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Sample records for sicily

  1. Endemic cretinism in Sicily.

    PubMed

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

    1981-01-01

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

  2. Smoke and Sediments in Sicily

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2002-01-01

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

  3. Canine visceral leishmaniasis in Sicily.

    PubMed

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

    2000-01-01

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

  4. Rainfall statistics changes in Sicily

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-02-01

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

  5. Rainfall statistics changes in Sicily

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-07-01

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

  6. Coastal dynamics in western Sicily

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liguori, Vincenzo; Manno, Giorgio; Agate, Francesca

    2014-05-01

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

  7. Genetic models of poljes in Sicily

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  8. View of eastern coast of Sicily area

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1973-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  10. 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

  11. 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.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1994-12-31

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

  13. ESONET LIDO Demonstration Mission: the East Sicily node

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-05-01

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

  14. 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

  15. Isoleucine epimerization ages of the dwarf elephants of Sicily

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Belluomini, Giorgio; Bada, Jeffrey L.

    1985-07-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Demcheck, Dennis K.; Dupuy, Alton J.

    1980-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  18. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Messineo, Antonio; Panno, Domenico

    2008-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bonaccorso, Brunella; Aronica, Giuseppe

    2016-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Napoli, Mariangela

    2008-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-08-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1974-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liguori, V.; Manno, G.

    2009-04-01

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

  7. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-12-01

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

  9. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2001-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Vovlas, N.

    1982-01-01

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

  13. 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...

  14. 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.

  15. 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...

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

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-03-06

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-05-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-08-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-06-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2008-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-05-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1975-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-10-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2007-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pagnoni, Gianluca; Tinti, Stefano; Rallo, Francesco

    2014-05-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-05-01

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

  9. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-05-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

  12. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nijholt, Nicolai; Govers, Rob; Wortel, Rinus

    2016-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pagnoni, Gianluca; Tinti, Stefano

    2016-03-01

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

  16. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

    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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-02-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-10-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-07-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2004-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

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

  8. 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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2005-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2005-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-05-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2003-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  14. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Eremeeva, Marina E.; Stromdahl, Ellen Y.

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-08-01

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

  20. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

  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

  3. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-07-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Parisi, L.; Calo, M.

    2013-12-01

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

  7. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-05-28

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

  9. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-01-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2002-09-01

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

  14. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  19. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-01-01

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

  2. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    1977-09-30

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

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

    PubMed

    Conte, F; Passantino, A

    2008-07-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2008-09-01

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

  10. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2003-04-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-09-01

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

  15. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2006-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-05-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Vienna, A; Biondi, G

    2001-06-01

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

  20. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    1999-11-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-04-01

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

  6. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  8. 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.

  9. 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

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

    PubMed Central

    2008-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sirovich, L.; Pettenati, F.

    2007-05-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-03-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-06-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-05-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-04-01

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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-05-01

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

  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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2000-11-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-08-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-02-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2004-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2000-07-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    1990-12-01

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

  16. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  18. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

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

  20. 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

  1. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  3. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-12-01

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

  5. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

  7. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-10-01

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

  11. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-05-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

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

    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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Negm, Amro; Jabro, Jay; Provenzano, Giuseppe

    2016-04-01

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

  18. 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

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

    PubMed

    Lanzo, G; Rizzo, S; Tomarchio, E

    2014-03-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lo Verde, Gabriella; La Mantia, Tommaso

    2011-09-01

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

  1. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-08-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nigro, Fabrizio; Renda, Pietro; Favara, Rocco

    2010-05-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-05-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-09-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-11-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2003-07-01

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

  13. 3D Subsoil Model of the San Biagio `Salinelle' Mud Volcanoes (Belpasso, Sicily) derived from Geophysical Surveys

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-07-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    1990-02-01

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

  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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-05-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-06-01

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

  19. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-06-01

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

  3. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-07-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-05-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-06-01

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

  10. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-09-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  16. 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.

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

    PubMed 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  19. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-05-01

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

  1. 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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Realmuto, Vincent J.

    1992-01-01

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

  3. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marino, Maurizio; Santantonio, Massimo

    2010-04-01

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

  7. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2008-11-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pagnoni, Gianluca; Tinti, Stefano

    2015-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-04-01

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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. [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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-03-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-09-01

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

  20. 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.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1994-01-01

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

  2. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-06-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-02-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2000-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-10-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-07-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  11. 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

  12. Landslide triggering-thickness susceptibility, a simple proxy for landslide hazard? A test in the Mili catchment (North-Eastern Sicily, Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lombardo, Luigi; Fubelli, Giandomenico; Amato, Gabriele; Bonasera, Mauro; Mai, Martin

    2016-04-01

    This study implements a landslide triggering-thickness susceptibility approach in order to investigate the landslide scenario in the catchment of Mili, this being located in the north-easternmost sector of Sicily (Italy). From a detailed geomorphological campaign, thicknesses of mobilised materials at the triggering zone of each mass movement were collected and subsequently used as a dependent variable to be analysed in the framework of spatial predictive models. The adopted modelling methodology consisted of a presence-only learning algorithm which differently from classic presence-absence methods does not rely on stable conditions in order to derive functional relationships between dependent and independent variables. The dependent was pre-processed by reclassifying the crown thickness spectrum into a binary condition expressing thick (values equal or greater than 1m) and thin (values less than 1m) landslide crown classes. The explanatory variables were selected to express triggering-thickness dependency at different scales, these being in close proximity to the triggering point through primary and secondary attributes from a 2m-cell side Lidar HRDEM, at a medium scale through vegetation indexes from multispectral satellite images (ASTER) and a coarser scale through a geological, land use and tectonic maps. The choice of a presence-only approach allowed to effectively discriminate between the two types of landslide thicknesses at the triggering zone, producing excellent prediction skills associated with relatively low variances across a set of 50 randomly generated replicates. In addition, the role of each predictor was assessed for the two considered classes as relevant differences arose in terms of their contribution to the final models. In this regard, predictor importance, Jack-knife tests and response curves were used to assess the reliability of the models together with their geomorphological reasonability. This work attempts to capitalize on fieldwork data

  13. 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 12–14 years, living in the high risk area, and in 29 age-matched controls living 45 km 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, 0.46 µg/L; 25th–75th percentile: 0.3–0.56] than in control adolescents [geometric mean, 0.26 µg/L; 25th–75th percentile: 0.2–0.3]. Chromium was also significantly elevated in exposed [geometric mean, 1.52 µg/L; 25th–75th percentile: 1.19–1.93] compared with controls [geometric mean, 1.25 µg/L; 25th–75th percentile: 1.05–1.48; p = 0.02]. Urinary 8-OHdG concentration was greater in exposed than in controls (71.49 vs 61.87 µg/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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. A facies distribution model controlled by a tectonically inherited sea bottom topography in the carbonate rimmed shelf of the Upper Tithonian-Valanginian Southern Tethyan continental margin (NW Sicily, Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Basilone, Luca; Sulli, Attilio

    2016-08-01

    The Upper Tithonian-Valanginian shallow-water carbonates outcropping in the Palermo Mts (NW Sicily) consist of several facies associations reflecting different depositional environments of a carbonate rimmed shelf, pertaining to the Southern Tethyan continental margin. The reconstructed depositional model, based on the sedimentological features, cyclic facies arrangement and biota distribution, shows that a wide protected lagoon, dominated by algae, molluscs and scattered patch reefs, was bordered landward by a tidal flat, where stromatolitic algal mats were cyclically subaerial exposed, and seaward by a marine sand belt and reef complex. Oolitic packstone-grainstone lithofacies, cyclically subjected to subaerial exposure, suggests the occurrence of a barrier island, located nearly to the lagoonal carbonate shoreline, allowing the development of narrow embayments with restricted circulation. In the outer platform, the oolitic lithofacies of the marine sand belt pass landward into the protected lagoon, where washover oolite sands occur, and seaward into a high-energy zone (back-reef apron) gradually merging in the reef complex. In the latter, coral framestone occupied the inner sector (reef flat), while the facies association dominated by boundstone with Ellipsactinia sp. developed in the outer sectors (reef wall), adjacent to the fore-reef and upper slope environments. Stratigraphic evidence, associated with the recognized facies associations, helped to reconstruct the geo-tectonic setting of the carbonate platform, where the distribution of the depositional facies along the shelf and their extension were influenced by the tectonically-inherited sea bottom topography. In a regime of extensional tectonics, localized and thin succession of high-energy prograding oolite sand belt depositional facies occupied structural highs (footwall uplift), while the largely diffused and thick low energy aggrading peritidal-to-lagoonal depositional facies developed in subsiding

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. Sicily statement on evidence-based practice

    PubMed Central

    Dawes, Martin; Summerskill, William; Glasziou, Paul; Cartabellotta, Antonino; Martin, Janet; Hopayian, Kevork; Porzsolt, Franz; Burls, Amanda; Osborne, James

    2005-01-01

    Background A variety of definitions of evidence-based practice (EBP) exist. However, definitions are in themselves insufficient to explain the underlying processes of EBP and to differentiate between an evidence-based process and evidence-based outcome. There is a need for a clear statement of what Evidence-Based Practice (EBP) means, a description of the skills required to practise in an evidence-based manner and a curriculum that outlines the minimum requirements for training health professionals in EBP. This consensus statement is based on current literature and incorporating the experience of delegates attending the 2003 Conference of Evidence-Based Health Care Teachers and Developers ("Signposting the future of EBHC"). Discussion Evidence-Based Practice has evolved in both scope and definition. Evidence-Based Practice (EBP) requires that decisions about health care are based on the best available, current, valid and relevant evidence. These decisions should be made by those receiving care, informed by the tacit and explicit knowledge of those providing care, within the context of available resources. Health care professionals must be able to gain, assess, apply and integrate new knowledge and have the ability to adapt to changing circumstances throughout their professional life. Curricula to deliver these aptitudes need to be grounded in the five-step model of EBP, and informed by ongoing research. Core assessment tools for each of the steps should continue to be developed, validated, and made freely available. Summary All health care professionals need to understand the principles of EBP, recognise EBP in action, implement evidence-based policies, and have a critical attitude to their own practice and to evidence. Without these skills, professionals and organisations will find it difficult to provide 'best practice'. PMID:15634359

  6. 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.

  7. [Imported malaria in Sicily (Italy): epidemiology and recommendations for prevention].

    PubMed

    Immordino, Palmira; Palmeri, Sara; D'Angelo, Claudio; Casuccio, Nicolò; Scondotto, Salvatore; Casuccio, Alessandra

    2015-01-01

    This study analysed cases of imported malaria notified to the District Health Units of Palermo from 1998 to 2014. The aim was to assess epidemiological differences among cases, related to their reasons for travel. Eighty one cases were reported: 83% developed symptoms following a trip to Africa while 17% had travelled to Asia. Seventy-three percent of cases had travelled to visit family or friends in malaria-endemic countries (Visiting Friends and Relatives: VFRs), confirming the need for preventive measures targeted towards this at-risk population group. PMID:26847273

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. A new empirical model for estimating calanchi Erosion in Sicily, Italy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Caraballo-Arias, N. A.; Conoscenti, C.; Di Stefano, C.; Ferro, V.

    2015-02-01

    Calanchi (plural of calanco) are typical badland landforms of the Italian landscape. They consist of dense networks of V-shaped valleys, with a sparse or absent vegetation cover, which frequently develop on unconsolidated or poorly consolidated clayey deposits. In this paper, the dimensional analysis and the incomplete self-similarity theory were used to deduce a model relating the volume of sediments eroded from the calanchi area to a set of geometric attributes of their tributary areas. The morphometric characteristics of 209 calanchi basins were used to calibrate and validate the model. The predictive skill of the model was assessed by calculating the mean square error and the Nash-Sutcliffe model efficiency coefficient. The model was found to provide a reliable prediction of eroded volume from basins entirely covered by calanchi landforms as well as from basins only partially affected by badland erosion processes. Furthermore, as the residuals between the calculated and the measured volume of the eroded material are normally distributed, the deterministic model may be considered complete, meaning that no other variables are necessary to explain the studied physical process. In other words, the model is able to predict erosion volume in calanchi landforms from a deterministic point of view.

  13. 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-unit–variable 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

  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. A possible spatial and temporal cluster of multiple sclerosis in the town of Linguaglossa, Sicily.

    PubMed

    Nicoletti, Alessandra; Lo Fermo, Salvatore; Reggio, Ester; Tarantello, Rosangela; Liberto, Alfredo; Le Pira, Francesco; Patti, Francesco; Reggio, Arturo

    2005-08-01

    We carried out an epidemiological survey to determine prevalence and incidence of multiple sclerosis in the little town of Linguaglossa in the Province of Catania. We calculated prevalence rate as point prevalence at 1 January 2001 and incidence during 1991-2000. We studied the frequency of multiple sclerosis in the community of Linguaglossa in a population of 5,422 inhabitants in the 2001 census. The primary sources for the case ascertainment were the general practitioners of Linguaglossa, the local Italian Multiple Sclerosis Association and the neurological departments, Multiple Sclerosis Centers and private neurologists of the province of Catania. We considered as prevalent and incident cases all patients who satisfied the Poser's diagnostic criteria. We detected 11 patients with multiple sclerosis who had had the onset of disease on prevalent day (P.D.). The onset-adjusted prevalence rate was 203/100,000 (95% CI 107-352). Prevalence was higher in women (247/100,000) than in men (154/100,000). From 1991 to 2000, 10 subjects with MS had clinical onset of disease. The mean annual incidence risk was 18.2/100,000 (C. I. 95 % 5.9-42.5). Conversely in the same population prevalence on 1 January 1991 was 37/100,000 while the onset adjusted annual incidence risk during the previous decade (1981-1991) was 3.6/100,000. Prevalence and incidence rates of MS during the last decade in the little town of Linguaglossa are higher than those found in the same area during the previous ten years and also than those reported in other Sicilian and Italian surveys suggesting a possible cluster of MS. PMID:15789132

  16. 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.

  17. Validation of a food frequency questionnaire for use in Italian adults living in Sicily.

    PubMed

    Buscemi, Silvio; Rosafio, Giuseppe; Vasto, Sonya; Massenti, Fatima Maria; Grosso, Giuseppe; Galvano, Fabio; Rini, Nadia; Barile, Anna Maria; Maniaci, Vincenza; Cosentino, Loretta; Verga, Salvatore

    2015-01-01

    The objective of this study was to validate two interviewer-led food frequency questionnaires (FFQs) of very different lengths: a medium-length FFQ (medium-FFQ) of 36 items and a short-length FFQ (short-FFQ) of 18 items, intending to measure levels of intakes in a local population. Both FFQs were validated against intakes derived from a 3-day dietary record (3-day DR). Sixty-five non-diabetic adults with no known cardiovascular, renal or other systemic diseases were included. High correlation coefficients between the FFQ and the 3-day DR (0.45-0.73) were observed for energy intake, carbohydrates and lipid and protein intake. Bland-Altman plots showed good agreement between the methods. Low (0.26-0.37) correlation coefficients of the different nutrient intakes obtained with the short-FFQ and the 3-day DR were observed, with the exception of alcohol intake (rho = 0.49). This study showed promising evidence for the use of a medium-FFQ as a potentially useful tool for investigating the relationship between habitual diet and diseases in clinical and research settings. PMID:25830946

  18. 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.

  19. Boron, Sr, O, and H isotope geochemistry of groundwaters from Mt. Etna (Sicily) -- Hydrologic implications

    SciTech Connect

    Pennisi, M.; Leeman, W.P.; Tonarini, S.; Pennisi, A.; Nabelek, P.

    2000-03-01

    Combined B, O, H, and Sr isotopic studies of groundwaters from Mt. Etna provide new constraints on their origin and the consequences of fluid-rock interaction within this hydrologic system. Variations in {delta}{sup 18}O ({minus}9.7 to {minus}7.2%) and {delta}D ({minus}62 to {minus}23%) mainly lie along the regional meteoric water line and suggest that most waters originated as local precipitation. However, small shifts in {delta}{sup 18}O, and variable {sup 87}Sr/{sup 86}Sr (0.70355 to 0.70879) and {delta}{sup 11}B ({minus}5.2 to 25.8%) indicate that subsequent interactions occurred between the fluids and local rocks. High B/Cl ratios in all samples seemingly preclude direct involvement of seawater in the hydrologic system despite the proximity to the coast and, in some samples, elevated {sup 87}Sr/{sup 86}Sr and {delta}{sup 11}B. Two general end-member water types are recognized on the basis of their chemistry. These apparently are produced by interactions of local meteoric waters with the dominant reservoir rocks--either basaltic lavas of Etna or the underlying sediments, respectively; high {delta}{sup 11}B in the sediment-hosted end-member points to a significant marine carbonate contribution. Subsequent mixing between these or similar end-members produced a range of intermediate composition groundwaters. Certain anomalous water compositions require the presence locally of a distinct component with high B and moderate {delta}{sup 11}B (ca. 10%) but relatively low {sup 87}/Sr/{sup 86}Sr; an anthropogenic source for this component is plausible. One unusual sample has B and Sr isotopic compositions similar to the other volcanic rock-hosted waters, but anomalously high Cl content that likely reflects local magmatic outgassing near this sampling locality. In general, this study indicates that groundwater B and Sr isotopic compositions are rock-dominated; these data provide useful constraints on the origin and evolution of groundwaters.

  20. 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 α-pinene, myrcene, α-terpinene, p-cymene, γ-terpinene, borneol, carvacrol and β-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

  1. 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.

  2. A GIS tool for Integrated Hazard Evaluation on the faults of Mt. Etna (Sicily)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barreca, G.; Bonforte, A.; Neri, M.

    2012-04-01

    A pilot GIS-based system has been implemented for the assessment and analysis of hazard related to active fault systems affecting the eastern and southern flanks of Mt. Etna. The system structure was developed in ArcGis® environment and consists of different thematic datasets that include spatially-referred arc-features and associated Database. Arc-type features, geo-referred into WGS84 Ellipsoid UTM zone 33 Projection, are represented by the four fault systems that develop in the analyzed region and other vector layers (i.e. the main lifelines) specifically added for the hazard evaluation. In any case, the backbone of the GIS-based system is constituted by the large amount of information which was stored and properly geocoded in a digital database. This consists of thirty alpha-numeric fields which include all fault parameters available from literature such us length, location, slip rate etc. Although the system has been constructed according to the most common procedures used by GIS developer, the architecture and content of the Database represent a powerful tool in modeling hazard at Mt. Etna. On the other hand, layering different geographic information and managing Database (topological querying) achieved information can easily and quickly be represented in a great diversity of hazard and vulnerability maps which can be produced following the implementation of specific predicting models.

