Science.gov

Sample records for sicily

  1. Evaporite karst in Sicily

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liguori, V.; Manno, G.; Mortellaro, D.

    2008-01-01

    Karst areas are distributed over most of Sicily. The most widespread karst rocks are carbonates, particularly limestones, but karst phenomena can also be seen in evaporites and particularly in salt mines. This report provides an overview of evaporite karst in Sicily, along with a case history that shows some of the evaporite karst risks to the environment. In the centre and south of Sicily, a thick sequence of Messinian evaporite rocks are subject to dissolution from meteoric and formation waters. In areas where potassium salts and rock salts are being mined, some geomorphologic changes result from the drilling of boreholes and the collapse of underground mines, thus lowering or collapsing the land surface. An example is the old salt mine Muti-Coffari, situated in the commune of Cammarata, where there is a modification of the surface flow of the River Platani. Meteoric waters and runoff flow down through a borehole, enter the underground mine cavity and dissolve the salts, and then the resulting brine flows into a branch of the river, making it salty. Field investigations showed the presence of salt along the edges and on the bed of the stream where it comes out of the cave. Therefore, interventions for risk mitigation are necessary since the old mine constitutes a serious danger for damage or collapse of nearby infrastructures, and can lead to degradation of the river ecosystem and the natural environment.

  2. 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 vulnerabilities of the coastal band which are important to design plans of defense. Keywords: coast, shoreline, management

  3. The surface circulation in the Sicily Channel

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ben Ismail, S.; Gana, S.; Sammari, C.

    Six hydrological cruises March April May July August and October were realized in the section between Cap- Bon and Mazara Dell Vallo during 2003 our section covers only the half of the Channel The analysis of thermohaline parameters the daily composites NOAA AVHRR images and the satellite track of drifter buoys allowed us to confirm that the AW inflowing into the Sicily Channel circulates along two principal ways The first one is anticlockwise along the continental slope The second is in the central part of the channel and its trajectory is more complicated and follows a multiple vortex structures This circulation is permanent between Tunisia and Sicily and presents a very high variability The incoming AW is in general warmer than resident water and remained close to the Tunisian slope The analysis of all this data confirms the necessity to complete those results by altimetric and thermohaline data in extended area around the strait This allows us to better estimate the water masses transport across the Sicily Channel

  4. 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

  5. Mitochondrial DNA sequence analysis in Sicily.

    PubMed

    Vona, G; Ghiani, M E; Cal, C M; Vacca, L; Memm, M; Varesi, L

    2001-01-01

    This study reports data on the sequences of the first hypervariable segment of a sample of the Sicilian population from Alia (Palermo, Italy). The results show the presence of 32 different haplotypes in the 49 individuals examined. The average number of pairwise nucleotide differences was 4.04, i.e., 1.17% per nucleotide. The distribution of the nucleotide differences matches the theoretical distribution and indicates only one major episode of expansion that occurred between 20,732 and 59,691 years ago, between the Middle Paleolithic and Upper Paleolithic. Compared with the other populations, parameters of the Sicilian sample lie in an intermediate position between the eastern and western Mediterranean populations. This is due to numerous contacts that Sicily has had with the Mediterranean area since prehistoric times. At the same time, the singularity of some of the haplotypes present in the sample studied indicates the persistence of some characteristics caused by genetic drift and isolation that the population has endured in the course of its history. PMID:11505466

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. Extreme value analysis of wet and dry periods in Sicily

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bordi, I.; Fraedrich, K.; Petitta, M.; Sutera, A.

    2007-01-01

    For assessing risk of highly unusual events extreme value statistics needs to be applied, which plays an important role in engineering practices for water resources design and management. In hydrology, the typical application of extreme value theory concerns floods in river basins or landslides. The present paper is, instead, focused on the analysis of extreme wet and dry periods in a sample area (Sicily). First, we have studied monthly precipitation extremes both using the annual maximum and partial duration methods, and return times have been estimated by standard statistical techniques. Next, we studied the extremes of the Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI), which has been proposed as an indicator for monitoring wet and dry conditions. We found considerable differences both in the return periods and in the time location of the extremes. From our study it appears that the SPI better describes wet and dry periods than the precipitation does. Maps of return times for extreme conditions in Sicily are also presented, which cluster the territory into areas of different extreme return periods. Finally, the occurrence of extremes in Sicily has been related to large-scale atmospheric circulation.

  9. Seasonal Variability of Transport Through Gibraltar, Sicily and Corsica Straits

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Branger, K.; Mortier, L.; Crpon, M.

    We have investigated the transport variability through three major straits of the Mediterranean Sea (Gibraltar, Sicily, Corsica) with a very high resolution model of the Mediterranean Sea. A numerical simulation of the Mediterranean circulation has been done with a 1/16o horizontal grid mesh, 43 vertical z-level model. Initial hydrological conditions were provided by the Mediterranean MODB5 climatology. The model has been run eleven years. It has been forced in a yearly perpetual mode by the daily sea surface fluxes from European Centre for Medium-range Weather Forecasts analysis during the year March 1998 - February 1999. This study has been supported by the french MERCA- TOR project and SHOM. We grateful the PAM team of CERFACS (Toulouse, France). Analysis is focused on three major straits which play an important role in control- ling the circulation through mass transport exchanges. Model results are compared to recent observations and good agreement is obtained. It demonstrates advantages to improve resolution in numerical models. Gibraltar and Sicily strait transports are largely baroclinic. The transport through the Gibraltar Strait is forced by density difference between the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea. Atlantic water (AW) penetrates the Mediterranean Sea while Mediterranean Outflow Water flows into the Atlantic Ocean. This transport is hy- draulically maximal, with a semi-annual signal, and its seasonal variation is weak. The Sicily Strait transport is probably first forced by the AW coming from the West rather than the density gradient between the western and eastern mediterranean seas. AW inflow (i.e. Eastern Mediterranean Overflow Water outflow) is maximum in late Fall and minimum in late Winter. In opposite to previous straits, the northward Cor- sica Strait transport presents strong seasonal variability, and thus a strong barotropic component related to the wind stress curl.

  10. 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 the rainfall fallen 6, 15 and 30 days before each landslide. The antecedent rainfall turned out to be particularly important in triggering landslides. The rainfall thresholds obtained for the Sicily were compared with the regional curves proposed by various authors confirming a good agreement with these.

  11. 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)

  12. 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.

  13. 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 fungal infections, by smearing his saliva over the infected part and reciting 'special words'. PMID:18823529

  14. Three new species of Collembola from soils of Mediterranean cork-oak forests of Sicily (Italy).

    PubMed

    Giuga, Luca; Jordana, Rafael

    2013-01-01

    Three new species of soil Collembola from cork-oak (Quercus suber) forests located in eastern Sicily (Italy) are described Neonaphorura alicatai sp. nov., Friesea guarinoi sp. nov. and Arrhopalites antonioi sp. nov.. PMID:26266301

  15. 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.

  16. Observations of a geoclutter feature in the straits of Sicily

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weber, Thomas C.; Holland, Charles W.; Etiope, Giuseppe

    2005-04-01

    Several persistent sonar clutter features were observed in 2002 during an experiment in the Straits of Sicily (Malta Plateau) in a region that is nominally flat and thickly sedimented. High frequency sidescan and seismic reflection data from the region indicated that mud volcanoes were present and were possibly expelling clouds of methane bubbles. In 2004 the region was revisited with oceanographic equipment including a multibeam sonar, an acoustic Doppler current profiler (ADCP), CTD's, temperature loggers, a methane sensor, and a video camera. The visual observations at one site show carbonate mounds comprised of large heterogeneous blocks that suggest the presence of mud volcanism. A multibeam sonar survey of the area shows that the carbonate mounds are of order 5-10 m in height and 10-100 m in lateral dimension, and that they form in clusters. The multibeam backscatter data show high amplitudes in the region surrounding the carbonate mounds, possibly indicating the surficial extent of the carbonate material. High levels of methane were observed in the water column above the mounds, although conclusive evidence of the presence of methane bubble clouds was not found. However, high frequency backscatter recorded on the ADCP above multiple carbonate mounds showed plume-like features that may be bubble clouds, suspended fine-grained sediment, and/or schools of fish.

  17. 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

  18. Iridovirus infection in terrestrial isopods from Sicily (Italy).

    PubMed

    Lupetti, Pietro; Montesanto, Giuseppe; Ciolfi, Silvia; Marri, Laura; Gentile, Mariangela; Paccagnini, Eugenio; Lombardo, Bianca Maria

    2013-10-01

    During our researches on systematics and ecology of terrestrial isopods, carried out in western Sicily, some specimens showing a blue-purple coloration were collected; they belonged to four species: Armadillidium decorum Brandt, 1833, Trichoniscus panormidensis Montesanto et al., 2011, Philoscia affinis Verhoeff, 1908, Porcellio siculoccidentalis Viglianisi et al., 1992. We hypothesized that such coloration could be due, as reported in literature, to characteristic paracrystalline arrays of virions inside the tissues of blue colored specimens. Ultrastructural observations by transmission electron microscopy, on tissues of A. decorum, showed the presence of electron-dense viral particles, with a diameter of nearly 0.12μm. Dual-axis tomography, performed on specimens of A. decorum, evidenced an icosahedral structure of viral particles matching with that of Isopod Iridescent Virus (IIV). Molecular analysis, on 254bp portion of the major capsid protein (MCP) gene, allowed to place the virus into IIV-31 group, already known for other oniscidean species. The symptoms of infected individuals and the course of the disease were followed in laboratory, indicating similarities with other studies on Isopod Iridoviruses. Moreover, some notes on reproduction of infected ovigerous females are reported. Our data support unequivocal and direct evidences for the first case of IIV infection in terrestrial isopods reported in Italy. PMID:23756498

  19. Methane emission from the mud volcanoes of Sicily (Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Etiope, G.; Caracausi, A.; Favara, R.; Italiano, F.; Baciu, C.

    2002-04-01

    Mud volcanoes represent the largest expression of natural methane release into the atmosphere; however, the gas flux has never been investigated in detail. Methane output from vents and diffuse soil degassing is herewith reported for the first time. Measurements were carried out at 5 mud volcano fields around Sicily (Italy). Each mud volcano is characterized by tens of vents and bubbling pools. In the quiescent phase, methane emission from single vents ranges between 0.01 and 6.8 kg/day. Diffuse soil leakage around the vents is in the order of 102-104 mg m-2 d-1. An exceptional flux of 106 mg m-2 d-1 was recorded close to an everlasting fire. Soil CH4 flux is positive even at large distances from the mud volcano fields suggesting a diffuse microseepage over wider areas. A total of at least 400 tons CH4 per year can be estimated over the area investigated alone (~1.5 km2).

  20. 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 Gonzlez 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.

  1. Correlates of Kaposi sarcoma-associated herpesvirus seroprevalence in Sicily

    PubMed Central

    Pelser, Colleen; Vitale, Francesco; Whitby, Denise; Graubard, Barry I.; Messina, Angelo; Gaf, Lorenzo; Brown, Elizabeth E.; Anderson, Lesley A.; Romano, Nino; Lauria, Carmela; Goedert, James J.

    2009-01-01

    Background Environmental factors, such as plants and soil, may influence Kaposi sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) replication or immune responses. However, the relationship of such exposures to KSHV seroprevalence has not been established. Methods In 1154 randomly sampled adults (aged 3292) throughout Sicily, KSHV antibodies were detected with four assays and a conservative algorithm. Seroprevalence was re-weighted to the population. Logistic regression was used to estimate associations of seroprevalence with interview data, including contact with 20 specific plants. Results KSHV seroprevalence was 8.5%, including 5.3% among men and 11.5% among women (P=0.22). In multivariate models, seroprevalence was consistently higher with residence in a smaller community during childhood (Ptrend?0.03) and working with plants/soil during adulthood (odds ratio?2.73). In such models, seroprevalence was higher with exposure to one plant (Hieracium, odds ratio?2.8), but it was lower with three others (Acanthus mollis, Taraxacum officinalis, and Trigonella foenum-graecum) and with cumulative exposure to all 20 plants (Ptrend=0.03). Other demographic, household, and water contact variables were unrelated to seroprevalence. Conclusions KSHV seroprevalence appears to be increased by contact with soil and to vary with certain plants. Corroboration and investigation of possible effects of soil and plant constituents on KSHV regulation and immune responses are needed. PMID:19777527

  2. Risk assessment of treated municipal wastewater reuse in Sicily.

    PubMed

    Aiello, Rosa; Cirelli, Giuseppe L; Consoli, Simona; Licciardello, Feliciana; Toscano, Attilio

    2013-01-01

    In Italy, the restrictive approach for treated wastewater reuse in agriculture has led to some difficulties in promoting this practice. In order to assess the health risk associated with the use of wastewater in agriculture, an experiment was conducted in an open field near the constructed wetland (CW) system of San Michele di Ganzaria (Eastern Sicily), during the irrigation seasons 2004-2009. In particular the impact on tomato crops of drip and sub-drip irrigation with treated municipal wastewater, as well as effects of wastewater reuse on the irrigation system, main production features, hydrological soil behaviour, and microbial soil and products contamination were investigated. Notwithstanding the fact that globally CW effluents did not match microbiological standards for wastewater reuse of Italian legislation, the median infection risk (function of the recommended tolerable additional disease burden of 10(-6) DALY (disability-adjusted life year) loss per person per year) suggested by the 2006 World Health Organization Guidelines for rotavirus, Campylobacter and Cryptosporidium for lettuce irrigation under unrestricted irrigation scenario was achieved. PMID:23128625

  3. Investigation of suitable sites for wave energy converters around Sicily (Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Iuppa, C.; Cavallaro, L.; Vicinanza, D.; Foti, E.

    2015-07-01

    An analysis of wave energy along the coasts of Sicily (Italy) is presented with the aim of selecting possible sites for the implementation of wave energy converters (WECs). The analysis focuses on the selection of hotspot areas of energy concentration. A third-generation model was adopted to reconstruct the wave data along the coast over a period of 14 years. The reconstruction was performed using the wave and wind data from the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts. The analysis of wave energy allowed us to characterise the most energetic zones, which are located on the western side of Sicily and on the Strait of Sicily. Moreover, the estimate of the annual wave power on the entire computational domain identified eight interesting sites. The main features of the sites include relatively high wave energy and proximity to the coast, which makes them possible sites for the implementation of WEC farms.

  4. Hydrological and erosional response of a small catchment in Sicily

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Licciardello, Feliciana; Marcello Zimbone, Santo; Barbagallo, Salvatore; Gallart, Francesc

    2014-05-01

    More than 1/5 of the Italian territory is at risk of desertification involving over 40% of the South. Climate change is expected to worsen the desertification trend already observed. In Sicily, for instance, the semi-arid territory extension had been gradually increasing in the period from 1931 to 2000 up to 20% of the regional territory. Parallel to this, territories classified as humid decreased by 30%. A better knowledge of soil erosion by water is essential for planning effective soil and water conservation practices in semi-arid environment, where accurate soil loss predictions are difficult particularly in the absence of minimal data. In order to give a contribute to the understanding of hydrological and erosional dynamics in Mediterranean areas, a monitoring program of a small catchment started in 1996. The Cannata catchment (1.30 km2) is a mountainous tributary, ephemeral in flow, of the Flascio River located in eastern Sicily. Climate is Mediterranean semi-arid with a mean annual precipitation (1996-2005), measured in three different sites, equal to 715 163 mm mainly falling between October and January. Mean monthly temperature is between 3C (January) and 24C (August). Land use monitoring highlighted the prevalence of pasture areas (ranging between 87% and 92% of the catchment area during the monitoring period). In the Cannata catchment the elevation ranges between 903 m and 1270 m above mean sea level with an average land slope of 21%. Water discharge has been measured continuously for about 10 years at the outlet of the catchment by means of a hydrometrograph station connected to a runoff water automatic sampler for the measurement of sediment concentration in the flow. Precipitation has a typically Mediterranean seasonal pattern, being minimal in summer and maximal in winter. Monthly runoff follows the pattern of precipitation although somewhat delayed during autumn due to the effect of water deficit in summer. The analysis of the 170 runoff events recorded shows that rainfall depth was the only significant driver of the response (r2=0.77), whereas rainfall intensity, usually assumed of main importance in Mediterranean semiarid areas, was not significant. Rainfall depths were also the only drivers of peak discharges during the events (r2=0.57); considering just the autumn events, when vegetation cover is lower than in winter and in spring, rainfall intensity was also a significant but fair driver of peak discharge (r2=0.36). Suspended sediment response (observed for 47 events during the observation period) was very linked to the runoff response. Rainfall, runoff and peak discharge of the events were good predictors of total suspended sediment load (r2=0.84, 0.85 and 0.84 respectively); I30 and I5 were just fair drivers of sediment yields (r2=0.40 and 0.28 respectively) independently of seasons.

  5. Erosion of a tectonically uplifting coastal landscape, NE Sicily, Italy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Goswami, R.; Brocklehurst, S. H.; Mitchell, N. C.

    2012-10-01

    We investigate the relative importance of tectonic uplift, climate, and bedrock resistance as controls upon channel morphology in the active orogen of NE Sicily. The study area displays spatial variations in uplift rate, precipitation, and bedrock resistance. The significance of each of these gradients was tested using established morphometric relationships. Twenty catchments were investigated using the 28-m Aster digital elevation model (DEM) for longitudinal profile analysis, Google EarthTM to determine channel widths, and Schmidt Hammer readings to quantify bedrock strength. Based on channel morphologies and hillslope gradients, the basins exhibit three distinct reaches: upper, middle, and lower. The upper reaches of the bedrock channels display concave longitudinal profiles, positive correlation between uplift rate and steepness, and exponents in the width-area relationship of 0.4-0.5, indicating that uplift is the major control on the morphology of this reach. The middle reaches, however, display sublinear longitudinal profiles, weak correlation between uplift rate and channel steepness, and no systematic width-area relationship. We interpret this to be caused by the presence of a shear zone, which, through fracturing, has tectonically increased the bedrock erodibility, irrespective of its lithology. In the lower reaches, the channels are alluvial. Neither channel concavity nor steepness seems to be affected by the spatial variation in precipitation in any of the reaches, indicating that climate does not noticeably affect channel morphology. These observations suggest a strong tectonic influence on channel evolution in this active mountainous region. Our study illustrates how reach-scale morphometric analysis can aid understanding of how fluvial systems vary with potential controlling parameters.

  6. Characterisation of submarine groundwater discharge offshore south-eastern Sicily.

    PubMed

    Povinec, P P; Aggarwal, P K; Aureli, A; Burnett, W C; Kontar, E A; Kulkarni, K M; Moore, W S; Rajar, R; Taniguchi, M; Comanducci, J-F; Cusimano, G; Dulaiova, H; Gatto, L; Groening, M; Hauser, S; Levy-Palomo, I; Oregioni, B; Ozorovich, Y R; Privitera, A M G; Schiavo, M A

    2006-01-01

    A complex approach in characterisation of submarine groundwater discharge (SGD) off south-eastern Sicily comprising applications of radioactive and non-radioactive tracers, direct seepage measurements, geophysical surveys and a numerical modelling is presented. SGD fluxes in the Donnalucata boat basin were estimated by direct seepage measurements to be from 4 to 12Ls(-1), which are comparable with the total SGD flux in the basin of 17Ls(-1) obtained from radon measurements. The integrated SGD flux over the Donnalucata coast estimated on the basis of Ra isotopes was around 60m(3)s(-1) per km of the coast. Spatial variations of SGD were observed in the Donnalucata boat basin, the average (222)Rn activity concentration in seawater varied from approximately 0.1kBqm(-3) to 3.7kBqm(-3) showing an inverse relationship with salinity. The continuous monitoring carried out at the site closest to the coast has revealed an inverse relationship of (222)Rn activity concentration on the tide. The (222)Rn concentrations in seawater varied from 2.3kBqm(-3) during high tides to 4.8kBqm(-3) during low tides, thus confirming an influence of the tide on submarine groundwater discharge. Stable isotopes (delta(2)H and delta(18)O) showed that SGD samples consist up to 50% of groundwater. Geo-electrical measurements showed a spatial variability of the salt/fresh water interface and its complex transformation in the coastal zone. The presented results imply that in the studied Donnalucata site there are at least two different sources of SGD, one superficial, represented by mixed fresh water and seawater, and the second one which originates in a deeper limestone aquifer. PMID:16757069

  7. 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...

  8. 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.

  9. 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...

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scir, 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 (?-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 hosted hydrocarbon. Admitting an authigenic origin for most of the modal calcite (30-50% by volume) in these rocks, one can conclude as a general rule that un-carbonated serpentinites tectonically emplaced at shallow crustal levels are potential reservoir rocks (as well putative source rocks) for exploitable petroleum reserves.

  11. Western Sicily (Italy), a key area for understanding geothermal system within carbonate reservoirs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Montanari, D.; Bertini, G.; Botteghi, S.; Catalano, R.; Contino, A.; Doveri, M.; Gennaro, C.; Gianelli, G.; Gola, G.; Manzella, A.; Minissale, A.; Montegrossi, G.; Monteleone, S.; Trumpy, E.

    2012-12-01

    Oil exploration in western Sicily started in the late 1950s when several exploration wells were drilled, and continued with the acquisition of many seismic reflection profiles and the drilling of new wells in the1980s. The geological interpretation of these data mainly provided new insights for the definition of geometric relationships between tectonic units and structural reconstruction at depth. Although it has not produced completely satisfactory results for oil industry, this hydrocarbon exploration provided a great amount of data, resulting very suitable for geothermal resource assessment. From a geothermal point of view western Sicily is, indeed, a very promising area, with the manifestation at surface of several thermal springs, localized areas of high heat flux and thick carbonates units uninterruptedly developing from surface up top great depths. These available data were often collected with the modalities and purposes typical of oil exploration, not always the finest for geothermal exploration as in the case of temperature measurements. The multidisciplinary and integrated review of these data, specifically corrected for geothermal purposes, and the integration with new data acquired in particular key areas such as the Mazara Del Vallo site in the southern part of western Sicily, allowed us to better understand this medium-enthalpy geothermal system, to reconstruct the modalities and peculiarities of fluids circulation, and to evaluate the geothermal potentialities of western Sicily. We suggest that western Sicily can be taken as a reference for the understanding of geothermal systems developed at a regional scale within carbonate rocks. This study was performed within the framework of the VIGOR project (http://www.vigor-geotermia.it).

  12. 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: Blling-Allerd (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.

  13. 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 into 3400 squared cells (50*68, each of 0.25 km2 of area). Due to the uncertainty of the reconstructed vent position, a circular error zone (with radius equal to the uncertainty) is associated to these vents. For uniformity, an error zone is also associated to the known positions; then, after considering a regular grid spaced of 100 m, we are looking for points inside the relative error zone. This approach yields to the new concept of point-vents, and a total of 6886 of these are retrieved. The obtained results evidence significant probability of future flank vent opening along S and NE rifts, as well as in the Valle del Bove, with minor probability to the W rift. References Besag, J. (1977), Comment's on Ripley's paper, J. Royal Stat. Soc., B39 (2), 193-195. Ripley, B. D. (1976), The second-order analysis of stationary point process, J. Appl. Prob., 13, 255-266.

  14. 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 foraminifera assemblage highlighted 11 anomalous peaks, marked by high percentage of displaced epiphytic specimens. These microfaunal anomalies were generally accompanied by significant amount of vegetal remains in the washed fraction, by localized concentration of mollusks and by darker stripes (organic?) in the X-Ray films. These 11 peaks may represent either the primary effect of tsunami waves (in particular the back-wash) or the secondary effect of significant seagrass remobilization due to earthquake shaking. In both cases, these events made available an extra amount of material that, also thanks to the local bottom currents, moved from the uppermost infralittoral zone to deeper regions. Even though we do not know if these anomalies in the offshore core are representative of tsunamis only or alternatively of local earthquakes, our results suggest that the marine environment is more preservative (11 events in the offshore vs 5 events inland) with respect to the littoral one and potentially more sensible to high-energy events like tsunamis and earthquakes.

  15. Two Rare Northern Entoloma Species Observed in Sicily under Exceptionally Cold Weather Conditions

    PubMed Central

    Venturella, Giuseppe; Saitta, Alessandro; Mandracchia, Gerlando; Gargano, Maria Letizia

    2012-01-01

    The biology and ecology of many Entoloma species is still poorly known as well as their geographical distribution. In Italy, there are no studies on the influence of weather on fungal abundance and richness and our knowledge on the ecology and distribution of Entoloma species needs to be improved. The discovery of two Entoloma species in Sicily (southern Italy), reported in the literature as belonging to the habitat of north European countries, was the basis leading to the assumption that anomalous climatic conditions could stimulate the growth of northern entolomas in the southernmost Mediterranean regions. The results of this study show that the presence of northern Entoloma species in Sicily is not influenced by the Mediterranean type of vegetation, by edaphic or altitudinal factors but by anomalous climatic trends of precipitations and temperatures which stimulate the fructification of basidiomata in correspondence with a thermal shock during autumn. PMID:22645481

  16. 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.

  17. Holocene millennial-scale productivity variations in the Sicily Channel (Mediterranean Sea)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Incarbona, Alessandro; di Stefano, Enrico; Patti, Bernardo; Pelosi, Nicola; Bonomo, Sergio; Mazzola, Salvatore; Sprovieri, Rodolfo; Tranchida, Giorgio; Zgozi, Salem; Bonanno, Angelo

    2008-09-01

    The calcareous nannofossil assemblages of Ocean Drilling Program Hole 963D from the central Mediterranean Sea have been investigated to document oceanographic changes in surface waters. The studied site is located in an area sensitive to large-scale atmospheric and climatic systems and to high- and low-latitude climate connection. It is characterized by a high sedimentation rate (the achieved mean sampling resolution is <70 years) that allowed the Sicily Channel environmental changes to be examined in great detail over the last 12 ka BP. We focused on the species Florisphaera profunda that lives in the lower photic zone. Its distribution pattern shows repeated abundance fluctuations of about 10-15%. Such variations could be related to different primary production levels, given that the study of the distribution of this species on the Sicily Channel seafloor demonstrates the significant correlation to productivity changes as provided by satellite imagery. Productivity variations were quantitatively estimated and were interpreted on the basis of the relocation of the nutricline within the photic zone, led by the dynamics of the summer thermocline. Productivity changes were compared with oceanographic, atmospheric, and cosmogenic nuclide proxies. The good match with Holocene master records, as with ice-rafted detritus in the subpolar North Atlantic, and the near-1500-year periodicity suggest that the Sicily Channel environment responded to worldwide climate anomalies. Enhanced Northern Hemisphere atmospheric circulation, which has been reported as one of the most important forcing mechanisms for Holocene coolings in previous Mediterranean studies, had a remarkable impact on the water column dynamics of the Sicily Channel.

  18. Integrated Archaeological and Geophysical Surveys in the Historical Center of Augusta (Eastern Sicily, Italy).

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Malfitana, Daniele; Leucci, Giovanni; Fragalà, Giovanni; Cacciaguerra, Giuseppe; De Giorgi, Lara

    2013-04-01

    Syracuse (Eastern Sicily, Italy) and its vast hinterland played a crucial role in the economy of ancient Sicily, largely because of the management, exploitation and trade of agricultural supply. Nevertheless, the socio-economic aspects of its territorial management and the relation between the countryside and coastal centres in the complex system of the Mediterranean markets have not yet been analysed in depth by scholars. Despite the historical, monumental and economic importance of the surrounding area of Syracuse in the Antiquity, the knowledge of the roman and medieval landscape and archaeological sites are still limited. The research undertaken by Istituto per i Beni Archeologici e Monumentali - CNR of Catania (Sicily, Italy) attempted to remedy this omission by outlining a preliminary picture of the rich historical and archaeological heritage of Syracuse and its surrounding territory, which will be analysed using a multidisciplinary approach. Augusta, a town near Syracuse (Sicily), was founded by emperor Frederick of Suavia between 1232 and 1239. In medieval period, the area of Giardini Pubblici was the downtown and untill the XVII Cent. AD it was occupied by two urban blocks of buildings. In 1670 they were demolished to allow free area firing line from the near castle. Integrated archaeological and geophysical investigations allowed a wide range knowledge of the roman and medieval landscapes, archaeological sites and monumental remains. Particularly the geophysical surveys undertaken in the historical center of Augusta, by means Ground-penetrating Radar (GPR), allowed a 3D reconstruction of archaeological structures in the subsoil until the depth of about 4m. The geophysical survey has identified the building of medieval and modern urban settlement of Augusta and has allowed to recreate the urban plan and its transformation.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. Brief communication: coexistence of two distinct patterns in the surname structure of Sicily.

    PubMed

    Pavesi, Angelo; Pizzetti, Paola; Siri, Enzo; Lucchetti, Enzo; Conterio, Franco

    2003-02-01

    The extent of variation in the migratory movements that occurred in Sicily was evaluated using surname data taken from the telephone directories of the 390 communes of the island. The surname distribution of each commune was linearized by a log-log transformation, and a significant fit to a linear regression model was found in almost all cases. Interestingly, the slope of the regression line appeared to be a sensitive indicator of the different level of isolation associated with each Sicilian commune. By this approach, two distinct groups of communes, showing a higher or lower degree of isolation, were obtained, and two independent analyses of the surname structure of Sicily were carried out. A first multidimensional scaling analysis, based on the more isolated communes, yielded evidence for a more ancient pattern, characterized by a geographical gradient along the east-west axis. The same analysis, addressed to the less isolated communes, instead highlighted a wide network of interactions between geographically distant zones of the island. The fitting of the surname distribution to the log-log model allowed for the detection of a narrow subset of 35 Sicilian communes, whose significantly higher degree of isolation was statistically proved by the parallelism test. We believe that a genetic analysis focused on such specific zones of the island could reveal ancient patterns of differentiation, thus helping to answer the controversial question of the genetic history of Sicily. PMID:12541336

  2. Rates of active compressional deformation in central Italy and Sicily: evaluation of the seismic budget

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Visini, Francesco; de Nardis, Rita; Lavecchia, Giusy

    2010-10-01

    Historical and recent seismicity records and available source mechanisms in eastern-central Italy (Marche-Adriatic region), in mainland-southern Sicily and in the Tyrrhenian offshore of northern Sicily show comparable deformation patterns. Seismotectonic considerations indicate that each of the three areas represents a broad seismogenic province of relatively homogeneous deformation. On the basis of the historical earthquake catalogue, the parameters of the Gutenberg-Richter distribution have been calculated by means of a Monte Carlo simulation method. The average moment tensors have been computed from focal mechanism data and the strain rate and velocity tensors evaluated by means of Kostrovs (in Izv Acad Sci USSR Phys Solid Earth 1:23-44, 1974) relation, which also considers the shape and size of the seismogenic volume. The uncertainties have been systematically incorporated. The results show that the three seismotectonic provinces are all undergoing shortening at seismic rates (~0.3 mm/year in the WSW-ENE direction in the eastern Marche-Adriatic region, ~0.1 mm/year in the N-S direction in mainland-southern Sicily and ~0.2 mm/year in the NW-SE direction in the Southern Tyrrhenian zone). The motion pattern in the Marche-Adriatic and in the Sicilian provinces suggests that these areas undergo active crust-scale deformation along reverse shear zones, in agreement with recent horizontal GPS motion model and other independent evidence.

  3. Analysis of the thermal infrared signal linked to hydrologic structure in the Tunisian-Sicily Area

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ben Ismail, S.; Gana, S.; Sammari, C.

    Six hydrological cruises March April May July August and October were realized in the section between Cap- Bon and Mazara Dell Vallo during 2003 our section covers only the half of the Channel The analysis of thermohaline parameters the daily composites NOAA AVHRR images and the satellite track of drifter buoys allowed us to confirm that the AW inflowing into the Sicily Channel circulates along two principal ways The first one is anticlockwise along the continental slope The second is in the central part of the channel and its trajectory is more complicated and follows a multiple vortex structures This circulation is permanent between Tunisia and Sicily and presents a very high variability The incoming AW is in general warmer than resident water and remained close to the Tunisian slope The analysis of all this data confirms the necessity to complete those results by altimetric and thermohaline data in extended area around the strait This allows us to better estimate the water masses transport across the Sicily Channel

  4. Integrated Archaeological and Geophysical Surveys at the archaeological site of Priolo (Eastern Sicily, Italy).

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leucci, G.; Malfitana, D.; Cacciaguerra, G.; Lanteri, R.; Fragal, G.

    2012-04-01

    Syracuse (Eastern Sicily, Italy) and its vast hinterland played a crucial role in the economy of ancient Sicily, largely because of the management, exploitation and trade of agricultural supply. Nevertheless, the socio-economic aspects of its territorial management and the relation between the countryside and coastal centres in the complex system of the Mediterranean markets have not yet been analysed in depth by scholars. Despite the historical, monumental and economic importance of the surrounding area of Syracuse in the Antiquity, the knowledge of the roman landscape and archaeological sites are still limited. The research undertaken by Istituto per i Beni Archeologici e Monumentali - CNR of Catania (Sicily, Italy) attempted to remedy this omission by outlining a preliminary picture of the rich historical and archaeological heritage of Syracuse and its surrounding territory, which will be analysed using a multidisciplinary approach. Three contexts are under exploration: Aguglia d'Agosta, an early roman funerary monument; Ponte Diddino, a middle-late roman villa; Tavoliere-Maccaudo, a roman and byzantine settlement. Integrated archaeological and geophysical investigations allowed a wide range knowledge of the roman-byzantine landscapes, archaeological sites and monumental remains. This researches conducted to solve specific archaeological problems which are part of a wider debate regarding the phenomena connected to the role of settlements, use of lands, etc. to establish new parameters for the development of ancient sicilian landscapes.

  5. Analysis of vertical movements in eastern Sicily and southern Calabria (Italy) through geodetic leveling data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Spampinato, Cecilia Rita; Braitenberg, Carla; Monaco, Carmelo; Scicchitano, Giovanni

    2013-05-01

    The analysis of repeated high precision leveling observations during the last 40 years along lines of the Italian fundamental network allowed us to estimate very recent vertical movements in eastern Sicily and southern Calabria (Italy). The network is measured by the Italian Istituto Geografico Militare (IGM) and we have analyzed three leveling lines. Because of the lack of an absolute reference datum, we have conducted the analyses in terms of relative elevation changes compared to reference benchmarks. Although the processing of the different time series obtained from the high precision leveling has allowed us to estimate only relative rates, their extreme accuracy, together with the large extension of networks, makes this type of measurement fundamental for the estimate of recent vertical deformation. In addition, correlating instrumental and geological data makes it possible to identify active tectonic structures whose elastic strain accumulation could be responsible for vertical deformation. In particular, vertical motion can be related to the activity of a W-E trending fault separating the Catania Plain from the Hyblean Plateau in southeastern Sicily, a N-S trending normal fault occurring north of the Messina town and the NE-SW trending Scilla normal fault in south-western Calabria. The last two are located on the sides of the Messina Straits, an area of broad interest for the planning of the single-span bridge between Sicily and mainland Italy.

  6. An ancient Mediterranean melting pot: investigating the uniparental genetic structure and population history of sicily and southern Italy.

    PubMed

    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 estimates confirm the role of Sicily and Southern Italy as an ancient Mediterranean melting pot for genes and cultures. PMID:24788788

  7. 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 estimates confirm the role of Sicily and Southern Italy as an ancient Mediterranean melting pot for genes and cultures. PMID:24788788

  8. Gas-Charged Sediments Within the Hyblean Plateu Seismo-Stratigraphic Sequence and Associated Likely Shallow Mud-Volacanoes Seafloor Features Offshore Southern Sicily (Sicily Channel - Mediterranean Sea)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Savini, A.; Tessarolo, C.; Corselli, C.

    2007-12-01

    A shallow province of small-scale likely mud-volcanoes (MVs) seafloor features was recently discovered few miles offshore south-eastern Sicily (Holland et al., 2003) over the Hyblean-Malta plateau (Sicily-channel - Mediterranean sea), on an area whose surface might be over 100 square km and in a bathymetric range comprised between -100 and -200m. Such discovery promoted the National multidisciplinary programm MESC (Mud volcanoes Ecosystem study - Sicily Channel) aimed to provide a detailed acoustic mapping of the area (Savini et al., 2006) and focused water and sediment samples to study the ecosystem response to such geological phenomena. The main data set thus collected, during three different cruises carried out by the Italian R/V UNIVERSITATIS by mean of acoustic survey techniques, including new multibeam bathymetric data, side- scan sonar mosaics, a dense network of chirp-sonar profiles and focused multi-tip sparker profiles, is here presented. The detailed seafloor topography and the side scan sonar mosaic well show the occurrence of a field of more than 100 small scale conical and sub-conical seabed features, few meters high. Their morphologies, their strong acoustic scattering and the presence over them of distinct gas plumes, are foremost distinctive proprieties that liken them to MVs. Such filed consists of single and composite MVs arranged on the seafloor in two main different styles: 1) several conical features 50 - 200m in diameter, preferentially aligned along the isobaths 2) numerous close-set small cones no more than 10m in diameter, settled within well defined, flat, elongated areas (the largest one reaches 2000m in its long axis and 500m in its short axis) rising up to 10m from the seafloor. The acoustic character of the sediments in the chirp and sparker records indicates that such features are gas charged, because of the presence of numerous acoustic anomalies (i.e.: acoustic turbidity zones, wipe outs, gas pockets, enhanced reflectors...). In particular, the identified gas-related seafloor features are associated to sub- surface structures formed within a gas accumulative horizon covered by a variable thickness of sediments. This gas accumulative horizon has been found in association to a marked unconformity resembles the last trasgressive surface at the boundary between the Holocene and the Pleistocene sediments. Such gas-charged horizon has been used to map the depth of the free gas within the seafloor sediments. The depth of this "gas- front" is variable and domes up to the seafloor where MVs morphologies are found at the surface, often showing gas plumes (up to 20m high) at their top.

  9. The C8ORF38 homologue Sicily is a cytosolic chaperone for a mitochondrial complex I subunit

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Ke; Li, Zhihong; Jaiswal, Manish; Bayat, Vafa; Xiong, Bo; Sandoval, Hector; Charng, Wu-Lin; David, Gabriela; Haueter, Claire; Yamamoto, Shinya; Graham, Brett H.

    2013-01-01

    Mitochondrial complex I (CI) is an essential component in energy production through oxidative phosphorylation. Most CI subunits are encoded by nuclear genes, translated in the cytoplasm, and imported into mitochondria. Upon entry, they are embedded into the mitochondrial inner membrane. How these membrane-associated proteins cope with the hydrophilic cytoplasmic environment before import is unknown. In a forward genetic screen to identify genes that cause neurodegeneration, we identified sicily, the Drosophila melanogaster homologue of human C8ORF38, the loss of which causes Leigh syndrome. We show that in the cytoplasm, Sicily preprotein interacts with cytosolic Hsp90 to chaperone the CI subunit, ND42, before mitochondrial import. Loss of Sicily leads to loss of CI proteins and preproteins in both mitochondria and cytoplasm, respectively, and causes a CI deficiency and neurodegeneration. Our data indicate that cytosolic chaperones are required for the subcellular transport of ND42. PMID:23509070

  10. A crustal-upper mantle model for southeastern Sicily (Italy) from the integration of petrologic and geophysical data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Manuella, Fabio Carmelo; Brancato, Alfonso; Carbone, Serafina; Gresta, Stefano

    2013-05-01

    An interdisciplinary approach is proposed to investigate the structure and composition of the Permo-Triassic basement of the Hyblean Plateau and Sicily Channel. Comparisons of published data on peridotites and spinels from different geodynamic settings, and new data on Hyblean spinels, reveal the affinity of the Hyblean basement with an ultra-slow spreading oceanic lithosphere, rather than with the Africa continental plate. Similar results derive from volcanic rocks of the studied area, whose Nb/Yb vs. Th/Yb ratio hints at their affinity with the MORB-OIB array, even excluding any possible contamination with continental crust lithologies, unlike North Africa lavas. The comparison of He isotopic ratios from Hyblean Plateau and Sicily Channel highlights their similarity with values measured in fluids emitted from the Rainbow and Logatchev hydrothermal fields in Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Based on petrologic and geochemical evidence for the oceanic nature of the Permo-Triassic basement in southeastern Sicily, and the occurrence of serpentinized harzburgite xenoliths in Hyblean diatremes, the P-wave velocity model proposed for the investigated area is used to estimate lithospheric pressure, density, degree of serpentinization and magnetic susceptibility also considering both abyssal and ophiolitic serpentinites. The resulting values suggest the presence of peridotites affected by different degrees of serpentinization (35-100 vol.%) ranging to a depth of 8-19 km. As a whole, combined seismic, gravimetric and magnetic data indicate the presence of a marked anomaly at a depth of about 19 km. As a consequence, we consider the Moho discontinuity as a serpentinization front, by fixing the relative top at a depth of 19 km. Our results suggest that the oceanic lithospheric model for southeastern Sicily could be broadened to the Sicily Channel, which is possibly correlated to the adjacent Ionian oceanic basin, inferred as belonging to the Oman-Iraq-Levantine-Sicily seaway.

  11. landforms evolution in collisional-dominated settings: the case of Northern Sicily (Central Mediterranean)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nigro, Fabrizio; Renda, Pietro; Favara, Rocco

    2010-05-01

    In the young mountain chains underwent to emersion, the different crustal blocks which compose the belt may be subjected to differentiate tilting during uplift. The tilting process may be revealed both by the stratal pattern of the syn-uplifting deposits or deduced by the function altitude/area ratio. The prevailing of the uplift rate with respect to the tilting rate (and vice versa) result from the shape of this function. So, in young mountains the hypsometric analysis may results a useful tool for decipher how the crustal blocks are underwent to uplift. An integrate analysis based on stratigraphy, structural and morphometric data represents the correctly approach for characterise the landform evolution in regions underwent to active tectonics. In the aim to evaluate the recent tectonic history from topography in regions underwent to active deformations, by deducing the effect of tectonisms on landforms, the definition of the boundary conditions (regarding the crustal deformation) is fundamental for morphometric analysis. In fact, the morphologic style and the morphometric pattern in tectonically active settings are closely related to the dominance of rock masses exceeding for uplift (or failure for subsidence) with respect to the exogenous erosional processes. Collisional geodynamic processes induce crustal growth for faulting and folding. In this earth's sectors, the uplift of crustal blocks is a very common effect of compressional deformation. It reflects for example fold amplification and thrusting, but it is a very common process also in settings dominated by crustal thinning, where the viscoelastic properties of the lithosphere induce tilting and localised uplift of normal-faulted crustal blocks. The uplift rate is rarely uniform for wide areas within the orogens on the passive margins, but it changes from adjacent crustal blocks as the effect of space-variation of kinematics conditions or density. It also may change within a single block, as the effect of tilting, which induces synchronously mass elevation and subsidence. Not considering sea-level fluctuations and the climatic-lithologic parameters, the 2D distribution of uplift rate influences the landmass evolution in time. The tendency of rock masses to equilibrium resulting from concurrent tectonic building and denudation forces defines the geomorphic cycle. This evolution is checked by different stages, each characterised by a well-recognisable morphometric patterns. The dominance of uplift or erosion and concurrent block tilting induce characteristic a landform evolution tendency, which may be evaluated with the morphometric analysis. A lot of morphometric functions describe the equilibrium stage of landmasses, providing useful tools for deciphering how tectonics acts in typology (e.g. inducing uplift uniformly or with crustal block tilting) and resulting effects on landforms (magnitude of uplift rate vs tilting rate). We aim to contribute in the description of landforms evolution in Sicily (Central Mediterranean) under different morphoevolutive settings, where may prevails uplift, tilting or erosion, each characterised by different morphometric trends. The present-day elevation of Pliocene to upper Pleistocene deposits suggests that Northen Sicily underwent neotectonic uplift. The recent non-uniform uplift of Northern Sicily coastal sector is suggested by the different elevation of the Pliocene-Upper Pleistocene marine deposits. The maximum uplift rate characterise the NE Sicily and the minimum the NW Sicily. The overall westwards decreasing trend of uplift is in places broken in the sectors where are located a lot of morphostructures. Localised uplift rates higher than the adjacent coastal plains are suggested by the present-day elevation of the beachshore deposits of Tyrrhenian age. Northern Sicily may be divided into a lot of crustal blocks, underwent to different tilting and uplift rates. Accentuate tilting and uplift results from transtensional active faulting of the already emplaced chain units, as also suggested by seismicity and the focal plane sol

  12. 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 1,302mg/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 296mg/l, with 31 samples (4.7% of the total) exceeding the maximum admissible concentration of 50mg/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 (16.1mg/l) did not differ significantly from that of bottled water (15.2mg/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

  13. Geodetic and geological evidence of active tectonics in south-western Sicily (Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barreca, G.; Bruno, V.; Cocorullo, C.; Cultrera, F.; Ferranti, L.; Guglielmino, F.; Guzzetta, L.; Mattia, M.; Monaco, C.; Pepe, F.

    2014-12-01

    Integrated geological, geodetic and marine geophysical data provide evidence of active deformation in south-western Sicily, in an area spatially coincident with the macroseismic zone of the destructive 1968 Belice earthquake sequence. Even though the sequence represents the strongest seismic event recorded in Western Sicily in historical times, focal solutions provided by different authors are inconclusive on possible faulting mechanism, which ranges from thrusting to transpression, and the seismogenic source is still undefined. Interferometric (DInSAR) observations reveal a differential ground motion on a SW-NE alignment between Campobello di Mazara and Castelvetrano (CCA), located just west of the maximum macroseismic sector. In addition, new GPS campaign-mode data acquired across the CCA alignment documents NW-SE contractional strain accumulation. Morphostructural analysis allowed to associate the alignment detected through geodetic measurements with a topographic offset of Pleistocene marine sediments. The on-land data were complemented by new high-resolution marine geophysical surveys, which indicate recent contraction on the offshore extension of the CCA alignment. The discovery of archaeological remains displaced by a thrust fault associated with the alignment provided the first likely surface evidence of coseismic and/or aseismic deformation related to a seismogenic source in the area. Results of the integrated study supports the contention that oblique thrusting and folding in response to NW-SE oriented contraction is still active. Although we are not able to associate the CCA alignment to the 1968 seismic sequence or to the historical earthquakes that destroyed the ancient Greek city of Selinunte, located on the nearby coastline, our result must be incorporated in the seismic hazard evaluation of this densely populated area of Sicily.

  14. 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.

  15. 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 requires.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. Interannual variability of water mass properties in the Tunisia-Sicily Channel

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ben Ismail, Sana; Schroeder, Katrin; Sammari, Chérif; Gasparini, Gian Pietro; Borghini, Mireno; Aleya, Lotfi

    2014-07-01

    We analysed in situ CTD data collected on 36 joint Tunisian-Italian oceanographic cruises in the Tunisia-Sicily Channel (Cap Bon-Mazara del Vallo section) from 1995 to 2009 in order to identify the water masses in the region and to estimate the interannual variability of their hydrological characteristics. Besides the well-known AW (Atlantic Water) and LIW (Levantine Intermediate Water), other water masses have been identified though their presence is neither as steady nor as stable as the aforementioned ones. The WIW (Western Intermediate Water) flows beneath the AW towards the eastern basin while the IW (Ionian Water), with a highly intermittent character, flows within the subsurface layer towards the western basin. The flow of subsurface water (WIW and IW) is affected by intense mixing which modifies the water masses, tending to make them disappear. Moreover, the same hydrological time series produced interesting results concerning the increase in both temperature and salinity in the Tunisia-Sicily Channel. This trend especially concerns the deeper layers (LIW and tEMDW, i.e. transitional Eastern Mediterranean Deep Water) and we hypothesise that this is a direct response to climatic change occurring in the eastern basin.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. High frequency of OPA1 mutations causing high ADOA prevalence in south-eastern Sicily, Italy.

    PubMed

    Gallus, G N; Cardaioli, E; Rufa, A; Collura, M; Da Pozzo, P; Pretegiani, E; Tumino, M; Pavone, L; Federico, A

    2012-09-01

    Optic atrophy type 1 (OPA1) gene mutation causes autosomal dominant optic atrophy (ADOA, MIM #165500). Prevalence of ADOA ranges from 1:50,000 in most populations to 1:12,000 in Denmark. Seventy members of nine families were analysed for the presence of OPA1 gene mutations by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and direct sequencing. We identified three OPA1 gene mutations in 48 patients with variable signs of optic atrophy. Two mutations, c.784-21_784-22insAluYb8 and c.876_878delTGT, were found in two different families. The third mutation, c.869G>A, was found in 28 patients from seven families. The haplotype analysis data suggested that the c.869G>A mutation is a founder mutation. Our main result suggests a higher ADOA prevalence in south-eastern Sicily than previously found in Denmark. This is because of not only the founder effect but also to the presence of three different mutations in the geographical area of the study. Our hypothesis is that a combination of social pressure because of blindness and migration factors is involved. In fact, in Siracusa, a provincial capital in south-eastern Sicily, St. Lucy, the patron saint of the blind was born and died. PMID:21745197

  3. 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.

  4. Characterization of measles virus strains circulating in Southern Italy (Palermo area, Sicily) between 2010 and 2011.

    PubMed

    Urone, Noemi; Colomba, Claudia; Ferraro, Donatella

    2016-03-01

    Measles virus (MV) was classified in 24 genotypes that show a distinct geographic distribution. Genotypes contain multiple distinct lineages. In 2011 large outbreaks of measles occurred in Italy and in many European countries. Aims of this study are to analyze the intra-genotype variability and to follow the importation and the spread of new MV strains in Sicily. A fragment of 450bps of MV C-terminal nucleoprotein was sequenced from sera of 73 Sicilian patients with symptomatic measles infections, occurred between 2010 and 2011. Five MV strains were D4 genotype and 68 were D8 genotype. The MV/D4 sequences were related to MV/D4-Enfield variant. Two lineages of MV/D8 genotypes, related to MV/D8-Villupuram variant and to a strain found in Birmingham in 2006 respectively, were identified. This is the first study that reports the co-circulation of different MV genotypes and lineages in Sicily suggesting multiple origins of the outbreak that occurred during 2010 and 2011 years. PMID:26723918

  5. 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.; Cannav, 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 fault cuts through till the Ionian coast of the island. The small geodetic divergence between the Hyblean and Apulian blocks rimming on both sides the Calabria block and subjacent Ionian slab, coupled with marine geophysical evidences in the Ionian Sea lends credit to the proposed deep root of the ATLF and to a fragmentation of the Ionian domain.

  6. Regional debris flow susceptibility assessment using HRDEM: Example of the city area of Messina (Sicily, Italy).

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cama, Mariaelena; Malet, Jean-Philippe; Mathieu, Alexandre; Rematre, Alexandre; Rotigliano, Edoardo

    2014-05-01

    Shallow landslide and debris flows are among the most dangerous natural hazards triggered by extreme meteorological events. These phenomena have recently caused catastrophic scenarios in Italy (e.g. in Sarno-Quindici and Giampilieri) and, according to expected changes in the climate pattern, an increasing frequency of these phenomena is expected. The aim of this research is to assess the debris flow susceptibility in the Giampilieri area (Sicily) using a spatially-distributed debris flow runout model based on topographic information. The application of the model starts with the identification of the source areas from which debris flows are propagated on the basis of frictional laws and flow direction algorithms. The area selected for this study is located in the Ionian sector of the Peloritanian area in Sicily, in the South part of Messina (Sicily) and includes the villages of Giampilieri, Briga Itala and Scaletta Zanclea. There, the 1stOctober 2009 thousands of debris and mud flows were activated by a cumulative rainfall of about 160 mm in 6 hours, which followed two previous rainfalls events occurred on16th September (76 mm in six hours) and 23rd - 24th September (190 mm in 10 hours). Among the catchments hit by the 2009 event, the Giampilieri basin (10 km2) has been chosen as sub area in order to set the algorithms for the spreading assessment and the friction parameters of the model. In this catchment, a complete inventory of the source areas and accumulation zone was created by photointerpretation of post event images. Moreover, volume and velocity estimations of the mobilized material have been carried out. The susceptibility was evaluated using the source areas of the 2009 event and its accuracy was estimated by the comparison of the results with the accumulation areas and the velocity and volume estimated. In a second step we performed the analysis at the medium scale on the whole area hit by the 2009 event using the parameters calibrated on the Giampilieri basin. The presented approach of debris ?ow susceptibility analysis demonstrates that a simple assessment of the debris ?ow spreading calculated using defined source areas and calibrated on past events, provided good results for consequent hazard and risk studies.

  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 ATC (Class 1). However, five classes (Classes 3, 4, 6, 7, 8) evidence a new westward branch along the northern coast of Sicily, that we call the Tyrrhenian-Sicilian Current (TSC), which can feed the AIS at the western corner of Sicily. Due to the upwelling signature associated to the TSC and the fact that this upwelling is not wind-driven, we conclude that the Tyrrhenian-Sicilian Current is a density-driven current.

  8. Characterization of blue decorated Renaissance pottery fragments from Caltagirone (Sicily, Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barilaro, D.; Crupi, V.; Interdonato, S.; Majolino, D.; Venuti, V.; Barone, G.; La Russa, M. F.; Bardelli, F.

    2008-07-01

    Renaissance blue decorated pottery fragments from the archaeological site of Caltagirone (Sicily, Italy) were analysed by scanning electron microscopy - energy dispersive X-ray spectrometry (SEM/EDS). The samples were dated back to 16th century AD on the basis of archaeological observations. The micro-chemical analyses were performed on the ceramic body and the surface decorated layer of the samples. Particularly, the investigation was addressed the characterization of the coating blue decorations. The obtained results allowed us to clearly identify smalt as pigment. Also the presence of arsenic (As) was revealed and the Co/As ratio values were calculated and related to the different process used for the pigment preparation. Further spectroscopic analyses, performed through X-ray absorbance spectroscopy (XAS), carried out at the Co K-edge, confirmed the micro-analytical results and permitted us to identify the oxidation form and the local environment of cobalt atoms.

  9. 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

  10. Fatal cranial injury in an individual from Messina (Sicily) during the times of the Roman Empire.

    PubMed

    Messina, Andrea Dario; Carotenuto, Giuseppe; Miccichè, Roberto; Sìneo, Luca

    2013-11-01

    Forensic and archaeological examinations of human skeletons can provide us with evidence of violence. In this paper, we present the patterns of two cranial lesions found on an adult male (T173) buried in a grave in the necropolis 'Isolato 96', Messina, Sicily, dating back to the Roman Empire (1st century BC - 1st century AD). The skull reveals two perimortem traumatic lesions, one produced by a sharp object on the right parietal bone and the other one on the left parietal bone, presumably the result of a fall. The interpretation of fracture patterns found in this cranium are an illustration of how forensic approaches can be applied with great benefit to archaeological specimens. PMID:24237811

  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 geotectonic framework of the Paleo-Mesozoic, ultra-slow spreading, Ionian-Tethys Ocean forming the present Ionian-Hyblean-Pelagian domain.

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

    PubMed

    Fasciana, Teresa; Cal, 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. Mediterranean diet and longevity in Sicily: survey in a Sicani Mountains population.

    PubMed

    Vasto, Sonya; Scapagnini, Giovanni; Rizzo, Claudia; Monastero, Roberto; Marchese, Antonio; Caruso, Calogero

    2012-04-01

    Over the past several years, increasing evidence suggests that the Mediterranean diet has a beneficial influence on several age-related diseases, showing protective effect on health and longevity. Mediterranean diet refers to dietary patterns found in olive-growing regions of the Mediterranean countries. Previous data reported that in Sicily, Italy, the largest Mediterranean island, there are some mountainous regions where there is a high frequency of male centenarians with respect to the Italian average. The aim of the present study was to characterize centenarians living in one of this region, the Sicani Mountains, located in western Sicily. Present data shows that in this zone there are more centenarians with respect to the Italian average. In fact, in the three villages of the Sicani Mountains, there were 15 people ranging from 100 to 107 years old, of the total population of about 10,000 inhabitants. This centenarian number was more than six-fold higher the national average (15.0 vs. 2.4/10,000); the female/male ratio was 1.5 in the study area, whereas the national ratio is 4.54. Centenarians living in these villages had anthropometric measurements within normal limits and moderate sensory disability without any sign of age-related diseases, including cognitive deterioration and dementia. In addition, their clinical chemistry profile was similar to young controls and far better than that of old controls. Unequivocally, their nutritional assessment showed a high adherence to the Mediterranean nutritional profile, with low glycemic index food consumed. Overall, close adherence to Mediterranean diet seems to play a key role in age-related disease prevention and in attaining longevity. PMID:22533429

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

    PubMed

    Romano, V; Cal, 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

  15. The impact of ten years of infant universal Varicella vaccination in Sicily, Italy (20032012)

    PubMed Central

    Amodio, Emanuele; Tramuto, Fabio; Cracchiolo, Manuela; Sciuto, Valentina; De Donno, Antonella; Guido, Marcello; Rota, Maria Cristina; Gabutti, Giovanni; Vitale, Francesco

    2014-01-01

    Introduction Universal varicella vaccination in Sicily was introduced in infant population since 2003, with a rapidly increasing coverage. Aim of the present study was to analyze changes in the epidemiology of varicella since the introduction of universal vaccination. Methods The study was performed by analyzing Sicilian administrative/clinical data on varicella case notifications and hospitalizations from 2003 to 2012 (ICD-9-CM discharge diagnosis codes 052 and 052.). MMR+V and V coverage were also calculated for each birth cohort. Moreover, blood samples drawn in 2013/2014 from general population stratified by age were tested for varicella antibodies. Results From 2003 to 2012, 15?433 varicella cases were notified with a decreasing temporal trend (1.1/1000 population in 2003 to 0.1/1000 in 2012) (P < 0.001). In the same period, a total of 1145 patients were hospitalized with a diagnosis of varicella, with a 6-fold reduced risk of hospitalization over time (from 4.8 to 0.8/100?000 population per year; P < 0.001). Varicella vaccination coverage rates increased from 40% (2001 birth cohort) to 85% (2010 birth cohort), and inversely correlated with both notification and hospitalization rates (P < 0.001). Finally, 80.0% of subjects enrolled in the seroepidemiological survey were positive for varicella and seroprevalence increased significantly with age in both sexes (P < 0.001). Discussion The results show the impact of infant universal varicella vaccination in Sicily. Noteworthy, notifications and hospitalizations for varicella have significantly decreased after the introduction of universal vaccination, confirming the effectiveness of the adopted strategy. PMID:25483542

  16. 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

  17. A molecular survey of Rickettsia felis in fleas from cats and dogs in Sicily (Southern Italy).

    PubMed

    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

  18. Argas (Persicargas) persicus (Oken, 1818) (Ixodida: Argasidae) in Sicily with considerations about its Italian and West-Mediterranean distribution.

