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Sample records for sicily

  1. 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

  2. Cortical Dynamics, Sicily, Nov 2003 1 Dynamics of storage and

    E-print Network

    Graham, Bruce

    #12;3 Cortical Dynamics, Sicily, Nov 2003 13 Dynamics of Operation · Gamma rhythm (30-80Hz) ­ circuit & Finkel, Artif. Intell. Med. 13:99-121, 1998 Cortical Dynamics, Sicily, Nov 2003 17 Network Construction1 Cortical Dynamics, Sicily, Nov 2003 1 Dynamics of storage and recall in associative memories What

  3. Cortical Dynamics, Sicily, Nov 2003 1 Dynamics of storage and

    E-print Network

    Graham, Bruce

    ­ recall mode ­ general control of network excitability #12;7 Cortical Dynamics, Sicily, Nov 2003 13 to a theta cycle Menschik & Finkel, Artif. Intell. Med. 13:99-121, 1998 #12;8 Cortical Dynamics, Sicily, Nov Cortical Dynamics, Sicily, Nov 2003 16 Autoassociative Example Menschik & Finkel, Artif. Intell. Med. 13

  4. Cortical Dynamics, Sicily, Nov 2003 1 Dynamics of storage and

    E-print Network

    Graham, Bruce

    ;7 Cortical Dynamics, Sicily, Nov 2003 13 Temporal Summation · Role for H current ­ high density in distal1 Cortical Dynamics, Sicily, Nov 2003 1 Dynamics of storage and recall in associative memories What of Computing Science & Mathematics University of Stirling, Scotland, U.K. Cortical Dynamics, Sicily, Nov 2003 2

  5. Coastal dynamics in western Sicily

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liguori, Vincenzo; Manno, Giorgio; Agate, Francesca

    2014-05-01

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

  6. 78 FR 14619 - Culturally Significant Objects Imported for Exhibition Determinations: “Sicily: Art and Invention...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-03-06

    ...DEPARTMENT OF STATE [Public Notice 8215...Determinations: ``Sicily: Art and Invention Between...the Department of State pertaining to the exhibit ``Sicily: Art and Invention Between...exhibition ``Sicily: Art and Invention Between...within the United States, are of...

  7. 77 FR 54647 - Culturally Significant Objects Imported for Exhibition Determinations: “Sicily: Art and Invention...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-09-05

    ...DEPARTMENT OF STATE [Public Notice 8010...Determinations: ``Sicily: Art and Invention Between...exhibition ``Sicily: Art and Invention Between...exhibition within the United States, are of cultural significance...the Cleveland Museum of Art in Cleveland, Ohio...

  8. Emergence and phylodynamics of Citrus tristeza virus in Sicily, Italy.

    PubMed

    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

  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. View of southerly portion of Island of Sicily

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1975-01-01

    A near vertical view of the most southerly portion of the Island of Sicily in the Mediterranean Sea, as photographed from the Apollo spacecraft in Earth orbit during the joint U.S.-USSR Apollo Soyuz Test Project (ASTP) mission. This view includes the towns of Gala, Pachino, Avela and Pozzalo. The photograph was taken at an altitude of 228 kilometers (141 statute miles).

  11. Cortical Dynamics, Sicily, Nov 2003 1 Dynamics of storage and

    E-print Network

    Graham, Bruce

    , Sicily, Nov 2003 4 Dynamics of Operation · Rhythms and animal behaviour · Rhythms = clock cycles, A, C, AHP, D ­ M, H Migliore & Shepherd, Nature Rev. Neurosci 3:362-370, 2002 CaT Na CaL CaN H A DR

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cassinis, R.; Lechi, G. M.; Tonelli, A. M. (principal investigators)

    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.

  13. 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

  14. Isoleucine epimerization ages of the dwarf elephants of Sicily

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Belluomini, Giorgio; Bada, Jeffrey L.

    1985-07-01

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

  15. Derivation of critical rainfall thresholds for landslide in Sicily

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

    Rainfall is the primary trigger of shallow landslides that can cause fatalities, damage to properties and economic losses in many areas of the world. For this reason, determining the rainfall amount/intensity responsible for landslide occurrence is important, and may contribute to mitigate the related risk and save lives. Efforts have been made in different countries to investigate triggering conditions in order to define landslide-triggering rainfall thresholds. The rainfall thresholds are generally described by a functional relationship of power in terms of cumulated or intensity event rainfall-duration, whose parameters are estimated empirically from the analysis of historical rainfall events that triggered landslides. The aim of this paper is the derivation of critical rainfall thresholds for landslide occurrence in Sicily, southern Italy, by focusing particularly on the role of the antecedent wet conditions. The creation of the appropriate landslide-rainfall database likely represents one of main efforts in this type of analysis. For this work, historical landslide events occurred in Sicily from 1919 to 2001 were selected from the archive of the Sistema Informativo sulle Catastrofi Idrogeologiche, developed under the project Aree Vulnerabili Italiane. The corresponding triggering precipitations were screened from the raingauges network in Sicily, maintained by the Osservatorio delle Acque - Agenzia Regionale per i Rifiuti e le Acque. In particular, a detailed analysis was carried out to identify and reconstruct the hourly rainfall events that caused the selected landslides. A bootstrapping statistical technique has been used to determine the uncertainties associated with the threshold parameters. The rainfall thresholds at different exceedance probability levels, from 1% to 10%, were defined in terms of cumulated event rainfall, E, and rainfall duration, D. The role of rainfall prior to the damaging events was taken into account by including in the analysis the rainfall fallen 6, 15 and 30 days before each landslide. The antecedent rainfall turned out to be particularly important in triggering landslides. The rainfall thresholds obtained for the Sicily were compared with the regional curves proposed by various authors confirming a good agreement with these.

  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. 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.

  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. Spatial distribution of rainfall trends in Sicily (1921 2000)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cannarozzo, M.; Noto, L. V.; Viola, F.

    The feared global climate change could have important effects on various environmental variables including rainfall in many countries around the world. Changes in precipitation regime directly affect water resources management, agriculture, hydrology and ecosystems. For this reason it is important to investigate the changes in the spatial and temporal rainfall pattern in order to improve water management strategies. In this study a non-parametric statistical method (Mann-Kendall rank correlation method) is employed in order to verify the existence of trend in annual, seasonal and monthly rainfall and the distribution of the rainfall during the year. This test is applied to about 250 rain gauge stations in Sicily (Italy) after a series of procedures finalized to the estimation of missing records and to the verification of data consistency. In order to understand the regional pattern of precipitation in Sicily, the detected trends are spatially interpolated using spatial analysis techniques in a GIS environment. The results show the existence of a generalized negative trend for the entire region.

  20. 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 coastal units, in low-coastline and mountainous, with average rates of 29%. The main methods available today for the protection of coastlines in Sicily, are falling in the first approximation in hard (structural), and soft and soft, based not only on nutrition artificial beaches but also on interventions with low environmental impact as the reduction of losses sediments. The right approach is not only in stabilizing the various shores, but also in not induce or accelerate the erosion of the adjacent areas. Indeed this impact accompanies almost all the hard interventions achieved in past years. It is essential to carry out a verification of the effectiveness of the defence of the coast from erosion and structural interventions of nourishment in terms of impact on coastal marine and coastal environment. We started a series of experimental analysis based on the application of new techniques for relief based on remote sensing as the major techniques performed with satellite radar (SAR), measurements morph-altitude high resolution made with the laser system by plane (LIDAR) and precise measurements on the behaviour of works and river mouths with intelligences cameras. The most dominant climate change involve the precipitation and temperature. Temperature is particularly important in snow-dominated basins and in coastal areas, the latter due to the impact of temperature on sea level. Moreover we must say that (as mentioned in 4th Report IPCC) the shores are projected to be exposed to increasing risks, including coastal erosion, due to climate change and sea level rise. Infrastructure in coastal areas is vulnerable to damage from sea-level rise, flooding, and other storms. This effect will be exacerbated by increasing human-induced pressures on coastal areas. Keywords: erosion, shores, coastal defend, monitoring.

  1. Drop Size Distribution analysis in Sicily via optical disdrometer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schiera, R.; Cancelliere, A.

    2009-04-01

    Knowledge of drop size distribution of rainfall is fundamental for rain measurement through meteorological radars. In the paper, preliminary results related to the analysis of drop size distributions obtained through an optical disdrometer in Sicily are presented. In particular, observed drop size distributions sampled at 1 minute have been analyzed to calculate the main parameters of Ulbrich probability distribution. Different estimation methods have been applied, by considering separately each minute of observation or by pooling different observations with rainfall intensities falling within a given class. Goodness of fit of Ulbrich distribution has been assessed by means of statistical tests. The results indicate that the theoretical distribution appear to fit well the experimental values. Furthermore, the terminal velocities of the drops have also been investigated, and the resulting couples of values (diameter, velocity) have been compared with the analytical expression of Atlas et al. (1973), which also appears to fit them. Finally, an analysis of the relationship between the parameters of the Ulbrich distribution with the intensity of precipitation is presented.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

    Background Environmental factors, such as plants and soil, may influence Kaposi sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) replication or immune responses. However, the relationship of such exposures to KSHV seroprevalence has not been established. Methods In 1154 randomly sampled adults (aged 32–92) throughout Sicily, KSHV antibodies were detected with four assays and a conservative algorithm. Seroprevalence was re-weighted to the population. Logistic regression was used to estimate associations of seroprevalence with interview data, including contact with 20 specific plants. Results KSHV seroprevalence was 8.5%, including 5.3% among men and 11.5% among women (P=0.22). In multivariate models, seroprevalence was consistently higher with residence in a smaller community during childhood (Ptrend?0.03) and working with plants/soil during adulthood (odds ratio?2.73). In such models, seroprevalence was higher with exposure to one plant (Hieracium, odds ratio?2.8), but it was lower with three others (Acanthus mollis, Taraxacum officinalis, and Trigonella foenum-graecum) and with cumulative exposure to all 20 plants (Ptrend=0.03). Other demographic, household, and water contact variables were unrelated to seroprevalence. Conclusions KSHV seroprevalence appears to be increased by contact with soil and to vary with certain plants. Corroboration and investigation of possible effects of soil and plant constituents on KSHV regulation and immune responses are needed. PMID:19777527

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-07-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-05-01

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

  5. 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...

  6. 78 FR 14619 - Culturally Significant Objects Imported for Exhibition Determinations: “Sicily: Art and Invention...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-03-06

    ... Rome'' ACTION: Notice, correction. SUMMARY: On September 5, 2012, notice was published on page 54647 of... 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...

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  8. WTE plant planned for Palermo (Sicily, Italy) (Translation of Italian text by Lucia Rigamonti)

    E-print Network

    Columbia University

    WTE plant planned for Palermo (Sicily, Italy) (Translation of Italian text by Lucia Rigamonti) The WTE plant is planned as an addition to the "Palermo system", to be located at the same site (Bellolampo) as a new sorting plant and the present landfill that receives the MSW produced in Palermo

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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 ?2- 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)/?]1/2 -d values indicate clustering while troughs of negative values stand for regularity for their corresponding distances d (L(d)=0 indicates complete spatial randomness). Spatial pattern of flank vents is investigated in order to model the spatial distribution of likely eruptive vents for the next event, basically in terms of relative probabilities. For this, a Gaussian kernel technique is used, and the L(d) function is adopted to generate an optimal smoothing bandwidth based on the clustering behaviour of the Etna volcano. A total of 154 vents (among which 36 are reconstructed), related to Etna flank activity of the last 4.0 ka, is used to model future vent opening. The investigated region covers an area of 850 km2, divided into 3400 squared cells (50*68, each of 0.25 km2 of area). Due to the uncertainty of the reconstructed vent position, a circular error zone (with radius equal to the uncertainty) is associated to these vents. For uniformity, an error zone is also associated to the known positions; then, after considering a regular grid spaced of 100 m, we are looking for points inside the relative error zone. This approach yields to the new concept of point-vents, and a total of 6886 of these are retrieved. The obtained results evidence significant probability of future flank vent opening along S and NE rifts, as well as in the Valle del Bove, with minor probability to the W rift. References Besag, J. (1977), Comment's on Ripley's paper, J. Royal Stat. Soc., B39 (2), 193-195. Ripley, B. D. (1976), The second-order analysis of stationary point process, J. Appl. Prob., 13, 255-266.

  12. 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.

  13. The last 7 millennia of vegetation and climate changes at Lago di Pergusa (central Sicily, Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sadori, L.; Ortu, E.; Peyron, O.; Zanchetta, G.; Vannière, B.; Desmet, M.; Magny, M.

    2013-04-01

    The aim of this study is to investigate climate changes and human activities under the lens of palynology. Based on a new high-resolution pollen sequence (PG2) from Lago di Pergusa (667 m a.s.l., central Sicily, Italy) covering the last 6700 yr, we propose a reconstruction of climate and landscape changes over the recent past in central Sicily. Compared to former studies from Lago di Pergusa (Sadori and Narcisi, 2001), this work provides a reconstruction of the evolution of vegetation and climate over the last millennia in central Sicily, indeed completing previous results with new data which is particularly detailed on the last 3000 yr. Joint actions of increasing dryness, climate oscillations, and human impact shaped the landscape of this privileged site. Lago di Pergusa, in fact, besides being the main inland lake of Sicily, is very sensitive to climate change and its territory was inhabited and exploited continuously since the prehistory. The lake sediments turned out to be a good observatory for the natural phenomena occurred in the last thousands of years. Results of the pollen-based study are integrated with changes in magnetic susceptibility and a tephra layer characterization. The tephra layer was shown to be related to the Sicanians' event, radiocarbon dated at 3055 ± 75 yr BP (Sadori and Narcisi, 2001). We performed palaeoclimate reconstructions by MAT and WA-PLS. Palaeoclimate reconstructions based on the core show important climate fluctuations throughout the Holocene. Climate reconstruction points out four phases of cooling and enhanced wetness in the last three millennia (2600-2000, 1650-1100, 850-550, 400-200 cal BP). This appears to be the evidence of local responses to global climate oscillations during the recent past.

  14. The last 7 millennia of vegetation and climate changes at Lago di Pergusa (central Sicily, Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sadori, L.; Ortu, E.; Peyron, O.; Zanchetta, G.; Vannière, B.; Desmet, M.; Magny, M.

    2013-08-01

    The aim of this study is to investigate climate changes and human activities under the lens of palynology. Based on a new high-resolution pollen sequence (PG2) from Lago di Pergusa (667 m a.s.l., central Sicily, Italy) covering the last 6700 yr, we propose a reconstruction of climate and landscape changes over the recent past in central Sicily. Compared to former studies from Lago di Pergusa (Sadori and Narcisi, 2001), this work provides a reconstruction of the evolution of vegetation and climate over the last millennia in central Sicily, indeed completing previous results with new pollen data, which is particularly detailed on the last 3000 yr. Joint actions of increasing dryness, climate oscillations, and human impact shaped the landscape of this privileged site. Lago di Pergusa, besides being the main inland lake of Sicily, is very sensitive to climate change and its territory was inhabited and exploited continuously since the Palaeolithic. The lake sediments turned out to be a good observatory for natural phenomena that occurred in the last thousands of years. Results of the pollen-based study are integrated with changes in magnetic susceptibility and a tephra layer characterization. The tephra layer was shown to be related to the Sicanians' event, radiocarbon dated at 3055 ± 75 yr BP (Sadori and Narcisi, 2001). We performed palaeoclimate reconstructions by MAT (Modern Analogues Technique) and WAPLS (Weighted Average Partial Least Square). Palaeoclimate reconstructions based on the core show important climate fluctuations throughout the Holocene. Climate reconstruction points out four phases of cooling and enhanced wetness in the last three millennia (2600-2000, 1650-1100, 850-550, 400-200 cal BP, corresponding to the periods between 650-50 BC, and 300-850, 1100-1400, 1550-1750 AD, respectively). This appears to be the evidence of local responses to global climate oscillations during the recent past.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-04-01

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

  16. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-05-01

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

  18. [The mummification in Sicily during the late Modern Age (XVIII-XIX century)].

    PubMed

    Fornaciari, Antonio; Giuffra, Valentina

    2006-01-01

    Sicily is one of the Italian regions richest in mummified corpses. In addition to the Capuchin Catacombs of Palermo, a true unicum for their exceptional number of individuals, several other mummies collections, dated back to the late Modern Age, are present in many churches, convents and funerary chapels. The Sicilian mummies are the result of a particular treatment, obtained by drying the body in favourable microclimatic conditions without evisceration, a method which permitted equally to achieve a good state of preservation. The mummification was an extremely diffuse phenomenon in Sicily during the 18th and 19th centuries, not only among the privileged classes, but also among the middle-class. Besides the "Cappuccini Catacombs" of Palermo, at present the sites of Sicilian mummies known in scientific literature are restricted to Comiso (Ragusa) and Savoca (Messina); up to now in fact this historical-biological heritage has not been properly surveyed. In this article we present the first results of a survey carried out in the Messina's province during July 2005. The research enabled us to investigate this cultural phenomenon, to document the architectural structures appointed to the mummification process and to enrich the knowledge about the presence of mummified bodies in eastern Sicily during the Modern Age. PMID:18175629

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-04-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    Due to their strategic geographic location between three different continents, Sicily and Southern Italy have long represented a major Mediterranean crossroad where different peoples and cultures came together over time. However, its multi-layered history of migration pathways and cultural exchanges, has made the reconstruction of its genetic history and population structure extremely controversial and widely debated. To address this debate, we surveyed the genetic variability of 326 accurately selected individuals from 8 different provinces of Sicily and Southern Italy, through a comprehensive evaluation of both Y-chromosome and mtDNA genomes. The main goal was to investigate the structuring of maternal and paternal genetic pools within Sicily and Southern Italy, and to examine their degrees of interaction with other Mediterranean populations. Our findings show high levels of within-population variability, coupled with the lack of significant genetic sub-structures both within Sicily, as well as between Sicily and Southern Italy. When Sicilian and Southern Italian populations were contextualized within the Euro-Mediterranean genetic space, we observed different historical dynamics for maternal and paternal inheritances. Y-chromosome results highlight a significant genetic differentiation between the North-Western and South-Eastern part of the Mediterranean, the Italian Peninsula occupying an intermediate position therein. In particular, Sicily and Southern Italy reveal a shared paternal genetic background with the Balkan Peninsula and the time estimates of main Y-chromosome lineages signal paternal genetic traces of Neolithic and post-Neolithic migration events. On the contrary, despite showing some correspondence with its paternal counterpart, mtDNA reveals a substantially homogeneous genetic landscape, which may reflect older population events or different demographic dynamics between males and females. Overall, both uniparental genetic structures and TMRCA estimates confirm the role of Sicily and Southern Italy as an ancient Mediterranean melting pot for genes and cultures. PMID:24788788

  1. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pagnoni, Gianluca; Tinti, Stefano; Rallo, Francesco

    2014-05-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  4. Deep-seated gravitational slope deformations in western Sicily: Controlling factors, triggering mechanisms, and morphoevolutionary models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Di Maggio, Cipriano; Madonia, Giuliana; Vattano, Marco

    2014-03-01

    A study of deep-seated gravitational slope deformation (DSGSD) phenomena affecting areas of various geological and geomorphological settings in western Sicily is described. Western Sicily is underlain by a thin-skinned imbricate wedge of Meso-Cenozoic carbonate and siliciclastic rocks that formed by the stacking of several thrust nappes over the Iblean foreland. Locally, the original thrust sheets are folded and cut by high-angle faults. Large areas of western Sicily now display high relief energy due to Plio-Pleistocene block-faulting and uplifting, and the Quaternary morphogenetic phases are characterised by incision, thereby triggering widespread DSGSDs. To identify controlling factors and triggering causes and to develop reliable morphoevolutionary models for the DSGSDs of western Sicily, a geomorphological study based on field surveys and aerial-photography interpretations was performed. Previous geomorphological data relating to well-known examples of DSGSDs were reconsidered, leading to remarkable revisions of the interpretative models in certain cases. New data were subsequently collected, enabling recognition of additional DSGSD phenomena. The whole body of data involves a total of 27 DSGSDs affecting areas in two specific geological settings: (1) areas with flat thrust surfaces, where differential settlements, back-tilting, lateral spreads in competent rocks overlying marls and clays, large topples, and/or block-type slope movements may develop; and (2) areas where deep-rooted carbonate units come into lateral contact with clayey-marly units along high-angle faults, where lateral spreads in brittle homogeneous rocks, sinking, and/or rock flows may occur. These DSGSD phenomena are associated with different evolutionary stages, allowing a morphoevolutionary model to be defined for the two geological conditions. For these two different morphoevolutionary models, the following structural features play an important role in the development of DSGSDs: (1) where carbonate bodies overlie clayey-marly rocks, triggering of the DSGSDs traces back to deformation of a ductile substratum that follows the exhumation of the flat thrust planes and the underlying clayey-marly rocks due to block-faulting and/or stream incision; and (2) where homogeneous carbonate rocks hundreds of metres thick crop out, the DSGSDs are triggered by very high relief energy and tensile stress that follow the combined actions of Quaternary block-faulting and stream deepening associated with differential erosion.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Evidences of a lithospheric fault zone in the Sicily Channel continental rift (southern Italy) from instrumental seismicity data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Calò, M.; Parisi, L.