  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. Cancer incidence in Priolo, Sicily: a spatial approach for estimation of industrial air pollution impact.

    PubMed

    Fazzo, Lucia; Carere, Mario; Tisano, Francesco; Bruno, Caterina; Cernigliaro, Achille; Cicero, Maria Rita; Comba, Pietro; Contrino, Maria Luisa; De Santis, Marco; Falleni, Fabrizio; Ingallinella, Vincenzo; Madeddu, Anselmo; Marcello, Ida; Regalbuto, Carlo; Sciacca, Giovanna; Soggiu, Maria Eleonora; Zona, Amerigo

    2016-01-01

    The territory around the industrial Sicilian area of Priolo, Italy, has been defined as a contaminated site (CS) of national priority for remediation because of diffuse environmental contamination caused by large industrial settlements. The present study investigates the spatial distribution of cancer into the CS territory (period 1999-2006). Different geographical methods used for the evaluation of the impact of industrial air pollutants were adopted. Using the database of Syracuse Province Cancer Registry, gender-specific standardised incidence ratios were calculated for 35 tumour sites for the CS overall and for each municipality included in the CS. A cluster analysis for 17 selected neoplasms was performed at micro-geographical level. The identification of the priority index contaminants (PICs) present in environmental matrices and a review of their carcinogenicity have been performed and applied in the interpretation of the findings. The area has a higher cancer incidence with respect to the provincial population, in particular excess is registered among both genders of lung, bladder and breast cancers as well as skin melanoma and pleural mesothelioma and there is an a priori evidence of association with the exposure to PICs. The study highlights the need to provide different approaches in CSs where several exposure pathways might be relevant for the population. The presence of potential sources of asbestos exposure deserves specific concern. PMID:27087035

  5. 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.; Patanè, 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Deep-level magma dehydration and ascent rates at Mt. Etna (Sicily, Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Armienti, P.; Perinelli, C.; Putirka, K.

    2012-04-01

    Magma ascent velocity, v (dH/dt; H = depth, t = time),can be determined from ascent rate (dP/dt), and rate of cooling (dT/dt): v= 1/(rgpg) (dP/dT)(dT/dt) where r is magma density, P is pressure, T is temperature and g is the acceleration of gravity. This equation for v provides a key to investigating the relationships between initial ascent rate of magma and the depths of magma dehydration, and v can be calculated using pressure and temperature (P - PH2O - T) estimates from mineral-liquid thermobarometry, and cooling rates inferred from Crystal Size Distribution (CSD) theory. For recent Mt. Etna lava flows, both dP/dT and dT/dt have been well characterized based, respectively, on clinopyroxene thermobarometry, and clinopyroxene CSDs (the latter yields dT/dt = 2x10-6 °C/s). Deep-level (>20 km) magma ascent rates range from practically 0 (where clinopyroxene P - T estimates form a cluster, and so dP/dT ≈ 0), to about 10 m/hr for flows that yield very steep P - T trajectories. Many lava flows at Mt. Etna yield P - T paths that follow a hydrous (about 3% water) clinopyroxene saturation surface, which closely approximates water contents obtained from melt inclusions. Independent assessments of deep level water content yield ascent rates of ~1 m/hr, in agreement with the slowest rates derived for magma effusion or vapor-driven ascent (~0.001 to >0.2 m/s, or 3.6 to 720 m/hr). Changes in P - T slopes, as obtained by pyroxene thermobarometry, indicate an upward acceleration of magma, which may be due to the onset of deep-level magma dehydration linked to the non-ideal behavior of water and CO2 mixtures that induce a deep-level maximum of water loss at P ≈ 0.4 MPa at T ≈ 1200 ° C for a CO2 content >1000ppm. Melt inclusion data on CO2 and H2O contents are successfully reproduced and interpreted in a context of magma dehydration induced by a CO2 flux possibly deriving by decarbonation reaction of the carbonate fraction of the Capo D'Orlando flysch.

  8. Eruptive pattern classification on Mount Etna (Sicily) and Piton de la Fournaise (La Réunion)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Falsaperla, Susanna; Langer, Horst; Ferrazzini, Valérie

    2016-04-01

    In the framework of the European MEDiterrranean Supersite Volcanoes (MED­SUV) project, Mt. Etna (Italy) and Piton de la Fournaise (La Réunion) were chosen as "European Supersite Demonstrator" and test site, respectively, to promote the transfer and implementation of efficient tools for the identification of impending volcanic activity. Both are "open-conduit volcanoes", forming ideal sites for the test and validation of innovative concepts, which can contribute to minimize volcanic hazard. One of the aims of the MED-SUV project was the development of software for machine learning applicable to data processing for early-warning purposes. Near-real time classification of continuous seismic data stream has been carried out in the control room of INGV Osservatorio Etneo since 2010. Subsequently, automatic alert procedures were activated. In the light of the excellent results for the 24/7 surveillance of Etna, we examine the portability of tools developed in the framework of the project when applied to seismic data recorded at Piton de la Fournaise. In the present application to data recorded at Piton de la Fournaise, the classifier aims at highlighting changes in the frequency content of the background seismic signal heralding the activation of the volcanic source and the imminent eruption. We describe the preliminary results of this test on a set of data of nearly two years starting on January 2014. This period follows three years of inactivity and deflation of the volcano and marks a renewal of the volcano activity with inflation, deep seismicity (-7km bsl) and five eruptions with fountains and lava flows that lasted from a few hours to more than two months. We discuss here the necessary tuning for the implementation of the software to the new dataset analyzed. We also propose a comparison with the results of pattern classification regarding recent eruptive activity at Etna.

  9. 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...

  10. HER2 status in advanced gastric carcinoma: A retrospective multicentric analysis from Sicily

    PubMed Central

    IENI, A.; BARRESI, V.; GIUFFRÈ, G.; CARUSO, R.A.; LANZAFAME, S.; VILLARI, L.; SALOMONE, E.; ROZ, E.; CABIBI, D.; FRANCO, V.; CERTO, G.; LABATE, A.; NAGAR, C.; MAGLIOLO, E.; BROGGI, B.; FAZZARI, C.; ITALIA, F.; TUCCARI, G.

    2013-01-01

    According to the ToGA trial, HER2 has been shown to be predictive for the success of treatment with trastuzumab in advanced gastric cancer (AGC). A number of studies have analyzed HER-2/neu overexpression in gastric carcinoma and identified the rate of HER2 positivity to be markedly varied. To date, the prevalence of HER2 overexpression in Sicilian people with AGC is unknown. Therefore, in the present study, a retrospective immunohistochemical analysis of HER2 was performed in a cohort of 304 AGC samples that were obtained from the archives of 10 Sicilian anatomopathological diagnostic units in order to verify the positive rate of HER2-positive cases. Furthermore, the characteristics of histotype, grade, stage and Ki-67 expression were also analyzed. HER2 overexpression was encountered in 17.43% of all the gastric adenocarcinomas, which was consistent with the results that have been reported elsewhere in the literature. A progressive increase in HER2 overexpression was observed, from the poorly cohesive histotype to the tubular adenocarcinomas and gastric hepatoid adenocarcinomas. HER2 overexpression was significantly associated with a high grade, advanced stage and high Ki-67 labeling index. Further investigations performed jointly by pathologists and oncologists within the geographical area of the present study should confirm that the association of trastuzumab with chemotherapy results in an improvement of survival in patients with AGC. PMID:24260051

  11. 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.

  12. Rock magnetism of the Early Pliocene Trubi Formation at Eraclea Minoa (Sicily)

    SciTech Connect

    Van Velzen, A.J.; Zijderveld, J.D.A. )

    1990-05-01

    The most important magnetic mineral in the fine-grained marls of the Early Pliocene Trubi formation near Eraclea Minoa is magnetite. Some geothite is also present. The magnetite is of high purity and of primary origin. Hysteresis and low-temperature measurements show that most magnetite grains are single-domain. The presence of superparamagnetic grains is suspected. Multi-domain grains are rare. It is shown that AF demagnetization does not yield correct NRM directions.

  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

    ... Greece and Rome'' SUMMARY: Notice is hereby given of the following determinations: Pursuant to the... Between Greece and Rome,'' imported from abroad for temporary exhibition within the United States, are...

  14. 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

    2016-07-01

    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).

  15. Behavioral and clinical characteristics of people receiving medical care for HIV infection in an outpatient facility in Sicily, Italy

    PubMed Central

    Di Carlo, Paola; Guadagnino, Giuliana; Immordino, Palmira; Mazzola, Giovanni; Colletti, Pietro; Alongi, Ilenia; Adamoli, Lucia; Vitale, Francesco; Casuccio, Alessandra

    2016-01-01

    Aim The authors examined a cohort of HIV-positive outpatients at the AIDS Center of Palermo University in Italy in order to identify factors related to the frequency of their visits to the outpatient facility for health care services. Methods Two hundred and twenty-four HIV-infected subjects were enrolled in the study. Demographic and HIV disease characteristics were recorded and assessed with the number of days accessed to our outpatients unit in univariate and multivariate analyses. The potential relationship with immunological status was also analyzed stratifying the patients into groups according to their CD4+ T-cell counts (≥500 vs <500/mm3, and ≥200 vs <200/mm3). Results Both univariate and multivariate analyses showed that duration of antiretroviral therapy <5 years and hypertension were significantly associated with a CD4+ T-cell count of <500/mm3, whereas geographic origin (Africa) was associated with a CD4+ T-cell count of <200/mm3. Mean number of days the patients sought access to day-care services for laboratory tests was negatively associated with CD4+ T-cell count. Conclusion Patients with low CD4+ T-cell counts showed higher use of health care services, demonstrating how early HIV diagnosis can help to reduce health care costs. The CD4+ T-cell cut-off of 200 cells emphasizes the importance of identifying and managing HIV infection among hard-to-reach groups like vulnerable migrants. In our sample, the illegal status of immigrants does not influence the management of their HIV/AIDS condition, but the lack of European health card that documents the current antiretroviral status, could interfere with the efforts to eradicate AIDS. A better understanding of the major determinants of HIV treatment costs has led to appropriate large-scale actions, which in turn has increased resources and expanded intervention programs. Further guidance should be offered to hard-to-reach groups in order to improve early AIDS diagnosis, and procedures for identifying and managing these vulnerable subjects should be made available to care commissioners and service providers. PMID:27307712

  16. Organochlorine pesticides and polychlorinated biphenyl residues in reared and wild Dicentrarchus labrax from the Mediterranean Sea (Sicily, Italy).

    PubMed

    Lo Turco, V; Di Bella, G; La Pera, L; Conte, F; Macrí, B; mo Dugo, G

    2007-09-01

    The aim of this research was to compare the levels of organochlorine pesticides and PCBs in samples of Dicentrarchus labrax living in the Straits of Messina with samples cultivated in cages in the Mediterranean Sea. Muscles and liver tissues sampled over the months, within the same year, were analyzed. The quantitative determination of the organochlorine compounds was performed by GC-ECD and confirmed with GC-MS. The results showed that the concentrations of DDTs in muscles and livers as such of reared sea bass were in the range 0.2-1.3 microg/kg and 9.6 -48.4 microg/kg, respectively. In wild fish the concentrations of DDTs were very much lower: 0.1 microg/kg in muscles, 5.1-9.0 microg/kg in livers. Total PCBs levels were higher in cultivated sea bass than in wild fish; the concentration ranges were 5.3-59.7 microg/kg and 74.4-267.4 microg/kg in muscle and liver of reared samples, respectively, and 1.1-1.5 microg/kg and 63.2-109.4 microg/kg in muscle and liver of wild samples, respectively. PMID:17342439

  17. Assessment of the ecological status of transitional waters in Sicily (Italy): first characterisation and classification according to a multiparametric approach.

    PubMed

    Caruso, Gabriella; Leonardi, M; Monticelli, L S; Decembrini, F; Azzaro, F; Crisafi, E; Zappalà, G; Bergamasco, A; Vizzini, S

    2010-10-01

    A 1-year cycle of observations was performed in four Sicilian transitional water systems (Oliveri-Tindari, Cape Peloro, Vendicari and Marsala) to characterise their ecological status. A panel of variables among which trophic and microbial (enzyme activities, abundance of hetetrophic bacteria and of bacterial pollution indicators) parameters, were selected. Particulate organic carbon (POC) and nitrogen (PON) and chlorophyll-a (Chl-a) contents defined the trophic state, while microbial hydrolysis rates and abundance gave insights on microbial community efficiency in organic matter transformation and on allochthonous inputs. To classify the trophic state of examined waters, the synthetic trophic state index (TRIX) was calculated. Microbial hydrolysis rates correlated positively with POC and Chl-a, which increased along the eutrophication gradient. The significant relationships among TRIX, trophic and microbial parameters suggested the use of leucine aminopeptidase, alkaline phosphatase and POC as suitable parameters to implement the Water Framework Directive when assessing the ecological status of transitional water systems. PMID:20655071

  18. 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 (10±3) kyr. Cosmogenic 3He was also precisely measured within cogenetic olivine phenocrysts of this sample (Blard et al. 2005) and yields an exposure time of (10.4±1.5) 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

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. Metal distribution in road dust samples collected in an urban area close to a petrochemical plant at Gela, Sicily

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Manno, Emanuela; Varrica, Daniela; Dongarrà, Gaetano

    Eight samples of road dust were collected from three different localities (industrial, urban, peripheral) of the town of Gela (Italy) to characterize their chemical composition and to assess (a) the influence of the petrochemical plant and the urban traffic on the trace element content in different grain-size fractions of street dust and (b) the solid-phase speciation of the analysed metal using sequential extraction. The samples were sieved into six particle size ranges: 500-250, 250-125, 125-63, 63-40, 40-20 and <20 μm and then analysed for 15 trace elements by ICP-MS. Sequential extraction of metals was performed on each subsample. A principal component analysis was also carried out to define the possible origin of metals in dusts. A comparison was made between the trace metal concentrations in road dust and those in main local outcropping rocks. The obtained results, indicate, that the road dust samples contain non-soil-derived elements, whose primary contributors appear to be vehicular traffic and the nearby petrochemical plant. Traffic appears to be responsible for the high levels of Ba, Cu, Cr, Mo, Pb, Sb and Zn. High concentrations of Ni, V and, partly, Ba and Cr were associated with emissions from the petrochemical plant. With respect to the local background, Sb was the most highly enriched trace element in the road dusts. Results of sequential extraction analysis show that most metals are mainly distributed in the non-residual fractions and particularly in the organic/sulphide and Fe-Mn oxides fractions. They also point to superficial adsorption as an important transfer mechanism of trace metals from their sources to the environment.

  2. A pilot GIS database of active faults of Mt. Etna (Sicily): A tool for integrated hazard evaluation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barreca, Giovanni; Bonforte, Alessandro; Neri, Marco

    2013-02-01

    A pilot GIS-based system has been implemented for the assessment and analysis of hazard related to active faults affecting the eastern and southern flanks of Mt. Etna. The system structure was developed in ArcGis® environment and consists of different thematic datasets that include spatially-referenced arc-features and associated database. Arc-type features, georeferenced into WGS84 Ellipsoid UTM zone 33 Projection, represent the five main fault systems that develop in the analysed region. The backbone of the GIS-based system is constituted by the large amount of information which was collected from the literature and then stored and properly geocoded in a digital database. This consists of thirty five alpha-numeric fields which include all fault parameters available from literature such us location, kinematics, landform, slip rate, etc. Although the system has been implemented according to the most common procedures used by GIS developer, the architecture and content of the database represent a pilot backbone for digital storing of fault parameters, providing a powerful tool in modelling hazard related to the active tectonics of Mt. Etna. The database collects, organises and shares all scientific currently available information about the active faults of the volcano. Furthermore, thanks to the strong effort spent on defining the fields of the database, the structure proposed in this paper is open to the collection of further data coming from future improvements in the knowledge of the fault systems. By layering additional user-specific geographic information and managing the proposed database (topological querying) a great diversity of hazard and vulnerability maps can be produced by the user. This is a proposal of a backbone for a comprehensive geographical database of fault systems, universally applicable to other sites.

  3. Hair Mercury Levels Detection in Fishermen from Sicily (Italy) by ICP-MS Method after Microwave-Assisted Digestion

    PubMed Central

    Giangrosso, Giuseppe; Cammilleri, Gaetano; Macaluso, Andrea; Vella, Antonio; D'Orazio, Nicolantonio; Graci, Stefania; Lo Dico, Gianluigi Maria; Galvano, Fabio; Giangrosso, Margherita; Ferrantelli, Vincenzo

    2016-01-01

    A number of ninety-six hair samples from Sicilian fishermen were examined for total mercury detection by an Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (ICP-MS) method. The mercury levels obtained were compared with mercury levels of 96 hair samples from a control group, in order to assess potential exposure to heavy metals of Sicilian fishermen due to fish consumption and closeness to industrial activities. Furthermore, the mercury levels obtained from hair samples were sorted by sampling area in order to verify the possible risks linked to the different locations. The overall mean concentration in the hair of the population of fishermen was 6.45 ± 7.03 μg g−1, with a highest value in a fisherman of Sciacca (16.48 μg g−1). Hair mercury concentration in fishermen group was significantly higher than in control group (p < 0.01). There was no significant difference in hair total mercury concentrations between sampling areas (p > 0.05). The results of this study indicate a greater risk of exposure to mercury in Sicilian fishermen, in comparison to the control population, due to the high consumption of fish and the close relationship with sources of exposure (ports, dumps, etc.). PMID:27127456

  4. 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).

  5. 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).

  6. A revision of the structure and stratigraphy of pre-Green Tuff ignimbrites at Pantelleria (Strait of Sicily)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rotolo, Silvio G.; Scaillet, Stephane; La Felice, Sonia; Vita-Scaillet, Grazia

    2013-01-01

    At Pantelleria, peralkaline silicic magmas were erupted across a range of eruptive typologies and magnitudes: pyroclastic flows, Plinian to strombolian pumice fallout and lava flows. In this paper we focus on the intermediate cycle of eruptive activity which is bracketed by ignimbrite units slightly older than the two caldera collapses which marked the volcanological activity of the island. This age interval (180-85 ka) was punctuated by six ignimbrite-forming eruptions (silicic and variably peralkaline) for a cumulative erupted magma volume of approximately 6 km3 dense rock equivalent. Based on new 40Ar/39Ar (Na,K)-feldspar ages and petrographic data, we propose an updated volcanostratigraphic scheme for these welded and rheomorphic ignimbrites that can be summarised as follows: (i) the age of the old ('La Vecchia') caldera collapse is now tightly constrained between 140 and 146 ka and the caldera-forming eruption can be traced to a lithic-rich welded tuff breccia that outcrops in two opposite sectors of the island (south-west and north-east); (ii) four ignimbrite units previously considered unrelated are now merged in two distinct eruptive paroxysmal events at 107 and 85 ka. In particular, the 85 ka eruptive event is comparable in magnitude to the younger (caldera forming) Green Tuff Plinian eruption; (iii) the recurrence patterns of the 107 and 85 ka eruptions, compared to the Green Tuff, allow us to qualitatively assess that the climax in production of low-temperature silicic and peralkaline melt was focused in the age interval 85-45 ka.

