3). The selection was driven by two main reasons. First, the area was hit by at least seven tsunamis in the approximate time interval from 1600 BC to present, as can be deduced from historical catalogues and paleo-tsunami deposits analysis: the most famous are probably the 21 July 365, 4 February 1169, 11 January 1693 and 28 December 1908 tsunamis. Secondly, as a whole, the test site has a strong relevance from the industrial, commercial, military, historical and cultural points of view: here it is sufficient to mention the huge petrochemical pole in the Augusta bay and the listing of Siracusa as UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2005. This contribution deals with the tsunami hazard assessment for the Augusta-Siracusa area, approached through the worst-case credible scenario technique. We selected five main source areas: the choice is driven mainly by the already mentioned fact that historical catalogues and paleo-tsunami studies tell us that the area under investigation can be impacted by tsunamis generated both in the near-field and in the far-field. The five areas include the Hyblaean-Malta escarpment and the Messina Straits in the near-field, the western and eastern lobes of the Ionian subduction zone in the intermediate field, and the western Hellenic Trench in the far-field. In each source area, a selection of possible faults was made, whose characteristics and

  12. Sedimentological and morphological approach for the study of coastal dynamics: a case study in the south of the Sicily (Punta Granitola, Portopalo of Menfi).

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ferruzza, G.; Fallo, L.; Giaramita, L.; Vaccaro, F.

    2009-04-01

    A geomorphologic and sedimentologic approach, combined with GIS spatial analysis, was used to investigate a 19 - km long coast sector in Southern Sicily, Italy, affected by important erosion processes. The methodology that we applied allowed the creation of a database involving a range of coastal characteristics helpful to reconstruct coastal processes and general sediment circulations patterns. The littoral zone studied belongs to the Trapani Province, South East of Sicily, Italy, and is situated between Punta Granitola and Porto Palo of Menfi. Coastal orientation varies from W/SW-E/NE in the western sector, between Punta Granitola and Triscina, to W-E in the central sector between Triscina and Belice River and to W/NW-E/SE between Belice River and Portopalo. In the investigated area houses, roads and other human structures, which have appeared in the last 30 - 40 years, are exceedingly close to shore line. More over at the same time harbours and artificial barrier were constructed. All these human structures have probably halted the littoral transport. The first goal of this work was the general knowledge of morphological characteristics of shore line and of the broad sediment circulation patterns. To this end the landform characteristic were obtained thought several field observations and the analysis of recent aerial photographs and topographic maps of different years. The ESRI® ArcMap 9.2. software was used for geo-referencing and for the elaboration of the topographic maps and of the aerial photographs. The ESRI® ArcMap 9.2. was later used for integration, digitalization and finally for the analysis of data. All data were presented as Universal Transverse Mercatore Coordinates, with the European 1950 datum (zone 33N). Moreover we performed a preliminary sedimentological study of this coast line. On this base we have identified 7 km of unimodal sand beach, situated between Punta Granitola and Triscina, where we have carried out a more detailed morphological

  13. Holocene hydrological changes in south-western Mediterranean as recorded by lake-level fluctuations at Lago Preola, a coastal lake in southern Sicily, Italy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Magny, Michel; Vannière, Boris; Calo, Camilla; Millet, Laurent; Leroux, Aurélie; Peyron, Odile; Zanchetta, Gianni; La Mantia, Tommaso; Tinner, Willy

    2011-09-01

    This paper presents a high-resolution lake-level record for the Holocene at Lago Preola (Sicily, southern Italy) based on a specific sedimentological approach, with a chronology derived from AMS radiocarbon dates. It gives evidence of three major successive palaeohydrological periods, with (1) a pronounced dryness during the early Holocene until ca 10300 cal BP, (2) a highstand from ca 10300 to 4500 cal BP, and (3) a marked lowstand from 4500 cal BP to present. Large amplitude lake-level fluctuations characterise two transition phases at ca 10300-9000 and 6400-4500 cal BP. Period 2 was interrupted between 8300 and 7000 cal BP by a dry phase that was punctuated to ca 7300 cal BP by the deposition of a tephra from neighbouring Pantelleria Island. Comparisons of the Preola record with other palaeohydrological records along north-south and west-east transects in the Mediterranean show contrasting patterns of hydrological changes: north (south) of around 40°N latitude, the records highlight a mid-Holocene period characterised by lake-level minima (maxima). Humid mid-Holocene conditions over the Mediterranean south of 40°N were probably linked to a strong weakening of the Hadley cell circulation and of monsoon winds. We suggest that the maximum of humidity in the Mediterranean during the mid-Holocene was characterised by humid winters to the north of 40°N and humid summers to the south. On a multi-centennial scale, the high-resolution palaeohydrological reconstructions in the central Mediterranean area reveal a strong climate reversal around 4500-4000 cal BP, with contrasting changes in the hydrological cycle. In addition to seasonal and inter-hemispherical changes related to orbital forcing, this major oscillation might be related to non-linear responses of the climatic system to the gradual decrease in summer insolation at northern latitudes. Another major climate oscillation around 7500-7000 cal BP may have resulted from the combined effects of (1) a strong rate of

  14. A retrospective study on acute health effects due to volcanic ash exposure during the eruption of Mount Etna (Sicily) in 2002

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Mount Etna, located in the eastern part of Sicily (Italy), is the highest and most active volcano in Europe. During the sustained eruption that occurred in October-November 2002 huge amounts of volcanic ash fell on a densely populated area south-east of Mount Etna in Catania province. The volcanic ash fall caused extensive damage to infrastructure utilities and distress in the exposed population. This retrospective study evaluates whether or not there was an association between ash fall and acute health effects in exposed local communities. Methods We collected the number and type of visits to the emergency department (ED) for diseases that could be related to volcanic ash exposure in public hospitals of the Province of Catania between October 20 and November 7, 2002. We compared the magnitude of differences in ED visits between the ash exposure period in 2002 and the same period of the previous year 2001. Results We observed a significant increase of ED visits for acute respiratory and cardiovascular diseases, and ocular disturbances during the ash exposure time period. Conclusions There was a positive association between exposure to volcanic ash from the 2002 eruption of Mount Etna and acute health effects in the Catania residents. This study documents the need for public health preparedness and response initiatives to protect nearby populations from exposure to ash fall from future eruptions of Mount Etna. PMID:23924394

  15. Micro-chemical and micro-structural investigation of the corrosion products on `` The Dancing Satyr'' (Mazara del Vallo, Sicily, Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ingo, G. M.; Riccucci, C.; Faraldi, F.; Casaletto, M. P.; Guida, G.

    2010-09-01

    The “ Dancing Satyr”, a bronze statue measuring more than 2 metres in height and weighting 108 kg, represents one of the most important recent archaeological finds in Italy. The statue was discovered on the floor of the Sicilian channel (the portion of the Mediterranean sea between Sicily and Tunisia), not far from the south-western Sicilian coast, under 500 metres of seawater in 1998. The bronze statue depicts a nude satyr captured in a frenzied whirling movement during a dance in honour of Dionysus, the God of wine. Though some scholars dated it to the IV century B.C. as an original Praxiteles work or a copy thereof, it could be also dated either back to the Hellenistic period (III or II century B.C.) or possibly to the Roman Empire age (early II century A.D.). The nature and structure of the corrosion products grown on the Dancing Satyr surface and the metallurgical features of the statue were investigated taking into account the nature of the marine environment of provenance. A detailed micro-chemical and micro-structural characterisation was performed by means of the combined use of scanning electron microscopy (SEM), energy-dispersive spectrometry (EDS), X-ray diffraction (XRD) and optical microscopy (OM). Results provided good insight into the different corrosion layers and a tentative correlation of the patina nature and the chemical composition of the statue and the marine context is proposed.