    2014-10-01

    Sicily Channel is a portion of Mediterranean Sea, between Sicily (Southern Italy) and Tunisia, representing a part of the foreland Apennine-Maghrebian thrust belt. The seismicity of the region is commonly associated with the normal faulting related to the rifting process and volcanic activity of the region. However, certain seismic patterns suggest the existence of some mechanism coexisting with the rifting process. In this work, we present the results of a statistical analysis of the instrumental seismicity and a reliable relocalization of the events recorded in the last 30 yr in the Sicily Channel and western Sicily using the Double Difference method and 3-D Vp and Vs tomographic models. Our procedure allows us to discern the seismic regime of the Sicily sea from the Tyrrhenian one and to describe the main features of an active fault zone in the study area that could not be related to the rifting process. We report that most of the events are highly clustered in the region between 12.5°-13.5°E and 35.5°-37°N with hypocentral depth of 5-40 km, and reaching 70 km depth in the southernmost sector. The alignment of the seismic clusters, the distribution of volcanic and geothermal regions and the location of some large events occurred in the last century suggest the existence of a subvertical shear zone extending for least 250 km and oriented approximately NNE-SSW. The spatial distribution of the seismic moment suggests that this transfer fault zone is seismically discontinuous showing large seismic gaps in proximity of the Ferdinandea Island, and Graham and Nameless Bank.

  8. 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 the Adventure Plateau, affected by broad NW-trending, high-angle normal faults associated with the Early Pliocene continental rifting phase. The eastern boundary of the Adventure Plateau corresponds to a broadly N-S trending lithospheric transfer zone separating two sectors of the Sicily Channel characterized by a different tectonic evolution.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

    The Sicily Channel (SC) plays a key role in the Mediterranean circulation. The SC circulation can be described as a two-layer exchange of inflowing Atlantic Water (AW) and outflowing of dense eastern Mediterranean waters discharging in the Tyrrhenian Sea. In this study, we focus on the interannual variability of the surface circulation. At the SC entrance due to topographic effect, the Algerian Current splits into three branches, one entering into the Tyrrhenian Sea, the Bifurcation Tyrrhenian Current (BTC), trapped by the topography while the two others pass through the SC and enter into the Eastern Mediterranean. These later branches are the Atlantic Tunisian Current (ATC), and the Atlantic Ionian Stream (AIS). We investigated the interannual variability of the SC surface circulation using a 50-year simulation of a high resolution model of the whole Mediterranean Sea. This eddy-resolving NEMO-MED12 model was forced by daily atmospheric fields from ARPERA forcing during the 1958-2012 period. The first five years of the simulation are considered as the model spinup. To separate large and mesoscale variability, we first investigate the different important regimes by clustering 30-m depth currents into groups having close statistical properties, applying a neuronal network classifier, the Self Organizing Algorithm (SOM), which is an unsupervised classification method made of a competitive neural network structured in two layers. Secondly, we applied a Hierarchical Ascendant Classification method (HAC) to reduce the number of classes. We then obtained 8 typical circulation regimes, which have a strong seasonal signature. For examples, Classes 1 and 2 mainly occur in winter and present an enhancement of the ATC while Classes 3 and 4 mainly occur in summer and characterize an enhancement of the AIS. While investigating the 8 typical regimes, we can see particular inter-annual variability, especially with the absence of the AIS (Classes 2 and 7) or a very strong coastal ATC (Class 1). However, five classes (Classes 3, 4, 6, 7, 8) evidence a new westward branch along the northern coast of Sicily, that we call the Tyrrhenian-Sicilian Current (TSC), which can feed the AIS at the western corner of Sicily. Due to the upwelling signature associated to the TSC and the fact that this upwelling is not wind-driven, we conclude that the Tyrrhenian-Sicilian Current is a density-driven current.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2008-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-07-01

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

  12. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-05-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-03-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Frepoli, A.; Amato, A.

    2000-02-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-07-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-07-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-08-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Parisi, L.; Calo, M.

    2013-12-01

    The Sicily Channel continental rift is located in the African Plate and is submerged by a shallow sea extending from the northern coast of Africa to the southern coast of Sicily (southern Italy). The area is affected by an extensional regime since early Pliocene, which thins the continental crust and produces NW-SE oriented Pantelleria, Linosa and Malta grabens. The rift-related volcanic activity is represented by Pantelleria and Linosa Islands and a series of magmatic manifestations roughly NNE-SSW aligned, from Linosa Island to the Nameless Bank, in proximity of the Sicilian coast. Recent rapid magmatic ascents occurred along the strip near to the Sicilian coast in a region named Graham Bank. The NNE-SSW strip has already been recognised as a separation belt between the western sector of the rift (Pantelleria graben) and the eastern one (Linosa and Malta grabens). Seismic profiles suggest the presence of near vertical structures associated with strike slip fault zones. Bathymetric data show a 15-20 km wide zone characterised by several shallow basins irregularly alternated by topographic highs. However, evidences of a N-S or NNE-SSW orientated faults have not been found. In this work we re-localised the instrumental seismicity recorded between 1981 and 2012 in the Sicily Channel and western Sicily using the Double Difference method (Waldhauser, 2001, 2012) and 3D Vp and Vs models (Calò et al., 2013). The statistical analysis of the relocated seismicity together with the study of seismic energy release distribution allows us to describe the main patterns associated with the active faults in the western Sicily Straits. Here we find that most of the events in the Sicily Channel are highly clustered between 12.5°- 13.5°E and 35.5°-37°N with hypocentral depth between 5-40 km, reaching in some cases 70 km of depth. Seismic events seem to be aligned along a sub-vertical shear zone that is long at least 250 km and oriented approximately NNE-SSW. The spatial distribution of seismic moment shows that this transfer fault zone is seismically discontinuous. A large seismic gap is present in proximity of Graham and Nameless banks suggesting that the strain energy accumulation is differently accommodated along the transfer zone. Our observations represent new elements for the open discussion of the genesis of the Sicily Channel continental rift and the geodynamic of the western Africa-Eurasia plate boundary. References. Calò, M, Parisi, L., Luzio, D., 2013. Lithospheric P- and S-wave velocity models of the Sicilian area using WAM tomography: procedure and assessments. Geophysical Journal International. In press. Waldhauser, F., 2001. hypoDD -- A program to compute double-difference hypocenter locations, U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 01-113. Waldhauser, F., 2012. HYPODD Version 2.1 beta.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Characterisation and differentiation of pigments employed on the façade of ``Noto's Valley'' monuments (Sicily)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2008-07-01

    Most of the “Noto’s Valley” monuments façades, located in different towns of Sicily such as Ragusa Ibla, Modica and Noto, present different colours and in many cases the towns themselves are characterized by evident chromatic variations. The knowledge of colour and in particular the characterization of pigments is of utmost importance in the baroque Sicilian buildings, because the peculiarity of the colour is one of the features that makes the “Noto Valley” monuments a World Cultural Heritage site. The present works aim is to characterise and differentiate the pigments used on the façade of monuments and inside the plasters. In particular, we perform a micro-textural and analytical analysis through scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and a mineralogical investigation through the conjunction of optical microscopy and fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR). All the experimental results have allowed us to clearly classify the pigments into earths rich in clay minerals and earth containing gypsum. Furthermore, we also show that the earths rich in clay minerals from Ragusa and Modica areas have local provenance.

  14. Origin and diet of the prehistoric hunter-gatherers on the mediterranean island of Favignana (Ègadi Islands, Sicily).

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

    Hunter-gatherers living in Europe during the transition from the late Pleistocene to the Holocene intensified food acquisition by broadening the range of resources exploited to include marine taxa. However, little is known on the nature of this dietary change in the Mediterranean Basin. A key area to investigate this issue is the archipelago of the Ègadi Islands, most of which were connected to Sicily until the early Holocene. The site of Grotta d'Oriente, on the present-day island of Favignana, was occupied by hunter-gatherers when Postglacial environmental changes were taking place (14,000-7,500 cal BP). Here we present the results of AMS radiocarbon dating, palaeogenetic and isotopic analyses undertaken on skeletal remains of the humans buried at Grotta d'Oriente. Analyses of the mitochondrial hypervariable first region of individual Oriente B, which belongs to the HV-1 haplogroup, suggest for the first time on genetic grounds that humans living in Sicily during the early Holocene could have originated from groups that migrated from the Italian Peninsula around the Last Glacial Maximum. Carbon and nitrogen isotope analyses show that the Upper Palaeolithic and Mesolithic hunter-gatherers of Favignana consumed almost exclusively protein from terrestrial game and that there was only a slight increase in marine food consumption from the late Pleistocene to the early Holocene. This dietary change was similar in scale to that at sites on mainland Sicily and in the rest of the Mediterranean, suggesting that the hunter-gatherers of Grotta d'Oriente did not modify their subsistence strategies specifically to adapt to the progressive isolation of Favignana. The limited development of technologies for intensively exploiting marine resources was probably a consequence both of Mediterranean oligotrophy and of the small effective population size of these increasingly isolated human groups, which made innovation less likely and prevented transmission of fitness-enhancing adaptations. PMID:23209602

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

    Hunter-gatherers living in Europe during the transition from the late Pleistocene to the Holocene intensified food acquisition by broadening the range of resources exploited to include marine taxa. However, little is known on the nature of this dietary change in the Mediterranean Basin. A key area to investigate this issue is the archipelago of the Ègadi Islands, most of which were connected to Sicily until the early Holocene. The site of Grotta d’Oriente, on the present-day island of Favignana, was occupied by hunter-gatherers when Postglacial environmental changes were taking place (14,000-7,500 cal BP). Here we present the results of AMS radiocarbon dating, palaeogenetic and isotopic analyses undertaken on skeletal remains of the humans buried at Grotta d’Oriente. Analyses of the mitochondrial hypervariable first region of individual Oriente B, which belongs to the HV-1 haplogroup, suggest for the first time on genetic grounds that humans living in Sicily during the early Holocene could have originated from groups that migrated from the Italian Peninsula around the Last Glacial Maximum. Carbon and nitrogen isotope analyses show that the Upper Palaeolithic and Mesolithic hunter-gatherers of Favignana consumed almost exclusively protein from terrestrial game and that there was only a slight increase in marine food consumption from the late Pleistocene to the early Holocene. This dietary change was similar in scale to that at sites on mainland Sicily and in the rest of the Mediterranean, suggesting that the hunter-gatherers of Grotta d’Oriente did not modify their subsistence strategies specifically to adapt to the progressive isolation of Favignana. The limited development of technologies for intensively exploiting marine resources was probably a consequence both of Mediterranean oligotrophy and of the small effective population size of these increasingly isolated human groups, which made innovation less likely and prevented transmission of fitness-enhancing adaptations. PMID:23209602

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bonaccorso, Brunella; Cancelliere, Antonino; Rossi, Giuseppe

    2015-07-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-01-01

    The study area includes the Municipalities of Gela, Niscemi and Butera located in the South of Sicily, Italy. In 1990 it was declared Area at High Risk of Environmental Crisis. In 2000 part of it was designated as Gela Reclamation Site of National Interest, RSNI. The site includes a private industrial area, public and marine areas, for a total of 51 km(2). Gela populationin 2008 was 77,145 (54,774 in 1961). Sea level:46 m. Total area: 276 km(2). Grid reference: 37 degrees 4' 0" N, 14 degrees 15' 0" E. Niscemi and Butera are located border to Gela. Populations are respectively 26,541 and 5,063. Sea level respectively: 332 m and 402 m. Close to the city of Gela, the industrial area, operating since 1962, includes chemical production plants, a power station and an oil refinery plant, one of the larger in Europe, refining 5 millions tons of crude per year. From the beginning the workforces decreased from 7,000 to the current 3,000 units. Over the years, these industrial activities have been a major source of environmental pollution. Extremely high levels of toxic, persistent and bio-accumulating chemical pollutants have been documented. Many relevant environmental and health data are available. Prior to the studies described in the present publication, their use in order to identify environmental pressures on health has been limited. Nevertheless, since several years different epidemiological studies have provided evidence of the occurrence of health outcomes significantly higher than in neighbouring areas and compared to regional data. In 2007 a Multidisciplinary Working Group has been established, to analyze the existing data on pollution-exposure-effect and to complete current knowledge on the cycle of pollutants, from migration in the environment to health impact. The present publication is a collection of contribution of this group of experts, supported by the following projects: Evaluation of environmental health impact and estimation of economic costs at of National Interest Remediation Sites coordinated by the Italian National Institute of Health on behalf of the Ministry for the Environment and Technical Assistance of WHO Health and Environment Centre to the Sicilian Region to develop plans for environmental remediation. Results describe the state of contamination of a variety of environmental matrices in the area. Other contributions are addressed to understanding action mechanisms of main pollutants and their environmental pathways, as well as to identifying crucial knowledge to be used for studying the environment-health relations. A specific attention has been paid to pollutants migration in the environment and to the potential exposure of the population. Appropriate markers of exposure and physiological changes are described and referred to the chemical substances identified in the environment in Gela. Details are given about the genotoxic and endocrine disrupting potential, and about the potential association between markers of exposure and diseases observed in excess in the same area. Indications to develop specific biomarkers for Index Substances and human biomonitoring surveys for populations exposed to environmental risk are presented and discussed. A specific multiple-exposure risk assessment procedure is proposed for Index Substances. Epidemiological studies useful to describe the health status of Gela population are summarized. One report deals with the occupational and residential analyses of male petrochemical workers, born in Sicily, employed from 1960 to the end of 1993, followed up for mortality from 1960 to 2002. Major findings were amarked healthy worker effect and an increased lung cancer risk for residence in Gela. The analyses of death certificates from 1995 to 2002 and of hospital discharge records from 2001 to 2007 confirm the potentialities of these current statistics for ecological studies: they depict the poor health conditions of Gela residents compared to other neighbouring municipalities in a 40-km range. Infact, the overall mortality rate for tumor and non-tumor causes in Ge

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-05-01

    Erosion by water is responsible for severe geo-environmental problems in semi-humid to arid Mediterranean areas. Large sectors of Sicily are affected by intense soil erosion phenomena leading to severe damages in agriculture lands that, in some cases, experience high soil loss rates. An important contribution to sediment yield from these areas is given by gully erosion phenomena; the latter, in the last decades, attracted attention of many researches that developed and applied methods to quantify soil loss volumes and to evaluate proneness of territory to this process. The present research aims to assess gully erosion susceptibility in the basin of the San Giorgio torrent, a mountain stream flowing in north-central Sicily and draining an area of about 9.5 km2; the watershed, which is mainly covered by arable lands, has highly erodible slopes characterized by the outcropping of clays and marls. In order to predict gully erosion susceptibility, a multivariate geostatistical approach is adopted here. In particular, the method is based on the definition of spatial relationships between the geographical variability of a set of controlling factors and the occurrence of gullies on slopes; the linear density of gullies computed on homogeneous domains is selected as the probabilistic function expressing how proneness to gully erosion spatially changes in the studied area. Available thematic maps, which were integrated by field and remote surveys, and a high quality DEM, were used to derive eight layers of terrain variables, selected according to geomorphological criteria and expressing both soil erodibility (bedrock lithology, land use) and erosivity of flowing waters (slope angle, Stream Power Index, SL-factor, Topographic Wetness Index, plan and profile curvature). All the parameters were computed for homogeneous spatial domains, created by intersecting a grid of 50m square polygons and a layer of slope units automatically derived from DEM; therefore, the eight layers were combined to produce the Unique Condition Units (UCUs) layer used as the basis for evaluating gully density values and erosion susceptibility. Two time-archives of gully landforms, both permanent and ephemeral, were created by means of remote-analysis of 1:10.000 orthophotos dated at 2000 and 2007, respectively; moreover, those gullies recognized in both time series were field-checked in 2009, in order to attest the reliability of the mapping criteria. The two gully archives were turned into separate GIS-layers; therefore, according to a time-partition validation strategy, the 2000 gully layer was used to train the model and to produce a susceptibility map that was intersected with landforms of 2007, in order to evaluate the predictive power of the method. The validation results attested for a good predictive performance of the susceptibility model since about 50% of the 2007 gullies falls within 20% of the area predicted as most susceptible; moreover, the shapes of the validation curves reflect those characteristics that a good spatial correlation between a model and its unknown target pattern would produce. In conclusion, the goodness of the acquired results encourages further application of the method, that is simple and easy exportable to other similar areas for the evaluation of gully erosion susceptibility.

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

    PubMed

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

    2000-07-01

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

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. Formation of secondary carbonates and native sulphur in sulphate-rich Messinian strata, Sicily

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ziegenbalg, S. B.; Brunner, B.; Rouchy, J. M.; Birgel, D.; Pierre, C.; Böttcher, M. E.; Caruso, A.; Immenhauser, A.; Peckmann, J.

    2010-05-01

    Microbially formed authigenic carbonates accompanied by native sulphur are present in the 'Calcare Solfifero' below a thick succession of gypsum deposited during the Messinian salinity crisis in Sicily. We sampled these carbonates and associated sulphur in five former sulphur mines to subject them to a detailed petrographic and geochemical study in order to explore their different modes of formation. Native sulphur formed in conjunction with microbial sulphate reduction, which is reflected in its depletion in 34S ( ?34S values as low as - 2‰ vs. V-CDT) and an enrichment of 34S in the residual sulphate ( ?34S values as high as + 61‰). The oxidation of organic matter by sulphate reduction increased alkalinity, inducing precipitation of secondary carbonate minerals. A set of authigenic limestones lacking sulphate minerals, but characterized by pseudomorphs after gypsum and high ?18O values (as high as + 9‰ vs. V-PDB) reflects syngenetic mineral formation within evaporitic settings. Low ?13C values (as low as - 52‰ vs. V-PDB) reveal that these carbonate phases were formed by microbial sulphate reduction coupled to the oxidation of biogenic methane. Another set of authigenic carbonates that replaced sulphate minerals is typified by low ?18O values (as low as - 4‰). These carbonates formed epigenetically during later diagenesis following compaction. Dissolution of gypsum or anhydrite by meteoric waters delivered the sulphate for microbial sulphate reduction. Low carbon isotope values of these carbonates (- 29 to - 5‰) indicate that carbonate was derived from the oxidation of crude oil and possibly minor methane, partly involving different degrees of admixture of dissolved carbonate from other sources. Although the studied rocks with their vast amounts of secondary carbonate minerals and sulphur seem to indicate a similar genesis at first glance - having formed by biogeochemical transformations of sulphate and hydrocarbons - this study reveals that these processes can occur at different times in variable geological environments.