  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. 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-α-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 β-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

  9. Crustal deformation along the Northern Hyblean Plateau margin (Sicily, Italy) from GPS measurements and comparison with stress data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mattia, M.; Bruno, V.; Cannavò, F.; Palano, M.

    2009-04-01

    In this work we analyze data from permanent and non-permanent GPS stations collected between 1998 and 2006 on a dense geodetic network covering a large area of the Hyblean Plateau (southern Italy). This is a seismogenetic area, where strong earthquakes destroyed many cities and killed thousands of people in the past. The analysis of geodetic velocities referring to an Eurasian and an African reference frames, reveals the occurrence of active shortening in the northern sector of the plateau along the boundary defined by the Gela-Catania Foredeep, coupled with an active lengthening in the central sector of the plateau itself. Starting from the estimated velocity at each station, the horizontal strain-rate field of the Hyblean Plateau was calculated. The strain rate pattern clearly defines an area of a prevailing N-S compression along the northern rim of the Hyblean Plateau. Furthermore the central sector of the plateau is affected by a NNW-SSE and NE-SW extensional strain rate pattern. A comparison with seismological and structural data, available for the studied area, allows improving the knowledge of the tectonic processes in the Hyblean Plateau and their implications for seismic hazard.

  10. Speciation of inorganic arsenic in coastal seawater from Ionian and Tyrrhenian seas (Sicily, Italy) using derivative anodic stripping chronopotentiometry.

    PubMed

    La Pera, Lara; Di Bella, Giuseppa; Rando, Rossana; Vincenzo, Lo Turco; Dugo, Giacomo

    2008-10-01

    The purpose of this paper was to use derivative anodic stripping chronopotentiometry (dASCP) as a sensitive and accurate technique, to determine the concentrations of dissolved As (III) and As (V) in coastal seawater samples from the Straits of Messina, the Ionian and the Tyrrhenian seas, and to investigate the relationship between the anthropogenic activities on the coastal areas and the concentration of dissolved inorganic arsenic in seawaters. The obtained data indicated that As (V) was the most abundant species, with concentration ranging from 26.7 to 307 nM, whereas As (III) levels were lower than 48 nM in all the samples. In particular, As (III) and As (V) levels significantly decreased from high to low anthropogenic activities zones (p < 0.00001, ANOVA), with the reference samples, from a wildlife reserve, showing the lowest values. Furthermore it was observed that human activities influenced inorganic arsenic speciation, since the zones that received high human input presented the highest As(V)/As (III) ratio. PMID:18058034

  11. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cannata, A.; Alparone, S.; Ursino, A.

    2012-12-01

    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. The number of VT earthquakes making up the families ranges from 2 to 23. Over 70% of the families comprise 2 or 3 VT earthquakes and only 20 families by more than 10 events. The occurrence lifetime is also highly variable ranging from some minutes to ten years. In particular, 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Evolution of the anthropogenic impact in the Augusta Harbor (Eastern Sicily, Italy) in the last decades: benthic foraminifera as indicators of environmental status.

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-01

    The study of benthic foraminifera in sediment cores provides the opportunity to recognize environmental changes, including those due to the anthropogenic impact. The integration of these data with chemical-physical parameters provides a comprehensive quality assessment. This research was applied to a sediment core collected in the Augusta bay, where a very large commercial and military harbor and one of the largest petrochemical poles in Europe are present. Inside the petrochemical area also operated, from 1958 to 2003, a chlor-alkali plant with mercury cell technology which caused anthropic contamination of surrounding land and marine areas. The sediment core was collected in front of this plant and characterized for grain size and pollutants directly associated to chlor-alkali activity, such as mercury (Hg), barium (Ba), polychlorobiphenyls (PCBs), and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Composition of foraminiferal assemblages and faunal parameters such as specific diversity, faunal density, abundance of abnormal specimens, and foraminiferal size were investigated as potential indicators of environmental status. Statistical analysis indicated a main common origin for Hg, Ba, and PCBs and the influence of pollutants on species distribution and faunal diversity and density. Exceptionally high Hg concentrations (63-680 mg/kg d.w.) were recorded in the whole core, where the geochronological study attributed the most contaminated levels to the period of maximum activity of the chlor-alkali plant, while a decrease of contamination was recorded after the stop of the activity. Distinct foraminiferal assemblages identified different ecozones along the core, which suggested decreasing anthropogenic impact from the bottom to the top. PMID:26578377

  16. Evaluation of heavy metals and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in Mullus barbatus from Sicily Channel and risk-based consumption limits.

    PubMed

    Conti, Gea Oliveri; Copat, Chiara; Ledda, Caterina; Fiore, Maria; Fallico, Roberto; Sciacca, Salvatore; Ferrante, Margherita

    2012-06-01

    Our study is a preliminary step to evaluate water contamination of the Mediterranean Sea surrounding Lampedusa island and health risks for fish consumers. We analyzed muscle tissue of Mullus barbatus specimens to detect metals and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Results show the following average concentrations of heavy metals: Pb 0.035, Cd 0.001, Hg 0.027, Cr 0.524, As 27.01, Cu 0.433, Co 0.013, Ni 0.042, Se 0.487, V 0.072, U 0.055 and Zn 3.360 ppm. PAHs ranged from 0.250 to 13.16 ppb. A possible risk to human health was determined based on consumption limits data and the content of total PAHs in fillets of this species. PMID:22450961

  17. Absorption of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons by Pinus bark: analytical method and use for environmental pollution monitoring in the Palermo area (Sicily, Italy).

    PubMed

    Orecchio, Santino; Gianguzza, Antonio; Culotta, Loredana

    2008-07-01

    In the light of using biomaterial as pollutants sorbents for the environmental biomonitoring, we report here the results of the absorption of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) by pine bark. Quantitative analysis of 19 different polycyclic aromatic compounds was performed, after Soxhlet extraction in dichloromethane, by means GC-MS technique. Pinus was chosen due to its wide distribution in the Mediterranean area. The passive absorption of PAH by pine bark in the metropolitan areas allowed us to evaluate the air quality of Palermo. The obtained results showed a very high range of PAHs concentrations, from 33 microg/kg (bark dry weight), as SigmaPAHs, at the control site to 1015 microg/kg along a road with high traffic flow. PMID:18417111

  18. The 1891 submarine eruption offshore Pantelleria Island (Sicily Channel, Italy): Identification of the vent and characterization of products and eruptive style

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Conte, A. M.; Martorelli, E.; Calarco, M.; Sposato, A.; Perinelli, C.; Coltelli, M.; Chiocci, F. L.

    2014-06-01

    bathymetry and seafloor sampling have been used to characterize the 1891 submarine eruption of the Pantelleria volcanic complex. This submarine eruption has been documented mainly by historical reports, describing basaltic scoria bombs floating on the sea surface (i.e., lava balloons). In this study, the 1891 eruptive vent has been identified as a small cone (volume of ˜700,000 m3) rising ˜90 m from 350 m w.d., and located within a newly discovered submarine volcanic field covering a wide area offshore from the NW coast of Pantelleria; recently, Kelly et al. (2012) confirmed this location by a multibeam and ROV survey. Pyroclasts from the 1891 eruption crop out directly on the seafloor and are fresh scoria clasts (i.e., small bombs, bomb fragments, and lapilli) and glass ash-sized grains; both have been characterized in their morphology, textures, and geochemistry. The distinctive vesicularity and crystallization characteristics displayed by the scoriaceous pyroclasts reflect modes of degassing in both syn and posteruptive regimes; these characteristics, along with the distribution of deposits suggest for the strongest eruptive phase of the 1891 eruption a style analogous to Hawaiian fountaining. Glass grains from a buoyant plume were dispersed northward from the vent, up to distances of 1.5 km, redirected by the Levantine Intermediate Water. The identification of the 1891 submarine eruptive vent offshore Pantelleria, as well as the features of erupted pyroclasts improve our knowledge of submarine explosive eruptions that occur at shallow-intermediate depths and, among these, of the rare eruptions producing lava balloons.

  19. Short-term Variations of the Zooplankton Community Near the Straits of Messina (North-eastern Sicily): Relationships with the Hydrodynamic Regime

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zagami, G.; Badalamenti, F.; Guglielmo, L.; Manganaro, A.

    1996-05-01

    Zooplankton samples were collected near the Straits of Messina over two 24-h periods in May 1988 and January 1989. In this area, the complex system of currents which circulate through the Straits still affects both biotic and hydrological factors even near the shore. Copepoda, Cladocera, Chaetognatha and Appendicularia together with some meroplanktonic taxa make up the zooplankton assemblage collected during the two periods. The community structure changes greatly in terms of biomass and density during the 24-h cycle, and in terms of species composition between the two sampling months. The variability of biomass and density could be ascribed to the effect of the special current system in the area, whereas variations in species composition could be related to the seasonality demonstrated by the zooplankton community. These factors combined are responsible for the peculiar condition described in the paper.

  20. 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 Investigator); 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.

  1. The transition from summit to flank activity at Mt. Etna, Sicily (Italy): Inferences from the petrology of products erupted in 2007-2009

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Corsaro, Rosa Anna; Miraglia, Lucia

    2014-04-01

    Mt. Etna is an active basaltic volcano where both flank and summit eruptions take place. In recent decades, the South-East summit crater (SEC) has in particular been characterized by 'episodic' eruptions, consisting of recurrent lava fountains associated with lava flow emissions and lasting from a few weeks to months. Recent volcanic activity shows that, if there is a transition from an episodic summit eruption to a flank eruption, then this usually takes place while the last paroxysm of the episodic eruption is still underway. By contrast, the 2007-08 episodic eruption at SEC was followed by the 2008-09 flank activity which started three days after the conclusion of the last paroxysm, coinciding with the strong earthquake (M = 7.9) in Sichuan (China), whose perturbations were recorded by the monitoring network of Mt. Etna. We therefore investigated the transition from a summit episodic eruption at SEC to flank activity utilizing a petrologic study of the products erupted from 2007 to 2009, integrated with literature data. The compositional variability of the products may largely be explained by a mixing between an evolved magma stored in the SEC reservoir and a more primitive magma which intrudes it. In the studied period, the most significant episodes of magma recharge occurred before the onset of the 2007-08 episodic eruption and during the 2008-09 flank activity, more precisely before June 2008. According to previous studies, the seven paroxysms of the 2007-08 episodic eruption at SEC have been interpreted as resulting from the disruption of a foam layer at the top of the SEC reservoir which was rebuilt before each subsequent episode. The transition from the 2007-08 episodic eruption at SEC to the 2008-09 flank activity was essentially triggered by the Sichuan earthquake which caused a variation of dynamic stress. It caused the volatile exolution, the pressurization of SEC stored magma, and the consequent fracturing of the surrounding rocks where magma intruded to then be erupted during the 2008-09 flank activity.

  2. The transition summit-flank activity at Mt. Etna, Sicily (Italy): inferences from the petrology of products erupted from 2007 to 2009

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Corsaro, Rosa Anna; Miraglia, Lucia

    2014-05-01

    Mt. Etna is an active basaltic volcano where both flank and summit eruptions take place. In particular, the South-East summit crater (SEC) during the last decades has been characterized by 'episodic' eruptions, which consist of recurrent lava fountains associated with lava flows emission, lasting from a few weeks to months. The past recent volcanic activity has shown that, if a transition from an episodic summit eruption to a flank eruption occurred, it generally took place while the last paroxysm of the episodic eruption was still underway. Differently, the 2007-08 episodic eruption at SEC was followed by the 2008-09 flank activity which started three days after the conclusion of the last paroxysm, in coincidence with the strong earthquake (M= 7.9) in Sichuan (China), whose perturbations have been registered by the monitoring network of Mt. Etna. We then investigated the transition from summit episodic activity at SEC to flank eruption utilizing a petrologic study of the products erupted from 2007 to 2009 integrated with data from the literature. The compositional variability of the products is mainly explainable with a mixing between an evolved magma stored in the SEC reservoir and a more primitive magma which intrudes it. In the studied period the most significant episodes of magma recharge occurred before the onset of the 2007-08 episodic activity and during the 2008-09 flank eruption, more precisely before June 2008. According to previous studies the seven episodes of the 2007-08 eruption at SEC have been interpreted to result from the disruption of a foam layer at the top of the SEC reservoir which was rebuilt before each subsequent episode. The transition from 2007-08 episodic eruption at SEC to the 2008-09 flank activity was essentially triggered by the Sichuan earthquake which caused a variation of dynamic stress. It promoted the volatile exolution, the pressurization of SEC stored magma, and the consequent fracturing of the surrounding rocks where magma intruded to be then erupted during the 2008-09 flank activity.

  3. Chemical Composition of the Essential Oil of Bupleurum fontanesii (Apiaceae) Growing Wild in Sicily and its Activity on Microorganisms Affecting Historical Art Crafts.

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

    Hydrodistillation of the flowers (BpFI) of and fruits (BpFr) of Bupleurumfontanesii Guss. ex Caruel gave two oils that were analyzed by GC and GC-MS. The main components were α-elemol (16.7%), caryophyllene oxide (16.4%) and heptacosane (15.9%) in BpFl, and spathulenol (16.8%), caryophylladienol I (13.2%) and α-elemol (12.8%) in BpFr. A good antimicrobial activity against several microorganisms, including Bacillus subtilis, Staphylococcus aureus, Fusarium oxysporum and Aspergillus niger, all infesting historical art craft, was also determined. PMID:26996033

  4. Yeast ecology of vineyards within Marsala wine area (western Sicily) in two consecutive vintages and selection of autochthonous Saccharomyces cerevisiae strains.

    PubMed

    Settanni, Luca; Sannino, Ciro; Francesca, Nicola; Guarcello, Rosa; Moschetti, Giancarlo

    2012-12-01

    In this work, the yeast ecology associated with the spontaneous fermentation of Grillo cultivar grapes from 10 vineyards was analyzed from grape harvest till complete consumption of must sugars. The microbiological investigation started with the plate count onto two culture media to distinguish total yeasts (TY) and presumptive Saccharomyces (PS). Yeasts were randomly isolated and identified by a combined genotypic approach consisting of restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) of 5.8S rRNA gene and 26S rRNA and sequencing of D1/D2 domain of the 26S rRNA gene, which resulted in the recognition of 14 species belonging to 10 genera. The distribution of the yeasts within the vineyards showed some differences in species composition and concentration levels among 2008 and 2009 vintages. Due to the enological relevance, all Saccharomyces cerevisiae isolates were differentiated applying two genotypic tools (interdelta analysis and microsatellite multiplex PCR of polymorphic microsatellite loci) that recognized 51 strains. Based on the low production of H(2)S, acetic acid and foam, ethanol resistance, growth in presence of high concentrations of potassium metabisulphite (KMBS) and CuSO(4) and at low temperatures, 14 strains were selected and used as starter to ferment grape must at 13 °C and 17 °C in presence of 100 mg/L of KMBS. Three strains (CS160, CS165 and CS182) showed optimal technological aptitudes. PMID:22877686

  5. 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

  6. Volatile constituents of the aerial parts of Pulicaria sicula (L.) Moris growing wild in Sicily: chemotaxonomic volatile markers of the genus Pulicaria Gaertn.

    PubMed

    Maggio, Antonella; Riccobono, Luana; Spadaro, Vivienne; Campisi, Patrizia; Bruno, Maurizio; Senatore, Felice

    2015-05-01

    The chemical composition of the essential oil isolated from the aerial parts of Pulicaria sicula (L.) Moris was characterized by GC-FID and GC/MS analyses. The oil was particularly rich in oxygenated terpenoids. Among the oxygenated monoterpenes (content of 44.5%), the most abundant were borneol (23.7%), bornyl acetate (6.5%), and isothymol isobutyrate (6.2%). Caryophyllene oxide (10.2%), caryophylladienol I (4.3%), and caryophylla-3,8(13)-dien-5β-ol (4.4%) were identified as the main constituents among the oxygenated sesquiterpenes. Furthermore, a complete literature review on the composition of the essential oils of all the Pulicaria taxa studied so far was performed and a principal component analysis (PCA) was carried out. PMID:26010666

  7. Distribution of REEs in box-core sediments offshore an industrial area in SE Sicily, Ionian Sea: evidence of anomalous sedimentary inputs.

    PubMed

    Di Leonardo, Rossella; Bellanca, Adriana; Neri, Rodolfo; Tranchida, Giorgio; Mazzola, Salvo

    2009-10-01

    The distribution of rare earth elements and yttrium (REEs+Y) has been investigated in box-core sediments recovered from four stations in the Sicilian coastal zone seawards of Augusta, one of the most industrialized and contaminated areas in the Mediterranean region. Shale-like REE patterns and low Y/Ho ratios (close to the chondritic ratio) suggest a dominant terrigenous (geogenic) source for REE. Slight enrichment of LREE over the HREE is interpreted as due to preferential adsorptive transfer of LREE from seawater to sediment particles. Samples from offshore cores exhibit slightly positive Gd and negative Ce anomalies. It is here hypothesized that main drivers of anthropogenic Gd flux towards the offshore are dredged contaminated materials that, recovered from the Augusta Bay, have been repeatedly discharged offshore. Consistent with the redox-chemistry of Ce, these anomalous sedimentary inputs induce a decrease of O(2) concentration in the sediment, which in turn triggers Ce regeneration. PMID:19735932

  8. 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…

  9. 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)

    Argnani, Andrea

    2014-01-01

    The oceanic lithosphere of the Ionian Sea is subducted under the Calabrian Arc, and it has been proposed that the Ionian lithosphere has been torn apart (STEP fault sensu Govers and Wortel, 2005) on its western side, close to the Malta escarpment, a major morphological feature inherited from the Mesozoic palaeogeography. In a recent paper Gallais et al. (Tectonophysics, 2013) have traced a right-lateral strike-slip fault that extends from south of the Alfeo Seamount all the way to the Tyrrhenian Sea. They also argue that the position of the STEP fault is distinct from, and located ca. 50 km east of, the Malta escarpment. Gallais et al. document with some additional details a fault segment that was already reported in the literature and that is located south of the Alfeo Seamount. However, Gallais et al. have little constraints to trace the STEP fault further to the north; in this sector a belt of surface deformation that can be related to the STEP fault has been mapped from a denser grid of seismic profiles, and is located west-ward, close to the Malta escarpment (Argnani and Bonazzi, 2005). This undermines the conclusion of Gallais et al. that the lithospheric tear is distinct from the Malta escarpment. It is therefore likely that surface deformation associated with the lithospheric tear fault is more complex and is not represented by a single strike-slip fault.