  16. Long- and short-term deformation along the active northern margin of the hyblean plateau (se sicily) from multidisciplinary data: evidence for a new potential seismogenic source

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bonforte, Alessandro; Catalano, Stefano; Maniscalco, Rosanna; Pavano, Francesco; Romagnoli, Gino; Sturiale, Giovanni; Tortorici, Giuseppe

    2014-05-01

    A geologic and geodetic integrated analysis of the northern margin of the Hyblean Plateau (SE Sicily) has been carried out in order to test the relation of the active deformation, recorded by GPS data, and the long-term tectonic evolution, recorded by structural and morphological data, with potential seismogenic sources of the region, where high level (MCS I0 = X - XI) historical seismicity occurred. To date, seismotectonic models have alternatively related the main seismogenic sources to the incipient rifting that reactivated the Malta Escarpment in the Ionian off-shore or to the still active NW-SE trending Nubia-Eurasia convergence, that remobilized the northern tectonic boundary of the Hyblean Plateau. In this region, the new data reveal that the active deformation can be framed in the flexural tectonics developed during the late stages of the Nubia-Eurasia plate convergence. Geodetic and geological data provide a coherent kinematic picture that is compatible with the occurrence of a blind ramp thrust along the NW margin of the Hyblean Plateau. This study demonstrates that the onshore seismicity of the Hyblean region can be confidently referred to active compressional dynamics. Additionally, our data candidate the inferred blind thrust, located to the south of the Scordia-Lentini graben, as a major potential seismogenic source that might be considered in interpreting the historical seismicity of the region.

  17. The role of hydrodynamic processes on anchovy eggs and larvae distribution in the sicily channel (mediterranean sea): a case study for the 2004 data set.

    PubMed

    Falcini, Federico; Palatella, Luigi; Cuttitta, Angela; Buongiorno Nardelli, Bruno; Lacorata, Guglielmo; Lanotte, Alessandra S; Patti, Bernardino; Santoleri, Rosalia

    2015-01-01

    Knowledge of the link between ocean hydrodynamics and distribution of small pelagic fish species is fundamental for the sustainable management of fishery resources. Both commercial and scientific communities are indeed seeking to provide services that could "connect the dots" among in situ and remote observations, numerical ocean modelling, and fisheries. In the Mediterranean Sea and, in particular, in the Sicily Channel the reproductive strategy of the European Anchovy (Engraulis encrasicolus) is strongly influenced by the oceanographic patterns, which are often visible in sea surface temperature satellite data. Based on these experimental evidences, we propose here a more general approach where the role of ocean currents, wind effects, and mesoscale activity are tied together. To investigate how these features affect anchovy larvae distribution, we pair ichthyoplankton observations to a wide remote sensing data set, and to Lagrangian numerical simulations for larval transport. Our analysis shows that while the wind-induced coastal current is able to transport anchovy larvae from spawning areas to the recruiting area off the Sicilian south-eastern tip, significant cross-shore transport due to the combination of strong northwesterly mistral winds and topographic effects delivers larvae away from the coastal conveyor belt. We then use a potential vorticity approach to describe the occurrence of larvae cross-shore transport. We conclude that monitoring and quantifying the upwelling on the southern Sicilian coast during the spawning season allows to estimate the cross-shore transport of larvae and the consequent decrease of individuals within the recruiting area. PMID:25915489

  18. The use of TIMS data to estimate the SO2 concentrations of volcanic plumes: A case study at Mount Etna, Sicily

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Realmuto, Vincent J.

    1992-01-01

    Thermal Infrared Multispectral Scanner (TIMS) data were acquired over Mount Etna, Sicily, on 29 July 1986. The volcanic activity at that time was characterized by the steady effusion of gas from the Bocca Nuova (BN), Chasm, and Southeast craters. The Northeast crater, quiet at the time of the TIMS overflight, was the site of Strombolian eruptive activity between 31 July and 24 Sep. 1986. In aerial photographs of the Etna summit region acquired during the TIMS overflight, the SO2-rich plume is visible due to the scattering of sunlight by the entrained aerosols. In the TIMS imagery, the plume is revealed by the strong absorption of SO2 between 8 and 9 microns. This absorption feature falls within the first three channels of TIMS, with the strongest absorption falling within Channel 2. Following decorrelation processing, the plume is visible in color-composites of TIMS channels 2, 3, and 5. To estimate the concentration of SO2 within the plume, the LOWTRAN 7 radiative transfer code was used to model the radiance spectra measured by TIMS.

  19. Submarine slope earthquake-induced instability and associated tsunami generation potential along the Hyblean-Malta Escarpment (offshore eastern Sicily, Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ausilia Paparo, Maria; Pagnoni, Gianluca; Zaniboni, Filippo; Tinti, Stefano

    2016-04-01

    The stability analysis of offshore margins is an important step for the assessment of natural hazard: the main challenge is to evaluate the potential slope failures and the consequent occurrence of submarine tsunamigenic landslides to mitigate the potential coastal damage to inhabitants and infrastructures. But the limited geotechnical knowledge of the underwater soil and the controversial scientific interpretation of the tectonic units make it often difficult to carry out this type of analysis reliably. We select the Hyblean-Malta Escarpment (HME), the main active geological structure offshore eastern Sicily, because the amount of data from historical chronicles, the records about strong earthquakes and tsunami, and the numerous geological offshore surveys carried out in recent years make the region an excellent scenario to evaluate slope failures, mass movements triggered by earthquakes and the consequent tsunamis. We choose several profiles along the HME and analyse their equilibrium conditions using the Minimun Lithostatic Deviation (MLD) method (Tinti and Manucci, 2006, 2008; Paparo et al. 2013), that is based on the limit-equilibrium theory. Considering the morphological and geotechnical features of the offshore slopes, we prove that large-earthquake shaking may lead some zones of the HME to instability, we evaluate the expected volumes involved in sliding and compute the associated landslide-tsunami through numerical tsunami simulations. This work was carried out in the frame of the EU Project called ASTARTE - Assessment, STrategy And Risk Reduction for Tsunamis in Europe (Grant 603839, 7th FP, ENV.2013.6.4-3).

  20. The Molecular Epidemiology and Evolutionary Dynamics of Influenza B Virus in Two Italian Regions during 2010-2015: The Experience of Sicily and Liguria.

    PubMed

    Tramuto, Fabio; Orsi, Andrea; Maida, Carmelo Massimo; Costantino, Claudio; Trucchi, Cecilia; Alicino, Cristiano; Vitale, Francesco; Ansaldi, Filippo

    2016-01-01

    Molecular epidemiology of influenza B virus remained poorly studied in Italy, despite representing a major contributor to seasonal epidemics. This study aimed to reconstruct the phylogenetic relationships and genetic diversity of the hemagglutinin gene sequences of 197 influenza B strains circulating in both Southern (Sicily) and Northern (Liguria) Italy between 2010 and 2015. Upper respiratory tract specimens of patients displaying symptoms of influenza-like illness were screened by real-time RT-PCR assay for the presence of influenza B virus. PCR-positive influenza B samples were further analyzed by sequencing. Neighbor-joining phylogenetic trees were constructed and the amino-acid alignments were analyzed. Phylogenetic analysis showed clusters in B/Victoria clade 1A/1B (n = 29, 14.7%), and B/Yamagata clades 2 (n = 112, 56.8%) and 3 (n = 56, 28.4%). Both influenza B lineages were found to co-circulate during the study period, although a lineage swap from B/Victoria to B/Yamagata occurred in Italy between January 2011 and January 2013. The most represented amino-acid substitutions were N116K in the 120-loop (83.9% of B/Yamagata clade 3 strains) and I146V in the 150-loop (89.6% of B/Victoria clade 1 strains). D197N in 190-helix was found in almost all viruses collected. Our findings provide further evidence to support the adoption of quadrivalent influenza vaccines in our country. PMID:27089319

  1. Synsedimentary-tectonic, soft-sediment deformation and volcanism in the rifted Tethyan margin from the Upper Triassic-Middle Jurassic deep-water carbonates in Central Sicily

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Basilone, Luca; Lena, Gabriele; Gasparo-Morticelli, Maurizio

    2014-07-01

    The Pizzo Lupo section (Sicanian Mts, central Sicily) is an Upper Triassic-Lower Jurassic condensed deep-water succession, where the relationships among synsedimentary tectonic, soft-sediment deformations, volcanism and lithological changes reflect the evolution of a rift-basin. The morphostructural setting of the studied basin appears as a gently dipping slope where a fault-delimited area (graben to halfgraben) was developed. The instability of the sea floor, related to the seismic shocks, was the cause of the gravity-driven deformational sedimentary structures (slumping, breccia channelized bodies). The partly stratified basaltic rocks, with disorganized and chaotic stratification, suggest the occurrence of a volcanic complex located in neighbouring areas. A regional comparison with the tectono-sedimentary evolution of the pelagic drowning platform succession (i.e. Trapanese domain Auct.), outcropping in adjacent areas, suggests that these different domains were close to each other during the studied period forming a stepped margin platform-to-basin system. The environmental changes, synsedimentary tectonic activity and gravity-driven phenomena were the result of repeated events occurred during a long time interval, spanning from Late Triassic to Early Jurassic.