  3. Prevalence and risk factors for sensorineural hearing loss: Western Sicily overview.

    PubMed

    Salvago, Pietro; Martines, Enrico; Martines, Francesco

    2013-11-01

    The objective of this work was to evaluate the prevalence of sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL) and distribution of the main risk factors associated to it focusing on their role in the development of deafness and their interaction. We performed a global audiological assessment (through TEOAE, tympanometry and ABR) in 508 infants at risk studying the main risk factors reported by Joint Committee on Infant Hearing (2007). Fifty-one infants (10.03 %) were diagnosed with SNHL (45 bilateral and 6 unilateral) with a mean hearing threshold of 87.39 ± 28.25 dB HL; family history of hearing impairment (HI) and TORCH infections indicated independent significant risk factors (P < 0.00001 and P = 0.024, respectively). High SNHL percentages were evidenced also in NICU babies, due to the various pathologies and risk factors presented by these infants, and among newborns who suffered from hyperbilirubinemia (11.97 and 9.52 %, respectively). The mean degree of hearing loss for children with family history of HI (>100 dB HL) emphasizes the necessity of an early diagnosis to avoid the consequences of auditory deprivation. Craniofacial abnormalities and syndromes associated to HI showed an important relationship (P < 0.00001) with conductive hearing loss. A progressive increase was evidenced in SNHL incidence as the number of risk factors rises (from 5.12 for 2 risk factors to 28.5 % for 5 or more) with a significant difference among the groups (P = 0.049); multiple risk factors showed an additional cofactor for HL (r (2) = 0.93). Considering the high SNHL prevalence (10.03 %) in infants at risk, this study highlights the necessity to implement a neonatal hearing screening program in Western Sicily. PMID:23397062

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    La Spada, Carmelo; Capra, Antonina

    2015-04-01

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

  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. Herniation Pits in Human Mummies: A CT Investigation in the Capuchin Catacombs of Palermo, Sicily

    PubMed Central

    Panzer, Stephanie; Piombino-Mascali, Dario; Zink, Albert R.

    2012-01-01

    Herniation pits (HPs) of the femoral neck were first described in a radiological publication in 1982 as round to oval radiolucencies in the proximal superior quadrant of the femoral neck on anteroposterior radiographs of adults. In following early clinical publications, HPs were generally recognized as an incidental finding. In contrast, in current clinical literature they are mentioned in the context of femoroacetabular impingement (FAI) of the hip joint, which is known to cause osteoarthritis (OA). The significance of HPs in chronic skeletal disorders such as OA is still unclear, but they are discussed as a possible radiological indicator for FAI in a large part of clinical studies. In this paleoradiological study we examined a sample of mummies from the Capuchin Catacombs of Palermo, Sicily, by a mobile computed tomography (CT) scanner. Evaluation of the CT examinations revealed HPs in six out of 16 (37.5%) adult male mummies. The first aim of this study was to compare the characteristics of HPs shown in our mummy collection to the findings described in clinical literature. Thereby CT evaluation revealed that their osseous imaging characteristics are in accordance, consisting of round to oval subcortical lesions at the anterior femoral neck, clearly demarcated by a sclerotic margin. The second aim was to introduce HPs to the paleoradiological and paleopathological methodology as an entity that underwent a renaissance from an incidental finding to a possible radiological indicator of FAI in the clinical situation. As FAI plays an important role in the development of OA of the hip, which is a very common finding in human skeletal remains, HPs should always be considered in paleoradiological evaluation of hip joint diseases. PMID:22567164

  8. Geomorphology, sedimentology and recent evolution of the anthropogenically modified Simeto River delta system (eastern Sicily, Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Longhitano, Sergio; Colella, Albina

    2007-02-01

    The purpose of this paper is to present a complete stratigraphic framework for the modern Simeto River delta (eastern Sicily, Italy) by the description of its geomorphology and sedimentology, which allow an analysis of its recent evolution. The Simeto River delta represents an asymmetric wave-influenced delta which developed during the Holocene by prograding into the Catania Gulf. This delta represents a good example of a Mediterranean-type system, characterized by a micro-tidal regime and moderate wave energy; the peculiar distribution of sedimentary facies both in the subaerial and in the subaqueous sectors is interpreted as the response of the system to the intimate interaction of geological and, in recent times, anthropogenic coastal activity. The integration of a large amount of historical data allows the definition of prograding and retrograding pattern within the delta and the cyclical shifting of the river mouth over the last two centuries. A hypothetical model is proposed to explain this phenomenon, and it is suggested that this may be a characteristic of several Mediterranean-type deltas. Progradation of the delta ended during the early-middle XIX Century after which it began to retreat. The retreat of the coastline accelerated after the 1950s when owing to the construction of embankments on the delta plain and, since 1970s, increasing diversion of water resources in the upper part of the Simeto River drainage basin, the sediment input of the river to the Ionian Sea sharply decreased. This caused a dramatic change of the deltaic morphology and significant coastal land loss. The morphological and sedimentary features of the Simeto River fully reflect the processes of its adaptation to the persistence of coastal human activity within an active geological setting.

  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. 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.

  11. 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

  12. A Natural Laboratory for Offshore Paleotsunami Studies: The Augusta Bay (Eastern Sicily-Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smedile, A.; Molisso, F.; Chague-Goff, C.; De Martini, P. M.; Pinzi, S.; Iorio, M.; Sagnotti, L.; Pantosti, D.

    2014-12-01

    The recent results obtained from a 6.7 m-long piston-core (MS06), collected 2.3 km offshore Augusta at a water depth of 72 m and made of an almost homogeneous dark gray mud dated back to the last 4500 yrs, stimulated our curiosity in searching for other similar signatures. In fact, quantitative micropaleontological analysis of benthic foraminifera assemblages highlighted 12 anomalous intervals, marked by peaks with high percentages of displaced epiphytic specimens and an increase in the sandy component. These anomalies were generally accompanied by a significant amount of Posidonia remnants, a localized concentration of molluscs and organic-rich bands. Thus, the twelve anomalous peaks were interpreted as the primary effect of tsunami waves (back-wash). Moreover, five out of the twelve anomalous layers were embedded in age intervals encompassing the dates of major tsunamis that hit eastern Sicily (1908, 1693, and 1169) and the broader Eastern Mediterranean (AD 365 Crete and Santorini at about BP 3600). Seven additional cores were sampled from the northern part of the Augusta Bay, along a transect 60 to 110 m of water depth, to retrieve the details of the MS06 sequence uppermost part. Four out of the seven new cores were selected and studied. Preliminary dating suggests that the sampled sequence spans ca. 400-500 yrs. Moreover, physical properties, ITRAX X-ray fluorescence (XRF) and grain size analyses point out the presence of a peculiar interval made of Posidonia remnants, coarse sand and shell debris on the two cores closer to the shore. The two far-off cores seem to be more homogenous but a few thin sandy lenses enriched of Posidonia remnant were also recognized. Further detailed micropaleontological analysis and corroboration with instrumental data are still in progress and will help in discriminating single events potentially related to tsunami back-wash.

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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 gradient modeling in Eastern Sicily, analyzed in terms of chisquares statistics, suggest that it is not explainable as strain accumulation on a single fault structure but it's likely the sum of the elastic contribution from two fault systems: an ~E-W trending subvertical fault located roughly along the Kumeta-Alcantara lineament, with a transtensional component of motion, and a WSW-ENE striking and NW dipping, high-angle, poorly locked, reverse fault extending south of Mount Etna.

  16. 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.

  17. Tsunami inundation scenarios of the city of Catania, Eastern Sicily, Italy.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tonini, Roberto; Armigliato, Alberto; Pagnoni, Gianluca; Tinti, Stefano

    2010-05-01

    Eastern Sicily is one of the coastal areas most exposed to earthquake and tsunami in Italy and in the whole Mediterranean. The city of Catania lies on this coast, between the eastern base of Etna volcano and the Ionian Sea. Catania is an important town of the Southern Italy because of its both touristic and commercial activities. In this work some reliable tsunami scenarios for the city of Catania are proposed on the basis of tectonic considerations and of the historical events that hit the city in the past. The most famous are the tsunamis associated with the 11 January 1693 and the 28 December 1908 earthquakes, of which the source determination is still an open issue, because it is not clear if the tsunamis were generated by the earthquake only or by a landslide or by a combination of both. One remote source based on the 365 A.D. West Hellenic Arc event is also considered in order to complete the possible tsunami scenarios for the town of Catania. The work is focused on the area of the harbour where many human activities and structures are present. Nowadays the harbour is protected by a long jetty opened in the south and here the coast presents two very different morphological aspects: moving southern respect to the harbour the coast is sandy and shallow, while moving northern it is rocky and high. Inundation maps computed on a 40-meters resolution grid are shown in order to identify the areas most exposed to tsunami inundation in this specific area and to study the harbour response to tsunami wave trains of different frequencies. All simulations are carried out by means of the numerical finite difference code UBO-TSUFD, which solves both linear and non-linear shallow water equations on multi-grid domain that allow to increase the grid resolution in the area of interest. The code can compute the inundation of specific areas and it is developed and maintained by the research team itself. The work has been developed in the framework of the EU-funded project SCHEMA, where Catania has been chosen as one of the test sites on which carrying out a tsunami vulnerability assessment study.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

    The seismic events caused by human engineering activities are commonly termed as "triggered" and "induced". This class of earthquakes, though characterized by low-to-moderate magnitude, have significant social and economical implications since they occur close to the engineering activity responsible for triggering/inducing them and can be felt by the inhabitants living nearby, and may even produce damage. One of the first well-documented examples of induced seismicity was observed in 1932 in Algeria, when a shallow magnitude 3.0 earthquake occurred close to the Oued Fodda Dam. By the continuous global improvement of seismic monitoring networks, numerous other examples of human-induced earthquakes have been identified. Induced earthquakes occur at shallow depths and are related to a number of human activities, such as fluid injection under high pressure (e.g. waste-water disposal in deep wells, hydrofracturing activities in enhanced geothermal systems and oil recovery, shale-gas fracking, natural and CO2 gas storage), hydrocarbon exploitation, groundwater extraction, deep underground mining, large water impoundments and underground nuclear tests. In Italy, induced/triggered seismicity is suspected to have contributed to the disaster of the Vajont dam in 1963. Despite this suspected case and the presence in the Italian territory of a large amount of engineering activities "capable" of inducing seismicity, no extensive researches on this topic have been conducted to date. Hence, in order to improve knowledge and correctly assess the potential hazard at a specific location in the future, here we started a preliminary study on the entire range of engineering activities currently located in Sicily (Southern Italy) which may "potentially" induce seismicity. To this end, we performed: • a preliminary census of all engineering activities located in the study area by collecting all the useful information coming from available on-line catalogues; • a detailed compilation of instrumental and historical seismicity, focal mechanisms solutions, multidisciplinary stress indicators, GPS-based ground deformation field, mapped faults, etc by merging data from on-line catalogues with those reported in literature. Finally, for each individual site, we analysed: i) long-term statistic behaviour of instrumental seismicity (magnitude of completeness, seismic release above a threshold magnitude, depth distribution, focal plane solutions); ii) long-term statistic behaviour of historical seismicity (maximum magnitude estimation, recurrence time interval, etc); iii) properties and orientation of faults (length, estimated geological slip, kinematics, etc); iv) regional stress (from borehole, seismological and geological observations) and strain (from GPS-based observations) fields.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

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

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

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

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guidoboni, E.

    2001-12-01

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

  3. 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 of limited sediment volumes might have counteracted the development of major events during this time. However, the fact that these features, indicating sediment instability, are not resolvable in the acoustic record highlights the benefits of an integrated/multidisciplinary approach in identifying individual failure events within a slide complex.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-04-01

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

  5. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bressan, Lidia; Tinti, Stefano; Pagnoni, Gianluca

    2014-05-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-07-01

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

  8. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-05-01

    Mount Etna is a composite stratovolcano located along the Ionian coast of eastern Sicily. The frequent flank eruptions occurrence (at an interval of years, mostly concentrated along the NE, S and W rift zones) lead to a high volcanic hazard that, linked with intense urbanization, poses a high volcanic risk. A long-term volcanic hazard assessment, mainly based on the past behaviour of the Etna volcano, is the basic tool for the evaluation of this risk. Then, a reliable forecast where the next eruption will occur is needed. A computer-assisted analysis and probabilistic evaluations will provide the relative map, thus allowing identification of the areas prone to the highest hazard. Based on these grounds, the use of a code such BET_EF (Bayesian Event Tree_Eruption Forecasting) showed that a suitable analysis can be explored (Selva et al., 2012). Following an analysis we are performing, a total of 6886 point-vents referring to the last 4.0 ka of Etna flank activity, and spread over an area of 744 km2 (divided into N=2976 squared cell, with side of 500 m), allowed us to estimate a pdf by applying a Gaussian kernel. The probability values represent a complete set of outcomes mutually exclusive and the relative sum is normalized to one over the investigated area; then, the basic assumptions of a Dirichlet distribution (the prior distribution set in the BET_EF code (Marzocchi et al., 2004, 2008)) still hold. One fundamental parameter is the the equivalent number of data, that depicts our confidence on the best guess probability. The BET_EF code also works with a likelihood function. This is modelled by a Multinomial distribution, with parameters representing the number of vents in each cell and the total number of past data (i.e. the 6886 point-vents). Given the grid of N cells, the final posterior distribution will be evaluated by multiplying the a priori Dirichlet probability distribution with the past data in each cell through the likelihood. The probability hazard map shows a tendency to concentrate along the NE and S rifts, as well as Valle del Bove, increasing the difference in probability between these areas and the rest of the volcano edifice. It is worthy notice that a higher significance is still evident along the W rift, even if not comparable with the ones of the above mentioned areas. References Marzocchi W., Sandri L., Gasparini P., Newhall C. and Boschi E.; 2004: Quantifying probabilities of volcanic events: The example of volcanic hazard at Mount Vesuvius, J. Geophys. Res., 109, B11201, doi:10.1029/2004JB00315U. Marzocchi W., Sandri, L. and Selva, J.; 2008: BET_EF: a probabilistic tool for long- and short-term eruption forecasting, Bull. Volcanol., 70, 623 - 632, doi: 10.1007/s00445-007-0157-y. Selva J., Orsi G., Di Vito M.A., Marzocchi W. And Sandri L.; 2012: Probability hazard mapfor future vent opening atthe Campi Flegrei caldera, Italy, Bull. Volcanol., 74, 497 - 510, doi: 10.1007/s00445-011-0528-2.

  11. 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 function that compares the observed landslide with the simulated one. This function returns values from 0 (completely wrong simulation) to 1 (perfect match); values greater than 0.7 are considered acceptable. The adopted version SCIDDICA_SS3 was calibrated on debris-flows occurred in Torrente Sopra Urno, that have caused most of the damage in Giampilieri town. Other 5 events, occurred in the same day and on the same area, were used for validation with fitness function ranging from 0.72 to 0.78. Simulations show a good capability of the model to describe the runout of debris in such highly-urbanized area, according to several performance indices. The calibrated parameters may be reasonably used to simulate debris flow runout in the nearby catchments for predictive purposes, aimed at risk assessment. Acknowledgements: This research was funded by the Italian Education, University and Research Ministry (MIUR), PON Project No. 01_01503 'Integrated Systems for Hydrogeological Risk Monitoring, Early Warning and Mitigation Along the Main Lifelines', CUP B31H11000370005

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-12-01

    Investigating the deformation processes as well as the characteristics and distribution of their end-products is a crucial issue to improve geo-fluid exploitation in carbonate reservoirs (?50% of natural geo-fluids). Indeed, besides the primary controls on the petrophysical properties of limestones, which are due to nature and organization/shape of the constituent elements (i.e. grains, pores, cement, clay minerals), both containment and migration of fluids in these rocks are influenced by fault zones and fractures. In this contribution we integrate quantitative structural analysis and numerical modelling approaches aiming at testing a new workflow useful to create a 3D discrete fracture network (DFN) model of a reservoir starting from outcrop data collected in Favignana Island (Sicily, southern Italy). The presence of several quarries in the Island provides 3D exposures of ?25 m-thick Lower-Pleistocene high-porosity grainstones crosscut by two conjugate sets of strike-slip faults. This fault system, documented by Tondi et al. (2012), is comprised of three types of structure: single compactive shear bands (CSB); zones of bands (ZB); and, faults. CSBs are narrow tabular features with porosity less than the surrounding host rocks, and have thicknesses and displacements on the order of a few mm. The growth process for these structures involves localizing further deformation within zones of closely-spaced CSBs and, possibly, along continuous slip surfaces within fault rocks overprinting older ZBs. The transitions from one growth step to another are recorded by different values of the dimensional parameters (i.e. length, thickness and displacement) for the structures. These transitions are also reflected by the ratios and distributions of the dimensional parameters. The DFN model was built by means of the Fracture Modelling module of the commercial software package Move from Midland Valley©. The analysis of an aerial photo was performed firstly to delimit the outcrop perimeter and geometry, needed to construct the model, and then to identify the major faults. The intensity of CSBs and ZBs, was calculated by integrating the distribution laws of the dimensional parameters (Tondi et al., 2012) with the lineament analysis tool of Move. The variation in intensity of deformation was used to guide the modelling of deformed zones, both within the fault zones and in the host rock in order to obtain a DFN reflecting a deformation pattern similar to the natural one. The DFN was then used to model the effect of deformation on the permeability of the host rock. Here, unlike in tight rocks where deformation generally increases permeability, the CSBs and ZBs reduce permeability whilst slip surfaces within the fault cores enhance fault-parallel fluid flow. Thus, by varying the porosity values attributed to CSBs, ZBs and slip surfaces the resulting DFN model was imposed to have a reduced permeability in CSBs and ZBs (relative to the host rock and the slip surfaces). This semi-automated process of lineament analysis followed by the use of power law distributions to model sub-seismic scale CSBs and ZBs is proposed as a potential modelling route for reservoir scale assessment of structural deformation controls on permeability in porous carbonate reservoirs.

  13. 3D numerical modeling of an anthropogenic sinkhole in the Marsala area of western Sicily

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-04-01

    The Marsala area (western Sicily) is characterized by the presence of a Lower Pleistocene (Calabrian) calcarenite succession (Marsala Calcarenite Fm). It can be divided into three lithofacies that show the regressive evolution of the depositional system: a) coarse to fine yellow bio- and lithoclastic calcarenites, b) sands, and c) gray sandy clays. At least 80 m-thick, this succession gently dips (5-10°) towards the south and the south-west. Locally, the Marsala Calcarenite may be covered by Middle and Upper Pleistocene marine terraced deposits. The town of Marsala presents several historical quarries for the extraction of this building material. Many of them were excavated underground, at depth ranging from a few meters to about 25 m, and are arranged in one or two levels, following the galleries and pillars excavation technique. With time, the underground quarries have been progressively abandoned due to the high costs of extraction, as well as to the dangers and difficulties encountered in working underground. Since the 1960's the quarries, as a matter of fact, have been affected by several instability processes for the decay of the physical and mechanical properties of the calcarenite rock mass and the interaction with the groundwater. Such instability processes are represented by collapses and deformations of vaults and pillars. These phenomena often propagate upward reaching the topographic surface and forming sinkholes which may likely affect and severely damage the built-up areas above. In particular, two case studies of sinkholes related to different underground quarries have been already described by the Authors in a previous contribution at EGU 2012, also integrated by a two-dimensional numerical study. The aim of the present work is to develop a three-dimensional numerical analysis aimed at describing the most significant processes and factors responsible of the instability processes, as well as to investigate the three-dimensional features of the same processes, based on rock laboratory testing data and a detailed reconstruction of the underground cave geometry. At this goal, we took advantage of detailed topographic surveys of the underground quarry, carried out before (year 2000) and after occurrence of one the sinkholes, that opened in July 2011 at the eastern sector of the town of Marsala, causing significant damage to a school. In the implementation of the 3D-model, the geomechanical survey of the calcarenite rock mass was also taken into account, as a required input layer depicting the main discontinuity systems, and their main features (pervasiveness, joint opening and spacing, etc.). Relevant differences between the results from 2-D and 3-D analyses are pointed out in the paper, highlighting the need to perform 3D-modeling in order to define the real instability conditions of the rock mass, and to evaluate the possibility of sinkhole occurrence at the surface.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-05-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-05-01

    The eastern coast of Sicily is one of the littorals most prone to tsunami hazard in the Mediterranean Sea. The potential tsunamigenic sources are many, all connected to the complex geological pattern of the area, and they span different scales. On the local scale one can find the Hyblaean-Malta Escarpment (HME), characterized by mass failures that have been hypothesized as possible causes of local tsunami generation (see e.g. the deep-sea slide off Augusta that was speculatively associated to the 1693 earthquake). On the medium range, the faults along the HME, the Ionian Sea, the Messina Straits, as a part of the wider Calabrian Arc system, provided several relevant earthquakes in the past, some of which producing large tsunamis, such as the 1693 and the 1908 events. In the far field, the western Hellenic Arc, characterized by the largest earthquakes in the whole Mediterranean Sea, has the potential of big trans-Mediterranean tsunamis capable of severe effects also on the coasts of Sicily. In the framework of the EU-FP7 project ASTARTE, the area embracing the cities of Siracusa and Augusta, located in the southern part of the Ionian coast of Sicily, has been chosen as a test site for the evaluation of the tsunami hazard and risk by means of various techniques. In this work we adopt the worst-case credible scenario approach, which means that after taking into account the possible sources in different zones we select the largest events on the basis of historical and geo- and seismo-tectonical considerations and we compute the corresponding tsunami. The numerical calculations are carried out by means of in-house developed models: UBO-BLOCK to simulate the dynamics of the tsunamigenic slides, a code implementing the Okada equations to compute the co-seismic displacements of the sea floor, UBO-TSUFD to calculate the tsunami propagation over a domain covered by one or more regularly spaced grids with different resolution (the finer grids being nested within the coarser ones). For each scenario, this procedure provides traditionally the fields of maximum values of relevant parameters such as the highest sea level, the maximum water particles speed, the maximum run-up and inundation distance, etc as well as synthetic tide gauges in specified locations. In addition, the aggregate fields can be built by picking up the extreme values of the worst-case scenarios in each point of the domain. One of such aggregate field is the field of the largest inundation depth at the coast, also providing the maximum flooding area which is a tool of great relevance for local authorities to implement mitigation actions such as evacuation programs and long-term development plans of the coastal zone.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-12-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Cronin, Kelly; Whyte, Catherine; Reiner, Tom

    2008-07-08

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

  18. 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.