  10. High resolution seismic data coupled to Multibeam bathymetry of Stromboli island collected in the frame of the Stromboli geophysical experiment: implications with the marine geophysics and volcanology of the Aeolian Arc volcanic complex (Sicily, Southern Tyrrhenian sea, Italy).

    PubMed

    Aiello, Gemma; Di Fiore, Vincenzo; Marsella, Ennio; Passaro, Salvatore

    2014-01-01

    New high resolution seismic data (Subbottom Chirp) coupled to high resolution Multibeam bathymetry collected in the frame of the Stromboli geophysical experiment aimed at recording active seismic data and tomography of the Stromboli Island are here presented. The Stromboli geophysical experiment has been already carried out based on onshore and offshore data acquisition in order to investigate the deep structure and the location of the magma chambers of the Stromboli volcano. A new detailed swath bathymetry of Stromboli Island is here shown and discussed to reconstruct an up-to-date morpho-bathymetry and marine geology of the area compared to the volcanologic setting of the Aeolian Arc volcanic complex. Due to its high resolution the new Digital Terrain Model of the Stromboli Island gives interesting information about the submerged structure of the volcano, particularly about the volcano-tectonic and gravitational processes involving the submarine flanks of the edifice. Several seismic units have been identified based on the geologic interpretation of Subbottom Chirp profiles recorded around the volcanic edifice and interpreted as volcanic acoustic basement pertaining to the volcano and overlying slide chaotic bodies emplaced during its complex volcano-tectonic evolution. They are related to the eruptive activity of Stromboli, mainly poliphasic and to regional geological processes involving the intriguing geology of the Aeolian Arc, a volcanic area still in activity and needing improved research interest. PMID:24860717

  11. 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-André

    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.

  12. Mars Electromagnetic Sounding Experiment (MARSES): Comparative and Calibration Studies on the Example Spatial and Temporal Variations Subsurface Geoelectrical Sections of the Saltwater Interface on Sicily (Donnalucata Beach) and Shelter Island

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ozorovich, Y. R.; Lukomski, A. K.; Zoubkov, B. V.; Babkin, F. V.

    2003-07-01

    The MARSES is the sounding instrument program on the base new portable geophysical instrumentation developed of searching for water, water-ice, or permafrost layers existing in some depth under the visible surface of Mars.

  13. 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…

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. Chemical composition and antimicrobial activity of the essential oils from two species of Thymus growing wild in southern Italy.

    PubMed

    De Martino, Laura; Bruno, Maurizio; Formisano, Carmen; De Feo, Vincenzo; Napolitano, Francesco; Rosselli, Sergio; Senatore, Felice

    2009-01-01

    The volatile constituents of the aerial parts of two samples of Thymus longicaulis C. Presl, collected in Campania and in Sicily, and two samples of Thymus pulegioides L. from the same regions, were extracted by hydrodistillation and analyzed. Considering the four oils together, seventy-eight different compounds were identified: 57 for Thymus longicaulis from Sicily (91.1% of the total oil), 40 for Thymus longicaulis from Campania (91.5% of the oil), 39 for Thymus pulegioides from Sicily (92.5% of the oil) and 29 for Thymus pulegioides from Campania (90.1% of the oil). The composition of the oils is different, although the most abundant components are identical in T. pulegioides. The essential oils showed antibacterial activity against eight selected microorganisms. PMID:19924089

  17. From local development policies to strategic planning-Assessing continuity in institutional coalitions.

    PubMed

    Mazzeo Rinaldi, Francesco

    2016-06-01

    In the last two decades, EU policies have had a fundamental role in orienting regional/local development. The objective of this work is set in this context as it intends to analyze the local development programs activated in Sicily in the last three programming periods. The main aim is to explore whether the EU partnership principle influenced cooperation among local actors, assessing the continuity of local institutional coalition in managing different local development programs within the regional development policy system. We focus, in particular, on Strategic Plans (SP) promoted in Sicily in the transition phase between the 2000-2006 and the 2007-2013 periods. PMID:27065045

  18. 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

  19. Genetic analysis of a Sicilian population using 15 short tandem repeats.

    PubMed

    Calò, C M; Garofano, L; Mameli, A; Pizzamiglio, M; Vona, G

    2003-04-01

    The genetic structure of the population of Alia (Sicily, Italy) was analyzed using 15 short tandem repeats: TPOX, D2S1338, D3S1358, FIBRA, D5S818, CSF1PO, D7S820, D8S1179, TH01, VWA, D13S317, D16S539, D18S51, D19S433, and D21S11. Two of these markers, D2S1338 and D19S433, have never before been used in research on population genetics and only recently have they been put to use in forensic medicine. Results of the analysis underline the genetic isolation of the Alia population and show it to be a recent bottleneck as a consequence of a cholera epidemic in 1837. While comparing the Alia population with other populations from Sicily, a genetic heterogeneity within Sicily was uncovered, thus confirming previous results obtained from the analysis of classical markers. This heterogeneity underlines the existence of genetic boundaries within the island. Comparisons with other Italian, Mediterranean, and European populations highlight the differentiation of the Sicilian population, reflecting the presence of a genetic boundary that separates Sicily from northern and central Italy and from the western Mediterranean basin. PMID:12943156

  20. 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. ...

  1. Strongyloidiasis histologically mimicking eosinophilic folliculitis.

    PubMed

    Cannavò, Serafinella P; Guarneri, Fabrizio; Guarneri, Claudio

    2004-01-01

    The authors report an unusual case of strongyloidiasis in an Italian patient, who has always lived in Sicily. The patient presented with marked blood eosinophilia and an itching maculo-papular eruption, histologically simulating eosinophilic folliculitis. The clinical resolution was achieved after albendazol therapy. PMID:15319162

  2. 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...

  3. Bacteria isolated from 25 hydatid cysts in sheep, cattle and goats.

    PubMed

    Ziino, G; Giuffrida, A; Bilei, S; Panebianco, A

    2009-08-22

    Bacteria were isolated from 12 of 25 hydatid cysts collected from the lungs and livers of cattle, sheep and goats slaughtered in the province of Messina, Sicily, Italy. Citrobacter freundii was isolated from seven of the cysts, Aeromonas hydrophila from three, Staphylococcus species from two, Salmonella species from two and Escherichia coli and Proteus vulgaris from one. PMID:19700784

  4. The crustal velocity field mosaic of the Alpine Mediterranean area (Italy): Insights from new geodetic data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Farolfi, Gregorio; Del Ventisette, Chiara

    2016-04-01

    A new horizontal crustal velocity field of Alpine Mediterranean area was determined by continuous long time series (6.5 years) of 113 Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) permanent stations. The processing was performed using state-of-the-art absolute antenna phase center correction model and recomputed precise IGS orbits available since April 2014. Moreover, a new more accurate tropospheric mapping function for geodetic applications was adopted. Results provide a new detailed map of the kinematics throughout the entire study area. This area is characterized by a complex tectonic setting driven by the interaction of Eurasian and African plates. The eastern Alps, Corsica, Sardinia and the Tyrrhenian Sea (which is covered only by interpolation data) show small velocity residuals with respect to the Eurasian plate. The whole Apennines axis discriminates two different velocity patterns, the Adriatic and the Tyrrhenian area. The area around Messina Strait, which separates peninsular Italy and Sicily, represents a poorly understood region. Results identify an important boundary zone between two different domains, Calabria and Sicily, which are characterized by different crustal motions. The northeastern part of Sicily and Calabria move like Adriatic area, whilst the rest of Sicily, Malta and Lampedusa are dominated by African motion.

  5. Plato (428-347 BC)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Murdin, P.

    2000-11-01

    Philosopher, real name said to be Aristocles, with `Plato' a nickname (`broad') derived either from the breadth of his knowledge, shoulders, or forehead, born in Athens, Greece, taught by Socrates, and travelled in Egypt, Sicily and Italy. Back in Athens, he founded, in 387 BC, a school of learning called the Academy, devoted to research and instruction in philosophy and the sciences, particularl...

  6. Feeding Hungry Minds

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dolci, Danilo

    1975-01-01

    Through his work as a social reformer involved in the people's fight against the Mafia in Sicily, the author has become a widely respected international figure. In this article he has written a description of his most recent project, an experimental school for children of the peasant community in Partinico. (Editor/RK)

  7. The PI2S2 project: grid and new challenges .

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Becciani, U.

    The new grid e-Infrastructure in Sicily is offering new perspectives and important resources for both scientific and industrial application in the National context. This paper shows the infrastructure of the Cometa Consortium built with the PI2S2 project, the current status of the project and the new challenges, mainly in the HPC area, that the project is carrying out.

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

    PubMed

    Di Giovanni, Filippo; Reshchikov, Alexey; Riedel, Matthias; Diller, Erich; Schwarz, Martin

    2015-01-01

    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 Baranisobashibericus Heinrich, 1972 (Ichneumoninae) is described. PMID:26175609

  9. 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

  10. Coexisting shortening and extension along the "Africa-Eurasia" plate boundary in southern Italy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cuffaro, M.; Riguzzi, F.; Scrocca, D.; Doglioni, C.

    2009-04-01

    We performed geodetic strain rate field analyses along the "Africa (Sicily microplate)"-"Eurasia (Tyrrhenian microplate)" plate boundary in Sicily (southern Italy), using new GPS velocities from a data set spanning maximum ten years (1998-2007). Data from GPS permanent stations maintained from different institutions and the recent RING network, settled in Italy in the last five years by the Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia, were included into the analysis. Two dimensional strain and rotation rate fields were estimated by the distance weighted approach on a regularly spaced grid (30*30km), estimating the strain using all stations, but data from each station are weighted by their distance from the grid node by a constant a=70km that specifies how the effect of a station decays with distance from the node grid interpolation. Results show that most of the shortening of the Africa-Eurasia relative motion is distributed in the northwestern side offshore Sicily, whereas the extension becomes comparable with shortening on the western border of the Capo d'Orlando basin, and grater in the northeastern side, offshore Sicily, as directly provided by GPS velocities which show a larger E-ward component of sites located in Calabria with respect to those located either in northern Sicily or in the Ustica-Aeolian islands. Moreover, where shortening and extension have mostly a similar order of magnitude, two rotation rate fields can be detected, CCW in the northwestern side of Sicily, and CW in the northeastern one respectively. Also, 2-D dilatation field records a similar pattern, with negative values (shortening) in the northwestern area of Sicily close to the Ustica island, and positive values (extension) in the northeastern and southeastern ones, respectively. Principal shortening and extension rate axes are consistent with long-term geological features: seismic reflection profiles acquired in the southern Tyrrhenian seismogenic belt show active extensional faults

  11. Tuberculosis Epidemiology in Islands: Insularity, Hosts and Trade

    PubMed Central

    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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. Distribution of Cd and As in organs and tissues of four marine mammal species stranded along the Italian coasts.

    PubMed

    Bellante, Antonio; Sprovieri, Mario; Buscaino, Giuseppa; Buffa, Gaspare; Di Stefano, Vincenzo; Manta, Daniela Salvagio; Barra, Marco; Filiciotto, Francesco; Bonanno, Angelo; Mazzola, Salvatore

    2012-09-01

    Concentrations of Cd and As were determined in organs and tissues (muscle, heart, kidney, lung and liver) of four cetacean species (Stenella coeruleoalba, Truncatus truncatus, Grampus griseus and Ziphius cavirostris) stranded along the Italian coasts during the period 2000-2009. Significant differences were found between Cd concentrations in the different analysed tissues. Particularly, the kidney shows the highest concentrations of Cd in all analysed specimens, followed by the liver. No systematic or statistically significant difference in As concentrations was found in the analysed tissues. Considerable differences of Cd and As values in samples from different geographical areas (Sicily Channel, Adriatic Sea and Tyrrhenian Sea) were found, with the highest values measured in samples from the Sicily Channel. This basically suggests that anthropogenic and natural sources significantly affect Cd and As content in cetaceans. PMID:22797766

  15. Helium isotopes and tectonics in southern Italy

    SciTech Connect

    Sano, Yuji; Wakita, Hiroshi ); Nuccio, M.P. ); Italiano, F.

    1989-06-01

    Geodynamic evolution of southern Italy can be understood within the framework of the Mediterranean-Alpine System. Subduction of a plate along the Sicily-Calabrian forearc under the Tyrrhenian Sea has been suggested by many geophysicists, although it is not yet confirmed and remains somewhat controversial. Helium isotope ratios provide useful information on the geotectonic structure of the region. The authors report here the {sup 3}H/{sup 4}He ratios of terrestrial gas samples from southern Italy. The observed {sup 3}He/{sup 4}He ratios are relatively high in the Eolian volcanic arc region and low in the other areas. Dichotomous explanations are presented. Firstly, volcanic arc-forearc hypothesis suggests the subduction along the Sicily-Calabrian forearc. Secondly, horizontal transport hypothesis is described based on the relationship between the ratios and radial distance from the recent spreading basin in Southern Tyrrhenian Sea.

  16. The environmentally sensitive index patch applied to MEDALUS climate quality index

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-06-01

    The authors continue testing the Environmentally Sensitive Index Patch - ESPI -to the whole region of Sicily for a comprehensive interpretation of the sensitivity of the areas to desertification under the Protocol MEDALUS (MEditerranean Desertification Areas and Land USe). They apply the index ESPI to three scenarios - to the first half of the twentieth century, the second half of the twentieth, the twenty-first century and to their three respective indices of Quality Climate. From the application of ESPI the authors deduce that the improvement of sensitivity to desertification in Sicily, between the first and second half of the last century, is not due to the climate constant deteriorates between the three periods analyzed.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. Antimicrobial and antiproliferative activity of Peucedanum nebrodense (Guss.) Strohl.

    PubMed

    Schillaci, D; Venturella, F; Venuti, F; Plescia, F

    2003-07-01

    Acetone extract of Peucedanum nebrodense (Guss.) Strohl., a rare endemic species from the Madonie mountains (Sicily), was tested in vitro for its antimicrobial activity against bacterial reference strains and antiproliferative activity against K562 (human chronic myelogenous leukemia), HL-60 (human leukemia) and L1210 (murine leukemia) cell lines. The acetone extract showed antiproliferative IC50 values in the range of 14-0.27 microg/ml. PMID:12787961

  20. Two newly introduced tropical bark and ambrosia beetles (Coleoptera: Curculionidae, Scolytinae) damaging figs (Ficus carica) in southern Italy.

    PubMed

    Faccoli, Massimo; Campo, Giuseppe; Perrotta, Giancarlo; Rassati, Davide

    2016-01-01

    In summer 2014, the bark beetle Hypocryphalus scabricollis (Eichhoff) and the ambrosia beetle Xyleborus bispinatus Eichhoff, species new to Italy and Europe, respectively, were found for the first time in south-eastern Sicily (Italy). Large infestations of the two species were recorded in many plantations of common fig (Ficus carica L.) both in 2014 and 2015. Data concerning insect characteristics, taxonomy, and distribution are briefly reported. PMID:27470760

  1. Triangulum

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Murdin, P.

    2000-11-01

    (the Triangle; abbrev. Tri, gen. Trianguli; area 132 sq. deg.) A northern constellation which lies between Andromeda and Aries, and culminates at midnight in late October. Its origin is uncertain, though the ancient Greeks likened it to a capital delta (Δ) and it was also associated with the Nile delta and the island of Sicily. Its brightest stars were cataloged by Ptolemy (c. AD 100-175) in the ...

  2. The Cometa Consortium and the PI2S2 project .

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Becciani, U.

    The new grid e-Infrastructure in Sicily is offering new perspectives and important resources and starts to give new great opportunity for research using the HPC resources. We will show the infrastructure of the Cometa Consortium, the main activities of the PI2S2 project and the new challenges, mainly in the HPC area, that the project is carrying out. A simple but useful procedure for running HPC is also described.

  3. 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

  4. The Tripoli, Libya, Earthquake of September 4, 1974: Implications for the active tectonics of the central Mediterranean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Westaway, Rob

    1990-04-01

    Source parameters have been determined for the earthquake (Ms 5.6) that occurred offshore of Tripoli, Libya, on September 4, 1974. One nodal plane of its focal mechanism has dip 37°, strike 297°, and rake -141°, indicating oblique normal faulting. This nodal plane is subparallel to many west-northwest striking normal faults in the epicentral area and is most likely the fault plane, indicating a component of right-lateral strike-slip with slip vector azimuth N84°E. Inversion of long-period teleseismic body waves indicates 12-km centroid depth and 0.4 × 1018 N m seismic moment. A much larger earthquake (Ms 7.0) on April 19, 1935, that occurred in the same zone of active oblique normal faults ˜400 km farther southeast near Sirte probably involved similar slip sense. This zone, for which the name "Tunisia-Libya seismic zone" appears appropriate, has overall northwest-southeast extent ˜1000 km from northern Libya to between Tunisia and Sicily. It takes up a change in motion direction relative to stable Europe from west of north inside the African plate to between N30°E and N50°E in the Ionian Sea between Sicily, southernmost peninsular Italy, southwest Greece, and Libya. This suggested motion direction of Sicily relative to stable Europe agrees with independent estimates from fault slip rates and senses elsewhere in Italy.

  5. 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.

  6. Archaeometry of sicilian glazed pottery

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alaimo, R.; Bultrini, G.; Fragalà, I.; Giarrusso, R.; Iliopoulos, I.; Montana, G.

    Petrographic and chemical analyses of the ``ceramic body'' of 114 majolica artefacts manufactured in Sicily over a wide time range (16th--19th century) are presented. All the analysed samples, which belong to museums and private collections, were previously attributed to Sicilian workshops based on stylistic features evaluated by expert historians of art. Unambiguous identification of the production sites of majolica handicrafts in Sicily remains, however, open to question when this relies only on purely stylistic considerations. To this end compositional and/or textural markers have been searched for in the ``ceramic body'' of the majolica artefacts in order to differentiate between the centres of manufacture which were active in Sicily in previous centuries. The study of thin sections has allowed the characterization of the raw materials as well as the microscopic ``fabric'' of manufacture from four of the more relevant Sicilian production sites, namely: Caltagirone, Sciacca, Palermo and Santo Stefano di Camastra. Chemical data, including minor and trace elements, have been submitted to computer assisted multivariate statistical techniques. Principal component analysis (PCA) and linear discriminant analysis (LDA) have defined compositional ``ceramic reference groups'' and, consequently, have enabled a more realistic discrimination of provenance. These data have documented several imports of majolica from Naples, while the same artefacts were previously attributed to Sicilian workshops, based on stylistic considerations .