  2. The Role of Hydrodynamic Processes on Anchovy Eggs and Larvae Distribution in the Sicily Channel (Mediterranean Sea): A Case Study for the 2004 Data Set

    PubMed Central

    Falcini, Federico; Palatella, Luigi; Cuttitta, Angela; Buongiorno Nardelli, Bruno; Lacorata, Guglielmo; Lanotte, Alessandra S.; Patti, Bernardino; Santoleri, Rosalia

    2015-01-01

    Knowledge of the link between ocean hydrodynamics and distribution of small pelagic fish species is fundamental for the sustainable management of fishery resources. Both commercial and scientific communities are indeed seeking to provide services that could “connect the dots” among in situ and remote observations, numerical ocean modelling, and fisheries. In the Mediterranean Sea and, in particular, in the Sicily Channel the reproductive strategy of the European Anchovy (Engraulis encrasicolus) is strongly influenced by the oceanographic patterns, which are often visible in sea surface temperature satellite data. Based on these experimental evidences, we propose here a more general approach where the role of ocean currents, wind effects, and mesoscale activity are tied together. To investigate how these features affect anchovy larvae distribution, we pair ichthyoplankton observations to a wide remote sensing data set, and to Lagrangian numerical simulations for larval transport. Our analysis shows that while the wind-induced coastal current is able to transport anchovy larvae from spawning areas to the recruiting area off the Sicilian south-eastern tip, significant cross-shore transport due to the combination of strong northwesterly mistral winds and topographic effects delivers larvae away from the coastal conveyor belt. We then use a potential vorticity approach to describe the occurrence of larvae cross-shore transport. We conclude that monitoring and quantifying the upwelling on the southern Sicilian coast during the spawning season allows to estimate the cross-shore transport of larvae and the consequent decrease of individuals within the recruiting area. PMID:25915489

  3. Holocene vertical deformation along the coastal sector of Mt. Etna volcano (eastern Sicily, Italy): Implications on the time-space constrains of the volcano lateral sliding

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Branca, Stefano; De Guidi, Giorgio; Lanzafame, Gianni; Monaco, Carmelo

    2014-12-01

    A detailed survey of morphological and biological markers of paleo-shorelines has been carried out along the coastal sector of Mt. Etna volcano (eastern Sicily, Italy), in order to better define causes and timing of vertical deformation. We have mapped markers of raised Holocene shorelines, which are represented by beach rocks, wave-cut platforms, balanid, vermetid and algal rims. The timing of coastal uplift has been determined by radiocarbon dating of shells collected from the raised paleo-shorelines and, to correctly assess the total amount of tectonic uplift of the coast during the Late Holocene, we have compared the elevation-age data of sampled shells to the local curve of Holocene sea-level rise. Taking into account the nominal elevation of the associated paleo-shorelines, an uplift rate of 2.5-3.0 mm/year has been estimated for the last 6-7 ka. This general process of uplifting is only locally interrupted by subsidence related to flank sliding of the volcanic edifice, measured at docks and other manmade structures, and by acceleration along the hinge of an active anticline and at the footwall of an active fault. Based on this new data we suggest more precise time-space constraints for the dynamics of the lower eastern flank of Mt. Etna volcano.

  4. Middle-Late Pleistocene marine terraces and fault activity in the Sant'Agata di Militello coastal area (north-eastern Sicily)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Giunta, Giuseppe; Gueli, Anna M.; Monaco, Carmelo; Orioli, Silvia; Ristuccia, Gloria M.; Stella, Giuseppe; Troja, Sebastiano O.

    2012-04-01

    The coastal sector of Sant'Agata di Militello (north-eastern Sicily) is characterized by a flight of raised Middle-Upper Pleistocene marine terraces occurring at different heights with respect to present sea level. In particular, the geomorphological survey and the analysis of stereo-pairs of aerial photographs allowed to recognize at least five main orders of well preserved Quaternary surfaces and relative deposits mostly located at the hanging wall and at the footwall of the Pleistocene northwest-dipping Capo d'Orlando normal fault, which controlled the geomorphological evolution of the coastal area. The marine terraces show an overall good morphological continuity and are formed by marine platforms overlain by littoral deposits made up of yellow littoral sand and gravels in a sandy matrix. The continental sedimentary cover of the 3rd order terrace contains mammal-bearing deposits that were previously dated 200 ± 40 ka BP by isoleucine epimerization method, allowing to relate them to MIS 7.1 high-stand. In order to better define the whole terrace chronology, deposit samples were analyzed by Optically Stimulated Luminescence (OSL) methodology, a conventional SAR protocol used with sand-sized quartz. New datings, together with the detailed morphostructural analysis, allow to relate the 2nd and 4th order terraces to MIS 5.5 and 8.5, respectively, and to reconstruct the tectonic evolution of this coastal area, constraining the activity of the Capo d'Orlando fault.

  5. Understanding the geological record of carbonate platform drowning across rifted Tethyan margins: Examples from the Lower Jurassic of the Apennines and Sicily (Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marino, Maurizio; Santantonio, Massimo

    2010-04-01

    In the geological record a drowning process is documented by various types of shallow water-to-pelagic or shallow water to mixed benthic/pelagic carbonate transitions. Drowning unconformities are paraconformities, to disconformities, to angular unconformities, and their drowning surfaces range from planar to highly irregular morphologies. Drowning successions display a mix of products of both the benthic and pelagic carbonate factories. These successions can be also bounded by unconformities. Drowning unconformities and drowning successions are contrasted through a description and discussion of examples of escarpment-bounded platforms from the Jurassic of the Northern Apennines and, subordinately, from Sicily and other Tethyan sectors. The areal distribution of drowning unconformities and successions is discussed with reference to a complex depositional system whose architecture was the product of the rift-induced fragmentation of a regional Hettangian carbonate megabank. The examples in this study show drowning unconformities to be exclusive to intrabasinal highs, while drowning successions are found both on highs and in hangingwall basins. Drowning unconformities, with their long associated hiatuses, and drowning successions are often seen to merge laterally into one another over very short distances on the same intrabasinal high. The deposits of the drowning succession are sometimes missing on the top of the platform, while they are found forming clinoforms along its flanks, evidence that sediment could be permanently swept from the highs in these depositional systems at this stage.

  6. The Molecular Epidemiology and Evolutionary Dynamics of Influenza B Virus in Two Italian Regions during 2010–2015: The Experience of Sicily and Liguria

    PubMed Central

    Tramuto, Fabio; Orsi, Andrea; Maida, Carmelo Massimo; Costantino, Claudio; Trucchi, Cecilia; Alicino, Cristiano; Vitale, Francesco; Ansaldi, Filippo

    2016-01-01

    Molecular epidemiology of influenza B virus remained poorly studied in Italy, despite representing a major contributor to seasonal epidemics. This study aimed to reconstruct the phylogenetic relationships and genetic diversity of the hemagglutinin gene sequences of 197 influenza B strains circulating in both Southern (Sicily) and Northern (Liguria) Italy between 2010 and 2015. Upper respiratory tract specimens of patients displaying symptoms of influenza-like illness were screened by real-time RT-PCR assay for the presence of influenza B virus. PCR-positive influenza B samples were further analyzed by sequencing. Neighbor-joining phylogenetic trees were constructed and the amino-acid alignments were analyzed. Phylogenetic analysis showed clusters in B/Victoria clade 1A/1B (n = 29, 14.7%), and B/Yamagata clades 2 (n = 112, 56.8%) and 3 (n = 56, 28.4%). Both influenza B lineages were found to co-circulate during the study period, although a lineage swap from B/Victoria to B/Yamagata occurred in Italy between January 2011 and January 2013. The most represented amino-acid substitutions were N116K in the 120-loop (83.9% of B/Yamagata clade 3 strains) and I146V in the 150-loop (89.6% of B/Victoria clade 1 strains). D197N in 190-helix was found in almost all viruses collected. Our findings provide further evidence to support the adoption of quadrivalent influenza vaccines in our country. PMID:27089319

  7. Applying geophysical techniques to investigate a segment of a creeping fault in the urban area of San Gregorio di Catania, southern flank of Mt. Etna (Sicily - Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Imposa, S.; De Guidi, G.; Grassi, S.; Scudero, S.; Barreca, G.; Patti, G.; Boso, D.