  19. Building stone employed in the historical monuments of Eastern Sicily (Italy). An example: the ancient city centre of Catania

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Punturo, Rosalda; Russo, Laura G.; Giudice, Antonino Lo; Mazzoleni, Paolo; Pezzino, Antonino

    2006-05-01

    An archaeometric study of the stone materials employed in the Late Baroque historical monuments of the ancient city centre of Catania was carried out. Lithological maps of a selection of monuments, transferred to a digital format, revealed that the stone materials are both magmatic and sedimentary rocks, the colours of which are matched in a peculiar type of bichromy. Particular attention focused on sedimentary rocks, which consist of various types of limestone quarried near the city of Syracuse (Hyblean Plateau, south-eastern Sicily). Carbonate rocks were characterised in terms of mineralogy, petrography and geochemistry, by studying rock samples from both monuments and historical extraction sites. Results showed that, although only one name was historically attributed to the above lithotypes (i.e. “Pietra di Siracusa‘’), they were quarried from many locations and, as they belong to various geological formations, they therefore exhibit great variety. In order to examine the durability of Hyblean limestones employed in works of cultural heritage interest, salt crystallisation tests were carried out according to standard procedure norms (UNI EN 12370 (1999) Determination of resistance to crystallisation of salts, 6p). Results are consistent with the forms of deterioration observed in the monuments, and highlight the close relationship between textural characteristics and damage. Our purpose is to provide a basic tool, which may be useful both for conserving monuments of cultural heritage and for their restoration.

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

    PubMed

    Lisi, Oscar; Sabella, Giorgio; Pilato, Giovanni

    2014-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2008-03-01

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

  3. The Baroque monuments of Modica (Eastern Sicily): assessment of causes of chromatic alteration of stone building materials

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Belfiore, Cristina M.; La Russa, Mauro F.; Pezzino, Antonino; Campani, Elisa; Casoli, Antonella

    2010-09-01

    The Baroque monuments of several cities in eastern Sicily, built of local calcarenitic stone, are often subjected to conservation treatments, since they undergo many forms of alteration and degradation which can cause significant damage. However, a recent study of these building materials (Barone et al. in Environ. Geol. 54:1501, 2008) has demonstrated that some protective products, once applied, cause irreversible chromatic alterations. The façades of the monuments of the historic city centre of Modica are typically creamy yellow in colour, sometimes varying slightly due to the use of various pigments, such as clayey and gypseous earths (La Russa et al. in Appl. Phys. A 92:185, 2008). However, in some cases, these nuances are lost due to the application of protective products. This work provides a petrographic and colorimetric characterisation of the calcarenitic stone used to create the façades of the churches of S. Pietro, S. Maria del Soccorso and S. Maria dell’Annunziata in Modica, also by comparisons with locally quarried samples. In addition, it aims to identify protective substances which may have been used during previous restoration work. Analytical techniques included polarising optical microscopy, spectrophotometric colorimetric tests, Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) and gas chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry (GC-MS).

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-01

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

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-11-01

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

  9. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

    North-East Sicily is strongly exposed to shallow landslide events. On October, 1st 2009 a severe rainstorm (225.5 mm of cumulative rainfall in 9 hours) caused flash floods and more than 1000 landslides, which struck several small villages as Giampilieri, Altolia, Molino, Pezzolo, Scaletta Zanclea, Itala, with 31 fatalities, 6 missing persons and damage to buildings and transportation infrastructures. Landslides, mainly consisting in earth and debris translational slides evolving into debris flows, triggered on steep slopes involving colluvium and regolith materials which cover the underlying metamorphic bedrock of Peloritani Mountains. In this area catchments are small (about 10 square kilometres), elongated, with steep slopes, low order streams, short time of concentration, and discharge directly into the sea. In the past, landslides occurred at Altolia in 1613 and 2000, at Molino in 1750, 1805 and 2000, at Giampilieri in 1791, 1918, 1929, 1932, 2000 and on October 25, 2007. The aim of this work is to define susceptibility models for shallow landslides using multivariate statistical analyses in the Giampilieri area (25 square kilometres). A detailed landslide inventory map has been produced, as the first step, through field surveys coupled with the observation of high resolution aerial colour orthophoto taken immediately after the event. 1,490 initiation zones have been identified; most of them have planimetric dimensions ranging between tens to few hundreds of square metres. The spatial hazard assessment has been focused on the detachment areas. Susceptibility models, performed in a GIS environment, took into account several parameters. The morphometric and hydrologic parameters has been derived from a detailed LiDAR 1×1 m. Square grid cells of 4×4 m were adopted as mapping units, on the basis of the area-frequency distribution of the detachment zones, and the optimal representation of the local morphometric conditions (e.g. slope angle, plan curvature). A first phase of the work addressed to identify the spatial relationships between the landslides location and the 13 related factors by using the Frequency Ratio bivariate statistical method. The analysis was then carried out by adopting a multivariate statistical approach, according to the Logistic Regression technique and Random Forests technique that gave best results in terms of AUC. The models were performed and evaluated with different sample sizes and also taking into account the temporal variation of input variables such as burned areas by wildfire. The most significant outcome of this work are: the relevant influence of the sample size on the model results and the strong importance of some environmental factors (e.g. land use and wildfires) for the identification of the depletion zones of extremely rapid shallow landslides.

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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    Management of catches, effort and exploitation pattern are considered the most effective measures to control fishing mortality and ultimately ensure productivity and sustainability of fisheries. Despite the growing concerns about the spatial dimension of fisheries, the distribution of resources and fishing effort in space is seldom considered in assessment and management processes. Here we propose SMART (Spatial MAnagement of demersal Resources for Trawl fisheries), a tool for assessing bio-economic feedback in different management scenarios. SMART combines information from different tasks gathered within the European Data Collection Framework on fisheries and is composed of: 1) spatial models of fishing effort, environmental characteristics and distribution of demersal resources; 2) an Artificial Neural Network which captures the relationships among these aspects in a spatially explicit way and uses them to predict resources abundances; 3) a deterministic module which analyzes the size structure of catches and the associated revenues, according to different spatially-based management scenarios. SMART is applied to demersal fishery in the Strait of Sicily, one of the most productive fisheries of the Mediterranean Sea. Three of the main target species are used as proxies for the whole range exploited by trawlers. After training, SMART is used to evaluate different management scenarios, including spatial closures, using a simulation approach that mimics the recent exploitation patterns. Results evidence good model performance, with a noteworthy coherence and reliability of outputs for the different components. Among others, the main finding is that a partial improvement in resource conditions can be achieved by means of nursery closures, even if the overall fishing effort in the area remains stable. Accordingly, a series of strategically designed areas of trawling closures could significantly improve the resource conditions of demersal fisheries in the Strait of Sicily, also supporting sustainable economic returns for fishermen if not applied simultaneously for different species. PMID:24465971

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-04-01

    The Sciacca-Monti Sicani area, in south-western Sicily, offers a regional example of the facies architecture in an Upper Triassic/Lower Jurassic carbonate shelf margin to slope zone. It allows us to evaluate the interplay of different controlling factors on the sedimentary dynamics of a South Tethyan basin margin across the Triassic/Jurassic boundary. In this segment of the Maghrebian thrust and fold belt, the Triassic/Jurassic facies associations and their spatial relationships were restored by the correlation of selected sections from several structural units. The Triassic carbonate shelf consists of thick successions of peritidal-lagoonal cycles (Sciacca Fm.). Our studies reveal that a NW-SE trending Dachstein-type reef edged the shelf of the platform towards east. This implies the contiguity of the carbonate shelf with a high-energy, open-marine environment, providing the optimum oligotrophic life conditions for sponge-coral-algae communities. A terminal complex, consisting of chaetetid-dominated boundstones, characterizes the Rhaetian topmost zone of the reef, probably because of the end-Triassic biotic crisis. A sharp discontinuity surface on top of the uppermost Triassic platform strata (Triasina facies) is overprinted in places by karstic dissolution. It is interpreted as a result of a Late Rhaetian sea-level fall. A lowering of the sea-level is also supported by the presence of fine skeletal grainstones in the slope-basinal successions. This implies a downslope forced shedding of reef-derived biodetritus, favoured probably by the shifting of the active bioconstruction to the outer shelf margin/upper slope. Around the Rhaetian-Hettangian boundary, a widespread clastic carbonate wedge was formed downslope by the cannibalization of the Upper Triassic reef. The selective source of clastics (Upper Triassic reef extraclasts) suggests, as trigger mechanisms, margin collapses coupled to an intense wave erosion of the reef limestones during the lowstand stage. Transtensional tectonics activity along the shelf edge, inducing margin retreats, is documented by local angular unconformities, so we cannot exclude the contribution of brittle deformations to the the production of clastic materials. The aggradation of Thaumatoporella-mollusc bearing peritidal cycles in the shelf and of oolitic-bioclastic sands along the shelf-edge indicate the recovery of the carbonate productivity during Early Jurassic times coupled to a sea-level rise during Hettangian times. Moreover an intense shedding of carbonate sands in the adjacent slope and peribasinal areas is recorded in all the studied deep-water successions. In the distal slope zone the observed switching of the intrabasinal carbonate supply from scarce biodetritus containing reef-derived foraminifers (e.g. Galeanella, Siculocosta and others) to abundant oolitic and skeletal sands, bearing Aeolisaccus sp. and Siphovalvulina gibraltarensis, can be used as a proxy of the Triassic/Jurassic boundary.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-05-01

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

  18. Permian fusulinids from Sicily

    E-print Network

    Skinner, J. W.; Wilde, G. L.

    1966-06-22

    microns. It displays moderate ‘`rugosity," consisting of sharp indentations of tectum (Pl. 7, fig. 4). Septa strongly but irregu- larly folded from pole to pole. In our only sagittal EXPLANATIONS OF PLATES Plate 1, figures 1-7. Kahlerina siciliana SKINNER... of Schwagerina, such as S. longissi- moidea (BEEDE). It differs from this group in the "rugosity" of its spirotheca. It is the youngest member of the genus presently known, most species being restricted to beds of Wolfcampian age. Occurrence.—We have found only a...

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

    The province of Siracusa encompasses a very long portion of the eastern Sicily coastline, ranging from the southern part of the Catania Gulf to the north down to the southern-eastern end of the island, known as Capo Passero. Within this domain, the area comprised between the towns of Augusta and Siracusa has been selected as one of the sites for the testing of innovative methods for tsunami hazard, vulnerability and risk assessment and reduction developed in the frame of the EU Project called ASTARTE - Assessment, STrategy And Risk Reduction for Tsunamis in Europe (Grant 603839, 7th FP, ENV.2013.6.4-3). The selection was driven by two main reasons. First, the area was hit by at least seven tsunamis in the approximate time interval from 1600 BC to present, as can be deduced from historical catalogues and paleo-tsunami deposits analysis: the most famous are probably the 21 July 365, 4 February 1169, 11 January 1693 and 28 December 1908 tsunamis. Secondly, as a whole, the test site has a strong relevance from the industrial, commercial, military, historical and cultural points of view: here it is sufficient to mention the huge petrochemical pole in the Augusta bay and the listing of Siracusa as UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2005. This contribution deals with the tsunami hazard assessment for the Augusta-Siracusa area, approached through the worst-case credible scenario technique. We selected five main source areas: the choice is driven mainly by the already mentioned fact that historical catalogues and paleo-tsunami studies tell us that the area under investigation can be impacted by tsunamis generated both in the near-field and in the far-field. The five areas include the Hyblaean-Malta escarpment and the Messina Straits in the near-field, the western and eastern lobes of the Ionian subduction zone in the intermediate field, and the western Hellenic Trench in the far-field. In each source area, a selection of possible faults was made, whose characteristics and earthquake magnitude intervals were defined on the basis of the published literature, of public seismogenic fault databases and of discussion with other partners in ASTARTE. In total, 81 faults are taken into account. In addition, since landslides cannot be ruled out as possible sources of tsunamis hitting eastern Sicily, two landslides scenarios are proposed, based on the analysis of the morphology of the seafloor in correspondence with the Hyblaean-Malta escarpment. After a first screening of the earthquake scenarios based on the comparison of the expected maximum wave elevations along the eastern Sicily coasts, we reduced the overall number of significant scenarios to eight. For each of these, we run numerical tsunami simulations by means of the in-house UBO-TSUFD code over a set of five nested grids, with resolutions decreasing from 3 km in the open Ionian sea to 40 m in the target areas of Augusta and Siracusa. The simulation results consist of fields of maximum water elevation, of maximum water column, of maximum velocity and of maximum momentum flux. The main findings for each single scenario and for the aggregate scenario are presented and discussed.

  20. 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 change in insolation, and (2) variations in solar activity. Finally, comparisons of the Preola lake-level record with Sicilian pollen records suggest a strong influence of moisture availability on vegetation development in Sicily. Very dry early Holocene conditions probably prevented the expansion of coastal evergreen forests, while decreasing moisture availability since the onset of the late Holocene may have exacerbated effects of intensive land-use.

  1. Distribution of rare earth elements in marine sediments from the Strait of Sicily (western Mediterranean Sea): evidence of phosphogypsum waste contamination.

    PubMed

    Tranchida, G; Oliveri, E; Angelone, M; Bellanca, A; Censi, P; D'Elia, M; Neri, R; Placenti, F; Sprovieri, M; Mazzola, S

    2011-01-01

    Concentrations of rare earth elements (REE), Y, Th and Sc were recently determined in marine sediments collected using a box corer along two onshore-offshore transects located in the Strait of Sicily (Mediterranean Sea). The REE+Y were enriched in offshore fine-grained sediments where clay minerals are abundant, whereas the REE+Y contents were lower in onshore coarse-grained sediments with high carbonate fractions. Considering this distribution trend, the onshore sediments in front of the southwestern Sicilian coast represent an anomaly with high REE+Y concentrations (mean value 163.4 ?g g(-1)) associated to high Th concentrations (mean value 7.9 ?g g(-1)). Plot of shale-normalized REE+Y data of these coastal sediments showed Middle REE enrichments relative to Light REE and Heavy REE, manifested by a convexity around Sm-Gd-Eu elements. These anomalies in the fractionation patterns of the coastal sediments were attributed to phosphogypsum-contaminated effluents from an industrial plant, located in the southern Sicilian coast. PMID:21130477

  2. 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.

  3. Two species of Philometra (Nematoda: Philometridae) from sparid fishes (porgies) off Sicily, Italy, including Philometra obladae sp. n. from the body cavity of Oblada melanura (Sparidae).

    PubMed

    Moravec, F; Gaglio, G; Panebianco, A; Giannetto, S

    2008-12-01

    Two species of Philometra Costa, 1845 (Nematoda: Philometridae), were, for the first time, recorded from fishes of the family Sparidae (porgies) from the Tyrrhenian Sea off Sicily, Italy: Philometra obladae sp. n. from the body cavity of the saddled seabream Oblada melanura (Linnaeus) and Philometra filiformis (Stossich, Boll Soc Adriat Sci Nat 17:121-136, 1896) from the gonads of the common pandora Pagellus erythrinus (Linnaeus). The new species (a single gravid female available) is characterised mainly by a large body (335 mm long, 3.4 mm wide), minute cephalic papillae (14 in number) arranged in two circles, a relatively short (1.29 mm) oesophagus with a distinct anterior inflation, a rounded caudal end without any projections and the length of larvae (549-600 mum) from the uterus. A key to species of Philometra with females located in the body cavity of marine and brackish-water fishes is given. Some new data on the female morphology of a little-known gonad-infecting species P. filiformis are provided; new observations revealed, for the first time in this species, the presence of lateral cephalic papillae and the absence of previously reported black intestinal corpuscles in the larvae. PMID:18762982

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-04-01

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

  5. 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

  6. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  8. 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

  9. Petrogenesis of tourmaline rocks associated with Fe-carbonate graphite metapelite, metabasite and strata-bound polymetallic sulphide mineralisation, Peloritani Mountains, Sicily, Southern Italy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ferla, Paolo; Meli, Carmelina

    2007-12-01

    Tourmalinite and tourmaline-rich rocks associated with Fe-carbonate-graphite phyllite, strata-bound polymetallic sulphide deposits, metabasite and marble were studied, for information on the mechanism of tourmaline formation in the pre-Hercynian low-grade metamorphic sequence of the Mandanici Unit in the Peloritani Mountains of Sicily, southern Italy. The major and trace element compositions of the tourmaline rocks suggest the existence of a sedimentary protolith with pre-metamorphic black shale and bedded chert. Boron was interpreted to be accumulated in a restricted sedimentary basin, between platform carbonate formations, with abundant organic matter and Fe-Al-Ti-rich laterite-bauxite soil-derived clastic supply, under a continental volcano-tectonic extensional regime accompanied by a local convective hydrothermal system along faults. Petrographic, crystal-chemical and ?11B isotopic data are compatible with a model of marine sediment dewatering at temperatures below 200 °C, which caused the removal of boron from clay. Metamorphism led to the development of tourmaline in an Al-Ti-rich environment, in equilibrium with other minerals such as ilmenite, albite and muscovite. The upper temperature of metamorphism (almost 375 °C), estimated on the basis of ?11B, fits geothermometric results from ? 13C carbonate-graphite on associated rocks. The estimated value of ?11B in the tourmalinite protolith, - 7.5‰ , is also compatible with continental-derived Al-rich sediments.