    PubMed

    Pantaleoni, R A; Baratti, M; Barraco, L; Contini, C; Cossu, C S; Filippelli, M T; Loru, L; Romano, M

    2010-12-01

    Recently, in the province of Trapani (Western Sicily), some overwintering specimens of the argasid tick Argos (Persicargas) persicus (Oken, 1818) were observed and collected. Morphological and genetic analysis were utilized in order to reach a definitive identification. The species was found in two semi-natural sites where, having been found repeatedly, its presence does not appear accidental. Moreover the characteristics of the Sicilian findings seem to exclude a human-induced spread. This record, the first regarding Sicily and South Italy, is discussed together with the previous doubtful citations for Italy. These findings revalue not only all the old citations for Italy but also the hypothesis that the Mediterranean distribution of this argasid is of a natural origin. PMID:21275242

  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. Perception of, attitudes toward, and knowledge of epilepsy among teachers and high school and college students in Sicily.

    PubMed

    Buccheri, Teresa; Quattropani, Maria C

    2015-12-01

    The study was aimed at investigating perception of, attitudes toward, and knowledge of epilepsy among college students of the University of Messina in Sicily (Italy), high school students, and teachers from Sicily in order to structure health educational programs to remediate inadequate knowledge and stigma about epilepsy. Participants in this study consisted of 932 subjects (571 males, 361 females) aged between 13 and 63years old (M 21.758.7): 571 college students aged between 18 and 35years old (M 21.542.59), 62 teachers aged between 38 and 63years old (M 51.186.27), and 299 high school students aged between 13 and 19years old (M 16.051.67). Measures were two anonymous questionnaires to collect sociodemographic information and to assess knowledge of, attitudes toward, and perception of epilepsy. Analyses were performed with descriptive statistical analysis (mean, standard deviation, frequency counts, and percentages) and Mann-Whitney U-test nonparametric for two independent samples. This study provides general information about psychosocial aspects of epilepsy in Sicily which provides the basis for further studies and the development of interventions to eliminate prejudices against persons with epilepsy and related myths. PMID:26519665

  1. Paleoseismological multi-theme study of seismically induced geological effects at Vendicari (south-eastern Sicily).

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pirrotta, Claudia; Serafina Barbano, Maria

    2010-05-01

    Strong earthquakes can produce direct and permanent geological effects on the earth surface. Beyond surface faulting, other effects, such as landslides, liquefactions and ground deformations (seismites), take place in the epicentral area as a consequence of the seismic wave propagation in the sediments. Since the last three decades only, these features have been considered indicators of seismicity and their analysis (paleoseismological off-fault study) has been used as an useful tool for obtaining crucial information on the causative earthquake parameters. Such analyses are especially useful in areas where earthquakes occurred before the seismic instrument development or without clear evidence of surface faulting. Since paleoseismology is a youth discipline, the integration of innovative and multidisciplinary techniques and the updating of the case studies on seismites is of fundamental importance. During historical time south-eastern Sicily has been hit by strong earthquakes (M up to 7), such as the 1169, 1542 and 1693 events. Given the lack of surface faulting evidence, the real source location of these earthquakes is a still open question and represents the main gap of the Sicilian seismogenic framework, therefore paleosismological off-fault study can contribute to identify seismogenic sources. Along the NNE-SSW trending rocky coast of Vendicari, we detected a singular association of deformational structures affecting terrains up to Quaternary age. These structures are both soft sediment deformations (autoclastic breccias, diapyr-like injections, dikes and thyxotropic wedges), probably linked to liquefaction mechanisms, and fragile deformations, consisting of opened fractures generally filled by sediment (Neptunian dykes). With the aim to define the deformation mechanisms that affected the deposits at Vendicari, we studied in detail the local stratigraphic sequence and the deformational structures, performing a mesostructural study of the fractures and the analysis of the microscopic characteristic of the filling materials, as well. The systematic and paleostress analyses of the fractures highlighted a high variability in the architectural style and a high dispersion of the plane direction. This is probably linked to more than one deformative mechanism concurring in their development and masking the stress field. A coseismic brittle deformation, linked to the shaking and to the seismic wave propagation, and a lateral spreading and settlement mechanism with fissuring parallel to the coastline (driven by gravity under a moderate topographic gradients), are proposed as probable causes of the fracture development together with the tectonic stress field. However, the analysis of the fractures, filtered and cleaned up from the contribute of the disturb mechanisms, shows a stress field characterized by a probable NW-SE-trending σ1,which iscompatible with the active regional stress. The occurrence of violent coseismic deformation should be also testified by the development of the liquefaction-driven soft sediment deformations, observed in the area, that reveals the application of an horizontal shear stress and of a sudden high hydraulic pressure. The overall analysis of seismites at Vendicari highlights the occurrence of at least three triggering events, occurred after the Pleistocene age. They could be tentatively associate with the historical 1169, 1542 and 1693 earthquakes (I0 ≥X) or with similar or strongest paleoevents, considering the minimum epicentral distances and the minimum intensity at a site (Is ≥ IX) for which an earthquake is capable to induce these association of seismites. The paleoseismological study at Vendicari allowed us to upgrade the paleoseimological off-fault techniques and to increase the study cases in Sicily. Moreover, this study provides, if integrated with similar studies at regional scale, new and useful information on ancient earthquakes in a high-seismicity area like eastern Sicily, for a better characterization of the seismogenic sources.

  2. 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 1921-2012 period. Downward trends frequently occurred during the autumn and winter months. However, an increase in total annual precipitation was detected during the period from 1981 to 2012.

  3. Tsunami vulnerability analysis in the coastal town of Catania, Sicily: methodology and results

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pagnoni, Gianluca; Tinti, Stefano; Gallazzi, Sara; Tonini, Roberto; Zaniboni, Filippo

    2010-05-01

    Catania lies on the eastern coast of Sicily and is one of the most important towns in Sicily as regards history, tourism and industry. Recent analyses conducted in the frame of the project TRANSFER have shown that it is exposed not only to tsunamis generated locally, but also to distant tsunamis generated in the western Hellenic arc. In the frame of the European project SCHEMA different scenarios covering local sources such as the 11 January 1693 event and the 1908 case as well as remote sources such as the 365 AD tsunami have been explored through numerical modelling in order to assess the vulnerability of the area to tsunami attacks. One of the primary outcomes of the scenario analysis is the quantification of the inundation zones (location, extension along the coast and landward). Taking the modelling results on flooding as input data, the analysis has focussed on the geomorphological characteristics of the coasts and on the buildings and infrastructure typology to make evaluation of the vulnerability level of the Catania area. The coast to the south of the harbour of Catania is low and characterized by a mild slope: topography reaches the altitude of 10 m between 300-750 m distance from the shoreline. Building density is low, and generally tourist structures prevail on residential houses. The zone north of the harbour is high-coast, with 10 m isoline usually close to the coastline, and little possibility for flood to penetrate deep inland. Here there are three small marinas with the corresponding services and infrastructure around, and the city quarters consists of residential buildings. Vulnerability assessment has been carried out by following the methodology developed by the SCHEMA consortium, distinguishing between primary (type and material) and secondary criteria (e.g. ground, age, foundation, orientation, etc.) for buildings, and by adopting a building damage matrix, basically depending on building type and water inundation depth. Data needed for such analysis have been retrieved from satellite images such as Google and validated through ad hoc local surveys with the collaboration of the local civil protection agency.

  4. 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 of fitting, skill and reliability. However, a loss of performance and differences in the selected predictors between the self-validated and the chrono-validated models which are linked to the characteristics of the two triggering storms are highlighted.

  5. 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. However, a loss of performance and differences in the selected predictors arose between the self-validated and the chrono-validated models. These are interpreted as effects of the non-linearity in the domain of the trigger intensity of the relationships between predictors and slope response, as well as in terms of the different spatial paths of the two triggering storms at the catchment scale.

  6. Dimensional and spatial patterns of disrupted blocks of Messinian gypsum, western Caltanissetta Basin, Sicily

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thress, R. J.; Cowan, D. S.; Lugli, S.; Manzi, V.; Roveri, M.; Schreiber, C.

    2011-12-01

    Chaotic mass-flow deposition is common along both active and passive margins; however, limited information about the internal structure and stratigraphy is available for these submarine deposits. Primary Lower Gypsum was deposited in shallow basins on top of the accretionary wedge along the convergent margin of southern Sicily between 5.96 and 5.6 Ma. These wedge-top evaporites were subsequently eroded via mass-wasting and redeposited as clastic gypsum in the foredeep. The exhumed Late-Miocene Sicilian foredeep basin provides an accessible on-shore record of this mass-wasting process. Evaporites associated with the Messinian Salinity Crisis (MSC) are widespread throughout the Mediterranean region. The Sicilian Messinian stratigraphy is composed of two evaporitic units. The lower of these, (Lower Gypsum (LG)), includes both shallow-water, Primary Lower Gypsum (PLG) and deep-water, Resedimented Lower Gypsum (RLG). In the western Caltanissetta Basin, the RLG includes chaotic, non-bedded bodies containing disarticulated cm- to km-blocks of massive selenite gypsum, bedded gypsum mass-flows, and gypsum turbidites. The resedimented components were derived from the dismantlement of PLG along basin margins. Previous studies suggest that major sections of the PLG, both in the northern Apennines and Sicily, underwent large-scale mass-wasting processes and that the chaotic bodies in the RLG are gravitationally driven mass-flow deposits (olistostromes). The olistoliths within the RLG have a well-defined stratigraphy that can be correlated back to in-place sections. We investigated the distribution of these blocks to reveal the deposit's internal structure and possible block emplacement mechanisms. Field mapping and satellite imagery were used to map the size, shape, and block distribution in order to establish dimensional and spatial patterns of block disruption. The stratigraphy and orientation of each major block was also determined to estimate dispersal patterns and possible temporal or stratigraphic sub-groupings. On the basis of work to date, we hypothesize that the blocks slid out onto the basin floor and were buried by younger, deep-water sediments, which are now being eroded to exhume original seafloor topography created by the emplaced blocks.

  7. Spatial variation in stresses in peninsular Italy and Sicily from background seismicity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Frepoli, A.; Amato, A.

    2000-02-01

    We have retrieved the stress tensor orientation in the Italian region, applying the FMSI technique (Gephart, J., 1990b. FMSI: a FORTRAN program for inverting fault/slickenside and earthquake focal mechanism data to obtain the regional stress tensor. Comput. Geosci. 16, 953-989) to fault plane solutions of 298 small earthquakes (2.5< Md<4.8) recorded by the National seismic network of the Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica in the period 1988-1995. First, we verified that the stress inversion procedure, generally applied to a large number of focal mechanisms of earthquakes recorded in a local seismic network, could be successfully used in Italy, using background seismicity recorded over large (100-200 km) regions. Then, comparing the stress inversion results with other stress indicators, we find that they are geologically sound for many regions in Italy, even if the misfit values are relatively large. We also find that the largest misfit values are determined by a few earthquakes (only 10-20% of the total number). Excluding these earthquakes from inversion, the average misfit becomes much lower (by 30-40%). The results obtained in this study confirm the large variations of the stress field over a relatively short distance in Italy, but also confirm the existence of regions extending for a few hundred kilometres within which the stress is homogeneous. Among these, most of the Apennines are dominated by extension perpendicular to the trend of the mountain belt. Only in the northern Apennines is there any clear distinction between an area of extension in the inner portion of the belt and an area under horizontal compression along the Adriatic margin of the belt. More rapid variations occur around Calabria and Sicily, as expected because of the complexities linked with the Tyrrhenian subduction and with active volcanism. In the Ionian Calabrian coastal region, there are hints of active NW-SE compression, although constrained by a few data, whereas in the Messina Strait, we observe E-W extension and a vertical ?1. In northern and western Sicily, our results indicate N-S to NW-SE compression, roughly consistent with the general convergence between the European and the African plates.

  8. 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, we establish a preliminary stratigraphy based in part on correlations to data described by Polonia et al. (2013). Radiocarbon dating and other work in progress should help to better characterize the megaturbidites, in terms of areal extent, thickness, chemical composition and grain size distribution, and provide new constraints on their origin and transport.

  9. Volcanic Degassing of Halogens and Trace Metals at Mt Etna, Sicily - A Melt Inclusion Investigation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Collins, S. J.; Pyle, D. M.; Maclennan, J.; Mather, T. A.

    2007-12-01

    The process of volcanic degassing has important implications for eruption style, environmental impact of volcanic aerosols and economic mineralization processes at depth. Mt Etna, Sicily is persistently degassing, and responsible for 5-10% of global annual volcanic emissions of CO2, SO2 and volatile trace metals. We collected a suite of olivine hosted melt inclusions and matrix glasses in newly erupted products from Mt Etna, Sicily, spanning the major eruptions of the previous 6 years. These glasses have been measured for the concentrations of volatile (H, C, Cl, F) and trace elements (Li, Zr) by ion microprobe at the University of Edinburgh and for major and trace elements with a particular focus on the volatile trace metals by electron microprobe and laser ablation ICP-MS at the University of Cambridge. Volatile and trace element concentrations in melt inclusions allow us to constrain the storage, gas accumulation and degassing processes at Mt Etna over the past 6 years. The 2004-2007 melts were residual from the 2001- 2003 and were stored at a shallow depth where they evolved and equilibrated with a CO2-rich, H2O- poor flux of gas from depth. Because the life cycle of these melts is now well understood we can use new data of halogen and trace metal compositions from these same melt inclusions to determine the effect the shallow degassing process has on the behaviour of such environmentally and economically important elements. Trace metals and the halide forming elements are enriched in the volcanic plume of Etna partly because of their volatile behaviour and also due to the formation of stable complexes with the hard ligands Cl, F and S. Removal of metals from the melt by the process of shallow degassing will deplete the residual melt in trace metals and remove these elements from the volcanic system preventing ore formation, while enhancing the concentrations in the volcanic plume. We investigate the extent at which this has occurred on Mt Etna over the past 6 years.

  10. 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 aridification may lead to a situation similar to that before 7000 cal yr BP and thus trigger a rapid collapse of the few relict evergreen broadleaved woodlands in coastal Sicily and elsewhere in the southern Mediterranean region.

  11. 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 distribution of seismic moment shows that this transfer fault zone is seismically discontinuous. A large seismic gap is present in proximity of Graham and Nameless banks suggesting that the strain energy accumulation is differently accommodated along the transfer zone. Our observations represent new elements for the open discussion of the genesis of the Sicily Channel continental rift and the geodynamic of the western Africa-Eurasia plate boundary. References. Calò, M, Parisi, L., Luzio, D., 2013. Lithospheric P- and S-wave velocity models of the Sicilian area using WAM tomography: procedure and assessments. Geophysical Journal International. In press. Waldhauser, F., 2001. hypoDD -- A program to compute double-difference hypocenter locations, U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 01-113. Waldhauser, F., 2012. HYPODD Version 2.1 beta.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. Laser induced breakdown spectroscopy for the analysis of archaeological dyes from Licata (Sicily)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ponterio, R.; Trusso, S.; Vasi, C.; La Torre, G. F.; Toscano Raffa, A.

    The materials used in the decoration of ancient roman building have been the object of investigation by means of non-destructive and micro-destructive techniques. A number of spectroscopic analysis, laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS), micro-Raman, and micro-Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, on three fragments of architectural decorative painted elements 6rom an excavation near Licata (Sicily), have been performed with the aim to identify the pigments composition and their interaction with the matrixE The fragments have been dated by the archaeologists to late III B.C and the end of I B.C (such an attribution agrees well with historical information about the site) and showed four different coloration: red, yellow, light blue, and black. LIBS, emerged only in the last years as a very promising tool for the analysis and the characterization of elemental composition of a large variety of objects in the field of cultural heritage. The technique is based on the spectroscopic detection and identification of the light emission from excited atomic species in the plasma produced by a high energy laser pulse focused onto the surface of the sample. Although LIBS can give information about the pigments' atomic composition, structural ones have been gained with micro-Raman spectroscopy. Thus, the combined LIBS and micro-Raman measurements allowed the pigments' identification for all of the four colorations.

  15. 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.

  16. Chlorophyll distribution and variability in the Sicily Channel (Mediterranean Sea) as seen by remote sensing data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rinaldi, Eleonora; Buongiorno Nardelli, Bruno; Volpe, Gianluca; Santoleri, Rosalia

    2014-04-01

    Remotely sensed ocean chlorophyll concentration is related to the presence of phytoplankton in the upper ocean layers. Its spatial and temporal variability significantly differs from region to region, originating from both purely ecological factors and local environmental conditions (e.g. species involved, grazing, light and nutrient availability, temperature, etc.). As a result, various physical processes are known to significantly affect chlorophyll distribution especially in coastal areas. Among these, wind-driven upwelling, river discharge, cross-shelf exchanges related to local dynamics and horizontal advection due to larger scale dynamics are often invoked as dominant mechanisms. In this work, we investigate which physical process mostly contributes to the phytoplankton variability in the Channel of Sicily (Mediterranean Sea), based on satellite estimates of surface chlorophyll (CHL) concentration, kinetic energy (KE) and sea surface temperature (SST). An empirical orthogonal function (EOF) analysis is applied to the three time series, spanning the 1998-2006 period. The main patterns of variability of each parameter and the physical processes associated with KE and SST modes are identified. The successive cross-correlation analysis shows that most of the CHL variability (explained variance 78%) is induced by the seasonal advection of the Atlantic Waters (r=0.7), while wind-driven upwelling, generally considered the main process modulating phytoplankton growth in the area, only explains 1.4% of the total CHL variance. Well known Coastal upwelling explains only 0.5% of chlorophyll variability.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Pulmonary fibre burden in sheep living in the Biancavilla area (Sicily): preliminary results.

    PubMed

    DeNardo, Paola; Bruni, Biagio; Paoletti, Luigi; Pasetto, Roberto; Sirianni, Bruno

    2004-06-01

    In a national survey on mortality from malignant pleural neoplasms in Italy, aimed at detecting geographic clusters of cases of the disease, the town of Biancavilla, located in a volcanic area of Eastern Sicily, showed high risk of pleural mesothelioma in the absence of occupational asbestos exposure. An environmental survey suggested the stone quarries located in 'Monte Calvario', south-east of the town of Biancavilla, as a possible source of asbestiform fibre exposure. A subsequent crystal-chemistry investigation of the 'Monte Calvario' amphiboles identified the mineral asbestiform fibres as 'fluoro-edenite', a new end-member of the edenite ==> fluoro-edenite series. A collaborative epidemiological and environmental study was initiated to investigate the characteristics of the outbreak of malignant mesothelioma and test the hypothesis of a causal association with exposure to naturally occurring fibres. To investigate if a sheep population could be used to monitor the environmental diffusion of the fibres, we examined lung specimens from 27 culled sheep, at least 3 years old and living near Monte Calvario to check for the presence of fluoro-edenite fibres, using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) analysis and X-ray microanalysis. Fourteen mineral species have been isolated in the mineral particulate matter taken from pulmonary parenchyma, and fluoro-edenite was detected in eight sheep. These preliminary data suggest a possible bio-indicative role of sheep as sentinel animals in the evaluation of environmental fibre diffusion, which merits further investigation. PMID:15144777

  20. 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

  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. 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.

  3. 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 (1316 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]: 1.032.26) and high physical activity (OR 1.19, 95% CI: 1.021.70), whereas lower adherence was associated with living in an urban environment (OR 0.65, 95% CI: 0.440.97) and being obese (OR 0.59, 95% CI: 0.370.94). 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. Immunoglobulin M seropositivity for Toscana virus in a random population sample in Sicily

    PubMed Central

    Amodio, Emanuele; Cusi, Maria Grazia; Valenti, Rosalia Maria; Valentini, Melissa; Mammina, Caterina; Gori-Savellini, Gianni; Vitale, Francesco; Romano, Nino; Goedert, James J.; Calamusa, Giuseppe

    2013-01-01

    SUMMARY Objectives High Toscana virus (TOSV) antibody seropositivity rates have been documented in the last decade, especially in the Mediterranean area. It is unclear if these rates are associated with a recent or past exposure to the virus. This is of importance, as primary infection can cause neurologic complications, especially in adults. The aim of the present study was to assess the current active TOSV circulation in western Sicily. Methods A cross-sectional seroprevalence study was conducted on 271 individuals aged 492 years, sampled from the general population of a small city. Each participant completed a self-administered questionnaire and provided serum, which was analyzed for the presence of specific anti-TOSV IgM and IgG. Results Anti-TOSV IgM was detected in eight (3.0%) participants, of whom only three had anti-TOSV IgG. The prevalence of anti-TOSV IgM was highest in subjects aged 2534 and 3544 years (7.1% and 4.8%, respectively). All subjects positive for anti-TOSV IgM were resident in the suburban area. Conclusions The detection of IgM documented the circulation of TOSV, a Phlebovirus, in a random population sample of Sicilian adults. The highest risk of TOSV seroconversion in subjects living in the suburbs appears to suggest a high density of TOSV vectors in peri-urban areas. PMID:22726418

  7. 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

  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. Geophysical monitoring of a complex geologic framework: the multi-disciplinary sensor networks in Sicily (Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cantarero, M.; Di Prima, S.; Mattia, M.; Patanè, D.; Rossi, M.

    2012-04-01

    Since 2004 the Osservatorio Etneo INGV has begun a new approach to the geophysical monitoring of volcanic and seismic areas of Sicily (Italy) where the core is a new type of remote infrastructure able to efficiently accommodate different kinds of sensor. In particular our multi-parametric network is mainly focused on the monitoring of different geophysical parameters (seismic ground velocity and acceleration, infrasound and ground deformation GPS).The whole seismic network consists of 66 broad band digital stations, 19 analog stations, 13 accelerometric stations and 12 infrasonic stations, for a total of 110 stations while the Continuous GPS network consist of 80 stations. Every station is equipped with solar panels in order to satisfy the power requirements of the instruments and with satellite-based communication systems. In this work we show both the technical solutions of this integrated network and its main advantages, if compared with older kinds of remote stations. Moreover we show some examples of the more interesting scientific results achieved thank to this technologically advanced network.

  10. Peopling of three Mediterranean islands (Corsica, Sardinia, and Sicily) inferred by Y-chromosome biallelic variability.

    PubMed

    Francalacci, P; Morelli, L; Underhill, P A; Lillie, A S; Passarino, G; Useli, A; Madeddu, R; Paoli, G; Tofanelli, S; Cal, C M; Ghiani, M E; Varesi, L; Memmi, M; Vona, G; Lin, A A; Oefner, P; Cavalli-Sforza, L L

    2003-07-01

    An informative set of biallelic polymorphisms was used to study the structure of Y-chromosome variability in a sample from the Mediterranean islands of Corsica and Sicily, and compared with data on Sardinia to gain insights into the ethnogenesis of these island populations. The results were interpreted in a broader Mediterranean context by including in the analysis neighboring populations previously studied with the same methodology. All samples studied were enclosed in the comparable spectrum of European Y-chromosome variability. Pronounced differences were observed between the islands as well as in the percentages of haplotypes previously shown to have distinctive patterns of continental phylogeography. Approximately 60% of the Sicilian haplotypes are also prevalent in Southern Italy and Greece. Conversely, the Corsican sample had elevated levels of alternative haplotypes common in Northern Italy. Sardinia showed a haplotype ratio similar to that observed in Corsica, but with a remarkable difference in the presence of a lineage defined by marker M26, which approaches 35% in Sardinia but seems absent in Corsica. Although geographically adjacent, the data suggest different colonization histories and a minimal amount of recent gene flow between them. Our results identify possible ancestral continental sources of the various island populations and underscore the influence of founder effect and genetic drift. The Y-chromosome data are consistent with comparable mtDNA data at the RFLP haplogroup level of resolution, as well as linguistic and historic knowledge. PMID:12772214

  11. [Medical, social and economics aspects in the sulphur mines in Sicily(1791 - 1964)].

    PubMed

    Malta, R; Maira, G; Salerno, A

    2007-01-01

    In Sicily the sulphur extraction represented an occasion of economic growth and a development for the dignity of the workers. The "carusi", young boys from 6 to 14 years old, were given up by their parents in return of a hardly payed of loan; it was the so called "soccorso morto" (dead aid). They were submitted to an enormous very hard physical work that caused severe damage to the skeleton and this was the reason of their inability to military service. The anthropometric surveys of "carusi" and pupils highlight for the first ones a reduced increase of the height and for the second ones the presence of "gibbo". For this reasons the inhabitans of Racalmuto were called racalmutesi immiruti" which means that people who lives in Racalmuto were hunchbacked. Nowadays it's possible to say that dietary and nutritional causes determined metabolic damages to the skeleton. A comparison between people who have been declared unable for military service belonged to the two lower clones of farmers and miners showed a lower incidence of the first ones. The law of 1866 on child labour assigned to medical doctors the task of certifying their suitability to work: the first step of normalisation on a medical care basis. PMID:18450038

  12. 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 current SPI and NAO values leads to better results than considering current classes.

  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-enhancing adaptations. PMID:23209602

  14. 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; Scarf, Luciano; Palano, Mimmo; Patan, 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.

  15. 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 sympatry in northern Sicily. Conclusion Our findings on green toads give the first combined mitochondrial and nuclear sequence evidence for a phylogeographic connection across the Strait of Sicily in terrestrial vertebrates. These relationships may have implications for comparative phylogeographic research on other terrestrial animals co-occurring in North Africa and Sicily. PMID:18294389

  16. Continuous monitoring of soil CO2 flux in tectonic active area of Sicily: relationship between gas emissions and crustal stress

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Camarda, Marco; De Gregorio, Sofia; Favara, Rocco; Di Martino, Roberto M. R.

    2015-04-01

    Tectonic active areas are subjected to continue modification of the stress fields as result of the relative movement of portions of the crust. In these areas the stress generated the seismogenetic processes and at same time produces detectable modifications in the shallower portion of the crust such as superficial deformation, increase or decrease of pore pressure and change in fluids circulation. As results a wide variety of changes can be recorded in several parameters due to stress field modifications. The aim of this study was to monitor in continuous soil gas emissions of selected tectonic active area of the Sicily in order to investigate the relation between changes on this parameter and stress field modifications linked to seismogenetic processes. For this reason, in cooperation with DPC Sicilia a network of 20 stations for continuous monitoring of soil CO2 flux in the main seismic area of Sicily was deployed. The selection of the monitoring sites was based on a detailed geological structural study aimed to recognize active tectonic structures and on geochemical survey for identifying areas of anomalous degassing along the structures. Time series of soil CO2 flux long from 1 to 3 years were obtained. The acquired series were filtered for removing atmospheric parameters induced variations by applying the fast Fourier transform (FFT) and regression analysis.The results of comparison of filtered signals showed as almost all the stations have a low coefficient correlation, indicating that the recorded variations are likely due to minor stress modification having small spatial scale. A discrete correlation was founded between the signals of three stations placed in the same tectonic context in northeastern sector of Sicily. Interesting these stations showed a contemporary steep increase few days before the onset of seismic sequence, with events of magnitude up to 4.4, occurred in August 2013 in the northeastern Sicily. The concomitance of change in soil CO2 flux and onset of seismic sequence suggest that the two phenomena could be trigger by the same processes acting in the crust.

  17. Observed Changes In Extreme Precipitation In The North Eastern Side Of Sicily (Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tito Aronica, Giuseppe; Bonaccorso, Brunella

    2013-04-01

    In Italy, the occurrence of flash floods due to heavy storms, and related consequences on socio-economic activities, become more and more serious and worrying every year. Although, such natural disasters mainly depend on an intensive and usually unplanned soil exploitation, however there is a widespread belief that the effects of climate change plays a major role in worsening the current situation. In particular, many studies have shown that in the last century the average number of rainy days is decreased, whereas precipitation intensity is increased at the same time, as more and more heavy rainfall occur in shorter periods. In Sicily region, the province of Messina is the one with the largest number of sites under flash flood threatening, many of which are located along the Ionian side. As an example, on October 1, 2009, an heavy storm has produced landslides and floodings which have caused 37 victims and more than 2000 evacuated people, as well as severe damages to buildings, infrastructures and economic activities. In this study, preliminary results of a research aimed at investigating the occurrence of changes in precipitation field over North Eastern side of Sicily (Italy), in recent decades are illustrated, with special reference to extreme values. In particular, daily precipitation series with at least 45 years of records starting from 1951 are selected among those observed at the meteorological stations located along the Ionian side of Messina province. First, an analysis to assess the presence of trends in annual and seasonal precipitation amount, number of rainy days and average intensity is carried out based on the Sequential Mann-Kendall test for non linear trend detection. With respect to annual values, both the number of rainy days and rainfall amount series show a decreasing trend for all the investigated series. With regard to the average intensity, only the series corresponding to Ganzirri station show a significant decreasing trend. Such results are also confirmed by the trend analysis carried out on the six-monthly records from October to March, which is the period providing the most part of the contribution to the total annual precipitation (more than 75 % on average). Then, in order to understand whether changes in precipitation are due to a change in the number of days with heavy precipitation or with light precipitation, an analysis of daily rainfall amounts belonging to specific classes defined by thresholds, corresponding to fixed percentiles of daily precipitation, has been carried out. Threshold values have been derived after fitting probability distributions to each station's wet day data for each month of the year. Results show that the detected decrease in the number of rainy days cannot be ascribed to one class only, whereas decrease in rainfall amount is mainly due to the lower classes for all the stations, which implies a general reduction in the amount of light and moderate rain. No trends are identified for the average intensity. Further researches are ongoing to analyze the effect of detected trends on the assessment of the return period of critical events recently occurred along the investigated area.

  18. [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 National Interest Remediation Sites coordinated by the Italian National Institute of Health on behalf of the Ministry for the Environment and Technical Assistance of WHO Health and Environment Centre to the Sicilian Region to develop plans for environmental remediation. Results describe the state of contamination of a variety of environmental matrices in the area. Other contributions are addressed to understanding action mechanisms of main pollutants and their environmental pathways, as well as to identifying crucial knowledge to be used for studying the environment-health relations. A specific attention has been paid to pollutants migration in the environment and to the potential exposure of the population. Appropriate markers of exposure and physiological changes are described and referred to the chemical substances identified in the environment in Gela. Details are given about the genotoxic and endocrine disrupting potential, and about the potential association between markers of exposure and diseases observed in excess in the same area. Indications to develop specific biomarkers for Index Substances and human biomonitoring surveys for populations exposed to environmental risk are presented and discussed. A specific multiple-exposure risk assessment procedure is proposed for Index Substances. Epidemiological studies useful to describe the health status of Gela population are summarized. One report deals with the occupational and residential analyses of male petrochemical workers, born in Sicily, employed from 1960 to the end of 1993, followed up for mortality from 1960 to 2002. Major findings were amarked healthy worker effect and an increased lung cancer risk for residence in Gela. The analyses of death certificates from 1995 to 2002 and of hospital discharge records from 2001 to 2007 confirm the potentialities of these current statistics for ecological studies: they depict the poor health conditions of Gela residents compared to other neighbouring municipalities in a 40-km range. Infact, the overall mortality rate for tumor and non-tumor causes in Ge

  19. 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 were combined to produce the Unique Condition Units (UCUs) layer used as the basis for evaluating gully density values and erosion susceptibility. Two time-archives of gully landforms, both permanent and ephemeral, were created by means of remote-analysis of 1:10.000 orthophotos dated at 2000 and 2007, respectively; moreover, those gullies recognized in both time series were field-checked in 2009, in order to attest the reliability of the mapping criteria. The two gully archives were turned into separate GIS-layers; therefore, according to a time-partition validation strategy, the 2000 gully layer was used to train the model and to produce a susceptibility map that was intersected with landforms of 2007, in order to evaluate the predictive power of the method. The validation results attested for a good predictive performance of the susceptibility model since about 50% of the 2007 gullies falls within 20% of the area predicted as most susceptible; moreover, the shapes of the validation curves reflect those characteristics that a good spatial correlation between a model and its unknown target pattern would produce. In conclusion, the goodness of the acquired results encourages further application of the method, that is simple and easy exportable to other similar areas for the evaluation of gully erosion susceptibility.

  20. High-resolution and Deep Crustal Imaging Across The North Sicily Continental Margin (southern Tyrrhenian Sea)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Agate, M.; Bertotti, G.; Catalano, R.; Pepe, F.; Sulli, A.

    Three multichannel seismic reflection profiles across the North Sicily continental mar- gin have been reprocessed and interpreted. Data consist of an unpublished high pene- tration seismic profile (deep crust Italian CROP Project) and a high-resolution seismic line. These lines run in the NNE-SSW direction, from the Sicilian continental shelf to the Tyrrhenian abyssal plain (Marsili area), and are tied by a third, high penetration seismic line MS104 crossing the Sisifo High. The North Sicily continental margin represents the inner sector of the Sicilian-Maghrebian chain that is collapsed as con- sequence of extensional tectonics. The chain is formed by a tectonic wedge (12-15 km thick. It includes basinal Meso-Cenozoic carbonate units overthrusting carbonate platform rock units (Catalano et al., 2000). Presently, main culmination (e.g. Monte Solunto) and a number of tectonic depressions (e.g. Cefal basin), filled by >1000 m thick Plio-Pleistocene sedimentary wedge, are observed along the investigated tran- sect. Seismic attributes and reflector pattern depicts a complex crustal structure. Be- tween the coast and the M. Solunto high, a transparent to diffractive band (assigned to the upper crust) is recognised above low frequency reflective layers (occurring be- tween 9 and 11 s/TWT) that dips towards the North. Their bottom can be correlated to the seismological (African?) Moho discontinuity which is (26 km deep in the Sicilian shelf (Scarascia et al., 1994). Beneath the Monte Solunto ridge, strongly deformed re- flectors occurring between 8 to 9.5 s/TWT (European lower crust?) overly the African (?) lower crust. The resulting geometry suggests underplating of the African crust respect to the European crust (?). The already deformed crustal edifice is dissected by a number of N-dipping normal faults that open extensional basins and are associ- ated with crustal thinning. The Plio-Pleistocene fill of the Cefal basin can be subdi- vided into three subunits by well-developed unconformities. The stratal pattern of the lower subunit (Early Pliocene?) points out thrust-top basin. The intermediate subunit (Middle-Late Pliocene?) shows a wide sedimentary lateral accretion with syntectonic growth geometries. Upper Pliocene layers are overlain by well-stratified sediments of supposedly Pleistocene to Recent age, which drape and smooth underlying features (Pepe et al., 2000). Crustal thinning is (2 in the Cefal basin and reach (3.54 north of Sisifo volcano, where crustal separation occurs and oceanic crust emplaced (Marsili 1 basin). In this area the Moho is located at (8 s/TWT, corresponding to 10-km depth. References Catalano R., Franchino A., Merlini S. e Sulli A., 2000. Mem. Soc. Geol. It., 55, 5-16. Pepe F., Bertotti G., Cella F. Marsella E., 2000. Tectonics, 19, 241-257. Scarascia S., Lozej A. Cassinis R., 1994. Boll. Geof. Teor. Appl., 36 (141-144), 5-19. 2

  1. GIS-based seismic shaking slope vulnerability map of Sicily (Central Mediterranean)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nigro, Fabrizio; Arisco, Giuseppe; Perricone, Marcella; Renda, Pietro; Favara, Rocco

    2010-05-01

    Earthquakes often represent very dangerouses natural events in terms of human life and economic losses and their damage effects are amplified by the synchronous occurrence of seismically-induced ground-shaking failures in wide regions around the seismogenic source. In fact, the shaking associated with big earthquakes triggers extensive landsliding, sometimes at distances of more than 100 km from the epicenter. The active tectonics and the geomorphic/morphodinamic pattern of the regions affected by earthquakes contribute to the slopes instability tendency. In fact, earthquake-induced groun-motion loading determines inertial forces activation within slopes that, combined with the intrinsic pre-existing static forces, reduces the slope stability towards its failure. Basically, under zero-shear stress reversals conditions, a catastrophic failure will take place if the earthquake-induced shear displacement exceeds the critical level of undrained shear strength to a value equal to the gravitational shear stress. However, seismic stability analyses carried out for various infinite slopes by using the existing Newmark-like methods reveal that estimated permanent displacements smaller than the critical value should also be regarded as dangerous for the post-earthquake slope safety, in terms of human activities use. Earthquake-induced (often high-speed) landslides are among the most destructive phenomena related to slopes failure during earthquakes. In fact, damage from earthquake-induced landslides (and other ground-failures), sometimes exceeds the buildings/infrastructures damage directly related to ground-shaking for fault breaking. For this matter, several hearthquakes-related slope failures methods have been developed, for the evaluation of the combined hazard types represented by seismically ground-motion landslides. The methodologies of analysis of the engineering seismic risk related to the slopes instability processes is often achieved through the evaluation of the permanent displacement potentially induced by an seismic scenario. Such methodologies found on the consideration that the conditions of seismic stability and the post-seismic functionality of engineering structures are tightly related to the entity of the permanent deformations that an earthquake can induce. Regarding the existing simplified procedures among slope stability models, Newmark's model is often used to derive indications about slope instabilities due to earthquakes. In this way, we have evaluated the seismically-induced landslides hazard in Sicily (Central Mediterranean) using the Newmark-like model. In order to determine the map distribution of the seismic ground-acceleration from an earthquake scenario, the attenuation-law of Sabetta & Pugliese has been used, analyzing some seismic recordings occurred in Italy. Also, by evaluating permanent displacements, the correlation of Ambraseys & Menu has been assumed. The seismic shaking slope vulnerability map of Sicily has been carried out using GIS application, also considering max seismic ground-acceleration peak distribution (in terms of exceedance probability for fixed time), slope acclivity, cohesion/angle of internal friction of outcropping rocks, allowing the zoning of the unstable slopes under seismic forces.

  2. Gela submarine slide: gigantic basin-wide event in the Plio-Quaternary foredeep of Sicily

    SciTech Connect

    Argnani, A.; Trincardi, F.

    1988-08-01

    The Gela basin is a Pliocene-Quaternary foredeep basin located at the front of the Maghrebian fold-thrust belt of Sicily, filled with 2,500 m-thick shallowing-upward marine sediments. An important contribution to the basin fill comes from a huge, basin-wide submarine slide which extends for 3,500 km/sup 2/ and thickens as much as 450 m; the estimated sediment volume involved in the slide is close to 1,000 km/sup 3/. The authors investigation used more than 3,000 km of multichannel and single-channel seismic reflection profiles. The slide depositional geometries and facies relationships have been reconstructed from seismic interpretation to provide insight into transport and emplacement mechanisms. Apparently, the slide was not simply deposited via mass transfer from the slope into the basin. Indeed, the bulk of the slide is composed of basin sediments plastically deformed under the gravitational force driven by the correspondent slope sediments. Such a deformation occurred above an extremely effective decollement surface which controlled the slide distribution throughout the basin. More localized decollement planes are, however, present within the slide body and contributed to its complex deformation. The slide can thus be considered the result of a generalized gravitational collapse which affected the sediments lying above a peculiar decollement horizon. A general uplift characterized the late Quaternary evolution of the area, and volcanic activity was quite widespread and documented in the historical record. A punctuated episode of energy release (volcanic related ), superimposed to the uplift trend, may have triggered the slide in conjunction with potentially easy detachment of a decollement.

  3. Correlation of welded ignimbrites on Pantelleria (Strait of Sicily) using paleomagnetism

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Speranza, Fabio; di Chiara, Anita; Rotolo, Silvio G.

    2012-03-01

    Although the oldest volcanic rocks exposed at Pantelleria (Strait of Sicily) are older than 300 ka, most of the island is covered by the 45-50 ka Green Tuff ignimbrite, thought to be related to the Cinque Denti caldera, and younger lavas and scoria cones. Pre-50 ka rocks (predominantly rheomorphic ignimbrites) are exposed at isolated sea cliffs, and their stratigraphy and chronology are not completely resolved. Based on volcanic stratigraphy and K/Ar dating, it has been proposed that the older La Vecchia caldera is related to ignimbrite Q (114 ka), and that ignimbrites F, D, and Z (106, 94, and 79 ka, respectively) were erupted after caldera formation. We report here the paleomagnetic directions obtained from 23 sites in ignimbrite P (133 ka) and four younger ignimbrites, and from an uncorrelated (and loosely dated) welded lithic breccia thought to record a caldera-forming eruption. The paleosecular variation of the geomagnetic field recorded by ignimbrites is used as correlative tool, with an estimated time resolution in the order of 100 years. We find that ignimbrites D and Z correspond, in good agreement with recent Ar/Ar ages constraining the D/Z eruption to 87 ka. The welded lithic breccia correlates with a thinner breccia lying just below ignimbrite P at another locality, implying that collapse of the La Vecchia caldera took place at ~130-160 ka. This caldera was subsequently buried by ignimbrites P, Q, F, and D/Z. Paleomagnetic data also show that the northern caldera margin underwent a ~10° west-northwest (outwards) tilting after emplacement of ignimbrite P, possibly recording magma resurgence in the crust.

  4. A continuous palaeosecular variation record of the last four millennia from the Augusta Bay (Sicily, Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sagnotti, Leonardo; Smedile, Alessandra; de Martini, Paolo Marco; Pantosti, Daniela; Speranza, Fabio; Winkler, Aldo; Del Carlo, Paola; Bellucci, Luca Giorgio; Gasperini, Luca

    2011-01-01

    We present a high-resolution palaeomagnetic and rock magnetic study of two cores, MS06 and MS06-SW (6.7 and 1.1 m long, respectively), collected at 72 m below sea level in the Augusta Bay shelf (Eastern Sicily, Ionian Sea, Italy) about 2.3 km from the coastline. Geophysical surveying carried out in the sampling area highlighted the presence of a homogeneous sedimentary sequence that most likely was deposited after the Last Glacial Maximum and was not affected by anthropogenic disturbances. The two cores penetrated a monotonous mud sedimentary sequence, interrupted at 3 m depth by a 3-4-cm-thick volcanic sandy layer that is correlated with the tephra fallout deposit produced by the 122 BC plinian eruption of Mt Etna. This tephra, along with radiocarbon dating of nine marine shells and with radioactive tracers for the uppermost 0.3 m (210Pb and 137Cs), provide the chronological constraints for the stratigraphic sequence that resulted younger than 4500 yr BP. Palaeomagnetic and rock magnetic data show that the sample sequence is magnetically homogeneous. A single peak of high magnetic mineral concentration is present and corresponds to the volcanic sandy layer. Palaeomagnetic data allowed the identification of a well-defined characteristic remanent magnetization that provides a high-resolution record of palaeosecular variation (PSV) at the sampling site. The reconstructed PSV curve is in good agreement with the available regional reference PSV curves and with the prediction from recent PSV modelling for Europe. The palaeomagnetic data obtained in this study on the one hand support and refine the age model for the cores, derived from other independent constraints, and on the other hand provide an original high-resolution PSV curve that can serve as a reference for the central Mediterranean over the last 4 ka.

  5. Geomorphological, chemical and physical study of calanchi landforms in NW Sicily (southern Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pulice, Iolanda; Cappadonia, Chiara; Scarciglia, Fabio; Robustelli, Gaetano; Conoscenti, Christian; De Rose, Rossella; Rotigliano, Edoardo; Agnesi, Valerio

    2012-06-01

    This work deals with an integrated geomorphological and chemical-physical study of calanchi landforms in two sites (Ottosalme and Catalfimo) of NW Sicily (southern Italy), developed on dominant silty-clay deposits. The calanchi fronts are characterized by different morphological features and dominant geomorphic processes. Sharp knife-edged ridges and concentrated water runoff dominate at Ottosalme, and smoother landforms affected by mass movements (mud flows and translational slides) prevail at Catalfimo. We focused on some geochemical and physical parameters such as pH, total dissolved salts, sodium adsorption ratio (SAR), porosity, plastic and liquid limits as possible causes of the above differences, with special emphasis on their role in discriminating the behavior of peculiar microforms, such as a weathered outer crust and the corresponding inner massive portion (unweathered substrate). Our results show that the main chemical-physical features of calanchi morphologies and microforms often display no clear correlations with respect to those reported in the existing literature, pointing to a higher complexity of patterns and behaviors. In particular, all samples consist of dispersive material (SAR values > 10), but a more plastic and liquid behavior at Catalfimo can explain a higher occurrence of landslides and smoother morphology than at Ottosalme. Higher SAR values at Ottosalme well explain the dominance of concentrated water erosion. The chemical behavior of the studied microforms is better described by pH being alkaline with higher values in the inner substrate than the outer crust, and appears to minimize the effects of all other parameters and their responses to other external controlling factors. Lower SAR values in the crust suggest that clay dispersivity is not the prominent factor controlling its surface detachment and mobility downslope, which is more likely promoted by its higher porosity and consequent water absorption than the inner portion, with changes in the saturation state, shear strength and water pressure.

  6. Trace elements in scalp hair of children living in differing environmental contexts in Sicily (Italy).

    PubMed

    Dongarr, G; Varrica, D; Tamburo, E; D'Andrea, D

    2012-09-01

    We present here data about trace elements in human scalp hair samples to test whether they are valuable to reflect environmental exposure and contamination by trace elements. The study compares contents of trace elements in scalp hair from a total of 336 children, aged 11-13 years old, living in various geographical areas of Sicily (southern Italy) characterized by differing environmental conditions. Nineteen elements (Al, As, Ba, Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Li, Mn, Mo, Ni, Pb, Rb, Sb, Se, Sr, U, V and Zn) were determined by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). Coverage intervals (CI) formulated by the elemental composition of hair samples from the Palermo subjects were compared with the median content of hair from children living in the other study areas. Statistical analysis showed that Al, Ba, Sr and Zn concentrations differed significantly between gender, higher concentrations being observed in girls' hair. Children living close to the volcanic area had higher concentrations of As, Cr, Mn, Ni, Rb, Sb, U, V and Zn. Those living in an area with several old quarries had higher levels of Al, As, Pb, Rb and U. The hair of children living near the Pace del Mela industrial area contained higher levels of As, Ba, Mn, Pb, Rb, Sr and U. Linear discriminant analysis (LDA) between Palermo and the other sites allowed to better assess which variables contribute towards differentiating the groups. Our observations suggest that human hair can be used to monitor exposure to several metals, provided that sampling and analytical procedures, together with statistical treatment of data, are carried out according to standardized protocols. PMID:22522426

  7. 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 cases a remarkable tool for the investigation of the cause-effect relationships, as already performed in other areas of Italy.

  8. A multidisciplinary approach to the evaluation of the mechanism that triggered the Cerda landslide (Sicily, Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Agnesi, Valerio; Camarda, Marco; Conoscenti, Christian; Di Maggio, Cipriano; Serena Diliberto, Iole; Madonia, Paolo; Rotigliano, Edoardo

    2005-02-01

    The present paper describes a multidisciplinary approach to the evaluation of a seismically triggered landslide that occurred in the Cerda area (Italy) on September 6, 2002, about 1 h after an earthquake took place in the south Tyrrhenian Sea. The study was focused on an analysis of the role of the seismic input in triggering the landslide, in view of the evidence that no other mass movement was recorded in the adjacent areas despite geological and geomorphological spatial homogeneity. The studied area is located on a slope of the western flank of the Fiume Imera Settentrionale (Northern Sicily), which is made up of clayey-arenitic rocks. The slope inclines gently but is not uniform due to fluvial, gravitative, and rainwash processes. Field data dealing with global positioning system (GPS), geology, geomorphology, geophysics (vertical electrical sounding, or VES), and geochemistry (soil gas fluxes and composition) were acquired and analysed in order to investigate the cause-effect relationships between the earthquake and the mass movement. The GPS survey allowed us to map the ground failures that have also been classified on the basis of their kinematical meaning (i.e., compressive, distensive, or transcurrent structures). The geological analysis revealed outcropping rocks and tectonic structures. The geomorphologic survey highlighted the presence of preexisting landslide bodies. The geophysical survey detected a buried surface located at a depth of about 100 m . Finally, the geochemical survey showed that the gas released from the displaced mass came from a shallow depth and was not related to any active fault system. The abovementioned information allowed us to interpret the landslide event as a partial reactivation of a preexisting landslide body that was triggered by the earthquake.

  9. Constraining sediment supply controls on stratigraphy: Case studies from Sicily, Calabria and Abruzzo, Italy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Whittaker, A. C.; Erhardt, S.; Duller, R. A.; Armitage, J. J.; Allen, P. A.

    2012-12-01

    The magnitude, locus and characteristics of sediment export from catchments to basins play a fundamental role in controlling depositional stratigraphy. A predictive understanding of this process therefore requires (i) data illustrating the characteristics of sediment delivery within catchments; (ii) constraints on how this supply signal evolves down-system and (iii) knowledge of how this signal is "sampled" in the geological record. First we present detailed data on the distribution and magnitude of grain size export from > 40 tectonically-perturbed catchments across Sicily, Calabria and Abruzzo, where we have excellent constraints on tectonic uplift rates, lithology and hydraulic geometry. We demonstrate that for catchments in topographic steady-state, grain size release is strongly controlled by rock type, but is insensitive to local uplift rates that are < 1 mm/yr. In contrast, for catchments responding transiently to tectonics, sediment release is strongly controlled by the degree of tectonic perturbation. We derive estimates of the volume and grain size distribution of sediment exported to the straits of Messina as a whole, and we use terrace data to show there has been little change to this signal in the last 200 kyr. Second, we investigate how sediment supply variables control stratigraphy using a self-similarity depositional model based on dimensionless relative mobility functions of fluvial gravel. This approach offers a powerful way to explore the key controls on stratigraphic fining rates and demonstrates that the spread and magnitude of grain size release plays a crucial role in determining stratigraphy in the proximal hanging-wall basins of normal faults.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. Development and natural infilling of a gully under cropland in Sicily

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    La Spada, Carmelo; Capra, Antonina

    2015-04-01

    Gullies are relatively permanent, steep-sided water courses that experience ephemeral flows during rainstorms. Gully erosion causes great damage both in-site and off-site. Several studies discuss gully extension rates in different environments as well as under laboratory conditions, but there is limited information on medium-long term gully evolution. In this study, the medium-term evolution of a gully developed in a cultivated area on silty-clay-loam soil in central Sicily (Italy) from almost 20 years was studied over 11 years (from 2004 to 2014). During the examined period the gully evolved naturally as the farmer has not adopted any artificial measure, such as gully filling activities, to control gully erosion and continued the same agricultural management practice. The observations are based on high-altitude aerial photographs in combination with ground measurements.The channel size evolved over time. In particular, the gully length decreased of 31.7%, while the average width increased by 17.6% in the central and upstream part, and decreased in the valley segment. The reduction of the length occurred gradually during the observation period and was due to the natural infilling in the downstream area of the field where the gradient is less. The average infilling rate was of 3.43 m year-1.The gully width decreased between 2004 and 2005, increased slightly in 2006 and, therefore, showed a significant increase after 2010. The channel size evolution was mainly due to the rainfall characteristics of the different years. During the first years when the gully was highly active, no vegetation was observed in the channel floor. A dense vegetation, consisting mainly of herbaceous plants, was instead observed in recent years. The results, on the whole, show how the gully can be naturally filled if the soil management system and precipitation regime are invariant. According to field observations in the same area, in the future, the entire gully can be completely filled.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. Hybrid origins of honeybees from italy (Apis mellifera ligustica) and sicily (A. m. sicula).

    PubMed

    Franck, P; Garnery, L; Celebrano, G; Solignac, M; Cornuet, J M

    2000-07-01

    The genetic variability of honeybee populations Apis mellifera ligustica, in continental Italy, and of A. m. sicula, in Sicily, was investigated using nuclear (microsatellite) and mitochondrial markers. Six populations (236 individual bees) and 17 populations (664 colonies) were, respectively, analysed using eight microsatellite loci and DraI restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) of the cytochrome oxidase I (COI)-cytochrome oxidase II (COII) region. Microsatellite loci globally confirmed the southeastern European heritage of both subspecies (evolutionary branch C). However, A. m. ligustica mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) appeared to be a composite of the two European (M and C) lineages over most of the Italian peninsula, and only mitotypes from the African (A) lineage were found in A. m. sicula samples. This demonstrates a hybrid origin for both subspecies. For A. m. ligustica, the most widely exported subspecies, this hybrid origin has long been obscured by the fact that in the main area of queen production (from which most of the previous ligustica bee samples originated) the M mitochondrial lineage is absent, whereas it is present almost everywhere else in Italy. This presents a new view of the evolutionary history of European honeybees. For instance, the Iberian peninsula was considered as the unique refuge for the M branch during the quaternary ice periods. Our results show that the Apennine peninsula played a similar role. The differential distribution of nuclear and mitochondrial markers observed in Italy seems to be a general feature of introgressed honeybee populations. Presumably, it stems from the social nature of the species in which both genome compartments are differentially affected by the two (individual and colonial) reproduction levels. PMID:10886654

  18. 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 detachments occurred with further forward transport, which generated repeated slices with an apparent increase to the original thickness. . The Alpine Tethydes are composed of sedimentary sequences, which were deposited in the Alpine Tethys, and originally were located between the European and the Panormide/Apenninic Block. They are represented by allochthonous far travelled tectonic units, resting on both the Panormide/Apenninic Platforms and the Ionides. The Calabride Chain originated by the delamination of the European margin. This roof thrust system includes nappes of Hercynian basement with remains of the original Meso-Cenozoic covers deformed during the Paleogene and sutured by the Late Oligocene-Early Burdigalian Capo d'Orlando Flysch. The geological, geophysical data and the volcanological characters permit to restore the palaeogeography and the geodynamic evolution, and allow to recognize three orogenic stages: the Eo-Alpine, originated during Cretaceous-Eocene times, evident in the western Calabria, in the Tyrrhenian basin and the Alpine Corsica; the Balearic stage (Late Oligocene-Early Miocene), in which the Corsica-Sardinia block rotated and collided with the Adria-Africa margins with thrusting of the Alpine Tethydes over Panormide/Apenninic platforms; and the Tyrrhenian stage (Middle Miocene to Present), when the onset of the Tyrrhenian back-arc basin occurred and after the closure of the interposed Palaeoionian branches the Ionides were tectonically transported onto the foreland blocks. The CROP crustal sections allow to distinguish thickness and distribution of the crusts in this area of the Mediterranean Sea, and their clear influence on geodynamic evolution of the Tyrrhenian stage. They confirm that both the foreland blocks extend below the orogenic belt, reaching the Tyrrhenian margins, with a gradual thinning and a transition to a Palaeo-Ionian slab, probably not active at present time, from which the Ionides detached and overrode the ETS. The seismogeological data indicate the presence of the Panormide/Apenninic blocks, that took part in the closure of the branches of the Palaeo-Ionian Sea interposed between the Panormide/Apenninic crust and the Pelagian/Apulian Blocks. At the present time the Panormide/Apenninic blocks are colliding with the foreland blocks. Such a collisional stage along the Tyrrhenian coast of north-western Sicily and the contemporaneous active subduction processes below the Calabrian Arc produce the NW-SE oriented South Tyrrhenian System. This system drives the transfer of the orogenic front towards areas characterized by still subducting oceanic crust of the Ionian sector. In particular it consists of predominantly NW-SE oriented right lateral faults system with antithetical NE-SW and coeval associated N-S normal faults and south-verging thrusts. All these structures are compatible with an unique cinematic framework dominated by transcurrent tectonics. Geological mapping carried out in the on-shore areas of Sicily, integrated with stratigraphical and structural analysis, permit to recognize some main structures in connection with the geodynamic evolution of the Tyrrhenian stage and allow to propose an updated structural model of this area.

  19. 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

  20. Seasonal circulation and mass flux estimates in the western Sicily Strait derived from a variational inverse section model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ferjani, Dhouha; Gana, Slim

    2010-10-01

    Seasonal hydrographic conductivity-temperature-depth surveys and moored current meter measurements have been analysed using an inverse approach in order to highlight the main features of the circulation in the western Sicily Strait during 2003. The variational inverse section model combines different types of constraints to seek for a continuous flow field satisfying data and physical assumptions within prescribed prior error bars. It is based on a finite element discretization that allows an appropriate resolution of very irregular topography. The corresponding results, consistent with data and dynamics, are providing new insight into the circulation of the surface and intermediate layers in conjunction with transport and formal error estimates during five hydrographic cruises. In the upper layer, these insights include the southward Atlantic Tunisian Current (ATC) off the Cap Bon Coasts, its high variability at short time-scales and its recirculation during October. For the Levantine Intermediate Water (LIW) regime, a detailed view of the circulation in the western Sicily Strait is given evidencing its recirculation at the western sill during the same period. Transports for both ATC and LIW are computed and found to be maximum in spring and decrease in summer and fall.

  1. 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.

  2. Distribution and causes of landslides in the eastern Peloritani of NE Sicily and western Aspromonte of SW Calabria, Italy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Goswami, Rajasmita; Mitchell, Neil C.; Brocklehurst, Simon H.

    2011-09-01

    The Peloritani and Aspromonte areas are tectonically active mountainous regions of NE Sicily and SW Calabria, respectively, where landslides are the most common hillslope mass-wasting process. This study aims to elucidate the primary controls on the distribution and size of landslides in these two different landscapes. These regions, either side of the Messina Strait, have similar lithologies, but show different morphological characteristics in response to varied neo-tectonic activity and climate. Landslides were identified utilising aerial photographs and Landsat images. Frequency-area statistics were calculated to determine the length-scale of the most frequent interpretable landslides and compare our results with previous studies. The frequency-area power-law exponents (1.99 in Peloritani and 1.94 in Aspromonte) fall within the range of values that have been observed (2.0 0.5) in similar landscapes. The Peloritani Ridge, Sicily, has range-parallel normal fault segments with the majority of landslides occurring in their footwalls. There seems to be a strong coupling between tectonic activity and landslides, where slope instability is exacerbated by faulting, fracturing or jointing in otherwise low-permeability gneiss and granite bedrock. Conversely, in Aspromonte, Calabria, landslides are restricted to steep valley walls, and are absent from interfluves. This is because landslides are controlled by fluvial incision processes. These observations confirm a relationship between the spatial distribution of landslides and the processes controlling slope failures.

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

    TOXLINE Toxicology Bibliographic Information

    Vitale M; Scatassa ML; Cardamone C; Oliveri G; Piraino C; Alduina R; Napoli C

    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.

  4. 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 8.30.2 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 Protection of Italy and the National Institute for Geophysics and Vulcanology (INGV). New tentative seismic rules based on displacements are the goals of that project (S5, coordinated by E. Faccioli and A. Rovelli). In the present paper, three linear sources were assumed, to accommodate all the area's guessed inland sources, those of 1693 included. The Montecarlo technique was applied to the eleven source parametres of the KF formula, with the purpose of accounting for the large seismotectonic uncertainties we had. In so doing, 33,280 sources were obtained, allowing us to calculate the mean plus-one-standard-deviation scenarios (in seismic intensity and in horizontal displacement). Our mean scenario reaches 40-50 cm (80-90 cm summing one standard deviation), which, as expected, is more than the maximum provisional PSHA values for the 475-year return period (S5 Project, Faccioli 2007); consider that the return period of an earthquake like that in 1693 is unknown, but it could be of the order of thousands of years. The comparison with the damage in 1693 showed that our provisional result is still not cautious enough, however. It is hypothesized that this is due to the asymmetric distribution of the calculated values in each site also because of the presence of the XII intensity upper bound. In Acapulco, we plan to show the parametric scenario obtained using the median values too.