  7. 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 σ1 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

  8. Loess stratigraphy of the Lower Mississippi Valley

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rutledge, E.M.; Guccione, M.J.; Markewich, H.W.; Wysocki, D.A.; Ward, L.B.

    1996-01-01

    Loesses of the Lower Mississippi Valley (LMV) are world-famous. Sir Charles Lyell (1847), Hilgard (1860), Stafford (1869), Call (1891) and Mabry (1898), thought the LMV loess was a single water deposit although "double submergence" was noted by Call (1891) and Salisbury (1891). Shimek (1902) and Emerson (1918) recognized LMV loess as a wind deposit which came from the valley. Although wind-deposited loess gained wide acceptance, Russell (1944a) published his controversial theory of "loessification" which entailed weathering of backswamp deposits, downslope movement and recharge by carbonates to form loess. Wascher et al. (1947) identified three LMV loesses, mapped distributions and strongly supported eolian deposition. Leighton and Willman (1950), identified four loesses and supported eolian deposition as did Krinitzsky and Turnbull (1967) and Snowden and Priddy (1968), but Krinitzsky and Turnbull questioned the deepest loess. Daniels and Young (1968) and Touchet and Daniels (1970) studied the distribution of loesses in south-central Louisiana. West et al. (1980) and Rutledge et al. (1985) studied the source areas and wind directions which deposited the loesses on and adjoining Crowley's Ridge. B.J. Miller and co-workers (Miller et al., 1985, 1986, Miller and Alford, 1985) proposed that the Loveland Silt was Early Wisconsin rather than Illinoian age and advanced the name Sicily Island loess. They proposed the underlying loess was Illinoian and advanced the name Crowley's Ridge. We termed the loesses, from the surface downward, Peoria Loess, Roxana Silt, Loveland/Sicily Island loess, Crowley's Ridge Loess and Marianna loess. Researchers agree that the surfical Peoria Loess is Late Wisconsin and the Roxana Silt is Late to Middle Wisconsin, but little agreement exists on the age of the older loesses. Pye and Johnson (1988) proposed Early Wisconsin for the Loveland/Sicily Island. McKay and Follmer (1985) suggested this loess correlated with a loess under Illinoian till

  9. 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

  10. Different key roles of mesoscale oceanographic structures and ocean bathymetry in shaping larval fish distribution pattern: A case study in Sicilian waters in summer 2009

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cuttitta, Angela; Quinci, Enza Maria; Patti, Bernardo; Bonomo, Sergio; Bonanno, Angelo; Musco, Marianna; Torri, Marco; Placenti, Francesco; Basilone, Gualtiero; Genovese, Simona; Armeri, Grazia Maria; Spanò, Antonina; Arculeo, Marco; Mazzola, Antonio; Mazzola, Salvatore

    2016-09-01

    Fish larvae data collected in year 2009 were used to examine the effects of particular environmental conditions on the structure of larval assemblages in two oligotrophic Mediterranean areas (the Southern Tyrrhenian Sea and the Strait of Sicily). For this purpose, relationships with environmental variables (temperature, salinity and fluorescence), zooplankton biomass, water circulation and bathymetry are discussed. Hydrodynamic conditions resulted very differently between two study areas. The Southern Tyrrhenian Sea was characterized by moderate shallow circulation compared to the Strait of Sicily. In this framework, distribution pattern of larval density in the Tyrrhenian Sea was mainly driven by bathymetry, due to spawning behavior of adult fish. There, results defined four assemblages: two coastal assemblages dominated by pelagic and demersal families and two oceanic assemblages dominated by mesopelagic species more abundant in western offshore and less abundant in eastern offshore. The assemblage variations in the western side was related to the presence of an anti-cyclonic gyre in the northern side of the Gulf of Palermo, while in the eastern side the effect of circulation was not very strong and the environmental conditions rather than the dispersal of species determined the larval fish communities structure. Otherwise in the Strait of Sicily the currents were the main factor governing the concentration and the assemblage structure. In fact, the distribution of larvae was largely consistent with the branch of the Atlantic Ionian Stream (AIS). Moreover, very complex oceanographic structures (two cyclonic circulations in the western part of the study area and one anti-cyclonic circulation in the eastern part) caused the formation of uncommon spatial distribution of larval fish assemblages, only partially linked to bathymetry of the study area. Typically coastal larvae (pelagic families: Engraulidae and Clupeidae) were mostly concentrated in the offshore areas

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. From local adaptation to ecological speciation in copepod populations from neighboring lakes.

    PubMed

    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

  15. Genetic determinants of folate and vitamin B12 metabolism: a common pathway in neural tube defect and Down syndrome?

    PubMed

    Guéant, Jean-Louis; Guéant-Rodriguez, Rosa-Maria; Anello, Guido; Bosco, Paolo; Brunaud, Laurent; Romano, Corrado; Ferri, Rafaele; Romano, Antonino; Candito, Mirande; Namour, Bernard

    2003-11-01

    One-carbon metabolism is under the influence of folate, vitamin B12 and genetic polymorphisms of methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR 677 C --> T and 1298 A --> C), of methionine synthase (MTR 2756 C --> G), methionine synthase reductase (MTRR 66 A --> G) and transcobalamin (TCN 776 C --> G). The pathogenesis of neural tube defect (NTD) may be related to this metabolism. The influence of the MTHFR 677 C --> T polymorphism reported in The Netherlands and Ireland can be questioned in southern Italy, France and Great Britain. MTRR, combined with a low level of vitamin B12, increases the risk of NTD and of having a child with NTD in Canada, while TCN 776 GG and MTRR 66 GG mutated genotypes associated with the MTHFR 677 CC wild-type are predictors of NTD cases in Sicily. Down syndrome (DS) is due to a failure of normal chromosomal segregation during meiosis, possibly related to one-carbon metabolism. MTHFR 677 C --> T and MTRR 66 A --> G polymorphisms are associated with a greater risk of having a child with DS in North America, Ireland and The Netherlands. In contrast, MTHFR 677 C --> T has no influence on DS risk in France and Sicily, while homocysteine and MTR 2756 AG/GG genotypes are predictors of DS risk in Sicily. In conclusion, NTD and DS are influenced by the same genetic determinants of one-carbon metabolism. The distinct data produced in different geographical areas may be explained by differences in the nutritional environment and genetic characteristics of the populations. PMID:14656028

  16. The Calabria - Messina earthquake of December 28, 1908: remember to reduce the risk.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nostro, C.; Tertulliani, A.; Pignone, M.; Pino, N. A.; de Gori, P.; Castellano, C.; Arcoraci, L.; Camassi, R.

    2009-04-01

    At 5:20 a.m., on 28th December 1908, one of the most catastrophic earthquakes in history occurred in the Messina Straits. Southern Calabria and north-eastern Sicily were severely hit: in few seconds Messina, Reggio Calabria and numerous villages on both sides of the Straits were devastated. Shortly after the earthquake a tsunami followed. Waves up to 12 meters high hit the Straits and the entire eastern Sicily coast. This is the strongest earthquake (magnitude 7.1) occurred in Italy in the twentieth century. The picture of the total damage was catastrophic: the estimated number of deaths is of around 80,000. In Messina the victims were about 60,000, corresponding to 40% of the population at the time, while in Reggio Calabria 12,000 were killed out of 45,000. To mark the centenary of this disaster, we arranged a program of different initiatives: 1) a photographic calendar with many information about the town destroyed and the tsunami effects (www.ingv.it); 2) a special workshop for general public to reconstruct what happened 100 years ago, to understand what we know today about earthquake and seismic risk, and how we can reduce the damage caused by earthquake; 3) many EDURISK training courses for more than 500 teachers of nursery, primary and lower secondary schools in Calabria and Sicily. These courses are based on a multidisciplinary approach and the educational experiences had been fitted to the specific local environment of each school, from the geographical, historical and cultural point of view (www.edurisk.it). 4) participation in ERMES 2008's activities to improve public awareness on seismic risks. The 1908 earthquake Group and the Edurisk team: E. Baroux, R. Azzaro, G. Ricciardi, M. Crescimbene, F. La Longa,V. Pessina.

  17. The Italian present-day stress map

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Montone, Paola; Mariucci, Maria Teresa; Pierdominici, Simona

    2012-05-01

    In this paper, we present a significant update of the Italian present-day stress data compilation not only to improve the knowledge on the tectonic setting of the region or to constrain future geodynamic models, but also to understand the mechanics of processes linked to faulting and earthquakes. In this paper, we have analysed, revised and collected new contemporary stress data from borehole breakouts and we have assembled earthquake and fault data. In total, 206 new quality-ranked entries complete the definition of the horizontal stress orientation and tectonic regime in some areas, and bring new information mainly in Sicily and along the Apenninic belt. Now the global Italian data set consists of 715 data points, including 499 of A-C quality, representing an increase of 37 per cent compared to the previous compilation. The alignment of horizontal stresses measured in some regions, closely matches the ˜N-S first-order stress field orientation of ongoing relative crustal motions between Eurasia and Africa plates. The Apenninic belt shows a diffuse extensional stress regime indicating a ˜NE-SW direction of extension, that we interpret as related to a second-order stress field. The horizontal stress rotations observed in peculiar areas reflect a complex interaction between first-order stress field and local effects revealing the importance of the tectonic structure orientations. In particular, in Sicily the new data delineate a more complete tectonic picture evidencing adjacent areas characterized by distinct stress regime: northern offshore of Sicily and in the Hyblean plateau the alignment of horizontal stresses is consistent with the crustal motions, whereas different directions have been observed along the belt and foredeep.

  18. [Migration from Southern Italy to Argentina: Calabrians and Sicilians (1880-1930)].

    PubMed

    Cacopardo, M C; Moreno, J L

    1990-06-01

    "The study analyzes Italian emigration to Argentina from Sicily and Calabria between 1880-1930, compared with out-migration flows from Piedmont. The concepts of cultural patrimony and of migratory strategy are used to measure the different potentials and job opportunities in the Argentinean labor market as well as in the Italian context for those returning home. Considering the high proportion of returnees, a positive or negative correlation between region of origin and of destination can be proposed. Southern Italians indicate a more permanent settlement. The authors conclude that the Argentinean society in its Italian component is the result of Southern rather than Northern influences." (SUMMARY IN ENG AND FRE) PMID:12342955

  19. 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

  20. SANS investigation of the salt-crystallization- and surface-treatment-induced degradation on limestones of historic-artistic interest

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bottari, Cettina; Crisci, Gino Mirocle; Crupi, Vincenza; Ignazzitto, Valeria; La Russa, Mauro Francesco; Majolino, Domenico; Ricca, Michela; Rossi, Barbara; Ruffolo, Silvestro Antonio; Teixeira, Josè; Venuti, Valentina

    2016-08-01

    We present here a small-angle neutron scattering investigation on typical limestone widely used in the Baroque architecture of Modica (eastern Sicily). The aim was to correlate the salt weathering and, after that, consolidating (using nanolime as consolidant product) behaviour of the mesoscopic features observed in the experiment, with particular regard to the pore structure, which determines the interaction between surface and environmental/consolidating agents. Experimental results have been interpreted in terms of a fractal model that revealed successful in characterizing physical properties induced by treatment, in order to predict the behaviour of consolidated stone against salt weathering.

  1. 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.

  2. Arnaldo Da Villanova medieval physician (1235-1311). A first approach.

    PubMed

    Ricciardi, Biagio; Ricciardi, Elisabetta; Ricciardi, Carlo Alberto

    2016-02-01

    Arnaldo de Villanova, was a Catalan Physician, born in Villanova de Grau, a suburb of Valencia - Spain about 1235. He died off the coast of Genoa in 1311 during a sea voyage departing from Messina in Sicily, during a diplomatic mission by Pope Clement V in Avignon on orders by the King of Sicily. He was a so famous and clever scientist of the thirteenth century, to give his name to the Universitary Hospital of Montpellier - France. His interests ranged from theology, to politics, medicine, and anymore alchemy. He was an adviser and physician of Kings of Aragon, like Peter III the Great (1276-1285) and James II the Right (1285-1327), of Robert of Angi (1309-1343) of Naples, and of Popes, like Innocenzo V (1276), Bonifacio VIII (1294-1303), Benedetto XI (1303-1304), Clemente V (1305-1314), and of the King of Sicily Federico II of Aragon (1296-1337). For the Pope Bonifacio VIII, suffering from renal colic due to kidney stones, he prescribed Hydrotherapy with Fiuggi Thermal water, that was specially transported for him from its source to Rome and Anagni, in jars wrapped in coarse carpets or wool fabrics, to better maintain the source temperature. In addition in July of 1301, he also produced an astrological seal (Talisman) made of gold loaded of virtues, obtained exposing the seal to the power of the Sun, in those days in the Leo Constellation. This seal was worn by the Pope in an hernial belt of leather to support the kidney,probably to improve hisnephroptosis. Arnaldo produced this seal according to what was described in the book Picatrix - The goal of the wise of the Arabic astronomer and alchemist "Abū l-Qāsim Maslama b.- Ahmad al-Majriti, known with the pseudonym Ghayat al hakim died in Cordova about 1008. Ten years later, after his mysterious death at sea on a Sicilian royal ship, his body was not buried at sea, but was reported in Sicily and buried in the Federician Castle of Montalbano of Elicona at the end of Peloritans Mountains near Milazzo, about 90 km

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. Imported and Indigenous cases of Invasive Meningocococcal Disease W:P1.5,2:F1-1: ST-11 in migrants' reception centers. Italy, June-November 2014.

    PubMed

    Stefanelli, Paola; Fazio, Cecilia; Neri, Arianna; Rezza, Giovanni; Severoni, Santino; Vacca, Paola; Fasciana, Teresa; Bisbano, Alessandro; Di Bernardo, Francesca; Giammanco, Anna

    2016-01-01

    We report about three unliked cases of meningococcal meningitis caused by the ST-11/ET-37 strain of Neisseria meningitidis serogroup W. Two of the three cases, detected in Sicily on June and July 2014, were migrants from Mali and Eritrea. The third case was a fatal meningitis occurred on November 2014 in a 37 years old man, working in an immigrant center in Calabria. This report suggests that tetravalent conjugate vaccines (ACYW) should be actively offered to the staff of migrants' reception centers. PMID:26563305

  7. Antiulcer activity of Opuntia ficus indica (L.) Mill. (Cactaceae): ultrastructural study.

    PubMed

    Galati, E M; Monforte, M T; Tripodo, M M; d'Aquino, A; Mondello, M R

    2001-06-01

    In Sicily folk medicine, Opuntia ficus indica (L.) Mill. cladodes are used for the treatment of gastric ulcer. We studied the effect of administration of lyophilized cladodes on experimental ethanol-induced ulcer in rat. In this paper, we report the ultrastructural observations of gastric mucosa. The ultrastructural changes were observed by trasmission electronic microscopy (TEM) confirming the protective effect exercised by administration of lyophilized cladodes. Pre-treatment test in rats revealed a protective action against ethanol-induced ulcer. Probably, the mucilage of Opuntia ficus indica is involved. PMID:11378276

  8. First description of the male of Philometra filiformis (Nematoda: Philometridae), a gonad-infecting parasite of the marine fish Pagellus erythrinus (Sparidae) in Mediterranean.

    PubMed

    Gaglio, Gabriella; Giannetto, Salvatore; Panebianco, Antonio; Moravec, Frantisek

    2009-12-01

    The male of the gonad-infecting nematode Philometra filiformis (Stossich, 1896) (Philometridae) is for the first time described, based on specimens from the ovary of the marine fish Pagellus erythrinus (Linnaeus) from the Tyrrhenian Sea off Sicily, Italy. It is mainly characterized by the testis extending anteriorly nearly to the anterior end of body, the oesophagus without a usual anterior inflation, the absence of a dorsal barb or distinct transverse lamellae on the tip of the gubernaculum, the measurements of the spicules and the gubernaculum, and a fairly long body. PMID:20128245

  9. Geographical discrimination of extra-virgin olive oils from the Italian coasts by combining stable isotope data and carotenoid content within a multivariate analysis.

    PubMed

    Portarena, S; Baldacchini, C; Brugnoli, E

    2017-01-15

    We have determined the isotopic composition and the carotenoid contents of 38 extra-virgin olive oils (EVOOs) from seven regions along the Italian coasts, by means of isotope ratio mass spectrometry (IRMS) and resonant Raman spectroscopy (RRS), respectively. The application of linear discriminant analysis to our overall results demonstrated the combination of isotope and carotenoid data is a promising method to discriminate EVOOs from production sites that are impacted by similar geographical and climatic parameters. In particular, this dual approach allowed correct classification of 82% EVOO samples, while separate IRMS and RRS investigations were able to discriminate only samples from Sicily and Latium, respectively. PMID:27542443

  10. A Warning System for Stromboli Volcano Based on Statistical Analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nunnari, Giuseppe; Puglisi, Giuseppe; Spata, Alessandro

    2008-08-01

    In this paper we describe a warning system based on statistical analysis for the purpose of monitoring ground deformation at the Sciara del Fuoco (Stromboli Volcano, Sicily). After a statistical analysis of ground deformation time-series measured at Stromboli by the monitoring system known as THEODOROS (THEOdolite and Distancemeter Robot Observatory of Stromboli), the paper describes the solution adopted for implementing the warning system. A robust statistical index has been defined in order to evaluate the movements of the area. A fuzzy approach has been proposed to evaluate an AI (Alarm Intensity) index which indicates the level of hazard of the Sciara del Fuoco sliding.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. AIRWATCH from SPACE: preliminary results from lab. measurements and from balloon background observations.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Giarrusso, S.; Catalano, O.; La Rosa, G.; Linsley, J.; Maccarone, M. C.; Sacco, B.; Scarsi, L.; AIRWATCH Collaboration

    1998-12-01

    In the framework of the AIRWATCH from SPACE mission, measurements of efficiency of UV yield, in air and in Nitrogen, have been performed using X-ray photons of 22 keV at the LAX X-Ray Beam Facility in Palermo. Results are reported and discussed. The nightglow has been observed with the instrument dubbed BABY (BAckground BYpass) from an altitude of 26 Km during a balloon flight from the Trapani-Milo Base in Sicily. Data profile are presented, showing the difference between over-land and over-sea detector exposition in the range of 300-400 nanometers.