  10. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pagnoni, Gianluca; Tinti, Stefano

    2015-04-01

    The coast of the eastern Sicily is exposed to tsunamis that can be generated by local earthquakes (e.g. the 1169, 1693, 1908 events) and by earthquakes located in distant seismic zones (see the 365 AD tsunamigenic quake in Western Hellenic Arc). Tsunamis can also be generated by landslides possibly triggered by earthquakes. The Hyblean-Malta steep escarpment running offshore at a small angle with the coast is an ideal place for submarine mass failure occurrences with tsunamigenic effects. The entire eastern coast of Sicily from Messina in the north to Siracusa in the south is under the threat of tsunamis. In the frame of the FP7 European project ASTARTE (Assessment, Strategy And Risk Reduction for Tsunamis in Europe - FP7-ENV2013 6.4-3, Grant 603839), the segment of coast from Augusta to Siracusa was selected to undertake specific and detailed studies of tsunami hazard, vulnerability and damage to test existing methods and develop innovative approaches. The scope of the present work regards vulnerability and damage analyses. We chose to adopt two methods, known in the literature and briefly denoted as PTVA-3 and SCHEMA, that are based on two very different approaches, the former more qualitative and the latter more quantitative. The method PTVA-3 determines the vulnerability and damageability of a building by weighting and ranking a number of attributes covering the structural features of the edifice and the relevant characteristics of the surrounding environment such as the position with respect to the coast, the existence of defensive elements (e.g. walls, breakwaters, vegetation) and also the proximity to potential sources of floating objects that can feed damaging debris flows. On the other hand, the SCHEMA method uses a classification of building and a damage matrix that were derived from experimental fragility and damage curves first established after the Sumatra 2004 tsunami and later refined and adapted to the building stock of the Mediterranean region. The aim of this work is to compare the vulnerability and damage analyses carried out by means of the PTVA-3 and the SCHEMA methods on the same data set, that is the urban and port areas of Siracusa and Augusta in order to highlight similarities and discrepancies. In this preliminary analysis the coastal inundation was not derived from tsunami simulations, but was assumed to be constant along the coast (bathtub hypothesis) and was taken to be 5 m and 10 m respectively for Siracusa and Augusta. The main outcome of the compared analysis is that the two methods do not provide completely overlapping vulnerability and damage maps, though they use equivalent 5-degree scales. In general the PTVA-3 method tends to overestimate the damage, although there are several counterexamples where PTVA-3 foresees less damage than SCHEMA. The differences we found in the assessment opens the question of how to treat uncertainties in the vulnerability and damage analyses, which is a problem often overlooked, but of crucial importance for the application and for civil authorities.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Papa, M. A.; Tardo, V.

    2011-09-01

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

  13. Characteristics of the extreme rainfall event and consequent flash floods in North-East part of Sicily, Italy in October 2009

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tito Aronica, Giuseppe; Brigand?, Giuseppina

    2010-05-01

    On 1st October 2009, a devastating flooding was caused by a very intense rainfall concentrated over the Messina area in the North-East part of Sicily, Italy. The storm caused severe flash floods in many villages around the city of Messina, such as Gianpilieri, Scaletta Zanclea, Altolia Superiore and Molino with forty casualties and significant damage to property, buildings, roads and bridges estimated close to 200 million Euro. The main goal of the study here presented is put together available meteorological and hydrological data in order to get better insight into temporal and spatial variability of the rain storm, the soil moisture condition and the consequent flash floods in the catchment of the Gianpilieri river. The area of the catchment is approximately 10 km2, predominantly rural with woods and sparse shrubs in the upper mountainous part, while the areas next to the outlet are highly urbanized. The topography is very rugged and the slope is steep, as is that of a number of its tributaries, some of which are incised into narrow pathways as they approach the main channel. As a consequence, short concentration times are to be expected with fast hydrological response. The area under study has been subjected to unstable weather with high values of precipitation during all the September period. In fact, more than 40 percent of the annual total precipitation occurred during this period and consequently the catchment was totally saturated at the beginning of the event, as the post event analysis has shown. The event was investigated using observed data from a raingauge network and hydraulic evidences. Statistical analysis using GEV distribution was performed and rainfall return period (storm severity) was estimated. Further, measured rainfall data and rainfall-runoff modeling were used to analyze the hydrological behaviour and to reconstruct flood and debris hydrographs. The study confirmed that post-flood investigation should focus on discharges and hydrological response of the catchment rather than simply analyzing statistical characteristics of rainfall.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-05-01

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

  19. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-01-01

    The geo-biological exploration of a pockmark field located at ca. -800 m in the Gela basin (Strait of Sicily, Central Mediterranean) provided a relatively diverse chemosymbiotic community and methane-imprinted carbonates. To date, this is the first occurrence of such type of specialized deep-water cold-seep communities recorded from this key region, before documented in the Mediterranean as rather disjunct findings in its eastern and westernmost basins. The thiotrophic chemosymbiotic organisms recovered from this area include empty tubes of the vestimentiferan Lamellibrachia sp., loose and articulated shells of lucinids (Lucinoma kazani, Myrtea amorpha), vesicomyids (Isorropodon perplexum), and gastropods (Taranis moerchi). A callianassid decapod (Calliax sp.) was consistently found alive in large numbers in the pockmark mud. Their post-mortem calcified parts mixed with molluscs and subordinately miliolid foraminifers form a distinct type of skeletal assemblage (named DECAMOL). Carbonate concretions display ?13C values as low as -40 ‰ PDB suggesting the occurrence of light hydrocarbons in the seeping fluids. Since none of the truly chemosymbiotic organisms was found alive, although their skeletal parts appear at times very fresh, some specimens have been AMS-14C dated to shed light on the historical evolution of this site. Lamellibrachia and Lucinoma are two of the most significant chemosymbiotic taxa reported from various Mediterranean cold seep sites (Alboran Sea and Eastern basin). Specimens from station MEDCOR78 (pockmark#1, Lat 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 macrobenthic communities since the end of the Younger Dryas stadial up to sub-recent times.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-07-01

    The geo-biological exploration of a pockmark field located at ca. 800 m below sea level in the Gela basin (Strait of Sicily, Central Mediterranean) provided a relatively diverse chemosymbiotic community and methane-imprinted carbonates. To date, this is the first occurrence of such a type of specialised deep-water cold-seep communities recorded from this key region, before documented in the Mediterranean as rather disjunct findings in its eastern and westernmost basins. The thiotrophic chemosymbiotic organisms recovered from this area include empty tubes of the vestimentiferan Lamellibrachia sp., loose and articulated shells of lucinids (Lucinoma kazani, Myrtea amorpha), vesicomyids (Isorropodon perplexum), and gastropods (Taranis moerchii). A callianassid decapod (Calliax sp.) was consistently found alive in large numbers in the pockmark mud. Their post-mortem calcified parts mixed with molluscs and subordinately miliolid foraminifers form a distinct type of skeletal assemblage. Carbonate concretions display ?13C values as low as -40‰ PDB suggesting the occurrence of light hydrocarbons in the seeping fluids. Since none of the truly chemosymbiotic organisms was found alive, although their skeletal parts appear at times very fresh, some specimens have been AMS-14C dated to shed light on the historical evolution of this site. Lamellibrachiav and Lucinoma are two of the most significant chemosymbiotic taxa reported from various Mediterranean cold seep sites (Alboran Sea and Eastern basin). Specimens from station MEDCOR78 (pockmark #1, Lat. 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 sustaining thiotrophic macrobenthic communities since the end of the Younger Dryas stadial up to sub-recent times.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-05-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-09-01

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

  10. The changing urban landscape of Roman Sicily

    E-print Network

    Pfuntner, Laura

    2013-01-01

    city’s role in grain production, with ceramics distributed along the same overland routes the town’s public watercity stood. 66 An examination of the components of the town’s domestic and public water

  11. 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.

  12. Two new tardigrade species from Sicily.

    PubMed

    Pilato, Giovanni; Sabella, Giorgio; Lisi, Oscar

    2014-01-01

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

  13. 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

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

    PubMed

    Malta, Renato

    2010-01-01

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

  15. High-frequency source localization in the Strait of Sicily

    E-print Network

    Jesus, Sérgio M.

    be accounted for by including a time dependent modelling of the water column sound speed profile. Keywords the whole recording of the 2 and 5 km tracks in the high frequency band. It is shown that the increasing MFP-- Source localization, focalization, high-frequen- cies, shallow water. I. INTRODUCTION Matched

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. ELSEVIER Tectonophysics 298 (1998) 243258 Astronomical dating of a tectonic rotation on Sicily and consequences

    E-print Network

    Utrecht, Universiteit

    1998-01-01

    in opening of the Tyrrhenian Sea during the middle Pliocene. We speculate that this acceleration is related. Data from the oldest sediments overlying the Tyrrhenian basement (ODP Leg 107) suggest an acceleration

  1. Numerical investigation of the Sicily Channel dynamics: density currents and water mass advection

    E-print Network

    Ozgökmen, Tamay M.

    strength of the Tyrrhenian and Sicilian MAW branches. The transport across the Channel is found to increase Channel and Ionian Sea), while the highest values correspond to more remote density values, i and West- ern Mediterranean Sea, playing an important role in the dynamics of the Mediterranean general

  2. 77 FR 54647 - Culturally Significant Objects Imported for Exhibition Determinations: “Sicily: Art and Invention...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-09-05

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

  3. Selective Immunoglobulin A Deficiency in Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus: A Prevalence Study in Western Sicily (Italy)

    PubMed Central

    Maggio, Filippo

    2015-01-01

    Background The association between type 1 diabetes and immunoglobulin A deficiency (IgA-D) has long been recognized in many populations. The aim of this study was to assess the prevalence of IgA-D in patients with type 1 diabetes mellitus all coming from a defined geographical area and to investigate the clinical features of these subjects. Methods The records of 150 consecutive patients with type 1 diabetes mellitus referred in a period of one year were analyzed. A detailed history was obtained for each patient. Information was collected concerning age, gender, time of onset of diabetes, and presence of other autoimmune diseases. Results Out of 150 patients with type 1 diabetes, eight (5.3%) had a diagnosis of IgA-D. There were one female and seven male; all these patients were diagnosed by screening: none of them had history of recurrent infections. Autoimmune thyroiditis was coexisting in five patients (62%). Although other associated autoimmune disorders were found in a number of patients, there was no different prevalence rate in IgA deficient patients. Conclusion This study shows the prevalence of IgA-D in Sicilian patients with type 1 diabetes as 5.3% which is much higher than reported in other Italian studies. Moreover, our data show a high prevalence of IgA-D in male gender and describe thyroiditis as the most frequent autoimmune disease present in these patients. Finally, in our case report, IgA-D diagnosis always followed routine IgA measurement when case finding for celiac disease with no history of recurrent infections in each patient. PMID:25922807

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Crescimanno, G.; Garofalo, P.

    2003-04-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. Cyclostratigraphy and astrochronology of the Tripoli diatomite formation (pre-evaporite Messinian, Sicily, Italy)

    E-print Network

    Utrecht, Universiteit

    Cyclostratigraphy and astrochronology of the Tripoli diatomite formation (pre-evaporite Messinian Formation stratigraphically underlie limestones and evaporites of the Gessoso-Solfifera Formation deposited

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  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. Assessment of Coastal Vulnerability Through the Use of GIS Tools in South Sicily (Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anfuso, Giorgio; Martínez Del Pozo, José Ángel

    2009-03-01

    This study assessed coastal erosion vulnerability along a 90-km sector, which included both erosional and accretionary beaches, and different levels of human occupation. Two aerial photogrammetric flights were used to reconstruct coastal evolution between 1977 and 1999. During this period, extensive accretion was recorded updrift of human structures at harbors and ports, e.g., Scoglitti (105.6 m), Donnalucata (52.8 m), and Pozzallo (94.6 m). Conversely, erosion was recorded in downdrift areas, with maximum values at Modica Stream mouth (63.8 m) and Point Castellazzo (35.2 m). Assessments were subsequently divided into four categories ranging from “high erosion” to “accretion.” Several sources were examined to assess human activities and land use. The latter was mapped and divided into four categories, ranging from “very high” to “no capital” land use. Subsequently, coastal erosion vulnerability was assessed by combining land use categories with recorded coastline behavior. Results showed “very high” to “high” vulnerability along 5.8% and 16.6%, respectively, of the littoral, while 20.9% and 56.7%, respectively, was found to exhibit “medium” and “low/very low” vulnerability. A very good agreement between predicted coastal vulnerability and coastal trend had been observed over recent years. Furthermore, several human structures and activities are located within the “imminent collapse zone (ICZ)” which reached maximum values of 17.5 m at Modica Stream and 13.5 m at Point Braccetto.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  14. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

    Objective The present study aimed to assess seroprevalence of and risk factors for Toscana (TOSV) and Sicilian (SFSV) virus infections in a sample of Sicilian subjects. Methods A cross-sectional seroepidemiological study was conducted on 271 individuals. Each participant completed a self-administrated questionnaire and provided a serum sample which was analyzed for the presence of IgG specific anti-TOSV and anti-SFSV viruses. Results Overall, 90 subjects (33.2%) were positive for TOSV IgG, 25 (9.2%) were positive for SFSV IgG and 11 (4%) were positive for both the viruses. A higher risk for TOSV seropositivity was found in participants who were older (adjOR=1.02 per year; 95% CI=1.01–1.03), having a pet living outdoors (adjOR=2.62; 95% CI=1.42–4.83) and being obese (adjOR=2.37; 95% CI=1.06–5.30). Conclusions TOSV seroprevalence appears to be relatively high in Sicilian general population, especially in older adults, representing a potential public health concern. The observations that seropositivity for TOSV was not significantly associated with SFSV seropositivity, and none of the risk factors associated with TOSV were associated with SFSV seem to suggest that these two phleboviruses may have different ecology and transmission pathways. PMID:22120113

  16. 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).

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

    PubMed

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

    1999-08-01

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

  18. 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.

  19. "Preliminary Analysis On Correlations Between Spatial Distribution Of Chlorophyll-a And Experimental Data Of Biomass On The Sicily Channel

    E-print Network

    Spagnolo, Filippo

    "Preliminary Analysis On Correlations Between Spatial Distribution Of Chlorophyll as upwelling areas, temperature fronts, ocean colors and the presence of large amounts of chlorophyllFluorescence (in progress)(in progress) #12;Our studies centered on relationship between chlorophyll-a and fish

  20. 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).

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-01

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

  3. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-06-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1981-01-01

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

  6. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-04-01

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

  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. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-04-01

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

  11. 1st Semester 2005/2006, period a & b Dr Benedikt Lowe

    E-print Network

    Löwe, Benedikt

    for "encounters"/"conversations" Plato, Euthydemus Aristotle, Topics and Rhetoric Sophists Public disputations;Plato. Plato (c.427-347 BC) Student and follower of Socrates until 399 B.C. 399-387 BC: Plato travels widely, including Italy and Sicily 387 BC: Plato founds the Academy 362 BC: Plato is invited to Sicily

  12. 1346 VOLUME 28J O U R N A L O F P H Y S I C A L O C E A N O G R A P H Y 1998 American Meteorological Society

    E-print Network

    Codron, Francis

    into the Tyrrhenian Sea. 1. Introduction The Western Mediterranean Sea is connected with the Atlantic Ocean the strait of Sicily (Be´thoux 1980) while one-third flows into the Tyrrhenian Sea (Fig. 1). The path branches at the Strait of Sicily: one entering the Eastern Mediterranean Sea and the other flowing

  13. Italy: Mt. Etna

    Atmospheric Science Data Center

    2013-04-17

    article title:  Sicily's October Sky     View Larger Image The ... MISR's nadir-camera radiometric cloud mask indicates clear sky, digital surface elevation data are displayed instead. Some parts of the ...

  14. Fossil crinoid studies

    E-print Network

    Strimple, H. L.; Levorson, C. O.; McGinnis, M. R.; Moore, R. C.; Priest, A.

    1969-10-01

    Sundacrinidae MOORE & LAtiooN, which is therefore confined to the Permian of Australia, Timor and Russia." He included Tetrabrachiocrinus YAKOVLEV (1934), which is from the Permian of Sicily. This form has a large stem which completely covers the infrabasals...

  15. Refiguring the Sicilian Slave Wars : from servile unrest to civic disquiet and social disorder 

    E-print Network

    Morton, Peter Charles Francis

    2012-11-30

    This study argues that the so-called Sicilian Slave Wars are best understood as two differing instances of civic disquiet, social disorder and provincial revolt in Sicily, rather than as slave wars. Both events are ...

  16. Supplement 15, Parasite-Subject Catalogue, Parasites: Protozoa 

    E-print Network

    Humphrey, Judith M.; Segal, Dorothy B.; Beard, Mary I.; Edwards, Shirley J.; Kirby, Margie D.

    1966-01-01

    A late antique shipwreck was excavated in the Pantano Longarini marsh in the southeastern corner of Sicily in the 1960s. Despite its excellent preservation, problematic circumstances surrounding its excavation and publication ...

  17. ORIGINAL ARTICLE Breeding system and ecological traits of the critically endangered

    E-print Network

    Traveset, Anna

    Sea lavender Introduction Recovery plans for endangered plants often require the creation of new, self of the Tyrrhenian Islands (Sicily, Sardinia, Corsica, Balearic Islands) located in the Northwestern Mediterranean

  18. Lievi e dotte disquisizioni al Museo per la Storia Sabato 25 luglio, alle ore 17, sui lunghi viaggi compiuti dai professori universitari in giro per l'Euro-

    E-print Network

    Gilardi, Gianni

    Sicilie, Antonio Scarpa a Londra, Alessandro Volta a Parigi, saranno alcuni dei tour trattati dalle nostre sarà poi così cambiata? Museo per la Storia dell'Università Alessandro Volta Lazzaro Spallanzani

  19. About Face

    MedlinePLUS Videos and Cool Tools

    ... M. Perna US Army (1942 - 1945) Belgium, France, Germany, North Africa, Omaha Beach, Sicily Tap for Video ... for Video Arthur Jefferson US Army (1978 - 1998) Germany, Korea, United States Tap for Video Richard Sell ...

  20. The Pantano Longarini shipwreck: a reanalysis 

    E-print Network

    Kampbell, Sarah Marie

    2009-05-15

    A late antique shipwreck was excavated in the Pantano Longarini marsh in the southeastern corner of Sicily in the 1960s. Despite its excellent preservation, problematic circumstances surrounding its excavation and publication ...

  1. 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.

  2. Multiple sclerosis in the Republic of San Marino.

    PubMed Central

    Morganti, G; Naccarato, S; Elian, M; Ferrari, P; Kelly, R; Karhausen, L; Dean, G

    1984-01-01

    Previous studies on the prevalence of multiple sclerosis in Italy have grossly underestimated the prevalence of the disease. The prevalence in the Republic of San Marino (near Rimini), in Sicily, and no doubt in the rest of Italy, is of the same order of magnitude as in Europe--that is, 40-60/100 000. The contrast of this with the very low prevalence in Malta (only 60 miles (96 km) away from Sicily) of 4/100 000 should provide a clue to the genetic and environmental factors responsible for multiple sclerosis. PMID:6707559

  3. 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

  4. Origins of Logic Greek mathematics

    E-print Network

    Löwe, Benedikt

    in everyday life Sophists Public disputations as part of democratic life Plato, Euthydemus Aristotle, Topics and Rhetoric Megarians (next week) Core Logic ­ 2007/08-1ab ­ p. 5/4 #12;Plato. Plato (c.427-347 BC) Student and follower of Socrates until 399 B.C. 399-387 BC: Plato travels widely, including Italy and Sicily 387 BC

  5. Aldo Morselli, INFN Roma Tor Vergata! 1! The neutrinos-gamma-rays connection in the

    E-print Network

    Morselli, Aldo

    Aldo Morselli, INFN Roma Tor Vergata! 1! The neutrinos-gamma-rays connection in the understanding of high-energy astrophysical sources Aldo Morselli INFN Roma Tor Vergata Erice-Sicily , 16-24 September Morselli, INFN Roma Tor Vergata! 2! Happy 5th Birthday Fermi !! 11 June 2008 #12;Aldo Morselli, INFN Roma

  6. ELSEVIER Tectonophysics 296 (1998) 249268 The role of subduction in the evolution of the Apennines foreland basin

    E-print Network

    Buiter, Susanne

    1998-01-01

    , with compression in the Apennine thrust belt adjacent to extension in the Tyrrhenian Sea, is re- lated Sicily Tyrrhenian Sea Calabria Apennines Ionian Sea 36N 40N 44N 48N 6E 10E 14E 18E 22E Fig. 1. Map of which is formed by the Tyrrhenian­ Apennines system (Fig. 1). The origin of this sys- tem

  7. 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. ...