  5. 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

  6. 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 the conclusions it was necessary in addition to analyze and visualize in a systematic way the direction of collapse of the temples. This work provided new information for an archaeological identification of the two seismic events, as well as making an important contribution from the seismic point of view, namely data on the direction of collapse and the general relationship of these data to the whole Selinunte site. These results now make it possible to engage on new paleoseismic research into the location of the faults involved, and engineering research to construct a model of the response of the temples to a seismic event, and calculate an possible acceleration value.

  7. 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, etc. The parameters tested were geo-referenced and spatially interpolated to show the variability along the slopes of the landscape, especially in the undisturbed and deposit areas generated by the ephemeral gully erosion. The results showed that the channelized erosion influences the fertility of the soil even at level of a single cultivated field; therefore, the soil production could be compromised in the long term.

  8. Hp-ht Measurements of Electrical Conductivity In Basaltic Rocks From Mt. Etna (sicily, Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scarlato, P.; Poe, B.; Freda, C.; Gaeta, M.

    The monitoring of seismic activity in Sicily has been recently improved to investigate both tectonics and volcanic processes of Mt. Etna. Nevertheless the deep structure of the volcano has still not been univocally defined. In order to compare and support geophysical data we investigated the physical properties of Etnean rocks performing experiments using a multi-anvil apparatus. In particular we measured the electrical conductivity of a primitive basalt, whose composition can be considered close to that of the parent magma, and of an ultramafic nodule representative of the high density cumulates interpreted as responsible of the main high-velocity anomaly observed be- neath the volcano. The electrical conductivity of the two samples were measured in situ at pressures of 900 and 1500 MPa, temperatures ranging from 400 to 900 C (sub- solidus) and frequencies ranging from 0.1 to 100000 Hz. In order to investigate the electrical properties of the Etnean products as a function of partial melting, a few ex- periments were performed in the piston cylinder apparatus prior to the electrical mea- surements (in the multianvil). The obtained data were approximated using an equiva- lent circuit fitting technique. Preliminary interpretation of impedance spectra indicates that the conductivity of basalt behaves Arrheniusly over the entire temperature range investigated, with an activation energy estimated to be on the order of less than 1 eV. We confirmed that the conductivity is pressure independent between 900 and 1500 MPa. On the contrary, experiments performed using a partially molten sample indi- cate that the conductivity significantly depends on the quantity of glass. In particular, the conductivity of the sample with minor amounts of glass is comparable to that of the crystalline basalt. However, when the amount of partial melt is increased significantly, the conductivity of the sample increases by a factor of five. The ultramafic nodule was observed to have a conductivity higher than basalt (e.g., at 800 C and 900 MPa a factor of four higher). However, scatter in the data is somewhat higher in comparison to the basaltic samples. We assume that this could be due to the coarse texture of the samples and by consequence to their chemical and structural heterogeneity.

  9. 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-Mel, 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 of a strong thermohaline stratification of the water column and to oxygen-depleted bottom waters. Higher terrestrial input that occurred between 3.1 and 2.8 Ma may interestingly explain the large discrepancies observed between TEX86 and UK?37-LDI temperature values during this period. The second series of sapropels (A), deposited between 2.7 and 2.6 Ma, is more likely due to enhanced primary productivity in a weakly-stratified water column.

  10. Risk of classic Kaposi sarcoma with exposures to plants and soils in Sicily

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Ecologic and in vitro studies suggest that exposures to plants or soil may influence risk of Kaposi sarcoma (KS). Methods In a population-based study of Sicily, we analyzed data on contact with 20 plants and residential exposure to 17 soils reported by 122 classic KS cases and 840 sex- and age-matched controls. With 88 KS-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) seropositive controls as the referent group, novel correlates of KS risk were sought, along with factors distinguishing seronegatives, in multinomial logistic regression models that included matching variables and known KS cofactors - smoking, cortisone use, and diabetes history. All plants were summed for cumulative exposure. Factor and cluster analyses were used to obtain scores and groups, respectively. Individual plants and soils in three levels of exposure with Ptrend ? 0.15 were retained in a backward elimination regression model. Results Adjusted for known cofactors, KS was not related to cumulative exposures to 20 plants [per quartile adjusted odds ratio (ORadj) 0.96, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.73 - 1.25, Ptrend = 0.87], nor was it related to any factor scores or cluster of plants (P = 0.11 to 0.81). In the elimination regression model, KS risk was associated with five plants (Ptrend = 0.02 to 0.10) and with residential exposure to six soils (Ptrend = 0.01 to 0.13), including three soils (eutric regosol, chromic/pellic vertisol) used to cultivate durum wheat. None of the KS-associated plants and only one soil was also associated with KSHV serostatus. Diabetes was associated with KSHV seronegativity (ORadj 4.69, 95% CI 1.97 - 11.17), but the plant and soil associations had little effect on previous findings that KS risk was elevated for diabetics (ORadj 7.47, 95% CI 3.04 - 18.35) and lower for current and former smokers (ORadj 0.26 and 0.47, respectively, Ptrend = 0.05). Conclusions KS risk was associated with exposure to a few plants and soils, but these may merely be due to chance. Study of the effects of durum wheat, which was previously associated with cKS, may be warranted. PMID:21126363

  11. 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 of instrumental and historical seismicity, focal mechanisms solutions, multidisciplinary stress indicators, GPS-based ground deformation field, mapped faults, etc by merging data from on-line catalogues with those reported in literature. Finally, for each individual site, we analysed: i) long-term statistic behaviour of instrumental seismicity (magnitude of completeness, seismic release above a threshold magnitude, depth distribution, focal plane solutions); ii) long-term statistic behaviour of historical seismicity (maximum magnitude estimation, recurrence time interval, etc); iii) properties and orientation of faults (length, estimated geological slip, kinematics, etc); iv) regional stress (from borehole, seismological and geological observations) and strain (from GPS-based observations) fields.

  12. 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, playing, in particular environments, a significant role in defining the biogeochemical cycle of the nutrient. With the use of FT-IR spectroscopy the humic acids separated from the organic material present in the "protosoil" and from the moss have been characterized. Limited differences were detected compared to humic acids commonly found in soils. In particular, different is the quantitative contribution of the functional groups that characterize the molecular organization of carbohydrates, organic acids and nitrogen constituents.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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?g/g) than those from the other sites. In the Sicily Channel, we found the highest bioaccumulation of mercury (0.31?g/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

  17. Nucleation, development and petrophysical properties of faults in carbonate grainstones: Evidence from the San Vito Lo Capo peninsula (Sicily, Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tondi, Emanuele

    2007-04-01

    Detailed field mapping and microstructural and textural analyses carried out in Lower Pleistocene grainstones in the San Vito Lo Capo peninsula (in north-western Sicily) revealed document failure modes and fault development in porous carbonate grainstones. Individual compactive shear bands represent the simplest fundamental shear structures, while pressure solution processes commonly localize within previously developed compactive shear bands. In the Lower-Pleistocene carbonate grainstones of San Vito Lo Capo peninsula, composed of eroded carbonate and marl fragments, pressure solution processes localize mostly grain-to-grain, leading to the formation of zones of weakness which facilitate slip and significant displacement. The transition from one deformation process to another is likely controlled by changing material properties and anisotropy within the bands. Finally, laboratory analyses of representative fault rock samples show that the structures described above have sealing capacity with respect to the host rock, and may compartmentalize any geofluid reservoir.

  18. 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.

  19. Geomorphology of the NE Sicily continental shelf controlled by tidal currents, canyon head incision and river-derived sediments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gamberi, Fabiano; Rovere, Marzia; Mercorella, Alessandra; Leidi, Elisa; Dalla Valle, Giacomo

    2014-07-01

    The NE Sicily continental shelf, imaged by multibeam bathymetry data and CHIRP/sparker seismic profiles, is less than 5 km-wide, and is located in a tectonically active margin characterized by strong regional uplift rates. In this paper, we show how variations of geomorphic elements in the study area are tied to spatial and temporal changes in the driving forces that control the seafloor processes. This study demonstrates that the geomorphology of continental shelves can vary over very short spatial scales depending on the uneven distribution of sediment supply from rivers and sediment transfer both across and along the shelf by oceanographic currents. In the northeastern part, three sandwave fields were mapped in the highstand sediment wedge that, due to the small size of rivers, is restricted to the inner shelf. The sandwave fields are found in proximity of the Messina Straits, a shallow water sill with strong tidal currents between the Tyrrhenian and the Ionian Seas. The bedform fields have sandwaves of variable shape, wavelength and orientation, reflecting along-shelf variations of tidal current strength and sediment grain size distribution. In the southwestern shelf, rivers are larger and form deltas that shape a considerable part of the shelf, often having their distal, still channelized delta front at the shelf edge. In some cases, deltas are built close to the heads of canyons and a large volume of the river-borne sediments is directly fed to the deep sea through delta front terminal distributary channels. Where rivers are small, the outer shelf lacks recent river borne sediment and presents a relict morphology consisting of submerged coastal systems formed during previous sea-level lowstands. The tectonics of the study area mainly consist of structures that have a NNE-SSW trend similar to the extensional faults responsible for the Siculo-Calabrian Rift Zone in the nearby emerged areas. Our study extends the area affected by the regional deformation belt into the NE Sicily offshore.

  20. The calibration of the Tsunami Early Detection Algorithm TEDA for the coastal tide-gauge of Siracusa, Sicily.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bressan, Lidia; Tinti, Stefano; Pagnoni, Gianluca

    2014-05-01

    In the frame of the FP-7 European project ASTARTE, which aims to improve the knowledge on the tsunami risk and to enhance the tsunami resilience for the European, North Atlantic and Mediterranean coasts, one of the tasks of the University of Bologna focuses on the study of the tsunami hazard, risk, impact and impact mitigation for the test site of Siracusa, in Sicily. This study includes the study for the calibration of a tsunami early detection algorithm (TEDA), developed by the University of Bologna, for the coastal tide-gauge station of Siracusa, Targia. The tide-gauge of Siracusa, together with the stations of Catania and Tremestieri (Messina), is part of the TSUNET network, which is a set of monitoring stations installed in order to measure and detect tsunamis in eastern Sicily. The calibration is a process that combines the study of the performance of the algorithm with the study of the background signal, which is considered the normal sea-level signal without tsunami or hazardous long-period waves, and of the possible tsunami signals that might hit the station: in this case the tsunami signals are taken by synthetic tsunami simulations from a tsunami hazard study for the town of Siracusa. The main purpose of the calibration is to optimize the efficiency of TEDA to detect tsunamis by selecting the most appropriate parameter configuration. Different tests of TEDA are carried out with different parameter settings both against the background signal and against tsunami signals. The best setting is the one that leads to the best performance, i.e. detects the highest number of tsunami events in the shortest time, and that avoids false detection in normal conditions. The results for the calibration of Siracusa are evaluated and compared with those of Catania and Tremestieri (Messina). As expected, the background sea-level presents stability over a year time period, with seasonal variability, and TEDA functions for Siracusa present similar statistical characteristics as for Catania and Messina Tremestieri.

  1. Review of historical earthquakes and survey of active faults in the San Leonardello Graben area, Mt. Etna (Sicily)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carveni, Pietro; Benfatto, Santo; Imposa, Sebastiano; Maniscalco, Rosanna; Puntillo, Maria Salleo; Sturiale, Giovanni

    2011-01-01

    Mount Etna is the largest active volcano in Europe, grown by accumulation of lavas and pyroclastics erupted by numerous vents during the last 180 kyr. It is located along the Ionian coast of Sicily, on the margin of two main structural domains: the Apennine-Maghrebian Chain to the north and the Hyblaean Foreland to the south. While eastern Sicily is characterized by a general uplift, the sector bounded by the North-East Rift and the Pernicana Fault northward, and by the Montagnola-Aci Castello Fault System toward SW is lowering; three more fault systems are active in the eastern sector of Etna: i) the Giardini-Mascali Fault System (NE-SW and NNE-SSW trends); ii) the Ripa della Naca-Piedimonte Fault System (NE-SW trend); iii) the Timpe Fault System (NNW-SSE trend). In historical times, the Giardini-Mascali Fault System was active only in 1847, while the Ripa della Naca-Piedimonte Fault System was active before and during the 1865, 1928 and 1971 eruptions. Several earthquakes have occurred along the Timpe Fault System from 1805 to present. The analysis of seismological data and volcanic activity shows that the Timpe Fault System is the most active of the eastern flank of Etna. The most important faults of this system are the Moscarello, San Leonardello and Macchia-Stazzo Faults forming the San Leonardello Graben. Shallow earthquakes occur along these faults, frequently causing surface fractures. In this paper we analyze historical records of earthquakes stronger than VII degree EMS-98. Macroseismic data are available since 1805. The epicenters are located along the northernmost segment of the faults. Along these faults offsets are mainly vertical with the maximum value of 80 cm recorded along the Moscarello Fault after the 1911 Fondo Macchia Earthquake.

  2. 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.

  3. 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 shows a tendency to concentrate along the NE and S rifts, as well as Valle del Bove, increasing the difference in probability between these areas and the rest of the volcano edifice. It is worthy notice that a higher significance is still evident along the W rift, even if not comparable with the ones of the above mentioned areas. References Marzocchi W., Sandri L., Gasparini P., Newhall C. and Boschi E.; 2004: Quantifying probabilities of volcanic events: The example of volcanic hazard at Mount Vesuvius, J. Geophys. Res., 109, B11201, doi:10.1029/2004JB00315U. Marzocchi W., Sandri, L. and Selva, J.; 2008: BET_EF: a probabilistic tool for long- and short-term eruption forecasting, Bull. Volcanol., 70, 623 - 632, doi: 10.1007/s00445-007-0157-y. Selva J., Orsi G., Di Vito M.A., Marzocchi W. And Sandri L.; 2012: Probability hazard mapfor future vent opening atthe Campi Flegrei caldera, Italy, Bull. Volcanol., 74, 497 - 510, doi: 10.1007/s00445-011-0528-2.

  4. 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 processes, based on rock laboratory testing data and a detailed reconstruction of the underground cave geometry. At this goal, we took advantage of detailed topographic surveys of the underground quarry, carried out before (year 2000) and after occurrence of one the sinkholes, that opened in July 2011 at the eastern sector of the town of Marsala, causing significant damage to a school. In the implementation of the 3D-model, the geomechanical survey of the calcarenite rock mass was also taken into account, as a required input layer depicting the main discontinuity systems, and their main features (pervasiveness, joint opening and spacing, etc.). Relevant differences between the results from 2-D and 3-D analyses are pointed out in the paper, highlighting the need to perform 3D-modeling in order to define the real instability conditions of the rock mass, and to evaluate the possibility of sinkhole occurrence at the surface.

  5. 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 mainly composed by clay and silty clay, interrupt by a yellow sandy layer (about 8-10 cm thick) at about one meter of depth. Paleontological analyses show that the sandy samples have different macro and microfauna composition with respect to those samples collected above and below characterized by a lagoonal assemblage. The sandy layer, mainly composed by well-rounded yellowish carbonatic clasts, is made of several reworked foraminifera (both planktonic and benthonic), few well preserved littoral benthic foraminifera, marine macro fossil fragments and few lagoonal specimens. The deposit shows similarity with the local beach sand and it also presents a landward thinning. X-Ray analysis performed on some selected cores shows that the sandy layer is characterized by a fining upward granulometry and a sharp basal contact, possibly erosional. Summarizing, we investigated spatial distribution and lithofacies of this peculiar deposit and observed the following properties as typical of high energy deposition event: (1) the deposit covers the surface almost continuously on gentle topography and extend inland for about 1200 meters; (2) its thickness varies across local surface undulation; (3) the foraminiferal assemblage contains several reworked marine planktonic and benthonic specimens with some lagoonal species; (4) the deposit is characterized by erosive basal contact. Moreover, its composition consisting of a single structureless bed of normally graded sand, its thickness decreasing with distance from the sea and its landward limit represent attributes that strongly suggest a tsunami origin. Radiocarbon dating, performed on three samples collected just above, within and below the sandy anomalous layer, gives ages close in time, confirming a sudden deposition due to a high energy event occurred in the interval 270-650 A.D. Comparing this age with the historical tsunami catalogue, we can hypothesize that the sandy layer represents the geological record of the 365 A.D. Crete tsunami.

  6. 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 outcrop perimeter and geometry, needed to construct the model, and then to identify the major faults. The intensity of CSBs and ZBs, was calculated by integrating the distribution laws of the dimensional parameters (Tondi et al., 2012) with the lineament analysis tool of Move. The variation in intensity of deformation was used to guide the modelling of deformed zones, both within the fault zones and in the host rock in order to obtain a DFN reflecting a deformation pattern similar to the natural one. The DFN was then used to model the effect of deformation on the permeability of the host rock. Here, unlike in tight rocks where deformation generally increases permeability, the CSBs and ZBs reduce permeability whilst slip surfaces within the fault cores enhance fault-parallel fluid flow. Thus, by varying the porosity values attributed to CSBs, ZBs and slip surfaces the resulting DFN model was imposed to have a reduced permeability in CSBs and ZBs (relative to the host rock and the slip surfaces). This semi-automated process of lineament analysis followed by the use of power law distributions to model sub-seismic scale CSBs and ZBs is proposed as a potential modelling route for reservoir scale assessment of structural deformation controls on permeability in porous carbonate reservoirs.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

    2015-05-01

    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.

  9. Slide Activity along the eastern slope of the Gela Basin (offshore Sicily): First results from expedition MSM-15/3

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huhn, K.; Strasser, M.; Freudenthal, T.; Foglini, F.; Trincardi, F.; Minisini, D.; Msm15/3 Working Group

    2010-12-01

    Submarine slides occur at all sediment bearing margins worldwide (Camerlenghi et al., 2009; Masson et al., 2006). Although numerous studies have dealt with mapping and monitoring of submarine landslide as well as investigations of trigger mechanisms and sediment failure processes, many open questions persist why a given slope fails whereas adjacent remains stable. Besides large slide events, smaller scaled mid-size slides became recently of particular importance because especially these local slides enable investigation of physical and kinematical processes during failure and to test a wide range of different trigger mechanisms. Hence, during the research expedition MSM15/3 we drilled two distinct landslides in the Gela Basin offshore south of Sicily (Italy) utilizing the MARUM sea floor drill rig (MeBo). These so-called Twin Slides have previously been identified in water depth between 200 - 800m on the basis of side-scan sonar, Chirp seismics, swath bathymetry and shallow core data. Besides, these landslides are described as multiple failures likely controlled by specific stratigraphic surfaces acting as glide planes (Minisini et al., 2007; Minisini and Trincardi, 2009). Nevertheless, failure planes are located in depth inaccessible by conventional coring and we therefore lack groundtruthing of the geophysical data. Therefore, MeBo was deployed to drill e.g. critical subsurface intervals. A systematic MeBo drilling transect from the undisturbed slope apron to the depositional area of these landslide masses recovers up to 55 meter long cores, including the failure planes and stacked mass transport deposits in the proximal and distal areas, respectively. Sedimentological, geochemical, geophysical and geotechnical analysis of these core materials will enable (1) an age dating and estimation of the recurrence rate of mid-sized slide events and (2) a sediment physical characterization to gain a deeper insight into kinematics and physical processes during failure as well as to test a number of hypothesis regarding the trigger mechanisms, such as the weakness of clayey deposits, the liquefaction potential of the interbedded non-cohesive sand and/or ash layers, and the building up of high pore pressures due to high accumulation rates. References Camerlenghi, A., Urgeles, R., Fantoni, L., 2009. A database on submarine landslides of the Mediterranean Sea. In: Submarine Mass Movements and Their Consequences IV, edited by Mosher, DC. Et al., 4th International Symposium on Submarine mass movements and their consequences, Advances in Natural and Technological Hazards Research. Masson, D.G., Harbitz, C.B., Wynn, R.B., Pedersen, G., Lvholt, F., 2006. Submarine landslides: processes, triggers and hazard prediction. Phil. Trans. R. Soc. A 364, 2009-2039. Minisini, D., Trincardi, F., Asioli, A., Canu, M., Foglini, F., (2007). Morphologic variability of exposed mass-transport deposits on the eastern slope of the Gela Basin (Sicily channel). Basin Research, 19, 217-240 Minisini, D., Trincardi, F., (2009). Frequent failure of the continental slope: The Gela Basin (Sicily Channel), Journal of Geophysical Research, Earth Surfac, 114, F03014, 17 PP

  10. 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 ones). For each scenario, this procedure provides traditionally the fields of maximum values of relevant parameters such as the highest sea level, the maximum water particles speed, the maximum run-up and inundation distance, etc as well as synthetic tide gauges in specified locations. In addition, the aggregate fields can be built by picking up the extreme values of the worst-case scenarios in each point of the domain. One of such aggregate field is the field of the largest inundation depth at the coast, also providing the maximum flooding area which is a tool of great relevance for local authorities to implement mitigation actions such as evacuation programs and long-term development plans of the coastal zone.

  11. Quantifying the controls on grain size export from tectonically perturbed catchments: Case studies from Sicily, Calabria and Abruzzo, Italy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Whittaker, A.; Erhardt, S.; Norori-McCormac, A.; Knight, F.

    2012-04-01

    The magnitude, locus and characteristics of sediment export from catchments to neighbouring basins plays a significant role in controlling depositional stratigraphy. Fundamentally, the boundary conditions for sediment release from catchments are set by tectonics and climate, modulated by lithologic, hydrologic and geomorphic controls operating over the relevant time or length scale. A predictive understanding of sediment export to basins therefore requires (i) the integration of data illustrating the characteristics of sediment delivery within catchments and (ii) detailed constraints on how this supply signal evolves down-system, for a wide range of controlling variables. Here we address this challenge. Firstly, we present a detailed data study linking hillslope sediment supply to trunk stream grain size evolution for three catchments with drainage areas > 30 km2 in northern Sicily where tectonic uplift rates are > 1 mm/yr and where lithologies are well-mapped, using both sieved weight fraction and Wolman point count methodologies. We find that sediment input from coarse debris flows, rather than landslides, plays a dominant role in setting channel grain size and that coarse-fraction sediment export from catchments is intimately linked to channel-hillslope geomorphic coupling. Secondly, we present detailed data on grain size export from the outlets of more than 40 tectonically perturbed catchments across Sicily, Calabria and Abruzzo, where we have excellent constraints on tectonic uplift rates, lithology and catchment hydraulic geometry. We demonstrate that for catchments in topographic steady-state, grain size release is strongly controlled by rock type, but is insensitive to drainage area and local uplift rates that are < 1 mm/yr. In contrast, for catchments responding transiently to tectonics, the calibre of sediment release is strongly controlled by the degree of tectonic perturbation. The southern Italian data-sets allow us to provide first order estimates of the volume and grain size distribution of sediment exported to the straits of Messina as a whole, and we use terrace data to show there has been little change to this sediment release signal in the last 200 kyr. Together, these results allow us to evaluate the relative importance of upstream source controls in setting the characteristics of sediment release from tectonically perturbed catchments to basins and provide new data to test the outputs of sediment routing system models.

  12. 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 also can be used as an example for the rehabilitation of other historic structures. The techniques and processes discussed in this paper can be applied to other historic reinforced concrete structures and can be expanded upon in future investigations.

  13. 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 also can be used as an example for the rehabilitation of other historic structures. The techniques and processes discussed in this paper can be applied to other historic reinforced concrete structures and can be expanded upon in future investigations.

  14. Is land-use change a cause of loss of pedodiversity? The case of the Mazzarrone study area, Sicily

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lo Papa, Giuseppe; Palermo, Vanessa; Dazzi, Carmelo

    2011-12-01

    Anthropogenic soils created ex novo by land-use change in large scale farming are, from a pedogenetic point of view, catastrophic events that bring the soils to time zero and change the natural pattern of the soilscape, remarkably, in some cases. The quantitative aspects of pedodiversity of a soilscape in South-East Sicily, where some types of soils, in recent decades, have suffered a consistent reduction due to the transformations by large scale farming, are considered. The evolution of pedodiversity over a 53-year period (1955 to 2008) is examined using a dedicated statistical method and a space-time model based on Markov analysis and cellular automata in order to predict the evolution of the soilscape pattern in the next 42 years (i.e. until 2050). Soil subgroups, using the USDA Soil Taxonomy and a classification proposal, were considered and the following indices were used: richness; Shannon's diversity index; Simpson diversity index; modified Simpson's diversity index; Shannon's evenness index; Simpson's evenness index and modified Simpson's evenness index. These indices measured over time, show, quantitatively, a decrease in pedodiversity that highlights the effect of the human intervention in modifying the natural order of the soilscape.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. The significance of slab-crusted lava flows for understanding controls on flow emplacement at Mount Etna, Sicily

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guest, John E.; Stofan, Ellen R.

    2005-04-01

    Slab-crusted flows on Mount Etna, Sicily are defined here as those whose crust has ridden on the flow core without significant disruption or deformation and have a high length to width ratio. They typically erupt from ephemeral boccas as late-stage products on dominantly aa flow fields, such as that of the 1983 eruption on Mount Etna. Slab-crusted flows tend to inflate mainly as they approach and after they reach the maximum length of slab-crust formation, the flow interior acting as a preferential pathway for injecting lava under a stable crust. Coalescence of vesicles under successive crusts causes separation between core and crust giving a new cooling surface within the flow, on which ropy surfaces (and occasionally aa textures) of limited areal extent may develop. Slab-crusted flows tend to form at ephemeral boccas together with other surface textural types including toes, ropy pahoehoe sheets and aa flows. This suggests that, on Etna, slab-crusted flows form from lava of the same rheological properties as both aa and pahoehoe textured flows. They do not represent a transition between aa and pahoehoe as argued for toothpaste flows in Hawaii. We conclude that slab-crusted flows on Etna owe their morphology to a relatively high critical ratio of effusion rate to advance rate, related to vent cross-sectional area and the slope over which the flow forms.

  18. Serological pattern of Hepatitis B, C, and HIV infections among immigrants in Sicily: epidemiological aspects and implication on public health.

    PubMed

    Tramuto, Fabio; Mazzucco, Walter; Maida, Carmelo Massimo; Affronti, Andrea; Affronti, Mario; Montalto, Giuseppe; Vitale, Francesco

    2012-06-01

    The objective of this study was to describe the prevalence of Hepatitis B virus (HBV), Hepatitis C virus (HCV), and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infections in a cohort of immigrants living in Palermo, Sicily. The study was carried out in the period May 2006-June 2010 and recruited a total of 393 patients (59.8% males-median age of 32.6 years). All patients were tested for serological markers of HBV, HCV, and HIV infection. One-hundred thirty-eight (35.1%) individuals did not show any HBV/HCV/HIV serological marker, while 186 (47.3%) were indicative of past or current HBV infection. A total of 42 (10.7%) subjects were HBsAg positive, 59 (15.0%) showed the serological profile "anti-HBc alone", and only 40 (10.1%) were anti-HBs alone. Overall, 22/393 (5.6%) immigrants were anti-HCV positive and 13/327 (4.0%) were infected with HIV. Findings from this study suggest that a suitable screening protocol for the viral blood/sexually transmissible diseases is recommended on entering Italy, and the adoption of health control strategies should also be considered to safeguard the health of the local population. PMID:21922163

  19. Mixibius parvus sp. nov. and Diphascon (Diphascon) ziliense sp. nov., two new species of Eutardigrada from Sicily.

    PubMed

    Lisi, Oscar; Sabella, Giorgio; Pilato, Giovanni

    2014-01-01

    Two new species, Mixibius parvus sp. nov. and Diphascon (Diphascon) ziliense sp. nov. are described from Sicily. Mixibius parvus sp. nov. has three macroplacoids and a microplacoid and differs from M. tibetanus, the only other known species of the genus with those characteristics, in having a wrinkled cuticle without true small tubercles, a shorter microplacoid, smaller claw pt index values, and in lacking a cuticular bar on the first three pairs of the legs.Diphascon (Diphascon) ziliense sp. nov. lacks eye spots, has a pharyngeal bulb with two macroplacoids and a septulum, and possesses lunules and cuticular bars on the legs. It is similar to D. (D.) ramazzottii and D. (D.) procerum but differs from them in characters of the cuticular ornamentation and, in addition, from D. (D.) ramazzottii in having lunules and slightly longer claws in proportion to the body size and to the buccal tube. The new species differs from D. (D.) procerum in having stouter claws with a wider common portion and with the main branches shorter in proportion to the total length of the respective claws. PMID:24871024

  20. Geological record of tsunami inundations in Pantano Morghella (south-eastern Sicily) both from near and far-field sources

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gerardi, F.; Smedile, A.; Pirrotta, C.; Barbano, M. S.; De Martini, P. M.; Pinzi, S.; Gueli, A. M.; Ristuccia, G. M.; Stella, G.; Troja, S. O.

    2012-04-01

    Analysis of tsunami deposits from the Pantano Morghella area provided geological evidence for two inundations occurred along the south-eastern Ionian coast of Sicily. Pantano Morghella is a large pond characterised by a fine-grained sedimentation indicating a low-energy depositional environment. Two anomalous yellow sandy layers found at different depths indicate the occurrence of high-energy marine inundations. We studied sedimentological and paleontological features of the anomalous deposits as well as their spatial distribution observing the following properties: different facies with respect to the local stratigraphic sequence; erosive bases, rip-up clasts and broken elements testifying violent deposition mechanisms; macro and micro fauna of marine environment; relatively constant thickness throughout most of the depositional zone with thinning at the distal end; large sand sheets that extend inland. These observations, jointly with their infrequency in the sedimentary record and the age indicating a fast deposition, provided strong evidence for tsunami inundations. Correlations between anomalous layers and historical tsunamis are supported by radiocarbon and OSL dating results. The younger deposit is likely due to the 1908 near-source tsunami, whereas the flooding of the oldest event is most likely associated with a far and large source, the Crete 365 AD earthquake.

  1. Relations between climatic-geomorphological parameters and sediment yield in a mediterranean semi-arid area (Sicily, southern Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grauso, Sergio; Pagano, Andrea; Fattoruso, Grazia; de Bonis, Piero; Onori, Filippo; Regina, Pasquale; Tebano, Carlo

    2008-03-01

    In the present work on-going research is discussed whose primary goal is to test some statistical methods to estimate the average yearly area-specific sediment yield (SSY). Using geomorphological and climatic parameters various multiple regression formulae have been set up based on SSY observed data from 16 catchments of Sicily. Three distinct techniques were adopted to select the parameters to be used in the equations: simple correlation, stepwise regression analysis and a supervised geomorphological-statistical correlation. The comparison of the results showed the effectiveness of the stepwise analysis, which led to a regression equation with a coefficient of determination ( r 2) of 0.87. Nevertheless, even this methodology showed some elements of uncertainty that have caused, in some cases, appreciable differences between observed and predicted values (mean percentage error equal to 26%). These differences are likely either due to the hydraulic regime of most of Sicilian watercourses (typical of semi-arid regions) or to hidden factors (e.g., topography, human impact and concentrated erosion), which can greatly affect the processes of sediment production and transport. The study has pointed out the need to take into account a larger number of observations and to perform the analysis of relations between suitable variables and SSY at a more detailed time resolution.

  2. Marine hazard evaluation for the coasts of Catania and Siracusa, eastern Sicily, Italy, and implication for a local sea monitoring system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bressan, Lidia; Armigliato, Alberto; Pagnoni, Gianluca; Tinti, Stefano

    2013-04-01

    A project for the planning of a coastal defense system for the provinces of Catania and Siracusa, in Sicily, is in the stage of feasibility analysis at the Building and Construction Interdepartmental Center for Industrial Research (CIRI), of the University of Bologna, with the focus on protection against extreme waves, such as tsunamis and storm waves. The eastern coast of Sicily, encompassing the coasts of Catania and Siracusa, is one of the most hazardous areas in Italy and in the Mediterranean as regards tsunamis, and it is also affected by extreme sea storms. The main goal of the project is to study the feasibility of a local Tsunami Warning System addressing near and far sources of seismic and landslide origin and to plan a sea-monitoring system capable to detect anomalous conditions for a wide spectral range of waves covering tsunamis as well as storms. The first phase of the project is the hazard assessment for extreme events, which is preparatory to the second phase, i.e. the feasibility study of a sea level and sea currents monitoring system based on new technologies. The coastal hazard assessment includes the identification of possible tsunami sources and the estimation of the tsunami threats, which allows one to recognize the most exposed coastal areas to tsunamis events. The identification of tsunami sources is made from literature and catalogs, while the use of numerical simulations of tsunamis is needed for tsunami hazard assessment and to evaluate the coastal inundation. The tsunami simulations are also a key information for the planning of the monitoring network, since it allows to characterize the signal that should be detected. As regards storm waves, we propose to extend the temporal base for the estimation of the significant wave height and other relevant statistics with the use of geophysical data, since recent works from literature suggest that the actual statistics for eastern Sicily might be underestimated.

  3. An additional record of Kyphosus vaigiensis (Quoy & Gaimard, 1825) (Osteichthyes, Kyphosidae) from Sicily clarifies the confused situation of the Mediterranean kyphosids.

    PubMed

    Mannino, Anna Maria; Balistreri, Paolo; Iaciofano, Davide; Galil, Bella S; Brutto, Sabrina Lo

    2015-01-01

    The lowfin chub, Kyphosus vaigiensis, is reported for the first time off Favignana Island, Sicily, central Mediterranean Sea. The specimen was identified on the basis of morphometric and meristic characters as well as mitochondrial DNA sequences (COI and 16S-rDNA). Two, perhaps three, Kyphosus species-K. bigibbus, K. sectatrix and K. vaigiensis-have been occasionally recorded in the Mediterranean. These species occur both in the Atlantic and Indo-Pacific regions but it is likely they entered the Mediterranean through the Strait of Gibraltar. However, it is unclear whether they have established reproductive native populations in the Mediterranean. PMID:26249391

  4. 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

    2016-02-01

    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%), ?-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

  5. 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 second, previously unknown vent located north of Foerstner volcano at a depth of around 350 meters. Given the close proximity of these two vents, the differences in deposit types may be due to changing eruption style as a function of water depth. The abundant pillow flow lobes observed at the northern vent are most likely the result of more effusive eruptions occurring in deeper water (350 m) whereas the dominantly fragmental nature of material in the main southern vent indicates more vigorous explosive activity at shallower levels (250 m). Based on the nature of deposits found at the vent areas, the basaltic balloons of the 1891 Foerstner eruption are suspected to be a result of both coarse, localized fire fountaining activity and detachment from gas-charged flow lobes. The larger and shallower southern vent area is likely to have been the main source of the basaltic balloons observed on the surface during the 1891 eruption. A review of other historic eruptions that have produced basaltic balloons suggests that this style of activity is likely to be restricted to a rather narrow range of water depths and thus recognition of the distinct deposits produced by this type of activity in ancient deposits could help place important paleodepth constraints on volcaniclastic sequences.

  6. 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 petrophysical properties, the studied strike-slip faults behave as combined barrier-conduit hydraulic structures to fluid flow. The single compactive shear bands, the shear band zones, and the cataclastic cores of the faults have a lower porosity relative to the surrounding carbonate host rocks, and therefore form seals for cross-fault fluid flow. On the contrary, the discrete and undulated slip surfaces present either within or at the edges of the fault cores enhance the along-fault fluid flow. Finally, the detailed analyses of macro- and mesostructural features exposed in Favignana Island show that the overall deformation pattern in the area may be interpreted in terms of strike-slip tectonics driven by a current stress field geometry characterized by a NW oriented maximum compression. The stress field acting in the area appears to be directly controlled by the convergence between the African and European plates. The present-day Africa motion along NNW-SSE- to NW-SE-directed vectors is substantiated by geological, seismological, VLBI (very long baseline interferometry) and global positioning system data.

  7. On the temperature, salinity, velocity and potential vorticity of a cold filament off the southern tip of Sicily

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Salusti, E.; Bignami, F.

    2012-04-01

    Thermal satellite images relative to the years 1997-2000, analyzed by Bignami et al. (2006), identify the sites of higher frequency in cold filaments in the Mediterranean Sea. The main zones in which these phenomena are seen to occur are characterised by the funnelling of strong cold winds by an irregular coastal orography. Intense air-sea interaction in the coastal zone is indeed known to generate a particularly strong input of potential vorticity into the sea, and this in turn gives origin to cold filaments and jets. These propagate offshore, often driven by the local currents. We therefore analyze thermal satellite images and CTD casts from the SYMPLEX 99 cruise (21 October - 6 November 1999), across a cold filament off Cape Passero, in the Sicily Channel. The filament width is ? 20 km; the thermal anomaly is ? 2 C; geostrophic and ADCP velocity data reveal that the filament is moving southward with velocities up to 60 cm s-1. Its salinity field has low values in the centre of the filament (about 37.4 psu at 40-60 m depth), while its temperature has classical outcropping isothermals (about 22-23.5 C) along the centre of the filament. All this suggests the interest of a generalized analysis of temperature, SST, salinty, density, velocity and potential vorticity along-flow evolution of this filament, seen as a set of potential vorticity stream-tubes. The analysis of these jets' evolution gives further insight into the characteristics of their detachment from the coast, alongflow warming, thickening, time-evolution of their velocity and other offshore properties.

  8. Kinematic analysis of rock falls in an urban area: the case of Castelmola hill near Taormina (Sicily, Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ferrara, V.; Pappalardo, G.

    2005-03-01

    The village of Castelmola, in the southern sector of the Peloritani Mountains (Sicily), sits on the summit of an isolated peak that consists of a limestone and dolomite sequence of white-greyish color rocks that occur in thick beds and pass upward into an alternation of lower Liassic marly limestones, belonging to the Taormina Unit. At the base, this passes into sands and red conglomerates of Verrucano facies, which outcrops along the slopes exposed towards the north and east, and which is transgressively superposed upon metamorphic units. Structurally, the succession is affected by deformation which has produced diffuse fracturing of the rock material, subdividing it into elements of variable dimensions as a result of the intersection of tectonic discontinuities and stratigraphic planes. Furthermore, in correspondence with the overlapping planes, intense cataclastic effects are observed that may lead to the complete disintegration of the rock, giving a type of coarse-grained detritus in a sandy matrix. Along the slopes of the Castelmola peak widespread weathering occurs, mainly related to intensely tectonized zones, and there are karstic cavities of various dimensions. This leads to an accentuated anisotropy which influences the mechanical properties of the rock material. Rock masses of huge dimensions have been affected by collapse. This causes great risks to the local population since the road through this area constitutes the only access to the village and provides a connection with Taormina. The most recent collapse (1996) of a significant volume of rock from the NW slope has interrupted the access road and generated a higher hazard due to the lack of support of the rock masses above. Structural analysis, geognostic boreholes and geophysical investigations carried out on the flanks and within the Castelmola peak have allowed us to verify in detail the lithostratigraphic and fracturing conditions of the rock mass, which strongly control its stability. The typologies of possible landslides have been identified, permitting the distinction of three zones of geomechanic homogeneity that qualitatively define their stability conditions.

  9. Unusually high incidence of malignant pleural mesothelioma in a town of eastern Sicily: an epidemiological and environmental study.

    PubMed

    Paoletti, L; Batisti, D; Bruno, C; Di Paola, M; Gianfagna, A; Mastrantonio, M; Nesti, M; Comba, P

    2000-01-01

    In a recent epidemiological study, researchers investigated mortality from malignant pleural neoplasms in Italy, and they detected some geographic clusters of cases of this disease. We found a town located in a volcanic area of eastern Sicily to be of special interest. The residents, some of whom were diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma, had never had any relevant exposure to asbestos during their professional lives. The results of an environmental survey suggested that a possible cause of asbestos exposure was the stone quarries near the town. The products of the quarries contain fibrous amphiboles, which are used widely in the local building industry. These fibrous amphiboles were identified as intermediate phases between tremolite and actinolite. Samples were collected from buildings in the town, and concentrations of amphibole fibers were evaluated. Fibrous phases were detected in 71% of the samples, and fiber concentrations ranged from a few thousand to more than 4 x 10(4) fibers/mg of material. In addition, we conducted a study on the mineral fiber lung burden in a pleural mesothelioma case. Many mineral fibers that were classified as the same tremolite-actinolite fibrous amphibole found in the quarries and in the building materials were detected in the lung tissue. The results suggest that the inhabitants of the town we studied had been exposed for several decades to asbestos fibers that were present in the material extracted from the local stone quarries. The material was subsequently used in the building industry, and this has caused an increased risk of pleural mesothelioma in the area. PMID:11128876

  10. A Molecular survey of Anaplasma spp., Rickettsia spp., Ehrlichia canis and Babesia microti in foxes and fleas from Sicily.

    PubMed

    Torina, A; Blanda, V; Antoci, F; Scimeca, S; D'Agostino, R; Scariano, E; Piazza, A; Galluzzo, P; Giudice, E; Caracappa, S

    2013-11-01

    Fleas (Insecta: Siphonaptera) are obligate bloodsucking insects, which parasitize birds and mammals, and are distributed throughout the world. Several species have been implicated in pathogen transmission. This study aimed to monitor red foxes and the fleas isolated from them in the Palermo and Ragusa provinces of Sicily, Italy, as these organisms are potential reservoirs and vectors of pathogens. Thirteen foxes (Vulpes vulpes) and 110 fleas were analysed by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) to detect DNA of the pathogens Ehrlichia canis, Babesia microti, Rickettsia spp., Anaplasma phagocytophilum, Anaplasma platys, Anaplasma marginale and Anaplasma ovis. In the foxes, A. ovis was detected in only one animal, whereas the prevalence of the E. canis pathogen was 31%. B. microti and Rickettsia spp. were not detected. Of all of the collected fleas, 75 belonged to the species Xenopsylla cheopis, 32 belonged to Ctenocephalides canis, two belonged to Ctenocephalides felis and one belonged to Cediopsylla inaequalis. In the fleas, the following pathogens were found: A. ovis (prevalence 25%), A. marginale (1%), A. phagocytophilum (1%), Rickettsia felis (2%) and E. canis (3%). X. cheopis was the flea species most frequently infected with Anaplasma, in particular A. ovis (33%), A. marginale (1%) and A. phagocytophilum (1%). Both C. felis exemplars were positive for R. felis. E. canis was found in the lone C. inaequalis and also in 3% of the X. cheopis specimens. No fleas were positive for B. microti or A. platys. As foxes often live in proximity to domestic areas, they may constitute potential reservoirs for human and animal parasites. Further studies should be performed on fleas to determine their vectorial capacity. PMID:24589112

  11. Calibration of a Tsunami Early Detection Algorithm (TEDA) for the sites of Catania and Tremestieri in Sicily, Italy.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bressan, L.; Tinti, S.; Zaniboni, F.; Pagnoni, G.

    2012-04-01

    TEDA is a real-time algorithm for the detection of potentially dangerous long period waves like tsunamis (Bressan and Tinti, 2011) and it is formed by two simultaneous algorithms built to work at a station level, i.e. on sea level data from a single station: the tsunami detection is designed to identify impulsive long period waves as tsunamis and it triggers a detection when the detided sea level slope exceeds a dynamic threshold that varies according with the previous background sea level slope, while the secure detection triggers an alert when a filtered sea-level signal passes an amplitude threshold. To make TEDA operational in a tide gauge station, both the thresholds of the detection conditions and the temporal parameters in the definitions of TEDA functions should be carefully determined to improve the algorithm efficiency, especially for coastal tide gauge stations that are usually characterized by a local background spectrum and a site dependent tsunami response. This is accomplished by a performance evaluation study, called calibration, which consists in the analysis of the performance of TEDA tested a posteriori with different settings on available data, both on background condition and in case of tsunami event. The study of the background signal and in particular of the potential dangerous events that can affect the site is very important, especially in case of no tsunami records available, where synthetic tsunami signals produced by numerical simulations of known and possible tsunamigenic sources should be used. The calibration of TEDA in a specific site allows not only to optimize, but also to evaluate its efficiency in different possible situations. In this work we present the results of TEDA calibration for two Italian sites, Catania and Tremestieri, both on the eastern coast of Sicily, where coastal tide gauges are installed, with synthetic tsunami signals from tsunami scenarios, including seismic and landslide sources (Tonini et al, 2011).

  12. 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 variables were found to have a strong control on the occurrence of very rapid shallow landslides.

  13. Historical and geological evidence for seismic origin of newly recognized landslides in southeastern Sicily, and its significance in terms of hazard.

    PubMed

    Pantano, Francesca Gringeri; Nicoletti, Pier Giorgio; Parise, Mario

    2002-01-01

    Old, large, and dormant landslides were unexpectedly found in southeastern Sicily, a territory of known seismicity but commonly considered as landslide-free or almost so. Purposely undertaken investigations revealed that: (1) these landslides are scarcely compatible with the local geoclimatic environment; (2) they usually show low-angle basal shear surfaces, despite the fact that the properties of the forming material are generally good; (3) they fulfill the known relationships between earthquake magnitude and epicenter-landslide distance; (4) sources coeval with high-energy historical earthquakes occurred in 1169, 1542 and 1693 testify to the occurrence of earthquake-triggered landsliding; and (5) documentary material (presented here for the first time) correlates with certainty a specific landslide to the 1693 earthquake. This geological and historical evidence, accompanied by the absence of contrasting elements, leads us to conclude that these landslides are earthquake-triggered. Because of their typological and geometrical characteristics, nearly all landslides can be reactivated, which has serious implications in terms of hazard, particularly with respect to lines of communication. Obviously, every action aimed at preventing or mitigating risks must start from the awareness of the causative processes, a condition substantially unsatisfied at the moment in SE Sicily. The paper concludes by emphasizing the opportunity not to trust excessively beliefs that, although shared, have never been really checked. PMID:11740628

  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. 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; lvarez, Isaac; De la Torre, ngel; Garca, Luz; Bentez, Ma Carmen; Corts, 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 Hesprides (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-ETNA MED-SUV.ISES) under the European MED-SUV project. The Spanish oceanographic vessel Sarmiento de Gamboa will shot about 2600 and 4000 air-guns in the Ionian and Tyrrhenian Seas, respectively. The shots will be recorded in 150 seismic stations. Thus, close to 1 million P-waves arrivals will be generated. Since the sources and receivers locations are known and considering that the vessel will travel a small distance between two consecutive shots, a cross correlation-based picking algorithm will be used to obtain the arrival time.

  16. 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 first phase of the work addressed to identify the spatial relationships between the landslides location and the 13 related factors by using the Frequency Ratio bivariate statistical method. The analysis was then carried out by adopting a multivariate statistical approach, according to the Logistic Regression technique and Random Forests technique that gave best results in terms of AUC. The models were performed and evaluated with different sample sizes and also taking into account the temporal variation of input variables such as burned areas by wildfire. The most significant outcome of this work are: the relevant influence of the sample size on the model results and the strong importance of some environmental factors (e.g. land use and wildfires) for the identification of the depletion zones of extremely rapid shallow landslides.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

    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 Sicily, also supporting sustainable economic returns for fishermen if not applied simultaneously for different species. PMID:24465971

  1. 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 Sicily, also supporting sustainable economic returns for fishermen if not applied simultaneously for different species. PMID:24465971

  2. 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.

  3. 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. Transtensional tectonics activity along the shelf edge, inducing margin retreats, is documented by local angular unconformities, so we cannot exclude the contribution of brittle deformations to the the production of clastic materials. The aggradation of Thaumatoporella-mollusc bearing peritidal cycles in the shelf and of oolitic-bioclastic sands along the shelf-edge indicate the recovery of the carbonate productivity during Early Jurassic times coupled to a sea-level rise during Hettangian times. Moreover an intense shedding of carbonate sands in the adjacent slope and peribasinal areas is recorded in all the studied deep-water successions. In the distal slope zone the observed switching of the intrabasinal carbonate supply from scarce biodetritus containing reef-derived foraminifers (e.g. Galeanella, Siculocosta and others) to abundant oolitic and skeletal sands, bearing Aeolisaccus sp. and Siphovalvulina gibraltarensis, can be used as a proxy of the Triassic/Jurassic boundary.

  4. ecological geological maps: GIS-based evaluation of the Geo-Ecological Quality Index (GEQUI) in Sicily (Central Mediterranean)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nigro, Fabrizio; Arisco, Giuseppe; Perricone, Marcella; Renda, Pietro; Favara, Rocco

    2010-05-01

    The condition of landscapes and the ecological communities within them is strongly related to levels of human activity. As a consequence, determining status and trends in the pattern of human-dominated landscapes can be useful for understanding the overall conditions of geo-ecological resources. Ecological geological maps are recent tools providing useful informations about a-biotic and biotic features worldwide. These maps represents a new generation of geological maps and depict the lithospheric components conditions on surface, where ecological dynamics (functions and properties) and human activities develop. Thus, these maps are too a fundamental political tool to plan the human activities management in relationship to the territorial/environmental patterns of a date region. Different types of ecological geological maps can be develop regarding the: conditions (situations), zoning, prognosis and recommendations. The ecological geological conditions maps reflects the complex of parameters or individual characteristics of lithosphere, which characterized the opportunity of the influence of lithosphere components on the biota (man, fauna, flora, and ecosystem). The ecological geological zoning maps are foundamental basis for prognosis estimation and nature defenses measures. Estimation from the position of comfort and safety of human life and function of ecosystem is given on these maps. The ecological geological prognosis maps reflect the spatial-temporary prognoses of ecological geological conditions changing during the natural dynamic of natural surrounding and the main-during the economic mastering of territory and natural technical systems. Finally, the ecological geological recommendation maps are based on the ecological geological and social-economical informations, aiming the regulation of territory by the regulation of economic activities and the defense of bio- and socio-sphere extents. Each of these maps may also be computed or in analytic or in synthetic way. The first, characterized or estimated, prognosticated one or several indexes of geological ecological conditions. In the second type of maps, the whole complex is reflected, which defined the modern or prognosticable ecological geological situation. Regarding the ecological geological zoning maps, the contemporary state of ecological geological conditions may be evaluated by a range of parameters into classes of conditions and, on the basis of these informations, the estimation from the position of comfort and safety of human life and function of ecosystem is given. Otherwise, the concept of geoecological land evaluation has become established in the study of landscape/environmental plannings in recent years. It requires different thematic data-sets, deriving from the natural-, social- and amenity-environmental resources analysis, that may be translate in environmental (vulnerability/quality) indexes. There have been some attempts to develop integrated indices related to various aspects of the environment within the framework of sustainable development (e.g.: United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development, World Economic Forum, Advisory Board on Indicators of Sustainable Development of the International Institute for Sustainable Development, Living Planet Index established by the World Wide Fund for Nature, etc.). So, the ecological geological maps represent the basic tool for the geoecological land evaluation policies and may be computed in terms of index-maps. On these basis, a GIS application for assessing the ecological geological zoning is presented for Sicily (Central Mediterranean). The Geo-Ecological Quality Index (GEQUI) map was computed by considering a lot of variables. Ten variables (lithology, climate, landslide distribution, erosion rate, soil type, land cover, habitat, groundwater pollution, roads density and buildings density) generated from available data, were used in the model, in which weighting values to each informative layer were assigned. An overlay analysis was carried out, allowing to classify the region into five classes

  5. Seismically induced environmental effects in costal areas : the 1783, 1905 and 1908 earthquakes in Calabria and Sicily, (Southern Italy).

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Porfido, S.; Esposito, E.; Violante, C.; Sacchi, M.; Guerrieri, L.; Serva, L.; Sciarrotta, S.

    2009-04-01

    Calabria and Sicily's Coast, particularly in the Messina Strait, is one of the most seismically active areas of the Southern Italy. Since 1783, there have been seven earthquakes with magnitude ranging between 6.0 and 7.2 These earthquakes have produced wide damages on the MCS Intensities scale of X or greater. The high rate of seismic activity in the region is related to the complex geologic setting resulting in a number of different sources of potentially damaging earthquakes. All these earthquake induced numerous and spectacular coseismic environmental effects overall along the coast where the impact was particularly catastrophic. These earthquakes caused several changes in elevation, due to tectonic deformations, landslides and settlements (i.e along both sides of the Messina Straits, 1908 event), relevant landslides (the February6, 1783 event triggered in Scilla, along the cliff of the M. Pacì a huge rock avalanche estimate of 5 Mm3 in the areal zone and 3 Mm3 in the submarine zone (Bozzano et al 2006), that fell into the sea generating a disastrous tsunamis), ground fractures (in the Capo Vaticano promontory area, 1905 event; in Messina Reggio C., Villa S. Giovanni, 1908 event); liquefaction phenomena (in the area of Messina, Ganzirri and Reggio Calabria, 1908 event), and catastrophic tsunamis (five induced by the 1783 Calabrian seismic sequence, other two by 1905 and 1908 events, Graziani et al 2006). The run-up observed ranging from few cm to tens of m: the highest tsunami wave was about 16 m in Scilla (Feb. 6, 1783 tsunami), 13 m in Pellaro (1908 event) and 1,30 m along the Calabrian coast (1905 tsunami) . Portion of the coast were lost, most of them eroded by the tsunamis with a coastline retreat and flooded the shore for several hundred meters inland depositing a large amount of silt and fish, and in some case killing people (i.e 1500 in Scilla and 28 in Messina during the February 6, 1783 tsunami, Barbano 2008; Porfido et al.,2008). Finally, it is important to consider the seismically induced effects with the aim to reduce the future risk for the population living along the cost and the potential damage to structures and natural environment, through a more precise estimate of their type, size and distribution. References .Barbano M. S.(2008), Il terremoto del 1908: effetti nei centri abitati. Oral presentation. Convegno "Cento anni dopo il terremoto del 1908" ISPRA- 12-13 Novembre 2008 Messina-Villa San Giovanni. .Bozzano, F., Chiocci, F.L., Mazzanti, P., Bosman, C., Casalbore, D., Giuliani,R., Martino, S., Prestininzi, A. & Scarascia Mugnozza G.(2006). Subaerial and submarine characterisation of the landslide responsible for the 1783 Scilla tsunami. EGU 2006, Geophysical Res. Abstracts, 8, 10422. .Graziani, L., Maramai, A. & Tinti, S., 2006b. A revision of the 1783 Calabrian (southern Italy) tsunamis. Natural Hazard and Earth System Sciences, 6, 1053-1060. .Porfido S., Esposito E., Guerrieri L., Serva L., (2008). Terremoti storici ed effetti ambientali nell'area dello stretto. Oral presentation. Convegno "Cento anni dopo il terremoto del 1908" ISPRA -12-13 Novembre 2008 Messina-Villa San Giovanni.

  6. Preliminary results of a multi-scale structural analisys in an analogue carbonate reservoir (Hyblean Plateau, Sicily, Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cilona, Antonino; Agosta, Fabrizio; Criscenti, Alessandro; Dipasquale, Mario; Giunta, Giuseppe; Napoli, Giuseppe; Occhipinti, Rosario; Renda, Pietro; Tondi, Emanuele

    2010-05-01

    With the aim of studying the multi-scale fault architecture and permeability in hydrocarbon-rich porous carbonate rocks, we are currently involved in a project focused on the structural analysis of fractured and faulted platform-to-ramp carbonates cropping out in the Hyblean Plateau (Sicily, Italy). The Hyblean Plateau is part of the Maghrebian foreland and forms the northern portion of the African plate. The plateau is a NE-oriented structural high crosscut by a large-scale N10-20E oriented strike-slip fault system, named Scicli-Ragusa, which was affected by right-lateral kinematics during the Upper Miocene-Lower Pliocene. Some authors documented a recent activity of the Scicli-Ragusa fault system, during the Quaternary, characterized by left-lateral kinematics. The portion of the Hyblean Plateau crosscut by this fault system represents an excellent example of an outcropping analogue of a fractured carbonate reservoir. By taking advantage of the several oil shows located along the Scicli-Ragusa fault system, we combine stratigraphic-structural analyses, both at outcrop and microscopic scales, to assess the structural control exerted by faults and fractures on hydrocarbon migration and storage. The field work focused on the geological mapping, at 1:10.000 scale, on detailed stratigraphic characterization of the outcropping layered carbonates (Ragusa Fm.) and on traditional faults and fractures analysis. Sample collection was also performed in order to conduct, in the laboratory, optical microscope and image analyses. The Oligo-Miocenic Ragusa Fm. is comprised of two main members: i) the lower Leonardo Member, which is characterised by well-cemented carbonate packstones intercalated with marl-rich levels; ii) the upper Irminio Member, characterised by an alternation of well-cemented and poorly-cemented grainstones/packstones. According to both orientations and kinematics, we grouped the fault segments of the Scicli-Ragusa fault system into three major sets: (i) NNE-striking faults with predominant right-lateral kinematics, (ii) ENE-striking faults with left-lateral kinematics, and (iii) NE-striking faults characterized by normal slip. Conversely, based on the fault attributes we subdivided the outcropping faults into four main categories: (i) Major faults, comprised of well-developed fault cores (made up of cataclastic rocks and main slip surfaces) flanked by thicker fault damage zones, which are up to 18 km-long and have throws in the order of 100's of meters. (ii) Medium faults containing thin and discontinuous fault cores of brecciated and cataclastic fault rocks and through-going slip surfaces encompassed within the fault damage zones, which are long up to several 100's of meters and have throws up to 10's of meters. (iii) Small faults made up of isolated and discontinuous fault cores of faults breccias and through-going slip surfaces, which are up to a few m-long and have throws in order of several 10's of cm and a few meters. (iv) Incipient faults consist, predominantly, of sheared pre-existing fractures confined within the individual carbonate beds; the maximum throw < 10 cm. The meso-structural analysis performed to define the background deformation allowed us to identify mainly three different typology of structures: i) joints, ii) stylolites, and iii) shear bands. On the basis of their abutting relationships first originated bed-parallel stylolites and then two coeval sets of bed perpendicular joints. Shear bands nucleated by shearing of previously formed bed-parallel and bed-perpendicular structures. Another important data came out from preliminary microscope analysis carried out within mines of tar rich carbonates. Here, shear bands within porous layers behaved as a seal for oil migration whereas joints, localized in well cemented layers, acted as conduct for hydrocarbons. Finally, as planned work, we are going to combine fault architecture data with petrophysical analyses conducted on samples belonging to different structural domains in order to define hydraulic behaviours of the studied faults.