  15. A unique lower mantle source for Southern Italy volcanics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cadoux, Anita; Blichert-Toft, Janne; Pinti, Daniele L.; Albarède, Francis

    2007-07-01

    The Southern Italy volcanism is characterized by the unusual occurrence of volcanic rocks with ocean-island basalt (OIB)-like characteristics, in particular at Etna and Iblean Mts in Sicily. The geochemical properties of the source of the Italian magmatism are usually explained by a north-south binary mixing between a mantle- and a crustally-derived end-members. The nature of the mantle end-member is, however, not agreed upon. One type of interpretation invokes a mixture of depleted mantle (DMM) and high U/Pb (HIMU) end-members [Gasperini, D., Blichert-Toft, J., Bosch, D., Del Moro, A., Macera, P., Albarède, F., 2002. Upwelling of deep mantle material through a plate window: Evidence from the geochemistry of Italian basaltic volcanics, J. Geophys. Res. 107, 2367-2386], whereas an alternative view holds that the mantle end-member is unique and homogeneous, and similar to the FOZO- or C-type end-member identified in oceanic basalts [Bell, K., Castorina, F., Lavecchia, G., Rosatelli, G., Stoppa, F., 2004. Is there a mantle plume below Italy? EOS 85, 541-547]. Because mixing does not produce linear relationships between the isotopic compositions of different elements, we applied Principal Component Analysis (PCA) to the Pb isotope compositions of the Italian volcanics inclusive 36 of Sicily volcanoes. We demonstrate that HIMU cannot be an end-member of the Italian volcanics, but rather that the common component C (˜FOZO), which we interpret as reflecting the lower mantle, best represents the mantle source of the Italian magmatism. Our PCA calculation shows that the first principal component alone, which we take to be a mixture of two geochemical end-members, C and a crustally-derived component, explains 99.4% of the whole data variability. In contrast, the DMM end-member (the second principal component) is only present in the volcanics from the Tyrrhenian Sea floor. The C-like end-member, well represented by the Etna and Iblean Mts (Sicily), has relatively low 3He/ 4

  16. Burkholderia cepacia complex infection in Italian patients with cystic fibrosis: prevalence, epidemiology, and genomovar status.

    PubMed

    Agodi, A; Mahenthiralingam, E; Barchitta, M; Gianninò, V; Sciacca, A; Stefani, S

    2001-08-01

    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

  17. 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.

  18. 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; Martínez-Martínez, Mónica; Seifert, Jana; Rojo, David; Cappello, Simone; Genovese, María; 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

  19. 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

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

    PubMed

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

  1. Mediterranean circulation perturbations over the last five centuries: Relevance to past Eastern Mediterranean Transient-type events.

    PubMed

    Incarbona, Alessandro; Martrat, Belen; Mortyn, P Graham; Sprovieri, Mario; Ziveri, Patrizia; Gogou, Alexandra; Jordà, Gabriel; Xoplaki, Elena; Luterbacher, Juerg; Langone, Leonardo; Marino, Gianluca; Rodríguez-Sanz, Laura; Triantaphyllou, Maria; Di Stefano, Enrico; Grimalt, Joan O; Tranchida, Giorgio; Sprovieri, Rodolfo; Mazzola, Salvatore

    2016-01-01

    The Eastern Mediterranean Transient (EMT) occurred in the Aegean Sea from 1988 to 1995 and is the most significant intermediate-to-deep Mediterranean overturning perturbation reported by instrumental records. The EMT was likely caused by accumulation of high salinity waters in the Levantine and enhanced heat loss in the Aegean Sea, coupled with surface water freshening in the Sicily Channel. It is still unknown whether similar transients occurred in the past and, if so, what their forcing processes were. In this study, sediments from the Sicily Channel document surface water freshening (SCFR) at 1910 ± 12, 1812 ± 18, 1725 ± 25 and 1580 ± 30 CE. A regional ocean hindcast links SCFR to enhanced deep-water production and in turn to strengthened Mediterranean thermohaline circulation. Independent evidence collected in the Aegean Sea supports this reconstruction, showing that enhanced bottom water ventilation in the Eastern Mediterranean was associated with each SCFR event. Comparison between the records and multi-decadal atmospheric circulation patterns and climatic external forcings indicates that Mediterranean circulation destabilisation occurs during positive North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) and negative Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO) phases, reduced solar activity and strong tropical volcanic eruptions. They may have recurrently produced favourable deep-water formation conditions, both increasing salinity and reducing temperature on multi-decadal time scales. PMID:27412622

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

    PubMed Central

    Bargiela, Rafael; Herbst, Florian‐Alexander; Martínez‐Martínez, Mónica; Seifert, Jana; Rojo, David; Cappello, Simone; Genovese, María; Crisafi, Francesca; Denaro, Renata; Chernikova, Tatyana N.; Barbas, Coral; von Bergen, Martin; Yakimov, Michail M.; Golyshin, Peter N.

    2015-01-01

    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

  3. Antioxidant properties of Berberis aetnensis C. Presl (Berberidaceae) roots extract and protective effects on astroglial cell cultures.

    PubMed

    Campisi, Agata; Acquaviva, Rosaria; Bonfanti, Roberta; Raciti, Giuseppina; Amodeo, Andrea; Mastrojeni, Silvana; Ragusa, Salvatore; Iauk, Liliana

    2014-01-01

    Berberis aetnensis C. Presl (Berberidaceae) is a bushy-spiny shrub common on Mount Etna (Sicily). We demonstrated that the alkaloid extract of roots of B. aetnensis C. Presl contains prevalently berberine and berbamine, possesses antimicrobial properties, and was able to counteract the upregulation evoked by glutamate of tissue transglutaminase in primary rat astroglial cell cultures. Until now, there are no reports regarding antioxidant properties of B. aetnensis C. Presl collected in Sicily. Air-dried, powdered roots of B. aetnensis C. Presl were extracted, identified, and quantified by HPLC. We assessed in cellular free system its effect on superoxide anion, radicals scavenging activity of antioxidants against free radicals like the 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl radical, and the inhibition of xanthine oxidase activity. In primary rat astroglial cell cultures, exposed to glutamate, we evaluated the effect of the extract on glutathione levels and on intracellular production of reactive oxygen species generated by glutamate. The alkaloid extract of B. aetnensis C. Presl inhibited superoxide anion, restored to control values, the decrease of GSH levels, and the production of reactive oxygen species. Potent antioxidant activities of the alkaloid extract of roots of B. aetnensis C. Presl may be one of the mechanisms by which the extract is effective against health disorders associated to oxidative stress. PMID:25177720

  4. The Cathedral of S. Giorgio in Ragusa Ibla (Italy): characterization of construction materials and their chromatic alteration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barone, Germana; La Russa, Mauro Francesco; Lo Giudice, Antonino; Mazzoleni, Paolo; Pezzino, Antonino

    2008-08-01

    The Cathedral of St. Giorgio in Ragusa Ibla (Sicily) is one of the most important Baroque monuments of eastern Sicily. The restoration of the monument underway has put forward notable questions regarding the stone materials used and their state of degradation. The façade appears to be made mainly of a creamy white calcarenite, and of mortars and plasters. However, detailed analysis has highlighted a more complex use of the raw material. The mortar and plaster have a different composition in regards to their architectural use while the natural stone material is distinguished not only by a creamy-white calcarenite but also by a dark coloured bituminous calcarenite (pitch rock), which now appears whiter because of superficial chromatic alterations. This process was reproduced in the laboratory using an accelerated aging technique on samples of bituminous calcarenite, which allowed the cause of the alternation to be identified as photo-oxidation of the asphaltenes. Following this process of photo-oxidation, other forms of chromatic alterations affected the façade (brown orange-coloured patinas). FTIR, Scanning Electron Microscope and thin section microscopic observation allowed the characterization of also the products of this process to be carried out, highlighting the complex mechanism which the processes underwent.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  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. Modelling tsunamis in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea. Application to the Minoan Santorini tsunami sequence as a potential scenario for the biblical Exodus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Periáñez, R.; Abril, J. M.

    2014-11-01

    A numerical model which simulates the propagation of tsunamis in the Eastern Mediterranean has been developed. Several tsunami sources have been considered: earthquakes associated to geological faults, submarine landslides, entry of pyroclastic flows into the sea and the collapse of a volcano caldera. The model has been applied to different past events for which historic data or previous simulations exist, to test its performance. Then it has been applied to simulate tsunamis triggered by the explosion of Santorini volcano (17th century BC) in the Aegean Sea. While the model accounts for run-ups in the Aegean coasts, it fails to explain the isochronous tsunamigenic deposits reported in eastern Sicily and the levantine coasts. A scenario of a sequence of intense tectonics strain release triggering a series of tsunamis could better fit the whole dataset. Thus, a submarine landslide at the Gulf of Sirte may explain the Augias megaturbidite and the sedimentary deposits reported in Augusta Bay (Sicily). Similarly, a sequential tsunami in the eastern Nile Delta may explain the tsunamigenic deposits found in Israel and Gaza. Considering the former coastline at 3500 years BP, it could also provide a plausible scenario for the biblical sea crossing related in the Exodus.

  9. Mediterranean circulation perturbations over the last five centuries: Relevance to past Eastern Mediterranean Transient-type events

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Incarbona, Alessandro; Martrat, Belen; Mortyn, P. Graham; Sprovieri, Mario; Ziveri, Patrizia; Gogou, Alexandra; Jordà, Gabriel; Xoplaki, Elena; Luterbacher, Juerg; Langone, Leonardo; Marino, Gianluca; Rodríguez-Sanz, Laura; Triantaphyllou, Maria; di Stefano, Enrico; Grimalt, Joan O.; Tranchida, Giorgio; Sprovieri, Rodolfo; Mazzola, Salvatore

    2016-07-01

    The Eastern Mediterranean Transient (EMT) occurred in the Aegean Sea from 1988 to 1995 and is the most significant intermediate-to-deep Mediterranean overturning perturbation reported by instrumental records. The EMT was likely caused by accumulation of high salinity waters in the Levantine and enhanced heat loss in the Aegean Sea, coupled with surface water freshening in the Sicily Channel. It is still unknown whether similar transients occurred in the past and, if so, what their forcing processes were. In this study, sediments from the Sicily Channel document surface water freshening (SCFR) at 1910 ± 12, 1812 ± 18, 1725 ± 25 and 1580 ± 30 CE. A regional ocean hindcast links SCFR to enhanced deep-water production and in turn to strengthened Mediterranean thermohaline circulation. Independent evidence collected in the Aegean Sea supports this reconstruction, showing that enhanced bottom water ventilation in the Eastern Mediterranean was associated with each SCFR event. Comparison between the records and multi-decadal atmospheric circulation patterns and climatic external forcings indicates that Mediterranean circulation destabilisation occurs during positive North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) and negative Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO) phases, reduced solar activity and strong tropical volcanic eruptions. They may have recurrently produced favourable deep-water formation conditions, both increasing salinity and reducing temperature on multi-decadal time scales.

  10. Metals in molluscs and algae: a north-south Tyrrhenian Sea baseline.

    PubMed

    Conti, Marcelo Enrique; Finoia, Maria Grazia

    2010-09-15

    We develop a 800 km long relative baseline of metal pollution for the Tyrrhenian Sea, from the north of Naples to south of Sicily (Italy), based on spatio-temporal (1997-2004) concentrations of trace metals in marine organisms and on the bioaccumulative properties of those organisms. The study concerns sites in the gulf of Gaeta-Formia, near Naples, and three islands north, west, and south of Sicily: Ustica, Favignana and Linosa. The five metals are: cadmium, chromium, copper, lead, and zinc; the species include: Monodonta turbinata (n=161), Patella caerulea (n=244) and the algae Padina pavonica (n=84). We use Johnson's (1949) [15] probabilistic method to determine the type of distribution that accounts for our data. It is a system of frequency curves that represents the transformation of the standard normal curves. We find an N-S pollution gradient in molluscs considered: the lowest metal pollution occurs around the Sicilian islands. Our method can accurately characterize marine pollution by contributing to: policy-making, coastal resources management, the assessments of environmental damages from marine accidents and other events. The method here presented is a useful tool for pollution comparisons purposes among ecosystems (i.e., risk monitoring) and it is an ideal starting point for its application on a global scale. PMID:20605327

  11. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-10-01

    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 CO(2) onshore faces opposition regarding potential health effects of CO(2) 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 CO(2) seeps can guide assessment of potential health risks from leaking onshore CO(2) stores. Italy and Sicily are regions of intense natural CO(2) 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 CO(2) poisoning using a database of 286 natural CO(2) 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), CO(2) flux, and human behavior. Risk of accidental human death from these CO(2) 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

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

    PubMed

    Schiano, P; Clocchiatti, R; Ottolini, L; Busà, 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

  14. Feature-oriented regional modeling of oceanic fronts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gangopadhyay, Avijit; Robinson, Allan R.

    2002-11-01

    This paper outlines some important aspects of modeling oceanic fronts in the context of feature-oriented regional modeling for the deep sea and the Global Coastal Ocean. Previously developed forms of feature models for different types of fronts are presented in a generalized approach. The large-scale meandering frontal systems such as the Gulf Stream, Kuroshio and Brazil current can be represented by velocity-based feature models. Buoyancy forced coastal water mass fronts, such as the coastal currents, the tidal fronts, plume fronts, dense water fronts and inflow/outflow fronts can be represented by a generalized parameterized water mass feature model. The interface region of the deep ocean and the coastal region can be modeled by a melding of two water masses along and across a prescribed isobath in the form of a shelf-break front. Initialization and/or updating fields for a regional dynamical model can then be established in association with other available synoptic data sets via a feature-oriented strategic sampling approach for forecasting and dynamical balances. Example simulations from the western north Atlantic (WNA) and the strait of Sicily region are presented in support of the applicability of this approach for the Global Coastal Ocean. Simulations in the strait of Sicily region with fronts, eddies and background climatology help provide a perspective on dynamical processes in this region. Application of this methodology for rapid assessment of any regional ocean, based on limited data and resources is now possible.

  15. [Hand-arm vibration syndrome and upper limbs diseases in the forest workers of Italia meridionale].

    PubMed

    Fenga, C; Rapisarda, V; Valentino, M; Cacciola, A; Deboli, R; Calvo, A; Germanò, D

    2007-01-01

    Vibration exposure of the hand-arm system is associated with an increased risk of upper-limb vascular, neurological and musculoskeletal lesions, or hand-arm vibration syndrome (HAVS). The prevalence of occupational HAVS and upper-limb disorders was studied among 278 Forestry Service workers in Sicily and Calabria. Subjects who used chain-saws (18 weeks/year) had a greater prevalence of peripheral sensory-neural disturbances (28%), upper-limb musculoskeletal disorders (33%) and carpal tunnel syndrome (19%) compared with 260 manual workers from the same Corps not exposed to hand-transmitted vibration. Raynaud's phenomenon was comparable in exposed and control subjects (5.3% vs. 4.7%.) Upper-limb neuropathies were significantly associated with energy-equivalent frequency-weighted acceleration; exposure duration; and cumulative vibration dose (m2/s4h). The variable "years of work with vibrating tools" was strongly associated with peripheral neuropathies; carpal tunnel syndrome; and upper-limb musculotendinous syndromes. Data suggest that in Sicily and Calabria, where the climate is milder than in other areas of Italy, forestry work with hand-held vibrating tools does not entail a greater prevalence of peripheral vascular disorders (Raynaud's phenomenon), while the prevalence of occupational upper-limb neurological and musculoskeletal disorders, in which combined ergonomic and mechanical risk factors have a large pathogenic role, is significantly increased. PMID:18409849

  16. Dust Streams from Tunisia

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2002-01-01

    On October 6, 2001, the Sea-viewing Wide Field-of-view Sensor (SeaWiFS) captured this true-color image of a large dust storm blowing northeastward across the Mediterranean Sea from Tunisia. According to Joseph Prospero, professor of atmospheric science at the University of Miami, there is an unusual arc-shaped 'front' to the dust cloud. The storm's shape suggests that the source of the dust is rather small and that the meteorology driving it rather unusual. The dust seems to be coming out of the wadis, dry lakebeds and riverbeds, at the base of the Tell Atlas Mountains in northern Tunisia and eastern Algeria. The dust appears to be blowing toward the island of Sicily, Italy (toward the upper righthand corner). Also notice there is a relatively thin plume of smoke emanating eastward from the top of Mount Etna on Sicily. Image courtesy the SeaWiFS Project, NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center, and ORBIMAGE

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

    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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Mediterranean circulation perturbations over the last five centuries: Relevance to past Eastern Mediterranean Transient-type events

    PubMed Central

    Incarbona, Alessandro; Martrat, Belen; Mortyn, P. Graham; Sprovieri, Mario; Ziveri, Patrizia; Gogou, Alexandra; Jordà, Gabriel; Xoplaki, Elena; Luterbacher, Juerg; Langone, Leonardo; Marino, Gianluca; Rodríguez-Sanz, Laura; Triantaphyllou, Maria; Di Stefano, Enrico; Grimalt, Joan O.; Tranchida, Giorgio; Sprovieri, Rodolfo; Mazzola, Salvatore

    2016-01-01

    The Eastern Mediterranean Transient (EMT) occurred in the Aegean Sea from 1988 to 1995 and is the most significant intermediate-to-deep Mediterranean overturning perturbation reported by instrumental records. The EMT was likely caused by accumulation of high salinity waters in the Levantine and enhanced heat loss in the Aegean Sea, coupled with surface water freshening in the Sicily Channel. It is still unknown whether similar transients occurred in the past and, if so, what their forcing processes were. In this study, sediments from the Sicily Channel document surface water freshening (SCFR) at 1910 ± 12, 1812 ± 18, 1725 ± 25 and 1580 ± 30 CE. A regional ocean hindcast links SCFR to enhanced deep-water production and in turn to strengthened Mediterranean thermohaline circulation. Independent evidence collected in the Aegean Sea supports this reconstruction, showing that enhanced bottom water ventilation in the Eastern Mediterranean was associated with each SCFR event. Comparison between the records and multi-decadal atmospheric circulation patterns and climatic external forcings indicates that Mediterranean circulation destabilisation occurs during positive North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) and negative Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO) phases, reduced solar activity and strong tropical volcanic eruptions. They may have recurrently produced favourable deep-water formation conditions, both increasing salinity and reducing temperature on multi-decadal time scales. PMID:27412622

  1. 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

  2. Variations in a LF radio-signal on the occasion of the recent seismic and volcanic activity in southern Italy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Biagi, P. F.; Piccolo, R.; Ermini, A.; Martellucci, S.; Bellecci, C.; Perna, G.; Capozzi, V.; Molchanov, O. A.; Hayakawa, M.