  8. Heredity and Environment in the Development of Intelligence

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Migliorino, Giuseppe

    1974-01-01

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

  9. Proteomes and Proteins A Course Jointly Organized by

    E-print Network

    Pascucci, Valerio

    the life cycle of cells and organisms, their modifications in disease states as well as the applications Sicily, and is easily reachable via hydrofoil boat or ferry from Naples, Messina and Milazzo. Its natural + hydrofoil, 2 social tours and the social dinner. Participants who wish to stay one week only may choose

  10. Improving Functional Communication Skills in Adolescents and Young Adults with Severe Autism Using Gentle Teaching and Positive Approaches.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Polirstok, Susan Rovet; Dana, Lawrence; Buono, Serafino; Mongelli, Vita; Trubia, Grazia

    2003-01-01

    A study evaluated a therapeutic intervention program for young adults with severe autism at the Oasi Institute in Troina, Sicily. The program, which integrates gentle teaching, humanistic applied behavior analysis, and functional communication training, provides opportunities to acquire functional skills through errorless learning activities.…

  11. A Silver Anniversary: The first 25 years of the Kenneth Spencer Research Library

    E-print Network

    Helyar, James; Mason, Alexandra; Williams, Sheryl K.; Kehde, Edward; Bunch, Barry; Crowe, William J.

    1994-01-01

    with this are three manuscripts of works attributed to Aristotle, including the pseudo-Aristotelian work "De porno", trans­ lated from Hebrew into Latin by King Manfred of Sicily. It is clear from the presence of these four works together in their 15th century...

  12. Filippo Spagnolo University of Palermo

    E-print Network

    Spagnolo, Filippo

    . The Phoenician , The Greek, The Romans, The Arabs, The Spanisch and French people etc... The conference in Sicily ancient epoches. La présence de cette université fait que Piazza Armerina a étè un centre culturel de the collaboration in organisation of meeting has been constructive and efficient by many people. Many thanks

  13. PermophilesInternational Commission on Stratigraphy International Union of Geological Sciences

    E-print Network

    Mondello (Sicani Mountains, Sicily) Norian GSSP candidate 4 M. Balini, A. Bertinelli, P. Di Stefano, P (Carboniferous) occurrences of Lochriea species at the Vegas de Sotres section (Cantabrian Mountains, Spain) 9 S 11 P. Bultynck Imprint of euconodont animal from the Lower Carboniferous shale of the Northern Urals

  14. ETTORE MAJORANA FOUNDATION AND CENTRE FOR SCIENTIFIC CULTURE TO PAY A PERMANENT TRIBUTE TO ARCHIMEDES AND GALILEO GALILEI, FOUNDERS OF MODERN SCIENCE

    E-print Network

    Roma "La Sapienza", Università di

    AND HEALTH PROMOTION ERICE-SICILY: 20 ­ 24 APRIL 2015 Sponsored by the: · Italian Ministry of Education in different countries by the World Health Organization and different local institutions, there is a lack public health frame. The problem requires to be faced in a multifactorial perspective, by considering

  15. MY FAVORITE NUMBERS: September 15, 2008

    E-print Network

    Baez, John

    by iron pyrite, or `fool's gold': #12;But fool's gold cannot have 5-fold symmetry ­ no crystal can! What you just saw was a `pyritohedron': #12;The Greek colonies in Sicily had a lot of pyrite dodecahedron by `perfecting' the pyrite crystals they saw. #12;The Pythagoreans were also fascinated

  16. 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...

  17. Digitally Modeling, Visualizing and Preserving Archaeological Sites

    E-print Network

    Benko, Hrvoje

    is an impor- tant problem. These sites are subject to erosion and van- dalism, and, as long-lived artifacts- cavation in Sicily, with the goal of digitally recording an ar- chaeological excavation. We had three goals archaeologists in their post- excavation interpretation and analysis. In our prototype, a user wearing a head

  18. CIVILIZATION, ROLE OF SOILS D Hillel, Columbia University, New York, NY, USA

    E-print Network

    in ways that tended to destabilize natural ecosystems. In many of the ancient countries, where human, Lebanon, Greece, Cyprus, Crete, Sicily, Tunisia, and south- eastern Spain. There, rainfed farming-fated was the ancient civilization of the Indus Valley in present-day Pakistan. There were, on the other hand, some

  19. U.S. Army pathfinders in World War II: the Mediterranean and Europe 

    E-print Network

    Hickenbottom, Richard Scott

    1995-01-01

    The first large-scale use of American paratroopers in combat occurred during the invasion of Sicily, code-named Operation HUSKY, in July 1943, when poor navigation by troop-carrier pilots caused the 505th Parachute Infantry Regimental Combat Team...

  20. Spatial genetic structure of Aquilegia taxa endemic to the island of Sardinia J. L. Garrido1,*, G. Fenu2, E. Mattana2 and G. Bacchetta2

    E-print Network

    Herrera, Carlos M.

    , Aquilegia nugorensis, Aquilegia nuragica, biodiversity hotspot, AFLP markers, spatial genetic structure (Sicily and Balearic Islands), constitute one of the most important biodiversity hotspots within of the most important regions for the Earth's plant biodiversity (Me´dail and Myers, 2004; Thompson, 2005

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

    SciTech Connect

    Zappaterra, E.

    1995-08-01

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

  2. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Selgeby, James H.

    1975-01-01

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

  7. 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

  8. Future petroleum provinces of the world

    SciTech Connect

    Halbouty, M.T.

    1986-01-01

    This book contains the proceedings of the Wallace E. Pratt Memorial Conference held in Phoenix in December 1984. Some of the titles of the papers are: Oil and Gas Possibilities On- and Offshore Ghana, Geology and Hydrocarbon Potential of the Arafura Sea, Philippine Islands: A Tectonic Railroad Siding, Deep Mediterranean Basins and Their Oil Potential, Petroleum Potential of the Thrust Belt and Foretroughs of Sicily, and Future Potential for Hydrocarbon Exploration on the United Kingdom Contential Shelf.

  9. Simulation and processing of one-bit coded SRTM raw data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Franceschetti, Giorgio; Iodice, Antonio; Tesauro, Manlio

    1998-11-01

    Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) X-band simulated interferometric raw signal pairs are used to test the performance of a new phase preserving Signum Coded SAR Processor (SCSP) for real time operations. Raw signal pairs relevant to both a canonical and a real scenario are simulated. The canonical scene consists of a pyramid and three corner reflectors. The real scene refers to the Mt. Etna area, in Sicily, Italy. Full result comparison between SCSP and conventional products is presented.

  10. Shipping sheep: a zooarchaeology of Greek colonisation

    E-print Network

    Sanford, Jane

    2012-06-28

    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 2.2 Principal regions of ancient Greece . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 2.3 Map of Greece and Albania showing sites mentioned in this chapter. . . . . . . . . 11 2.4 Finds of Mycenaean pottery in the Adriatic and Ionian... regions of ancient Greece . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38 3.2 Map showing sites of Greece, Albania and Sicily relating to discussions in this chapter of the Persian and Peloponnesian Wars. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47 3...

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brigandì, Giuseppina; Tito Aronica, Giuseppe

    2013-04-01

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

  12. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-02-01

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

  14. 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. Clark et al. (1989) agreed on Crowley's Ridge, but suggested the Loveland/Sicily Island loess on Sicily Island was older. Mirecki and Miller (1994) and Millard and Maat (1994) suggested an Illinoian age for the Loveland/Sicily Island loess. Miller and co-workers suggested, as did Pye and Johnson (1988), an Illinoian age for the Crowley's Ridge loess. McKay and Follmer (1985) suggested it correlated with a loess under "Kansan" till. Stratigraphy indicates the Marianna is the older of the five loesses. Researchers identified loess on both the east and west side of the LMV as well as on higher terraces within the valley. Many researchers assumed unaltered loesses were commonly yellowish brown, and silts or silt loams (West et al., 1980; Miller et al., 1986). The nonclay fraction of unweathered LMV loesses was dominated by quartz followed by carbonates, mainly dolomites, followed by feldspars, and micas. Clays were dominated by montmorillonite followed by micaceous minerals, kaolinite and vermiculite (Miller et al., 1986). Soils in the Crowley's Ridge loess are most developed, followed by the soils in the Loveland/Sicily Island which are more developed than the modern soils in the Peoria Loess. Soils in the Roxana and Marianna loesses are least developed and the Farmdale Soil of the Roxana is the weaker of the two (Miller et al., 1986). There is certainly overlapping range in the degree of soil development in the various loesses.

  15. Vp and Vs seismic velocity models of the Sicilian-Tyrrhenian region using local earthquake data. Assessment tests to obtain reliable velocity models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Parisi, L.; Calo, M.; Luzio, D.; Sulli, A.

    2011-12-01

    In this work we present Vp and Vs velocity models of the crust and uppermost mantle beneath the Sicilian-Tyrrhenian region (Southern Italy). We applied the double-difference tomography of Zhang and Thurber (2003) further optimized by the post-processing Weighted Average Model method (Calò et al., 2009; Calò, 2009). The tomographic method was applied to three datasets. The first dataset contains 31270 P- and 13588 S- absolute data and 73022 P- and 27893 S- differential times regarding earthquakes occurred from 1981 to 2005 and recorded by 192 stations. The second dataset is composed by 27668 P- and 11183 S- absolute data and 63296 P- and 29683 S- differential times of earthquakes occurred between January 2006 and December 2009 and recorded by 140 stations. The third dataset results as a merging of the two datasets above described. After an assessment of the results obtained after the inversion of the three datasets, we constructed the final Vp and Vs models as syntheses of all results using the WAM method. Checkerboard tests indicate that horizontal resolution allow to recovery velocity structures 20 km wide in the southern Tyrrhenian Sea and north-eastern Sicily area whereas anomalies of from 40 to 70 km are restored in the southern part of Sicily, Ionian Sea and Sicily Channel. Vertical resolution is 3 km in the shallower parts of the models (down to about 20 km) and 8 -10 km in the deeper ones (down to 50 km). Furthermore, a Vp- Vs correlation analysis was performed in order to assess the minimum threshold of DWS (Toomey and Foulger, 1986) that ensures a sufficient reliability of the seismic velocity distributions. These preliminary results show highly resolved Vp and Vs models and provide new constrains on the lithospheric structures of the study area.

  16. 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 explain diversification patterns in lacustrine copepods. PMID:25915059

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-12-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-02-01

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

  1. 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.

  2. Blastoid studies

    E-print Network

    Fay, R. O.

    1961-10-30

    . The Mastoids of Timor, Europe, Russia, and North America have almost nothing in common. This probably reflects the need for more collecting in critical areas and the restudy of present material, but it could mean that blastoids were provincial. Genera... of Permian blastoids on Timor in the Dutch East Indies, and subsequently similar fossils have been found in the Permian of Russia, Sicily, and New South Wales. In a series of articles written from the early 1920's to 1940, J. WANNER described and illustrated...

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

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

  8. Spatio-temporal behaviour of the deep chlorophyll maximum in Mediterranean Sea: Development of a stochastic model for picophytoplankton dynamics

    E-print Network

    Denaro, G; La Cognata, A; Spagnolo, B; Bonanno, A; Basilone, G; Mazzola, S; Zgozi, S; Aronica, S; Brunet, C

    2012-01-01

    In this paper, by using a stochastic reaction-diffusion-taxis model, we analyze the picophytoplankton dynamics in the basin of the Mediterranean Sea, characterized by poorly mixed waters. The model includes intraspecific competition of picophytoplankton for light and nutrients. The multiplicative noise sources present in the model account for random fluctuations of environmental variables. Phytoplankton distributions obtained from the model show a good agreement with experimental data sampled in two different sites of the Sicily Channel. The results could be extended to analyze data collected in different sites of the Mediterranean Sea and to devise predictive models for phytoplankton dynamics in oligotrophic waters.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2001-01-01

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

  15. 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

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

    E-print Network

    Mir, Tariq Ahmad; Cerqueti, Roy

    2014-01-01

    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. ...

  17. 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.

  18. Vega is first offshore development for Montedison

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1985-10-01

    Montedison's Vega field, 15 miles off the southern tip of Sicily, has recoverable oil reserves of 400 million bbl. This is Montedison's first offshore development venture, although the operator has considerable onshore experience. It will be followed by a second field, the smaller Mila floating production system, also off Sicily. One platform will be placed on a template installed in 1983 with up to 18 pre-drilled wells in water depths of 480 ft. The field may hold up to 1 billion bbl of 16/sup 0/ crude, but geology is complex and heavily fractured. The template has 30 available drilling slots, and water injection is being considered. The Vega discovery well was drilled in 1980, with 5000 b/d tested from 1000-ft oil column in Strep-penosa shales. Subsequently five wells were drilled by the Glomar Biscay I semi. These wells were drilled to a depth of just over 8000 ft with a total deviation of 60/sup 0/. The template is the first in the Mediterranean.

  19. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-07-01

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

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

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

  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 segment in the Ionian Sea, connecting the compressive belt in northern Sicily to the Hellenic Arc system and dissecting the CA subduction complex. This deformation zone accommodates differential movements of the Calabrian and the Peloritan portions of CA and can explain the NW-SE extension observed in the straits of Messina as well as the relative motion between Calabria and NE Sicily. This reconstruction is in agreement with geodetic data and earthquake slip vectors observations which suggest the existence of a microplate in the central Mediterranean. The discontinuity between the two lobes would thus represent a major component of the southwestern (hitherto poorly constrained) boundary of this microplate. The motion of Africa relative to Eurasia would be accommodated along this structure by relative rotations between the different blocks resulting from African plate fragmentation.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-07-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Birgel, Daniel; Peckmann, Jörn

    2015-04-01

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

  9. Goethe's Italian Journey and the geological landscape

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Coratza, Paola; Panizza, Mario

    2015-04-01

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

  10. Source and nature of inhaled atmospheric dust from trace element analyses of human bronchial fluids.

    PubMed

    Censi, Paolo; Zuddas, Pierpaolo; Randazzo, Loredana A; Tamburo, Elisa; Speziale, Sergio; Cuttitta, Angela; Punturo, Rosalda; Aricò, Pietro; Santagata, Roberta

    2011-08-01

    Rapid volcanic eruptions quickly ejecting large amounts of dust provoke the accumulation of heavy metals in people living in surrounding areas. Analyses of bronchoalveolar lavage samples (BAL) collected from people exposed to the paroxysmal 2001 Etna eruption revealed a strong enrichment of many toxic heavy metals. Comparing the BAL to the dust composition of southeastern Sicily, we found that only V, Cr, Mn, Fe, Co, and U enrichment could be related to the volcanic event, whereas Ni, Cu, Cd, and Pb contents come from the dissolution of particles of anthropogenic origin. Furthermore, the nature of these inhaled anthropogenic particles was revealed by anomalous La and partially Ce concentrations in BAL that were consistent with a mixture of road dust and petroleum refinery emissions. Our results indicate that trace element distribution in BAL is a suitable tracer of human exposure to different sources of inhaled atmospheric particulates, allowing investigations into the origin of source materials inhaled by people subjected to atmospheric fallout. PMID:21692480

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. Impact of environmental pollution on caged mussels Mytilus galloprovincialis using NMR-based metabolomics.

    PubMed

    Cappello, Tiziana; Mauceri, Angela; Corsaro, Carmelo; Maisano, Maria; Parrino, Vincenzo; Lo Paro, Giuseppe; Messina, Giuseppe; Fasulo, Salvatore

    2013-12-15

    Metabolic responses to environmental pollution, mainly related to Hg and PAHs, were investigated in mussels. Specimens of Mytilus galloprovincialis, sedentary filter-feeders, were caged in anthropogenic-impacted and reference sites along the Augusta coastline (Sicily, Italy). The gills, mainly involved in nutrient uptake, digestion and gas exchange, were selected as target organ being the first organ to be affected by pollutants. Severe alterations in gill tissue were observed in mussels from the industrial area compared with control, while gill metabolic profiles, obtained by (1)H NMR spectroscopy and analyzed by multivariate statistics, exhibited significant changes in amino acids, energy metabolites, osmolytes and neurotransmitters. Overall, the morphological changes and metabolic disturbance detected in gill tissues may suggest that the mussels transplanted to the contaminated field site were suffering from adverse environmental condition. The concurrent morphological and metabolomic investigations as applied here result effective in assessing the environmental influences on health status of aquatic organisms. PMID:24211101

  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, ?m-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. [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

  17. Distribution and assessment of marine debris in the deep Tyrrhenian Sea (NW Mediterranean Sea, Italy).

    PubMed

    Angiolillo, Michela; di Lorenzo, Bianca; Farcomeni, Alessio; Bo, Marzia; Bavestrello, Giorgio; Santangelo, Giovanni; Cau, Angelo; Mastascusa, Vincenza; Cau, Alessandro; Sacco, Flavio; Canese, Simonepietro

    2015-03-15

    Marine debris is a recognized global ecological concern. Little is known about the extent of the problem in the Mediterranean Sea regarding litter distribution and its influence on deep rocky habitats. A quantitative assessment of debris present in the deep seafloor (30-300 m depth) was carried out in 26 areas off the coast of three Italian regions in the Tyrrhenian Sea, using a Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV). The dominant type of debris (89%) was represented by fishing gears, mainly lines, while plastic objects were recorded only occasionally. Abundant quantities of gears were found on rocky banks in Sicily and Campania (0.09-0.12 debris m(-2)), proving intense fishing activity. Fifty-four percent of the recorded debris directly impacted benthic organisms, primarily gorgonians, followed by black corals and sponges. This work provides a first insight on the impact of marine debris in Mediterranean deep ecosystems and a valuable baseline for future comparisons. PMID:25604749

  18. Serum prolactin as a tool for the follow-up of treated DHPR-deficient patients.

    PubMed

    Concolino, D; Muzzi, G; Rapsomaniki, M; Moricca, M T; Pascale, M G; Strisciuglio, P

    2008-12-01

    Deficiency of dihydropteridine reductase causes a variant form of phenylketonuria associated with a devastating neurological disease characterized by mental retardation, hypokinesis and other features relating to basal ganglia disorder. Hyperphenylalaninaemias with tetrahydrobiopterin deficiency make up about 1-3% of all hyperphenylalaninaemias. We describe three patients from Calabria, a southern region of Italy, who have a dihydropteridine reductase deficiency, caused by the same mutation (p.L14P) also found in the nearby region of Sicily. We report the evolution of clinical and biochemical data during the treatment of these patients where we used prolactin serum determination to adapt the specific therapy. This report suggests that serum prolactin levels can be a good biomarker for optimal dosage of hydroxylated precursors in long-term treatment monitoring. PMID:18425437

  19. [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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-01

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

  1. Deep seawater inherent optical properties in the Southern Ionian Sea

    E-print Network

    G. Riccobene; A. Capone; the NEMO collaboration

    2006-03-25

    The NEMO (NEutrino Mediterranean Observatory) Collaboration has been carrying out since 1998 an evaluation programme of deep sea sites suitable for the construction of the future Mediterranean km3 Cerenkov neutrino telescope. We investigated the seawater optical and oceanographic properties of several deep sea marine areas close to the Italian Coast. Inherent optical properties (light absorption and attenuation coefficients) have been measured as a function of depth using an experimental apparatus equipped with standard oceanographic probes and the commercial transmissometer AC9 manufactured by WETLabs. This paper reports on the visible light absorption and attenuation coefficients measured in deep seawater of a marine region located in the Southern Ionian Sea, 60-100 km SE of Capo Passero (Sicily). Data show that blue light absorption coefficient is about 0.015 1/m (corresponding to an absorption length of 67 m) close to the one of optically pure water and it doe not show seasonal variation.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. Preliminary Results from the GPS-Reflections Mediterranean Balloon Experiment (GPSR MEBEX)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Garrison, James L.; Ruffini, Giulio; Rius, Antonio; Cardellach, Estelle; Masters, Dallas; Armathys, Michael; Zavorotny, Valery

    2000-01-01

    An experiment to collect bistatically scattered GPS signals from a balloon at 37 km altitude has been conducted. This experiment represented the highest altitude to date that such signals were successfully recorded. The flight took place in August 1999 over the Mediterranean sea, between a launch in Sicily and recovery near Nerpio, a town in the Sierra de Segura, Albacete province of Huelva, Spain. Results from this experiment are presented, showing the waveform shape as compared to theoretical calculations. These results will be used to validate analytical models which form the basis of wind vector retrieval algorithms. These algorithms are already being validated from aircraft altitudes, but may be applied to data from future spaceborne GPS receivers. Surface wind data from radiosondes were used for comparison. This experiment was a cooperative project between NASA, the IEEC in Barcelona, and the University of Colorado at Boulder.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. FT-IR spectroscopic analysis to study the firing processes of prehistoric ceramics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barone, G.; Crupi, V.; Longo, F.; Majolino, D.; Mazzoleni, P.; Tanasi, D.; Venuti, V.