  7. 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 earthquake magnitude intervals were defined on the basis of the published literature, of public seismogenic fault databases and of discussion with other partners in ASTARTE. In total, 81 faults are taken into account. In addition, since landslides cannot be ruled out as possible sources of tsunamis hitting eastern Sicily, two landslides scenarios are proposed, based on the analysis of the morphology of the seafloor in correspondence with the Hyblaean-Malta escarpment. After a first screening of the earthquake scenarios based on the comparison of the expected maximum wave elevations along the eastern Sicily coasts, we reduced the overall number of significant scenarios to eight. For each of these, we run numerical tsunami simulations by means of the in-house UBO-TSUFD code over a set of five nested grids, with resolutions decreasing from 3 km in the open Ionian sea to 40 m in the target areas of Augusta and Siracusa. The simulation results consist of fields of maximum water elevation, of maximum water column, of maximum velocity and of maximum momentum flux. The main findings for each single scenario and for the aggregate scenario are presented and discussed.

  8. 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 and sedimentological study. In this area 68 transepts orthogonal to the coast line were collected with a total laser station Geodimeter System 600. The 68 transepts were repeated for four seasons. Moreover about 1000 sand samples were collected in the same four seasons. On 711 of these samples we performed the granulometric and compositional analysis. The elaboration of the granulometric data, using the Folk and Ward statistic parameters, was used to study and analyze the local drift. In this sector, that is prevalently oriented W/NW-E/SE and that is partially sheltered by a fear in west, the drift is prevalently from east to west as confirmed by the interpretation of the statistic parameters.

  9. 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

  10. Trophic transfer of trace elements in an isotopically constructed food chain from a semi-enclosed marine coastal area (Stagnone di Marsala, Sicily, Mediterranean).

    PubMed

    Vizzini, Salvatrice; Costa, Valentina; Tramati, Cecilia; Gianguzza, Paola; Mazzola, Antonio

    2013-11-01

    Trace element accumulation is particularly important in coastal and transitional environments, which act as contaminant buffers between the continental and marine systems. We compared trace element transfer to the biota in two locations with different open-sea exposures in a semi-enclosed marine coastal area (Stagnone di Marsala, Sicily, Italy) using isotopically reconstructed food chains. Samples of sediment, macroalgae, seagrasses, invertebrates, fish, and bird feathers were sampled in July 2006 and analysed for stable carbon and nitrogen isotopes (δ(13)C, δ(15)N) and trace elements (arsenic [As], cadmium [Cd], total mercury [THg], and lead [Pb]). Trophic magnification factors were calculated through the relationships between trace elements and δ(15)N in consumers. As and Pb were greater in organic matter sources (sediments and primary producers), whereas Cd and THg were greater in bird feathers. At the food chain level, an insignificant trophic transfer was found for all elements, suggesting biodilution rather than biomagnification. Sediments were more contaminated in the location with lower open-sea exposure. Macroalgae and seagrasses overall mirrored the spatial pattern highlighted in sediments, whereas differences between the two locations became further decreased moving toward higher trophic levels, indicating that trophic transfer of sediment and macrophyte-bound trace elements to the coastal lagoon food chain may be of relatively minor importance. PMID:23846775

  11. 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

  12. Water masses exchanged through the Channel of Sicily: Evidence for the presence of new water masses on the Tunisian side of the channel

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ben Ismail, Sana; Sammari, Chérif; Gasparini, Gian Pietro; Béranger, Karine; Brahim, Mouldi; Aleya, Lotfi

    2012-05-01

    Studies of water masses present in the Channel of Sicily are relevant to understanding not only the overall Mediterranean circulation but also the Tunisian coastal shelf circulation. This study attempts to clarify the dynamics of water masses exchanged through the channel and its variability using data collected during six hydrographic cruises in the western half of the Cap Bon - Mazara del Vallo section during 2003. Hydrographic measurements clearly show the signature of the Atlantic Tunisian Current along the Tunisian coast characterized by important mesoscale variability. Computation of a normalized temperature and salinity standard deviation makes it possible to distinguish areas of high temporal variability located in the transitional layer between the Atlantic Water and the Levantine Intermediate Water. This transitional layer is created by the presence of both Western Intermediate Water and Ionian Water. In addition to highlighting the relevance of the mesoscale activity, a comparison between direct current measurements and adjusted geostrophic currents produced a more confident estimate of the surface and deep transports through the western part of the channel. Our conclusions on seasonal and mesoscale variability are confirmed by a high resolution numerical simulation.

  13. 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.

  14. Evaluation of a temporal trend heavy metals contamination in Posidonia oceanica (L.) Delile, (1813) along the western coastline of Sicily (Italy).

    PubMed

    Copat, Chiara; Maggiore, Riccardo; Arena, Giovanni; Lanzafame, Stanislao; Fallico, Roberto; Sciacca, Salvatore; Ferrante, Margherita

    2012-01-01

    The use of biological species in the monitoring of marine environmental quality allows the evaluation of biologically available levels of contaminants in the ecosystem and the effects of contaminants on living organisms. The seagrass Posidonia oceanica is a useful bioindicator because through the lepidochronology technique it is possible to obtain a historical contamination trend of a given area. This study aims to assess the temporal trend contamination by heavy metal investigations on dead sheaths of 100 samples of P. oceanica collected in the Protected Marine Area of "Plemmirio" (Sicily) and in the Siracusa bay. Important results were obtained because data show a significant negative temporal trend for the metals analysed especially for As, Co, Cr, Hg, Pb, Se, U and V that in the past had higher concentrations, with a stronger contamination in the Plemmirio area, the site much more exposed to the pollution of the nearby petrochemical complex. This study confirms the relevance of the use of P. oceanica as a biological indicator of metal contamination in coastal ecosystems. Thus the usefulness of P. oceanica as a tracer of spatial metal contamination and as a good tool for water quality evaluation is reinforced. PMID:22101939

  15. 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

  16. Climatic adaptability of populations of Diplotaxis erucoides D.C. (Brassicaceae) from Sicily, based on leaf morphology, leaf anatomy and ?13 C studies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schleser, G. H.; Bernhardt, K.-G.; Hurka, H.

    1989-06-01

    The morphological and anatomical variability of Diplotaxis erucoides populations from Sicily was investigated. Populations growing during the summer months exhibit distinct xeromorphic features. Leaf area is strongly reduced and leaf thickness is increased when compared with winter populations. Cell size, as well as cell arrangement and mesophyll cell surface area differ significantly between summer and winter populations. Leaf thickness is almost three times higher in summer populations and A (cell)/ A, i.e. the mesophyll cell surface area per unit leaf area changes from about 16 for winter populations to almost 52 for summer populations. These differences are partly due to differences in intercellular volume and partly due to alterations in mesophyll cell sizes. The organic materal of the summer populations exhibits ?13C values in the order of -27%. to -28%., while the corresponding values for the winter populations are in the order of -31%. to -33%.. Analysis of D. erucoides populations from the transition period revealed intermediate ?13C values. Anatomical variations such as reductions or increases of A (cells)/ A and changes of intercellular volume correlate with the corresponding ?13C data. The ?13C data are discussed in conjunction with the differences in leaf anatomy.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Trace element concentrations in red swamp crayfish (Procambarus clarkii) and surface sediments in Lake Preola and Gorghi Tondi natural reserve, SW Sicily.

    PubMed

    Bellante, A; Maccarone, V; Buscaino, G; Buffa, G; Filiciotto, F; Traina, A; Del Core, M; Mazzola, S; Sprovieri, M

    2015-07-01

    Concentrations of trace elements (Cd, Pb, As, V, Cr, Ni, Cu and Zn) were determined in superficial sediments and in muscle and hepatopancreas tissues of the red swamp crayfish Procambarus clarkii from Lake Preola and Gorghi Tondi Natural Reserve (SW Sicily). In particular, hepatopancreas showed a decidedly higher content of all analysed trace elements with respect to muscles (two- to threefold higher for Cd, Cu, As, Zn and V; four- to fivefold higher for Pb and Cr and seven times higher for Ni). However, no statistically reliable differential accumulation pattern emerged with regard to length and weight for trace elements (except for Cd for which significant positive correlations with length were recorded). Trace element concentrations found in crayfish tissues were in the range considered harmful to human health (except for Cd and Cr). Moreover, the As and Pb concentrations, either in sediment or crayfish tissues, are clearly related to intense agricultural activities, with extensive use of fertilizers and pesticides, that significantly affect the levels of these toxic metals in the study area. PMID:26045038

  20. Flash floods and debris flow in the city area of Messina, North-East part of Sicily, Italy in October 2009: the case of the Giampilieri catchment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aronica, G. T.; Brigandi, G.; Morey, N.

    2010-09-01

    Flash floods are phenomena in which the important hydrologic processes are occurring on the same spatial and temporal scales as the intense precipitation. Most of the catchment in the North-East part of Sicily (Italy) are small, with a steep slope, and characterized by short concentration times. These characteristics make those catchment prone to flash flood formation, as demonstrated by events that occurred in the area around Messina in the North-East part of Sicily, Italy in the last recent years. The events occurred on 25th October 2007 in the Mastroguglielmo torrent on the ionic sea coast, on 11th December 2008 in the Elicona catchment on the Tyrrhenian sea coast and on 1st October 2009 in Racinazzi and Giampilieri torrents on the ionic sea coast are an example of flash floods and debris flow events that caused not only significant economic damages to property, buildings, roads and bridges but also, for this that concern the 1st October 2009 flash flood event, loss of human life. This work is aimed by the 1st October 2009 flash flood and debris flow event where a devastating flooding was caused by a very intense rainfall concentrated over the Messina area. The storm caused severe flash floods in many villages around the city of Messina, such as Giampilieri, Scaletta Zanclea, Altolia Superiore and Molino with forty casualties and significant damage to property, buildings, roads and bridges estimated close to 200 million Euro. Main focus of this work is to perform a post event analysis of the 2009 flash flood event, putting together available meteorological and hydrological data in order to get better insight into temporal and spatial variability of the rain storm, the soil moisture condition and the consequent flash floods in the catchment of the Giampilieri catchment. Starting from these information another objective has been, then, to document the post-failure stage of event concerning slid materials. With the help of GIS technology and particularly spatial analysis, volume of debris gone down for the Giampilieri catchment has been calculated. The event was investigated using observed data from a raingauge network and hydraulic evidences. Statistical analysis using GEV distribution was performed and rainfall return period (storm severity) was estimated. Further, measured rainfall data and rainfall-runoff modeling were used to analyze the hydrological behaviour and to reconstruct flood and debris hydrographs. The study confirmed that post-flood investigation should focus on discharges and hydrological response of the catchment rather than simply analyzing statistical characteristics of rainfall. Thanks to LIDAR data produced immediately after the event, issued one meter precision DEM has been compared with a two meter precision one provided two years before. GIS maps with landslide and material deposit areas have been produced and analyzed.

  1. 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 aim of this work is to compare the vulnerability and damage analyses carried out by means of the PTVA-3 and the SCHEMA methods on the same data set, that is the urban and port areas of Siracusa and Augusta in order to highlight similarities and discrepancies. In this preliminary analysis the coastal inundation was not derived from tsunami simulations, but was assumed to be constant along the coast (bathtub hypothesis) and was taken to be 5 m and 10 m respectively for Siracusa and Augusta. The main outcome of the compared analysis is that the two methods do not provide completely overlapping vulnerability and damage maps, though they use equivalent 5-degree scales. In general the PTVA-3 method tends to overestimate the damage, although there are several counterexamples where PTVA-3 foresees less damage than SCHEMA. The differences we found in the assessment opens the question of how to treat uncertainties in the vulnerability and damage analyses, which is a problem often overlooked, but of crucial importance for the application and for civil authorities.

  2. Carbon-isotope investigation in fluid inclusions of ultramafic xenoliths from Hyblean Plateau (Sicily, Italy): a signature influenced by mantle heterogeneity.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Correale, Alessandra; Paonita, Antonio; Rizzo, Andrea; Grassa, Fausto; Martelli, Mauro

    2015-04-01

    The understanding of the upper mantle has improved greatly in recent decades thanks to studies of mantle xenoliths and the Hyblean area (Sicily, Italy) ) is one of the rare European volcanic regions where mantle xenoliths outcrop. The xenoliths from this area were studied in many aspects but the isotope carbon marker has not been investigated previously. We measured the carbon isotope signature of the mantle source beneath the Hyblean Plateau by studying the CO2 content entrapped in fluid inclusions from ultramafic xenoliths carried out to surface by some diatreme-related deposits of Miocene age. The ?13CCO2 measured in the present work (ranging between -4 and -2) was combined with the noble gases results of the same samples from our previous study. In order to investigate the influence of degassing process on the isotope geochemistry of the carbon, we performed quantitative analyses of the magmatic degassing in the case of ?13CCO2, He/Ar and Ar/CO2 ratios and we put in relation the obtained variability. The results highlighted that degassing processes influence sensibly the He/Ar and Ar/CO2 ratios but not the ?13CCO2 that seems controlled mainly by the extent of contamination of the peridotite by sedimentary and organic carbon. Mass-balance calculations evidenced that the Hyblean peridotite source is mainly contaminated by carbonate crustal term, being carbonate and organic matter characterized by a ratio within the range 5:1 and 7:2. Instead, mixing processes mainly affect the variable compositional CO2/3He and 3He/4He ratios, ranging between 1.21x109-9x1010 and 7.2-7.6 Ra respectively. More in detail these mixing processes would be triggered by metasomatic intrusions as veins of MORB-type pyroxenitic melts in the peridotite matrix contaminated by crustal fluids probably inherited from a fossil subduction.

  3. 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.

  4. Tsunami hazard for the city of Catania, eastern Sicily, Italy, assessed by means of Worst-case Credible Tsunami Scenario Analysis (WCTSA)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tonini, R.; Armigliato, A.; Pagnoni, G.; Zaniboni, F.; Tinti, S.

    2011-05-01

    Eastern Sicily is one of the coastal areas most exposed to earthquakes and tsunamis in Italy. The city of Catania that developed between the eastern base of Etna volcano and the Ionian Sea is, together with the neighbour coastal belt, under the strong menace of tsunamis. This paper addresses the estimation of the tsunami hazard for the city of Catania by using the technique of the Worst-case Credible Tsunami Scenario Analysis (WCTSA) and is focused on a target area including the Catania harbour and the beach called La Plaia where many human activities develop and many important structures are present. The aim of the work is to provide a detailed tsunami hazard analysis, firstly by building scenarios that are proposed on the basis of tectonic considerations and of the largest historical events that hit the city in the past, and then by combining all the information deriving from single scenarios into a unique aggregated scenario that can be viewed as the worst virtual scenario. Scenarios have been calculated by means of numerical simulations on computational grids of different resolutions, passing from 3 km on a regional scale to 40 m in the target area. La Plaia beach results to be the area most exposed to tsunami inundation, with inland penetration up to hundreds of meters. The harbour turns out to be more exposed to tsunami waves with low frequencies: in particular, it is found that the major contribution to the hazard in the harbour is due to a tsunami from a remote source, which propagates with much longer periods than tsunamis from local sources. This work has been performed in the framework of the EU-funded project SCHEMA.

  5. 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 evidence.

  6. Minero-petrographic, thermal and microchemical investigation of historical mortars used in Catania (Sicily) during the XVII century A.D.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bultrini, G.; Fragala, I.; Ingo, G. M.; Lanza, G.

    2006-06-01

    The combination of X-Ray Diffraction (XRD), Scanning Electron Microscopy-Energy Dispersive Spectrometry (SEM-EDS), Differential Thermal Analysis-Thermogravimetry (DTA-TG) and Optical Microscopy (OM) has been used to study several different ancient mortars recovered in the S. Nicola Church (built after the devasting earthquake of the 1693) and other historic buildings located in the historical center of Catania (Eastern Sicily). Investigations have been focused on the identification of raw materials mixed in the different mortars and their provenance as well as on the study of the relevant technological aspects of manufacturing processes. Minero-petrographic data have often shown that local volcanic raw materials have been used as aggregate fractions and, in particular, a new volcanic material, the so-called ghiara, has been largely adopted for the construction of the walls of the monuments after the earthquake. It is worthy to note that ghiara is a by-product of erupted magma during the impressive Etna eruption of 1669, which almost completely covered the centre of Catania. The following reaction with the soil gave rise to the formation of a layer of this typical ochre-coloured material. Moreover, the precise provenance of the ghiara has been determined trough geological surveys of the most important historic quarries. Results have allowed the identification of exploited sources of ghiara. Furthermore, combination of SEM-EDS results and thermal information have indicated the hydraulic nature of the mortars due to the formation of hydraulic phases at the binder-aggregate interface. It, therefore, is due to the fact that the ghiara has slight pozzolanic properties. Present data have an important role for any satisfactory reproduction of the ancient manufacturing techniques to be used for the restoration of the S. Nicola Church.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-05-01

    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 has 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 TRIGRS numerical model. For the calibration of the model, a back-analysis of the landslide event occurred in the study area (located SW of Messina, north-eastern 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 the 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 (3-6 h) rainfall events having a relatively low return period (e.g. 10 years) can trigger numerous slope failures. On the contrary, for the same rainfall amount, the daily simulations overestimate the instability conditions. The tendency of shallow landslides to trigger in this area agrees with the high number of landslide/flood events occurred in the past and summarized in this paper by means of archival researches. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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 technologies for the rapid mapping of geo-hydrological events, and the associated damage.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. [Risk factors and screening for cardiac disease, carotid stenosis and aortic aneurysms in Sicily (Italy): a population-based cross sectional survey].

    PubMed

    Castorina, Sergio; Rapisardi, Micaela; Antoci, Salvatore; Campanile, Enrico; D'Anna, Luigia; Ficili, Tiziana; Raciti, Rosaria; Rocca, Angelo; Tolaro, Salvo; Cinà, Claudio Salvatore

    2014-01-01

    A cross-sectional survey was performed among 50 to 75 year-old residents in the town of Regalbuto in Sicily (Italy), to evaluate risk factors and prevalence of cardiovascular diseases (CVD) in this geographically- defined population. Subjects were invited to participate by letter and those accepting to participate were asked to complete a questionnaire collecting personal data and information regarding the presence of risk factors for CVD. All participating subjects aged >50 years and with a minimum of four risk factors for CVD (smoking, hypertension, diabetes, obesity) were screened for cardiac disease and carotid stenosis (> 50% stenosis). Screening for aortic aneurysms was performed only in male participants aged >65, regardless of the presence or absence of risk factors. Screening was performed by electrocardiography, bi-dimensional echography and ecodoppler. Overall 3,073 subjects were invited to participate, of whom 564 (18%) accepted to participate, 54% of whom female. Mean age of responders was 64 years. No differences were found in the prevalence of risk factors amongst men and women. Twenty-seven percent had one risk factor for CV disease, 35% had two risk factors, 19% had three and 6% had four or more risk factors. Hypertension was the most common risk factor detected (62%), followed by dyslipidemia (57%), obesity (26%), tobacco smoke (23%) and diabetes mellitus (17%). Overall, 134 responders (24%) underwent screening, of whom 38 were screened for cardiac diseases and carotid stenosis and 126 for aortic aneurysms. Screening identified 14 new cases of cardiovascular disease: three cases of carotid stenosis, eight of ischemic cardiopathy, and three aneurysms. In conclusion, screening in high risk subjects identified a high percentage of subects with CVD. PMID:25194118

  13. Raised Holocene paleo-shorelines along the Capo Schis 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 Schis 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.

  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. 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.

  16. 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 statistical analysis, indicate that anthropogenic trace element pollution could be considered as one of the most important causes of the modifications of foraminiferal assemblages in the study area. PMID:23828269

  17. 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 ?13C 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. 364610.18" N, Long. 140131.59" 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 364538.89" N, Long 140007.58" 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 sustaining thiotrophic macrobenthic communities since the end of the Younger Dryas stadial up to sub-recent times.

  18. 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 ?13C 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 364610.18 N, Long 140131.59 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 364538.89 N, Long 140007.58 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 macrobenthic communities since the end of the Younger Dryas stadial up to sub-recent times.

  19. Predicting the impacts of climate change on plant dynamics and tree-grass-shrub competition using a Cellular Automata model in a Mediterranean catchment in Sicily, Italy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Noto, L. V.; Caracciolo, D.; Fatichi, S.; Istanbulluoglu, E.

    2013-12-01

    Understanding and predicting vegetation change along ecosystem boundaries is among paramount challenges in ecohydrology. In this study, Cellular-Automaton Tree Grass Shrub Simulator (CATGraSS) is implemented in a small upland catchment in Sicily, IT, where north-facing slopes are characterized by quercus (trees), and south-facing slopes exhibit plant coexistence, composed of Opuntia ficus-indaca (shrub) and grasses, to examine the control of solar radiation on plant development and predict potential trajectories of vegetation change under the stress of global warming. CATGraSS is driven by stochastic rainfall and variable solar radiation on topography, represented by a fine-scale gridded domain where vegetation type at each cell is represented individually. In the model, each cell can hold a single plant type or remain empty. Plant competition is modeled explicitly by keeping track of mortality and establishment of plants, both calculated probabilistically based on soil moisture stress. Spatially explicit treatment of solar radiation, and a lower limit to soil moisture storage imposed by bedrock depth lead to spatial organization in evapotranspiration, soil moisture, runoff, and plant type. CATGraSS is first calibrated at the field site driven by stochastic climate that represent the current climate at the study site. Calibrated model results are examined against Google-Earth images. Implications of future climate change are examined using the advanced weather generator (AWE-GEN). AWE-GEN characterizes the statistical characteristics of selected climate variables and their change over time based on a multi-model ensemble of outputs from General Circulation Models (GCMs). Stochastic downscaling is carried out using simulations of twelve GCMs adopted in the IPCC 4AR, A1B emission scenario for the future scenarios 2046-2065 and 2081-2100. Future vegetation changed is predicted to bring a dramatic reorganization of the plant composition based mainly on the topography, characterized by loss of quercus and expansion of grass. Rapid vegetation change could lead to soil erosion, prone soils and changes in the biogeochemical processes in such steep mountainous terrains in the region.

  20. Oxidative stress and DNA repair and detoxification gene expression in adolescents exposed to heavy metals living in the Milazzo-Valle del Mela area (Sicily, Italy)

    PubMed Central

    Pizzino, Gabriele; Bitto, Alessandra; Interdonato, Monica; Galfo, Federica; Irrera, Natasha; Mecchio, Anna; Pallio, Giovanni; Ramistella, Vincenzo; Luca, Filippo De; Minutoli, Letteria; Squadrito, Francesco; Altavilla, Domenica

    2014-01-01

    Background The area of Milazzo-Valle del Mela (Sicily, Italy) is considered at high risk of environmental crisis by regional authorities. Objective To measure oxidative-stress, DNA repair and detoxification genes in school children living near the industrial area and in age-matched controls. Methods The parent study was a biomonitoring investigation evaluating heavy metal urine levels in 226 children aged 1214 years, living in the high risk area, and in 29 age-matched controls living 45km far from the industrial site. In the present study 67 exposed adolescents and 29 controls were included. Samples were analyzed for urinary 8-hydroxydeoxyguanosine (8OHdG) levels, and gene expression of OGG1 (DNA repair gene), NQO1, ST13, and MT1A (detoxifying genes). Results Urinary cadmium was higher (p=0.0004) in exposed [geometric mean, 0.46g/L; 25th75th percentile: 0.30.56] than in control adolescents [geometric mean, 0.26g/L; 25th75th percentile: 0.20.3]. Chromium was also significantly elevated in exposed [geometric mean, 1.52g/L; 25th75th percentile: 1.191.93] compared with controls [geometric mean, 1.25g/L; 25th75th percentile: 1.051.48; p=0.02]. Urinary 8-OHdG concentration was greater in exposed than in controls (71.49 vs 61.87g/L, p=0.02), and it was correlated with cadmium levels (r=0.46, p<0.0001), and with the combined exposure index (r=0.43, p<0.0001). Moreover, cadmium levels showed a robust correlation with OGG1 and MT1A gene expression levels (r=0.44, p<0.0001; r=0.39, p<0.0001, respectively). Finally, OGG1 and MT1A were over-expressed in adolescents from Milazzo-Valle del Mela area compared with controls (p=0.0004; p<0.0001, respectively). Conclusions Continuous exposure at relatively low concentrations of heavy metals is associated with increased oxidative DNA damage and impaired expression of DNA repair and detoxification genes in adolescents. PMID:24936443

  1. Presence-only approach to assess landslide triggering-thickness susceptibility. A test for the Mili catchment (North-Eastern Sicily, Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lombardo, Luigi; Fubelli, Giandomenico; Amato, Gabriele; Bonasera, Mauro; Hochschild, Volker; Rotigliano, Edoardo

    2015-04-01

    This study aims at comparing the performances of a presence only approach, namely Maximum Entropy, in assessing landslide triggering-thickness susceptibility within the Mili catchment, located in the north-eastern Sicily, Italy. This catchment has been recently exposed to three main meteorological extreme events, resulting in the activation of multiple fast landslides, which occurred on the 1st October 2009, 10th March 2010 and 1st March 2011. Differently from the 2009 event, which only marginally hit the catchment, the 2010 and 2011 storms fully involved the area of the Mili catchment. Detailed field data was collected to associate the thickness of mobilised materials at the triggering zone to each mass movement within the catchment. This information has been used to model the landslide susceptibility for two classes of processes clustered into shallow failures for maximum depths of 0.5m and deep ones in case of values equal or greater than 0.5m. As the authors believed that the peculiar geomorphometry of this narrow and steep catchment played a fundamental role in generating two distinct patterns of landslide thicknesses during the initiation phase, a HRDEM was used to extract topographic attributes to express near-triggering geomorphological conditions. On the other hand, medium resolution vegetation indexes derived from ASTER scenes were used as explanatory variables pertaining to a wider spatial neighbourhood, whilst a revised geological map, the land use from CORINE and a tectonic map were used to convey an even wider area connected to the slope instability. The choice of a presence-only approach allowed to effectively discriminate between the two types of landslide thicknesses at the triggering zone, producing outstanding prediction skills associated with relatively low variances across a set of 20 randomly generated replicates. The validation phase produced indeed average AUC values of 0.91 with a standard deviation of 0.03 for both the modelled landslide thicknesses. In addition, the role of each predictor within the whole modelling procedure was assessed by applying Jackknife tests. These analyses focussed on evaluating the variation of AUC values across replicates comparing single variable models with models based on the full set of predictors iteratively deprived of one covariate. As a result, relevant differences among main contributors between the two considered classes were also quantitatively derived and geomorphologically interpreted. This work can be considered as an example for creating specific landslide susceptibility maps to be used in master planning in order to establish proportional countermeasures to different activation mechanisms. Keywords: statistical analysis, shallow landslide, landslide susceptibility, triggering factors, presence-only approach

  2. Flash floods and debris flow: how the risk could can be better managed? The case of the events in Sicily on October 2009

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aronica, Giuseppe T.; Brigandi', Giuseppina

    2010-05-01

    Flash floods are phenomena in which the important hydrologic processes are occurring on the same spatial and temporal scales as the intense precipitation. Most of the catchments of the Messina area in the North-East part of Sicily (Italy), are prone to flash flood formation. They are, in fact, small, with a steep slope, and characterised by short concentration times. Moreover, those catchments are predominantly rural in the upper mountainous part, while the areas next to the outlet are highly urbanized with areas that cover not only the floodplain but also the river bed itself as the main roads were previously part of the torrent. This situation involve an high risk of economic losses and human life in case of flash flood in these areas. In the last years the area around Messina has been interested by severe flash floods and debris flow. The events occurred on 25th October 2007 in the Mastroguglielmo torrent and 1st October 2009 on Racinazzi and Gianpilieri torrents are an example of flash floods and debris flow events that caused not only significant economic damages to property, buildings, roads and bridges but also, for this that concern the 1st October 2009 flash flood, loss of human life. The main focus of this work is, basing on the post event analysis of the 2009 flash flood event, to try to understand which could be the better preventive measures and mitigation strategies that can be provided for a better risk management in these areas too many times affected by devastating events. Flood management can be controlled by either structural or non-structural measures. Adoption of a certain measure depends critically on the hydrological and hydraulic characteristics of the river system and the region. Flash flood management includes a number of phases that should be included in any management strategy like prevention, mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery. Forecasting based on hydrological precursors based on the soil moisture condition at the beginning of an event has been investigated in order to test is this kind of approach can be useful as flash flood forecasting system. This kind of approach, associated with the use of LAM (Limited Area Modelling) approach could, in fact, increase the forecast lead time. When an efficient flash flood forecasting system can be difficult to apply, a good risk management and some structural action can be contemplated to improve the safety of the people and the properties. In these cases, hazard maps associated to several scenarios that cover the geographical areas which have been flooded and those that could be flooded, can be a practical alternative. These areas shall be shown according to several scenarios and, for each scenarios, the degree of danger will also be provided by expressing the water depth, the flow velocity or the combination of these and the identification of areas which could be subject to bank overflowing and debris flow deposition.

  3. Semi-automatic mapping of rainfall-induced landslides exploiting VHR optical images: the Messina, Sicily, 1 October 2009 landslide event (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reichenbach, P.; Mondini, A.; Ardizzone, F.; Cardinali, M.; Fiorucci, F.; Guzzetti, F.; Rossi, M.

    2010-12-01

    A landslide inventory map shows the location and extent of landslides that have left discernable signs in an area. An event-inventory shows landslides caused by a single trigger, such as an earthquake, a rainfall event, or a rapid snowmelt event. Event-inventories are important to document the extent of a landslide disaster, for erosion studies, and to validate landslide susceptibility models. Most commonly, landslide event-inventories are obtained through the interpretation of stereoscopic aerial photographs taken shortly after an event, aided by field surveys. Investigators have attempted to use very-high-resolution (VHR) satellite images to map event landslides. Most of the attempts exploit basic change detection techniques to identify the landslides. For the purpose, pre- and post-event optical images of similar characteristics are required. Mapping obtained using these methods can be imprecise, it can over overestimate or underestimate the true landslide extent, and - in general - it lacks geographic accuracy. In this work, we present a new method to identify recent rainfall induced landslides using pre- and post-event VHR satellite images. The method was tested along the Ionian coast of Sicily, southern Italy, where on 1 October 2009 a high-intensity rainfall (200 mm of cumulated rain in 6 hours) triggered more than 500 shallow soil slides and debris flows in an area of about 40 km2. For the area, a landslide event-inventory was prepared at 1:10,000 scale through a combination of: (i) field surveys, (ii) visual interpretation of pre- and post-event aerial photographs, (iii) analysis of VHR satellite images, and (iv) analysis of a post-event, high-resolution DEM. Semi-automatic recognition and mapping of the rainfall-induced landslides was performed in steps, using a pre-event image taken by the QuickBird satellite on 2 September 2006, and a post-event image taken by the same satellite on 8 October 2009, 7 days after the event. First, a set of derivative maps showing changes in the optical properties of the two images was prepared. The derivative maps showed changes in: (i) the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), (ii) the spectral angle, (iii) the first (strongest) principal component, and (iv) the first (strongest) independent component. Next, the derivative maps and the landslide information shown in the existing inventory map were used to construct and calibrate a set of three multivariate terrain classification models. Each model categorized the terrain as being (i) a landslide, or (ii) free of landslides, with a given probability. Next, the single models were combined to obtain an optimal terrain zonation, which classified successfully > 80% of the landslide areas shown in the existing inventory map. We expect the method to achieve similar high classification skills in other areas, provided that pre- and post-event VHR satellite images of adequate characteristics are available, and that the event-landslides have left discernable features on the terrain that are captured by the post-event satellite image.

  4. Monitoring large-scale landslides and their induced hazard with COSMO-SkyMed Intermittent SBAS (ISBAS): a case study in north-western Sicily, Italy.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Novellino, Alessandro; Cigna, Francesca; Jordan, Colm; Sowter, Andrew; Calcaterra, Domenico

    2014-05-01

    Landslides detection and mapping are fundamental requirements for every hazard and risk evaluation. Due to their inevitable shortcomings, geomorphological field surveys and airphoto interpretation do not document all the gravitational events. Indeed some unstable slopes are inaccessible to field surveyors, while some landslides are too slow to be detected with the naked eye or interpretation of aerial photographs. In this work, we integrate geomorphological surveys with ground motion data derived by employing COSMO-SkyMed satellite imagery and the Intermittent Small BAseline Subset (ISBAS; Sowter et al., 2013), a new Advanced Differential Interferometry Synthetic Aperture Radar (ADInSAR) technique which has been developed recently at the Nottingham University in the UK. The main advantage of ISBAS with respect to other InSAR and SBAS techniques, is the possibility to detect good radar reflectors even in non-urbanized terrain, where ground targets usually look intermittently coherent, meaning they have high coherence only in some interferograms but not in others. ISBAS has proven capable of increasing results over natural, woodland and agricultural terrains and, as a result, it makes it possible to improve the detection of landslide boundaries and the assessment of the state of activity where other InSAR approaches fail. We used COSMO-SkyMed StripMap data covering the period between November 2008 and October 2011, with 3m ground range resolution, 40 look angle and minimum revisiting time of 8 days. The data consist of 38 ascending images (track 133, frame 380) with ground track angle at scene centre of 169.5 from the north-south direction. These have been obtained thanks to an agreement between the Italian Ministry for the Environment, Land and Sea and the University of Naples 'Federico II'. We tested ISBAS in north-western Sicily (southern Italy), over a 1,530 km2 area where 1,473 landslides have been identified based on optical imagery and field surveys by the local Hydro-geomorphological Setting Plan published in 2006. The geological and tectonic setting of the area, related to the Apenninic-Maghrebian Chain orogeny, makes most of the instability phenomena of complex or flow type with an extremely slow to very slow velocity, namely very suitable for an interferometric analysis. We show the results for Piana degli Albanesi, a thrust faults-bounded basin located in the northern Mt. Kumeta massif, filled in with Lower Miocene marls and pelitic deposits. Here landslide risk affects housing and public infrastructure (e.g. the SP34, the SP38 and SP102 highways), and the unstable slopes extend up to a gravity masonry dam, such as to require continuous rebuilding of infrastructures in the portions with the higher displacement rates. The ISBAS results for ascending geometry entail an unprecedented 685,518 points in a 90 km2 extended processing area, and their Line Of Sight velocities range between -6.4 mm/yr (away from the sensor) and +6.6mm/yr (towards the sensor). ISBAS results detect a total of 89 mapped landslides, of which 23 are previously not recorded. The analysis of ISBAS COSMO-SKyMed time-series allows us to compare the deformation trends to rainfall events, and to evaluate the correlation between heavy or prolonged rainfall and accelerations in the ground motion histories of the identified landslides. Sowter A., Bateson L., Strange P., Ambrose K., Syafiudin M.F., 2013. DInSAR estimation of land motion using intermittent coherence with application to the South Derbyshire and Leicestershire coalfields. Remote Sensing Letters, v.4 : 979-987.

  5. Human reponses to historical eruptions of Etna (Sicily) from 1600 to present and their implications for present-day disaster planning

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sangster, H.; Chester, D. K.; Duncan, A. M.

    2012-04-01

    Mount Etna in northeastern Sicily (Italy) rises to over 3000 m, covers an area of ca.1750 km2 and is the most active volcano in Europe. Observations of Etna by literate observers stretch back to the classical era and one of the earliest references to an eruption of Etna was by Pindar in his Pythian Odes, to the event of ca. 474-479 B.C. The history of its activity has been reconstructed by scholars up to the present day and records of eruptions are reasonably complete from the early fifteenth century, reliable from 1669, and document the threats and destruction to human settlements and livelihoods. Effusive and explosive activity has occurred continually throughout the historical period and eruptions of Mount Etna have presented numerous eruption styles, from persistent central crater activity, to periodic flank eruptions. From 1600 to 1669 the activity of Etna was characterised by a high volumetric output of lava with a mean eruption rate of 1.19 m3s-1, this was followed by a pause from flank eruptions and the re-establishment of significant activity from the middle of the eighteenth century. After 1750 the output of lava by flank eruptions was lower than in the previous century, with the mean eruption rate falling to 0.18 m3s-1. This paper summarises: the characteristics of the eruptions that occurred between the period of 1600 to present; the particularities of the societal responses over time and the role of the authorities; and, the important lessons this history holds for the management of present-day civil defence planning in the region. People responded to the eruptions at three levels: as members of a family and extended family; as members of a community and, as citizens of the State. The State, however, was a minor player in responding to these eruptions until the early nineteenth century as the State then became more involved in each successive eruption as the responses moved to a more industrial nature rather than pre-industrial. Today emergencies are closely managed by central government, through the Ministry of Civil Protection (Dipartimento della Protezione Civile - founded in 1992), who can call on the expertise of local authorities (comuni) and scientific bodies, especially the National Institute of Geophysics and Vulcanology in Catania (Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologica INGV - sezione Catania). The nature of the society living on the flanks of Mount Etna has changed over the past nine decades, especially since the late 1960s, and the increasing exposure to volcanic and volcano-related hazards in the Etna Region is strengthening the need for improved communication amongst social scientists, civil defence authorities, the media and the local communities. Educating local people about how to react when a disaster strikes is viewed as an increasingly important element in Civil Defence planning, with examples of how people coped successfully in the past being used to inform people today. Effective communication both in terms of, raising awareness and ensuring that non-scientists have properly understood the associated hazard implications, and implementing emergency responses, is critical in facilitating more effective hazard prevention plans.

  6. The Second World Cholera Pandemic (1826-1849) in the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies with Special Reference to the Towns of San Prisco and Forio d'Ischia.

    PubMed

    Imperato, Pascal James; Imperato, Gavin H; Imperato, Austin C

    2015-12-01

    The second world cholera pandemic in Europe (1829-1849) was significant because of its geographic extent and the enormous numbers of people who fell ill or died. It was also singularly important because it demonstrated the profound levels of ignorance in both Europe and North America concerning the cause, modes of transmission, and treatment of cholera. This paper discusses the pandemic in the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies in great detail. Even though medical and public health authorities in this kingdom had several years to prepare for cholera's eventual arrival in 1836-1837, their elaborate preventive and therapeutic measures proved no more successful than elsewhere. Despite their efforts, it was estimated that there were 32,145 cases of cholera in the city of Naples by July 1837. Some 19,470 people were estimated to have died among the city's then 357,283 population. This amounted to a cholera-specific mortality rate of 54.5/1000 population. Sicily was also severely affected by the epidemic. It was estimated that 69,000 people died of cholera in Sicily, 24,000 of them in the city of Palermo. Two rural towns in the kingdom, San Prisco and Forio d'Ischia, were selected for in-depth epidemiologic study. The former had a population of 3700 in 1836-1837, while the latter had a population of 5500. The economic basis of both towns was agriculture. However, because Forio is located on an island, fishing and sea transport were then also important industries. Cholera appeared in San Prisco in July 1837 and quickly swept through the population. By August, the epidemic was essentially over. It is estimated that some 109 people died from cholera in San Prisco for a disease-specific mortality rate of 29.5/1000 population. The age range of those who died from cholera was 1 to 90 years. The majority of deaths (60.6 %) were among women. The first cases of cholera appeared in Forio d'Ischia in June 1837. The epidemic then peaked in July. It is estimated that approximately 316 people died from cholera in Forio out of a population of 5500. This resulted in a cholera-specific mortality rate of 57.5/1000 population. Among the first 42 fatal cases in whom the disease was documented on their death certificates, ages ranged from 15 to 88 years. The mean age was 52.4 years. The majority of deaths (57.1 %) were among women. We reached beyond the statistics of this epidemic by presenting an in-depth study of the first person to die from cholera in Forio d'Ischia, Nicola Antonio Insante. By focusing on him, we were able to develop a broad account of the social and economic consequences of his death on his family. At the same time, our research demonstrated the resiliency of his immediate and distant descendants. Similarly, we discuss the D'Ambra and Scola families of Forio d'Ischia, and the Caruso and Valenziano families of San Prisco, among whom a number died from cholera in 1837. PMID:26377228

  7. Binary Logistic Regression Versus Boosted Regression Trees in Assessing Landslide Susceptibility for Multiple-Occurring Regional Landslide Events: Application to the 2009 Storm Event in Messina (Sicily, southern Italy).

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lombardo, L.; Cama, M.; Maerker, M.; Parisi, L.; Rotigliano, E.

    2014-12-01

    This study aims at comparing the performances of Binary Logistic Regression (BLR) and Boosted Regression Trees (BRT) methods in assessing landslide susceptibility for multiple-occurrence regional landslide events within the Mediterranean region. A test area was selected in the north-eastern sector of Sicily (southern Italy), corresponding to the catchments of the Briga and the Giampilieri streams both stretching for few kilometres from the Peloritan ridge (eastern Sicily, Italy) to the Ionian sea. This area was struck on the 1st October 2009 by an extreme climatic event resulting in thousands of rapid shallow landslides, mainly of debris flows and debris avalanches types involving the weathered layer of a low to high grade metamorphic bedrock. Exploiting the same set of predictors and the 2009 landslide archive, BLR- and BRT-based susceptibility models were obtained for the two catchments separately, adopting a random partition (RP) technique for validation; besides, the models trained in one of the two catchments (Briga) were tested in predicting the landslide distribution in the other (Giampilieri), adopting a spatial partition (SP) based validation procedure. All the validation procedures were based on multi-folds tests so to evaluate and compare the reliability of the fitting, the prediction skill, the coherence in the predictor selection and the precision of the susceptibility estimates. All the obtained models for the two methods produced very high predictive performances, with a general congruence between BLR and BRT in the predictor importance. In particular, the research highlighted that BRT-models reached a higher prediction performance with respect to BLR-models, for RP based modelling, whilst for the SP-based models the difference in predictive skills between the two methods dropped drastically, converging to an analogous excellent performance. However, when looking at the precision of the probability estimates, BLR demonstrated to produce more robust models in terms of selected predictors and coefficients, as well as of dispersion of the estimated probabilities around the mean value for each mapped pixel. The difference in the behaviour could be interpreted as the result of overfitting effects, which heavily affect decision tree classification more than logistic regression techniques.

  8. The CIRCEE-HR survey in the Calabrian arc and offshore E Sicily (Ionian Sea and Southern Italy): investigating active faults, recent deformation and the deep marine paleoseismic record (turbidites)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gutscher, M.; Babonneau, N.; Cattaneo, A.; Gallais, F.; Graindorge, D.; San Pedro, L.

    2013-12-01

    (CIRCEE-HR - Calabrian arc Ionian sea Research and Catastrophic historical EarthquakE s in southern italy - a High Resolution seismic survey) We report on a recent marine geophysical and geological survey conducted onboard the R/V Le Suroit from 2-24 October in the Ionian Sea, offshore Eastern Sicily. The primary aim of the CIRCEE-HR cruise proposal was to conduct a neo-tectonic study of the Calabrian subduction zone offshore Southern Italy, a region struck repeatedly by the most destructive earthquakes in European history. The CIRCEE-HR survey targeted the region struck by the 1693 Catania earthquake (60,000 killed) and the 1908 Messina earthquakes, which produced intensity X-XI shaking and tsunamis. The 1908 (normal faulting mechanism) earthquake triggered a turbidite flow that ruptured submarine cables. The source of some strong historical earthquakes (1169, 1542, 1693) remains unknown. Several crustal scale structures have been proposed as being seismogenic: the Malta escarpment, a lithospheric tear fault (STEP), the subduction fault plane and other related faults. The main objectives of the cruise were therefore to seek evidence of active faults associated with these structures, and to characterize the degree of activity of the Calabria accretionary wedge (sedimentary deformation, dewatering processes) in order to better assess its seismogenic potential. Another major objective is to try to determine the typical recurrence interval for large earthquakes in the region (by coring and dating of turbidites triggered by great earthquakes). The Augias mega-turbidite dated either 3.5 ka (Cita et al., 1996) or 365 AD (Polonia et al., 2013) covers the entire floor of the Ionian abyssal plain with a thickness of 10-15m representing a volume of > 100km3. This layer serves as a stratigraphic marker to identify recent deformation in the abyssal domain. The methods applied were 72-channel high-resolution seismic profiles and sub-bottom profiling (chirp) (with 1200km of profiles planned) as well as some targeted bathymetric swathmapping surveys (in areas <3000m depth, not previously well mapped), and gravity coring of the turbidite deposits (28 coring sites planned). Map of the Ionian Sea - E Sicily margin, with planned seismic profiles shown as red lines and planned sediment coring sites as red triangles

  9. Obsidian provenance determination using the beam stability controlled BSC-XRF and the PIXE-alpha portable spectrometers of the LANDIS laboratory: the case of the Via Capuana settlement in Licodia Eubea (Sicily)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pappalardo, L.; Romano, F. P.; Bracchitta, D.; Massimino, A.; Palio, O.; Rizzo, F.

    2013-12-01

    In the last decade about 800 obsidian artifacts coming from various archaeological sites of Sicily have been analyzed using the BSC-XRF (beam stability controlled-x-ray fluorescence) and PIXE-alpha (particle induced x-ray emission, using low-energy alpha particles) portable spectrometers developed at the Landis laboratory of the LNS-INFN and IBAM-CNR in Catania (Italy). The portable BSC-XRF system allows the non-destructive analysis of Rb, Sr, Y, Zr and Nb trace concentrations, which are considered to be characteristic of the obsidian samples and consequently are indicative of the provenance quarries. Quantitative data on the above trace-element concentrations were deduced using a method that makes use of a multi-parameter linear regression. The portable PIXE-alpha spectrometer allows the quantitative determination of the matrix major elements, from Na to Zn. In this paper the updated versions of the instrumental devices and methods are presented together with a review of all the obtained data from various Sicilian sites. Results on compositional data for trace elements and major elements allowed us to identify Lipari and Pantelleria islands as the only two sources of the analyzed samples. Recent data about the Via Capuana settlement in Licodia Eubea are also presented and discussed for the first time.

  10. Situation structurale et nature ophiolitique de roches basiques jurassiques associes aux flyschs maghrbins du Rif (Maroc) et de Sicile (Italie)Structural setting and ophiolitic nature of Jurassic basic rocks associated with the Maghrebian flyschs in the Rif (Morocco) and Sicily (Italy).

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Durand-Delga, Michel; Rossi, Philippe; Olivier, Philippe; Puglisi, Diego

    2000-07-01

    At both ends of the Maghrebides belt, in the Rif Mountains and Sicily, Middle to Upper Jurassic slices of basic rocks with an E-MORB character are associated with various tectonic units of the Maghrebian flysch zone. This zone, which was located between the internal zones, originally linked to the European plate and the African external zones of this Alpine belt, was therefore oceanized, at least partially, and acted as a transform fault between the mid Atlantic and the Ligurian ocean, both of them being open at that time.

  11. Salinity in the Sicily Channel corroborates the role of the Adriatic-Ionian Bimodal Oscillating System (BiOS) in shaping the decadal variability of the Mediterranean overturning circulation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gačić, M.; Schroeder, K.; Civitarese, G.; Cosoli, S.; Vetrano, A.; Eusebi Borzelli, G. L.

    2013-01-01

    Previous studies have demonstrated that the salinity in the Levantine basin depends on the intensity of the Atlantic water (AW) inflow. Moreover, its spreading eastward (to the Levantine basin) or northward (to the Ionian Sea) is determined by the Ionian circulation pattern, i.e. by the Adriatic-Ionian Bimodal Oscillating System (BiOS) mechanism. The aim of this paper is to relate salinity variations in the Levantine basin to the salt content variability in the core of the Levantine Intermediate Water (LIW) passing through the Sicily Channel (SC) and its possible impact on the Western Mediterranean Transition - WMT (i.e. the sudden salinity and temperature increase in the deep layer of the Algero-Provençal subbasin occurring since 2004). From the historical data set MEDAR/MEDATLAS in the Levantine and northern Ionian, we present evidence of decadal occurrences of extreme salinities associated with the varying influx of AW over the last 60 yr. Furthermore, we show that the salinity variations in the two subbasins are out of phase. High-salinity episodes in the Levantine are a pre-conditioning for the potential occurrence of the events like the Eastern Mediterranean Transient (EMT). Cross-correlation between the salinity time series in the Levantine basin and in the SC suggests that the travel time of the LIW is between 10 and 13 yr. Comparing the timing of the salinity increase associated with the WMT and the salinity in the LIW core in the SC, we estimate that the total time interval needed for the signal propagating from the Levantine to reach the deep mixed layers of the Algero-Provençal subbasin is about 25 yr. We also showed that the extra salt input from the eastern Mediterranean contribute up to about 60% to the salt content increase in the bottom layer of the western Mediterranean.

  12. The Advancement of Intraplate Tectonic Motion Detection by the Use of Atmospherically Corrected InSAR Time-series and its Decomposition into a 3D Field Vector in South-East Sicily, Italy.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vollrath, A.; Bekaert, D. P.; Bonforte, A.; Guglielmino, F.; Hooper, A. J.; Stramondo, S.; Zucca, F.

    2014-12-01

    This study provides insights into the advancements gained by applying a tropospheric correction to a time-series InSAR small baseline network processed using the StaMPS software for the Hyblean Plateau in south-east Sicily, Italy. The contribution of the atmosphere is one of the major error sources in repeat-pass InSAR in general. For time-series analysis spatial and temporal "filtering" of the interferometric phase can be used to address atmospheric signals. This however might be at the cost of smoothing and removal of the "tectonic deformation". We applied a tropospheric correction to each interferogram based on estimates of the ERA-Interim weather model, provided by the European Center for Medium-Range Weather Forecast (ECMWF). This approach is part of the InSAR Atmospheric Correction Toolbox (Bekaert et al, in prep) and converts the tropospheric water vapor content into the phase-delay of the radar line-of-sight. For the analysis we used 49 descending and 58 ascending Envisat SAR images, which cover the time period from 2003 until 2010. In addition, we have processed 30 SAR images of RADARSAT-2 for the period between 2010-2012. Furthermore, we used the different viewing geometries and the integration of GPS data to decompose the single line-of-sight velocities into a 3-dimensional field vector by applying the SISTEM approach (Guglielmino et al. 2011). First results reveal that the atmospherically corrected data retain the deformation signal along geological structures like the Scicli-Ragusa fault whilst the standard filtering approach is canceling out these very slow deformation patterns. Simultaneously, the variability of the signal in space is diminished and thus gives more confidence on the deformation patterns observed by the SAR. Consequently, the decomposition of the line-of-sight velocities and the integration with the GPS data allows us to retrieve a more realistic deformation field.

  13. Impacts of the 1669 eruption and the 1693 earthquakes on the Etna Region (Eastern Sicily, Italy): An example of recovery and response of a small area to extreme events

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Branca, Stefano; Azzaro, Raffaele; De Beni, Emanuela; Chester, David; Duncan, Angus

    2015-09-01

    In this paper we trace the impact of the 1669 eruption and the 1693 earthquakes in eastern Sicily, their effects on the people living in the Etna region and, more particularly, in the city of Catania and its hinterland. The former event was the largest historic eruption of Etna, having a flow field with an area of ca. 40 km2 and a maximum flow length of ca. 17 km, whereas the latter - occurring only 24 years later - killed between 11,000 and 20,000 of Catania's estimated 20-27,000 inhabitants, plus many more in smaller settlements. Using a combination of field-based research, contemporary accounts and archival sources, the authors are able to draw a number of conclusions. First, the 1669 eruption, although it did not kill or injure, was economically the most devastating of historical eruptions. Although it affected a limited area, inundation by lava meant that land was effectively sterilized for centuries and, in a pre-industrial agriculturally-based economy, recovery could not occur quickly without outside assistance from the State. Indeed some of the worst affected municipalities (i.e. Comuni) were only able to support populations that were much reduced in size. Secondly, much of the damage caused to buildings by volcanic earthquakes was effectively masked, because most of the settlements affected were quickly covered by lava flows. The vulnerability to volcanic earthquakes of traditionally constructed buildings has, however, remained a serious example of un-ameliorated risk exposure through to the present day. A third conclusion is that the 1693 earthquakes, although more serious with respect to the number of people and the area they affected in terms of mortality, morbidity and their immediate economic impact, saw a rapid and sustained recovery. This was due in part to the fact that, in contrast to lava flows, an earthquake does not sterilize land, but more significant was the reduction in population numbers which served both to release and concentrate funds for investment in recovery. By the close of the eighteenth century Catania was known throughout Europe for the quality of its townscape and buildings, many of which were constructed in the then fashionable (and expensive) baroque style. Finally, the 1669 and 1693 disasters were seized on by the authorities as opportunities to plan new and re-build old settlements with improved infrastructure to facilitate economic growth. By the nineteenth century many of the lessons had been largely forgotten and there were many examples of: poor seismic design of individual buildings; and the location of new residential and commercial areas that placed more people at greater risk from future extreme events. Indeed it is only recently have new regulations been enacted to prevent the construction of buildings in the vicinity of active faults and to control development in other hazardous zones.

  14. Late cenozoic subduction complex of Sicily

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Roure, F.; Howell, D.G.; Muller, C.; Moretti, I.

    1990-01-01

    Besides remnants of Hercynian deformations in the Peloritani nappe and of pre-Oligocene Alpine structures in the Troiani nappe, most compressive structures observed in the Sicilian accretionary wedge result from the late Cenozoic (Tortonian to Present) continental subduction of the Apulia (Iblei) block, and are thus synchronous with distensive structures related to the opening of the Tyrrhenian Sea. Syntectonic deposits fill southward-migrating foredeeps in a sequential fashion, and the dating of these deposits helps to constrain the timing of deformation. Similarly, Plio-Quaternary sediments, eroded from the accreted units, rest on top of the allochthon in either compressive piggy-back depressions or extensional basins. The age and configuration of these overlap deposits constrain our reconstructions of the subsurface geometry of the underlying peri-Tyrrhenian detachment faults or S-verging thrust-faults. Post-depositional erosion, normal faulting and syntectonic filling of basins contribute to maintaining the critical taper of the prism, whose geometry is continuously altered owing to frontal accretion, underplating and isostatic uplift. ?? 1990.

  15. Tsunami risk assessments in Messina, Sicily - Italy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grezio, A.; Gasparini, P.; Marzocchi, W.; Patera, A.; Tinti, S.

    2012-01-01

    We present a first detailed tsunami risk assessment for the city of Messina where one of the most destructive tsunami inundations of the last centuries occurred in 1908. In the tsunami hazard evaluation, probabilities are calculated through a new general modular Bayesian tool for Probability Tsunami Hazard Assessment. The estimation of losses of persons and buildings takes into account data collected directly or supplied by: (i) the Italian National Institute of Statistics that provides information on the population, on buildings and on many relevant social aspects; (ii) the Italian National Territory Agency that provides updated economic values of the buildings on the basis of their typology (residential, commercial, industrial) and location (streets); and (iii) the Train and Port Authorities. For human beings, a factor of time exposition is introduced and calculated in terms of hours per day in different places (private and public) and in terms of seasons, considering that some factors like the number of tourists can vary by one order of magnitude from January to August. Since the tsunami risk is a function of the run-up levels along the coast, a variable tsunami risk zone is defined as the area along the Messina coast where tsunami inundations may occur.

  16. Two new tardigrade species from Sicily.

    PubMed

    Pilato, Giovanni; Sabella, Giorgio; Lisi, Oscar

    2014-01-01

    Two new species of tardigrades are described from Sicilian moss samples: Macrobiotus insuetus sp. nov. and Diphascon (Diphascon) procerum sp. nov. Macrobiotus insuetus sp. nov. is a species of the harmsworthi-group characterized by both posterior and anterior claws of the hind legs, which are different in shape from those of the first three leg pairs. The IV claws have extended basal tract where the branches are joined and the secondary branch breaks at near right angle to the primary branch and is clearly shorter than the main branch and the secondary branch of claws I-III. The eggs are not areolated and have conical processes with a reticular ornamentation. Diphascon (D.) procerum sp. nov. has a delicate cuticular ornamentation of very small tubercles, almost dots; two macroplacoids and septulum are present; thin accessory points are present on the main branches of the slender claws; lunules are absent but the base of the external claws of the hind legs are enlarged and slightly indented; a cuticular bar is present near the internal claw of the first three leg pairs and two cuticular bars are present on the hind legs between the base of the claws and near the base of the anterior claw. PMID:24869688

  17. Y-chromosomal STR haplotypes in Sicily.

    PubMed

    Robino, C; Inturri, S; Gino, S; Torre, C; Di Gaetano, C; Crobu, F; Romano, V; Matullo, G; Piazza, A

    2006-06-01

    Eight Y-chromosomal short tandem repeats (STRs)-DYS19, DYS389-I, DYS389-II, DYS390, DYS391, DYS392, DYS393 and DYS385-were typed in a population sample (n=255) of unrelated Sicilian males from nine different towns on the main island and from the island of Pantelleria. PMID:15990263

  18. [Zolfare in Sicily: a research survey].

    PubMed

    Malta, Renato

    2010-01-01

    Sicilian zolfare (sulphur mines) have long been one of the economic resourches of the island. Miners have worked in difficult and dangerous conditions; many of them were young children (carusi). The paper deals with medical and health provisions for zolfara workers. PMID:21563484

  19. Geology of the peralkaline volcano at Pantelleria, Strait of Sicily

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mahood, G.A.; Hildreth, W.

    1986-01-01

    Situated in a submerged continental rift, Pantelleria is a volcanic island with a subaerial eruptive history longer than 300 Ka. Its eruptive behavior, edifice morphologies, and complex, multiunit geologic history are representative of strongly peralkaline centers. It is dominated by the 6-km-wide Cinque Denti caldera, which formed ca. 45 Ka ago during eruption of the Green Tuff, a strongly rheomorphic unit zoned from pantellerite to trachyte and consisting of falls, surges, and pyroclastic flows. Soon after collapse, trachyte lava flows from an intracaldera central vent built a broad cone that compensated isostatically for the volume of the caldera and nearly filled it. Progressive chemical evolution of the chamber between 45 and 18 Ka ago is recorded in the increasing peralkalinity of the youngest lava of the intracaldera trachyte cone and the few lavas erupted northwest of the caldera. Beginning about 18 Ka ago, inflation of the chamber opened old ring fractures and new radial fractures, along which recently differentiated pantellerite constructed more than 25 pumice cones and shields. Continued uplift raised the northwest half of the intracaldera trachyte cone 275 m, creating the island's present summit, Montagna Grande, by trapdoor uplift. Pantellerite erupted along the trapdoor faults and their hingeline, forming numerous pumice cones and agglutinate sheets as well as five lava domes. Degassing and drawdown of the upper pantelleritic part of a compositionally and thermally stratified magma chamber during this 18-3-Ka episode led to entrainment of subjacent, crystal-rich, pantelleritic trachyte magma as crenulate inclusions. Progressive mixing between host and inclusions resulted in a secular decrease in the degree of evolution of the 0.82 km3 of magma erupted during the episode. The 45-Ka-old caldera is nested within the La Vecchia caldera, which is thought to have formed around 114 Ka ago. This older caldera was filled by three widespread welded units erupted 106, 94, and 79 Ka ago. Reactivation of the ring fracture ca. 67 Ka ago is indicated by venting of a large pantellerite centero and a chain of small shields along the ring fault. For each of the two nested calderas, the onset of postcaldera ring-fracture volcanism coincides with a low stand of sea level. Rates of chemical regeneration within the chamber are rapid, the 3% crystallization/Ka of the post-Green Tuff period being typical. Highly evolved pantellerites are rare, however, because intervals between major eruptions (averaging 13-6 Ka during the last 190 Ka) are short. Benmoreites and mugearites are entirely lacking. Fe-Ti-rich alkalic basalts have erupted peripherally along NW-trending lineaments parallel to the enclosing rift but not within the nested calderas, suggesting that felsic magma persists beneath them. The most recent basaltic eruption (in 1891) took place 4 km northwest of Pantelleria, manifesting the long-term northwestward migration of the volcanic focus. These strongly differentiated basalts reflect low-pressure fractional crystallization of partial melts of garnet peridotite that coalesce in small magma reservoirs replenished only infrequently in this continental rift environment. ?? 1986 Springer-Verlag.