    2015-12-01

    In an especially built-up area, such as the lower slopes of Etna volcano, the effects of surface faulting, caused by coseismic ruptures and aseismic creep, contribute significantly to increase the risk to towns and villages and their related infrastructure. This study aims to couple the geophysical and structural characteristics of an active fault zone, joining surficial and deep information, in the area of San Gregorio di Catania (Sicily - Italy). The occurrence of this structure and its associated fracture field were related to variations in the physical and mechanical properties of the hosting rocks. Surface structural survey detected a fracture zone with maximum width of 40 m, characterized with fractures oriented consistently with the kinematics of the fault. The geophysical surveys (ground penetrating radar, seismic tomography, and refraction microtremor), enabled to detect highly fractured rock volumes at variable depth whose occurrence has been linked to the presence of the fault at surface. The integration of various techniques, with different spatial resolution and depth range, allowed to fully reconstruct the 3D geological structure of the site down to about 15 m.

  8. The growth of ``black crusts'' on calcareous building stones in Palermo (Sicily): a first appraisal of anthropogenic and natural sulphur sources

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Montana, Giuseppe; Randazzo, Luciana; Oddo, Ilaria A.; Valenza, Mariano

    2008-11-01

    Chemical, mineralogical and isotopic composition (34S/32S) analyses were carried out on “black crusts” developed on the old buildings of Palermo (Sicily) with the aim to distinguish between natural and anthropogenic sulphur sources. Furthermore individual samples of total suspended particulate (TSP) were collected and analysed in order to estimate the influence of air pollution on the decay process of calcareous stones in a typical southern Mediterranean coastal environment. SEM/EDS analysis, X-ray diffractometry, IR spectroscopy and liquid chromatography led to the compositional characterization of “black crusts” and airborne particulate matter in the city. Sulphur isotopic compositions of gypsum-bearing crusts showed a prevailing contribution of anthropogenic sources (vehicle exhaust and other combustion processes). Natural sulphur and/or sulphate sources (biogenic and/or sea-spray) were shown to play a secondary role. These data can be considered a starting point for the determination of the rate of growth of “black crusts” in a coastal Mediterranean urban environment like Palermo. In the future, they might be useful to local authorities for planning more efficient maintenance action in order to slow as much as possible the rate of decay of the monumental heritage of the city.

  9. Tsunami vulnerability and damage for buildings analyzed by means of two methods (PTVA-3 and SCHEMA) in the area of Augusta and Siracusa, eastern Sicily, Italy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pagnoni, Gianluca; Tinti, Stefano

    2015-04-01

    The coast of the eastern Sicily is exposed to tsunamis that can be generated by local earthquakes (e.g. the 1169, 1693, 1908 events) and by earthquakes located in distant seismic zones (see the 365 AD tsunamigenic quake in Western Hellenic Arc). Tsunamis can also be generated by landslides possibly triggered by earthquakes. The Hyblean-Malta steep escarpment running offshore at a small angle with the coast is an ideal place for submarine mass failure occurrences with tsunamigenic effects. The entire eastern coast of Sicily from Messina in the north to Siracusa in the south is under the threat of tsunamis. In the frame of the FP7 European project ASTARTE (Assessment, Strategy And Risk Reduction for Tsunamis in Europe - FP7-ENV2013 6.4-3, Grant 603839), the segment of coast from Augusta to Siracusa was selected to undertake specific and detailed studies of tsunami hazard, vulnerability and damage to test existing methods and develop innovative approaches. The scope of the present work regards vulnerability and damage analyses. We chose to adopt two methods, known in the literature and briefly denoted as PTVA-3 and SCHEMA, that are based on two very different approaches, the former more qualitative and the latter more quantitative. The method PTVA-3 determines the vulnerability and damageability of a building by weighting and ranking a number of attributes covering the structural features of the edifice and the relevant characteristics of the surrounding environment such as the position with respect to the coast, the existence of defensive elements (e.g. walls, breakwaters, vegetation) and also the proximity to potential sources of floating objects that can feed damaging debris flows. On the other hand, the SCHEMA method uses a classification of building and a damage matrix that were derived from experimental fragility and damage curves first established after the Sumatra 2004 tsunami and later refined and adapted to the building stock of the Mediterranean region. The

  10. Constraining fault activity by investigating tectonically-deformed Quaternary palaeoshorelines using a synchronous correlation method: the Capo D'Orlando Fault as a case study (NE Sicily, Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meschis, Marco; Roberts, Gerald P.; Robertson, Jennifer

    2016-04-01

    Long-term curstal extension rates, accommodated by active normal faults, can be constrained by investigating Late Quaternary vertical movements. Sequences of marine terraces tectonically deformed by active faults mark the interaction between tectonic activity, sea-level changes and active faulting throughout the Quaternary (e.g. Armijo et al., 1996, Giunta et al, 2011, Roberts et al., 2013). Crustal deformation can be calculated over multiple seismic cycles by mapping Quaternary tectonically-deformed palaeoshorelines, both in the hangingwall and footwall of active normal faults (Roberts et al., 2013). Here we use a synchronous correlation method between palaeoshorelines elevations and the ages of sea-level highstands (see Roberts et al., 2013 for further details) which takes advantage of the facts that (i) sea-level highstands are not evenly-spaced in time, yet must correlate with palaeoshorelines that are commonly not evenly-spaced in elevation, and (ii) that older terraces may be destroyed and/or overprinted by younger highstands, so that the next higher or lower paleoshoreline does not necessarily correlate with the next older or younger sea-level highstand. We investigated a flight of Late Quaternary marine terraces deformed by normal faulting as a result of the Capo D'Orlando Fault in NE Sicily (e.g. Giunta et al., 2011). This fault lies within the Calabrian Arc which has experienced damaging seismic events such as the 1908 Messina Straits earthquake ~ Mw 7. Our mapping and previous mapping (Giunta et al. (2011) demonstrate that the elevations of marine terraces inner edges change along the strike the NE - SW oriented normal fault. This confirms active deformation on the Capo D'Orlando Fault, strongly suggesting that it should be added into the Database of Individual Seismogenic Sources (DISS, Basili et al., 2008). Giunta et al. (2011) suggested that uplift rates and hence faults lip-rates vary through time for this examples. We update the ages assigned to

  11. A regional-scale discontinuity in western Sicily revealed by a multidisciplinary approach: A new piece for understanding the geodynamic puzzle of the southern Mediterranean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Di Stefano, Pietro; Favara, Rocco; Luzio, Dario; Renda, Pietro; Cacciatore, Maria Simona; Calò, Marco; Napoli, Giuseppe; Parisi, Laura; Todaro, Simona; Zarcone, Giuseppe

    2015-10-01

    The results of an integrated stratigraphic, structural, geophysical, and geochemical study reveal the presence of a crustal discontinuity in western Sicily that, at present, runs roughly N-S along a band from San Vito Lo Capo to Sciacca. The boundary between the two zones of this discontinuity is nearly orthogonal to the main thrust propagation of the Sicilian thrust-and-fold belt. The different Permian to Tertiary sedimentary evolution recorded by the two zones appears related to this discontinuity, with thick carbonate platforms in the western sector facing deepwater successions in the eastern one. The presence of Upper Triassic reefs, huge megabreccia bodies, and widespread submarine volcanisms along the transition zone suggests the presence of a long-lasting weakness zone. This zone has been reactivated episodically as transpressional and/or transtensional faults in relation to the different geodynamic stress acting in central Mediterranean area in different epochs. We speculate that this transition zone has represented a segment of the passive margin of the Ionian Tethys. During the Maghrebian convergence a different style of deformation has affected the two sectors floored by different sedimentary multilayers. The orthogonal-to-oblique differential convergence between the two sectors has resulted in right-lateral transpressional motions, leading to oblique thrusting of deepwater-derived thrusts onto platform-derived thrusts associated with clockwise rotations. The oblique convergence is still ongoing as demonstrated by the seismicity of the area, by the geothermal field with high mantle-derived helium fluxes and by the GPS measurements collected by different authors.

  12. Construction of a Geographical Database of Classical-Archaic Manufactures, Found in the Survey of the Greek Colony Himera (sicily, Italy). Application and Methodologies for AN Experimental Research

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Papa, M. A.; Tardo, V.