    2003-04-01

    Low Frequency (LF) radio signals lie in the band 30-300 kHz. The electric field strength of three LF broadcasting stations - CLT (f=189 kHz, Sicily, Italy), MCO (f=216 kHz, France) and CZE (f=270 kHz, Czech Republic) - has been monitored since 1997 with a sampling frequency of ten minutes at a site named AS and located in central Italy. During September-November 2002, we observed significant decreases in the electric field strength of the CLT broadcasting station. A similar effect does not seem to be present on the MCO and CZE radio signals. On September 6 an earthquake (M=5.6) occurred offshore, about 40km far from Palermo city (Sicily), starting a seismic crisis for more than one month; the strongest (M=4.6) aftershock occurred on September 27. On October 27, the Etna volcano (Sicily) started an eruption that in December was still active. Nearby several earthquakes occurred, the main ones with M=4.1-4.3. On October 31, an earthquake with M=5.4 occurred at the border between Molise and Puglia regions (Southern Italy) and under a collapsed school several children died. The CLT radio-signal decreases we observed appear clearly related to the previous seismic and volcanic activity with some possible premonitory behaviour. The LF signals are characterised by the ground-wave and the skywave propagation modes. The daytime electric field strength is lower than at night because the skywave is greatly attenuated by the lower ionosphere and the ground-wave alone is providing the signal which is faint. At night-time the low attenuation of the lower ionosphere permits an increase of 10-15 dB in the skywave signal such that the received signal is practically all due to the skywave propagation. The decreases in CLT radio-signal we mentioned previously seem to be related mainly to a reduction of the electric field strength of the ground wave. So changes in the ground conductivity seem to be the main candidates to justify the phenomenology we observed.

  3. 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

    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.

  4. 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

  5. Plate boundary evolution in the western-central Mediterranean: From the past to the present.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wortel, Rinus; Faccenna, Claudio; Govers, Rob; Polonia, Alina; Baes, Marzieh

    2013-04-01

    The evolution of the Calabrian and Gibraltar arcs and that of the margins of northern Africa and Sicily are part of the final phase of opening of the western Mediterranean basins. Jointly, they are the central topic of the TopoMed project concerning the plate boundary reorganization of the western-central Mediterranean, one of the projects of the TOPO-EUROPE programme (EUROCORES/ESF). The structure and evolution of the Gibraltar arc region are discussed in a separate presentation. This final stage of opening shows intriguing lateral variations from the Calabrian Arc, via the northern margin of Sicily to the North-African (Algerian) margin. In concert, they provide an excellent opportunity to study the evolution of an expanding oceanic realm that may be at the verge of entering a new phase of closure. Our studies encompass detailed analyses of deep penetration seismic data, multibeam bathymetry and field observations, and numerical model experiments addressing lithospheric scale process-oriented aspects. Special attention is given to the aspect that the region is embedded in a context of ongoing Africa-Eurasia plate convergence and to the role of structures, inherited from earlier stages of basin opening, in controlling the recent and ongoing evolution. For the Calabrian accretionary wedge the focus is on assessing the present state of deformation, including seismic activity, and other accompanying processes. We show that the Calabrian wedge is segmented (in direction along the arc) in two different lobes, the western and eastern lobe corresponding with detached and still continuous parts of the subducting slab, respectively. For the Northern Sicily margin we propose that its earlier history involving STEP faulting has preconditioned the lithosphere structure to the extent that it promotes initiation of a new southward-dipping subduction zone. The northern African margin is in a very special transitional situation in which the retreating northward subduction has

  6. 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

  7. Evidence for ships emissions in the Central Mediterranean Sea from aerosol chemical analyses at the island of Lampedusa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Becagli, S.; Sferlazzo, D. M.; Pace, G.; di Sarra, A.; Bommarito, C.; Calzolai, G.; Ghedini, C.; Lucarelli, F.; Meloni, D.; Monteleone, F.; Severi, M.; Traversi, R.; Udisti, R.

    2011-11-01

    Measurements of aerosol chemical composition made on the island of Lampedusa, south of the Sicily channel, during years 2004-2008, are used to identify the influence of ship emissions on aerosol particles in the Central Mediterranean. Evidence of ship emissions influence is found in 17% of the daily samples. Aerosol samples influenced by ships are characterized by elevated Ni and V soluble fraction (about 80% for aerosol from ships, versus about 40 % for crustal particles), high V and Ni to Si ratios, and values of Vsol>6 ng m-3. Back trajectories analysis on the selected events show that air masses prevalently come from the Sicily channel, where an intense ship traffic occurs. Vsol, Nisol, and non-sea salt SO42- (nssSO42-) show a marked seasonal behaviour, with an evident summer maximum. Such a pattern can be explained by several processes: (i) increased photochemical activity in summer, leading to a faster production of secondary aerosols, mainly nssSO42-, from the oxidation of SO2 in the ship plume; (ii) stronger marine boundary layer (MBL) stability in summer, leading to higher concentration of emitted compounds in the lowest atmospheric layers; (iii) more frequent meteorological conditions leading to consecutive days with trajectories from the Sicily channel in summer. A very intense event in spring 2008 was studied in detail, also using size segregated chemical measurements. These data show that elements arising from heavy oil combustion (V, Ni, Al, Fe) are distributed in the sub-micrometric fraction of the aerosol, and the metals are present as free metals, carbonates, oxides hydrates or labile complex with organic ligands, so that they are dissolved in mild condition (HNO3, pH1.5). Data suggest a characteristic nssSO42-/V ratio in the range 200-400 for ship emission aerosols in summer at Lampedusa. By using the value of 200 a lower limit for the ship contribution to total sulphates is estimated. Ship emissions account, as a summer average, at least for 1

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. Evaluation of anticoagulant activity of two algal polysaccharides.

    PubMed

    Faggio, C; Pagano, M; Dottore, A; Genovese, G; Morabito, M

    2016-09-01

    Marine algae are important sources of phycocolloids like agar, carrageenans and alginates used in industrial applications. Algal polysaccharides have emerged as an important class of bioactive products showing interesting properties. The aim of our study was to evaluate the potential uses as anticoagulant drugs of algal sulphate polysaccharides extracted from Ulva fasciata (Chlorophyta) and Agardhiella subulata (Rhodophyta) collected in Ganzirri Lake (Cape Peloro Lagoon, north-eastern Sicily, Italy). Toxicity of algal extracts through trypan blue test and anticoagulant action measured by activated partial thromboplastin time (APTT), prothrombin time (PT) test has been evaluated. Algal extracts showed to prolong the PT and APTT during the coagulation cascade and to avoid the blood coagulation of samples. Furthermore, the algal extracts lack toxic effects towards cellular metabolism and their productions are relatively at low cost. This permits to consider the algae as the biological source of the future. PMID:26360806

  11. 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.

  12. [The return of anthrax. From bioterrorism to the zoonotic cluster of Sciacca district].

    PubMed

    Scarlata, Francesco; Colletti, Pietro; Bonura, Silvia; Trizzino, Marcello; Giordano, Salvatore; Titone, Lucina

    2010-06-01

    Anthrax is a disease caused by Bacillus anthracis which affects herbivorous animals. Humans acquire the disease incidentally by exposure to infected animals, animal products or spores on soil. The infection is still endemic in many regions in developing countries. In Italy animal clusters are very rare and human cases are exceptional. Bacillus anthrax is also a potential source for acts of bioterrorism. In the natural human infection, cutaneous anthrax is the most widespread, while the other two, pulmonary and gastrointestinal anthrax, are very rare forms. We describe the first case of human anthrax occurring in western Sicily in the last twenty years. The cutaneous lesion healed without significant scarring after antibiotic treatment with tigecycline, rifampin and ciprofloxacin. Following our diagnosis, a cluster of bovine anthrax was detected in the district of Sciacca, causing the death of 13 animals. A larger outbreak was avoided by the vaccination of over 5000 herbivores. PMID:20610930

  13. Continuity of healthcare for headache patients: a problem of communication between headache specialists and general practitioners.

    PubMed

    La Pegna, Giovanni Battista; Brighina, Filippo; Saporito, Vincenzo; Aloisio, Antonina; Morreale, Calgero; D'Agati, Alfio

    2005-09-01

    The continuous care of headache patients, from headache centres to general practice, is a managerial problem that is still unsolved in Italy. In fact, if on the one hand patients do not usually go to headache centres because of poor information, on the other hand, if they do, they do not find their general practitioner (GP) sufficiently prepared to continue the management. In Sicily we have formed a dense network of headache centres that we will try to link on the Internet to deal with the problem of poor patients information and poor specialist consultation. We also have faced the problem of the continuous care, trying to overcome "the difficulties of communication between specialists, GPs and patients" and "the difficulties of GPs in diagnostic work", by simple instruments like the Italian version of ID-Migraine, a simple three-item questionnaire. PMID:16362696

  14. 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 δ(202)Hg (offset of +2.2‰ with respect to the consumed fish) and Δ(199)Hg, both associated to fish consumption. PMID:26074159

  15. Nanodiamond finding in the hyblean shallow mantle xenoliths.

    PubMed

    Simakov, S K; Kouchi, A; Mel'nik, N N; Scribano, V; Kimura, Y; Hama, T; Suzuki, N; Saito, H; Yoshizawa, T

    2015-01-01

    Most of Earth's diamonds are connected with deep-seated mantle rocks; however, in recent years, μm-sized diamonds have been found in shallower metamorphic rocks, and the process of shallow-seated diamond formation has become a hotly debated topic. Nanodiamonds occur mainly in chondrite meteorites associated with organic matter and water. They can be synthesized in the stability field of graphite from organic compounds under hydrothermal conditions. Similar physicochemical conditions occur in serpentinite-hosted hydrothermal systems. Herein, we report the first finding of nanodiamonds, primarily of 6 and 10 nm, in Hyblean asphaltene-bearing serpentinite xenoliths (Sicily, Italy). The discovery was made by electron microscopy observations coupled with Raman spectroscopy analyses. The finding reveals new aspects of carbon speciation and diamond formation in shallow crustal settings. Nanodiamonds can grow during the hydrothermal alteration of ultramafic rocks, as well as during the lithogenesis of sediments bearing organic matter. PMID:26030133

  16. Moon shadow observation with ANTARES and KM3NeT neutrino telescope

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sanguineti, Matteo; Distefano, Carla

    2016-04-01

    The ANTARES detector is the largest neutrino telescope currently in operation in the Northern Hemisphere. The search for point-like neutrino sources is one of the main goals of ANTARES, so a reliable way to evaluate the detector pointing performance is needed. The Moon shadow measurement, i.e. the deficit in the atmospheric muon flux in the direction of the Moon induced by absorption of cosmic rays, allows the estimation of the angular resolution and the pointing accuracy. The 2007-2012 ANTARES data set shows a significance of Moon shadowing around 3σ. This is the first measurement of the ANTARES angular resolution and absolute pointing for atmospheric muons using a celestial calibration source. The same approach has been used to estimate also the expected Moon shadow significance with the KM3NeT-ARCA detector, the future cubic kilometre scale detector that will be installed in Sicily.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. The tectonic puzzle of the Messina area (Southern Italy): Insights from new seismic reflection data

    PubMed Central

    Doglioni, Carlo; Ligi, Marco; Scrocca, Davide; Bigi, Sabina; Bortoluzzi, Giovanni; Carminati, Eugenio; Cuffaro, Marco; D'Oriano, Filippo; Forleo, Vittoria; Muccini, Filippo; Riguzzi, Federica

    2012-01-01

    The Messina Strait, that separates peninsular Italy from Sicily, is one of the most seismically active areas of the Mediterranean. The structure and seismotectonic setting of the region are poorly understood, although the area is highly populated and important infrastructures are planned there. New seismic reflection data have identified a number of faults, as well as a crustal scale NE-trending anticline few km north of the strait. These features are interpreted as due to active right-lateral transpression along the north-eastern Sicilian offshore, coexisting with extensional and right-lateral transtensional tectonics in the southern Messina Strait. This complex tectonic network appears to be controlled by independent and overlapping tectonic settings, due to the presence of a diffuse transfer zone between the SE-ward retreating Calabria subduction zone relative to slab advance in the western Sicilian side. PMID:23240075

  1. Lost tsunami

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pareschi, Maria Teresa; Boschi, Enzo; Favalli, Massimiliano

    2006-11-01

    Numerical simulations support the occurrence of a catastrophic tsunami impacting all of the eastern Mediterranean in early Holocene. The tsunami was triggered by a debris avalanche from Mt. Etna (Sicily, Italy) which entered the Ionian Sea in the order of minutes. Simulations show that the resulting tsunami waves were able to destabilize soft marine sediments across the Ionian Sea floor. This generated the well-known, sporadically located, ``homogenite'' deposits of the Ionian Sea, and the widespread megaturbidite deposits of the Ionian and Sirte Abyssal Plains. It is possible that, ~8 ka B.P., the Neolithic village of Atlit-Yam (Israel) was abandoned because of impact by the same Etna tsunami. Two other Pleistocenic megaturbidite deposits of the Ionian Sea can be explained by previous sector collapses from the Etna area.

  2. Spatially resolved SO2 flux emissions from Mt Etna

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    D'Aleo, R.; Bitetto, M.; Delle Donne, D.; Tamburello, G.; Battaglia, A.; Coltelli, M.; Patanè, D.; Prestifilippo, M.; Sciotto, M.; Aiuppa, A.

    2016-07-01

    We report on a systematic record of SO2 flux emissions from individual vents of Etna volcano (Sicily), which we obtained using a permanent UV camera network. Observations were carried out in summer 2014, a period encompassing two eruptive episodes of the New South East Crater (NSEC) and a fissure-fed eruption in the upper Valle del Bove. We demonstrate that our vent-resolved SO2 flux time series allow capturing shifts in activity from one vent to another and contribute to our understanding of Etna's shallow plumbing system structure. We find that the fissure eruption contributed ~50,000 t of SO2 or ~30% of the SO2 emitted by the volcano during the 5 July to 10 August eruptive interval. Activity from this eruptive vent gradually vanished on 10 August, marking a switch of degassing toward the NSEC. Onset of degassing at the NSEC was a precursory to explosive paroxysmal activity on 11-15 August.

  3. 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.

  4. Assessment of mercury exposure in human populations: A status report from Augusta Bay (southern Italy).

    PubMed

    Bonsignore, Maria; Andolfi, Nunzia; Barra, Marco; Madeddu, Anselmo; Tisano, Francesco; Ingallinella, Vincenzo; Castorina, Maria; Sprovieri, Mario

    2016-10-01

    Here we investigate mercury concentrations in the blood (HgB), urine (HgU) and human hair (HgH) of 224 individuals from a coastal area (Eastern Sicily, SE Italy) strongly affected by Hg contamination from one of the largest chlor-alkali plants in Europe. The factors affecting the distribution of Hg and the extent of the exposure of individuals have been explored with a multidisciplinary approach. Multiple regression analyses, together with evidence of high levels of HgB (exceeding the HBMI recommended levels in 50% of cases) and HgH (exceeding the EPA reference dose in 70% of cases), primarily suggest that the consumption of local fish is the main source of Hg for humans. no. significant exposure to inorganic mercury was identified. Toxicokinetic calculations produced a provisional tolerable weekly intake (PTWI) level that, in most cases, exceeds international recommendations, particularly for residents in the studied area. PMID:26806294

  5. 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

  6. Trimethoxysilylpolymethacrylate as new material for stone conservation. Porosimetric and colorimetric investigations.

    PubMed

    Cardiano, Paola; Sergi, Sergio; Lo Schiavo, Sandra; Piraino, Pasquale

    2002-01-01

    Aimed to obtain new materials for the conservation of stone substrates, we report here on the synthesis of a polymer which has been obtained by inducing polymerization on a methacrylate monomer functionalized by alchoxysilane groups. Two lithotypes, the Comiso calcarenite and Mistretta quartzite, stones largely used in artworks of north-eastern Sicily, were treated with the above polymer and its conserving efficacy evaluated in terms of porosimetric features, hydric properties and appearance. The collected data were compared to those provided, under the same experimental conditions, by an ethylmethacrylate/methylmethacrylate copolymer and an alkylalchoxysilane, products widely employed in the protection of stones. Experiments aimed to test the durability of the above polymer against UV artificial ageing are also reported. PMID:12185747

  7. A preliminary evaluation of ERTS-1 images on the volcanic areas of Southern Italy

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cassinis, R.; Lechi, G. M.

    1973-01-01

    The test site selected for the investigation covers nearly all the regions of active and quiescent volcanism in southern Italy, i.e. the eastern part of the island of Sicily, the Aeolian Islands and the area of Naples. The three active European volcanoes (Etna, Stromboli and Vesuvius) are included. The investigation is in the frame of a program for the surveillance of active volcanoes by geophysical (including remote sensing thermal methods) and geochemical methods. By the multispectral analysis of ERTS-1 data it is intended to study the spectral behavior of the volcanic materials as well as the major geological lineaments with special reference to those associated with the volcanic region. Secondary objectives are also the determination of the hydrographic network seasonal behavior and the relationship between the vegetation cover and the different type of soils and rocks.

  8. Cystic hydatidosis: a rare case of spine localization.

    PubMed

    Scarlata, Francesco; Giordano, Salvatore; Saporito, Laura; Marasa, Lorenzo; Li Pani, Giuseppe; Odierna, Antonio; Scaglione, Vincenzo; Di Carlo, Paola; Romano, Amelia

    2011-03-01

    Cystic hydatidosis is a zoonosis endemic both to Sicily and other Mediterranean areas. Generally, Echinococcus granulosus tapeworms develop in the liver, lung and less frequently in the peritoneum, spleen or kidney. We present a rare case of spinal hydatid disease. The patient was a 38-year-old housewife with a vertebral echinococcosis revealed by acute paraplegia of the legs. Medical treatment with albendazole and surgical intervention improved the clinical symptoms. This case is emblematic both for the unusual localization and for the need of a multidisciplinary approach for diagnosing and monitoring suspected hydatid lesions. Patients with suspected abdominal or lung echinococcosis should also be investigated for other localizations such as the brain, spine and heart. Furthermore, in endemic areas hydatidosis must be suspected in the presence of lesions occupying space in these districts. PMID:21471745

  9. Roman coloured and opaque glass: a chemical and spectroscopic study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arletti, R.; Dalconi, M. C.; Quartieri, S.; Triscari, M.; Vezzalini, G.