  20. Toscana virus encephalitis following a holiday in Sicily.

    PubMed

    Osborne, Jane C; Khatamzas, Elham; Misbahuddin, Anjum; Hart, Rachel; Sivaramakrishnan, Anand; Breen, David P

    2016-04-01

    We report a case of Toscana virus encephalitis. This emerging pathogen is among the three most common causes of meningoencephalitis in Europe during the warm season, yet remains under-recognised. Doctors should consider Toscana virus infection in patients presenting with neurological symptoms who have a relevant exposure history during the summer months. PMID:26647398

  1. Spatial vent opening probability map of Etna volcano (Sicily, Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cappello, A.; Neri, M.; Acocella, V.; Gallo, G.; Vicari, A.; Del Negro, C.

    2012-11-01

    We produce a spatial probability map of vent opening (susceptibility map) at Etna, using a statistical analysis of structural features of flank eruptions of the last 2 ky. We exploit a detailed knowledge of the volcano structures, including the modalities of shallow magma transfer deriving from dike and dike-fed fissure eruptions analysis on historical eruptions. Assuming the location of future vents will have the same causal factors as the past eruptions, we converted the geological and structural data in distinct and weighted probability density functions, which were included in a non-homogeneous Poisson process to obtain the susceptibility map. The highest probability of new eruptive vents opening falls within a N-S aligned area passing through the Summit Craters down to about 2,000 m a.s.l. on the southern flank. Other zones of high probability follow the North-East, East-North-East, West, and South Rifts, the latter reaching low altitudes (˜400 m). Less susceptible areas are found around the faults cutting the upper portions of Etna, including the western portion of the Pernicana fault and the northern extent of the Ragalna fault. This structural-based susceptibility map is a crucial step in forecasting lava flow hazards at Etna, providing a support tool for decision makers.

  2. Bioindication of volcanic mercury (Hg) deposition around Mt Etna (Sicily)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martin, R.; Witt, M. L.; Sawyer, G. M.; Watt, S.; Bagnato, E.; Calabrese, S.; Aiuppa, A.; Delmelle, P.; Pyle, D. M.; Mather, T. A.

    2012-12-01

    Mt. Etna is a major natural source of Hg to the Mediterranean region. Total mercury concentrations, [Hg]tot, in Castanea sativa (sweet chestnut) leaves sampled 7-13 km from Etna's vents (during six campaigns in 2005-2011) were determined using atomic absorption spectroscopy. [Hg]tot in C. sativa was greatest on Etna's SE flank reflecting Hg deposition from the typically overhead volcanic plume. When adjusted for leaf age, [Hg]tot in C. sativa also increased with recent eruptive activity. [Hg]tot in C. sativa was not controlled by [Hg]tot in soils, which instead was greatest on the (upwind) NW flank and correlated strongly with soil organic matter (% Org). Our results suggest that at least ~1% of Hg emitted from Etna is deposited proximally, supporting recent measurement and model results which indicate that GEM (Hg0; the dominant form of Hg in high temperature magmatic gases) is oxidised rapidly to RGM and Hgp in ambient temperature volcanic plumes. Samples of C. sativa and soils were also collected in July and September 2012 alongside SO2 and acid gas diffusion tube samples. These new samples will enable us to investigate Hg accumulation over a single growth season with reference to the exposure of vegetation to volcanic gases and particles.

  3. Quantifying probabilities of eruptions at Mount Etna (Sicily, Italy).

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brancato, Alfonso

    2010-05-01

    One of the major goals of modern volcanology is to set up sound risk-based decision-making in land-use planning and emergency management. Volcanic hazard must be managed with reliable estimates of quantitative long- and short-term eruption forecasting, but the large number of observables involved in a volcanic process suggests that a probabilistic approach could be a suitable tool in forecasting. The aim of this work is to quantify probabilistic estimate of the vent location for a suitable lava flow hazard assessment at Mt. Etna volcano, through the application of the code named BET (Marzocchi et al., 2004, 2008). The BET_EF model is based on the event tree philosophy assessed by Newhall and Hoblitt (2002), further developing the concept of vent location, epistemic uncertainties, and a fuzzy approach for monitoring measurements. A Bayesian event tree is a specialized branching graphical representation of events in which individual branches are alternative steps from a general prior event, and evolving into increasingly specific subsequent states. Then, the event tree attempts to graphically display all relevant possible outcomes of volcanic unrest in progressively higher levels of detail. The procedure is set to estimate an a priori probability distribution based upon theoretical knowledge, to accommodate it by using past data, and to modify it further by using current monitoring data. For the long-term forecasting, an a priori model, dealing with the present tectonic and volcanic structure of the Mt. Etna, is considered. The model is mainly based on past vent locations and fracture location datasets (XX century of eruptive history of the volcano). Considering the variation of the information through time, and their relationship with the structural setting of the volcano, datasets we are also able to define an a posteriori probability map for next vent opening. For short-term forecasting vent opening hazard assessment, the monitoring has a leading role, primarily based on seismological and volcanological data, integrated with strain, geochemical, gravimetric and magnetic parameters. In the code, is necessary to fix an appropriate forecasting time window. On open-conduit volcanoes as Mt. Etna, a forecast time window of a month (as fixed in other applications worldwide) seems unduly long, because variations of the state of the volcano (significant variation of a specific monitoring parameter could occur in time scale shorter than the forecasting time window) are expected with shorter time scale (hour, day or week). This leads to set a week as forecasting time window, coherently with the number of weeks in which an unrest has been experienced. The short-term vent opening hazard assessment will be estimated during an unrest phase; the testing case (2001 July eruption) will include all the monitoring parameters collected at Mt. Etna during the six months preceding the eruption. The monitoring role has been assessed eliciting more than 50 parameters, including seismic activity, ground deformation, geochemistry, gravity, magnetism, and distributed inside the first three nodes of the procedure. Parameter values describe the Mt. Etna volcano activity, being more detailed through the code, particularly in time units. The methodology allows all assumptions and thresholds to be clearly identified and provides a rational means for their revision if new data or information are incoming. References Newhall C.G. and Hoblitt R.P.; 2002: Constructing event trees for volcanic crises, Bull. Volcanol., 64, 3-20, doi: 10.1007/s0044500100173. Marzocchi W., Sandri L., Gasparini P., Newhall C. and Boschi E.; 2004: Quantifying probabilities of volcanic events: The example of volcanic hazard at Mount Vesuvius, J. Geophys. Res., 109, B11201, doi:10.1029/2004JB00315U. Marzocchi W., Sandri, L. and Selva, J.; 2008: BET_EF: a probabilistic tool for long- and short-term eruption forecasting, Bull. Volcanol., 70, 623 - 632, doi: 10.1007/s00445-007-0157-y.

  4. Photogrammetry in maritime and underwater archaeology: two marble wrecks from Sicily

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Balletti, C.; Beltrame, C.; Costa, E.; Guerra, F.; Vernier, P.

    2015-06-01

    Underwater survey, compared to land archaeology, needs some specific techniques, because the application of some active 3D sensor, such as laser scanner, is obviously impossible. The necessity to produce three-dimensional survey, offering the same accuracy of classical terrestrial laserscanning or photogrammetric methods, combined with the request of low costs and rapid solutions, led the researchers to test and apply oftentimes image-based techniques. In the last two years the Ca' Foscari University and University IUAV of Venice are conducting a research on the application of integrated techniques to support underwater metric documentation, comparing them to the manual traditional one. The gained experience (and confirmed by other recently published papers) shows that the actual multiimage digital photogrammetry is a good solution for the underwater archaeology. This approach is useful both from a metric and from a recording point of view, because it achieves high quality results, such as accurate 3D models or 2D representations, offering a complete documentation of underwater sites. But photogrammetry has to be supported by a topographical survey (to acquire ground control points - GCP) to georeference all the finds in the same reference system. This paper presents the integrated survey of two roman shipwrecks, approaching differently in the GCP's acquisition just for the different morphological characteristic of the sites. The wrecks' cargos are huge marble blocks, presenting differences in quantities, layout and depths. Those characteristics determine the choice of the topographic survey. The results of the survey are two 3D polygonal textured models of the sites, which can be easily used for different analyses and reconstructive hypothesis, opening new possibilities of documentation with both specialists and the wider public. Furthermore, 3D models are the geometric base for 2D orthophoto and cross section extraction. The paper will illustrate all the phases regarding the survey's design, acquisition and realization and the data processing to obtain 2D and 3D final representation.

  5. Agronomical and chemical characterisation of Thymbra capitata (L.) Cav. biotypes from Sicily, Italy.

    PubMed

    Tuttolomondo, Teresa; Dugo, Giacomo; Leto, Claudio; Cicero, Nicola; Tropea, Alessia; Virga, Giuseppe; Leone, Raffaele; Licata, Mario; La Bella, Salvatore

    2015-01-01

    In this study, the agronomical and chemical characterisation of 13 Sicilian biotypes of Thymbra capitata (L.) Cav., grown under the same agricultural and environmental condition, are reported. The main morpho-productive parameters and quali-quantitative profile of essential oils (EOs) were determined. The EOs were analysed by gas chromatography-flame ionisation detector and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. Hierarchical cluster analysis and principal component analysis statistical methods were used to group biotypes according to the EOs chemical composition. The EO yield ranged between 4.6 and 8.1 (v/w). A total of 38 EO compounds have been identified. The compounds mostly represented were ?-pinene, myrcene, ?-terpinene, p-cymene, ?-terpinene, borneol, carvacrol and ?-caryophyllene. In all biotypes, the carvacrol (67.4-79.5%) was the main compound, confirming that T. capitata is a carvacrol chemotype. The results showed that all Sicilian Thymbra biotypes have a good adaptation to the climatic conditions of the test environment. PMID:25600887

  6. Water And Solute Transport In A Cracking Soil Irrigated With Saline Water In Sicily

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Crescimanno, G.; Garofalo, P.

    2003-04-01

    Irrigation with saline/sodic waters, which is a current practice in many arid and semi-arid environments, involves a risk of soil degradation and desertification due to salinization and sodification. Sustainable land management practices are urgently needed to preserve the production potential of agricultural land while safeguarding environmental quality Long-term field experiments are one way to develop suitable irrigation strategies, but these are expensive, site specific and time consuming. An alternative solution is application of simulation models to be used to examine possible different combinations of existing field-conditions (soil, climate and water) and to provide an accurate and quick estimate of crop growth, water and salt-balance. Swelling/shrinking clay soils change volume with changes in water content, and during dry periods extensive cracks will form in the field. Soil cracks alter the pore-size distribution through intermittent wetting, acting as significant pathways for water and solutes and determining the occurrence of bypass flow, i.e. the rapid transport of water and solutes via shrinkage-cracks to subsoil and to groundwater through an unsaturated soil matrix. This paper provides the results of simulating water and solute transport in some clay profiles located in a Sicilian irrigated area characterized by swelling/shrinking soils susceptible to cracking and bypass flow phenomena. Simulations were performed by using the SWAP model (van Dam et al., 1997), which accounts for cracking and bypass flow. Measurement of water content and of electrical conductivity of the pore solution, carried out from 14/07/1998 to 31/12/2000, were used to validate and calibrate the model. Management scenarios were developed by using the model in order to provide suggestions for preventing salinization in the irrigated area.

  7. Evaluation of mercury levels in pangasius and cod fillets traded in Sicily (Italy).

    TOXLINE Toxicology Bibliographic Information

    Ferrantelli V; Giangrosso G; Cicero A; Naccari C; Macaluso A; Galvano F; D'Orazio N; Arcadipane GE; Naccari F

    2012-01-01

    Predator fishes at the top of the aquatic food chain can accumulate large concentrations of metals and their consumption, consequently, makes a significant contribution, in particular, to mercury intake. The aim of this study was to determine mercury levels in fillets of two predatory species: pangasius (Pangasius hypophthalmus) from the Vietnam region of Megong and Chao Pharayai and cod (Gadus morhua) from the Baltic and North Sea, both being commercially important in the Italian market. A comparative analysis of these two imported fish species was carried out as a risk assessment for consumer safety. The results showed the presence of higher mercury levels in pangasius (0.41 0.08 mg kg(-1)) than in cod (0.11 0.004 mg kg(-1)) fillets. These data underline the importance of monitoring on imported fish before marketing, to evaluate better the risk of mercury exposure through fish and seafood consumption, and of selecting safer fishes for consumption by those groups more sensitive to the toxic effects of this metal.

  8. Experimental constraints on the origin of pahoehoe "cicirara" lavas at Mt. Etna Volcano (Sicily, Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vetere, F.; Mollo, S.; Giacomoni, P. P.; Iezzi, G.; Coltorti, M.; Ferlito, C.; Holtz, F.; Perugini, D.; Scarlato, P.

    2015-05-01

    We present results from phase equilibria experiments conducted on the most primitive pahoehoe "cicirara" trachybasaltic lava flow ever erupted at Mt. Etna Volcano. This lava is characterized by a pahoehoe morphology in spite of its high content of phenocrysts and microphenocrysts (>40 vol%) with the occurrence of centimetre-sized plagioclases (locally named cicirara for their chick-pea-like appearance). Our experiments have been performed at 400 MPa, 1100-1150 °C and using H2O and CO2 concentrations corresponding to the water-undersaturated crystallization conditions of Etnean magmas. Results show that olivine does not crystallize from the melt, whereas titanomagnetite is the liquidus phase followed by clinopyroxene or plagioclase as a function of melt-water concentration. This mineralogical feature contrasts with the petrography of pahoehoe cicirara lavas suggesting early crystallization of olivine and late formation of titanomagnetite after plagioclase and/or in close association with clinopyroxene. The lack of olivine produces MgO-rich melt compositions that do not correspond to the evolutionary behaviour of cicirara magmas. Moreover, in a restricted thermal path of 50 °C and over the effect of decreasing water concentrations, we observe abundant plagioclase and clinopyroxene crystallization leading to trace element enrichments unlikely for natural products. At the same time, the equilibrium compositions of our mineral phases are rather different from those of natural cicirara phenocrysts and microphenocrysts. The comparison between our water-undersaturated data and those from previous degassing experiments conducted on a similar Etnean trachybasaltic composition demonstrates that pahoehoe cicirara lavas originate from crystal-poor, volatile-rich magmas undergoing abundant degassing and cooling in the uppermost part of the plumbing system and at subaerial conditions where most of the crystallization occurs after the development of pahoehoe surface crusts.

  9. Sediment transport modelling based on grain size trend analysis in Augusta Harbour (Sicily)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barbera, Giuseppe; Feo, Roberto; Freni, Gabriele

    2015-12-01

    To support marine civil engineer in pollutant studies, sediment management or dredging operations, is useful to know how the sediments move in accumulation basin. This paper investigates the dynamic of the sediment path using a two-dimensional numeric model: the Grain Size Trend Analysis (GSTA). The GSTA was applied using GiSedTrend plugin, under GIS software. The case study is the Augusta Harbour, which is one of the most polluted Italian harbours. It is the marine part of the Site of National Interest (SNI) of Priolo Gargallo (Siracusa, Italy) and it can be hydrodynamically considered as a lagoon. Two scenarios were obtained by using different geostatistical criteria.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scandura, D.; Montalto, P.; Brancato, A.; Cannavo, F.; Coltelli, M.; Mattia, M.; Patan, D.; Proietti, C.

    2014-12-01

    The frequent flank eruptions occurrence at Mt. Etna lead to a high volcanic hazard that, linked to a population of nearly one million people dwell on its flanks, poses a high volcanic risk. In the framework of the project PON SIGMA (Integrated Cloud-Sensor System for Advanced Multirisk Management), we developed a near real-time computer-assisted analysis and probabilistic evaluations that provide the identification of the areas prone to the highest vent opening hazard. The use of a code such BET_EF (Bayesian Event Tree_Eruption Forecasting) provide us a long-term hazard map mainly based on the past behaviour of the Etna volcano. The near real-time additional seismic and ground deformation data allow the long-term hazard map switches into a short-term future vent opening one. The short-term hazard map was computed starting from the evaluation of deformation field over Etna surface. Analytical inversion of deformation and seismic data is performed to find the parameters of a magmatic source in an elastic, isotropic and homogeneous half-space and forward model is performed to computed the displacement field over Etna surface. We modelled the final intrusion of the Mount Etna May 2008 eruption that was accompanied by a violent seismic swarm and marked by ground deformation recorded at GPS stations. Results suggest a good accordance between the higher probability area and the real vent occurrence.

  11. Epidemiological Significance of the Domestic Black Pig (Sus scrofa) in Maintenance of Bovine Tuberculosis in Sicily

    PubMed Central

    Di Marco, Vincenzo; Mazzone, Piera; Capucchio, Maria Teresa; Boniotti, Maria Beatrice; Aronica, Vincenzo; Russo, Miriam; Fiasconaro, Michele; Cifani, Noemi; Corneli, Sara; Biasibetti, Elena; Biagetti, Massimo; Pacciarini, Maria Lodovica; Cagiola, Monica; Pasquali, Paolo

    2012-01-01

    Bovine tuberculosis (bTB) is an emerging disease among wild animals in many parts of the world. Wildlife reservoir hosts may thus represent a potential source of infection for livestock and humans. We investigated the role played by the Sicilian black pig, an autochthonous free- or semi-free-ranging domestic pig breed, as a potential source of bTB infection in an area where bTB prevalence in cattle is high. We initially performed a preliminary field study to assess the occurrence of bTB in such animals. We sampled 119 pigs at abattoir and found 6.7% and 3.4% of them to be affected by gross tuberculous-like lesions (TBL) and Mycobacterium bovis culture positive, respectively. We then proceeded to investigate the dissemination and characteristics of lesions in a second field study performed on 100 animals sampled from infected herds. Here, tissues collected at the abattoir were examined macroscopically, microscopically, and by culture tests. Most pigs with TBL showed generalized lesions in both gross and histological examinations (53% and 65.5%, respectively). Head lymph nodes were the most frequently affected in both localized and generalized TB cases observed macroscopically and microscopically. M. bovis was the most frequently isolated etiologic agent. The molecular characterization of isolates from both field studies by spoligotyping and analysis of 12 mycobacterial interspersed repetitive-unitvariable number tandem repeat (MIRU-VNTR) loci, followed by their comparison to isolates of cattle origin, suggested a potential transmission of mycobacteria from domestic animals to black pigs and vice versa. Our findings, along with ethological, ecological, and management considerations, suggest that the black pig might act as a bTB reservoir in the ecosystem under study. However, additional studies will be necessary to establish the true epidemiological significance of the Sicilian black pig. PMID:22322347

  12. Carbon dioxide emission and heat release estimation for Pantelleria Island (Sicily, Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Granieri, Domenico; Chiodini, Giovanni; Avino, Rosario; Caliro, Stefano

    2014-04-01

    Detailed surveys of diffuse CO2 flux, soil temperature, thermal gradients, and sampling of high-T fumaroles were carried out in the Favare area and Lake Specchio di Venere on Pantelleria Island. Spatial patterns of diffuse CO2 emissions in the Favare area reflect structural discontinuities (faults, fractures or cracks in the soil) associated with the volcano-tectonic structures of the young Monastero Caldera (NNE-SSW to NE-SW trending). The estimated diffuse CO2 output from two adjacent sites in the Favare area (~ 93,000 m2) is 7.8 t d- 1 (equivalent to 2.62 kt a- 1), whereas that from the west shore of the lake (450 m2) is 0.041 t d- 1 (or 0.015 kt a- 1). The extrapolation of diffuse CO2 fluxes across the entire altered area of Favare suggests that CO2 emissions are ~ 19.3 t d- 1. The diffuse CO2 flux correlates with shallow soil temperatures, indicating a similar source for both the heat and volatiles from the underlying geothermal reservoir. Gas equilibria applied to fumarolic effluents define P-T conditions for this reservoir at 2-6 bar and 120-160 C, in good agreement with measurements from exploratory wells in these areas (e.g., 135 C at a depth of 290 m). Using the CO2 flux as a tracer for steam output, and consequently for heat flow, the calculated thermal energy for the shallow reservoir is 10-12 MW; this represents the minimum geothermal potential of the reservoir on Pantelleria island.

  13. 77 FR 54647 - Culturally Significant Objects Imported for Exhibition Determinations: Sicily: Art and Invention...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-09-05

    ... FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For further information, including a list of the exhibit objects, contact Ona...- 632-6473). The mailing address is U.S. Department of State, SA-5, L/PD, Fifth Floor (Suite 5H03... custodians. I also determine that the exhibition or display of the exhibit objects at The J. Paul...

  14. 78 FR 14619 - Culturally Significant Objects Imported for Exhibition Determinations: Sicily: Art and Invention...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-03-06

    ... United States, are of cultural significance. The additional objects are imported pursuant to a loan... in the Federal Register. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For further information, including a list... State, SA-5, L/PD, Fifth Floor (Suite 5H03), Washington, DC 20522-0505. Dated: February 26, 2013....

  15. Paleoradiology of the Savoca Mummies, Sicily, Italy (18th-19th Centuries AD).

    PubMed

    Piombino-Mascali, Dario; Jankauskas, Rimantas; Zink, Albert R; Sergio Todesco, M; Aufderheide, Arthur C; Panzer, Stephanie

    2015-06-01

    Mummified remains have been successfully studied radiologically since the end of the 19th century, giving rise to a specific field of research-paleoradiology. In this paper, we present the results of the first radiological investigation of a collection of Sicilian mummies found in a subterranean chamber beneath the Capuchin Church of Savoca. The chamber contains a number of preserved bodies, either held in special niches in the walls or interred within coffins. A recent detailed radiological examination of these mummies allowed the authors to determine information relating to the funerary treatment and some of the pathological alterations witnessed in the remains. Specifically, evidence of gout and DISH was identified, along with frequent degenerative joint disease, suggestive of rich dietary habits and a longer life expectancy. These findings were interpreted in the light of historical information and the social status of the subjects concerned. PMID:25998633

  16. Degassing driving crystallization of plagioclase phenocrysts in lava tube stalactites on Mount Etna (Sicily, Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lanzafame, Gabriele; Ferlito, Carmelo

    2014-10-01

    Basaltic lava flows can form tubes in response to the cooling of the outer surface. We collected lava stalactites (frozen lava tears) and sampled lava from the ceilings of three lava tubes on Mount Etna. Comparison of the petrographic characters between ceiling lavas and relative stalactites reveals surprising differences in the groundmass textures and crystal compositions. Major and trace element contents in stalactites show only a slight increase in alkali and SiO2 compared to ceiling lava, whereas significant differences exist in composition and textures between plagioclases within the ceiling lava and those within the stalactites, being in the last case definitively more An-rich. We advance the hypothesis that the high temperature reached in the cave caused the exsolution of the volatiles still trapped in the dripping melt. The volatiles, mainly H2O, formed bubbles and escaped from the melt; such a water-loss might have promoted the silicate polymerization in the stalactites resulting in the growth of An-rich plagioclase phenocrysts. Our results have important implications: in fact plagioclase phenocrysts are usually associated with intratelluric growth and are often considered as the main petrologic evidence for the existence of a magma chamber. The textural and chemical features of plagioclases in stalactites prove that phenocryst growth in syn to post-eruptive conditions is plausible and clearly explains the relatively low viscosity of many phenocryst-rich lava flows on Mount Etna, as well as on many other volcanoes around the world. Therefore, we can conclude that plagioclase phenocrysts cannot exclusively be considered as having originated within a magma chamber.

  17. Features of volcanic tremors on Mt. Etna (Sicily) during the March August 1983 eruption

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cosentino, M.; Gresta, S.; Lombardo, G.; Patanè, G.; Riuscetti, M.; Schick, R.; Viglianisi, A.

    1984-12-01

    The seismic analysis of the volcanic tremors preceding and accompanying the Etnean eruption of March August, 1983 has shown a significant variation in the spectral content before the beginning of the eruption, the tremor peaks at 1.4 and 1.6 Hz — which might be associated with the feeding pipes of the NE crater ( Schick et al., 1982 a) — being the dominant feature of the spectra. A model of eruption mechanism is proposed where a feeder dyke would connect the NE crater with the effusive fracture.

  18. A new species of Kali (Salsoloideae, Chenopodiaceae) from Sicily, supported by molecular analysis

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Nomenclatural and taxonomical considerations on Kali, a controversial genus recently segregated from the polyphyletic Salsola s. l. (Chenopodiaceae), are provided. Morphologically, Kali groups annual plants with leaves ending in a spine and lacking hypodermis, having also a cortex alternate to longi...

  19. New perspectives on primary magmas and related mantle sources from Mt. Etna (Sicily, Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alesci, Giuseppe; Giacomoni, Pier Paolo; Coltorti, Massimo; Ferlito, Carmelo

    2014-05-01

    Mt. Etna is one of the most active volcano in the world and the understanding of its eruptive dynamics is fundamental to reduce volcanic risk related to the frequent volcanic events. In this respect the complete evolution of Mt. Etna magmatismand the reconstruction of its mantle source was considered performing a detailed sampling from Tholeiitic to Recent Mongibello periods. Backward mass balance fractionation models, starting from real and primitive analyzed magmas, allowed to reconstruct the "primary" and un-fractionated melt compositions.The Tholeiitic suite did not necessitate a backward reconstruction for the presence of real primary un-fractionated compositions. The least differentiated products for each alkaline period were identified and about 17 to 19% of a solid assemblage made up of Ol (87 to 100%) and Cpx (up to 13%) was added to re-equilibrate the basalts with mantle olivine (Fo87). A further subtraction of an average 23.3% of a solid assemblage constituted by Ol (7-18%), Cpx (26-55%) and Plag (21-48%) is needed to get to the most differentiated erupted lavas. To reach the most evolved terms ishypothesized the involvement of 27% Ol, 14% Cpx, 29% Opx, 15% Plg and 15% Cr-sp for a total amount of 53.1% of Gabbroic material.On average an estimation of about 40% of material should be considered beneath the volcanic edifice taking into account the entire volume of the products emitted by the volcano. Thus if according to [1] the whole volcano edifice amounts to about 370 km3, about 150 km3 of magma should be left behind from the magma on its way from the mantle to the surface. Although Etnean alkaline lavas appear enriched in K, Rb, Th and U and depleted in Ti, Y and Yb with respect to the Iblean magmas, their overall composition appear quite similar.Thus partial melting models were developed for each Etnean magmatic period, based on a mantle composition similar to that of the nearbyIblean lithosphere. Results indicate twodifferent sources for Tholeiitic and Alkaline suites analogously to the modeling developed by[2]. Tholeiitic magmas can be reproduced by about 17% of an amphibole-bearing peridotite source, while Alkaline magmas can be reproduced by melting of about 7% an amphibole-phlogopite-bearing peridotite source. Our result are in agreement with those recently advanced by [3] indicating a large similarity between Mt. Etna and Mt. Iblei mantle sources. [1] Neri and Rossi (1992) Quaderni di geofisica - Istituto nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia 20. [2] Beccaluva et al. (1998) J. Petrology 39, 1547-1576. [3] Correale et al. (2014) Lithos, 243-258.

  20. Increasing incidence of childhood celiac disease in Sicily: results of a multicenter study.

    PubMed

    Magazz, G; Bottaro, G; Cataldo, F; Iacono, G; Di Donato, F; Patane, R; Cavataio, F; Maltese, I; Romano, C; Arco, A

    1994-10-01

    By screening the patient list of four Sicilian centers of gastroenterology and those with gluten-free product consumption, 1074 patients (607 females and 467 males) with celiac disease, diagnosed between 1975 and 1989, were identified. A maximum cumulative incidence rate by birth cohort was reached in 1986 (1.65/1000). When the incidence rate was adjusted for the years of follow-up, the actual standardized rate was 3 cases per 1000 live births. Growth failure and chronic diarrhea were the most common symptoms, but a diminishing trend for chronic diarrhea was observed when symptoms were distributed by year of diagnosis. Even though 61.1% of all cases were diagnosed within six months from the onset of symptoms, mean age at diagnosis showed an increasing trend, from less than two years to approximately four years of age. The results of our study showed an increasing incidence of celiac disease due to diagnosis of less typical cases at an older age and also to a steady increase in the rate of diagnosis of cases with a classic clinical picture. PMID:7841706

  1. A human case of Hymenolepis diminuta in a child from eastern Sicily.

    PubMed

    Patamia, Ildebrando; Cappello, Elisa; Castellano-Chiodo, Donato; Greco, Filippo; Nigro, Luciano; Cacopardo, Bruno

    2010-06-01

    We report a case of Hymenolepis diminuta infection in a 2-year-old child living in a suburban area of Catania, Italy. This case was initially referred to us as Dipylidium caninum infection, which was not cured after being treated twice with mebendazole. However, by analyzing the clinical presentation and stool samples we arrived to the diagnosis of H. diminuta infection. The case presented with atypical allergic manifestations which had never been reported as clinical features of symptomatic H. diminuta infection; remittent fever with abdominal pain, diffuse cutaneous itching, transient thoracic rash, and arthromyalgias. The patient was treated with a 7-day cycle of oral niclosamide, which proved to be safe and effective. This case report emphasizes that a correct parasitological diagnosis requires adequate district laboratories and trained personnel. In addition, we recommend the importance of reporting all H. diminuta infection cases, in order to improve knowledge on epidemiology, clinical presentation, and treatment protocols. PMID:20585535

  2. A Human Case of Hymenolepis diminuta in a Child from Eastern Sicily

    PubMed Central

    Patamia, Ildebrando; Cappello, Elisa; Castellano-Chiodo, Donato; Greco, Filippo; Cacopardo, Bruno

    2010-01-01

    We report a case of Hymenolepis diminuta infection in a 2-year-old child living in a suburban area of Catania, Italy. This case was initially referred to us as Dipylidium caninum infection, which was not cured after being treated twice with mebendazole. However, by analyzing the clinical presentation and stool samples we arrived to the diagnosis of H. diminuta infection. The case presented with atypical allergic manifestations which had never been reported as clinical features of symptomatic H. diminuta infection; remittent fever with abdominal pain, diffuse cutaneous itching, transient thoracic rash, and arthromyalgias. The patient was treated with a 7-day cycle of oral niclosamide, which proved to be safe and effective. This case report emphasizes that a correct parasitological diagnosis requires adequate district laboratories and trained personnel. In addition, we recommend the importance of reporting all H. diminuta infection cases, in order to improve knowledge on epidemiology, clinical presentation, and treatment protocols. PMID:20585535

  3. Small angle neutron scattering as fingerprinting of ancient potteries from Sicily (Southern Italy)

    SciTech Connect

    Barone, G.; Mazzoleni, P.; Crupi, V.; Majolino, D.; Venuti, V.; Teixeira, J.

    2009-09-01

    Small angle neutron scattering measurements have been carried out in order to investigate, in microdestructive way, the mesoscopic structure of a variety of potteries of relevance to cultural heritage coming from different Sicilian (Southern Italy) archeological sites belonging to the 'Strait of Messina' area and dated back to 7th-3rd century B.C. Data have been compared with the mesoscopic parameters extracted for two series of clayey sediments typical of the Strait of Messina area and fired under controlled conditions. The observed agreement between the features of reference and archeological samples allowed us to estimate the maximum firing temperature of the latter. Information on the pore sizes was obtained by the use of the concept of fractal surface, and compared with porosimetry results.

  4. Geomorphology of the western Ionian Sea between Sicily and Calabria, Italy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Goswami, Rajasmita; Mitchell, Neil C.; Argnani, Andrea; Brocklehurst, Simon H.

    2014-10-01

    In the westernmost Ionian Sea lies a steep, tectonically active marine basin influenced by turbidity currents generated by terrigenous river input from the adjacent mountains and strong tidal currents propagating through the Strait of Messina. Like many young marine rifts, the basin is lined by steep streams draining the uplifting coasts and supplying sediment across narrow shelves. However, unlike many rifts, this basin is semi-enclosed. The present study explores the seabed morphology and sediment structures in this complex environmental setting, based on multibeam sonar, chirp profiler and seismic reflection data collected in 2006. Offshore channels include many that can be directly linked to onshore streams, suggesting that hyperpycnal flows are important for their formation. Near the Strait of Messina in depths shallower than 400 m, the channels are subdued, plausibly explained as an effect of strong tidal currents. The Messina Channel is characterised by abundant mass-wasting features along its outer bends, particularly on the Calabrian side. Coincidence of the channel course with faults suggests that the channel is structurally controlled in places. The chirp profiles generally show only shallow penetration, the evidence for coarse texture being consistent with the steep gradient of the basin that inhibits deposition from turbidity currents. By contrast, some locally discontinuous mounds exhibiting layered sub-bottom reflectors in the chirp profiles are interpreted as modern levee deposits formed from channelised turbidity current overspill. Overall, this semi-enclosed basin shows little evidence of substantial accumulations associated with modern turbidity current activity, any contemporaneous sediment supply evidently bypassing the area to be deposited in the Ionian Trench; as a consequence, this trench should be an archive of local slope failure and flood events.

  5. Hydrodynamics and spatial zonation of the Capo Peloro coastal system (Sicily) through 3-D numerical modeling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ferrarin, Christian; Bergamasco, Alessandro; Umgiesser, Georg; Cucco, Andrea

    2013-05-01

    Since advection and diffusion are the main physical processes that influence the cleaning capacity of coastal transitional waters, the 3-D spatial distribution of the water renewal times was used to delineate a physically-based zonation scheme. The temporal and spatial variations of the hydrodynamics are assessed using a validated three dimensional hydrodynamic finite element model. The developed methodology was applied to the Cape Peloro system, a coastal protected area located in the Messina Strait (Italy) consisting of two connected small brackish basins: the shallow Lake Ganzirri and the deep meromictic Lake Faro. The hydrodynamics of the two coastal lakes shows strong seasonal and spatial variation. The 3-D distribution of the water renewal times suggests a horizontal partition of the Lake Ganzirri into two sub-basins and a vertical zonation of the Lake Faro, with the mixolimnion extending till 10 m depth and the presence of a persistent bottom stagnant layer. The derived physically-based zonation scheme helps in explaining the highly heterogeneous spatial distribution of many biogeochemical variables in the Cape Peloro coastal system.

  6. Magnetic stratigraphy and biostratigraphy of the Piacenzian (Upper Pliocene) at Monte San Nicola (Sicily)

    SciTech Connect

    Channell, J.E.T.; Sprovieri, R.; Di Stefano, E.

    1985-01-01

    During the Neogene, the Mediterranean was a rather unique biogeographic province. For this reason, first and last occurrences of Neogene species recorded in the Mediterranean region may not be synchronous with those recorded in the open oceans. This has important implications as most of the Neogene stage boundaries are defined on the basis of Mediterranean type sections. The most direct way to determine the relative timing of Mediterranean and open ocean datums is through correlation with the polarity time scale. Such correlations are not available for the Mediterranean Pliocene. The Trubi pelagic limestones and Monte narbone marls which characterize the SicilianPliocene are not ideal for magnetic stratigraphy due to weak remnant intensities and an ubiquitous normal polarity overprint. However, at Monte San Nicola, a magnetic stratigraphy has been resolved by stepwise demagnetization in small temperature increments. The upper and lower bounds of the Gauss Epoch, and the Mammoth and Kaena polarity events can be correlated to well defined planktonic foraminiferal and calcareous nannofossil datums. Hence the synchronism of these datums between the Mediterranean and the open ocean can be tested. The most notable discrepancy is in the last occurrence of G. margaritae which occurs at the base of the Gauss in most open marine sections, but is found at the top of the Gilbert at Monte San Nicola.

  7. Cryptic structural trends revealed by Cenozoic sedimentation on the Malta-Sicily shelf

    SciTech Connect

    Pedley, H.M. )

    1988-08-01

    Fault control of sedimentation patterns affects upper Miocene carbonate deposition. Fault trends, northeasterly or northwesterly, appear to exert major controls on sedimentation and represent the principal fractures seen on geologic maps of the islands. Evidence, however, shows a regionally persistent north-south facies alignment apparent throughout the Cenozoic. A reactivated Mesozoic basement fracture pattern is thought to control this alignment. Probable mesozoic sedimentation controls and facies distributions on the Malta shelf thus influence trap generation and hydrocarbon migration.

  8. Spatiotemporal probability of vent opening at Mt Etna volcano (Sicily, Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cappello, A.; Bilotta, G.; Neri, M.; Acocella, V.; Gallo, G.; Del Negro, C.

    2012-04-01

    We produced a spatiotemporal probability map of vent opening at Mt Etna, using a statistical analysis of structural features of the flank eruptions of the last 2000 years. The methodology is based on the hypothesis that the location and frequency of future events will have the same causal factors as the eruptions occurring in the past. The study is supported by a detailed knowledge of the volcano structures, including the modalities of shallow magma transfer deriving from dike and dike-fed fissure eruptions analysis on historical eruptions. The geological and structural data are converted in distinct and weighted probability density functions (PDFs), exploiting both spatial and temporal recurrence rates. The spatiotemporal probability map is obtained through a non-homogeneous Poisson process, where the expected recurrence rate per unit area is calculated as the weighted sum of the PDFs, with the weights derived from a backward/forward analysis to highlight the presence of temporal trends in the history of the volcano. The highest probability of new eruptive vents opening at Mt Etna falls within a N-S aligned area passing through the Summit Craters down to about 2000 m a.s.l. on the southern flank. Four other zones of high probability follow respectively the North-East, East-North-East, West and South Rifts, the latter reaching low altitudes (~400 m). Less susceptible areas prone to the opening of new vents were found around the faults cutting the upper portions of Mt Etna, including the western portion of the Pernicana fault system and the northern extent of the Ragalna fault system. The spatiotemporal probability map of vent opening provides detailed recurrence rates (events expected per unit area per unit time) and will hence be an important resource to predict the future timing and location of Etna eruptions. This structural-based map is the first and perhaps most important step in assessing lava flow hazards at Mt Etna, and thus represents a support tool for decision makers.

  9. Occult hepatitis B infection in the immigrant population of Sicily, Italy.

    PubMed

    Tramuto, Fabio; Maida, Carmelo M; Colomba, Giuseppina M E; Di Carlo, Paola; Mazzola, Giovanni; Li Vecchi, Valentina; Affronti, Mario; Montalto, Giuseppe; Vitale, Francesco

    2013-08-01

    In Italy, about 7% of the resident population is represented by immigrants originating from geographic regions at high endemicity for hepatitis B virus infection. This study aims to assess the prevalence of occult HBV infection (OBI) including the identification of HBV-genotypes in a population of immigrants serologically negative for hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg). Between May 2006 and May 2010, 339 immigrants were tested for markers of HBV, hepatitis C virus (HCV) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infections. HBV-DNA was tested by using nested-PCR assays on three different genetic region. HBV-DNA was detected in plasma samples of 11/339 (3.2%) patients. Most of them had no serological markers of HBV infection, 3/58 (5.2%) were anti-HBc-alone, and 4/13 (30.8%) were anti-HIV positive. HIV positivity was the only factor independently associated with the higher probability of observing OBI (OR=16.5, p<0.001). No HCV co-infected patients were found. Genotype D was detected in 9/11 (81.8%) OBI cases, while the remaining two (18.2%) were classified as genotype E. Although OBI was found at lower rate than expected among immigrants from highly endemic countries, anti-HBc alone positivity was confirmed as a sentinel marker of occult HBV infection. Nevertheless, a marked heterogeneity of HBV markers was found among HBV-DNA positive subjects. Our finding evidenced the predominance of HBV-genotype D viral strains among OBI cases, also in those from geographical areas where overt HBV infections are mainly sustained by viral genotypes other than D. PMID:22875279

  10. Sicily or the Sea of Tranquility? Mapping and naming the moon.

    PubMed

    Vertesi, Janet

    2004-06-01

    In their race to provide the ultimate guide to the moon, two 17th-century astronomers proposed lunar maps and nomenclatures that they hoped would gain international currency. But the names we use today were those proposed by the Jesuit, a friend of Galileo's persecutors, in a book whose purpose was to refute the Copernican system once and for all. We now believe that Riccioli was wrong about the universe, but why do we still use his nomenclature? The keys to this foundational visual debate in astronomical image-making are the moon maps themselves. PMID:15183023

  11. Evaluation of mercury levels in pangasius and cod fillets traded in Sicily (Italy).

    PubMed

    Ferrantelli, V; Giangrosso, G; Cicero, A; Naccari, C; Macaluso, A; Galvano, F; D'Orazio, N; Arcadipane, G E; Naccari, F

    2012-01-01

    Predator fishes at the top of the aquatic food chain can accumulate large concentrations of metals and their consumption, consequently, makes a significant contribution, in particular, to mercury intake. The aim of this study was to determine mercury levels in fillets of two predatory species: pangasius (Pangasius hypophthalmus) from the Vietnam region of Megong and Chao Pharayai and cod (Gadus morhua) from the Baltic and North Sea, both being commercially important in the Italian market. A comparative analysis of these two imported fish species was carried out as a risk assessment for consumer safety. The results showed the presence of higher mercury levels in pangasius (0.41 0.08 mg kg(-1)) than in cod (0.11 0.004 mg kg(-1)) fillets. These data underline the importance of monitoring on imported fish before marketing, to evaluate better the risk of mercury exposure through fish and seafood consumption, and of selecting safer fishes for consumption by those groups more sensitive to the toxic effects of this metal. PMID:22575000

  12. Fluorine speciation in topsoils of three active volcanoes of Sicily (Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    D'Alessandro, Walter; Bellomo, Sergio; Parello, Francesco

    2008-11-01

    Fluorine is one of the many environmental harmful elements released by volcanic activity. The content of total oxalate-extractable and water-extractable fluorine was determined in 96 topsoils of three active volcanic systems of southern Italy (Mt Etna, Stromboli and Vulcano). Total fluorine (F) content ( F TOT) ranges from 112 to 7,430 mg kg-1, F extracted with oxalate ( F OX) ranges from 16 to 2,320 mg kg-1 (2-93% of F TOT) and F extracted with distilled water ( F_{{{text{H}}_{{text{2}}} {text{O}}}} ) ranges from 1.7 to 159 mg kg-1 (0.2-40 % of F TOT). Fluorine in the sampled topsoils derives both from the weathering of volcanic rocks and ashes and from the enhanced deposition due to volcanic gas emissions either from open-conduit passive degassing (Mt Etna and Stromboli) or from a fumarolic field (Vulcano). Fluorine accumulation in the studied soils does not generally present particular environmental issues except for a few anomalous sites at Vulcano, where measured contents could be dangerous both for vegetation and for grazing animals.

  13. Slope instability in a historical and architectural interest site: the Agrigento hill (Sicily-Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liguori, Vincenzo; Manno, Giorgio

    2014-05-01

    The impact of landslides are an issue for many urban cities and their cultural heritage, especially where both natural factors and human actions are join. Indeed in these cases, both the geological-geomorphological area predisposition and the continuous human actions increase the possibility occurrence of a landslide. In order to study these landslides and their natural hazard, a multi-disciplinary approach is necessary. Agrigento (37°19'18''N; 13°35'22''E), founded around 580 b.C. along the Sicilian southern coast, is an example of a possible impacts of landslides on cultural heritage. This work discusses the geological, geomorphological and hydrological data results, performed in order to study and the monitoring the landslide on the north side of the Agrigento hill (335 m a.s.l.), on which is localized the antique cathedral (sixteenth century) and the old city. The hill geology is a typical regressive Plio-Pleistocene succession and their lithology are clays (Monte Narbone formation) , calcarenites , sands and silts of the Agrigento formation. The landslide phenomena, current since 1315, involves a calcarenitic pack (Pleistocene), weakly cemented, highly porous, fractured and fissured (E-W). This phenomena from 1924, at different times, have produced various types of instability such as: falls, flows and complex movements. From 7 March 2005 have been reactivated fractures of the calcarenitic pack, already highlighted by studies in 1966. These fractures have triggered slope movements damaging the cathedral and the various historic buildings. In order to reduce the risk and thus safeguard the monuments and the activity in this area, carried out the several studies. Since 2005, the landslide is the subject both geological-geomorphological studies and a continuous monitoring, which have used different techniques of different disciplines: interferometric analysis, interpretation of aerial and satellite imagery, geophysical investigations, stratigraphic survey, etc. The results of this studies carried out the landslide kinematics and the lithology involved, in this way it was possible to suggest targeted intervention. Keywords: rotational landslide, rockfall, hazard, architectural heritage.

  14. Use of shock block transmitters in the structural rehabilitation of historical buildings in Calabria and Sicily

    SciTech Connect

    Bianco, Alessia; Candela, Michele; Fonti, Roberta

    2008-07-08

    Many old and historical masonry buildings, located in the Calabrian and Sicilian areas near the strait of Messina, are affected by typical pattern of cracks, which are not produced by previous earthquakes. These cracks in the masonry walls are characterized by a quasi-vertical trend with constant width. The careful examination of the crack distribution allows to clearly identify the diagnosis: the damage is caused by the sinking due to a horizontal movement of translation of the ground, which is an evident effect of creep phenomena in the soil, so-called 'solifluxion'. This paper, after showing this geological pathology, proposes an innovative strategy of intervention, which consists of the use of 'oleo-dynamic' devices, so-called shock block transmitters, providing different degrees of restraint, according to the loading conditions. In addition, in case of earthquake, an important part of the in-put seismic energy can be dissipated. The strategy of application of this system to the building consists of the subdivision of each masonry wall in two different parts, which are physically separated by the cracks. Each wall portion must be consolidated separately and the different parts of walls behave as statically independent each other, so that they can move independently during the serviceability conditions. The connection among the walls composing the whole structural organism is given by metal tie-rods equipped with 'oleo dynamic' devices, which allows, in a given range, the horizontal sliding in case of slow movement due to the phenomenon of 'solifluxion'. Contrary, in case of dynamic and fast movements, such as the ones produced by an earthquake, each 'oleo dynamic' device provides a fully restraint effect and, as a consequence, the tie-rods behave in the classical way.

  15. Identification of SCA2 mutation in cases of spinocerebellar ataxia with no family history in mid-eastern Sicily.

    PubMed

    Giuffrida, S; Saponara, R; Trovato Salinaro, A; Restivo, D A; Domina, E; Papotto, M; Le Pira, F; Nicoletti, A; Trovato, A; Condorelli, D F

    1999-08-01

    Differential diagnosis between autosomal dominant cerebellar ataxia type I (ADCA I) and idiopathic cerebellar ataxia type P (IDCA-P) is very difficult given only clinical and neuroradiological data. The only certain distinctive characteristic is the presence or absence of family history. We observed 7 patients with late-onset cerebellar ataxia associated with other non-cerebellar signs and without a family history of the disease in which clinical signs were comparable to symptoms found in SCA2. The neuroradiological study showed olivopontocerebellar atrophy in all patients and the presence of hyperintensity of the transverse pontine fibers in 6 patients (85. 6%); molecular analysis showed SCA2 mutations in 2 patients. We also report the case of a patient who was initially considered as IDCA-P but who was later correctly identified as SCA2 with an atypical family history (false IDCA-P), after a genetic mutation was found and following an interview with the mother. Our data suggest that spinocerebellar ataxia syndrome should be defined as idiopathic not only after having excluded the possible symptomatic causes but also in the absence of family history, after having excluded the presence of genetic mutation. We believe that family history, in late-onset spinocerebellar ataxia, cannot be considered as the differential criterion among hereditary (ADCA-I) and non-hereditary (IDCA-P) forms; molecular analysis is required for a correct diagnosis. PMID:10551907

  16. Chemical composition of volatile and fixed oils from of Salvia argentea L. (Lamiaceae) growing wild in Sicily.

    PubMed

    Riccobono, Luana; Maggio, Antonella; Rosselli, Sergio; Ilardi, Vincenzo; Senatore, Felice; Bruno, Maurizio

    2016-01-01

    The chemical compositions of the essential oil and of the non-polar extracts (petroleum ether, dichloromethane) of the aerial parts (flowers, leaves and stems) of Salvia argentea L. were determined by GC-FID and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry analysis. 14-Hydroxy-?-humulene (40.1%) was recognised as the main constituents of the essential oil of S. argentea, together with 1,3,8-p-menthatriene (12.1%), globulol (7.4%) and ?-sesquiphellandrene (5.8%). Tritriacontane (9.9% and 14.1%), heptacosane (8.4% and 10.5%), hentriacontane (8.3% and 10.9%), tetradecanal (8.4% and 10.2%) and methyldotriacontane (7.9% and 7.6%) were recognised as the main constituents of the extracts in petroleum ether and dichloromethane, respectively, whereas methyl linolenate (36.6% and 13.5%) and methyl myristoleate (10.5% and 18.5%) were recognised as the main constituents of the methylated extracts. PMID:25880372

  17. In-Situ Cosmogenic 36Cl Production Rate Calibration from Basaltic Flows of Mount Etna (Sicily, 38 N)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schimmelpfennig, I.; Benedetti, L.; Pik, R.; Burnard, P.; Blard, P. H.; Bourles, D.

    2007-12-01

    One of the CRONUS-EU goals is to provide high quality calibration sites from independently dated surfaces. Several previous studies have been conducted on 36Cl production rate calibration (e.g. Stone et al. 1996, Phillips et al. 2001), which, however, used different protocols and yielded 36Cl production rates with up to 40% discrepancies. The objectives of this study are 1- to understand the source of these discrepancies and 2- to calibrate 36Cl production rates from its target elements Ca and K. As a first step we focused on testing the chemical protocol by performing a sequential 36Cl extraction experiment on whole rock grains and Ca-rich plagioclase from the same sample. The sample was collected at Mt. Etna on a pahoehoe flow, which has a K-Ar fossil exposure time of (103) kyr. Cosmogenic 3He was also precisely measured within cogenetic olivine phenocrysts of this sample (Blard et al. 2005) and yields an exposure time of (10.41.5) kyr. Both, total Cl and 36Cl concentrations from the first dissolution steps are high, 5800 ppm (whole rock) and 450 ppm (plagioclase) Cl, and 107 - 106 atoms 36Cl/g of rock dissolved. After about 20% dissolution of the plagioclase sample, Cl is almost completely removed (1-3ppm) and 36Cl concentrations reach a plateau value of 2*105 atoms/g of rock. Using the Stone et al. (1996) and Evans et al. (1997) 36Cl production rates for the target elements Ca and K, respectively, this plateau concentration yields an exposure age which is in excellent agreement with K-Ar dating and cosmogenic 3He ages. On the contrary, in the whole rock sample total Cl concentrations remain high (>330ppm) resulting in a considerable 36Cl production from capture of low-energy neutrons by 35Cl, an additional and still not well-constrained 36Cl production mechanism. The resulting exposure ages from the whole rock are 35-45% higher than the independent 3He ages. For 36Cl production rate calibration from Ca, we will use separated Ca-rich plagioclase from various Mt. Etna lava flows of different elevation and independently determined ages between 400 yr and 41 kyr. To better constrain the 36Cl production rate from K, separated sanidine (K-rich feldspar) from a 15 kyr old lava flow of volcano Payun-Matru (Argentina, 36 S) will be used. Stone J.O., et al. (1996), Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta 60 679-692; Phillips F.M., et al. (2001), Chem. Geol. 175 689-701; Blard P.H., et al. (2005), EPSL 236 613-631; Evans J.M. et al. (1997), Nucl. Instr. and Meth. in Phys. Res. B 123 334-340

  18. Prevalence and incidence of cognitive impairment in multiple sclerosis: a population-based survey in Catania, Sicily.

    PubMed

    Patti, Francesco; Nicoletti, Alessandra; Messina, Silvia; Bruno, Elisa; Fermo, Salvatore Lo; Quattrocchi, Graziella; Chisari, Clara Grazia; Maimone, Davide; Cilia, Sabina; Zappia, Mario

    2015-01-01

    Cognitive impairment (CIm) is a frequent finding in multiple sclerosis (MS) affecting up to 65% of patients. The aim of this study was to evaluate the prevalence and incidence of CIm in a population-based cohort of MS patients identified in the city of Catania from 1995 to 2004. One-hundred and twenty-five patients experiencing the onset of MS during 1995-2004 were enrolled. Cognitive performance was assessed through the Brief Repeatable Battery (BRB) of neuropsychological tests and the Stroop word-color task (ST). CIm was defined as the failure on at least three tests involving at least two different domains. Patients without CIm at baseline were followed up after over 3 years. The most impaired tests were the Symbol Digit Modalities Test (36%) and the Paced Auditory Serial Addition Test 3 (35%). At baseline the prevalence of CIm was 44% (95% CI 35.2-53.1). An almost sixfold increased risk of developing CIm was found among MS patients aged 40 and above at the time of the NPS examination (OR 5.84; 95% CI 2.57-13.2; p value <0.0001) and a threefold increased risk for patients with an EDSS score >3 (OR 3.51; 95% CI 1.30-9.46, p value 0.01). At the follow-up out of the 70 MS patients without CIm at baseline evaluation, 26 (37.1 %) developed CIm. The total person-years at risk was 269 person-years giving an incidence rate of CIm of 96.6/1,000 person-year (95% CI 57.3-128.7). The overall prevalence of CIm in MS is 44% and the incidence after 4 years is 37.1%. CIm affects more frequently patients older than 40 years and with a higher EDSS score. PMID:25663413

  19. Mobility and fluxes of major, minor and trace metals during basalt weathering and groundwater transport at Mt. Etna volcano (Sicily)

    SciTech Connect

    Aiuppa, A.; Allard, P.; D'Alessandro, W.; Michel, A.; Parello, F.; Treuil, M.; Valenza, M.

    2000-06-01

    The concentrations and fluxes of major, minor and trace metals were determined in 53 samples of groundwaters from around Mt. Etna, in order to evaluate the conditions and extent of alkali basalt weathering by waters enriched in magma-derived CO{sub 2} and the contribution of aqueous transport to the overall metal discharge of the volcano. The authors show that gaseous input of magmatic volatile metals into the Etnean aquifer is small or negligible, being limited by cooling of the rising fluids. Basalt leaching by weakly acidic, CO{sub 2}-charged water is the overwhelming source of metals and appears to be more extensive in two sectors of the S-SW (Paterno) and E (Zafferana) volcano flanks, where out flowing groundwaters are the richest in metals and bicarbonate of magmatic origin. Thermodynamic modeling of the results allows evaluation of the relative mobility and chemical speciation of various elements during their partitioning between solid and liquid phases through the weathering process. At Mt. Etna, poorly mobile elements (Al, Th, Fe) are preferentially retained in the solid residue of weathering, while alkalis, alkaline earth and oxo-anion-forming elements (As, Se, Sb, Mo) are more mobile and released to the aqueous system. Transition metals display an intermediate behavior and are strongly dependent on either the redox conditions (Mn, Cr, V) or solid surface-related processes (V, Zn, Cu).

  20. Magma-serpentinite interaction as the origin of diatremes: a case study from the Hyblean Plateau (southeastern Sicily)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Manuella, Fabio Carmelo; Carbone, Serafina; Ferlito, Carmelo; Hovland, Martin

    2015-10-01

    Some diatremes formed in the Hyblean Plateau in a time span from 6.5 to 9.4 Ma, producing volcaniclastic deposits, which host deep-seated xenoliths. The origin of the explosive activity that has brecciated the magma and the country rocks is controversial, two are the prevalent models: phreatomagmatic and magmatic brecciation. We propose an alternative explanation based on the thermal and mechanical interaction of a rising basaltic magma with serpentinized mantle rocks, representing the main lithologies in the Permo-Triassic Hyblean basement. We suggest that magma-serpentinite interaction could have remobilized fluids from serpentinites that reached the overpressure necessary for the brecciation of country rocks. The possible depth of this interaction has been estimated considering variations of porosity and permeability at different depths in the Hyblean lithosphere. These properties have been taken into account in the dimensionless parameter V e (Jamtveit et al. in Physical geology of high-level magmatic systems, vol 234. Geological Society, London, Special Publications, London, pp 233-241, 2004), which reflects the relative rates of heat and fluid transport, since a high fluid flux is enhanced by a high boiling temperature of pore water raised by magma-rock heat exchange. V e remains less than 1 up to a depth of 7 km, corresponding to the average thickness of the sedimentary-volcanic sequence, characterized by a high permeability (k = 10-12-10-14 m2) that inhibits fluid overpressure built up, in contrast to both phreatomagmatic and magmatic models. At deeper levels (k ~ 10-19 m2), from 8 km downward, the value of V e is greater than 1. Therefore, we propose that the dehydration of serpentinites, upon heating by hot basaltic magma, would have liberated huge amounts of fluids whose accumulation at an average depth of 8 km beneath the impermeable serpentinized level induced supercritical fluid overpressure, strong enough to exceed the lithospheric pressure. Fluid overpressure caused the opening of fractures in the overlying permeable upper crust, triggering the energetic fluid expansion and hence the brecciation of country rocks. Finally, we suppose that aforementioned conditions for supercritical fluid overpressure could have been gained in other areas of the Hyblean region in coincidence with various Mesozoic volcanic events, even though older diatremes may have been obliterated by subsequent sedimentary cycles and volcanic events, as well as in serpentinite diatremes in the Navajo Volcanic Field (Colorado Plateau, SW USA).