    2011-09-01

    This research has analysed the distribution of ceramic finds from classical and archaic ages in the territory of the ancient Greek colony Himera, a town situated near Termini Imerese, in the province of Palermo (Sicily, Italy), which has been the site of systematic excavations carried out by the University of Palermo since the Sixties. The study of about 1500 ceramic fragments, dated back to the 6th-5th century B.C., has allowed to develop an approach to the understanding of the role played by ceramics in the relations between different societies and cultures. Besides the most common analysis factors for the ceramic manufactures, such as their production and distribution, a major factor is the way the manufactures were used. From this wider perspective, a new methodology has been developed about information potential of functional analysis. The interpretation of data about the manufacture distribution was made by means of GIS methodologies, querying the alphanumerical classification database and relating the manufacture typological data to the geo-cartographic ones by means of applying intersite-level spatial analysis. Thus, each archaeological piece of information about the finds can be analysed in relation to the territory geo-morphological features and the obtained data can be processed with specific software environments, in order to suggest reconstruction models for the anthropic landscape, based on the relation between coeval sites and distance from specific environment features — for example, distance from water sources, raw materials, road condition etc. The computer application used for data handling, presentation and analysis, becomes this way a tool of research aimed at the comprehension of settlement dynamics in the historical scenery. This study is the occasion to propose such an analysis system of cultural heritage as a new tool to promote it and to increase its value, applying a territorial context related methodology founded on scientific

  13. Mapping rainfall-induced landslides and inundated areas using remote sensing technology and field surveys: the 1 October 2009, Messina, Sicily, event in southern Italy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ardizzone, Francesca; Cardinali, Mauro; Fiorucci, Federica; Iovine, Giulio; Mondini, Alessandro; Reichenbach, Paola; Rossi, Mauro; Teresa, Oreste; Fausto, Guzzetti

    2010-05-01

    In Italy, severe meteorologically induced geo-hydrological events are characterized by a complex combination of landslides and floods, and may cause casualties and damage to urban areas and the utility network. On 1 October 2009, a high intensity rainstorm in the Messina area, Sicily, triggered more than 500 shallow landslides in an area of about 60 km2, mostly in the soils mantling the metamorphic and crystalline bedrock of the Peloritan Arc. The high intensity rainfall further resulted in massive erosion and deposition of debris along the ephemeral drainage channels, widespread inundation, and local modification of the coastline. Damage was particularly severe in the several small villages present in the area, including Giampilieri, Scaletta Zanclea, Guidomandri, Pèzzolo, Altolìa, and Itàla. Damage to the transportation network was also severe and widespread. The several rainfall-induced landslides and the inundations have resulted in 31 deaths, 6 missing persons, numerous injured persons, and more than 2500 evacuated and homeless people. In the aftermath of the event, we: (i) completed a preliminary field survey in the area most affected by landslides and inundations, documenting the ground effects of the intense rainfall, (ii) acquired satellite imagery, including very-high-resolution optical images taken by QuickBird and high-resolution radar images taken by COSMO-SkyMed, and (iii) acquired stereoscopic aerial photography, including pre-event aerial photographs taken in 1954, 1995, and 2005, and post event, very-large scale images taken by helicopter immediately after the event. In this work, we present preliminary results of the exploitation of multiple remote-sensing technologies and information for the identification, mapping and classification of the rainfall induced landslides, and of the eroded and the inundated areas. Emphasis is given to the critical analysis of the capacity and limits of the available airborne and satellite remote sensing

  14. [Polycyclic aromatic hidrocarbons deposition in the Milazzo-Valle del Mela (Sicily Region, Southern Italy) high-risk area following an oil refinery fire].

    PubMed

    Grechi, Daniele; Biggeri, Annibale

    2016-01-01

    On September 2014, a fire began within an oil refinery involving a storage tank containing several hundreds of thousands cubic meters of virgin naphtha. Mayors of neighbouring municipalities asked the Epidemiology and Prevention Society "Giulio A. Maccacaro" to carry out an environmental survey in order to evaluate what was the nature and how dangerous was suspended dust deposited by the fumes. In the following days, after fire had been extinguished we conducted a sample survey on the presence of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) and metals in particulate deposited on the soil on a radius of five kilometres from the refinery and we engaged the exposed population. The Milazzo-Valle del Mela (Sicily Region, Southern Italy) high-risk area includes several industrial plants; among them, an oil refinery and a fuel powered energy plant. As reference area we selected the Sarroch municipality (Sardinia Region, Southern Italy), in the coast of the Tyrrhenian Sea, which is geographically comparable, where a large oil refinery is located and where an environmental campaign with measurement of PAH and metals in particulate matter was ongoing. Qualitatively, metal composition of particulate matter resulted similar in the Sarroch and Milazzo samples. Instead, a large excess of PAH was documented in the Milazzo samples as compared to the Sarroch ones. In conclusion, the results of the analysis of the samples of particulate matter deposited in the Milazzo area in the days immediately following the oil refinery fire showed a high quantity of PAH, carcinogenic substances which pose major hazard to population health. The greater fall-out was registered in the proximity of the burnt storage tank and the West neighbourhood, and at lesser extent in the Southern neighbourhood. As a consequence, there was a population exposure to carcinogenic substances which could have reached the food chain. PMID:26951697

  15. Backthrusts and passive roof duplexes in fold-and-thrust belts. The case of Central-Western Sicily based on seismic reflection data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Albanese, Cinzia; Sulli, Attilio

    2012-01-01

    Seismic reflection profiles crossing the area bounded by the M. Kumeta Ridge and the M. Maranfusa-M. Galiello-Rocca Busambra morphostructural feature (central-western Sicily) were used to constrain the deep structural setting of the Sicilian-Maghrebian fold-and-thrust belt (FTB). By integrating seismic, field and well data, we attempted to correlate outcropping and deep-seated contractional structures, shedding light on the internal geometries of the thrust system. Results of the new seismostratigraphic analysis presented in this paper reveal structural variations along the tectonic edifice. This suggests dividing the study area into two sectors: the western sector is characterized by foreland-verging thrusts comparable to the already known structural model of the chain, conversely in the easternmost sector duplexes and hinterland-verging structures, here highlighted for the first time, prevail. In fact, the main carbonate relief of this area (Rocca Busambra Ridge) appears as the outcropping part of a thick tectonic pile bounded on its northern side by a high-angle backthrust, while at depth a blind southern verging (i.e. forelandward) thrust can been recognized; this structural setting suggests that underthrusting of the buried S-verging carbonate body induced the N-verging (i.e. hinterlandward) dislocation of the overlying units. On the whole, this structure can be interpreted as a triangle zone, where the outcropping relief represents a passive-roof duplex bounded, on its northern side, by the high-angle backthrust deeply connected with a low-angle décollement layer. The recognized backthrust appears as the product of a deep-seated tectonic activity, that played a key role for the upper thrust-sheet emplacement.

  16. Evaluation of shallow landslide-triggering scenarios through a physically based approach: an example of application in the southern Messina area (northeastern Sicily, Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schilirò, L.; Esposito, C.; Scarascia Mugnozza, G.

    2015-09-01

    Rainfall-induced shallow landslides are a widespread phenomenon that frequently causes substantial damage to property, as well as numerous casualties. In recent~years a wide range of physically based models have been developed to analyze the triggering process of these events. Specifically, in this paper we propose an approach for the evaluation of different shallow landslide-triggering scenarios by means of the TRIGRS (transient rainfall infiltration and grid-based slope stability) numerical model. For the validation of the model, a back analysis of the landslide event that occurred in the study area (located SW of Messina, northeastern Sicily, Italy) on 1 October 2009 was performed, by using different methods and techniques for the definition of the input parameters. After evaluating the reliability of the model through comparison with the 2009 landslide inventory, different triggering scenarios were defined using rainfall values derived from the rainfall probability curves, reconstructed on the basis of daily and hourly historical rainfall data. The results emphasize how these phenomena are likely to occur in the area, given that even short-duration (1-3 h) rainfall events with a relatively low return period (e.g., 10-20~years) can trigger numerous slope failures. Furthermore, for the same rainfall amount, the daily simulations underestimate the instability conditions. The high susceptibility of this area to shallow landslides is testified by the high number of landslide/flood events that have occurred in the past and are summarized in this paper by means of archival research. Considering the main features of the proposed approach, the authors suggest that this methodology could be applied to different areas, even for the development of landslide early warning systems.