    2006-05-01

    This work reports the results of an archaeometrical investigation of opaque Roman glass and is mainly focussed on the role of configuration and oxidation state of copper on the colour and opacity of red and green opaque finds (mosaic tesserae, game counters, and glass artefacts) from Sicily and Pompeii excavations. The glass fragments were characterised by EMPA, SEM-EDS, TEM, and XRPD analyses and the copper local environment was investigated using X-ray absorption spectroscopy. The analyses of high-resolution Cu-K edge XANES and EXAFS spectra suggest that, in red samples, copper is present as monovalent cations coordinated to the oxygen atoms of the glass framework, accompanied by metallic clusters. In green samples all the copper cations are incorporated in the glass matrix.

  10. A possible bridge between Adria and Africa: New palaeobiogeographic and stratigraphic constraints on the Mesozoic palaeogeography of the Central Mediterranean area

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zarcone, Giuseppe; Petti, Fabio M.; Cillari, Azzurra; Di Stefano, Pietro; Guzzetta, Dario; Nicosia, Umberto

    2010-12-01

    Dinosaur records in central and southern Italy testify to the occurrence of a diverse dinosaur fauna on the Apennine and Apulian carbonate platforms at least from the Tithonian to the Santonian. Most of the palaeogeographic reconstructions show these domains as topographically isolated areas, separated by deep pelagic basins and far from emerged continental areas. Thus, they hardly justify the long-lasting occurrence of these terrestrial vertebrates. Recent studies on the Mesozoic Panormide Carbonate Platform (western Sicily) yielded important stratigraphical and palaeontological data, which provide evidence for a convincing explanation of this unresolved problem. The recent discovery of a theropod bone in mid-Cretaceous peritidal levels of the Panormide Platform as well as the anomalous subsidence of this palaeogeographic domain, strongly support the existence of a crustal sector (filtering bridge) which connected Africa to Adria.

  11. Attitude Issues on the Huygens Probe: Balloon Dropped Mock up Role in Determining Reconstruction Strategies During Descent in Lower Atmosphere

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bettanini, C.; Angrilli, F.

    2005-01-01

    As part of the collaboration with Italian Space Agency on HASI instrument for Huygens mission, University of Padova has been conducting since 2001 scientific activity on Stratospheric Balloon Launches from the Trapani base in Sicily. The most recent boomerang flight in July 2003 has successfully flown a mock up of the Huygens probe hosting spares of flight scientific units and extra housekeeping and scientific sensors on a parachuted descent from 33 kilometre altitude. This work presents the studies conducted on attitude reconstruction of the probe, as well as the utilisation of iterative extended Kalman filtering in investigating vanes induced spin rate and in providing a baseline for the performance evaluation of Huygens accelerometers operations. Finally some possible contributions on the reconstruction of the lower part of Titan descent for Huygens probe are suggested based on the confrontation of sensor data for 2003 flight.

  12. The tectonic puzzle of the Messina area (Southern Italy): insights from new seismic reflection data.

    PubMed

    Doglioni, Carlo; Ligi, Marco; Scrocca, Davide; Bigi, Sabina; Bortoluzzi, Giovanni; Carminati, Eugenio; Cuffaro, Marco; D'Oriano, Filippo; Forleo, Vittoria; Muccini, Filippo; Riguzzi, Federica

    2012-01-01

    The Messina Strait, that separates peninsular Italy from Sicily, is one of the most seismically active areas of the Mediterranean. The structure and seismotectonic setting of the region are poorly understood, although the area is highly populated and important infrastructures are planned there. New seismic reflection data have identified a number of faults, as well as a crustal scale NE-trending anticline few km north of the strait. These features are interpreted as due to active right-lateral transpression along the north-eastern Sicilian offshore, coexisting with extensional and right-lateral transtensional tectonics in the southern Messina Strait. This complex tectonic network appears to be controlled by independent and overlapping tectonic settings, due to the presence of a diffuse transfer zone between the SE-ward retreating Calabria subduction zone relative to slab advance in the western Sicilian side. PMID:23240075

  13. Temples of Malta

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ventura, Frank; Hoskin, Michael

    The unique Neolithic temples of Malta have a distinctive orientation toward the range SE-SSW (except for the Mnajdra South Temple which faces E). However, the motive for this preferred direction is not clear. If the motive was astronomical, then the builders could have targeted the bright stars of the Southern Cross and Centaurus. If the opposite direction is taken, then the target could have been the temple builders' ancestral home in Sicily and the surrounding islands. The orientation of the Mnajdra South Temple is remarkable and suggests an alignment with either sunrise midway between the solstices or the heliacal rising of the Pleiades around 3000 BC. The evidence for these alternatives is discussed.

  14. Characterization of mandarin (Citrus deliciosa Ten.) essential oil. Determination of volatiles, non-volatiles, physico-chemical indices and enantiomeric ratios.

    PubMed

    Bonaccorsi, Ivana; Dugo, Paola; Trozzi, Alessandra; Cotroneo, Antonella; Dugo, Giovanni

    2009-11-01

    An investigation of 27 samples of mandarin essential oils (Citrus deliciosa Tenore), industrially produced in Sicily during the 2007-2008 season, was performed to determine the composition of the volatile fraction by GC/FID and GC/MS-LRI, the enantiomeric distribution of some monoterpene hydrocarbons and linalol by Es-GC, the non-volatile oxygen heterocyclic components by RP-HPLC/PDA and the physico-chemical indices (relative density, refractive index, optical rotation, residue on evaporation, and UV spectroscopic CD value). This study up-dates the information available in the literature on Sicilian mandarin (C. deliciosa Ten.) essential oils, and provides information on the composition and quality parameters for the evaluation of this product. PMID:19967998

  15. Recent advances in offshore pipeline technology

    SciTech Connect

    Bruschi, R.; Vitali, L.

    1994-12-31

    Since the pioneering construction of the TRANSMED pipeline system across the Sicily Channel in the early 80`s, offshore pipeline technology has been progressing towards more and more difficult environments. Now the projects envisaged for the 90`s are venturing far beyond the challenges of the recent past. The scope of this paper is to present the recent research efforts aimed at tackling the main design aspects of the new challenges. Particular attention will be given to the experiences and achievements on the last few years in transmission pipelines across the European Continental Shelf, e.g. in the Central and Southern North Sea and across the Mediterranean Sea. Technologies, tools and purpose developed criteria will be discussed. The performance of current operating pipeline systems will be reviewed and incentives to rationalize design criteria and guidelines will be illustrated.

  16. Description of three new troglobiontic species of Cybaeodes (Araneae, Liocranidae) endemic to the Iberian Peninsula.

    PubMed

    Ribera, Carles; De Mas, Eva

    2015-01-01

    Three new troglobiontic species of the spider genus Cybaeodes Simon endemic to caves in the southeastern Iberian Peninsula are described and illustrated: Cybaeodes indalo sp. n. from Almería, C. dosaguas sp. n. from València and C. magnus sp. n. from Alacant. The new species confirm the presence of Cybaeodes on the Iberian Peninsula and its wide distribution throughout the Western Mediterranean including Algeria, Tunisia, Italy, France, Spain and the islands of Sardinia, Sicily and Mallorca. A record of C. liocraninus (Simon), from an Iberian cave was probably based on misidentified specimens of C. magnus sp. n. C. liocraninus is known only from Algeria and should be removed from lists of the Iberian fauna. In addition, the three new species are clear candidates for protection: they have highly restricted ranges and show a high degree of adaptation to the subterranean environment. PMID:26249078

  17. 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

  18. Status of NEMO Project

    SciTech Connect

    Viola, S.

    2010-03-01

    The R and D activities of the NEMO Collaboration for the construction of a km{sup 3} scale underwater neutrino telescope are described. Results from about 10 years of site seeking and monitoring activities have demonstrated that a wide abyssal plain, about 80 km off-shore Capo Passero (Sicily), is the optimal site for the installation of the telescope. With the pilot project NEMO Phase-1, the NEMO Collaboration realized and installed at 2000 m depth at the underwater Test Site of the Laboratori Nazionali del Sud a fully equipped deep-sea facility to test prototypes and develop new technologies for a km{sup 3} neutrino telescope. The realization of an underwater infrastructure at 3500 m on the Capo Passero site is in progress (NEMO Phase-2). It will enable the validation of the technological solutions proposed at depths needed for the final km{sup 3} detector and a long term monitoring of the selected site.

  19. Abyssal undular vortices in the Eastern Mediterranean basin.

    PubMed

    Rubino, A; Falcini, F; Zanchettin, D; Bouche, V; Salusti, E; Bensi, M; Riccobene, G; De Bonis, G; Masullo, R; Simeone, F; Piattelli, P; Sapienza, P; Russo, S; Platania, G; Sedita, M; Reina, P; Avolio, R; Randazzo, N; Hainbucher, D; Capone, A

    2012-01-01

    Abyssal temperature and velocity observations performed within the framework of the Neutrino Mediterranean Observatory, a project devoted to constructing a km(3)-scale underwater telescope for the detection of high-energy cosmic neutrinos, demonstrate cross-fertilization between subnuclear physics and experimental oceanography. Here we use data collected south of Sicily in the Ionian abyssal plain of the Eastern Mediterranean (EM) basin to show for the first time that abyssal vortices exist in the EM, at depths exceeding 2,500 m. The eddies consist of chains of near-inertially pulsating mesoscale cyclones/anticyclones. They are embedded in an abyssal current flowing towards North-Northwest. The paucity of existing data does not allow for an unambiguous determination of the vortex origin. A local generation mechanism seems probable, but a remote genesis cannot be excluded a priori. The presence of such eddies adds further complexity to the discussion of structure and evolution of water masses in the EM. PMID:22588296

  20. 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.

  1. Characterisation of lipid fraction of marine macroalgae by means of chromatography techniques coupled to mass spectrometry.

    PubMed

    Ragonese, Carla; Tedone, Laura; Beccaria, Marco; Torre, Germana; Cichello, Filomena; Cacciola, Francesco; Dugo, Paola; Mondello, Luigi

    2014-02-15

    In this work the characterisation of the lipid fraction of several species of marine macro algae gathered along the eastern coast of Sicily is reported. Two species of green marine algae (Chloropyceae), two species of red marine algae (Rhodophyceae) and four species of brown marine algae (Pheophyceae) were evaluated in terms of fatty acids, triacylglycerols, pigments and phospholipids profile. Advanced analytical techniques were employed to fully characterise the lipid profile of these Mediterranean seaweeds, such as GC-MS coupled to a novel mass spectra database supported by the simultaneous use of linear retention index (LRI) for the identification of fatty acid profile; LC-MS was employed for the identification of triacylglycerols (TAGs), carotenoids and phospholipids; the determination of accurate mass was carried out on carotenoids and phospholipids. Quantitative data are reported on fatty acids and triacylglycerols as relative percentage of total fraction. PMID:24128566

  2. [Skeleton or mummy: practices and structures for secondary burial in southern Italy in modern and contemporary age].

    PubMed

    Fornaciari, Antonio

    2013-01-01

    The ancient concepts of death as duration and the practices of secondary burial,first analysed by Robert Hertz, still survive in many areas of southern Italy. According to these beliefs death was perceived not as a sudden event, but as a long-lasting process, during which the deceased person had to go through a transitory phase, passing from one state of existence to another. Recent archeological research documents the persistence of secondary burial rites in Southern Italy during the Modern Age. A survey conducted in the province of Messina in Eastern Sicily has identified two surviving architectural structures appointed for the treatment of the bodies: the 'sitting colatoio' aimed at favoring the skeletonisation and the 'horizontal colatoio' used to obtain mummification by dehydration. Both these structures controlled the corpse's decay and transformed the body in a stable and durable simulacra of the dead. PMID:25807706

  3. [The necklace from the 660 grave in Megara Iblea].

    PubMed

    Verger, Stéphane

    2011-01-01

    The article analyzes the 660 grave in Megara Iblea, a Greek colony in Sicily, in which a woman has been buried. On her breast a magnificent neckless was found, made of amulets recalling the travel of the sun during the summer solstice. Some objects allude to solar cults (a cock; round pendants), others seem to came from Gallia and Macedonia (summer far West and East), others recall archeological contexts such as tombs in Marvinci, in the Vardar Valley, and allude to relations with female practices of medicine and magic and to female roles characterized by extraordinary powers, due to being descendants of the Sun god. These solar symbols, joint with the discovery of many little objects, typical of children burials, allow to hypotize a relation with the cult of Mater Matuta and seem to point out a difficult or anomalous pregnancy or birth. PMID:21941988

  4. Winter convective precipitation variability in southeastern Europe and its connection to middle tropospheric circulation for the 60-year period, 1950-2009

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lolis, Christos J.

    2012-01-01

    The inter-annual variability of winter convective precipitation rate (CPR) in southeastern Europe and its connection to 500 hPa geopotential height (GH) is examined for the period 1950-2009 by using factor analysis and canonical correlation analysis. Two GH centers of action for CPR are found. The first one is located over Italy and it is associated with the typical winter depression activity regime over the Mediterranean Sea, controlling CPR in southern Italy, the southern Balkans, west Asia Minor, and the adjacent seas. The second one is located over the British Isles and it is associated with blocking activity over western Europe being responsible for a CPR seesaw teleconnection between (1) northern Italy, the Alps and the northwestern Balkans and (2) the south central Mediterranean Sea, south of Sicily. A CPR decrease in most of the areas under study and a CPR increase in the south central Mediterranean Sea are found.

  5. 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

  6. [Malignant pleural mesothelioma in housewives in the province of Catania].

    PubMed

    Proietti, Lidia; Migliore, Marcello; Polosa, Riccardo; Comba, Pietro; Circo, Cristina; Di Maria, Giuseppe U

    2004-01-01

    Our study reports pleural malignant mesothelioma (PMM) in seven female patients. All patients were resident in Catania area (Sicily), the median age was 69.2 years and ranged from 59 to 81 years. They were housewife. Their anamnesis was negative for both direct and indirect previous exposure to asbestos; the partners of all patients were also not exposed to asbestos. The exposure to X-rays was also excluded for these patients. Different pathogenetic mechanisms for the appearance of PMM in these patients can be hypothesized, for example, SV40 infection and genetic susceptibility; a minimal domestic exposure to asbestos can be not excluded. Therefore, further studies in a more large number of subjects are necessary to determine whether one or all of these hypothetic pathogenetic mechanisms are more significant for the develop of PMM. PMID:15303546

  7. Lake herring (Coregonus artedi) and rainbow smelt (Osmerus mordax) diets in western Lake Superior

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Johnson, Timothy B.; Brown, William P.; Corry, Timothy D.; Hoff, Michael H.; Scharold, Jill V.; Trebitz, Anett S.

    2004-01-01

    We describe the diets of lake herring (Coregonus artedi) and rainbow smelt (Osmerus mordax) in western Lake Superior during the summers of 1996 and 1997. Both species consumed predominantly (> 71% by number) zooplankton, showing a preference for larger taxa. Diet overlap between the two species was low (Schoener's index = 0.42). Mysis was most important in rainbow smelt diets, whereas Diaptomus sicilis was most important in lake herring diets. Rainbow smelt selected larger taxa, and larger individuals within a taxon when compared to lake herring, although rainbow smelt tended to be smaller fish. Fish diets have changed relative to previous studies and may be reflecting changes in the zooplankton community. Continued changes in the fish and zooplankton community will alter predatorprey and energetic pathways, ultimately affecting growth and production of the ecosystem.

  8. Life conditions of Sicilian centenarians.

    PubMed

    Receputo, G; Rapisarda, R; Mazzoleni, G; Fornaro, D; Tomasello, F B; Di Stefano, S; Savia, S; Cilmi, V; Malacuarnera, M

    1996-01-01

    Aim of the study was at furnishing a description of the socio-economic reality of Sicilian centenarians. Informations were taken from the records of Italian Multicentric Study on Centenarians. Randomly selected 28 centenarians (8 males, 20 females), in the age range 100-108 years from Eastern Sicily were examined. The following average socioeconomic profile of the centenarians was established: they are widows or widowers with 4 children; have primary education, mediocre socioeconomic conditions, have worked in the fields or had been housewives; their hobbies were before gardening or embroidering and sewing and now is watching TV; they live in their own salubrious 4 roomed house in small center in the hills. These observations reveal that the social and intellectual quality of life is better in cases of centenarian subjects living at home, in their family environment, surrounded by their children and grandchildren as they receive greater affection and physical care than those living in old peoples' homes. PMID:18653069

  9. Genetic and phytochemical difference between some Indian and Italian plants of Withania somnifera (L.) Dunal.

    PubMed

    Scartezzini, P; Antognoni, F; Conte, L; Maxia, A; Troìa, A; Poli, F

    2007-08-01

    The geographical distribution of Withania somnifera (L.) Dunal is quite wide. However, in Italy, this species is very rare and grows spontaneously only in Sicily and in Sardinia. The PCR-RAPD technique has been utilized in this work to determine the genetic relationship among Sicilian, Sardinian and Indian samples and the HPLC analysis of whitaferin A was used as a marker to evaluate the phytochemical differences. The genetic difference between Indian and Sicilian plants of W. somnifera turned out to be smaller than that between Indian and Sardinian plants of this species. The phytochemical analysis as well showed that the Sardinian specimen strongly differed from the Indian and Sicilian ones in its contents of withaferin A. Our results seem to confirm the hypothesis that the Italian populations of this species may not be indigenous but naturalised. Due to the high withaferin A content of the Sardinian samples, these plants could be used as a source for pharmaceutical purposes. PMID:17680504

  10. Lazzaro Spallanzani and fossils: from a naturalist's travel observations to the teaching of natural history.

    PubMed

    Prestes, Maria Elice Brzezinski; Faria, Frederico Felipe de Almeida

    2011-12-01

    This article analyzes opinions expressed by Italian naturalist Lazzaro Spallanzani on the origin and constitution of fossils on three of his travels, which punctuated three courses in mineralogy he gave in the natural history discipline at the University of Pavia. These trips to Portovenere, the island of Cerigo and the Two Sicilies enabled him to address important topics, such as the discovery of fossilized shells inside volcanic rocks, the discovery of human fossils, and the existence of fossils of species that had 'been lost', incorporating knowledge being developed at the time that drew on mineral chemistry. His concern with fossils is demonstrative of how Spallanzani, in true eighteenth century fashion, integrated studies from the three kingdoms of nature. PMID:22281956

  11. 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).