  1. Repeating volcano-tectonic earthquakes at Mt. Etna volcano (Sicily, Italy): characterization and evidences of crustal changes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cannata, Andrea; Alparone, Salvatore; Ursino, Andrea

    2014-05-01

    Repeating volcano-tectonic (VT) earthquakes, taking place at Mt. Etna during 1999-2009, were detected and analyzed to investigate their behavior. We found 735 families amounting to 2479 VT earthquakes, representing ~38% of all the analyzed VT earthquakes. Over 70% of the families comprise 2 or 3 VT earthquakes and only 20 families by more than 10 events. More than half of the families have a lifetime shorter than 0.5 day and only ~10% longer than 1 year. On the basis of these results, most of the detected families were considered 'burst-type', i.e., show swarm-like occurrence, and hence their origin cannot be explained by a temporally constant tectonic loading. Indeed, since the analyzed earthquakes take place in a volcanic area, the rocks are affected not only by tectonic stresses related to the fairly steady regional stress field but also by local stresses, caused by the volcano, such as magma batch intrusions/movements and gravitational loading. We focused on five groups of families characterized by the best repeatability over time, namely high number of events and long lifetime, located in the north-eastern, eastern and southern flanks of the volcano. Unlike the first four groups, which similarly to most of the detected families show swarm-like VT occurrences, group 'v', located in the north-eastern sector, exhibits a more 'tectonic' behavior with the events making up such a group spread over almost the entire analyzed period. It is clear how both occurrence and slip rates do not remain constant but vary over time, and such changes are time-related to the occurrence of the 2002-2003 eruption. We searched for waveform variations in VT earthquakes belonging to the group 'v' and found changes that took place mainly in the 2002-2003 period. These consisted in a decreasing similarity of the late seismogram windows, highlighted by cross correlation analysis, as well as in delays, increasing proportionally to lapse time, detected by coda wave interferometry. Such variations, mainly evident at the stations located in the north-eastern flank of volcano, were likely due to medium changes taking place in this region. In particular, medium velocity decreases were inferred to occur in 2002-2003, followed by successive increases. The velocity decrease was interpreted as being caused by the opening or enlargement of cracks, produced by intruding magma bodies, ground intense deformation and/or VT earthquake activity, accompanying the 2002-2003 Mt. Etna eruption. On the other hand, the subsequent velocity increases were interpreted as resulting from healing processes.

  2. Crustal Stress and Strain Distribution in Sicily (Southern Italy) from Joint Analysis of Seismicity and Geodetic Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Presti, D.; Neri, G.; Aloisi, M.; Cannavo, F.; Orecchio, B.; Palano, M.; Siligato, G.; Totaro, C.

    2014-12-01

    An updated database of earthquake focal mechanisms is compiled for the Sicilian region (southern Italy) and surrounding off-shore areas where the Nubia-Eurasia convergence coexists with the very-slow residual rollback of the Ionian subducting slab. High-quality solutions selected from literature and catalogs have been integrated with new solutions estimated in the present work using the Cut And Paste (CAP) waveform inversion method. In the CAP algorithm (Zhao and Helmberger, 1994; Zhu and Helmberger, 1996), each waveform is broken up into Pnl and surface wave segments, which are weighted differently during the inversion procedure. Integration of the new solutions with the ones selected from literature and official catalogs led us to collect a database consisting exclusively of waveform inversion data relative to earthquakes with minimum magnitude 2.6. The seismicity and focal mechanism distributions have been compared with crustal motion and strain data coming from GNSS analyses. For this purpose GNSS-based observations collected over the investigated area by episodic measurements (1994-2013) as well as continuous monitoring (since 2006) were processed by the GAMIT/GLOBK software packages (Herring et al., 2010) following the approach described in Palano et al. (2011). To adequately investigate the crustal deformation pattern, the estimated GNSS velocities were aligned to a fixed Eurasian reference frame. The good agreement found between seismic and geodetic information contributes to better define seismotectonic domains characterized by different kinematics. Moving from the available geophysical information and from an early application of FEM algorithms, we have also started to investigate stress/strain fields in the crust of the study area including depth dependence and relationships with rupture of the main seismogenic structures.

  3. Modelling of The Deep Gravity-movement of Niscemi (caltanisetta, Sicily, Italy): The Decisive Role of Tectonic Deformation.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rizzo, V.; Toni, G.; Fragale, F.; Rijillo, R.

    The Niscemi slide occurred on 12.10.1997 at the end of a dry season, and two days after very heavy rainfall (218 mm). This movement remobilised an ancient landslide, historically documented on 19.3.1791, with the same kinematic features but with less steps. The mass consists mainly of overconsolidated clays, sometimes overlapped with sands. Seismic reflection, partly carried out by AGIP, has allowed isopach recon- struction of the postorogenic-sedimentary cover (Gela nappe). This deep geological structure seems to control the slide shape with back-thrusts and discontinuities, usu- ally present in a geological medium, that behave as natural barriers against tectonic stresses. In geotechnics, we can say also that from a brittle stress-strain behaviour, it is possible to pass on to a ductile one, following phenomenons of hardening. The subse- quent formation of zones with different shape and thickness of materials in the plastic state is responsible for the upsetting of superficial masses, that does not lead to the usual wedge shaped slide as an accumulation zone. Finally, further superficial move- ments might be stimulated by exceptional rainy events, able to give an high hydrostatic pressure along main trenches and to modify the efficacy of mobilizing friction

  4. International School of Innovative Technology for Cleaning the Environment, Ettore Majorana Centre for Scientific Culture: Erice, Sicily, Italy

    SciTech Connect

    Ragaini, R.C.

    1994-06-01

    The International School of Innovative Technology for Cleaning the Environment was founded at the Ettore Majorana Centre for Scientific Culture (EMCSC), the seat of the World Laboratory Mediterranean Branch, in 1989. The School primarily organizes and hosts training courses and advanced study courses addressing state-of-the-art technologies to clean the environment, minimize waste generation, prevent pollution, and identify strategies to choose environmentally resilient sites and processes for new industrial installations. The School also participates in facilitating multi-national research projects for developing countries under the auspices of the World Laboratory and other sponsoring agencies.

  5. Structural features of the Pernicana Fault (M. Etna, Sicily, Italy) inferred by high precise location of the microseismicity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alparone, S.; Gambino, S.; Mostaccio, A.; Spampinato, S.; Tuv, T.; Ursino, A.

    2009-04-01

    The north-eastern flank of Mt. Etna is crossed by an important and active tectonic structure, the Pernicana Fault having a mean strike WNW-ESE. It links westward to the active NE Rift and seems to have an important role in controlling instability processes affecting the eastern flank of the volcano. Recent studies suggest that Pernicana Fault is very active through sinistral, oblique-slip movements and is also characterised by frequent shallow seismicity (depth < 2 km bsl) on the uphill western segment and by remarkable creeping on the downhill eastern one. The Pernicana Fault earthquakes, which can reach magnitudes up to 4.2, sometimes with coseismic surface faulting, caused severe damages to tourist resorts and villages along or close this structure. In the last years, a strong increase of seismicity, also characterized by swarms, was recorded by INGV-CT permanent local seismic network close the Pernicana Fault. A three-step procedure was applied to calculate precise hypocentre locations. In a first step, we chose to apply cross-correlation analysis, in order to easily evaluate the similarity of waveforms useful to identify earthquakes families. In a second step, we calculate probabilistic earthquake locations using the software package NONLINLOC, which includes systematic, complete grid search and global, non-linear search methods. Subsequently, we perform relative relocation of correlated event pairs using the double-difference earthquake algorithm and the program HypoDD. The double-difference algorithm minimizes the residuals between observed and calculated travel time difference for pairs of earthquakes at common stations by iteratively adjusting the vector difference between the hypocenters. We show the recognized spatial seismic clusters identifying the most active and hazarding sectors of the structure, their geometry and depth. Finally, in order to clarify the geodynamic framework of the area, we associate these results with calculated focal mechanisms for the most energetic earthquakes.

  6. Bioactive components of caper (Capparis spinosa L.) from Sicily and antioxidant effects in a red meat simulated gastric digestion.

    PubMed

    Tesoriere, L; Butera, D; Gentile, C; Livrea, M A

    2007-10-17

    An increasing body of evidence on the association between adherence to the Mediterranean diet and healthy status is being accumulated. Floral buds of Capparis spinosa L. are commonly used in the Mediterranean cuisine as flavoring for meat and other foods. The present study evaluated bioactive components and antioxidant activity of Sicilian capers stabilized in salt. Whereas alpha-tocopherol was absent, low levels of gamma-tocopherol and vitamin C were measured. With reference to one serving size (8.6 g of capers), rutin was 13.76 mg, isothiocyanates, recently acknowledged as anticarcinogen phytochemicals, were 42.14 micromol, total phenols were 4.19 mg of gallic acid equivalents (GAE), and the total antioxidant potential measured using the [2,2'-azinobis(3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulfonic acid)] diammonium salt (ABTS) cation radical decolorization assay was 25.8 micromol of Trolox equivalents. The antioxidative activity of a caper hydrophilic extract was assessed in a number of assays. The extract at 3.5 and 7.0 microM GAE exhibited a dose-dependent peroxyl radical scavenging activity in a methyl linoleate methanol solution oxidized by azo initiator, and reduced hypervalent iron myoglobin species formed from met-Mb an H 2O 2, at 180 microM GAE. The hydrophilic extract, at 70-280 microM GAE, caused a dose-dependent inhibition of lipid autoxidation in heated red meat, incubated with simulated gastric fluid for 180 min. In the same model rutin tested at a concentration corresponding to its content in the extract was ineffective, and alpha-tocopherol at 25 microM was poorly effective. The hydrophilic extract (70 microM GAE) prevented the consumption of the co-incubated alpha-tocopherol, whereas lipid oxidation was inhibited for the experimental time, suggesting cooperative interactions between extract components and the vitamin. The findings encourage the use of caper with foods that contribute oxidizable lipids in view of the association between dietary oxidized lipids and risk of oxidative stress-based diseases. PMID:17887802

  7. Sedimentary structures formed by upper-regime flows on a Pleistocene carbonate ramp (Favignana Calcarenite, Sicily, Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Slootman, Arnoud; Moscariello, Andrea; Cartigny, Matthieu; de Boer, Poppe

    2015-04-01

    Antidune, chute-and-pool and cyclic step deposits are found in the outcrops of the Pleistocene calcarenite wedge of Favignana Island. These deposits were formed on a prograding carbonate ramp. Three zones are identified: inner-mid ramp (shoreface), ramp slope, and outer ramp (offshore). The ramp slope dips 3° to 10° and drops 30-40 m over 400-600 m. The ramp slope and outer ramp show a succession of bioturbated dune cross beds with up to 10 m-thick, intercalated event beds containing supercritical-flow structures. Grain sizes range from coarse sand to granules, with large rhodoliths (algal balls) and shells as gravel-sized clasts. It is our aim to provide insight into the processes that create upper-regime flow structures and the hydraulic parameters of their generating flows. During normal storms, wind-driven currents generated submarine dunes that migrated across the sea floor. During exceptional high-energy events (megastorms, tsunamis), large amounts of skeletal debris from the carbonate factory were transported towards the top of the ramp slope, where under the effect of gravity sustained supercritical sediment gravity flows were generated. In a case study of bedform evolution, we present the formation of a large downstream-asymmetric bedform with two antidunes superimposed on its upstream flank. A stepwise flow reconstruction reveals the progressive steepening of the antidunes until critical steepness is reached, and the first and, shortly after, the second antidune wave breaks. The two hydraulic jumps thus formed, developed a temporary cyclic step morphology (i.e. hydraulic jump, accelerating subcritical flow, supercritical chute, hydraulic jump etc.). The bedform geometries are used to reconstruct the nature of the catastrophic events that were active on the ramp slope. The wave length of the antidunes is measured from outcrop, which, through hydraulic equations, allows for estimation of mean flow velocity as a function of sediment concentration in the flow. Using published experimental Froude numbers for breaking antidune waves, average flow thickness and sediment flux is computed. The ratio of bed volume and sediment flux provides an estimate for the duration of the sediment gravity flows. We show that applying hydraulic equations to upper-regime sedimentary structures in coarse-grained carbonate sandstones reveal that about half of the ramp deposits, that formed over ca. 350 thousand years, were deposited in not more than tens of hours. Our results provide renewed insight into the evolution of the Favignana Calcarenite and other carbonate ramp deposits.

  8. Seroprevalence of and risk factors for Toscana and Sicilian virus infection in a sample population of Sicily (Italy)

    PubMed Central

    Calamusa, Giuseppe; Valenti, Rosalia Maria; Vitale, Francesco; Mammina, Caterina; Romano, Nino; Goedert, James J.; Gori-Savellini, Gianni; Cusi, Maria Grazia; Amodio, Emanuele

    2013-01-01

    Objective The present study aimed to assess seroprevalence of and risk factors for Toscana (TOSV) and Sicilian (SFSV) virus infections in a sample of Sicilian subjects. Methods A cross-sectional seroepidemiological study was conducted on 271 individuals. Each participant completed a self-administrated questionnaire and provided a serum sample which was analyzed for the presence of IgG specific anti-TOSV and anti-SFSV viruses. Results Overall, 90 subjects (33.2%) were positive for TOSV IgG, 25 (9.2%) were positive for SFSV IgG and 11 (4%) were positive for both the viruses. A higher risk for TOSV seropositivity was found in participants who were older (adjOR=1.02 per year; 95% CI=1.011.03), having a pet living outdoors (adjOR=2.62; 95% CI=1.424.83) and being obese (adjOR=2.37; 95% CI=1.065.30). Conclusions TOSV seroprevalence appears to be relatively high in Sicilian general population, especially in older adults, representing a potential public health concern. The observations that seropositivity for TOSV was not significantly associated with SFSV seropositivity, and none of the risk factors associated with TOSV were associated with SFSV seem to suggest that these two phleboviruses may have different ecology and transmission pathways. PMID:22120113

  9. Levels of Heavy Metals in Adolescents Living in the Industrialised Area of Milazzo-Valle del Mela (Northern Sicily)

    PubMed Central

    Interdonato, Monica; Mecchio, Anna; Cuspilici, Antonino; Minutoli, Letteria; Squadrito, Francesco

    2014-01-01

    In the Milazzo-Valle del Mela area, the presence of industrial plants and the oil refinery make local residents concerned for their health. For this reason, we evaluated the levels of heavy metals in 226 children aged 12–14 years, living in the 7 municipalities of the area. A control age-matched population (n = 29) living 45 km far from the industrial site was also enrolled. Arsenic, cadmium, chromium, mercury, nickel, and vanadium were analysed in 24 h urine samples, while lead concentration was evaluated in blood samples. A questionnaire regarding life style and risk perception was also administered. Adolescents from Milazzo-Valle del Mela had cadmium levels significantly higher compared to either controls  (P < 0.0001) or the reference values of the European Germany Environmental Survey (GerES-IV) and the American National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). Furthermore, children had higher perception of living in a high-risk environment. The present data, for the first time, clearly indicate that adolescents living in Milazzo-Valle del Mela have increased body concentration of cadmium, which may be harmful to human health. These results deserve particular attention by the local and regional government to initiate prevention programmes in this susceptible population. PMID:25328531

  10. Organochlorine compounds and heavy metals in the soft tissue of the mussel Mytilus galloprovincialis collected from Lake Faro (Sicily, Italy).

    PubMed

    Licata, P; Trombetta, D; Cristani, M; Martino, D; Naccari, F

    2004-08-01

    Three hundred samples of Mytilus galloprovincialis were collected from five stations (north, south, east, west and centre) of Lake Faro to evaluate the concentrations of organochlorine compounds and heavy metals. Quantitative determinations of organochlorine pesticides and PCBs were made by GC-ECD and confirmed with GC-MS. Concentrations of "essential" (Cu, Se and Zn) and "toxic" (As, Cd, Hg and Pb) metals were determined by an atomic absorption spectrophotometer. The results obtained show the low residue levels of p,p'-DDE in six samples of M. galloprovincialis from southern (7.00-11.00 ng/g w.w. and 148.3-275 ng/g l.w.) and western (7.60-15.37 ng/g w.w. and 126.7-256.2 ng/g l.w.) areas of Lake Faro. No appreciable residues of PCBs were found in any of the samples examined. Zn concentrations (range 11.0-18.5 microg/g w.w.) were higher than Cu (range 188.3-396.0 ng/g w.w.) and Se (range 93.5-288.9 ng/g w.w.) in all areas of origin. Cd (range 41.9-63.8 ng/g w.w.), Pb (range 64.8-93.0 ng/g w.w.) and Hg levels (range 5.7-13.1 ng/g w.w.) showed lower concentrations than permitted MRLs. The As levels were below detection limits for the all mussel samples. In conclusion, the absence of PCBs, the low levels of p,p'-DDE, the concentrations of Cd, Hg and Pb below permitted MRLs in M. galloprovincialis, used as a "biological indicator", show that Lake Faro is not at contamination risk from these contaminants and moreover is free from health problems for the consumer of mussel products. PMID:15120199

  11. Heat Capacity Mapping Mission (HCMM) program: Study of geological structure of Sicily and other Italian areas. [Sardinia and the Gulf of Orosei

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cassinis, R.; Lechi, G. (principal investigators); Zilioli, E.; Marini, A.; Brivio, P. A.; Tosi, N.

    1981-01-01

    The usefulness of thermal inertia mapping in discriminating geolithological units was investigated using Sardinia and the Gulf of Orosei as test sites. Software designed for LANDSAT data were modified and improved for HCMM tapes. A first attempt was made to compare the geological cross section, the topography, the IR radiance, and the thermal inertia along selected profiles of the test site. Thermal inertia profiles appear smoothed in comparison with the thermal radiance. The lowest apparent thermal inertia (ATI) was found on granitic and basaltic outcrops where their image is of sufficient extent, while ATI is higher on carbonatic and dolomitic or moist deposits. Almost every fault is marked by a jump of ATI, the interval being sometimes of the order of one pixel. This seems to demonstrate the ability of ATI to detect contacts or tectonically disturbed zones with a good resolution. It seems more difficult to measure the differences in ATI between homogeneous materials having different lithology. Ground surveys conducted and a simulation model of diurnal temperatures of rocks having different thermal inertia are discussed.

  12. Biogeochemical evaluation of historical sediment contamination in the Gulf of Palermo (NW Sicily): Analysis of pseudo-trace elements and stable isotope signals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Di Leonardo, Rossella; Cundy, Andrew B.; Bellanca, Adriana; Mazzola, Antonio; Vizzini, Salvatrice

    2012-06-01

    Sedimentary biogeochemical data from the Gulf of Palermo, which borders one of the major urban and industrial areas of the central Mediterranean, provide a decennial-centennial-scale record of the effects of human activity on this coastal environment. In this study we report trace elements (TE), Corg/Ntot ratios, ?13Corg, and ?15Ntot from dated (210Pb) sediments collected in two coastal stations variably influenced by urban/fluvial loadings and illegal dumping and we compare them with published data for offshore sediments, in order to investigate at a large spatial scale the influence of on-land activities on sedimentary marine system. TE were generally low except for Hg and Pb, which exhibited moderate enrichments. Low TE enrichment factors with respect to Corg indicate that trace elements were mainly trapped by sedimentary organic matter. Corg/Ntot, ?13Corg, and ?15Ntot depth profiles showed that sediments received organic matter derived from marine sources mixed with organic matter from the erosion of terrestrial material as well as unregulated sewage discharges. Superimposed on these patterns, repeated shifts in ?13Corg towards values higher than those typical of offshore Palermo sediments were concomitant with higher Corg/Ntot. These shifts observed in the core portions covering the last 40 years reflect enhanced eutrophication as result of elevated nutrient input into marine waters. The results of this study have traced the origin and extent of the organic enrichment and emphasized the importance of utilizing a complete range of chemical and isotopic analyses from sedimentary records to reconstruct the environmental history of coastal ecosystems impacted by urbanization processes.

  13. Submarine canyons of north-western Sicily (Southern Tyrrhenian Sea): Variability in morphology, sedimentary processes and evolution on a tectonically active margin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lo Iacono, Claudio; Sulli, Attilio; Agate, Mauro

    2014-06-01

    Swath-bathymetry, mono-channel and multi-channel seismic reflection records acquired during the last two decades on the northern Sicilian margin have unveiled a dense network of submarine canyons within the depth range of 80-2100 m. The canyons display a relevant variability in their geometry, morphology and sedimentary processes. The margin shows a young, tectonically active shelf to slope setting, linking the Sicilian-Maghrebian Thrust Belt to the Tyrrhenian oceanic realm, developed during the Neogene-Quaternary time span. The aim of this study is to highlight the main governing factors that contributed to the evolution and differentiation of the northern Sicilian canyons, mainly focusing on the Gulf of Palermo and on the Gulf of Castellammare. Tectonic control is more evident in the canyons of the Gulf of Palermo, with submarine landslides retrograding on a steep slope and mainly controlling their evolution. Otherwise, canyons, tributaries and gullies mapped in the Gulf of Castellammare developed on a less steep substrate and display sinuous to meandering paths, with a relevant role of coastal/shelf sedimentary inputs and downslope turbidity processes in their formation. Results suggest that, despite the geographically close proximity of the two study areas, the different structural settings of the Castellammare and Palermo Basins are mainly responsible for canyon variability. Data indicate likely on-going uplift and tilting movements along the Sicilian margin, influencing the development of the studied canyons, which have probably been more active during the Quaternary glacial maxima than they are in the present day.

  14. The effect of steam-heating processes on the chemical and isotopic composition of the shallow thermal aquifer in Vulcano Island (Aeolian Arc, Sicily).

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Capasso, G.; Federico, C.; Madonia, P.; Paonita, A.

    2012-04-01

    We report on a comprehensive study of major-ion chemistry, dissolved gases, and stable isotopes measured in water wells at Vulcano Island since 1988. Particularly, we focus on chemical and hydrological modifications of groundwaters observed in the last two decades, interpreted according to a quantitative model describing steam condensation and boiling phenomena in shallow water bodies (Federico et al., 2010). According to this model, we infer that (i) strong isotope enrichment observed in some shallow thermal waters can result from an increasing mass rate of condensing deep vapor, even in water being meteoric in origin; (ii) the high pCO2 measured in the coldest and peripheral waters are explained by the progressive CO2 enrichment in the vapor phase during multistep boiling; and (iii) the high Cl- and SO4-- contents in the hottest waters can be attributed to the direct condensation (single-step) of volcanic vapor. The model also takes into account both the mass fluxes and the compositions of the involved endmembers (steam and shallow groundwater), which provides important inferences on the modifications observed during the periods of increasing mass and heat input from depth occurred at Vulcano Island. The volcanic crisis that occurred in 1988-1993 profoundly affected the composition of some thermal wells that were more-directly affected by ascending vapour. In particular, higher Cl-, SO4--, and HCO3- contents, temperature, and pCO2 values were measured. These variations are all explained by a different composition of the vapor entering the aquifer paralleled by a higher mass rate relative to the shallow meteoric endmember. Minor effects on the shallow thermal aquifer are observed during the following periods of increasing heat and mass flux from depth, mostly recorded in the crater area. This implies that the shallow thermal aquifer is affected by magmatic fluids ascending along central conduits only when there is a significant increase in the heat and mass fluxes from depth, which are able to vaporize the deep hydrothermal aquifer and modify the chemical and isotopic compositions of a larger portion of the volcanic edifice. Otherwise, the shallow thermal aquifer is chiefly affected by the vapor separating from the 400°C- hydrothermal system and, therefore, by its P-T conditions. On these grounds, once apportioned the effect of rainwater, we tentatively evaluate the effect of variations of physico-chemical conditions of the hydrothermal aquifer on both the water level and the composition of sampled thermal waters.

  15. Sediment characterization of the highly impacted Augusta harbour (Sicily, Italy): modern benthic foraminifera in relation to grain-size and sediment geochemistry.

    PubMed

    Romano, Elena; Bergamin, Luisa; Magno, Maria Celia; Ausili, Antonella

    2013-05-01

    The Augusta harbour is affected by high anthropogenic impact due to intense harbour activity and a large chemical and petrochemical pole. Thirty-seven sediment samples were collected during an environmental characterization project and analyzed for grain size, chemical parameters (Al, As, Cd, Cr, Cu, Fe, Hg, Ni, Pb, Zn and V) and foraminifera, the last one generally being used as ecological indicators of environmental quality. Anthropogenic enrichment was recognized for As, Cu, Hg, Pb and Zn and, among these, Hg showed very high concentrations (up to 191 mg kg(-1) d.w.) often associated in the southern sector of the study area to very high PCB levels (up to 0.83 mg kg(-1)). In this area, an assemblage dominated by Rosalina bradyi and Quinqueloculina lata was recognized. This assemblage shows a clear decrease of foraminiferal density and diversity and, at the same time, increased dominance with respect to the assemblage characterizing the central and northern less polluted sectors, in which Miliolinella subrotunda prevails. Quinqueloculina lata was demonstrated to be a stress-tolerant species because it was not influenced by sediment texture, but positively correlated with the concentration of Hg, PCBs and PAHs. The environmental stress shown by the high-dominance of the Ammonia tepida assemblage was attributed mainly to the influence of stream mouths, which determine environmental instability. Foraminiferal assemblages showed a clear response to environmental degradation in the most polluted area but, at the same time, they demonstrated a high adaptation to pollution. PMID:23507790

  16. Detection of the new emerging rabbit haemorrhagic disease type 2 virus (RHDV2) in Sicily from rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) and Italian hare (Lepus corsicanus).

    PubMed

    Camarda, A; Pugliese, N; Cavadini, P; Circella, E; Capucci, L; Caroli, A; Legretto, M; Mallia, E; Lavazza, A

    2014-12-01

    Rabbit haemorrhagic disease virus (RHDV), a member of the genus Lagovirus, causes rabbit haemorrhagic disease (RHD), a fatal hepatitis of rabbits, not previously reported in hares. Recently, a new RHDV-related virus emerged, called RHDV2. This lagovirus can cause RHD in rabbits and disease and mortality in Lepus capensis (Cape hare). Here we describe a case of RHDV2 infection in another hare species, Lepus corsicanus, during a concurrent RHD outbreak in a group of wild rabbits. The same RHDV2 strain infected rabbits and a hare, also causing a RHD-like syndrome in the latter. Our findings confirmed the capability of RHDV2 to infect hosts other than rabbits and improve the knowledge about the epidemiology and the host range of this new lagovirus. PMID:25458493

  17. Sedimentary evolution of the Mesozoic continental redbeds using geochemical and mineralogical tools: the case of Upper Triassic to Lowermost Jurassic Monte di Gioiosa mudrocks (Sicily, southern Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Perri, Francesco; Critelli, Salvatore; Mongelli, Giovanni; Cullers, Robert L.

    2011-10-01

    The continental redbeds from the Internal Domains of the central-western Mediterranean Chains have an important role in the palaeogeographic and palaeotectonic reconstructions of the Alpine circum-Mediterranean orogen evolution since these redbeds mark the Triassic-Jurassic rift-valley stage of Tethyan rifting. The composition and the sedimentary evolution of the Middle Triassic to Lowermost Jurassic continental redbeds of the San Marco d'Alunzio Unit (Peloritani Mountains, Southern Italy), based on mineralogical and chemical analyses, suggests that the studied mudrock sediments share common features with continental redbeds that constitute the Internal Domains of the Alpine Mediterranean Chains. Phyllosilicates are the main components in the mudrocks. The 10 Å-minerals (illite and micas), the I-S mixed layers, and kaolinite are the most abundant phyllosilicates. The amount of illitic layers in I-S mixed layers coupled with the illite crystallinity values (IC) are typical of high degree of diagenesis, corresponding to a lithostatic/tectonic loading of about 4-5 km. The mineralogical assemblage coupled with the A-CN-K plot suggest post-depositional K-enrichments. Palaeoweathering proxies (PIA and CIW) record intense weathering at the source area. Further, the studied sediments are affected by reworking and recycling processes and, as consequence, it is likely these proxies monitor cumulative effect of weathering. The climate in the early Jurassic favoured recycling and weathering occurred under hot, episodically humid climate with a prolonged dry season. The source-area is the low-grade Paleozoic metasedimentary basement. Mafic supply is minor but not negligible as suggested by provenance proxies.

  18. A measles outbreak in Catania, Sicily: the importance of high vaccination coverage and early notification of cases for health and economic reasons.

    PubMed

    Celesia, Benedetto Maurizio; Fontana, Rossella; Pinzone, Marilia Rita; Cuccia, Mario; Bellissimo, Francesco; Rapisarda, Liliana; Rinnone, Sebastiano; Rapisarda, Venerando; Pavone, Piero; Cacopardo, Bruno; Nunnari, Giuseppe

    2014-09-01

    Measles is a paediatric exanthematous disease. Even though vaccination has dramatically reduced measles morbidity and mortality, outbreaks still occur due to insufficient vaccination coverage and importation of the virus from endemic regions. Although child vaccination coverage in Italy has been broadened (from 74% in 2000 to 90.1% in 2011), outbreaks are still observed at a regional level. We describe epidemiological and clinical characteristics of cases reported from January 2009 to May 2010 to the Epidemiology Service of the Provincial Health Authority of Catania. We obtained demographic data and vaccination status from the database of the Epidemiology Service and clinical features and laboratory data from medical records. In all, 522 cases were notified: 286 males (54%), median age 12 years (interquartile range (IQR) 4-18); 401 cases (77%) were notified by the hospital, and 121 (23%) by general practitioners. Only one patient had been previously vaccinated. 52 cases were hospitalized, median age 18 years (IQR 17-23). We observed hypertransaminasaemia in 20 patients (38%), thrombocytopenia in 22 patients (42%) and a creatine phosphokinase increase in 16 (30%). Complications (pneumonia, haemorrhagic cystitis, acute hepatitis) occurred in 10 patients (19%), all older than 18. Recent outbreaks show that immunization practices are still insufficient. Most cases were recorded in adolescents and young adults; even if the vaccine has limited virus circulation in childhood, it did not prevent the infection of other age groups. The number of notifications also suggests that the phenomenon is underestimated. In order to monitor the disease we need early notification of cases and increased vaccination coverage. PMID:25269964

  19. Kilometer-scale heterogeneities inside volcanoes revealed by using a set of geophysical methods: variable stress field at Mount Etna, Sicily

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    La Delfa, Santo; Patanè, Giuseppe; Tanguy, Jean-Claude

    2000-09-01

    A multidisciplinary study involving geological and geophysical techniques has been carried out on the lower southern slope of Mt. Etna, with the aim of discovering kilometer-scale heterogeneities, which are crucial in understanding how the volcano works. In this area, faults and ancient eruptive fractures outcrop, with a NNW-SSE trend, together with volcanic structures, such as elongated hills, also trending NNW-SSE or E-W, which had never been evidenced in the Etna literature. The old landscape has been revealed by considerable erosion. Gravimetry and seismic tomography prospecting, added to geoelectric and drilling surveys, show that the morphology of the sedimentary substratum forms a N-S trending horst, limited to the east and west by depressions, where erosion products and lava flows from the overlying volcanic pile have accumulated. There is also evidence at very shallow depth (≅1 km below sea level) of an elongated body with a NNW-SSE direction, which is interpreted as a small magma chamber that has now almost completely solidified. This shallow magma system is likely to have fed the 122 BC and ≅1150 AD eruptions, which historical accounts suggest are located very close to the city of Catania.

  20. Human responses to eruptions of Etna (Sicily) during the late-Pre-Industrial Era and their implications for present-day disaster planning

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chester, David K.; Duncan, Angus M.; Sangster, Heather

    2012-05-01

    This paper summarises: the characteristics of eruptions that occurred between 1792/3 and 1923; the ways in which human responses evolved during the period and the lessons this history holds for the management of present-day volcanic and volcano-related disasters. People responded to eruptions at three levels: as members of a family and extended family; through the mutual support of a village or larger settlement and as citizens of the State. During the study period and with the exception of limited financial aid and preservation of law and order, the State was a minor player in responding to eruptions. Families and extended families provided shelter, accommodation and often alternative agricultural employment; whilst supportive villages communities displayed a well developed tendency to learn from experience (e.g. innovating techniques to bring land back into cultivation and avoiding the risks of phreatic activity as lava encountered water and saturated ground) and providing labour to enable household chattels and agricultural crops to be salvaged from land threatened with lava incursion. Eruptions were widely believed to be 'Acts of God', with divine punishment frequently being invoked as a primary cause of human suffering. Elaborate rituals of propitiation were performed to appease a supposed angry God, but this world-view did not produce a fatalistic attitude amongst the population preventing people from coping with disasters in a generally effective manner. Despite present day emergencies being handled by the State and its agencies, some features of nineteenth century responses remain in evidence, including salvaging all that may be easily removed from a building and/or agricultural holding, and explanations of disaster which are theistic in character. Lessons from eruptions that occurred between 1792/3 to 1923 are that the former should be encouraged, whilst the latter does not prevent people acting to preserve life and property or obeying the authorities. Earthquakes are one category of hazard that caused major damage during, or associated with, several historic eruptions especially those of 1865, 1883 and 1911. This study highlights the vulnerability of the Etna region to this hazard which remains largely un-ameliorated. Attempts to divert lava flows occurred during the 1832, 1879 and 1923 eruptions.

  1. Flash floods and debris flow in the city area of Messina, north-east part of Sicily, Italy in October 2009: the case of the Giampilieri catchment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aronica, G. T.; Brigand, G.; Morey, N.

    2012-05-01

    This paper concerns the analysis of the 1 October 2009 flash flood and debris flow event caused by a very intense rainfall concentrated over the Messina area. The storm caused severe flash floods in many villages around the city of Messina, such as Giampilieri, Scaletta Zanclea, Altolia Superiore and Molino, with 38 casualties and significant damages to property, buildings, roads and bridges estimated close to 550 million Euro. The main focus of this work is to perform a post event analysis, putting together available meteorological and hydrological data in order to get better insight into temporal and spatial variability of the rain storm, the soil moisture conditions and the consequent flash flood in the Giampilieri catchment. The event was investigated using observed data from a raingauge network. Statistical analysis using GEV distribution was performed and rainfall return period (storm severity) was estimated. Further, measured rainfall data and rainfall-runoff modelling were used to estimate soil moisture conditions, to analyse the hydrological behaviour and to reconstruct flood hydrograph. With the help of GIS technology and particularly spatial analysis, the volume of debris which has gone down into the Giampilieri village was also calculated. GIS maps with landslide and material deposit areas were produced and analysed.

  2. Implicit Theories of Intelligence and Personality, Self-Efficacy in Problem Solving, and the Perception of Skills and Competences in High School Students in Sicily, Italy

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pirrone, Concetta; Commodari, Elena

    2013-01-01

    Various theories of intelligence and personality (TIP) help explain the implicit beliefs that an individual develops about the functioning of his intelligence and personality. Such beliefs are defined "implicit" because the individual might not be fully aware of his or her belief system. The results from scientific research on the TIP suggest that

  3. A two-component mantle extending from Hyblean Plateau to Mt Etna (Eastern Sicily) as inferred by an integrated approach with noble gases, trace elements and isotope geochemistry.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Correale, A.; Martelli, M.; Paonita, A.; Rizzo, A.; Rotolo, S.

    2012-04-01

    We carried out a geochemical investigation of the mantle beneath Hyblean and Etnean area through ultramafic xenoliths (peridotites and pyroxenites) retained in Miocenic age Hyblean volcanics and primitive Etnean lavas and tephra, respectively. Major and trace elements and Sr-Nd isotopes (whole rock and /or minerals) were analysed together with noble gases entrapped in fluid inclusions hosted in olivines and pyroxenes phenocrysts. The geochemical results from Hyblean xenoliths study highlighted the presence of two distinct compositional groups: the peridotites, featured by a more enriched geochemical fingerprint (3He/4He ~7 Ra, 143Nd/144Nd ~0.5129 and Zr/Nb ~ 4) and the pyroxenites, characterized by a more primitive character (3He/4He up to 7.6 Ra, 143Nd/144Nd ~0.5130 and Zr/Nb ~30). Our interpretation is that metasomatic processes interested the Hyblean lithosphere and the pyroxenites (former primitive mantle melts) represent the metasomatizing agent. During their ascent these primitive melts permeated the peridotitic mantle at different levels, producing a variable degree of refertilization. The metasomatic processes affected distributions of both trace elements and noble gases, even though these geochemical tracers displayed very different sensitivity to the effects of metasomatic mixing between two end-members. The investigated primitive Etnean magmas showed a variable REE enrichment respect to MORB (Lan/Ybn =11-26) and isotopic values of Sr, Nd and He in the following ranges: 143Nd/144Nd = 0.512869-0.512896; 86Sr/87Sr = 0.70330-0.70370; 3He/4He = 7-7.6 Ra. A variable melting degree of a common mantle source together with a variable level of crystallization and crustal contamination is hypothesised to explain the variations exhibited by the above Etnean dataset. Numerical simulation performed on MELT code allowed to estimate the trace elements content of the Etnean mantle source. These results, joined to the most primitive isotopic values of He- Sr- Nd among the investigated products helped to geochemically characterize the mantle beneath the Etnean area, suggesting a strict relation with that Hyblean. Indeed, the modeled Etnean source locates on the mixing zone between the Hyblean peridotite and pyroxenite, so testifying a simultaneous contribution of two components in the genesis of the investigated lavas and supporting the hypothesis of an heterogeneous and metasomatized lithosphere common to both areas.

  4. Fe Mn-encrusted ``Kamenitza'' and associated features in the Jurassic of Monte Kumeta (Sicily): subaerial and/or submarine dissolution?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Di Stefano, P.; Mindszenty, A.

    2000-04-01

    An unusually jagged dissolution surface, capped by a thick Fe-Mn crust is well exposed in small quarry-cuts of the Jurassic of Monte Kumeta. It was formed on a crinoidal limestone substrate of Pliensbachian age, and is covered by Upper Bajocian Ammonitico Rosso-type sediments, all cross-cut by several generations of neptunian dykes. This peculiar surface is more or less coeval with hardgrounds, Fe-Mn-capped dissolution surfaces and associated neptunian dykes described from other localities of the Western Tethys and currently subject to fierce debates as to their purely submarine (or perhaps partly subaerial) origin. The major goal of this paper is to add new arguments to this debate by revealing the finest details of field relationships at a site particularly adapted to the study of this phenomenon. Field observations are supported by petrography and, to a lesser extent, by geochemistry. Results are as follows: (i) vertical dissolution grooves, pointing to dissolution by gravitationally controlled waters, were detected on the sides of several micro-topographic highs; (ii) extensive intergranular dissolution (predating the formation of the Fe-Mn crust) was proved in the substrate both on the micro- and meso-scale; (iii) intense (micro)bio-erosion and local phosphate enrichment were detected immediately underneath the crust; (iv) a Toarcian fauna was identified from the hollows of the irregular surface; (v) synsedimentary faults and fractures clearly predating the major Fe-Mn-encrusted surface were observed, and (vi) a meso-scale synsedimentary growth structure, post dating the Fe-Mn crust, which controlled the Liassic depositional environment of Monte Kumeta is documented. Our conclusion is that the studied surface records at least three separate events of dissolution and precipitation/sedimentation each having either erased or overprinted the effects of the previous one and therefore not permitting the exact reconstruction of all the details of the complex story. To form the irregular surface, in addition to a transient phase of subaerial exposure, a complex history of bio-erosion and submarine dissolution by fluids of widely different chemical composition is proposed. To permit the mixing of sea-water with fault-controlled waters of higher temperature and with groundwaters introduced by deep circulation, a scenario of down-faulted blocks and an adjoining, distant subaerially exposed region is invoked. Such a region provided the hydraulic drive for the postulated circulation. The ultimate cause for the unusual phenomena under scrutiny was the combined effect of tectonics (the local manifestation of Early Liassic rifting in the Western Tethys) and the well-known Pliensbachian-Toarcian sea level-rise.

  5. An Update of the Evolving Epidemic of blaKPC Carrying Klebsiella pneumoniae in Sicily, Italy, 2014: Emergence of Multiple Non-ST258 Clones

    PubMed Central

    Bonura, Celestino; Giuffr, Mario; Aleo, Aurora; Fasciana, Teresa; Di Bernardo, Francesca; Stampone, Tomaso; Giammanco, Anna; Palma, Daniela Maria; Mammina, Caterina

    2015-01-01

    Background In Italy, Klebsiella pneumoniae carbapenemase producing K. pneumoniae (KPC-Kp) strains are highly endemic and KPC producing CC258 is reported as the widely predominating clone. In Palermo, Italy, previous reports have confirmed this pattern. However, recent preliminary findings suggest that an epidemiological change is likely ongoing towards a polyclonal KPC-Kp spread. Here we present the results of molecular typing of 94 carbapenem non susceptible K. pneumoniae isolates detected during 2014 in the three different hospitals in Palermo, Italy. Methods and Results Ninety-four consecutive, non replicate carbapenem non susceptible isolates were identified in the three largest acute general hospitals in Palermo, Italy, in the six-month period March-August 2014. They were characterized by PCR for ?-lactam, aminoglycoside and plasmid mediated fluoroquinolone resistance genetic determinants. The mgrB gene of the colistin resistant isolates was amplified and sequenced. Clonality was assessed by pulsed field gel electrophoresis and multilocus sequence typing. Eight non-CC258 sequence types (STs) were identified accounting for 60% of isolates. In particular, ST307 and ST273 accounted for 29% and 18% of isolates. CC258 isolates were more frequently susceptible to gentamicin and non-CC258 isolates to amikacin. Colistin non susceptibility was found in 42% of isolates. Modifications of mgrB were found in 32 isolates. Conclusions Concurrent clonal expansion of some STs and lateral transmission of genetic resistance determinants are likely producing a thorough change of the KPC-Kp epidemiology in Palermo, Italy. In our setting mgrB inactivation proved to substantially contribute to colistin resistance. Our findings suggest the need to continuously monitor the KPC-Kp epidemiology and to assess by a nationwide survey the possible shifting towards a polyclonal epidemic. PMID:26177547

  6. Chemical composition of the essential oils of three endemic species of Anthemis Sect. Hiorthia (DC.) R.Fern. growing wild in Sicily and chemotaxonomic volatile markers of the genus Anthemis L.: an update.

    PubMed

    Maggio, Antonella; Riccobono, Luana; Spadaro, Vivienne; Scialabba, Anna; Bruno, Maurizio; Senatore, Felice

    2014-04-01

    The chemical composition of the essential oils isolated from the aerial parts of Anthemis pignattiorum Guarino, Raimondo & Domina and A. ismelia Lojac. and the aerial parts and flowers of Anthemis cupaniana Tod. ex Nyman, three endemic Sicilian species belonging to the section Hiorthia, was determined by GC-FID and GC/MS analyses. (Z)-Muurola-4(14),5-diene (27.3%) was recognized as the main constituent of the A. pignattiorum essential oil, together with isospathulenol (10.6%), sabinene (7.7%), and artemisyl acetate (6.8%), while in the oil obtained from the aerial parts of A. ismelia, geranyl propionate (8.8%), bornyl acetate (7.9%), ?-thujone (7.8%), neryl propionate (6.5%), and ?-muurolol (6.5%) prevailed. ?-Pinene was the main compound of both the aerial part and flower oils of A. cupaniana (18.4 and 13.2%, resp.). Also noteworthy are the considerable amounts of artemisyl acetate (12.7%) and ?-thujone (11.8%) found in the oil from the aerial parts and those of tricosane (9.8%) and sabinene (7.6%) evidenced in the flower oil. Furthermore, an update on the main compounds identified in the essential oils of all the Anthemis taxa studied so far was presented, and cluster analyses were carried out, to compare the essential oils of these taxa. PMID:24706632

  7. Reply to comment on the article Propagation of a lithospheric tear fault (STEP) through the western boundary of the Calabrian accretionary wedge offshore eastern Sicily (Southern Italy) by Gallais et al., 2013 Tectonophysics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gallais, Flora; Graindorge, David; Gutscher, Marc-Andr

    2014-01-01

    In his Comment, A. Argnani argues that our interpretation of the STEP fault (named STEP-1 fault, in the Comment) is poorly constrained by the seismic data used in Gallais et al. (2013), and he particularly disagrees with our identification north of the Alfeo Seamount. A. Argnani is convinced that the tear fault is expressed by a belt of surface deformation, close to the Malta Escarpment. However, none of the seismic images published by A. Argnani show a crustal scale structure that could be associated with the presence at depth of a lithospheric tear. In that paper we documented the presence of a sub-vertical crustal scale fault, located 50 km east of the Malta Escarpment, with a northward increasing vertical offset (Gallais et al., 2013). The track of this fault towards the north could be extended following the position of the fault F6, mapped 20 km east of the Malta Escarpment by Nicolich et al. (2000). In fact these authors reported an offset of the crust associated with activity of the fault F6, suggesting that the lithospheric tear at depth at the edge of the Ionian slab is distinct from the Malta Escarpment.

  8. About Face

    MedlinePLUS Videos and Cool Tools

    ... Warner US Army (2001 - 2007) Iraq Tap for Video Albert M. Perna US Army (1942 - 1945) Belgium, ... Germany, North Africa, Omaha Beach, Sicily Tap for Video Wanda Pegues US Army (2003 - 2005) Kuwait, Udari ...

  9. Lunnoe zatmenie -330, sept. 20 i problema izmereniya dolgoty v antichnoj geografii %t The -330, Sept. 20 lunar eclipse and the problem of the determination of longitude in ancient geography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shcheglov, D. A.

    The attempt to reconstruct the Hipparchus system of is proposed. The offered analysis of certain passages in the treatises of Ptolemy, Pliny, and Strabo allows to trace the latent semantic connection between them and to advance a hypothesis to clarify it. Ptolemy's passage (sect. 3) states Hipparchus to propose in his geography a certain system of meridians and to use the -330, Sept. 20 eclipse to determine the relative longitudes of Arbela and Carthage. Pliny's evidence (4) shows that Hipparchus must have known about the observation of this eclipse from Sicily, which demands to situate this island far eastward of Carthage. Strabo's data (5) confirm that Hipparchus, while criticising Eratosthenes, suggested situating Sicily far eastward of Carthage. Ptolemy's data (6) show that Marinus, whose work Ptolemy's geography was based on, in his early redaction, must situate Sicily farther eastward than in the final variant. Posidonius' passage (7) demonstrates the latitude of Sicily in Ptolemy's geography to go back to Hipparchus. In "Almagest" (9) the longitude of Babylon (relative to Alexandria) is directly ascribed to Hipparchus and the longitude of Rome agrees with that of Sicily in Pliny's evidence. The data of Ptolemy's geography (9.3-9.5) permit that Arbela and Babylon were situated on the same meridian initially. All these enable us to suggest that Hipparchus determined the longitudes not only of Arbela and Babylon, but also of Babylon and Sicily, Alexandria and Rome.

  10. Project Copernicus: Cooperation Programme in Europe on Nature and Industry through Coordinated University Study. Round Table. Unesco-Standing Conference of Rectors, Presidents, and Vice Chancellors of the European Universities (CRE) (Catania, Sicily, April 5-8, 1989). Number 32. Papers on Higher Education.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization, Paris (France).

    This Project COPERNICUS (Cooperation Programme in Europe for Research on Nature and Industry through Coordinated University Studies) Round Table report considers efforts to identify priorities and objectives of the new alliance between the higher education community, industry, and international organizations in addressing today's environmental

  11. Oil spill hazard assessment using a reverse trajectory method for the Egadi marine protected area (Central Mediterranean Sea).

    PubMed

    Ciappa, Achille; Costabile, Salvatore

    2014-07-15

    The Egadi Marine Protected Area (MPA) on the western side of the Sicily Channel (Central Mediterranean) is exposed to a high risk of oil pollution from the tanker routes connecting the eastern and western basins of the Mediterranean Sea. Areas where an oil spill would do most damage, and thus where surveillance should be concentrated, are identified in this study by Lagrangian tracers tracked backwards in time from points along the MPA perimeter using data spanning six years from 2006 to 2011. Results indicate that the areas where oil surveillance would be most beneficial are segments of the tanker routes south of Sicily (highly frequented) and north of Sicily (scarcely frequented), both extending about 150 miles from November to March and 100 miles in the other months. The third route, close to the Tunisian shore, is the most frequented by oil tankers but the threat period is limited to November and December. PMID:24934441

  12. Assessment of oil slick hazard and risk at vulnerable coastal sites.

    PubMed

    Melaku Canu, Donata; Solidoro, Cosimo; Bandelj, Vinko; Quattrocchi, Giovanni; Sorgente, Roberto; Olita, Antonio; Fazioli, Leopoldo; Cucco, Andrea

    2015-05-15

    This work gives an assessment of the hazard faced by Sicily coasts regarding potential offshore surface oil spill events and provides a risk assessment for Sites of Community Importance (SCI) and Special Protection Areas (SPA). A lagrangian module, coupled with a high resolution finite element three dimensional hydrodynamic model, was used to track the ensemble of a large number of surface trajectories followed by particles released over 6 selected areas located inside the Sicily Channel. The analysis was carried out under multiple scenarios of meteorological conditions. Oil evaporation, oil weathering, and shore stranding are also considered. Seasonal hazard maps for different stranding times and seasonal risk maps were then produced for the whole Sicilian coastline. The results highlight that depending on the meteo-marine conditions, particles can reach different areas of the Sicily coast, including its northern side, and illustrate how impacts can be greatly reduced through prompt implementation of mitigation strategies. PMID:25813717

  13. The Astronomical Orientation of Ancient Greek Temples

    PubMed Central

    Salt, Alun M.

    2009-01-01

    Despite its appearing to be a simple question to answer, there has been no consensus as to whether or not the alignments of ancient Greek temples reflect astronomical intentions. Here I present the results of a survey of archaic and classical Greek temples in Sicily and compare them with temples in Greece. Using a binomial test I show strong evidence that there is a preference for solar orientations. I then speculate that differences in alignment patterns between Sicily and Greece reflect differing pressures in the expression of ethnic identity. PMID:19936239

  14. Heredity and Environment in the Development of Intelligence

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Migliorino, Giuseppe

    1974-01-01

    Intelligence tests were administered to a stratified sample of 4058 school children from Palermo, Sicily. I.Q. scores were found to be positively correlated with socioeconomic status and negatively related to family size. As birth order increased, mental development decreased. Implications for future research were discussed. (EH)

  15. Hydrologic evaluation of a Mediterranean watershed using the SWAT model with multiple PET estimation methods

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The Penman-Monteith method suggested by the Food Agricultural Organization in the Irrigation and drainage paper 56 (FAO-56 P-M) was used to evaluate surface runoff and sediment yield predictions by the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) model at the outlet of an experimental watershed in Sicily. ...

  16. A Clinical Application of Applied Humanism for Young Adults with Severe and Profound Retardation.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mazzelli, AnnaMaria; Polirstok, Susan Rovet; Dana, Lawrence; Buono, Serafina; Mongelli, Vita; Trubia, Grazia; Ayala, Giovanni

    2000-01-01

    Describes an intensive habilitation program in Sicily for young adults with severe and profound retardation. Participants in the program showed significant improvement in functional skills and an accompanying reduction in maladaptive and stereotypic behaviors, without complex behavior plans; punishing contingencies; or high dose neuroleptic,

  17. Deep sequencing of viral small-RNAs of citrus tristeza virus (CTV) reveals genomic differences between two Italian isolates of CTV

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    A recent Citrus tristeza virus (CTV) epidemic of quick decline (QD) killed many sweet orange trees grafted on sour orange rootstock in Sicily but left some asymptomatic trees in the same field. Recent reports indicated cross-protection involves exclusion of a severe CTV strain by a mild strain of th...

  18. [Thermal water of Al Terme, Italy].

    PubMed

    Pizzimenti, F; Cannatelli, M A; Fiorentino, C; Rizzo, G; Briguglio, B; Villari, A

    2004-01-01

    In this paper the history of the thermal water of Al Terme (Sicily-Italy) and their beneficial effects are reported. Chemical and bacteriological investigations have been conducted for assay of thermophiles sulphur bacteria. As regards the chemical characteristics, traditional investigations have been carried out together with determination of H2S. PMID:15697010

  19. An improved real-time seismic network in the Central Mediterranean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Agius, Matthew; Galea, Pauline; D'Amico, Sebastiano

    2014-05-01

    The Central Mediterranean is a region of active tectonics characterised by the interaction of a number of varied and sometimes poorly understood processes. Superimposed on the convergent scenario of the African plate pushing northwestward, a NE-SW directed extensional regime is active in the Sicily Channel, expressed in the form of a seismically active east-west trending system of strike-slip lineaments and a series of pull-apart grabens. The offshore seismicity of the Sicily channel, generally limited to magnitudes below 4.5, is normally difficult to quantify precisely, due to poor station coverage, yet it is believed that its analysis will considerably improve our understanding of the processes affecting the region. We present recent improvements to real and virtual seismic networking in the Central Mediterranean, based at the Seismic Monitoring and Research Unit (SMRU), University of Malta. Within the project SIMIT (B1-2.19/11) funded by the Italia-Malta Operational Programme 2007-2013, earthquake monitoring on the Maltese Islands is being upgraded through the installation of a further two broadband stations, one of which will be on the smaller island of Gozo. A new network, ML (Malta Seismic Network), has been internationally registered with the FDSN. At the same time, the installation and implementation of SeisComP3 has enabled the setting up of a virtual, real-time Central Mediterranean network, made up of 18 stations in Southern Italy (including Sicily, Lampedusa and Pantelleria) belonging to the Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia, 3 stations in Tunisia (National Institute of Meteorology of Tunisia) and the 3 stations on the Maltese Islands. This will allow us to rapidly perform more accurate hypocentral locations in the region. The virtual network, which also incorporates a number of more distant stations, has been tuned to issue SMS alerts for potentially felt events in the Sicily Channel detected by the network, and for strong earthquakes elsewhere. Within the SIMIT project, the alert system will include Civil Protection departments in Malta and Sicily. Small magnitude earthquakes, especially those located to the south and south-east of the Maltese Islands, may still go undetected by the network. In this case, use is made of a single-station polarization analysis method (LESSLA) developed at SMRU. The integration of data from the above methods allows us to produce a more comprehensive seismicity map for the Sicily Channel, which will be interpreted in terms of the dynamics of the Sicily Channel Rift System. References: Agius, M. R., & Galea, P. (2011). A single-station automated earthquake location system at Wied Dalam Station, Malta. Seismological Research Letters, 82(4), 545-559.

  20. Tuberculosis epidemiology in islands: insularity, hosts and trade.

    PubMed

    Acevedo, Pelayo; Romero, Beatriz; Vicente, Joaquin; Caracappa, Santo; Galluzzo, Paola; Marineo, Sandra; Vicari, Domenico; Torina, Alessandra; Casal, Carmen; de la Fuente, Jose; Gortazar, Christian

    2013-01-01

    Because of their relative simplicity and the barriers to gene flow, islands are ideal systems to study the distribution of biodiversity. However, the knowledge that can be extracted from this peculiar ecosystem regarding epidemiology of economically relevant diseases has not been widely addressed. We used information available in the scientific literature for 10 old world islands or archipelagos and original data on Sicily to gain new insights into the epidemiology of the Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex (MTC). We explored three nonexclusive working hypotheses on the processes modulating bovine tuberculosis (bTB) herd prevalence in cattle and MTC strain diversity: insularity, hosts and trade. Results suggest that bTB herd prevalence was positively correlated with island size, the presence of wild hosts, and the number of imported cattle, but neither with isolation nor with cattle density. MTC strain diversity was positively related with cattle bTB prevalence, presence of wild hosts and the number of imported cattle, but not with island size, isolation, and cattle density. The three most common spoligotype patterns coincided between Sicily and mainland Italy. However in Sicily, these common patterns showed a clearer dominance than on the Italian mainland, and seven of 19 patterns (37%) found in Sicily had not been reported from continental Italy. Strain patterns were not spatially clustered in Sicily. We were able to infer several aspects of MTC epidemiology and control in islands and thus in fragmented host and pathogen populations. Our results point out the relevance of the intensity of the cattle commercial networks in the epidemiology of MTC, and suggest that eradication will prove more difficult with increasing size of the island and its environmental complexity, mainly in terms of the diversity of suitable domestic and wild MTC hosts. PMID:23923053

  1. The Pelagian Block (central Mediterranean): Exploration and new opportunities

    SciTech Connect

    Zappaterra, E.

    1995-08-01

    The Pelagian Block, extending from eastern Tunisia to offshore western Libya and northward to Malta and Sicily, is a complex foreland area structurally active since the Carboniferous, that separates western North Africa from southern Italy. The north (Sicily) and central parts of the Pelagian Block contain Triassic-Lower Jurassic peritidal carbonates with rare evaporites; Middle Jurassic-Eocene pelagic carbonates, and paralic to marine clastics of Oligocene to Pleistocene age, with Messinian evaporites. The Middle Jurassic/Eocene platform to pelagic carbonates of Sicily are gradually replaced southward by basin margin, marine to paralic carbonates and clastics. In eastern Tunisia, these rocks overlie Triassic-Lower Jurasic evaporites. Principal petroleum resources occur offshore SE Sicily, offshore Tunisia and in adjacent Libyan waters. The largest oil fields are Bouri (800 MMB recoverable reserves) and Ashtart (recoverable reserves of 250 MMB). The largest gas field is Miskar (recoverable reserves of 800 BCF). Smaller accumulations are distributed throughout the region. New oil discoveries, ranging in size from 8 MMB to 50 MMB, have recently been made onshore and in the shallow offshore. Proven and potential source beds for hydrocarbons occur in various paleotectonic settings: anoxic lagoons formed in the early continental rifting stages (Triassic/Liassic organic rich units of SE Sicily); subcontinental/paralic coals and shales (Lower Cretaceous of Tunisia); and deeper water anoxic basins (late Mesozoic and Tertiary organic sequences). Additional exploration opportunities are expected in undrilled or sparsely drilled acreage, with traditional plays similar to those tested in the past; or in new plays directed to the exploration of new reservoir objectives.

  2. High-resolution investigation of the crustal structure of the Sicilian region (southern Italy) by local earthquake tomography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Totaro, C.; Kukarina, E.; Koulakov, I.; Orecchio, B.; Presti, D.; Neri, G.

    2014-12-01

    We present a new seismic velocity model for the crust and uppermost mantle beneath Sicily (Southern Italy) and surrounding areas, obtained by local earthquake tomography. The Sicilian region represents a portion of the Apennine-Maghrebide fold-and-thrust belt developed in an area dominated by both the convergence between the European and Nubia plates and the extensional processes linked to the opening of the Tyrrhenian basin (Malinverno and Ryan, 1986; Faccenna et al., 1996). Four major seismogenic domains characterize the region: (I) the Southern Tyrrhenian E-W striking domain undergoing N-S compression; (II) the northern Sicily domain presenting extensional regimes that vary from N-S, to the west, to WNW-ESE to the east; (III) the mainland Sicily domain comprising the Etna area and showing a mainly transpressional regime; (IV) the Hyblean Foreland domain (southeastern Sicily) with primarily strike-slip deformation. To perform the tomographic inversion, we selected ca. 7100 earthquakes that have occurred between 1990 and 2012 in the depth range 0-100km. Data and recordings have been derived by the Italian recording networks (www.ingv.it). By using the LOTOS code (Koulakov, 2009), we computed the distribution of Vp, Vs, and the Vp/Vs ratio in the study area. In order to increase the detail of our analysis with respect to previous study carried out in the same sector, we tested several spacing for the inversion grid and performed synthetic tests to estimate a possible effect of noise on the resolution as well as the optimal values of inversion parameters. The obtained velocity models, jointly evaluated with the hypocenter distribution and geological information, give us new constraints to geodynamical and structural knowledge of the study area. Main results evidence (i) the presence of a clear discontinuity in the P-wave velocity pattern between the Tyrrhenian off-shore of Sicily, characterized by high velocity anomalies, and the northern Sicilian on-shore, where a large almost E-W low velocity anomaly is evident at all depths; (ii) high velocity anomalies in the Iblean area with respect to the adjacent sector of central Sicily in the depth range 3 - 15 km; (iii) low P-wave velocity anomalies in correspondence with the Mt. Etna and the Eolian Island volcanos in the upper crust layers.