  17. Raised Holocene paleo-shorelines along the Capo Schisò coast, Taormina: New evidence of recent co-seismic deformation in northeastern Sicily (Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Spampinato, Cecilia Rita; Scicchitano, Giovanni; Ferranti, Luigi; Monaco, Carmelo

    2012-04-01

    Detailed mapping of geomorphological, biological and archaeological sea-level markers around the Capo Schisò volcanic headland, a few kilometers south of Taormina, north-eastern Sicily, has documented the occurrence of three Holocene paleo-shorelines raised at different altitudes. The uppermost shoreline (PS1) is represented by a fossiliferous beach deposit that is heavily eroded and only few small sections, at elevations ranging between ˜3 and ˜5 m above the present sea-level, are visible. The middle shoreline (PS2) was found at a maximum altitude of ˜3 m and is represented by algal rims, remnants of barnacle bands and vermetid concretions, and by a fossiliferous beach deposit. The lowermost shoreline (PS3) includes remnants of algal rims, vermetid concretions, fossil barnacle bands and a beachrock, and reaches an elevation of 1.60-1.80 m. New radiocarbon dating results, integrated with published ages from nearby paleo-shoreline outcrops, constrains for the Taormina region an average uplift rate of 1.7-1.8 mm/yr in the last 5 ka, and the occurrence of three co-seismic uplift events at 4.4-3.9 ka, 2.1-1.8 ka and ≤1.0 ka ago. Abrupt displacements are tentatively attributed to footwall uplift along an offshore normal fault, but further investigations are needed to better constrain the causative source of past earthquakes. Notwithstanding, based on coastal tectonic analysis, this paper provides a new assessment of age and recurrence time of Holocene earthquakes in a historically strong seismogenic area.

  18. Observing scoria cone growth and lava flow development in the Bocca Nuova crater, Mount Etna, Sicily (2012), using repeat terrestrial laser scanner measurements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Slatcher, N.; James, M. R.; Calvari, S.; Ganci, G.; Browning, J.

    2012-12-01

    In July 2012, following the cessation of the 2011 - 2012 sequence of fire fountaining events from the flanks of the South East crater, magmatic activity began in the Bocca Nuova summit crater of Mount Etna (Sicily). The activity was characterised by mild Strombolian explosions and gentle lava effusion, and began constructing a small scoria cone within the crater. Here, we present analysis of a sequence of terrestrial laser scans, time-lapse camera and satellite data that captured scoria cone growth and lava flow development between 17 - 21 July, 2012. Activity over the observation period comprised Strombolian explosions at a recurrence interval of ~1 - 10 seconds, and a short lava flow (approximately 20 m wide and 120 m long) emanating from the vent region. On 17, 19 and 21 July, a Riegl LPM-321 terrestrial laser scanner (TLS) was deployed on the western rim of the Bocca Nuova, ~350m from the active vent and used to capture a single scan on each day to cover the cone, lava flow and crater wall. High-resolution digital elevation models (DEMs) derived from these scans were used to calculate volumetric change and growth rate of the cone. A maximum elevation gain of ~15 m and an increase in volume of ~84000 m3 (equivalent to 0.24 m3s-1) was observed over the four-day period. The lava flow was also repeatedly scanned at 10-minute intervals over a 90-minute period on 21 July. By combining these TLS data with concurrently collected thermal and visual imagery, a detailed time-series analysis of flow velocities and decimetric topographic changes will be used to assess lava flux and estimate rheological properties.

  19. Neurotoxicological effects on marine mussel Mytilus galloprovincialis caged at petrochemical contaminated areas (eastern Sicily, Italy): ¹H NMR and immunohistochemical assays.

    PubMed

    Cappello, Tiziana; Maisano, Maria; Giannetto, Alessia; Parrino, Vincenzo; Mauceri, Angela; Fasulo, Salvatore

    2015-03-01

    The neurotoxicological potential of environmental pollution, mainly related to petrochemical activities, was investigated in marine mussel Mytilus galloprovincialis. Bivalve mollusks, particularly mussels, are widely used as sentinel organisms in biomonitoring studies for assessing the impact of anthropogenic contaminants. The gills, mainly involved in nutrient uptake, digestion, gas exchange and neuronal signaling, are the first organ to be affected by pollutants present in the external environment, and therefore were selected as the target organ for this study. Mussels from an aquaculture farm were caged at a highly polluted petrochemical area and a reference site along the Augusta coastline (eastern Sicily, Italy) for one month. A battery of biomarkers indicative of neuronal perturbations was applied on gills in order to investigate on the serotonergic (i.e. serotonin, 5-HT, and its receptor, 5-HT3R), cholinergic (i.e. acetylcholine, acetylcholinesterase, AChE, and choline acetyltransferase, ChAT), and dopaminergic systems (i.e. tyrosine and tyrosine hydroxylase, TH). Overall, impairment in the normal ciliary motility was found in mussels caged at the polluted site. Alterations in serotoninergic and cholinergic systems were revealed, with enhancement of dopaminergic neurotransmission resulting in a cilio-inhibitory effect. However, the over-expression in 5-HT3R and ChAT at cellular level may indicate an adaptive response of mussels to recover a regular physiological activity in gills. To our knowledge, this is the first study that uses (1)H NMR and immunohistochemical assays. Their concurrent use demonstrated to be sensitive and effective for assessing environmental influences on the health status of aquatic organisms, and thus suitable to be applied in ecotoxicological studies. PMID:25572855

  20. Interspecific crossing and genetic mapping reveal intrinsic genomic incompatibility between two Senecio species that form a hybrid zone on Mount Etna, Sicily

    PubMed Central

    Brennan, A C; Hiscock, S J; Abbott, R J

    2014-01-01

    Studies of hybridizing species can reveal much about the genetic basis and maintenance of species divergence in the face of gene flow. Here we report a genetic segregation and linkage analysis conducted on F2 progeny of a reciprocal cross between Senecio aethnensis and S. chrysanthemifolius that form a hybrid zone on Mount Etna, Sicily, aimed at determining the genetic basis of intrinsic hybrid barriers between them. Significant transmission ratio distortion (TRD) was detected at 34 (∼27%) of 127 marker loci located in nine distinct clusters across seven of the ten linkage groups detected, indicating genomic incompatibility between the species. TRD at these loci could not be attributed entirely to post-zygotic selective loss of F2 individuals that failed to germinate or flower (16.7%). At four loci tests indicated that pre-zygotic events, such as meiotic drive in F1 parents or gametophytic selection, contributed to TRD. Additional tests revealed that cytonuclear incompatibility contributed to TRD at five loci, Bateson–Dobzhansky–Muller (BDM) incompatibilities involving epistatic interactions between loci contributed to TRD at four loci, and underdominance (heterozygote disadvantage) was a possible cause of TRD at one locus. Major chromosomal rearrangements were probably not a cause of interspecific incompatibility at the scale that could be examined with current map marker density. Intrinsic genomic incompatibility between S. aethnensis and S. chrysanthemifolius revealed by TRD across multiple genomic regions in early-generation hybrids is likely to impact the genetic structure of the natural hybrid zone on Mount Etna by limiting introgression and promoting divergence across the genome. PMID:24595365

  1. Interspecific crossing and genetic mapping reveal intrinsic genomic incompatibility between two Senecio species that form a hybrid zone on Mount Etna, Sicily.

    PubMed

    Brennan, A C; Hiscock, S J; Abbott, R J

    2014-09-01

    Studies of hybridizing species can reveal much about the genetic basis and maintenance of species divergence in the face of gene flow. Here we report a genetic segregation and linkage analysis conducted on F2 progeny of a reciprocal cross between Senecio aethnensis and S. chrysanthemifolius that form a hybrid zone on Mount Etna, Sicily, aimed at determining the genetic basis of intrinsic hybrid barriers between them. Significant transmission ratio distortion (TRD) was detected at 34 (∼27%) of 127 marker loci located in nine distinct clusters across seven of the ten linkage groups detected, indicating genomic incompatibility between the species. TRD at these loci could not be attributed entirely to post-zygotic selective loss of F2 individuals that failed to germinate or flower (16.7%). At four loci tests indicated that pre-zygotic events, such as meiotic drive in F1 parents or gametophytic selection, contributed to TRD. Additional tests revealed that cytonuclear incompatibility contributed to TRD at five loci, Bateson-Dobzhansky-Muller (BDM) incompatibilities involving epistatic interactions between loci contributed to TRD at four loci, and underdominance (heterozygote disadvantage) was a possible cause of TRD at one locus. Major chromosomal rearrangements were probably not a cause of interspecific incompatibility at the scale that could be examined with current map marker density. Intrinsic genomic incompatibility between S. aethnensis and S. chrysanthemifolius revealed by TRD across multiple genomic regions in early-generation hybrids is likely to impact the genetic structure of the natural hybrid zone on Mount Etna by limiting introgression and promoting divergence across the genome. PMID:24595365

  2. The use of multispectral thermal infrared image data to estimate the sulfur dioxide flux from volcanoes: A case study from Mount Etna, Sicily, July 29, 1986

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Realmuto, Vincent J.; Abrams, Michael J.; Buongiorno, M. Fabrizia; Pieri, David C.