    2011-05-01

    In this work, we present a FT-IR absorbance investigation on prehistoric ceramics with the aim of characterizing the phase transformations that occur during the cooking processes. The measurements were performed on several potteries belonging to the Middle Bronze Age excavated in the Catania hinterland (Sicily, Southern Italy). Based on the macroscopic observation, the samples may be distinguished on coarse and fine ceramics, and the petrographic study showed a strongly heterogeneous structure and composition. The results were compared with the data obtained by means of X-ray diffraction (XRD) and with the microscopic qualitative observations of the birefringence of the groundmass. The whole set of the data showed a firing temperature in the 800-900 °C range. The simultaneous presence in several samples of calcite and clay minerals and of new-formed Ca-silicates should be indicative of a quite primitive technological firing process with strong temperature variation inside the kiln.

  10. Estimating Evapotranspiration Of Orange Orchards Using Surface Renewal And Remote Sensing Techniques

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Consoli, S.; Russo, A.; Snyder, R.

    2006-08-01

    Surface renewal (SR) analysis was utilized to calculate sensible heat flux density from high frequency temperature measurements above orange orchard canopies during 2005 in eastern Sicily (Italy). The H values were employed to estimate latent heat flux density (LE) using measured net radiation (Rn) and soil heat flux density (G) in the energy balance (EB) equation. Crop coefficients were determined by calculating the ratio Kc=ETa/ETo, with reference ETo derived from the daily Penman-Monteith equation. The estimated daily Kc values showed an average of about 0.75 for canopy covers having about 70% ground shading and 80% of PAR light interception. Remote sensing estimates of Kc and ET fluxes were compared with those measured by SR-EB. IKONOS satellite estimates of Kc and NDVI were linearly correlated for the orchard stands.

  11. On the use of innovative post-event data for reducing uncertainty in calibrating flood propagation models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Candela, Angela; Naso, Susanna; Tito Aronica, Giuseppe

    2013-04-01

    Hydraulic models for flood propagation description are an essential tool in many fields and are used, for example, for flood hazard and risk assessments, evaluation of flood control measures, etc. However, the calibration of these models is still underdeveloped in contrast to other models like e.g. hydrological models essentially for lacking of specific data, because extreme flood events occur rarely and very rarely are monitored. Very often calibration data, when available, consist of water depths measure in some scattered points. For an inundation event occurred on November 2011 in Sicily, new sources of data were available due to the availability of many videos recorded by 'common' people using new technologies. These videos allowed to derive flow velocities and estimate flow discharges in some parts of the inundated area. These pieces of information have been used together with the measured water depths to improve GLUE calibration of a two-dimensional finite element flood propagation model and reduce equifinality in its predictions.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2005-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2004-12-01

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

  14. Abundances of demersal sharks and chimaera from 1994-2009 scientific surveys in the central Mediterranean Sea.

    PubMed

    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

  15. Lake herring (Coregonus artedi) and rainbow smelt (Osmerus mordax) diets in western Lake Superior

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Johnson, T.B.; Brown, W.P.; Corry, T.D.; Hoff, M.H.; Scharold, J.V.; Trebitz, A.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 predator-prey and energetic pathways, ultimately affecting growth and production of the ecosystem.

  16. 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.

  17. Detecting the development of active lava flow fields with a very-long-range terrestrial laser scanner and thermal imagery

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    James, M. R.; Pinkerton, H.; Applegarth, L. J.

    2009-11-01

    Regular topographic surveys of active lava flows could provide significant insight into the development of flow fields, but data of sufficient accuracy, spatial extent and repeat frequency to quantify the processes involved have yet to be acquired. Here, we report results from the use of a new very-long-range terrestrial laser scanner (TLS) on active lavas at Mount Etna, Sicily. The scanner proved capable of providing useful topographic data from volcanic terrain at ranges up to ˜3500 m, with laser returns from ash-covered slopes as well as from lava. Despite very low effusion rates (<1 m3s-1), topographic changes associated with the emplacement and inflation of new flows and the inflation of a tumulus were detected. Irregular data spacing resulting from oblique views makes the interpretation of laser-derived digital elevation models alone difficult, but fusing topographic data with thermal images allows active flow features to be clearly visualized.

  18. Regional scale analysis for the design of storage tanks for domestic rainwater harvesting systems.

    PubMed

    Campisano, A; Modica, C

    2012-01-01

    A regional scale analysis for the design of storage tanks for domestic rain water harvesting systems is presented. The analysis is based on the daily water balance simulation of the storage tank by the yield-after-spillage algorithm as tank release rule. Water balances are applied to 17 rainfall gauging stations in Sicily (Italy). Compared with literature existing methods, a novel dimensionless parameter is proposed to better describe the intra-annual character of the rainfall patterns. As a result, easy-to-use regional regressive models to evaluate the water saving performance and the overflow discharges from the tank are provided along with a stepwise procedure for practical application. The regional models demonstrate good fits between model predictions and simulated values of both water savings and overflows from the tank. PMID:22678193

  19. Continental Supply and Climate Variations In Mediterranean Pliocene

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Foucault, Alain; Melieres, Frederic; Combourieu-Nebaout, Nathalie

    From the Pliocene period to present day, the Mediterranean marine sedimentation is characterised by cycles resulting from climate variations, which are controlled by Earth orbital parameters. Theses cycles are evidenced in the sediment content vari- ation, particularly through composition and proportions of the material supplied by continents. Concerning mineral supply we were able to show alternations of humid pe- riods, during which fluvial supply is dominant, and arid periods, during which eolian supply from the southern borderlands of the Mediterranean is significant. Concerning organic supply, palynological study confirms theses climatic controls, emphasising the importance of fresh water runoff during humid periods. This synthetic image re- sults from the study of several Pliocene Mediterranean stratigraphical series located in Sicily (Lido Rosselo, Punta di Maiata, Punta Piccola), Calabria (Monte Singa, Vrica) or cored during Leg 160 ODP (Hole 964). References: FOUCAULT A. et MELIERES F. (1995).- Nature et origine des cy- cles sédimentaires métriques du Pliocène de l'Ouest méditerranéen d'après l'étude du contenu terrigène de la Formation Narbone (Punta Piccola, Sicile, Italie). C. R Ac. Sci. Paris, t. 321, II a, p. 869-876. MELIERES F., FOUCAULT A. and BLANC-VALLERON, M.M. (1998). Mineralogical record of cyclic climate changes in Mediterranean Mid-Pliocene deposits from Hole 964A (Ionian Basin) and from Punta Piccola (Sicily). In Robertson, A.H.F., Emeis, K.-C., Richter, C., and Camer- lenghi, A. (Eds.), 1998. Proc. ODP., Sci. Results, 160; College Station, TX (Ocean Drilling Program), p. 219-226. FOUCAULT, A. and MELIERES, F. (2000). Palaeocli- mate cyclicity in central Mediterranean Pliocene sediments: the mineralogical signal. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 148: 311-323.

  20. Post flash flood field investigations and analysis: the event of 22 November 2011 in the Longano catchment, Italy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tito Aronica, Giuseppe; Cavalli, Marco; Gaume, Eric; Marchi, Lorenzo; Naso, Susanna; Borga, Marco

    2014-05-01

    On 22 November 2011, an exceptional rainstorm hit the North-East part of Sicily (Italy) producing local heavy rainfall, mud-debris flow and flash flooding. The storm was concentrated on the Tyrrhenian Sea coast, near the city of Barcellona within the Longano catchment (26 km2). It started at 5.00 am and lasted for approximately 11 hours, with a return period greater than 100 years yet for 2 hours duration and greater than 300 years yet for 3 hours'. The aim of this work is to investigate the flood response in order to document the rainfall and flood properties and to analyze the characteristics of the event water balance. Fine resolution distributed rainfall estimates were obtained by combining observations from the Monte Lauro Doppler C-band weather radar, satellite data and the raingauge network. Satellite data were used to correct for the severe beam blocking due to the effect of orography on the radar beam propagation. A detailed study of the hydrological response of the catchment was performed by means of a rainfall-runoff modeling and flood frequency analysis. To ensure model simulation accuracy, the model results were compared with peak discharges obtained from post flood field estimates based on high water marks and cross section surveying. Peak flood timing from the model were contrasted with data gathered from witnesses interviews and video recordings. The estimated flood peak discharge of the Longano river in the city of Barcellona is around 230 m3/s, indicating a very intense response which is in the range of the extreme events for similar size catchments in Sicily. Flood inundation and propagation in the city were modeled using a 2D hydraulic model based on De Saint Venant equations previously calibrated using the observations concerning water depths and flow velocities. A geomorphological survey was also conducted to document erosion and sedimentation processes associated to the extreme flood.

  1. Silica cycling in the ultra-oligotrophic eastern Mediterranean Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krom, M. D.; Kress, N.; Fanning, K.

    2014-08-01

    Although silica is a key plant nutrient, there have been few studies aimed at understanding the Si cycle in the eastern Mediterranean Sea (EMS). Here we use a combination of new measurements and literature values to explain the silicic acid distribution across the basin and to calculate a silica budget to identify the key controlling processes. The surface water concentration of ∼1 ?M, which is unchanging seasonally across the basin, was due to the inflow of western Mediterranean Sea (WMS) water at the Straits of Sicily. It does not change seasonally because there is only a sparse population of diatoms due to the low nutrient (N and P) supply to the photic zone in the EMS. The concentration of silicic acid in the deep water of the western Ionian Sea (6.3 ?M) close to the S Adriatic are an of formation was due to the preformed silicic acid (3 ?M) plus biogenic silica (BSi) from the dissolution of diatoms from the winter phytoplankton bloom (3.2 ?M). The increase of 4.4 ?M across the deep water of the EMS was due to silicic acid formed from in situ diagenetic weathering of aluminosilicate minerals fluxing out of the sediment. The major inputs to the EMS are silicic acid and BSi inflowing from the western Mediterranean (121 × 109 mol Si yr-1 silicic acid and 16 × 109 mol Si yr-1 BSi), silicic acid fluxing from the sediment (54 × 109 mol Si yr-1) and riverine (27 × 109 mol Si yr-1) and subterranean groundwater (9.7 × 109 mol Si yr-1) inputs, with only a minor direct input from dissolution of dust in the water column (1 × 109 mol Si yr-1). This budget shows the importance of rapidly dissolving BSi and in situ weathering of aluminosilicate minerals as sources of silica to balance the net export of silicic acid at the Straits of Sicily. Future measurements to improve the accuracy of this preliminary budget have been identified.

  2. When the Rule Becomes the Exception. No Evidence of Gene Flow between Two Zerynthia Cryptic Butterflies Suggests the Emergence of a New Model Group

    PubMed Central

    Vovlas, Alessio; Chelazzi, Guido; Bonelli, Simona; Balletto, Emilio; Ciofi, Claudio

    2013-01-01

    There is increasing evidence that most parapatric cryptic/sister taxa are reproductively compatible across their areas of contact. Consequently, the biological species concept, which assumes absence of interbreeding, is becoming a not so effective criterion in evolutionary ecology. Nevertheless, the few parapatric sister taxa showing complete reproductive barriers represent interesting models to study speciation processes and the evolution of reproductive isolation. In this study, we examined contact populations in northwestern Italy of two butterfly species, Zerynthia polyxena and Z. cassandra, characterized by different genitalic morphotypes. We studied levels of divergence among 21 populations distributed from Sicily to France using three genetic markers (the mitochondrial COI and ND1 genes and the nuclear wingless gene) and genitalic geometric morphometrics. Moreover, we performed species distribution modelling to estimate different climatic requirements of Z. polyxena and Z. cassandra. We projected climatic data into glacial maximum scenarios in order to verify if and to which extent glacial cycles could have contributed to speciation processes. Genetic and morphometric analyses identified two main groups. All specimens showed a concordant pattern of diversification, including those individuals sampled in the contact area. Haplotype distribution and climatic models showed that during glacial maxima both species experienced a strong range contraction and presumably remained separated into different microrefugia in southern France, in the Italian Peninsula and on the islands of Elba and Sicily. Long term separation was probably favoured by reduced dispersal ability and high phylopatry, while genitalic diversification probably favoured interbreeding avoidance. Conversely, the aposematic wing pattern remained almost identical. We compared our results with those obtained in other species and concluded that Z. polyxena and Z. cassandra represent a valuable model in the study of speciation. PMID:23755277

  3. Burial history influence on the generation of some Italian oils

    SciTech Connect

    Mattavelli, L.; Novelli, L. )

    1990-05-01

    Many Italian oils were sourced by Triassic source rock; evidence of this exists in the Po Plain. In the Adriatic Sea, and offshore southern Sicily. Bulk and geochemical characteristics of these oils are quite dissimilar: heavy oils as well as gasolines were discovered. Such differences are partly attributable to the organic matter type and to environmental conditions, but the role of the source rock's burial histories is fundamental in determining oil characteristics. The different burial histories in these two areas definitely account for these differences. In the Po Plain, the Raethian Argilliti di Riva di Solto Formation, source rock of condensates of the Malossa area, started to generate very early as a consequence of the noticeable Rhaetian-Liassic subsidence. The generation of oil continued for a long geological time, but probably hydrocarbons were lost for the lack of traps. Only condensates, generated by the further Pliocene-Quaternary burial, were accumulated in the Neogene traps. In the western part of the Po Plain, Gaggiano and Villafortuna oils (34 and 40{degree} API), sourced by the Ladinian Meride Formation, were generated only during the sizeable Neogene-Quaternary subsidence. The high heating rate in this case probably enhanced expulsion efficiency, allowing secondary migration toward shallower depths and, consequently, preventing hydrocarbons from secondary cracking. Offshore in southern Sicily (Gela field), the recent subsidence (Pliocene-Pleistocene) is responsible for Triassic source rock maturation. In this case the shallower depth reached by the source rock and, consequently, the lower temperatures at which maturity occurred are partly responsible for the generation of heavy oils, even if other factors such as early expulsion due to tectonics and organic matter type probably play a more important role.

  4. Wave energy conversion systems:optimal localization offshore Italian coastlines

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Benassai, Guido; Morucci, Sara

    2010-05-01

    A method for evaluating renewable energy technologies in terms of costs and engineering solutions has been implemented on the Italian coastlines, in order to achieve the optimal localization and choose the best wave energy conversion technology avoiding the transfer of systems suitable for more energetic seas. The Italian coastal wave climate was studied in detail. The study used four years of wave data from 14 sites offshore the Italian coastlines, of which six offshore the coastlines of Sicily and Sardinia, four offshore the Thyrrenian Sea and four offshore the Adriatic Sea. The study resulted in scatter diagrams, and a mapping of the energy flux in each coastal area. The average energy flux was higher for the coastlines of Sardinia and Sicily, lower for the coastlines of the Thyrrenian Sea and even lower for the coastlines of the Adriatic Sea. A comparison between wave energy and offshore wind energy conversion systems was performed in terms of initial cost, maintainance cost and performance, resulting in pay back time between 4 and 8 years depending on the systems. The wave energy farms exhibit a higher load factor than the offshore wind farms (although higher than the land wind plants). Besides, in a number of Italian regions (like Sardinia) offshore wind plants have been banned for their visual impact. On the other hand, the costs of wave power plants are higher and have not yet reached a mature stage, so that they have not yet shown all possible inconveniences. More comprehensive studies have to be performed in order to optimize the mooring technology, the energy transfer on the main land and/or conservation on site, which is an important feature for isles, for which the wave conversion systems seem to be particularly attractive.

  5. Surface circulation in the Eastern Mediterranean using drifters (2005-2007)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gerin, R.; Poulain, P.-M.; Taupier-Letage, I.; Millot, C.; Ben Ismail, S.; Sammari, C.

    2009-03-01

    Within the framework of the EGITTO/EGYPT program, the spatial structure and the temporal variability of the surface circulation in the eastern basin of the Mediterranean Sea was studied by means of satellite-tracked drifters. A total of 97 drifters drogued to 15-m nominal depth were released between September 2005 and March 2007, either regularly along ship-of-opportunity routes (Sicily Channel) or within specific structures during dedicated campaigns (Levantine sub-basin). After editing and low-pass filtering, the drifter trajectories were used to estimate pseudo-Eulerian statistics: mean current, variance ellipses, mean and eddy kinetic energies. A statistical analysis was also performed dividing the dataset in two extended seasons (winter and summer). This study completes previous ones in the Sicily Channel and in the Ionian. Several veins are evidenced, together with a seasonal variability inducing a reversal of the circulation in the southern part of the Ionian. However, in this latter area, data are too scarce and the dynamics too complex to achieve a circulation pattern yet. Eastward, the general circulation is described as a counterclockwise flow along the Libyo-Egyptian and Middle East slopes. Part of this flow is deflected toward the open sea by the anticyclones generated alongslope by the Libyo-Egyptian current (Libyan and Egyptian eddies), by the wind (Ierapetra) or by the topography (over the Eratosthenes Seamount and off Latakia). The entrainment of this flow around successive eddies (paddle-wheels effect) results in an open sea eastward transport of Atlantic water. When the Libyan eddies (anticyclonic) are close to the slope, the westward current is stronger than the mean eastward current and the circulation is temporally and locally reversed. The strong variability induced by the eddies and the meteorological conditions hinder evenly covering all the study area. Additional deployments are required to improve further our understanding of the circulation in this basin.

  6. Spatial variation of Present-day stress field and tectonic regime in Tunisia and surroundings from formal inversion of focal mechanisms (Central Mediterranean)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Soumaya, Abdelkader; Ben Ayed, Noureddine; Delvaux, Damien; Mohamed, Ghanmi

    2015-04-01

    We compiled 121 focal mechanisms from various sources for Tunisia and adjacent regions up to Sicily, to image the current stress field in the collision front of the Alpine Maghrebides chain and its foreland. The fault kinematic type was determined using the Frohlich Triangle and the current tectonic regime and stress field were determined by a formal stress tensor inversion using the Win-Tensor program. Stress inversion of all the available data provides a first-order stress field with a N150°E horizontal compression (SHmax) and a transpressional tectonic regime, but the obtained stress tensor does not fit well enough with the data set. Their inversion evidences a 2nt and 3rd 29 order spatial variation in the tectonic regime and horizontal stress directions. This regime gradually changes to transpression and strike-slip in the Atlassic and Pelagian foreland, where preexisting NW-SE to E-W deep faults system are reactivated. In the N-S Axis which separates these two foreland domains, the SHmax rotates in an E-W direction, defining a third order stress field. This spatial variation of the sismotectonic stress field and tectonic regime is consistent with the neotectonic stress field determined elsewhere from fault-slip data. The confrontation of available GPS velocity data with seismotectonic results in Central Mediterranean highlight two "African" domains, East Algerian/Tunisia and Pelagian-Sicily, where systematic deviations from the predicted Nubia-Eurasia plate motions are seen. The past and current tectonic deformations and kinematics of the Central Mediterranean is subordinately guided by the plate convergence (i.e. Africa-Eurasia) and controlled by deep dynamics.

  7. Boulder accumulations related to extreme wave events on the eastern coast of Malta

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Biolchi, S.; Furlani, S.; Antonioli, F.; Baldassini, N.; Causon Deguara, J.; Devoto, S.; Di Stefano, A.; Evans, J.; Gambin, T.; Gauci, R.; Mastronuzzi, G.; Monaco, C.; Scicchitano, G.