  3. Descriptive epidemiology of human thyroid cancer: experience from a regional registry and the "volcanic factor".

    PubMed

    Malandrino, Pasqualino; Scollo, Claudia; Marturano, Ilenia; Russo, Marco; Tavarelli, Martina; Attard, Marco; Richiusa, Pierina; Violi, Maria Antonia; Dardanoni, Gabriella; Vigneri, Riccardo; Pellegriti, Gabriella

    2013-01-01

    Thyroid cancer (TC), the most common endocrine tumor, has steadily increased worldwide due to the increase of the papillary histotype. The reasons for this spread have not been established. In addition to more sensitive thyroid nodule screening, the effect of environmental factors cannot be excluded. Because high incidences of TC were found in volcanic areas (Hawaii and Iceland), a volcanic environment may play a role in the pathogenesis of TC. In January 2002, the Regional Register for TC was instituted in Sicily. With a population of approximately five million inhabitants with similar genetic and lifestyle features, the coexistence in Sicily of rural, urban, industrial, moderate-to-low iodine intake, and volcanic areas provides a conducive setting for assessing the environmental influences on the etiology of TC. In Sicily, between 2002 and 2004, 1,950 new cases of TC were identified, with an age-standardized rate (world) ASR(w)?=?17.8/10(5) in females and 3.7/10(5) in males and a high female/male ratio (4.3:1.0). The incidence of TC was heterogeneous within Sicily. There were 2.3 times more cases in the Catania province (where most of the inhabitants live in the volcanic area of Mt. Etna): ASR(w)?=?31.7/10(5) in females and 6.4/10(5) in males vs. 14.1 in females and 3.0 in males in the rest of Sicily. Multivariate analysis documented that residents in the volcanic area of Mt. Etna had a higher risk of TC, compared to the residents in urban, industrial, and iodine deficient areas of Sicily. An abnormally high concentration of several chemicals was found in the drinking water of the Mt. Etna aquifer, which provides water to most of the residents in the Catania province. Our data suggest that environmental carcinogen(s) of volcanic origin may promote papillary TC. Additional analyses, including cancer biological and molecular features, will allow a better understanding of risk factors and etiopathogenetic mechanisms. PMID:23761783

  4. Descriptive Epidemiology of Human Thyroid Cancer: Experience From a Regional Registry and The “Volcanic Factor”

    PubMed Central

    Malandrino, Pasqualino; Scollo, Claudia; Marturano, Ilenia; Russo, Marco; Tavarelli, Martina; Attard, Marco; Richiusa, Pierina; Violi, Maria Antonia; Dardanoni, Gabriella; Vigneri, Riccardo; Pellegriti, Gabriella

    2013-01-01

    Thyroid cancer (TC), the most common endocrine tumor, has steadily increased worldwide due to the increase of the papillary histotype. The reasons for this spread have not been established. In addition to more sensitive thyroid nodule screening, the effect of environmental factors cannot be excluded. Because high incidences of TC were found in volcanic areas (Hawaii and Iceland), a volcanic environment may play a role in the pathogenesis of TC. In January 2002, the Regional Register for TC was instituted in Sicily. With a population of approximately five million inhabitants with similar genetic and lifestyle features, the coexistence in Sicily of rural, urban, industrial, moderate-to-low iodine intake, and volcanic areas provides a conducive setting for assessing the environmental influences on the etiology of TC. In Sicily, between 2002 and 2004, 1,950 new cases of TC were identified, with an age-standardized rate (world) ASR(w) = 17.8/105 in females and 3.7/105 in males and a high female/male ratio (4.3:1.0). The incidence of TC was heterogeneous within Sicily. There were 2.3 times more cases in the Catania province (where most of the inhabitants live in the volcanic area of Mt. Etna): ASR(w) = 31.7/105 in females and 6.4/105 in males vs. 14.1 in females and 3.0 in males in the rest of Sicily. Multivariate analysis documented that residents in the volcanic area of Mt. Etna had a higher risk of TC, compared to the residents in urban, industrial, and iodine deficient areas of Sicily. An abnormally high concentration of several chemicals was found in the drinking water of the Mt. Etna aquifer, which provides water to most of the residents in the Catania province. Our data suggest that environmental carcinogen(s) of volcanic origin may promote papillary TC. Additional analyses, including cancer biological and molecular features, will allow a better understanding of risk factors and etiopathogenetic mechanisms. PMID:23761783

  5. Mantle-derived helium in sedimentary basins of Central Mediterranean: Geologic and tectonic constrains on fluids accumulation and migration.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Caracausi, Antonio; Grassa, Fausto; Pennino, Valentina; Rizzo, Andrea; Sulli, Attilio

    2013-04-01

    The geodynamics of the central Mediterranean is characterized by the interaction between the European plate and the African one. In this setting Sicily is a sector of the Appenine-Maghrebide accretionary prism, which is located between two areas affected by extensional tectonics (Sicily Channel to the south and the Thyrrenian back arc basin to the north). In the present study we present the first dataset of helium isotopic composition measured in fluids released from the central-western Sicily. With the aim to constrain the transfer system of fluids in this area we relate the results of geochemical investigations with the stratigraphy and structural setting, derived from field geology, deep boreholes and new seismic reflection, gravimetry and magnetometry data. Significant mantle-derived helium (0.4Sicily. CH4-dominated gases are released from mud volcanoes and feed everlasting fires mainly located in the central region, where upper Oligocene-Miocene terrigenous cover Mesozoic carbonatic units. The abundance of CH4, usually linked to the presence of hydrocarbons- and/or organic matter-rich layers, is almost exclusively linked to the Messinian evaporitic and pre-evaporitic levels (containing diatomites). On the other hand, CO2 is mainly associated to the thermal groundwaters circulating mainly in Mesozoic limestone and dolomite, which here constitute the bulk of the deformed wedge of the Sicilian chain (up to 15 km thick). In thermal waters, we found a positive correlation between water temperature, ranging between 22.1°C and 59°C, and helium isotopic ratio. Taking into consideration that helium rises from the mantle coupled to CO2 and others components, we discussed CO2 and CH4 coupled to helium. Our samples did no show any correlation between C/3He vs. R/Ra and only samples of the Sciacca thermal basin show C/3He in the typical ranges of the mantle fluids. CH4-dominated fluids shows a CH4/3He vs. R/Ra correlation that underlies a mixing between a 3He rich and CH4-poor term and a CH4-rich and 3He-poor one typical of crustal reservoir of gases. Our previous investigations showed up an heat excess coupled to the presence of mantle-derived helium in western Sicily, which was linked to the occurrence of melts rising from the mantle below the continental crust or intruding through lithospheric faults. This study shows that degassing of mantle derived fluids cover entirely the central-western Sicily and the transfer of mantle helium rich fluids through the crust is mainly regulated by fault-controlled advective flux. In particular: a) in the central-northern Sicily recent data from deep seismic reflection investigations (SiRiPro project), evidenced a dense network of faults that develops between the area of Caltanissetta and the central portion of the Madonie, involving both the deformed sedimentary units of the fold and thrust belt and the underlying crust and upper mantle; b) in the Sciacca area multichannel seismic profiles highlighted the occurrence of deep-seated faults (correlated with the N-S lineaments well known offshore in the Sicily Straits), also characterized by strike-slip component (as evidenced by the seismicity of the Belice valley), which involves the deeper portions of the chain; in addition gravimetry and magnetic data displayed a shallow crustal basement, whose involvement in the deformation suggests a link with the fault systems recognized in the overlying tectonic wedge.

  6. Life histories and abundance of crustacean zooplankton in the outlet of Lake Superior, 1971-72

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Selgeby, James H.

    1975-01-01

    In sampling throughout a year, at about 3-wk intervals, of the crustacean zooplankton discharged from Lake Superior through the St. Marys River, 30 species were collected, including three not previously recorded for the lake: the copepod Cyclops strenuus, and the cladocerans Alona costata and Alonella acutirostris. Five copepods, Cyclops bicuspidatus thomasi, Diaptomus ashlandi, D. sicilis, Limnocalanus macrurus, and Senecella calanoides were present in the plankton throughout the year while three other copepods, Diaptomus minutus, Epischura lacustris, and Mesocyclops edax, along with all cladocerans, were present only during summer and fall. Five species of copepods, Diaptomus sicilis, D. minutus, Limnocalanus macrurus, Senecella calanoides, and Epischura lacustris produced a single generation annually; three other copepods and all cladocerans produced two or more generations. All species breed 1-3 mo later in Lake Superior than in lakes Michigan and Erie.

  7. Posidonia oceanica as a historical monitor device of lead concentration in marine environment.

    PubMed

    Tranchina, L; Miccich, S; Bartolotta, A; Brai, M; Mantegna, R N

    2005-05-01

    We show that Posidonia oceanica is able to reliably monitor the variability of environmental lead (Pb). We analyze lead concentration measured in the scales and rhizomes of Posidonia oceanica collected in seven sites along the coasts of the Sicily island and subsequently fractioned them according to a lepidochronological analysis. We measure lead concentration in Posidonia oceanica tissues by using the flame atomic absorption spectrophotometry technique. We compare the measured lead concentration with the estimated lead emission in air due to the gasoline sold and used for combustion in car engines in Sicily. By computation of the Pearson cross-correlation coefficient, we show that lead concentration, which is measured in the scales of Posidonia oceanica, is statistically correlated to lead emission in air and reflects the level of lead pollution in the coastal marine environment. PMID:15926545

  8. [Petrochemical industry and health risk perception: a research carried out by means of focus groups].

    PubMed

    Gatto, Elisa; Mudu, Pierpaolo; Saitta, Pietro; Faberi, Michele

    2009-01-01

    This paper discusses the results of a qualitative analysis aimed at collecting new and useful elements for a questionnaire prepared to be submitted to a representative sample of the population residing in the industrial areas of Sicily. The study employed four focus groups and addressed adults selected among the population living in the area called Valle del Mela (Sicily) in order to investigate customs, images and perception of risks related to living conditions in a complex industrial area. The area under investigation is characterized by the presence of a large refinery process plants, a power plant and a number of small factories operating in various highly polluting sectors. The study investigates the specific perceptions expressed by conveyed people according to their sex, age and parental status. The authors suggest that their findings are useful in order to implement communication actions aimed at targeting broader strata of the local population. PMID:19585877

  9. Remote sensing techniques from helicopter for water quality and air pollution control

    SciTech Connect

    Geraci, A.L.; Landolina, F.F.

    1996-11-01

    Aircraft remote sensing provides a number of benefits, allowing to vary the detection parameters, giving better resolution, and being little affected by weather conditions and no replaceable under emergency situations. Also as a part of projects funded by the Commission of the European Communities, through the Regional Government of Sicily, applications of remote sensing techniques were carried out from helicopter over selected study areas in Sicily, for water quality and air pollution control. In particular, remotely-sensed data were acquired, using LASER techniques and thermal infrared imagery, for the monitoring of water quality and the assessment of oil pollution. Furthermore, air quality was investigated, using LASER techniques and correlation spectroscopy. In a perspective of integration, the investigations carried out proved effective and useful, confirming the important role of the helicopter as monitoring platform for environmental remote sensing applications. 6 refs., 11 figs.

  10. Landscape-scale spatial distribution of the Lanner Falcon (Falco biarmicus feldeggii) breeding population in Italy.

    PubMed

    Andreotti, Alessandro; Leonardi, Giovanni; Sar, Maurizio; Brunelli, Massimo; De Lisio, Lorenzo; De Sanctis, Augusto; Magrini, Mauro; Nardi, Riccardo; Perna, Paolo; Sigismondi, Antonio

    2008-09-01

    Falco biarmicus feldeggii is one of the most threatened taxa in Europe. Its global population is estimated at a few hundred pairs unequally scattered in a vast and fragmented area stretching from Sicily to the Caspian Sea. Most recent counts showed that Italy hosts a large part (>25%) of the whole population. Consequently, Italian authorities promoted a national action plan. In this framework, we carried out the first national survey for the Lanner Falcon in Italy (2003-2004). Our study area covered the whole breeding range, i.e., Sicily and the Italian peninsula (n = 2909 cells 10 x 10 km). When possible, we considered also additional information from previous regional investigations (1993-2001). First, we estimated size and distribution of each breeding subpopulation. Then, we tried to identify, at landscape level, the main environmental features linked to the spatial distribution of the nesting sites. We found the Lanner Falcon in 184 cells (6.4% of the total grid map), but we estimated no more than 140-172 pairs (70-80 of which are in Sicily) in the same breeding season. Higher levels of isolation characterize the continental breeding cells whereas in Sicily cells are much more clustered. Altitude is the main factor influencing cell aggregations in Italy; nevertheless, other environmental variables, such as climate, precipitation, and vegetation may be important. Our results show that the conservation measures adopted in Italy are somewhat inadequate given the low number of breeding pairs included in protected areas (23%-28%). Many small and scattered special areas of conservation (SAC) devoted to conserve priority habitats fit the irregular spatial aggregations of Lanner Falcon sites better than several large special protection areas (SPA). PMID:18833797

  11. Chemical composition of European propolis: expected and unexpected results.

    PubMed

    Bankova, Vassya; Popova, Milena; Bogdanov, Stefan; Sabatini, Anna-Gloria

    2002-01-01

    Ten propolis samples from Bulgaria, Italy and Switzerland were analyzed by GC-MS. As expected, most samples displayed the typical chemical pattern of "poplar" propolis: they contained pinocembrin, pinobanksin and its 3-O-acetate, chrysin, galangin, prenyl esters of caffeic and ferulic acids. Two samples differed significantly: one from the Graubnden Alpine region, Switzerland, rich in phenolic glycerides, and one from Sicily which contained only a limited number of phenolics and was rich in diterpenic acids. PMID:12132697

  12. Erupting Volcano Mount Etna

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2001-01-01

    An Expedition Two crewmember aboard the International Space Station (ISS) captured this overhead look at the smoke and ash regurgitated from the erupting volcano Mt. Etna on the island of Sicily, Italy. At an elevation of 10,990 feet (3,350 m), the summit of the Mt. Etna volcano, one of the most active and most studied volcanoes in the world, has been active for a half-million years and has erupted hundreds of times in recorded history.

  13. New records of Ichneumonidae (Hymenoptera) for the Italian fauna

    PubMed Central

    Riedel, Matthias; Diller, Erich; Schwarz, Martin

    2015-01-01

    Abstract New distributional records on 55 ichneumonids (Hymenoptera, Ichneumonidae) from Italy are provided. Of these, 47 species are new for Italy, including representatives of the subfamily Diacritinae and of the tribes Zimmeriini (Ichneumoninae) and Pseudorhyssini (Poemeniinae); six species are new for Sardinia, one for Sicily and one for the Italian mainland. The hitherto unknown female of Baranisobas hibericus Heinrich, 1972 (Ichneumoninae) is described. PMID:26175609

  14. A stochastic point rainfall model of design storms based on 2-copula and dimensionless hyetograph

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brigand, Giuseppina; Tito Aronica, Giuseppe

    2013-04-01

    In this study a stochastic model to derive synthetic design storms at a point is presented. Generated rainfall events are totally stochastic but with characteristics in terms of shape, duration and average intensity have to satisfy the parameters derived by statistical analyses of the available historic records. The main advantage of this kind of approach is its applicability when few years of sub-hourly rainfall records, not necessary continuous, are available. The events are derived on the basis of a fixed inter-event time, and selected if their average intensity is bigger than a critical fixed one. In order to characterize the shape, dimensionless events are considered. The probability function to describe the hyetograph shape chosen in this study is the Beta cumulative distribution. Storm duration and average intensity of the observed events are modelled separately by fitting several probability distribution and selecting the best one using several statistical criteria. Finally, their correlation is modelled using the Frank Copula. In order to test the methodology, two sites placed in Sicily, Italy, were sub-hourly rainfall data were available, have been analyzed. The considered raingauges stations are: Monreale, placed in North-West part of Sicily, and Palazzolo Acreide, placed in South-East part of Sicily, where 10 minutes recorded rainfall data were available. The good performance of the model has been tested by comparing the statistics of the simulated events with those of the measured data, and the obtained results confirm the effectiveness of the methodology.

  15. Nbody Simulations and Weak Gravitational Lensing using new HPC-Grid resources: the PI2S2 project

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Becciani, U.; Antonuccio-Delogu, V.; Costa, A.; Comparato, M.

    2008-08-01

    We present the main project of the new grid infrastructure and the researches, that have been already started in Sicily and will be completed by next year. The PI2S2 project of the COMETA consortium is funded by the Italian Ministry of University and Research and will be completed in 2009. Funds are from the European Union Structural Funds for Objective 1 regions. The project, together with a similar project called Trinacria GRID Virtual Laboratory (Trigrid VL), aims to create in Sicily a computational grid for e-science and e-commerce applications with the main goal of increasing the technological innovation of local enterprises and their competition on the global market. PI2S2 project aims to build and develop an e-Infrastructure in Sicily, based on the grid paradigm, mainly for research activity using the grid environment and High Performance Computer systems. As an example we present the first results of a new grid version of FLY a tree Nbody code developed by INAF Astrophysical Observatory of Catania, already published in the CPC program Library, that will be used in the Weak Gravitational Lensing field.

  16. Genetic structure in the Mediterranean seagrass Posidonia oceanica: disentangling past vicariance events from contemporary patterns of gene flow.

    PubMed

    Serra, I A; Innocenti, A M; Di Maida, G; Calvo, S; Migliaccio, M; Zambianchi, E; Pizzigalli, C; Arnaud-Haond, S; Duarte, C M; Serrao, E A; Procaccini, G

    2010-02-01

    The Mediterranean Sea is a two-basin system, with the boundary zone restricted to the Strait of Sicily and the narrow Strait of Messina. Two main population groups are recognized in the Mediterranean endemic seagrass Posidonia oceanica, corresponding to the Western and the Eastern basins. To address the nature of the East-West cleavage in P. oceanica, the main aims of this study were: (i) to define the genetic structure within the potential contact zone (i.e. the Strait of Sicily) and clarify the extent of gene flow between the two population groups, and (ii) to investigate the role of present water circulation patterns vs. past evolutionary events on the observed genetic pattern. To achieve these goals, we utilized SSR markers and we simulated, with respect to current regime, the possible present-day dispersal pattern of Posidonia floating fruits using 28-day numerical Lagrangian trajectories. The results obtained confirm the presence of the two main population groups, without any indices of reproductive isolation, with the break zone located at the level of the Southern tip of Calabria. The populations in the Strait of Sicily showed higher affinity with Western than with Eastern populations. This pattern of genetic structure probably reflects historical avenues of recolonization from relict glacial areas and past vicariance events, but seems to persist as a result of the low connectivity among populations via marine currents, as suggested by our dispersal simulation analysis. PMID:20051010

  17. Incipient Crustal Stretching across AN Active Collision Belt: the Case of the Siculo-Calabrian Rift Zone (central Mediterranean)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-12-01

    In the Central Mediterranean, the differential roll-back of the subducting Nubia Plate caused the Neogene-Quaternary extrusion of the Calabrian arc onto the oceanic Ionian slab, and the opening of the oceanic Tyrrhenian Basin, in the overriding Eurasia Plate. The differential motion at the edges of the arc was largely accommodated along transform faults that propagated across the orogenic belt. Since the Late Quaternary, the southern edge of the arc has been replaced by the roughly N-S oriented Siculo-Calabrian Rift Zone (SCRZ) that formed as the NNW-directed normal faults of NE Sicily, crossing the orogenic belt, have linked the NNE-oriented Tyrrhenian margin of southern Calabria with the NNW-trending Africa-Ionian boundary of southeastern Sicily. Our study focused on the Sicily shoulder of the SCRZ, where the transition zone between the extensional belt and the still active Nubia-Eurasia convergent margin is characterized by two distinct mobile crustal wedges, both lying on an upwarped Mantle, where a re-orientations of the ?1 is combined with volcanism (e.g. Etna, Aeolian islands) and a huge tectonic uplift. In southeastern Sicily, the Hyblean-Etnean region evolved, since about 0.85 Ma, as an indipendent crustal wedge, moving towards the NNW and pointing to the active Mt. Etna volcano. A local ENE crustal stretching accompanied the traslation of the block and pre-dated the ESE-oriented extension governing the propagation of the southernmost branch of the SCR, which started at about 330 ka B.P.. Similarly, the Peloritani-Aeolian region, flanked by the 125 ka-old NE-Sicily branch of the rift zone, represents a mostly submerged crustal wedge that migrates towards the NE, diverging from the rest of the Sicily collision zone and pointing to the Stromboli volcano. The Peloritani-Aeolian block is characterized by the occurrence of a wide central NE-oriented collapsed basin contoured by an actively uplifting region, whose tectonic boundaries are evidenced by a sharp increase in the elevation of the marine terraces of the last 600 ka. In the two analysed crustal blocks, the crustal doming with the related basin collapses and the concurrent tectonic motion without any back-stop can be respectively related to the thermal anomalies and to the drag forces exerted by a hot Mantle flow, triggered by the opening of a vertical slab windows at the southern edge of the Calabrian arc. This process has favored the migration of hot Mantle material towards the sectors of larger rollback of the subduction hinge, producing the spectacular tectonic uplift and active magmatism of the region. The increase of the volume of the Mantle wedged in the subduction zone of the Calabrian arc has been also effective to accommodate the differential roll-back between the adjacent segments of Nubia Plate, thus replacing the motion along the pre-existing transform faults dissecting the orogenic belt. In this frame, the deformation of the Hyblean-Etnean and the Peloritani-Aeolian blocks heralded the development of the two Sicily branches of the SCRZ. The delayed crustal stretching responsible for the propagation of the rift zone across the orogenic belt can be framed in the dynamic of a still active convergent margin if interpreted as the result of the sliding of the crust along the Ionian flank of the Mantle flow.

  18. Airborne EM for geothermal and hydrogeological mapping

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Menghini, A.; Manzella, A.; Viezzoli, A.; Montanari, D.; Maggi, S.

    2012-12-01

    Within the "VIGOR" project, aimed at assessing the geothermal potential of four regions in southern Italy, Airborne EM data have been acquired, modeled and interpreted. The system deployed was SkyTEM, a time-domain helicopter electromagnetic system designed for hydrogeophysical, environmental and mineral investigations. The AEM data provide, after data acquisition, analysis, processing, and modeling, a distribution volume of electrical resistivity, spanning an investigation depth from ground surface of few hundred meters, depending on resistivity condition. Resistivity is an important physical parameter for geothermal investigation, since it proved to be very effective in mapping anomalies due to hydrothermal fluid circulation, which usually has high salt content and produces clayey alteration minerals. Since the project required, among other issues, to define geothermal resources at shallow level, it was decided to perform a test with an airborne electromagnetic geophysical survey, to verify the advantages offered by the system in covering large areas in a short time. The geophysical survey was carried out in Sicily, Italy, in late 2011, over two test sites named "Termini" and "Western Sicily". The two areas were chosen on different basis. "Termini" area is covered by extensive geological surveys, and was going to be investigated also by means of electrical tomography in its northern part. Since geological condition of Sicily, even at shallow depth, is very complex, this area provided a good place for defining the resistivity values of the main geological units outcropping in the region. "Termini" survey has been also an occasion to define relations between resistivity distribution, lithological units and thermal conductivity. The "Western Sicily" area cover the main thermal manifestations of western Sicily, and the research target was to establish whether they are characterized by common hydrogeological or tectonic features that could be mapped by resistivity. SkyTEM data have been acquired in a series of flight lines and were then processed and inverted. In the "Termini" area the flight line spacing had 150 m separation. In the "Western Sicily" area two different line spacing were used: the 1 km spacing was used for the regional mapping, whereas for infill areas, around the main hydrothermal springs, the flight lines had 100 m spacing. The total number of flight line was 4580 km, and the explored surface was in excess of 2000 km2. After acquisition, data were processed to eliminate coupling with infrastructures, and noise. Inversions was then carried out using the quasi 3-D Spatially Constrained Inversion. The obtained resistivity volume has then been the base for a detailed lithological and geothermal interpretation. Lithological and geological maps were used to constrain surface condition and to understand the resistivity ranges of the different lithological units. On the base of resistivity values, lithological units were combined to establish the main litho-resistive units, then modeled at depth, down to achievable investigation depth. This detailed interpretative modeling was also the occasion of recognizing resistivity anomalies within carbonate units, which may possibly represent hydrogeological or hydrothermal bodies. The litho-resitive 3D model is now under investigation to verify how it can represent a viable way to image thermal conductivity variations at depth.

  19. Analysis of satellite precipitation products referred to a local area in the Mediterranean Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Noto, L. V.; Lo Conti, F.; Hsu, K.; Sorooshian, S.

    2011-12-01

    Precipitation measurement is a key factor for several scientific disciplines, research activities and management of human activities related to water resources. Climatology, meteorology and hydrology can be considered three main sectors in which precipitation estimation is carefully addressed although with different peculiarities. In order to retrieve precipitation information several products have been developed related to different information sources, methodologies and final products features. In this study we select a specific area in Sicily island (Italy) having high density rain gauges to evaluate of satellite precipitation products. Sicily has an area of 26,000 km2 and the gauge density of the network considered in this study is about 250 km2/gauge. It is an island in the Mediterranean sea with variegated climatology and morphology, which is considered as an interesting test site for satellite precipitation products on the European mid-latitude area. Four only satellite products (CMORPH, PERSIANN, TMPA-RT, PERSIANN-CCS) along with two adjusted products (TMPA and PERSIANN Adjusted) have been selected for the study. Evaluation and comparisons between selected products is performed with reference to data provided by the gauge network of Sicily and using statistical and visualization tools. An interpolation procedure has been adopted to compare reference rain-gauge network data to satellite products. An effort to organize and characterize evaluation tools within a simplified application framework has been done. Then three evaluation index groups have been identified corresponding to related application groups. Results show that bias is considerable for all satellite products although adjusted products are effective reducing it. Climatic considerations are reported to address this issue along with an overall analysis of the PMW retrieval algorithm performances. A convective/stratiform classification procedure is used to relate precipitation features to satellite information and retrieval algorithms. A strong convective component is present probably due to the study area morphology. It results affecting PMW capability to retrieve information since most of the precipitation event are convective in nature.

  20. Trace elements in scalp hair of children chronically exposed to volcanic activity (Mt. Etna, Italy).

    PubMed

    Varrica, D; Tamburo, E; Dongarr, G; Sposito, F

    2014-02-01

    The aim of this survey was to use scalp hair as a biomonitor to evaluate the environmental exposure to metals and metalloids of schoolchildren living around the Mt. Etna area, and to verify whether the degree of human exposure to trace elements is subject to changes in local environmental factors. Twenty trace elements were determined in 376 samples of scalp hair from schoolboys (11-13 years old) of both genders, living in ten towns located around the volcanic area of Mt. Etna (Sicily). The results were compared with those (215 samples) from children living in areas of Sicily characterized by a different geological setting (reference site). As, U and V showed much higher concentrations at the volcanic site whereas Sr was particularly more abundant at the reference site. Linear Discriminant Analysis (LDA) indicated an Etna factor, made up of V, U and Mn, and a second factor, concerning the reference site, characterized by Ni and Sr, and to a lesser extent by Mo and Cd. Significant differences in element concentrations were also observed among three different sectors of Mt. Etna area. Young people living in the Mt. Etna area are naturally exposed to enhanced intakes of some metals (V, U, Mn) and non-metals (e.g., As) than individuals of the same age residing in other areas of Sicily, characterized by different lithologies and not influenced by volcanic activity. The petrographic nature of local rocks and the dispersion of the volcanic plume explain the differences, with ingestion of water and local food as the most probable exposure pathways. PMID:24126132

  1. From Africa to Europe and back: refugia and range shifts cause high genetic differentiation in the Marbled White butterfly Melanargia galathea

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background The glacial-interglacial oscillations caused severe range modifications of biota. Thermophilic species became extinct in the North and survived in southern retreats, e.g. the Mediterranean Basin. These repeated extinction and (re)colonisation events led to long-term isolation and intermixing of populations and thus resulted in strong genetic imprints in many European species therefore being composed of several genetic lineages. To better understand these cycles of repeated expansion and retraction, we selected the Marbled White butterfly Melanargia galathea. Fourty-one populations scattered over Europe and the Maghreb and one population of the sibling taxon M. lachesis were analysed using allozyme electrophoresis. Results We obtained seven distinct lineages applying neighbour joining and STRUCTURE analyses: (i) Morocco, (ii) Tunisia, (iii) Sicily, (iv) Italy and southern France, (v) eastern Balkans extending to Central Europe, (vi) western Balkans with western Carpathian Basin as well as (vii) south-western Alps. The hierarchy of these splits is well matching the chronology of glacial and interglacial cycles since the Gnz ice age starting with an initial split between the galathea group in North Africa and the lachesis group in Iberia. These genetic structures were compared with past distribution patterns during the last glacial stage calculated with distribution models. Conclusions Both methods suggest climatically suitable areas in the Maghreb and the southern European peninsulas with distinct refugia during the last glacial period and underpin strong range expansions to the North during the Postglacial. However, the allozyme patterns reveal biogeographical structures not detected by distribution modelling as two distinct refugia in the Maghreb, two or more distinct refugia at the Balkans and a close link between the eastern Maghreb and Sicily. Furthermore, the genetically highly diverse western Maghreb might have acted as source or speciation centre of this taxon, while the eastern, genetically impoverished Maghreb population might result from a relatively recent recolonisation from Europe via Sicily. PMID:21777453

  2. Phylogeography of the rock partridge (Alectoris graeca).

    PubMed

    Randi, E; Tabarroni, C; Rimondi, S; Lucchini, V; Sfougaris, A

    2003-08-01

    We used mitochondrial DNA control-region and microsatellite data to infer the evolutionary history and past demographic changes in 332 rock partridges (Alectoris graeca) sampled from throughout the species' distribution range, with the exception of the central Balkans region. Maternal and biparental DNA markers indicated concordantly that rock partridge populations are structured geographically (mtDNA phiST = 0.86, microsatellite FST = 0.35; RST = 0.31; P < 0.001). Phylogenetic analyses of 22 mtDNA haplotypes identified two major phylogroups (supported by bootstrap values = 93%), splitting partridges from Sicily vs. all the other sampled populations at an average Tamura-Nei genetic distance of 0.035, which corresponds to 65% of the average distance between closely related species of Alectoris. Coalescent estimates of divergence times suggested that rock partridges in Sicily were isolated for more than 200000 years. This deep subdivision was confirmed by multivariate, Bayesian clustering and population assignment analyses of microsatellite genotypes, which supported also a subdivision of partridges from the Alps vs. populations in the Apennines, Albania and Greece. Partridges in the Apennines and Albania-Greece were probably connected by gene flow since recently through a late Pleistocene Adriatic landbridge. Deglaciated Alps were probably colonized by distinct and, perhaps, not yet sampled source populations. Bottleneck and mismatch analyses indicate that rock partridges have lost variability through past population declines, and did not expand recently. Deglaciated areas could have been recolonized without any strong demographic expansion. Genetic data partially supported subspecies subdivisions, and allowed delimiting distinct conservation units. Rock partridges in Sicily, formally recognized as A. g. whitakeri, met the criteria for a distinct evolutionary significant unit. PMID:12859639

  3. Evaluating the capabilities of Sentinel-2 for quantitative estimation of biophysical variables in vegetation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Frampton, William James; Dash, Jadunandan; Watmough, Gary; Milton, Edward James

    2013-08-01

    The red edge position (REP) in the vegetation spectral reflectance is a surrogate measure of vegetation chlorophyll content, and hence can be used to monitor the health and function of vegetation. The Multi-Spectral Instrument (MSI) aboard the future ESA Sentinel-2 (S-2) satellite will provide the opportunity for estimation of the REP at much higher spatial resolution (20 m) than has been previously possible with spaceborne sensors such as Medium Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MERIS) aboard ENVISAT. This study aims to evaluate the potential of S-2 MSI sensor for estimation of canopy chlorophyll content, leaf area index (LAI) and leaf chlorophyll concentration (LCC) using data from multiple field campaigns. Included in the assessed field campaigns are results from SEN3Exp in Barrax, Spain composed of 35 elementary sampling units (ESUs) of LCC and LAI which have been assessed for correlation with simulated MSI data using a CASI airborne imaging spectrometer. Analysis also presents results from SicilyS2EVAL, a campaign consisting of 25 ESUs in Sicily, Italy supported by a simultaneous Specim Aisa-Eagle data acquisition. In addition, these results were compared to outputs from the PROSAIL model for similar values of biophysical variables in the ESUs. The paper in turn assessed the scope of S-2 for retrieval of biophysical variables using these combined datasets through investigating the performance of the relevant Vegetation Indices (VIs) as well as presenting the novel Inverted Red-Edge Chlorophyll Index (IRECI) and Sentinel-2 Red-Edge Position (S2REP). Results indicated significant relationships between both canopy chlorophyll content and LAI for simulated MSI data using IRECI or the Normalised Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) while S2REP and the MERIS Terrestrial Chlorophyll Index (MTCI) were found to have the strongest correlation for retrieval of LCC.

  4. From Local Adaptation to Ecological Speciation in Copepod Populations from Neighboring Lakes

    PubMed Central

    Barrera-Moreno, Omar Alfredo; Ciros-Pérez, Jorge; Ortega-Mayagoitia, Elizabeth; Alcántara-Rodríguez, José Arturo; Piedra-Ibarra, Elías

    2015-01-01

    Continental copepods have been derived from several independent invasive events from the sea, but the subsequent evolutionary processes that account for the current diversity in lacustrine environments are virtually unknown. Salinity is highly variable among lakes and constitutes a source of divergent selection driving potential reproductive isolation. We studied four populations of the calanoid copepod Leptodiaptomus cf. sicilis inhabiting four neighboring lakes with a common history (since the Late Pleistocene) located in the Oriental Basin, Mexico; one lake is shallow and varies in salinity periodically (1.4–10 g L-1), while three are deep and permanent, with constant salinity (0.5, 1.1 and 6.5 g L-1, respectively). We hypothesized that (1) these populations belong to a different species than L. sicilis sensu stricto and (2) are experiencing ecologically based divergence due to salinity differences. We assessed morphological and molecular (mtDNA) COI variation, as well as fitness differences and tests of reproductive isolation. Although relationships of the Mexican populations with L. sicilis s.s. could not be elucidated, we identified a clear pattern of divergent selection driven by salinity conditions. The four populations can still be considered a single biological species (sexual recognition and hybridization are still possible in laboratory conditions), but they have diverged into at least three different phenotypes: two locally adapted, specialized in the lakes of constant salinity (saline vs. freshwater), and an intermediate generalist phenotype inhabiting the temporary lake with fluctuating salinity. The specialized phenotypes are poorly suited as migrants, so prezygotic isolation due to immigrant inviability is highly probable. This implication was supported by molecular evidence that showed restricted gene flow, persistence of founder events, and a pattern of allopatric fragmentation. This study showed how ecologically based divergent selection may explain diversification patterns in lacustrine copepods. PMID:25915059

  5. A Quantitative Assessment of the Sea Level Drop in the Messinian Mediterranean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bartol, J.; Topper, R. P.

    2014-12-01

    In the Late Miocene progressive restriction of the gateway(s) between the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean initiated the Messinian Salinity Crisis (MSC). The restriction caused a salinity rise and the formation of extremely thick evaporite deposits within the Mediterranean basin. Subsequently, the closure of the connection between the Mediterranean Sea and Atlantic Ocean resulted in a dramatic sea level drop. The lithosphere adepts to changes in loads (sediments and water) on the surface by flexural adjustment of the Earth's surface. This can have a significant impact on the connectivity of basins and the temporal evolution of the sea level drop in each basin. The Mediterranean Sea is characterized by two deep basins with different amounts of river input (western/eastern Mediterranean basin) separated by the relatively shallow Sicily sill. The temporal evolution of the sea level drop in the western/eastern Mediterranean basin is therefore very sensitive to the temporal and spatial evolution of the Sicily gateway and hence flexure response of the earth surface due to the changes in waterload. However, studies of the MSC sea level drop haven't taken this flexural response into consideration (e.g. Meijer and Krijgsman, 2005). Here we use an elastic model (TISC) coupled with a simple hydrology model to calculate the temporal evolution of the sea level drop in and the flexural response of the western and eastern Mediterranean basins. Preliminary results show that when sea level drops below the Sicily sill, the rate of sea level increases in the western but decreases in the eastern Mediterranean. Following a relative sea level drop of ~1300 m, resulting in a flexural uplift of ~700m, the eastern Mediterranean reaches equilibrium. At the time the western Mediterranean (flexural uplift of ~900m) reaches an equilibrium it is almost completely desiccated. The magnitudes of the sea level drops and flexural response are, however, highly dependent on the hypsometry, fresh water budgets, and strength of the lithosphere.

  6. On the relationship among the Adriatic-Ionian Bimodal Oscillating System (BiOS), the Eastern Mediterranean salinity variations and the Western Mediterranean thermohaline cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gačić, M.; Schroeder, K.; Civitarese, G.; Vetrano, A.; Eusebi Borzelli, G. L.

    2012-07-01

    Previous studies have demonstrated that the salinity in the Levantine depends on the intensity of the Atlantic Water inflow. Moreover, its spreading eastward or northward in the Ionian is determined by the Ionian circulation pattern, i.e. by the Adriatic-Ionian Bimodal Oscillating System mechanism. The aim of this paper is to relate salinity variations in the core of the Levantine Intermediate Water flowing through the Sicily Channel to the salt content in the Levantine and its possible impact on the Western Mediterranean Transition (i.e. the sudden salinity increase in the bottom layer of the Algero-Provençal sub-basin occurring since 2004). From the historical dataset MEDAR/MEDATLAS in the Levantine and Northern Ionian, we present evidence of decadal occurrences of extreme salinities associated with the varying flow pattern of Atlantic Water over the last 60 yr. Furthermore, we show that the salinity variations in the two sub-basins are out of phase. High-salinity events in the Levantine are a pre-conditioning for the potential occurrence of the Eastern Mediterranean Transient (EMT). However, there is no firm evidence of occurrences of EMT-like phenomenon prior to the one in the early 1990s. Cross-correlation between the salinity time series in the Levantine and in the Sicily Channel suggests that the travel time of the salinity signal is between 16 and 18 yr. From the timing of the Western Mediterranean Transition and the salinity maximum in the Levantine Intermediate Water core in the Sicily Channel we also conclude that the time interval needed for the signal propagating from the Levantine to reach the bottom of the Algero-Provençal sub-basin is about 27 yr.

  7. Astronomical kaleidoscope

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gaina, Alex

    2005-10-01

    The entry contains two Moon eclipses (a picture of a total eclipse and a photo of a penumbral one), photographs of monuments of few greatest astronomers: Nikolay Kopernik, Tiho Brahe and Johannes Kepler, a photo from the JENAM-1995 (Catania, Sicily) as well as photographs of few astronomers related with Moldova and Romania: V. Grigorevskii, N. Donitch, V.Nadolschi, D. Mangeron, two nice clocks in Prague, as well as a map of the Sanctuary in Orheiul -Vechi (Bessarabia) with an supposed ancient calendar.

  8. A new species and new records of Arrhopalitidae (Collembola: Symphypleona) from the Republic of Moldova.

    PubMed

    Vargovitsh, Robert S; Bu?machiu, Galina

    2015-01-01

    Eight species of the family Arrhopalitidae Stach, 1956 are listed from the Republic of Moldova. A new species, Arrhopalites prutensis sp. nov. is described. It belongs to the diversus group of species with 3, 2, 1, 1 anterior setae on dens, possesses neosminthuroid seta on the furca base region-a character rarely noted for the family. The new species is closely related to A. baccettii Dallai, 1969 and A. antonioi Giuga & Jordana, 2013 described from Sicily. Five species of the family are firstly recorded for the country. PMID:26249876

  9. Recent developments in the setting up of the Malta Seismic Network

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Agius, Matthew; Galea, Pauline; D'Amico, Sebastiano

    2015-04-01

    Weak to moderate earthquakes in the Sicily Channel have until now been either poorly located or left undetected. The number of seismic stations operated by various networks: Italy (INGV), Tunisia (TT), and Libya (LNSN) have now improved considerably, however most of the seismicity occurs offshore, in the central part of the Channel, away from the mainland stations. Seismic data availability from island stations across the Channel has been limited or had intermittent transmission hindering proper real-time earthquake monitoring and hypocentre relocation. In order to strengthen the seismic monitoring of the Sicily Channel, in particular the central parts of the Channel, the Seismic Monitoring and Research Unit (SMRU), University of Malta, has, in the last year, been installing a permanent seismic network across the Maltese archipelago: the Malta Seismic Network (ML). Furthermore the SMRU has upgraded its IT facilities to run a virtual regional seismic network composed of the stations on Pantelleria and Lampedusa, together with all the currently publicly available stations in the region. Selected distant seismic stations found elsewhere in the Mediterranean and across the globe have also been incorporated in the system in order to enhance the overall performance of the monitoring and to detect potentially damaging regional earthquakes. Data acquisition and processing of the seismic networks are run by SeisComP. The new installations are part of the project SIMIT (B1-2.19/11) funded by the Italia-Malta Operational Programme 2007-2013. The new system allows the SMRU to rapidly perform more accurate hypocentre locations in the region, and issue automatic SMS alert for potentially felt events in the Sicily Channel detected by the network and for strong earthquakes elsewhere. Within the SIMIT project, the alert system will include civil protection departments in Malta and Sicily. We present the recent developments of the real and virtual seismic network, and discuss the performance of each of the new stations, the general operation of the SMRU, and the alert system. New web features soon available on the SMRU website will be presented.

  10. New enviromentally sensitive patch index - ESPI - for MEDALUS protocol

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Duro, A.; Piccione, V.; Ragusa, M. A.; Veneziano, V.

    2014-12-01

    The authors propose an index that allows one to calculate with ease, the territorial effect of the sensitivity towards desertification, ESPI, in order to overcome the limit of MEDALUS protocol, that does not foresee an estimate of sensitivity to the desertification of a territorial patch (of municipal, provincial, regional, hydrographic area) through a single value. The index proposed by the authors has significant advantages, because it produces effective rankings, moreover classifications and consequent possibility to elaborate the comparative data with regard to different periods. The authors apply ESPI to sensitive areas of Sicily Region, articulated in eight decades of investigation (1921-2000).

  11. International school of innovative technologies for cleaning the environment

    SciTech Connect

    Ragaini, R.C.

    1996-12-31

    The International School of Innovative Technologies for Cleaning the Environment was established in 1989. This School is located at the Ettore Majorana Centre for Scientific Culture in Erice, Sicily, Italy. The School primarily organizes and hosts training courses, technical conferences and advanced study workshops addressing state-of-the-art technologies to clean the environment, minimize waste generation, prevent pollution, and identify strategies for sustainable development. The most recent workshop, {open_quotes}Risk Management Strategies Applied to Environmental Cleanup in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE),{close_quotes} will be discussed in detail.

  12. The Myth of Icarus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2004-01-01

    Ever since humans first saw birds soar through the sky, they have wanted to fly. The ancient Greeks and Romans pictured many of their gods with winged feet, and imagined mythological winged animals. According to the legend of Daedalus and Icarus, the father and son escaped prison by attaching wings made of wax and feathers to their bodies. Unfortunately, Icarus flew too near the sun, and the heat caused the wax and feathers to melt. The feathers fell off, and Icarus plummeted to the sea. Daedalus landed safely in Sicily.

  13. Volcanic Ash Monitoring and FOrecaSting between Sicilia and Malta arEa and sharinG of the resUlts foR aviatiOn safety: the VAMOS SEGURO project

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scollo, Simona; Azzopardi, Francelle; Boselli, Antonella; Coltelli, Mauro; Ellul, Raymond; Leto, Giuseppe; Pisani, Gianluca; Prestifilippo, Michele; Saliba, Martin; Schiavone, Joseph; Spata, Gaetano; Spinelli, Nicola; Wang, Xuan; Zanmar Sanchez, Ricardo

    2013-04-01

    Mt. Etna, in Italy, is one of the most active volcanoes in the world and during its frequent explosive episodes, eruption columns rise to several kilometers and fine ash is dispersed hundreds kilometers away from the vent reaching the neighboring countries. The Maltese Islands, for example, are situated at the center of the Mediterranean, only 100 km south of Sicily and, due to the close proximity, have been already affected by the past Etna volcanic activity. A reliable monitoring and forecasting system of Etna volcanic ash has to include all areas that could be reached by volcanic ash. For this reason, a new research project named VAMOS SEGURO, has been recently funded by Programma di Cooperazione Transfrontaliera Italia-Malta 2007-2013, with the aim to reduce the impact that Etna's explosive activity has in the area between Sicily and Malta. This project is developed within a cooperation between the Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica, Osservatorio Etneo, the Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica (INAF), Comune of Montedoro, in Caltanissetta, the University of Malta, and Consorzio Interuniversitario per le Scienze Fisiche della Materia (CNISM). In this project, several instruments (e.g. aerosol optical depth analyzer, microbalance, laser cascade instrument, meteorological stations, aethelometer) have been installed at Giordan lighthouse at Xewkija, in Gozo, managed by the University of Malta. Furthermore, an innovative Lidar system with scanning capability, has been designed and realized by CNISM and is able to indentify the area affected by volcanic ash in Sicily and quantify the ash concentration in atmosphere. The Lidar may be transported and installed in the INAF astronomical observatories of Noto and Serra La Nave, only 7 km away from the Etna summits, and in Montedoro. Finally, an automatic forecasting system produces dispersal maps for the region between Sicily and Malta and for a typical Etna scenario. Results of simulations are daily visible at www.ct.ingv.it/vamosseguro. The system is collecting measurements of ash and SO2 plumes and will provide warnings to the competent civil and aviation authorities in Catania and Malta during Etna eruptions.

  14. [Nephrological paradox].

    PubMed

    Fatuzzo, Pasquale Mario; Sessa, C; Patan, G; Reina, A; Ventura, V; Santangelo, P; Marchese, R; Aliotta, R; Rapisarda, F; Zanoli, L; Castellino, P

    2014-01-01

    Patients that are followed by nephrologists from the beginning of the illness, they show a deceleration in the progression of the Chronic Kidney Disease towards dialysis and a better quality of life (less osteodystrophy, anaemia and fluids overload, better pressure management). However, in 2013 it still exists a great lack of knowledge about the professional figure of nephrologist. Residents of Nephrological School of Catania decided to conduct a survey to evaluate common knowledge of renal diseases and their treatments. The survey was conducted in two cities of Sicily. The results show that people are generally uninformed and disoriented about renal illness and their risks. PMID:24777925

  15. Dihydrostilbene derivatives from Glycyrrhiza glabra leaves.

    PubMed

    Biondi, Daniela M; Rocco, Concetta; Ruberto, Giuseppe

    2005-07-01

    Four new dihydrostilbenes, alpha,alpha'-dihydro-3,5-dihydroxy-4'-acetoxy-5'-isopentenylstilbene (1), alpha,alpha'-dihydro-3,3',4'-trihydroxy-5-O-isopentenyl-6-isopentenylstilbene (2), alpha,alpha'-dihydro-3,5,3'-trihydroxy-4'-methoxystilbene (3), and alpha,alpha'-dihydro-3,3'-dihydroxy-5beta-d-O-glucopyranosyloxy-4'-methoxystilbene (4), together with seven known flavonoids, glabranin isomer, naringenin, lupiwighteone, pinocembrin 7-O-glucoside, astragalin, isoquercitrin, vicenin II, and the inositol, pinitol, were isolated from the leaves of Glycyrrhiza glabra grown in Sicily. The structures of 1-4 were elucidated by spectroscopic methods. PMID:16038558

  16. From NEMO to KM3NeT-Italy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nicolau, Carlo A.

    2014-04-01

    The KM3NeT-Italy Collaboration has entered the production stage of an 8 tower apparatus that will be deployed at about 100 km off the Sicily coast. The architecture of the system is based on the NEMO Phase2 prototype tower which is taking data since the deployment in March 2013. In order to optimize production costs, power consumption, and usability, some components have been re-engineered by taking advantage of the previously gained experience and technological progress. The aim of this contribution is to give an overview of the main features that characterize the new apparatus.

  17. Climate, environment and society in southern Italy during the last 2000 years. A review of the environmental, historical and archaeological evidence

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sadori, Laura; Giraudi, Carlo; Masi, Alessia; Magny, Michel; Ortu, Elena; Zanchetta, Giovanni; Izdebski, Adam

    2016-03-01

    This paper examines the interrelationship between the natural and human history of Sicily over the last 2000 years. It presents a close comparison of the data from the key multi-proxy site of Lago di Pergusa - located inland in the eastern part of Sicily - with the existing archaeological and textual evidence on the socio-economic processes. The article also includes a review of the available natural proxy archives from the Central Mediterranean. On the basis of the isotope and pollen data from the Lago di Pergusa core PRG2, we identified two humid periods (ca. 450-750 AD and ca. 1400-1800 AD) as well as a dry one (ca. 1100-1350 AD); our evidence corresponds closely with other environmental palaeoclimate proxies from the Mediterranean region. In our synthesis of the environmental, historical and archaeological evidence from southern Italy, we argue that during both periods of increased humidity - that is during the late antique-Byzantine times and during the late medieval and early modern periods - intense agricultural use of the Sicilian landscape developed on an unprecedented scale. This in turn contributed to the impressive demographic and economic expansion visible during these periods. A sudden period of aridity followed the first of these eras of humidity-related agricultural growth. This climatic shift, dated to around 750 AD, corresponds to a decrease in synanthropic taxa and a recovery of arboreal vegetation. We argue that in this case a climatic change contributed to socio-economic decline. Moreover, as this change occurred prior to the Arab invasion of Sicily in AD 827, the environmental processes may help to explain the collapse of Byzantine society on Sicily which, in turn made the Muslim conquest possible. After this event, there occurred a longer period of agricultural decline, lasting until around 1000 AD, after which we see the first signs of a slow recovery. Ongoing research in nearby archaeological sites will help defining if it was a local change or a regional, potentially climate-induced phenomenon. Although textual evidence records considerable population losses during the later Middle Ages as a result of the Black Death, the effects of the plague are not obviously apparent in the pollen data, except for some short term fluctuations.

  18. Leptospira interrogans survey by PCR in wild rodents coming from different urban areas of Palermo, Italy.

    PubMed

    Vitale, Maria; Di Bella, Carobelo; Agnello, Stefano; Curro, Victoria; Vicari, Domenico; Vitale, Fabrizio

    2007-01-01

    DNA extracted from the kidneys of rodents captured in different urban areas of Palermo, Italy, had been analysed for the presence of pathogenic L. interrogans sensu latu DNA. PCR analysis had shown that in rodents captured close to green areas and small river up to 40 % animals give positive PCR results. Not many cases of human leptospirosis are reported in Sicilian island in which hot season is usually dry. But considering climate change toward subtropical aspect in Sicily, with hot humid summer and sudden thunderstorm, screening for L. interrogans sensu latu prevalence can be useful for leptospirosis risk analysis on human population. PMID:23427420

  19. Miocene reef facies of pelagian block, central Mediterranean

    SciTech Connect

    Pedley, H.M.

    1988-02-01

    Miocene reefs outcrop in the Maltese Islands, southeastern Sicily, and the pelagian island of Lampedusa. Several rapid eustatic sea level fluctuations affected these late Tortonian-early Messinian build-ups; normal salinities appear to have been maintained during these events. In addition to sea floor topography, reef development appears to have been controlled by turbulence. Encruster-dominated patch reefs are typical of platform and shallow ramp situations where turbulence is high. Branching and massive coral assemblages are typical of fore-reef curtains and steep slope substrates.

  20. Productivity improvement by frontier horizontal drilling in Italy

    SciTech Connect

    Schenato, A.

    1995-12-31

    Italian domestic activity on horizontal wells has been specially addressed to carbonate reservoir and specifically targeted to re-entry in existing wells. The speech will focus on the specific experience matured in frontier applications in Italy, from 1989 with the short radius drain holes in Sicily, throughout world record deep water short radius in the southern part of Adriatic sea and depth world record medium radius in a HP/HT reservoir in the Po Valley. Production results will be reported as well as the achieved technological aspects.

  1. Burkholderia cepacia Complex Infection in Italian Patients with Cystic Fibrosis: Prevalence, Epidemiology, and Genomovar Status

    PubMed Central

    Agodi, Antonella; Mahenthiralingam, Eshwar; Barchitta, Martina; Giannin, Viviana; Sciacca, Agata; Stefani, Stefania

    2001-01-01

    The prevalence, epidemiology, and genomovar status of Burkholderia cepacia complex strains recovered from Italian cystic fibrosis (CF) patients were investigated using genetic typing and species identification methods. Four CF treatment centers were examined: two in Sicily, one in central Italy, and one in northern Italy. B. cepacia complex bacteria were isolated from 59 out of 683 CF patients attending these centers (8.6%). For the two geographically related treatment centers in Sicily, there was a high incidence of infection caused by a single epidemic clone possessing the cblA gene and belonging to B. cepacia genomovar III, recA group III-A, closely related to the major North America-United Kingdom clone, ET12; instability of the cblA sequence was also demonstrated for clonal isolates. In summary, of all the strains of B. cepacia encountered in the Italian CF population, the genomovar III, recA group III-A strains were the most prevalent and transmissible. However, patient-to-patient spread was also observed with several other genomovars, including strains of novel taxonomic status within the B. cepacia complex. A combination of genetic identification and molecular typing analysis is recommended to fully define specific risks posed by the genomovar status of strains within the B. cepacia complex. PMID:11474009

  2. Phylogeography above the species level for perennial species in a composite genus.

    PubMed

    Tremetsberger, Karin; Ortiz, Mara ngeles; Terrab, Anass; Balao, Francisco; Casimiro-Soriguer, Ramn; Talavera, Mara; Talavera, Salvador

    2015-01-01

    In phylogeography, DNA sequence and fingerprint data at the population level are used to infer evolutionary histories of species. Phylogeography above the species level is concerned with the genealogical aspects of divergent lineages. Here, we present a phylogeographic study to examine the evolutionary history of a western Mediterranean composite, focusing on the perennial species of Helminthotheca (Asteraceae, Cichorieae). We used molecular markers (amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP), internal transcribed spacer and plastid DNA sequences) to infer relationships among populations throughout the distributional range of the group. Interpretation is aided by biogeographic and molecular clock analyses. Four coherent entities are revealed by Bayesian mixture clustering of AFLP data, which correspond to taxa previously recognized at the rank of subspecies. The origin of the group was in western North Africa, from where it expanded across the Strait of Gibraltar to the Iberian Peninsula and across the Strait of Sicily to Sicily. Pleistocene lineage divergence is inferred within western North Africa as well as within the western Iberian region. The existence of the four entities as discrete evolutionary lineages suggests that they should be elevated to the rank of species, yielding H. aculeata, H. comosa, H. maroccana and H. spinosa, whereby the latter two necessitate new combinations. PMID:26644340

  3. Multi-Temporal Evaluation of Landslide Movements and Impacts on Buildings in San Fratello (Italy) By Means of C-Band and X-Band PSI Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bianchini, Silvia; Ciampalini, Andrea; Raspini, Federico; Bardi, Federica; Di Traglia, Federico; Moretti, Sandro; Casagli, Nicola

    2015-11-01

    This work provides a multi-temporal and spatial investigation of landslide effects in the San Fratello area (Messina province within the Sicily region, Italy), by means of C-band and X-band Persistent Scatterer Interferometry (PSI) data, integrated with in situ field checks and a crack pattern survey. The Sicily region is extensively affected by hydrogeological hazards since several landslides regularly involved local areas across time. In particular, intense and catastrophic landslide phenomena have recently occurred in the San Fratello area; the last event took place in February 2010, causing large economic damage. Thus, the need for an accurate ground motions and impacts mapping and monitoring turns out to be significantly effective, in order to better identify active unstable areas and to help proper risk-mitigation measures planning. The combined use of historical and recent C-band satellites and current X-band Synthetic Aperture Radar sensors of a new generation permits spatially and temporally detection of landslide-induced motions on a local scale and to properly provide a complete multi-temporal evaluation of their effects on the area of interest. PSI ground motion rates are cross-compared with local failures and damage of involved buildings, recently recognized by in situ observations. As a result, the analysis of landslide-induced movements over almost 20 years and the validation of radar data with manufactured crack patterns, permits one to finally achieve a complete and reliable assessment in the San Fratello test site.