    1994-01-01

    We have found that image data acquired with NASA's airborne Thermal Infrared Multispectral Scanner (TIMS) can be used to make estimates of the SO2 content of volcanic plumes. TIMS image data are most applicable to the study of partially transparent SO2 plumes, such as those released during quiescent periods or nonexplosive eruptions. The estimation procedure is based on the LOWTRAN 7 radiative transfer code, which we use to model the radiance perceived by TIMS as it views the ground through an SO2 plume. The input to the procedure includes the altitudes of the aircraft and ground, the altitude and thickness of the SO2 plume, the emissivity of the ground, and altitude profiles of the atmospheric pressure, temperature, and relative humidity. We use the TIMS data to estimate both ground temperatures beneath a plume and SO2 concentrations within a plume. Applying our procedure to TIMS data acquired over Mount Etna, Sicily, on July 29, 1986, we estimate that the SO2 flux from the volcano was approximately 6700 t d(exp -1). The use of TIMS to study SO2 plumes represents a bridge between highly localized methods, such as correlation spectroscopy or direct sampling, and small-scale mapping techniques involving satellite instruments such as the Total Ozone Mapping Spectrometer or Microwave Limb Sounder. We require further airborne experiments to refine our estimation procedure. This refinement is a necessary preparation for the schedueled 1998 launch of the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflectance Radiometer, which will allow large-scale multispectral thermal infrared image data to be collected over virtually any volcano on Earth at least once every 16 days.

  3. Integrating facies and structural analyses with subsidence history in a Jurassic-Cretaceous intraplatform basin: Outcome for paleogeography of the Panormide Southern Tethyan margin (NW Sicily, Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Basilone, Luca; Sulli, Attilio; Gasparo Morticelli, Maurizio

    2016-06-01

    We illustrate the tectono-sedimentary evolution of a Jurassic-Cretaceous intraplatform basin in a fold and thrust belt present setting (Cala Rossa basin). Detailed stratigraphy and facies analysis of Upper Triassic-Eocene successions outcropping in the Palermo Mts (NW Sicily), integrated with structural analysis, restoration and basin analysis, led to recognize and describe into the intraplatform basin the proximal and distal depositional areas respect to the bordered carbonate platform sectors. Carbonate platform was characterized by a rimmed reef growing with progradational trends towards the basin, as suggested by the several reworked shallow-water materials interlayered into the deep-water succession. More, the occurrence of thick resedimented breccia levels into the deep-water succession suggests the time and the characters of synsedimentary tectonics occurred during the Late Jurassic. The study sections, involved in the building processes of the Sicilian fold and thrust belt, were restored in order to obtain the original width of the Cala Rossa basin, useful to reconstruct the original geometries and opening mechanisms of the basin. Basin analysis allowed reconstructing the subsidence history of three sectors with different paleobathymetry, evidencing the role exerted by tectonics in the evolution of the narrow Cala Rossa basin. In our interpretation, a transtensional dextral Lower Jurassic fault system, WNW-ESE (present-day) oriented, has activated a wedge shaped pull-apart basin. In the frame of the geodynamic evolution of the Southern Tethyan rifted continental margin, the Cala Rossa basin could have been affected by Jurassic transtensional faults related to the lateral westward motion of Africa relative to Europe.

  4. Multidisciplinary study of the Tindari Fault (Sicily, Italy) separating ongoing contractional and extensional compartments along the active Africa-Eurasia convergent boundary

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    De Guidi, G.; Lanzafame, G.; Palano, M.; Puglisi, G.; Scaltrito, A.; Scarfì, L.

    2013-03-01

    The Africa-Eurasia convergence in Sicily and southern Calabria is currently expressed by two different tectonic and geodynamic domains: the western region, governed by a roughly N-S compression generated by a continental collision; the eastern one, controlled by a NW-SE extension related to the south-east-directed expansion of the Calabro-Peloritan Arc. The different deformation pattern of these two domains is accommodated by a right-lateral shear zone (Aeolian-Tindari-Letojanni fault system) which, from the Ionian Sea, north of Mt. Etna, extends across the Peloritani chain to the Aeolian Islands. In this work, we study the evidence of active tectonics characterizing this shear zone, through the analysis of seismic and geodetic data acquired by the INGV networks in the last 15 years. The study is completed by structural and morphological surveys carried out between Capo Tindari and the watershed of the chain. The results allowed defining a clear structural picture depicting the tectonic interferences between the two different geodynamic domains. The results indicate that, besides the regional ~ N130°E horizontal extensional stress field, another one, NE-SW-oriented, is active in the investigated area. Both tension axes are mutually independent and have been active up to the present at different times. The coexistence of these different active horizontal extensions is the result of complex interactions between several induced stresses: 1) the regional extension (NW-SE) related to the slab rollback and back-arc extension; 2) the strong uplift of the chain; 3) the accommodation between compressional and extensional tectonic regimes along the Aeolian-Tindari-Letojanni faults, through a SSE-NNW right-lateral transtensional displacement. In these conditions, the greater and recurring uplift activity is not able to induce a radial extensional dynamics, but, under the "directing" action of the shear system, it can only act on the regional extension (NW-SE) and produce the

  5. Bioaccumulation of dioxin-like substances and selected brominated flame retardant congeners in the fat and livers of black pigs farmed within the Nebrodi Regional Park of Sicily.

    PubMed

    Brambilla, Gianfranco; De Filippis, Stefania Paola; Iamiceli, Anna Laura; Iacovella, Nicola; Abate, Vittorio; Aronica, Vincenzo; Di Marco, Vincenzo; di Domenico, Alessandro

    2011-02-01

    An observational study was designed to assess the bioaccumulation of polychlorodibenzodioxins (PCDD) and polychlorodibenzofurans (PCDF), dioxin-like polychlorobiphenyls (DL-PCB), and 13 selected polybromodiphenylethers (PBDE) in autochthonous pigs reared in the Nebrodi Park of Sicily (Italy). Perirenal fat and liver samples were drawn from animals representative of three different outdoor farming systems and from wild pigs and then analyzed for the chemicals mentioned previously. The highest concentrations of PCDD + PCDF and DL-PCB were detected in the fat (0.45 and 0.35 pg World Health Organization toxicity equivalents [WHO-TE] per g of fat base [FB], respectively) and livers (12.7 and 3.28 pg WHO-TE per g FB) of the wild group, whereas the free-ranging group showed the lowest levels (0.05 and 0.03 pg WHO-TE per g FB in fat and 0.78 and 0.27 pg WHO-TE per g FB in livers). The sum of PBDE congeners was highest in wild pigs (0.52 ng/g FB in fat and 5.64 ng/g FB in livers) and lowest in the farmed group (0.14 ng/g FB in fat and 0.28 ng/g FB in livers). The contamination levels in fat and livers of outdoor pigs had mean concentration values lower than those levels reported for intensively indoor-farmed animals. In wild pigs, bioaccumulation was associated with their free grazing in areas characterized by bush fires. The results of this study aid to emphasize the quality of the environment as a factor to guarantee food safety in typical processed pig meat products, specifically from outdoor and extensive Nebrodi farming systems. PMID:21333146

  6. Subaerial exposure and drowning processes in a carbonate platform during the Mesozoic Tethyan rifting: The case of the Jurassic succession of Western Sicily (central Mediterranean)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sulli, A.; Interbartolo, F.

    2016-01-01

    The Liassic carbonate platform succession outcropping at Monte Maranfusa (central Western Sicily) consists of a shallowing-upward sequence of peritidal carbonates, with Jurassic to Paleogene pelagic limestone and siliciclastic Tertiary covers above. The cyclic sequences of subtidal wackestones/packstones, intertidal microcrystalline carbonates with bird's-eye pores, and supratidal bioclastic grainstones are interbedded with dark layers of the following composition: 1) dark-gray, compact, and well-cemented limestone with blackish clasts, interpreted as calcretes (a type of carbonate soil) and 2) reddish calcite laminae, deformed by elongated cavities, filled with vadose silt, interpreted as paleokarst. This succession is crossed by almost vertical faults, of the Late Liassic to Miocene, which often coincides with neptunian dykes, filled by several generations of Toarcian-Early Miocene pelagic sediments. Another system of dykes, known as neptunian sills, filled by injected Upper Lias-Dogger pelagic sediments, lies parallel to the stratification. The parallel dykes were caused by the flexure of the platform during the Jurassic and presumably by a planar slip in the carbonate rocks, whereas neptunian dykes are caused by faulting episodes. Here, we present evidence that the dark layers in the Liassic succession of Monte Maranfusa, previously described by many authors only as parallel dykes, can actually be interpreted as a) neptunian sills, b) pedogenic calcretes, and c) paleospeleothems. Therefore, we found evidence of exposure/flooding intervals in the evolution of the carbonate platform during the Liassic, linked to different pulses in both the subsidence/tectonic activity and the sea-level oscillations. At the top, Fe-Mn crusts (hardgrounds) seal the carbonate platform succession, which is in turn overlain by condensed pelagic deposits, confirming its drowning during rifting processes.

  7. Découverte du foraminifère Colaniella Likharev dans le Permien supérieur de la vallée du Sosio (Sicile)First occurrence of the foraminifer Colaniella Likharev in the Upper Permian from the Sosio Valley (Sicily).

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jenny-Deshusses, Catherine; Martini, Rossana; Zaninetti, Louisette

    2000-06-01

    The foraminifers Colaniella ex gr. parva (Colani) and Colaniella ex gr. minima (Wang) are described for the first time in Late Permian calcarenitic sediments of the Pietra di Salomone (Sosio Valley, Sicily). These species, also recognised in redeposited intervals of the Triassic Monte Facito Formation (Southern Apennine, Lagonegro Basin), are here illustrated for the first time. Their simultaneous presence indicates a Midian to Dzhulfian possibly Dorashamian? age. The age of the redeposition of the calcarenites and calcirudites, in Sicily and in Southern Apennine, is consequently Latest Permian (Dorashamian), or younger.

  8. Benthic foraminiferal response to trace element pollution-the case study of the Gulf of Milazzo, NE Sicily (Central Mediterranean Sea).

    PubMed

    Cosentino, Claudia; Pepe, Fabrizio; Scopelliti, Giovanna; Calabrò, Monica; Caruso, Antonio

    2013-10-01

    The response of benthic foraminiferal assemblages to trace element pollution in the marine sediments of the Gulf of Milazzo (north-eastern Sicily) was investigated. Since the 1960s, this coastal area has been a preferred site for the development of two small marinas and a commercial harbour as well as for heavy industry. Forty samples collected in the uppermost 3-4 cm of an undisturbed layer of sediment in the littoral environment were used for this benthic foraminiferal analysis. The enrichment factors (EFs) of selected trace elements (As, Co, Cr, Cu, Mn, Ni, Pb and Zn) were also calculated. Changes both in benthic foraminiferal assemblages and in some trace elements concentrations have provided evidence that the gulf's littoral zone can be subdivided into three sectors characterised by environmental changes in the marine ecosystem. In the sector unpolluted, close to the Milazzo Cape, foraminiferal assemblages exhibit high values of species richness and foraminiferal density while trace element concentrations and their EFs are very low. Here, the highest densities of Miliolids and epiphytic species are present. On the contrary, in the sector polluted, from the marinas to the crude oil refinery, foraminiferal density and species diversity are low, and assemblages are dominated, albeit with very low densities, by species that tolerate stressed environmental conditions, such as LOFAs, agglutinants and Ammonia spp. Here, the highest trace elements concentrations of Pb, Zn and Cu and related EFs were detected. Eastwards, in the sector moderately polluted, foraminiferal populations are quite poor. They are characterised by low values of species richness and foraminiferal densities, nevertheless trace element concentrations become lower than in the other sectors and their EFs are often below 1. Deformed foraminifera, with percentages up to 7.14 %, were found in all three of the sectors. Differences in benthic foraminiferal assemblages, coupled with results from

  9. The Gela Basin pockmark field in the strait of Sicily (Mediterranean Sea): chemosymbiotic faunal and carbonate signatures of postglacial to modern cold seepage

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Taviani, M.; Angeletti, L.; Ceregato, A.; Foglini, F.; Froglia, C.; Trincardi, F.

    2013-07-01

    The geo-biological exploration of a pockmark field located at ca. 800 m below sea level in the Gela basin (Strait of Sicily, Central Mediterranean) provided a relatively diverse chemosymbiotic community and methane-imprinted carbonates. To date, this is the first occurrence of such a type of specialised deep-water cold-seep communities recorded from this key region, before documented in the Mediterranean as rather disjunct findings in its eastern and westernmost basins. The thiotrophic chemosymbiotic organisms recovered from this area include empty tubes of the vestimentiferan Lamellibrachia sp., loose and articulated shells of lucinids (Lucinoma kazani, Myrtea amorpha), vesicomyids (Isorropodon perplexum), and gastropods (Taranis moerchii). A callianassid decapod (Calliax sp.) was consistently found alive in large numbers in the pockmark mud. Their post-mortem calcified parts mixed with molluscs and subordinately miliolid foraminifers form a distinct type of skeletal assemblage. Carbonate concretions display δ13C values as low as -40‰ PDB suggesting the occurrence of light hydrocarbons in the seeping fluids. Since none of the truly chemosymbiotic organisms was found alive, although their skeletal parts appear at times very fresh, some specimens have been AMS-14C dated to shed light on the historical evolution of this site. Lamellibrachiav and Lucinoma are two of the most significant chemosymbiotic taxa reported from various Mediterranean cold seep sites (Alboran Sea and Eastern basin). Specimens from station MEDCOR78 (pockmark #1, Lat. 36°46´10.18" N, Long. 14°01´31.59" E, 815 m below sea level) provided ages of 11736 ± 636 yr cal BP (Lamellibrachia sp.), and 9609.5 ± 153.5 yr cal BP (L. kazani). One shell of M. amorpha in core MEDCOR81 (pockmark #6, Lat 36°45´38.89" N, Long 14°00´07.58" E, 822 m below sea level) provided a sub-modern age of 484 ± 54 yr cal BP. These ages document that fluid seepage at this pockmark site has been episodically

  10. The Gela Basin pockmark field in the strait of Sicily (Mediterranean Sea): chemosymbiotic faunal and carbonate signatures of postglacial to modern cold seepage

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Taviani, M.; Angeletti, L.; Ceregato, A.; Foglini, F.; Froglia, C.; Trincardi, F.

    2013-01-01

    The geo-biological exploration of a pockmark field located at ca. -800 m in the Gela basin (Strait of Sicily, Central Mediterranean) provided a relatively diverse chemosymbiotic community and methane-imprinted carbonates. To date, this is the first occurrence of such type of specialized deep-water cold-seep communities recorded from this key region, before documented in the Mediterranean as rather disjunct findings in its eastern and westernmost basins. The thiotrophic chemosymbiotic organisms recovered from this area include empty tubes of the vestimentiferan Lamellibrachia sp., loose and articulated shells of lucinids (Lucinoma kazani, Myrtea amorpha), vesicomyids (Isorropodon perplexum), and gastropods (Taranis moerchi). A callianassid decapod (Calliax sp.) was consistently found alive in large numbers in the pockmark mud. Their post-mortem calcified parts mixed with molluscs and subordinately miliolid foraminifers form a distinct type of skeletal assemblage (named DECAMOL). Carbonate concretions display δ13C values as low as -40 ‰ PDB suggesting the occurrence of light hydrocarbons in the seeping fluids. Since none of the truly chemosymbiotic organisms was found alive, although their skeletal parts appear at times very fresh, some specimens have been AMS-14C dated to shed light on the historical evolution of this site. Lamellibrachia and Lucinoma are two of the most significant chemosymbiotic taxa reported from various Mediterranean cold seep sites (Alboran Sea and Eastern basin). Specimens from station MEDCOR78 (pockmark#1, Lat 36°46´10.18´´ N, Long 14°01´31.59´´ E, -815 m) provided ages of 11 736 ± 636 yr cal BP (Lamellibrachia sp.), and 9609.5 ± 153.5 yr cal BP (L. kazani). One shell of M. amorpha in core MEDCOR81 (pockmark#6, Lat 36°45´38.89´´ N, Long 14°00´07.58´´ E, -822 m) provided a sub-modern age of 484 ± 54 yr cal BP. These ages document that fluid seepage at this pockmark site has been episodically sustaining thiotrophic