  4. Reconstruction of the environmental evolution of a Sicilian saltmarsh (Italy).

    PubMed

    Maccotta, Antonella; De Pasquale, Claudio; Caruso, Antonio; Cosentino, Claudia; Alonzo, Giuseppe; Conte, Pellegrino

    2013-07-01

    The present study deals with the reconstruction of the environmental evolution of a Trapani saltmarsh (southwestern Sicily, Italy) by combining different analytical approaches such as metal content evaluation, low-field nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) relaxometry, and benthic foraminifera identification. A 41 cm core was collected in the sediments of a Trapani saltmarsh (southwestern Sicily, Italy) at a water depth of about 50 cm. Different time intervals were recognized, each characterized by peculiar features that testify different environmental conditions. In particular, the bottom layers of the sediment core (41-28 cm) comprised the lowest amount of mud fraction, only some selected metals, and the lowest foraminiferal density. Here, co-occurrence of abundant microcrystals of gypsum and Ammonia tepida is indicative of hyper-saline conditions. In the sediments from 28 to 6 cm, mud fraction and number of metal elements resulted higher due to the increase of the anthropogenic pressure. The sediments in the last time interval, corresponding to the environmental recovery of the saltmarsh, showed an increase of foraminiferal density, a decrease of the mud fraction, and a trend in the metal concentration attributable to the protection policy applied since 1990. NMR relaxometry parameters highlighted the changes of sediment chemical-physical heterogeneity going from the bottom to the top of the core. These heterogeneities have been related to the different intervals recognized as aforementioned. The present study highlights how the anthropogenic pressure modifies the environmental conditions of a transitional ecosystem like saltmarshes. PMID:23307077

  5. Genetic considerations on the introduction of farmed fish in marine protected areas: The case of study of white seabream restocking in the Gulf of Castellammare (Southern Tyrrhenian Sea)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    González-Wangüemert, Mercedes; Fernández, Tomás Vega; Pérez-Ruzafa, Angel; Giacalone, Maximiliano; D'Anna, Giovanni; Badalamenti, Fabio

    2012-02-01

    Human exploitation has drastically reduced the abundance and distribution of several marine fish and invertebrate populations through overfishing and habitat destruction. Restocking can potentially mitigate these impacts and help to reconstitute depleted stocks but genetic repercussions must be considered. In the present study, the degree of genetic similarity between white seabream (Diplodus sargus Linnaeus 1758) individuals reared for restocking purposes and the receiving population in the Gulf of Castellammare fishery reserve (Sicily, Italy) was assessed using microsatellites. We also inferred the spatial pattern of the genetic structure of D. sargus and connectivity along Sicilian coasts. The farmed population showed significant heterozygosity deficiency in 6 loci and an important reduction in the number of alleles, which could indicate an incipient inbreeding. Both the farmed population and the target one for restocking (Castellammare fishery reserve), showed high and significant values of genetic differentiation due to different allele frequencies, number of privative alleles and total number of alleles. These findings indicate a low degree of genetic similarity between both populations, therefore this restocking initiative is not advisable. The genetic connectivity pattern, highly consistent with oceanographic currents, identified two distinct metapopulations of white seabream around Sicily. Thus it is recommended to utilize broods from the same metapopulation for restocking purposes to provide a better genetic match to the wild populations.

  6. Phytochemical analysis of Achillea ligustica All. from Lipari Island (Aeolian Islands).

    PubMed

    Venditti, Alessandro; Guarcini, Laura; Bianco, Armandodoriano; Rosselli, Sergio; Bruno, Maurizio; Senatore, Felice

    2016-04-01

    A complete chemical investigation of Achillea ligustica All. growing at Lipari (Aeolian Island, Sicily) has been carried out. Seventeen metabolites have been isolated and characterised from dichloromethane and methanol extracts of flowers and aerial parts, and GC/MS analyses of petroleum ether extracts was carried out, revealing a composition in sesquiterpenoids similar to those reported for populations from Greece, Sicily and Algeria, showing the presence of (3RS,6RS)-2,6-dimethyl-1,7-octadiene-3,6-diol (1), 2,6-dimethyl-octa-3(E),7-diene-2,6-diol (2), iso-seco-tanapartholide (3) from DCM fraction. In addition from the methanolic extract of the aerial parts, peculiar flavonoid glucuronides have been isolated: i.e. apigenin-7-O-glucuronide (12) and quercetin 3-O-glucuronide (14). These metabolites have been reported in this species for the first time. The isolated flavonoids were previously recognised in several species of this complex genus and for this reason seems to be highly retained secondary metabolites of importance from the chemotaxonomic point of view. PMID:26327332

  7. Assessing the health risks of natural CO2 seeps in Italy

    PubMed Central

    Roberts, Jennifer J.; Wood, Rachel A.; Haszeldine, R. Stuart

    2011-01-01

    Industrialized societies which continue to use fossil fuel energy sources are considering adoption of Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) technology to meet carbon emission reduction targets. Deep geological storage of CO2 onshore faces opposition regarding potential health effects of CO2 leakage from storage sites. There is no experience of commercial scale CCS with which to verify predicted risks of engineered storage failure. Studying risk from natural CO2 seeps can guide assessment of potential health risks from leaking onshore CO2 stores. Italy and Sicily are regions of intense natural CO2 degassing from surface seeps. These seeps exhibit a variety of expressions, characteristics (e.g., temperature/flux), and location environments. Here we quantify historical fatalities from CO2 poisoning using a database of 286 natural CO2 seeps in Italy and Sicily. We find that risk of human death is strongly influenced by seep surface expression, local conditions (e.g., topography and wind speed), CO2 flux, and human behavior. Risk of accidental human death from these CO2 seeps is calculated to be 10-8 year-1 to the exposed population. This value is significantly lower than that of many socially accepted risks. Seepage from future storage sites is modeled to be less that Italian natural flux rates. With appropriate hazard management, health risks from unplanned seepage at onshore storage sites can be adequately minimized. PMID:21911398

  8. Assessing the health risks of natural CO2 seeps in Italy

    SciTech Connect

    Roberts, J.J.; Wood, R.A.; Haszeldine, R.S.

    2011-10-04

    Industrialized societies which continue to use fossil fuel energy sources are considering adoption of Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) technology to meet carbon emission reduction targets. Deep geological storage of CO2 onshore faces opposition regarding potential health effects of CO2 leakage from storage sites. There is no experience of commercial scale CCS with which to verify predicted risks of engineered storage failure. Studying risk from natural CO2 seeps can guide assessment of potential health risks from leaking onshore CO2 stores. Italy and Sicily are regions of intense natural CO2 degassing from surface seeps. These seeps exhibit a variety of expressions, characteristics (e.g., temperature/ flux), and location environments. Here we quantify historical fatalities from CO2 poisoning using a database of 286 natural CO2 seeps in Italy and Sicily. We find that risk of human death is strongly influenced by seep surface expression, local conditions (e.g., topography and wind speed), CO2 flux, and human behavior. Risk of accidental human death from these CO2 seeps is calculated to be 10-8 year-1 to the exposed population. This value is significantly lower than that of many socially accepted risks. Seepage from future storage sites is modeled to be less than Italian natural flux rates. With appropriate hazard management, health risks from unplanned seepage at onshore storage sites can be adequately minimized.

  9. Transition of Mount Etna lavas from a mantle-plume to an island-arc magmatic source.

    PubMed

    Schiano, P; Clocchiatti, R; Ottolini, L; Bus, T

    2001-08-30

    Mount Etna lies near the boundary between two regions that exhibit significantly different types of volcanism. To the north, volcanism in the Aeolian island arc is thought to be related to subduction of the Ionian lithosphere. On Sicily itself, however, no chemical or seismological evidence of subduction-related volcanism exists, and so it is thought that the volcanism-including that on Mount Etna itself-stems from the upwelling of mantle material, associated with various surface tectonic processes. But the paucity of geological evidence regarding the primary composition of magma from Mount Etna means that its source characteristics remain controversial. Here we characterize the trace-element composition of a series of lavas emitted by Mount Etna over the past 500 kyr and preserved as melt inclusions inside olivine phenocrysts. We show that the compositional change in primary magmas from Mount Etna reflects a progressive transition from a predominantly mantle-plume source to one with a greater contribution from island-arc (subduction-related) basalts. We suggest that this is associated with southward migration of the Ionian slab, which is becoming juxtaposed with a mantle plume beneath Sicily. This implies that the volcanism of Mount Etna has become more calc-alkaline, and hence more explosive, during its evolution. PMID:11528476

  10. Study of gastrointestinal nematodes in Sicilian sheep and goats.

    PubMed

    Torina, A; Dara, S; Marino, A M F; Sparagano, O A E; Vitale, F; Reale, S; Caracappa, S

    2004-10-01

    Parasitic gastroenteritis is one of the major causes of productivity loss in sheep and goats. This report records two studies of the helminth fauna from post-mortem examination. The first study, performed on the digestive tract of 72 sheep from a central part of Sicily in a high hill village (1,360 meters above sea level), between April 1996 and March 1997, showed an infection rate of 78%. The second study targeted goats from the western part of Sicily and showed an infection rate of 90%. For sheep, a total of 23 species of helminths were identified belonging to the family of Trichostrongyloidea, with the genera Haemonchus, Ostertagia (Teladorsagia), Trichostrongylus, Cooperia, and Nematodirus; Strongilolidea with the genera Oesophagostomum and Chabertia: Ancylostomidea with Bunostomum; and Tricuridea with Tricuris. Teladorsagia circumcincta was the most common in the sheep abomasum, Bunostomum trigonocephalum and Trichostrongylus spp. in the small intestine, and Chabertia ovina and Trichuris ovis in the large intestine. For goats, a total of 12 species were isolated in the abomasum with Teladorsagia circumcincta and Trichostrongylus axei the most common species. In the small intestine, five species were isolated and Trichostrongylus capricola was the dominant species. T. ovis and O. venulosum were dominant in large intestine and in the cecum. We also found species belonging to other ruminants such as O. ostertagi (in cattle) and S. kolchida and O. leptospicularis (in wild ruminants). PMID:15604491

  11. Preliminary interpretation of high resolution 3D seismic data from offshore Mt. Etna, Italy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gross, F.; Krastel, S.; Chiocci, F. L.; Ridente, D.; Cukur, D.; Bialas, J.; Papenberg, C. A.; Crutchley, G.; Koch, S.

    2013-12-01

    In order to gain knowledge about subsurface structures and its correlation to seafloor expressions, a hydro-acoustic dataset was collected during RV Meteor Cruise M86/2 (December 2011/January 2012) in Messina Straits and offshore Mt. Etna. Especially offshore Mt. Etna, the data reveals an obvious connection between subsurface structures and previously known morphological features at the sea floor. Therefore a high resolution 3D seismic dataset was acquired between Riposto Ridge and Catania Canyon close to the shore of eastern Sicily. The study area is characterized by a major structural high, which hosts several ridge-like features at the seafloor. These features are connected to a SW-NE trending fault system. The ridges are bended in their NE-SW direction and host major escarpments at the seafloor. Furthermore they are located directly next to a massive amphitheater structure offshore Mt. Etna with slope gradients of up to 35, which is interpreted as remnants of a massive submarine mass wasting event off Sicily. The new 3D seismic dataset allows an in depth analysis of the ongoing deformation of the east flank of Mt. Etna.

  12. Phylogeography above the species level for perennial species in a composite genus

    PubMed Central

    Tremetsberger, Karin; Ortiz, María Ángeles; Terrab, Anass; Balao, Francisco; Casimiro-Soriguer, Ramón; Talavera, María; Talavera, Salvador

    2016-01-01

    In phylogeography, DNA sequence and fingerprint data at the population level are used to infer evolutionary histories of species. Phylogeography above the species level is concerned with the genealogical aspects of divergent lineages. Here, we present a phylogeographic study to examine the evolutionary history of a western Mediterranean composite, focusing on the perennial species of Helminthotheca (Asteraceae, Cichorieae). We used molecular markers (amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP), internal transcribed spacer and plastid DNA sequences) to infer relationships among populations throughout the distributional range of the group. Interpretation is aided by biogeographic and molecular clock analyses. Four coherent entities are revealed by Bayesian mixture clustering of AFLP data, which correspond to taxa previously recognized at the rank of subspecies. The origin of the group was in western North Africa, from where it expanded across the Strait of Gibraltar to the Iberian Peninsula and across the Strait of Sicily to Sicily. Pleistocene lineage divergence is inferred within western North Africa as well as within the western Iberian region. The existence of the four entities as discrete evolutionary lineages suggests that they should be elevated to the rank of species, yielding H. aculeata, H. comosa, H. maroccana and H. spinosa, whereby the latter two necessitate new combinations. PMID:26644340

  13. Description of the Earth in the Works of Arabic Geographers from IX to XII Century

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cvijanovic, I.

    2012-12-01

    The works of Arabic writers provide data about shape, position and size of the Earth, planets and zodiac signs. They include preserved maps of Ibn Haukal, Al-Masudi and Al-Idrisi. Al-Masudi (871-956/7) made a map of the world and wrote that the Earth is round, before the Christians in Europe were ready to accept that idea. The famous geographer and cartographer Al-Idrisi (IX/X., died in 903/913.) has lived on the court of Norman king Roger II of Sicily, and after his death on the court of his son William I on Sicily, where he obtained the data from European and Arabic geographers. On the basis of this data he wrote a work known entitled Roger's book. Besides this important work he made a celestial globe and a map of the world in the shape of a silver disk. The lines that marked the borders of seven regions of the inhabited world were engraved on this disk. The Arabs had excellent knowledge of Greek astronomy and accepted their division of the world in seven climatic zones.

  14. Metaproteomics and metabolomics analyses of chronically petroleum-polluted sites reveal the importance of general anaerobic processes uncoupled with degradation.

    PubMed

    Bargiela, Rafael; Herbst, Florian-Alexander; Martnez-Martnez, Mnica; Seifert, Jana; Rojo, David; Cappello, Simone; Genovese, Mara; Crisafi, Francesca; Denaro, Renata; Chernikova, Tatyana N; Barbas, Coral; von Bergen, Martin; Yakimov, Michail M; Ferrer, Manuel; Golyshin, Peter N

    2015-10-01

    Crude oil is one of the most important natural assets for humankind, yet it is a major environmental pollutant, notably in marine environments. One of the largest crude oil polluted areas in the word is the semi-enclosed Mediterranean Sea, in which the metabolic potential of indigenous microbial populations towards the large-scale chronic pollution is yet to be defined, particularly in anaerobic and micro-aerophilic sites. Here, we provide an insight into the microbial metabolism in sediments from three chronically polluted marine sites along the coastline of Italy: the Priolo oil terminal/refinery site (near Siracuse, Sicily), harbour of Messina (Sicily) and shipwreck of MT Haven (near Genoa). Using shotgun metaproteomics and community metabolomics approaches, the presence of 651 microbial proteins and 4776 metabolite mass features have been detected in these three environments, revealing a high metabolic heterogeneity between the investigated sites. The proteomes displayed the prevalence of anaerobic metabolisms that were not directly related with petroleum biodegradation, indicating that in the absence of oxygen, biodegradation is significantly suppressed. This suppression was also suggested by examining the metabolome patterns. The proteome analysis further highlighted the metabolic coupling between methylotrophs and sulphate reducers in oxygen-depleted petroleum-polluted sediments. PMID:26201687

  15. Status of the KM3NeT project

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Margiotta, A.

    2014-04-01

    KM3NeT is a deep-sea research infrastructure being constructed in the Mediterranean Sea. It will be installed at three sites: KM3NeT-Fr, offshore Toulon, France, KM3NeT-It, offshore Portopalo di Capo Passero, Sicily (Italy) and KM3NeT-Gr, offshore Pylos, Peloponnese, Greece. It will host the next generation Cherenkov neutrino telescope and nodes for a deep sea multidisciplinary observatory, providing oceanographers, marine biologists, and geophysicists with real time measurements. The neutrino telescope will search for Galactic and extra-Galactic sources of neutrinos, complementing IceCube in its field of view. The detector will have a modular structure and consists of six building blocks, each including about one hundred Detection Units (DUs). Each DU will be equipped with 18 multi-PMT digital optical modules. The first phase of construction has started and shore and deep-sea infrastructures hosting the future KM3NeT detector are being prepared in France near Toulon and in Italy, near Capo Passero in Sicily. The technological solutions for KM3NeT and the expected performance of the detector are presented and discussed.

  16. Benford's law predicted digit distribution of aggregated income taxes: the surprising conformity of Italian cities and regions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mir, Tariq Ahmad; Ausloos, Marcel; Cerqueti, Roy

    2014-11-01

    The yearly aggregated tax income data of all, more than 8000, Italian municipalities are analyzed for a period of five years, from 2007 to 2011, to search for conformity or not with Benford's law, a counter-intuitive phenomenon observed in large tabulated data where the occurrence of numbers having smaller initial digits is more favored than those with larger digits. This is done in anticipation that large deviations from Benford's law will be found in view of tax evasion supposedly being widespread across Italy. Contrary to expectations, we show that the overall tax income data for all these years is in excellent agreement with Benford's law. Furthermore, we also analyze the data of Calabria, Campania and Sicily, the three Italian regions known for strong presence of mafia, to see if there are any marked deviations from Benford's law. Again, we find that all yearly data sets for Calabria and Sicily agree with Benford's law whereas only the 2007 and 2008 yearly data show departures from the law for Campania. These results are again surprising in view of underground and illegal nature of economic activities of mafia which significantly contribute to tax evasion. Some hypothesis for the found conformity is presented.

  17. Deep structure and historical earthquakes in the Calabrian subduction zone (Southern Italy): preliminary results from multi-channel seismic reflection profiles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gallais, F.; Gutscher, M.; Torelli, L.; Polonia, A.; Riminucci, F.

    2009-12-01

    The Calabrian subduction zone is located in the complex Central Mediterranean area. This subduction is characterized by the presence of deep earthquakes under the Tyrrhenian Sea down to 500 km depth. The Tethyan remnant Ionian slab descends towards the NW at a dip of about 70 and is associated with an active volcanic arc (the Aeolian Islands). Recently reported GPS and seismicity studies suggest that the subduction of the Ionian lithosphere beneath the Calabrian Arc may be locally still active, though at very slow rates (<5 mm/yr). Moreover the offshore Calabrian accretionary wedge is known to include compressional anticlines and ongoing hydrological activity (mud volcanoes), evidence of an active deformation in the wedge. In the Calabria - Eastern Sicily area, significant historical seismicity is documented, with the strongest event occurring in 1693. The 1693 earthquake (MCS intensities = XI) destroyed the coast of Eastern Sicily (60000 people killed) and generated a 5-10 m high tsunami. Because of the tsunami generated 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. Historical reports indicates that the 1169 earthquake had similar intensities and a comparable isoseismal pattern, suggesting the events may have the same source. 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. To seek evidence of continuous tectonic activity of the Calabrian system, we present preliminary results from reprocessed 96-channels seismic reflection profiles (French Archimede cruise, 1997) offshore Sicily. This analysis permits to recognize a well-defined stratigraphy in the Ionian Abyssal Plain, this stratigraphy becomes difficult to follow under the deformed Calabrian Prism. But the joint interpretation with the reprocessed PM01 profile (French PRISMED cruise, 1994) helps constrain this interpretation and to image some characteristic structures of an accretionary wedge (fore/back-thrusts, basal decollement...). This study also include interpretation of a more recent Italian seismic cruise (Calamare, 2008) and CROP profiles. This work will help to prepare a future cruise proposal (CIRCEE, to be submitted in January 2010) to study the Calabrian subduction with OBS, MCS seismic, heat-flow measurements and sediment coring. The goals are : 1/ to image the deep structure of this subduction zone, 2/ to characterize its thermal state to deduce a geometry of the seismogenic part of the plate interface and add new constraints on seismic risk linked with the Calabrian subduction.

  18. Archaea were widespread in sediments of the Messinian Salinity Crisis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Birgel, Daniel; Peckmann, Jörn

    2015-04-01

    The Messinian salinity crisis (MSC) was among the most extreme and short-lived paleooceanographic events in Earth history and dramatically impacted the depositional environments of the Mediterranean. Many of the Messinian sedimentary sequences reflect environmental variability on extremely short time scales, typified by phenomena like evaporation and high salinities, anoxia, and desiccation. Only few organisms tolerate such severe conditions. Among those are archaea, many of which are especially well adapted to extreme conditions. We studied various MSC locations and deposits to shed light onto the role of archaea in the MSC, focusing on lipid biomarkers. These are (1) primary gypsum with abundant, yet problematic filamentous microfossils from various locations in the Mediterranean, (2) Calcare di Base, limestones from Sicily and Calabria, and (3) Calcare Solfifero, authigenic carbonates associated with native sulfur from Sicily. (1) Primary gypsum beds with abundant filamentous fossils are widespread in the Mediterranean. Archaea were found as important contributor of organic matter in these evaporites. The filaments, however, have previously been interpreted to represent cyanobacteria based on the extraction and amplification of cyanobacterial DNA. Cyanobacteria produce specific and long-lasting biomarkers, but no such compounds were found in the studied deposits, thus, the assignment of the filaments to cyanobacteria necessitates further verification. (2) The Calcare di Base are widespread, genetically heterogeneous Messinian limestones, which are particularly common in Sicily and Calabria. The environmental conditions during their deposition, as well as mechanisms and timing of formation are a matter of debate. The studied Calcare di Base samples were found to contain specific halophilic archaeal signatures and numerous pseudomorphs after halite. (3) The Calcare Solfifero, authigenic carbonates accompanied by elemental sulfur formed in the course of microbial sulfate reduction. One of the important processes fuelling authigenesis was microbial oxidation of methane. Lipid biomarker patterns reveal that a consortium of methanotrophic archaea and sulfate-reducing bacteria consumed methane in anoxic and hypersaline environments. Halophilic archaea other than those archaea involved in methane oxidation have been present in the depositional environment as well. This as to yet still somewhat random selection of examples provides evidence for the great diversity of environmental settings created during the MSC and the abundance of archaea in these environments, calling for more work on the geomicrobiology of the unrivaled archive of dramatic paleooceanographic change during the MSC.

  19. Validation and evaluation of epistemic uncertainty in rainfall thresholds for regional scale landslide forecasting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gariano, Stefano Luigi; Brunetti, Maria Teresa; Iovine, Giulio; Melillo, Massimo; Peruccacci, Silvia; Terranova, Oreste Giuseppe; Vennari, Carmela; Guzzetti, Fausto

    2015-04-01

    Prediction of rainfall-induced landslides can rely on empirical rainfall thresholds. These are obtained from the analysis of past rainfall events that have (or have not) resulted in slope failures. Accurate prediction requires reliable thresholds, which need to be validated before their use in operational landslide warning systems. Despite the clear relevance of validation, only a few studies have addressed the problem, and have proposed and tested robust validation procedures. We propose a validation procedure that allows for the definition of optimal thresholds for early warning purposes. The validation is based on contingency table, skill scores, and receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis. To establish the optimal threshold, which maximizes the correct landslide predictions and minimizes the incorrect predictions, we propose an index that results from the linear combination of three weighted skill scores. Selection of the optimal threshold depends on the scope and the operational characteristics of the early warning system. The choice is made by selecting appropriately the weights, and by searching for the optimal (maximum) value of the index. We discuss weakness in the validation procedure caused by the inherent lack of information (epistemic uncertainty) on landslide occurrence typical of large study areas. When working at the regional scale, landslides may have occurred and may have not been reported. This results in biases and variations in the contingencies and the skill scores. We introduce two parameters to represent the unknown proportion of rainfall events (above and below the threshold) for which landslides occurred and went unreported. We show that even a very small underestimation in the number of landslides can result in a significant decrease in the performance of a threshold measured by the skill scores. We show that the variations in the skill scores are different for different uncertainty of events above or below the threshold. This has consequences in the ROC analysis. We applied the proposed procedure to a catalogue of rainfall conditions that have resulted in landslides, and to a set of rainfall events that - presumably - have not resulted in landslides, in Sicily, in the period 2002-2012. First, we determined regional event duration-cumulated event (ED) rainfall thresholds for shallow landslide occurrence using 200 rainfall conditions that have resulted in 223 shallow landslides in Sicily in the period 2002-2011. Next, we validated the thresholds using 29 rainfall conditions that have triggered 42 shallow landslides in Sicily in 2012, and 1250 rainfall events that presumably have not resulted in landslides in the same year. We performed a back analysis simulating the use of the thresholds in a hypothetical landslide warning system operating in 2012.

  20. Characterization of Mediterranean hail-bearing storms using an operational polarimetric X-band radar

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vulpiani, G.; Baldini, L.; Roberto, N.

    2015-07-01

    This work documents the fruitul use of X-band radar observations for the monitoring of severe storms in an operational framework. More specifically, a couple of severe hail-bearing Mediterranean storms occurred in 2013 in southern Italy, flooding two important cities of Sicily, are described in terms of their polarimetric radar signatures and retrieved rainfall fields. It is used the X-band dual-polarization radar operating inside the Catania airport (Sicily, Italy), managed by the Italian Department of Civil Protection. A suitable processing is applied to X-band radar measurements. The crucial procedural step relies on the differential phase processing based on an iterative approach that uses a very short-length (1 km) moving window allowing to properly catch the observed high radial gradients of the differential phase. The parameterization of the attenuation correction algorithm, which use the reconstructed differential phase shift, is derived from electromagnetic simulations based on 3 years of DSD observations collected in Rome (Italy). A Fuzzy Logic hydrometeor classification algorithm was also adopted to support the analysis of the storm characteristics. The precipitation fields amount were reconstructed using a combined polarimetric rainfall algorithm based on reflectivity and specific differential phase. The first considered storm was observed on the 21 February, when a winter convective system, originated in the Tyrrhenian sea, hit only marginally the central-eastern coastline of Sicily causing the flash-flood of Catania. Due to the optimal radar location (the system is located at just few kilometers from the city center), it was possible to well retrieve the storm characteristics, including the amount of rainfall field at ground. Extemporaneous signal extinction, caused by close-range hail core causing significant differential phase shift in very short range path, is documented. The second storm, occurred on 21 August 2013, is a summer mesoscale convective system originated by the temperature gradient between sea and land surface, lasted a few hours and eventually flooded the city of Siracusa. The undergoing physical process, including the storm dynamics, is inferred by analysing the vertical sections of the polarimetric radar measurements. The high registered precipitation amount was fairly well reconstructed even though with a trend to underestimation at increasing distances. Several episodes of signal extinction clearly manifested during the mature stage of the observed supercell.

  1. A new plate boundary in the Ionian Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Polonia, Alina; Torelli, Luigi; Artoni, Andrea; Bortoluzzi, Giovanni; Faccenna, Claudio; Ferranti, Luigi; Gasperini, Luca; Govers, Rob; Monaco, Carmelo; Neri, Giancarlo; Orecchio, Barbara; Rinus Wortel, M. J.

    2014-05-01

    The Calabrian Arc (CA) is a narrow and arcuate subduction system resulting from Africa/Eurasia plate convergence and slab rollback in the Tyrrhenian region. The very slow present-day plate convergence suggests a decrease in subduction efficiency, but underplating may still be active in the central CA where GPS data suggests an outward motion of Calabria relative to Apulia. Shortening in the accretionary wedge is taken up along the outer deformation front and out-of-sequence thrust faults (splay faults). Transtensive deformation accounts for margin segmentation along transfer tectonics systems bounding different margin segments. Transfer faults represent the shallow expression of deeply rooted processes at the slab edge. One of these structures is the NNW-SSE trending transtensive STEP (Slab Transfer Edge Propagator) fault system located East of the Malta Escarpment from the Alfeo seamount to the Etna volcano. Margin segmentation occurs along a second NW-SE trending crustal discontinuity delimiting two distinct lobes of the subduction complex close to the Messina Straits region. The Western Lobe (WL) of the subduction complex, offshore Sicily, is a down-dropped and very low tapered (about 1.5° ) wedge detaching on the base of the Messinian evaporites. The Eastern Lobe (EL), in front of Central Calabria, shows a more elevated accretionary wedge, steeper topographic slopes, higher deformation rates and a deeper basal detachment. High resolution tomographic images suggest a strong interplay between structural development and slab dynamics: the WL corresponds to areas where the slab is detached, while beneath the EL the slab is continuous. Newly acquired geophysical data (Urania cruise, October 2013), reveal that the deformation zone between the two lobes of the accretionary wedge displays fresh seafloor scarps and mud volcanoes suggesting it represents an active tectonic boundary and a deep fluid/mud conduit. We propose that this discontinuity is a new plate boundary segment in the Ionian Sea, connecting the compressive belt in northern Sicily to the Hellenic Arc system and dissecting the CA subduction complex. This deformation zone accommodates differential movements of the Calabrian and the Peloritan portions of CA and can explain the NW-SE extension observed in the straits of Messina as well as the relative motion between Calabria and NE Sicily. This reconstruction is in agreement with geodetic data and earthquake slip vectors observations which suggest the existence of a microplate in the central Mediterranean. The discontinuity between the two lobes would thus represent a major component of the southwestern (hitherto poorly constrained) boundary of this microplate. The motion of Africa relative to Eurasia would be accommodated along this structure by relative rotations between the different blocks resulting from African plate fragmentation.

  2. Goethe's Italian Journey and the geological landscape

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Coratza, Paola; Panizza, Mario

    2015-04-01

    Over 220 years ago Johann Wolfgang von Goethe undertook a nearly two-years long and fascinating journey to Italy, a destination dreamed for a long time by the great German writer. During his journey from Alps to Sicily Goethe reflects on landscape, geology, morphology of "Il Bel Paese", sometimes providing detailed descriptions and acute observations concerning the great and enduring laws by which the earth and all within it are governed. He was an observer, with the eye of the geologist and landscape painter, as he himself stated, and therefore he had a 360 degree focus on all parts of the territory. From the Brenner Pass to Sicily, Goethe reflects on landscape, contrasting morphologies, the genesis of territories, providing detailed descriptions useful for reconstructing the conditions of the territory and crops of the late 18th century. His diary is a description of the impressions he received from the country and its people, mingled with reflections upon art, science and literature. Goethe studied mineralogical and geological phenomena and drew up notes on the life of the people, the climate and the plants. On various scientific occasions and, in particular, within the framework of the Italian Association "Geologia & Turismo", of the Working Group "Geomorphosites" of the International Association of Geomorphologists and the International Year of Planet Earth, the opportunity to re-examine Goethe's travels in Italy from a geological viewpoint was recognised. In the present paper an attempt was made to reproduce the geotourism itinerary ante litteram of the writer to Italy, one of the most important tourist destination worldwide, thanks to its rich cultural and natural heritage and the outstanding aesthetic qualities of the complex natural landscape. This project was essentially conceived with a twofold purpose. First of all, an attempt was made to reproduce the journey of a great writer, as an example of description of landscape perceived and described as "integrated", meaning integration between natural components, including geological, biological and anthropogenic elements, climate, history, architecture, literature etc. Secondly, Goethe's scientific intuitions (in this case the geological ones) were compared with the evolution of scientific knowledge up to most recent times, which at times confirm what Goethe had already realised. This project is based on the description of the stages of his journey, in the light of modern results of investigations carried out in geology, geomorphology, mineralogy etc. This research is grateful for the contributions of many geologists from various universities and Italian research institutions from the Alps to Sicily. Goethe's Italian journey as revisited in this paper aims to stimulate the interest of the reader in the "geological" component of the environment in which we live by means of an "integrated" approach.

  3. Severe outbreaks of tomato yellow leaf curl Sardinia virus in Calabria, Southern Italy.

    PubMed

    Crescenzi, A; Comes, S; Napoli, C; Fanigliulo, A; Pacella, R; Accotto, G P

    2004-01-01

    During the winter 2003--2004 a serious disease was observed in protected tomato crops in Castrovillari, Reggio Calabria province, Southern Italy. Symptoms consisted in marginal leaf yellowing, leaf curling, plant stunting, flower abortion. The disease was detected in a group of greenhouses (about 10ha) where several tomato cultivars were grown hydroponically. The highest incidence of infection (60-100%) was observed in tomatoes grafted on Beaufort DRS tomato rootstock. Since the symptoms were similar to those described for Tomato yellow leaf curl Sardinia virus (TYLCSV) and Tomato yellow leaf curl virus (TYLCV), detection assays for these viruses were used. In DAS-ELISA positive results were obtained with a abroad-spectrums reagent combination (distributed by Bioreba AG) detecting TYLCV, TYLCSV, and other begomoviruses. When DNA probes were used in tissue print assays, positive reactions were obtained for TYLCSV, but not for TYLCV. The two probes consisted of digoxigenin-labelled DNAs representing the coat protein gene of either TYLCSV or TYLCV. Attempts to isolate the viral agent by mechanical inoculation failed, except in few cases where Potato virus Y and Tobacco mosaic virus were identified following transmission from symptomatic plants to herbaceous indicatorpplants. By contrast, grafting onto tomato seedlings always successfully transmitted the disease. In the Castrovillari area TYLCSV was not reported before. The rootstocks that nurseries used for grafting were obtained from Sicily, where the disease is endemic and both TYLCSV and TYLCV are widespread. Probably the grafted plantlets represented the primary source of infection from which subsequent diffusion by way of the vector Bemisia tabaci followed. In fact the vector had previously been detected in both the glasshouse-grown and open field tomato crops in Calabria region. TYLCV was previously reported in a different area of Calabria in 1991, but apparently it was an occasional outbreak, and B. tabaci was not detected. Since in the Castrovillari area surveyed in the present study tomato is grown throughtout the year in protected crops, the whitefly vector of the virus is present, and some natural hosts of the virus are found, it is feared that TYLCSV may become endemic, as already happened in Sicily, Sardinia, and Spain several years ago. In Spain and Sicily TYLCV, together with TYLCSV, was reported as the causal agent of very severe tomato crop losses. Therefore the danger exists that also TYLCV will reach this area, furthermore complicating the management of tomato crops. PMID:15756842

  4. Asymptomatic type II hyperprolinaemia associated with hyperglycinaemia in three sibs.

    PubMed Central

    Pavone, L; Mollica, F; Levy, H L

    1975-01-01

    Three clinically normal sibs were discovered to have type II hyperprolinaemia in a routine serum amino acid screening programme in Sicily. In addition to the basic biochemical features of type II hyperprolinaemia, all 3 children had marked hyperglycinaemia, whereas their parents had both normal blood proline and glycine concentrations. Clinical normality in individuals with hyperprolinaemia may suggest that these two metabolic disorders (types I and II) are benign entities. Furthermore, the absence of clinical abnormality in these sibs, despite the presence of marked hyperprolinaemia and hyperglycinaemia, may suggest that neither of these findings alone causes brain damage. The hyperglycinaemia in these sibs is unexplained and is an unusual if not unique finding in association with hyperprolinaemia. PMID:1200680

  5. Tracing mercury pathways in Augusta Bay (southern Italy) by total concentration and isotope determination.

    PubMed

    Bonsignore, M; Tamburrino, S; Oliveri, E; Marchetti, A; Durante, C; Berni, A; Quinci, E; Sprovieri, M

    2015-10-01

    The mercury (Hg) pollution of sediments is the main carrier of Hg for the biota and, subsequently, for the local fish consumers in Augusta Bay area (SE Sicily, Italy), a coastal marine system affected by relevant sewage from an important chlor-alkali factory. This relationship was revealed by the determination of Mass Dependent (MDF) and Mass Independent Fractionation (MIF) of Hg isotopes in sediment, fish and human hair samples. Sediments showed MDF but no MIF, while fish showed MIF, possibly due to photochemical reduction in the water column and depending on the feeding habitat of the species. Benthic and demersal fish exhibited MDF similar to that of sediments in which anthropogenic Hg was deposited, while pelagic organisms evidenced higher MDF and MIF due to photoreduction. Human hair showed high values of ?(202)Hg (offset of +2.2 with respect to the consumed fish) and ?(199)Hg, both associated to fish consumption. PMID:26074159

  6. Combining 3D technologies for cultural heritage interpretation and entertainment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beraldin, J.-Angelo; Picard, Michel; El-Hakim, Sabry F.; Godin, Guy; Valzano, Virginia; Bandiera, Adriana

    2005-01-01

    This paper presents a summary of the 3D modeling work that was accomplished in preparing multimedia products for cultural heritage interpretation and entertainment. The three cases presented are the Byzantine Crypt of Santa Cristina, Apulia, temple C of Selinunte, Sicily, and a bronze sculpture from the 6th century BC found in Ugento, Apulia. The core of the approach is based upon high-resolution photo-realistic texture mapping onto 3D models generated from range images. It is shown that three-dimensional modeling from range imaging is an effective way to present the spatial information for environments and artifacts. Spatial sampling and range measurement uncertainty considerations are addressed by giving the results of a number of tests on different range cameras. The integration of both photogrammetric and CAD modeling complements this approach. Results on a CDROM, a DVD, virtual 3D theatre, holograms, video animations and web pages have been prepared for these projects.

  7. Combining 3D technologies for cultural heritage interpretation and entertainment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beraldin, J.-Angelo; Picard, Michel; El-Hakim, Sabry F.; Godin, Guy; Valzano, Virginia; Bandiera, Adriana

    2004-12-01

    This paper presents a summary of the 3D modeling work that was accomplished in preparing multimedia products for cultural heritage interpretation and entertainment. The three cases presented are the Byzantine Crypt of Santa Cristina, Apulia, temple C of Selinunte, Sicily, and a bronze sculpture from the 6th century BC found in Ugento, Apulia. The core of the approach is based upon high-resolution photo-realistic texture mapping onto 3D models generated from range images. It is shown that three-dimensional modeling from range imaging is an effective way to present the spatial information for environments and artifacts. Spatial sampling and range measurement uncertainty considerations are addressed by giving the results of a number of tests on different range cameras. The integration of both photogrammetric and CAD modeling complements this approach. Results on a CDROM, a DVD, virtual 3D theatre, holograms, video animations and web pages have been prepared for these projects.

  8. Biogas from Marine Macroalgae: a New Environmental Technology Life Cycle Inventory for a Further LCA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Romagnoli, Francesco; Blumberga, Dagnija; Gigli, Emanuele

    2010-01-01

    The main goal of this paper is to analyze the innovative process of production of biogas (via fermentation processes) using marine macroalgae as feedstock in a pilot project plant in Augusta (Sicily, Italy). Algae, during their growth, have the capacity to assimilate nutrients and thus subsequent harvesting of the algal biomass recovers the nutrients from biowaste sources giving the possibility to transform negative environmental externalities in positive mainly in terms of eutrophication and climate change impact categories. The paper presents a novel environmental technology for the production of biogas and 2nd generation biofuel (liquid biomethane) after an upgrading process through the use of a cryogenic technology. The paper would also like to make the first attempt at understanding the possibility to implement this innovative technology in the Latvian context. The first calculations and assumptions for the Life Cycle Inventory for a further Life Cycle Assessment are presented.

  9. Non-destructive identification of green and yellow pigments: the case of some Sicilian Renaissance glazed pottery

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Crupi, V.; Majolino, D.; Venuti, V.; Barone, G.; Mazzoleni, P.; Pezzino, A.; La Russa, M. F.; Ruffolo, S. A.; Bardelli, F.

    2010-09-01

    Selected decorated Renaissance ceramic fragments, found during the excavation of a Sicilian archaeological site (Caltagirone, Sicily, South Italy), have been studied by combining scanning electron microscopy (SEM), energy-dispersive X-ray spectrometry (EDS), and X-ray absorbance spectroscopy (XAS). The study was aimed at providing microchemical and microstructural characterization of the colored glazed coatings in order to elucidate the nature of the pigments in the decorative layers, and in the glaze itself. From the obtained results, the general perspective has been the identification of information to be used for a reliable recognition of the production techniques. In particular, XAS measurements, performed using synchrotron radiation (SR) as the source at the Cu K-edge, in the case of green decorations, provided structural information of the oxidation states and the local chemical environment of copper (neighboring atoms and bond distances).

  10. [Court physicians and universities].

    PubMed

    Pesenti, T

    1997-01-01

    Medicine in the setting of the royal courts of Europe from Renaissance to the Enlightment has been recently discussed, but Italian court medicine has been so far very largely neglected. In this article central problems are the relations between court medicine and academic medicine and the social status of the court physician in the fourteenth century. Both problems are investigated in two Italian courts: the Visconti court in Milan and Pavia and the Aragonese court in Sicily. the list of the Visconti physicians and astrologers attests that they had all been celebrated university professors and that their condition as personal physicians to Galeazzo and Gian Galeazzo was far superior to the academic one in honour and salaries. Their role could also be representative and political. This was expecially the case of Ruggero de Camma, who was chosen as personal physician to the Aragonese king Martino II and appointed by him as first protomedico for political reasons. PMID:11619965

  11. Alps vs. Apennines: The paradigm of a tectonically asymmetric Earth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carminati, Eugenio; Doglioni, Carlo

    2012-04-01

    Alps and Apennines developed along opposite subductions, which inverted the tethyan passive continental margins located along the boundaries of Europe, Africa and the Adriatic plates. The Alps have higher morphological and structural elevation, two shallow, slow subsiding foreland basins. The Apennines have rather low morphological and structural elevation, one deep and fast subsiding foreland basin. While the Alps sandwiched the whole crust of both upper and lower plates, the Apennines rather developed by the accretion of the upper crust of the lower plate alone. Alpine relics are boudinated in the hangingwall of the Apennines, stretched by the Tyrrhenian backarc rifting. Relative to the upper plate, the subduction hinge moved toward it in the Alps from Cretaceous to Present, whereas it migrated away in the Apennines from late Eocene to Present, apart in Sicily where since Pleistocene(?) it reversed. The asymmetry appears primarily controlled by the slab polarity with respect to the westward drift of the lithosphere.

  12. Abundances of Demersal Sharks and Chimaera from 1994-2009 Scientific Surveys in the Central Mediterranean Sea

    PubMed Central

    Ragonese, Sergio; Vitale, Sergio; Dimech, Mark; Mazzola, Salvatore

    2013-01-01

    Bibliographic and data gathered in scientific bottom trawl surveys carried out off the Southern Coasts of Sicily (Mediterranean Sea), from 1994 to 2009 and between a depth of 10 and 800 m, were analysed in order to prepare a checklist of demersal sharks and chimaera, which are species sensitive to fisheries exploitation. Out of the 27 previously reported demersal shark and chimaera taxa in the Mediterranean, only 23 were found in literature and 20 sampled during the surveys in the investigated area. Among the species sampled in the surveys, only 2 ubiquitous (Squalusblainville and Scyliorhinuscanicula) and 3 deep-water (Chimaeramonstrosa, Centrophorusgranulosus and Galeusmelastomus) species showed a wide geographical distribution with a consistent abundance. Excluding the rare (such as Oxynotuscentrina) or uncommon shark (e.g. Squalusacanthias), the estimated frequencies of occurrence and abundance indexes show a possible risk of local extinction for the almost exclusively (e.g. angelshark, Squatina spp.) or preferential (e.g. Scyliorhinusstellaris) neritic species. PMID:24086386

  13. Prevalence and molecular characteristics of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) among subjects working on bovine dairy farms.

    PubMed

    Antoci, Eugenio; Pinzone, Marilia Rita; Nunnari, Giuseppe; Stefani, Stefania; Cacopardo, Bruno

    2013-06-01

    Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is a major cause of healthcare-associated infections worldwide and has recently been identified as an emerging pathogen in livestock and companion animals. Livestock-associated MRSA (LA-MRSA) may be responsible for increased rates of colonization and/or infection among people working on farms. We evaluated the prevalence and molecular characteristics of MRSA among dairy farmers in the province of Ragusa, South-Eastern Sicily, their animals and bulk tank milk samples. A surprisingly high number of samples tested positive for MRSA: 36% of human nasal swabs, 61% of bovine nasal swabs and 44% of bulk tank milk samples. MRSA carrier prevalence in humans significantly correlated with the percentage of positive cows on the farm, the number of livestock units and the presence of consensual positive bulk tank milk samples. Prospective studies are needed to investigate MRSA transmission between animals and humans and implement preventive strategies. PMID:23774976

  14. A multivariate statistical analysis coming from the NMR metabolic profile of cherry tomatoes (The Sicilian Pachino case)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mallamace, Domenico; Corsaro, Carmelo; Salvo, Andrea; Cicero, Nicola; Macaluso, Andrea; Giangrosso, Giuseppe; Ferrantelli, Vincenzo; Dugo, Giacomo

    2014-05-01

    We have studied by means of High Resolution Magic Angle Spinning Nuclear Magnetic Resonance the metabolic profile of the famous Sicilian cherry tomato of Pachino. Thanks to its organoleptic and healthy properties, this particular foodstuff was the first tomato accredited by the European PGI (Protected Geographical Indication) certification of quality. Due to the relatively high price of the final product commercial frauds originated in the Italian and international markets. Hence, there is a growing interest to develop analytical techniques able to predict the origin of a tomato sample, indicating whether or not it originates from the area of Pachino, Sicily (Italy). In this paper we have determined the molar concentration of the metabolites constituent the PGI cherry tomato of Pachino. Furthermore, by means of a multivariate statistical analysis we have identified which metabolites are relevant for sample differentiation.

  15. An integrated remote sensing approach for landslide susceptibly mapping at the volcanic islands of Vulcano and Lipari (Eolian Island, Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scifoni, Silvia; Palenzuela Baena, José A.; Marsella, Maria; Pepe, Susi; Sansosti, Eugenio; Solaro, Giuseppe; Tizzani, Piero

    2015-10-01

    Volcanic Island can be affected by instability phenomena such as landslide and partial collapse events, even in quiescent period. Starting from data collected by an aerial laser scanning survey at cm-level accuracy), a GIS based approach was implemented in order to perform a landslide-susceptibility analysis. The results of this analysis were compared and integrated with data derived from Differential Synthetic Aperture Radar Interferometry (DinSAR) analysis able to identify the most active areas and quantify the on-going deformation processes. The analysis is focused on the on the active volcanic edifice of Vulcano Island and in some areas of Lipari island, both include in the Eaolian Islands in Sicily (Italy). The developed approach represent a step-forward for the compilation of hazard maps furnishing in an overall contest, updated and georeferenced quantitative data, describing the morphology and the present behaviour of the slopes in the area of investigation.

  16. Contribution to a Taxonomic Revision of the Sicilian Helichrysum Taxa by PCA Analysis of Their Essential-Oil Compositions.

    PubMed

    Maggio, Antonella; Bruno, Maurizio; Guarino, Riccardo; Senatore, Felice; Ilardi, Vincenzo

    2016-02-01

    The chemical profile of the essential oils in ten populations of the genus Helichrysum Mill. (Asteraceae), collected in the loci classici of the nomenclatural types of the taxa endemic to Sicily, were analyzed. Our results confirm that the analysis of secondary metabolites can be used to fingerprint wild populations of Helichrysum, the chemical profiles being coherent with the systematic arrangement of the investigated populations in three main clusters, referring to the aggregates of H. stoechas, H. rupestre, and H. italicum, all belonging to the section Stoechadina. The correct nomenclatural designation of the investigated populations is discussed and the following two new combinations are proposed: Helichrysum preslianum subsp. compactum (Guss.) Maggio, Bruno, Guarino, Senatore & Ilardi and Helichrysum panormitanum subsp. latifolium Maggio, Bruno, Guarino, Senatore & Ilardi. PMID:26880428

  17. Three new mutations of thyroid hormone receptor-{beta} associated with resistance to thyroid hormone

    SciTech Connect

    Bartolone, L.; Regalbuto, C.; Benvenga, S.; Filetti, S.; Trimarchi, F.; Pontecorvi, A.

    1994-07-01

    Three novel point mutations at nucleotides 1249, 1282, and 1614 (exons 9 and 10) of the human thyroid hormone receptor-{beta} gene were observed in six individuals affected by the syndrome of resistance to thyroid hormone. All three mutations occurred in a heterozygous pattern and caused the following changes in the mature form of the receptor protein: Asp{sup 322} to Asn, Glu{sup 333} to Gln, and Lys{sup 443} to Asn, respectively. The first and third point mutations arose in two unrelated families from eastern Sicily, whereas the second concerned an individual from southern Calabria, apparently presenting a sporadic form of the resistance syndrome. The clinical and biochemical features of resistance to thyroid hormone, both before and after the administration of thyroid hormones, highlight the striking intrafamilial heterogeneity in the phenotypical presentation of the syndrome. 7 refs., 3 figs., 1 tab.

  18. Relationship between Parenting and Cognitive Schemas in a Group of Male Adult Offenders

    PubMed Central

    Pellerone, Monica; Craparo, Giuseppe; Tornabuoni, Ylenia

    2016-01-01

    This work analyzes the correlation of retrospective ratings on parental binding with cognitive patterns in the inmates for property crimes. The participant group comprehended 248 adults men, including 130 marked out as offenders (the target group), aged between 19 and 70, currently serving sentences in the Cavadonna prison in Siracusa, and 118 marked out as non-offenders (the control group), aged between 20 and 70, living in Siracusa (Sicily). The instruments used were the Parental Bonding Instrument (PBI), and the Young Schema Questionnaire-3 (YSQ). The preliminary analysis showed a high percentage of offenders who experienced an affectionate constraint parenting. Offenders scored significantly higher than the non-offenders on the level of paternal control and the YSQ subscales. The study underlines the influence of maternal care on most of the cognitive schemas, and the role of father's control on the tendency to social isolation and defectiveness in the offenders. PMID:27014121

  19. [Indications of public health in areas naturally polluted with asbestiform fibers].

    PubMed

    Comba, P; Bruno, C; Pasetto, R

    2003-01-01

    Adverse health effects of naturally occurring asbestiform fibres have been reported since the Seventies in various countries. The present paper describes the case of Biancavilla, a municipality located in Eastern Sicily, where the occurrence of the amphibolic fibre fluoro-edenite has been associated to a cluster of pleural mesotheliomas. The public health recommendations aimed at reducing exposure to fluoroedenite are described. This case study shows the importance of public-driven remedial action, including interruption of activities of previously operating quarries and asphalt paving of roads, in influencing population's compliance to recommendations aimed at modifying individual behaviours. In order to pursue the goal of fostering community's autonomy in decision making, the optimal approach is ensuring timely and transparent information dissemination. PMID:14582276

  20. Pleural mesothelioma cases in Biancavilla are related to a new fluoro-edenite fibrous amphibole.

    PubMed

    Comba, Pietro; Gianfagna, Antonio; Paoletti, Luigi

    2003-04-01

    A cluster of deaths from pleural mesothelioma was previously reported for Biancavilla, Italy, a city in eastern Sicily. An environmental survey suggested that the stone quarries located southeast of the city might be a source of asbestos exposure. The materials extracted from the quarries, used widely in the local building industry, contain large quantities of a fibrous amphibole that was initially referred to as an anomalous intermediate phase of sodium- and fluorine-rich tremolite-actinolite. A subsequent crystal chemistry investigation identified the mineral as fluoro-edenite, a new end-member of the edenite --> fluoro-edenite series. The material is very similar in morphology and composition to the minerals of the tremolite-actinolite series. To the authors' knowledge, fluoro-edenite becomes the 3rd mineral fiber (along with erionite and winchite), not yet classified as asbestos, with a demonstrable mesotheliomatogenous action in humans. PMID:14655903

  1. Intrinsic bioremediation potential of a chronically polluted marine coastal area.

    PubMed

    Catania, Valentina; Santisi, Santina; Signa, Geraldina; Vizzini, Salvatrice; Mazzola, Antonio; Cappello, Simone; Yakimov, Michail M; Quatrini, Paola

    2015-10-15

    A microbiological survey of the Priolo Bay (eastern coast of Sicily, Ionian Sea), a chronically polluted marine coastal area, was carried out in order to discern its intrinsic bioremediation potential. Microbiological analysis, 16S rDNA-based DGGE fingerprinting and PLFAs analysis were performed on seawater and sediment samples from six stations on two transects. Higher diversity and variability among stations was detected by DGGE in sediment than in water samples although seawater revealed higher diversity of culturable hydrocarbon-degrading bacteria. The most polluted sediment hosted higher total bacterial diversity and higher abundance and diversity of culturable HC degraders. Alkane- and PAH-degrading bacteria were isolated from all stations and assigned to Alcanivorax, Marinobacter, Thalassospira, Alteromonas and Oleibacter (first isolation from the Mediterranean area). High total microbial diversity associated to a large selection of HC degraders is believed to contribute to natural attenuation of the area, provided that new contaminant contributions are avoided. PMID:26248825

  2. Preliminary Results from the GPS-Reflections Mediterranean Balloon Experiment (GPSR-MEBEX)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Garrison, James L.; Ruffini, Giulio; Rius, Antonio; Cardellach, Estelle; Masters, Dallas; Armatys, Michael; Zavorotny, Valery; Bauer, Frank H. (Technical Monitor)

    2000-01-01

    An experiment to collect bistatically scattered GPS signals from a balloon at 37 km altitude has been conducted. This experiment represented the highest altitude to date that such signals were successfully recorded. The flight took place in August 1999 over the Mediterranean sea, between a launch in Sicily and recovery near Nerpio, a town in the Sierra de Segura, Albacete province of Huelva, Spain. Results from this experiment are presented, showing the waveform shape as compared to theoretical calculations. These results will be used to validate analytical models which form the basis of wind vector retrieval algorithms. These algorithms are already being validated from aircraft altitudes, but may be applied to data from future spacebourne GPS receivers. Surface wind data from radiosondes were used for comparison. This experiment was a cooperative project between NASA, the IEEC in Barcelona, and the University of Colorado at Boulder.

  3. Preliminary Results from the GPS-Reflections Mediterranean Balloon Experiment (GPSR MEBEX)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Garrison, James L.; Ruffini, Giulio; Rius, Antonio; Cardellach, Estelle; Masters, Dallas; Armathys, Michael; Zavorotny, Valery

    2000-01-01

    An experiment to collect bistatically scattered GPS signals from a balloon at 37 km altitude has been conducted. This experiment represented the highest altitude to date that such signals were successfully recorded. The flight took place in August 1999 over the Mediterranean sea, between a launch in Sicily and recovery near Nerpio, a town in the Sierra de Segura, Albacete province of Huelva, Spain. Results from this experiment are presented, showing the waveform shape as compared to theoretical calculations. These results will be used to validate analytical models which form the basis of wind vector retrieval algorithms. These algorithms are already being validated from aircraft altitudes, but may be applied to data from future spaceborne GPS receivers. Surface wind data from radiosondes were used for comparison. This experiment was a cooperative project between NASA, the IEEC in Barcelona, and the University of Colorado at Boulder.

  4. Occurrence of Philometra lateolabracis (Nematoda: Philometridae) in the gonads of marine perciform fishes in the Mediterranean region.

    PubMed

    Moravec, Frantisek; Glamuzina, Branko; Marino, Giovanna; Merella, Paolo; Di Cave, David

    2003-02-27

    Gravid females of the nematode Philometra lateolabracis (Yamaguti, 1935), a parasite of gonads of marine perciform fishes, were found in wild and cultured dusky grouper Epinephelus marginatus (Lowe) from waters near the Balear Islands (Spain, Mediterranean Sea) and Sicily (Italy, Thyrrenean Sea), and in the greater amberjack Seriola dumerili (Risso) in Croatia (south-eastern Adriatic Sea). In wild E. marginatus in Spain, the overall prevalence was 21% and the intensity of infection 1 nematode per fish. The nematodes are briefly described and illustrated. The species Sanguinofilaria jordanoi Lpez-Neyra, 1951, described from the ovary of Epinephelus gigas Brnich from Morocco, is synonymized with P. lateolabracis. This is the first documented record of P. lateolabracis from fishes of the Mediterranean region and its finding in S. dumerili represents a new host record. The possible importance of this pathogenic parasite for cultures of marine perciform fishes in the region is stressed. PMID:12691199

  5. Chemical Composition of Different Botanical Origin Honeys Produced by Sicilian Black Honeybees (Apis mellifera ssp. sicula).

    PubMed

    Mannina, Luisa; Sobolev, Anatoly P; Di Lorenzo, Arianna; Vista, Silvia; Tenore, Gian Carlo; Daglia, Maria

    2015-07-01

    In 2008 a Slow Food Presidium was launched in Sicily (Italy) for an early warning of the risk of extinction of the Sicilian native breed of black honeybee (Apis mellifera L. ssp sicula). Today, the honey produced by these honeybees is the only Sicilian honey produced entirely by the black honeybees. In view of few available data regarding the chemical composition of A. mellifera ssp. sicula honeys, in the present investigation the chemical compositions of sulla honey (Hedysarum coronarium L.) and dill honey (Anethum graveolens L.) were studied with a multimethodological approach, which consists of HPLC-PDA-ESI-MSn and NMR spectroscopy. Moreover, three unifloral honeys (lemon honey (obtained from Citrus limon (L.) Osbeck), orange honey (Citrus arantium L.), and medlar honey (Eriobotrya japonica (Thunb.) Lindl)), with known phenol and polyphenol compositions, were studied with NMR spectroscopy to deepen the knowledge about sugar and amino acid compositions. PMID:25730368

  6. Statistical characterisation of heavy metal contents in Paracentrotus lividus from Mediterranean Sea.

    PubMed

    Salvo, Andrea; Potort, Angela Giorgia; Cicero, Nicola; Bruno, Maurizio; Lo Turco, Vincenzo; Di Bella, Giuseppa; Dugo, Giacomo

    2014-01-01

    This work focuses on the estimation of Hg, As, Cr, Ni, Cu, V, Cd and Pb by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry in 135 adult specimens of Paracentrotus lividus collected in different coastal areas of Sicily (Gela, Punta Secca, Ragusa (RG), Siracusa, Priolo, Catania, Messina, Milazzo, Brolo and Filicudi), in order to monitor the Mediterranean marine ecosystem by use of sea urchin as bioindicator. Moreover, the paper deals with the statistical classification of the tested samples according to the sampling area based on metal concentrations. The descriptive statistics findings were obtained and, a starting multivariate matrix was built. Data-sets were subjected to Kruskal-Wallis test to verify the significance of differences in metal concentrations, and then a factor analysis with principal components extraction was performed to try to differentiate urchin samples collected in different areas. The results showed that P. lividus is a suitable organism to be used as bioindicator. PMID:24498867

  7. Erupting Volcano Mount Etna

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2002-01-01

    Expedition Five crew members aboard the International Space Station (ISS) captured this overhead look at the smoke and ash regurgitated from the erupting volcano Mt. Etna on the island of Sicily, Italy in October 2002. Triggered by a series of earthquakes on October 27, 2002, this eruption was one of Etna's most vigorous in years. This image shows the ash plume curving out toward the horizon. The lighter-colored plumes down slope and north of the summit seen in this frame are produced by forest fires set by flowing lava. At an elevation of 10,990 feet (3,350 m), the summit of the Mt. Etna volcano, one of the most active and most studied volcanoes in the world, has been active for a half-million years and has erupted hundreds of times in recorded history.

  8. Characterization of pottery fragments by nondestructive neutron diffraction

    SciTech Connect

    Barilaro, Donatella; Crupi, Vincenza; Majolino, Domenico; Venuti, Valentina; Barone, Germana; Kockelmann, Winfried

    2005-11-15

    The aim of the present work is the characterization of pottery fragments coming from the town of Caltagirone (Sicily, Italy). The samples belong to very different historical periods, from 18th century B.C. to 16th century A.D., and have finely decorated surfaces. Time-of-flight neutron-diffraction measurements were performed in order to obtain a quantitative identification of the mineralogical composition of the samples. A good determination of the relative weight fractions of the phases was obtained using the Rietveld analysis method. The application of neutron-diffraction technique allowed us to carry out a detailed analysis in a nondestructive way, so intact large fragments were investigated without damaging the precious decoration on the surface.

  9. The tectonic puzzle of the Messina area (Southern Italy): Insights from new seismic reflection data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Doglioni, Carlo; Ligi, Marco; Scrocca, Davide; Bigi, Sabina; Bortoluzzi, Giovanni; Carminati, Eugenio; Cuffaro, Marco; D'Oriano, Filippo; Forleo, Vittoria; Muccini, Filippo; Riguzzi, Federica

    2012-12-01

    The Messina Strait,