    2015-10-01

    The accumulation of large boulders related to waves generated either by tsunamis or extreme storm events has been observed in different areas of the Mediterranean Sea. Along the NE and E low-lying rocky coasts of Malta tens of large boulder deposits have been surveyed, measured and mapped. These boulders have been detached and moved from the seafloor and lowest parts of the coast by the action of sea waves. In the Sicily-Malta channel, heavy storms are common and originate from the NE and NW winds. Conversely, few severe earthquakes and tsunamis are recorded in historical documents to have hit the Maltese archipelago, originated by seismicity activity related mainly to the Malta Escarpment, the Sicily Channel Rift Zone and the Hellenic Arc. We present a multi-disciplinary study, which aims to define the characteristics of the boulder accumulations along the eastern coast of Malta, in order to assess the coastal geo-hazard implications triggered by the sheer ability of extreme waves to detach and move large rocky blocks inland. The wave heights required to transport coastal boulders were calculated using various hydrodynamic equations. Particular attention was devoted to the quantification of the input parameters required in the workings of these equations. The axis sizes of blocks were measured with 3-D digital photogrammetric techniques and their densities were obtained throughout the use of a N-type Schmidt Hammer. Moreover, AMS ages were obtained from selected marine organisms encrusted on some of the boulders in various coastal sites. The combination of the results obtained by hydrodynamic equations and the radiocarbon dating suggests that the majority of the boulders has been detached and moved by intense storm waves. Nonetheless, it is possible that some of them may have been transported by tsunami.

  8. Geodynamics and seismic hazard in the Calabrian Arc: towards a Messina earthquake supersite

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chiarabba, Claudio; Dell'Acqua, Fabio; Faccenna, Claudio; Lanari, Riccardo; Matteuzzi, Francesco; Mattia, Mario; Neri, Giancarlo; Patané, Domenico; Polonia, Alina; Prati, Claudio; Tinti, Stefano; Zerbini, Susanna; Ozener, Haluk

    2015-04-01

    The Messina region represents a key site of the Mediterranean, where active faulting, seismic shaking, volcanism, rapid uplift and landslides represent the surface manifestation of deep processes. Fast deformation results in one of the highest seismic hazard of the Mediterranean, as testified by historic destructive earthquakes occasionally accompanied by submarine mass flows and tsunami-events that added death and destruction to the already devastating effects of the earthquakes. Several geophysical and geological studies carried out during the last decades help defining the kinematics and the dynamics of the system. The tectonic evolution of the Messina region is strictly linked with the Southern Tyrrhenian and Calabrian Arc system, the retreat of the Ionian slab and the back-arc basin opening. The present-day geometry of the Calabrian slab, as well imaged by tomographic analyses and shallow-to-deep seismicity, shows a narrow slab plunging down steeply into the mantle. At 100-150 km depth, the southern edge of the slab is positioned beneath Northeastern Sicily, approximately between Tindari and Messina. Within this frame, several relevant questions are still unsolved. For example, it is not clear how the upper plate may deform as a response of a differential sinking of the subducting slabs, or how deep mantle flow at the slab edge may influence the pattern of surface deformation. Structural and geodetic data show the first-order pattern of deformation in Northeastern Sicily, and define the Tindari-Messina area as the boundary between a region in compression to the west, dominated by the Africa convergence, and a region in extension to the east-northeast, dominated by slab rollback. In addition, geodetic studies also show an increase of crustal motion velocity from Sicily to Calabria with an overall clockwise rotation of the velocity vector. This pattern of surface deformation evidences a sharp extension process active in the Messina region. The elevation of marine terraces indicates that vertical uplift in this region is occurring at a very high rate, locally more than 1 mm/yr, and of the same order of magnitude estimated for horizontal deformation. This pattern is also indicative of non-isostatic deformation that may be related to deep mantle dynamics. The Messina Straits region represents a very rare opportunity to investigate a wide variety of interrelated geological processes resulting in different types of high-impact geo-hazards affecting a single region. Notwithstanding the disastrous societal and economic impacts that these geo-hazards might cause in the study area, this opportunity, along with the ambition of revealing fundamental aspects of how mantle processes are coupled to shallow and surface ones, are among the main scientific motivations to propose the Messina Straits as a GEO earthquake supersite.

  9. Scenario analysis of Agro-Environment measure adoption for soil erosion protection in Sicilian vineyard (Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Novara, Agata; Gristina, Luciano; Fantappiè, Maria; Costantini, Edoardo

    2014-05-01

    Most of the challenges in designing land use policies that address sustainability issues are inherent to the concept of Agro-Environmental Measures (AEM). Researchers, farmers and mainly policy makers need to evaluate the impact of new and existing policies for soil protection. In Europe, farmers commit themselves, for a minimum period of at least five years, to adopt environmentally-friendly farming techniques that undergone legal obligations. On the other hand, farmers receive payments that provide compensation for additional costs and income foregone resulting from applying those environmentally friendly farming practices in line with the stipulations of agri-environment contracts. In this context we prospect scenarios on soil erosion variations in a detailed case study after the application of Agro-Environmental Measures (AEM). The study area is located in the South part of Sicily. In a district area of 11,588 ha, 35.5 % is devoted to vineyard cultivation, 32.2 % is arable land and only 11.1 % cultivated to olive grow. 2416 ha are urbanized areas and other less important crops. A paired-site approach was chosen to study the difference in soil organic carbon stocks after AEM adoption, following criteria based on Conteh (1999) also applied in several research studies. For the purpose of comparison, the members of a paired site were selected to be similar with respect to the type of soil, slope, elevation, and drainage, but not to AEM. The comparisons were made between adjacent patches of land with different AEM, and a known history of land use and management. 100 paired sites (two adjacent plots) were chosen and three soil samples (0-30 cm depth) were collected in each plot (600 soil samples). The rainfall erosivity (R) factor (Mj mm ha-1 hour-1 year-1) was estimated with the formula specifically proposed for Sicily by Ferro and coauthors in 1999. The soil erodibility factor (K, in tons hour MJ-1 mm-1) was mapped on the base of soil texture and soil organic carbon content of the topsoil (averaged on the first 50 cm of soil depth) with the table published by Stone and Hilborn (2012). The slope-length and slope gradient (LS) factors were derived from the Digital Terrain Model of Sicily (20 x 20 m) using the formulas proposed by Wischmeier and Smith (1978), and revised by McCool et al. (1987 and 1989). The C factor were applied according previous studies in the same area and ranged among 0.22 and 0.12 and less than 0.10 using permanent species able to reduce erosion rate up to 90% (Gristina et al., 2006; Novara et al. 2011). The scenario analysis of the soil erosion reduction after the adoption of AEM could be used by policy makers as a base for the evaluation of the Payment for Ecosystem Service (PES) to be paid to farmers through the future Agro-Ecosystem measures incentives. Gristina, L., Bagarello, V., Ferro, V., Poma, I., 2006. Cover and management factor for Sicilian vineyard systems. In: 14th International Soil conservation Organization Conference—Water Management and Soil Conservation in Semi-arid Environments, 14-19 May 2006, Marrakech, Marocco (ISCO2006), pp. 1-4. A Novara, L Gristina, SS Saladino, A Santoro, A Cerda 2011 Soil erosion assessment on tillage and alternative soil managements in a Sicilian vineyard. Soil and Tillage Research 117, 140-147

  10. "Let's take back our roots through Science". The Sicilian Sulfur: a mineralogical treasure to rediscover.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Parisi, Bianca

    2015-04-01

    The name of sulfur is synonymous of Sicily! Sicilian Sulfur minerals and evaporitic deposits are well-known because they are connected with an important evolution stage of the old mediterranean area. In this Island, in the southern part of Italy, a geological formation of Messinian age, called "gessoso solfifera", outcrops. These rocks are widespread in the south and south-west Sicily, and, there, salt mines and "zolfare", sulfur mines, were located. The formation is characterized by large amounts of gypsum, potassium salts, sodium chlorates and other deposits. Most of the main mineralogical museum collections all over the world have at least a sample of one of these minerals that are usually characterized by a high aesthetic quality. When I proposed a lesson on the origin of sulfur in evaporitic rocks, I realized that an important part of the hystory of our region was in danger to be forgotten by younger generation. The exploitation of this mineral resource in the past is strictly linked to the troubled social and cultural transformation of Sicily during the last century. Thus, this is a particularly suitable topic for a multidisciplinary approach. In cooperation with the Mineralogical Museum (SteBiCeF Department, University of Palermo), a learning project was proposed to a group of 4th year high school students. It has been carrying on in order to develop the knowledge of the geological and chemical features of evaporitic deposits and to promote scientific abilities together with a better understanding of social-environmental issues. Project aims and activities include: ? Solubility and saturation experiments to reconstruct a simplified model of minerals deposition ? Working in groups: collection of data about old geological outcrops and current evaporating basins where rocks are forming in the world as well as information on sicilian mines from literature and historical documents (video, interviews, pictures, newspapers and others) ? a guided tour of the Mineralogical Museum and participation to laboratory activities, especially focussing on the identification of sulfates and chlorates minerals and on the observation of samples of different kind of rocks coming from the outcropping areas. ? a trip to the Floristella Geopark, instituted on the area of one of the oldest sulfur mine and most eloquent site of industrial archeology and scenario of the fighting for the workers' social rescue. The project can be experienced as a virtual journey through the geological time but also as a dramatic picture of the hard working conditions into the mines. Students are motivated and engaged to learn about geological processes using their whole scientific competences. Nevertheless, expected learning outcomes will be the final awareness to manage responsibly natural resources, even because of the strong impact on social daylife. That's we can definitely say how to take back our roots through Science!

  11. Extension joints: a tool to infer the active stress field orientation (case study from southern Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    De Guidi, Giorgio; Caputo, Riccardo; Scudero, Salvatore; Perdicaro, Vincenzo

    2013-04-01

    An intense tectonic activity in eastern Sicily and southern Calabria is well documented by the differential uplift of Late Quaternary coastlines and by the record of the strong historical earthquakes. The extensional belt that crosses this area is dominated by a well established WNW-ESE-oriented extensional direction. However, this area is largely lacking of any structural analysis able to define the tectonics at a more local scale. In the attempt to fill this gap of knowledge, we carried out a systematic analysis of extension joint sets. In fact, the systematic field collection of these extensional features, coupled with an appropriate inversion technique, allows to determine the characteristic of the causative tectonic stress field. Joints are defined as outcrop-scale mechanical discontinuities showing no evidence of shear motion and being originated as purely extensional fractures. Such tectonic features are one of the most common deformational structures in every tectonic environment and particularly abundant in the study area. A particular arrangement of joints, called "fracture grid-lock system", and defined as an orthogonal joint system where mutual abutting and crosscutting relationships characterize two geologically coeval joint sets, allow to infer the direction and the magnitude of the tectonic stress field. We performed the analyses of joints only on Pleistocene deposits of Eastern Sicily and Southern Calabria. Moreover we investigated only calcarenite sediments and cemented deposits, avoiding claysh and loose matrix-supported clastic sediments where the deformation is generally accomodated in a distributed way through the relative motion between the single particles. In the selection of the sites, we also took into account the possibility to clearly observe the geometric relationships among the joints. For this reason we chose curvilinear road cuts or cliffs, wide coastal erosional surfaces and quarries. The numerical inversions show a similar stress tensors at all the investigated sites. Indeed, the maximum principal stress axis ?1 is vertical or subvertical, while the intermediate and the least axes (?2 and ?3) lie on the horizontal plane or show low plunging values. The main direction of extension (?3) at each site is in general agreement with the first-order regional stress field (WNW-ESE) even though some local perturbations have been recognized. These are interpreted as due to interferences between large active faults and their particular geometrical arrangement. In particular local stress deflections and stress swaps systematically occur in zones characterized by two overlapping fault segments or close to their tips.

  12. Spatial variability in the trophic ecology and biology of the deep-sea shrimp Aristaeomorpha foliacea in the Mediterranean Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cartes, J. E.; Fanelli, E.; Kapiris, K.; Bayhan, Y. K.; Ligas, A.; López-Pérez, C.; Murenu, M.; Papiol, V.; Rumolo, P.; Scarcella, G.

    2014-05-01

    The trophic ecology, energy and reproductive states of the deep-water shrimp Aristaeomorpha foliacea, widely distributed along the slopes of the Mediterranean Sea Basins, were analysed in eight areas spread along ca. 3000 km in order to identify patterns in the habitat conditions supporting the species. From W to E the areas were situated between the north side of Eivissa (39°12?N, 1°20?E, in the Balearic Basin) and off Mersin, Turkey (36°15?N, 34°19?E, in the Levantine Sea). Trends identified mainly as a function of longitude from west to east were: (i) higher ?15N, parallel to ?15N shifts in the top 200 m of the water column for particulate organic N (Pantoja et al., 2002). The ?15N trend indicates that the deep trophic web, i.e. A. foliacea at 400-600 m, reflects the ?15N signal of the photic zone; (ii) a similar significant trend of ?13C, related with exploitation of pelagic versus benthic resources by A. foliacea in each area (i.e. by local variability of terrigenous inputs via submarine canyons). More depleted ?13C was found at mid-longitudes (Tyrrhenian Sea and Sicily Channel) linked to higher consumption of macroplankton prey (Pasiphaea spp., euphausiids and mesopelagic fishes). The feeding intensity (gut fullness, F) and prey diversity (J) of A. foliacea were related, according to generalized linear models, with the temperature and salinity of intermediate waters, variables in turn associated with latitude and longitude. Both F and J were higher in areas with greater shrimp density. The optimal ecological habitat of A. foliacea appears to be located in the Tyrrhenian Sea and the Sicily Channel, where we found the highest F, the greatest trophic diversity and A. foliacea in the best biological condition (i.e. with higher hepato-somatic index, HSI). These are also the areas with the highest densities of A. foliacea. In contrast, in the western Mediterranean Sea (Balearic Basin and the southern Balearic Islands), where A. foliacea has low densities, the shrimp showed generally lower values of trophic indicators and biological condition.

  13. Magnetic interpretation related to geo-magnetic provinces: the Italian case history

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rota, F. Arisi; Fichera, R.

    1987-07-01

    A comparison of the results obtained from the geophysical interpretation with the available information regarding the Italian geological situation permitted us to establish our so-called "geo-magnetic provinces". The relationship between the magnetic characteristics and the tectonic evolution permitted the identification of each of the four following "provinces" that exist inside the global tectonic confines: (1) The "Sardo-Corso" block, which represents the eastern boundary of stable Europe. This province is characterized by medium-wavelength low-amplitude anomalies that originate in an outcropping basement (Hercynian granites s.l.). (2) The "Orogenic belt", which constitutes the double Alps-Apennines system. From a magnetic standpoint, this system is characterized by short-wavelength, low-amplitude anomalies that are due to a Paleozoic outcropping and/or buried, acid, crystalline basement. These anomalies are found to overlie long-wavelength, medium-amplitude regional anomalies that are related to a deep, Apenninic basement (central-northern Apennines). (3) The "Foreland area", which occurs from Sicily (Hyblean Plateau) and Apulia northwards to Ancona and the Po Plain. This area is characterized by a crystalline basement which is typically "differentiated" from the standpoint of basicity. (4) The "Rifting zone", which is represented by the part of the Tyrrhenian Sea lying south of the "41st-Parallel discontinuity", the Ionian Abyssal Plain and the Pantelleria and Linosa troughs in the Sicily Channel. The main characteristic of this province is its extreme basicity differentiation in the crystalline basement, which is induced by the geochemical processes connected with the deep, geodynamic events. These phenomena do not permit the correlation of the semioceanic basement of the Rifting zone with the continental basement. By means of interactive modeling, a structural-tectonic picture of the basement of the various Italian "geo-magnetic provinces" has been obtained. The main result was found to be that the Orogenic belt basement is undergoing intense tectonic compression and overlies the structural highs of the Foreland area, which mainly show tensive events.

  14. Silica cycling in the ultra-oligotrophic Eastern Mediterranean Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krom, M. D.; Kress, N.; Fanning, K.

    2014-03-01

    Although silica is a key plant nutrient there have been few studies aimed at understanding the Si cycle in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea (EMS). Here we use a combination of new measurements and literature values to explain the silicic acid distribution across the basin and to calculate a silica budget to identify the key controlling processes. The surface water concentration of ~ 1 ?M, which is unchanging seasonally across the basin was due to the inflow of Western Mediterranean Sea (WMS) water at the Straits of Sicily. It does not change seasonally because there is only a sparse population of diatoms due to the low nutrient (N and P) supply to the photic zone in the EMS. The concentration of silicic acid in the deep water of the western Ionian Sea (6.3 ?M) close to the S. Adriatic area of formation was due to the preformed silicic acid (3 ?M) plus biogenic silica (BSi) from the dissolution of diatoms from the winter phytoplankton bloom (3.2 ?M). The increase of 4.4 ?M across the deep water of the EMS was due to silicic acid formed from in-situ diagenetic weathering of alumina-silicate minerals fluxing out of the sediment. The major inputs to the EMS are silicic acid and BSi inflowing from the western Mediterranean (121 × 109 mol Si year-1 silicic acid and 16 × 109 mol Si year-1 BSi), silicic acid fluxing from the sediment (54 × 109 mol Si year-1), riverine (27 × 109 mol Si year-1) and subterranean ground water (9.7 × 109 mol Si year-1) inputs, with only a minor direct input from dissolution of dust in the water column (1 × 109 mol Si year-1). This budget shows the importance of rapidly dissolving BSi and in-situ weathering of alumino-silicate minerals as sources of silica to balance the net export of silicic acid at the Straits of Sicily. Future measurements to improve the accuracy of this preliminary budget have been identified.

  15. Deformation of the Calabrian Arc subduction complex and its relation to STEP activity at depth.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Polonia, Alina; Wortel, Rinus; Nijholt, Nicolai; Govers, Rob; Torelli, Luigi

    2015-04-01

    Propagating tear faults at the edge of subducted slabs ("Subduction transform edge propagator", STEP) are an intrinsic part of lithospheric plate dynamics. The surface expression of a STEP is generally not known yet, and is expected to vary significantly from one region to the other. We choose the Sicily -Calabria-Ionian Sea region, of which the lithosphere-upper mantle structure has the characteristics of a STEP zone, as a study area. The area has a very prominent accretionary wedge, the formation and subsequent deformation of which presumably were affected by the STEP activity at depth. In this contribution, we use seismic data on the near surface structure and deformation in combination with numerical model results to investigate the relation between deep STEP activity and near surface expression. Prominent features in the surface tectonics are the Malta escarpment (with predominantly normal faulting), the newly identified Ionian Fault and Alfeo-Etna fault system, and a distinct longitudinal division of the wedge into a western and an eastern lobe (Polonia et al., Tectonics, 2011). The two lobes are characterized by different structural style, deformation rates and basal detachment depths. Numerical model results indicate that the regional lithospheric structure, such as the orientation of the eastern passive (albeit subsequently activated) margin of Sicily relative to the Calabrian subduction zone, has a profound effect on possible fault activity along the Malta escarpment. Fault activity along the above primary fault structures may have varied in time, implying the possibility of intermittent activity. Interpreting seismicity in the context of a possible STEP, and the accompanying deformation zone at or near the surface, is not (yet) straightforward. Although direct evidence for recognizing all aspects of STEP activity is - as usual - lacking, a comparison with two well-known STEP regions, the northern part of the Tonga subduction zone and southern part of the Lesser Antilles zone (near Trinidad), leads us to conclude that aspects of the regional seismicity in the Ionian realm are in support of STEP activity in the basement underlying the accretionary wedge, near the northern part of the Ionian Fault zone. Rather than attempting to identify one of the above faults as the present surface trace of the STEP at depth, we propose to consider the deformation zone in the Ionian Sea region as the time-varying surface expression of the STEP at the southern edge of the Calabrian slab. The present-day very limited activity along the Malta escarpment fits in this view. From the nature of the regional deformation process, we conclude that the region hosts a continuously changing segment of the plate boundary between the Eurasian and African (Nubian) plate.

  16. The 1908 tsunami effects along the Messina Straits (Southern Italy): a contribution for predicting inundation scenarios

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    di Manna, P.; Blumetti, A. M.; Comerci, V.; Guerrieri, L.; Serva, L.; Vittori, E.

    2009-04-01

    The 1908 Southern Calabria - Messina earthquake is one of the strongest seismic events of the 20th century in the Mediterranean area. Southern Calabria and North-eastern Sicily were severely damaged (maximum Intensity XI MCS), particularly along the coastal area between South Reggio Calabria and Scilla, and between South Messina and Capo Peloro. Messina and Reggio Calabria were almost completely destroyed; the victims were at least 80,000. The seismic event was followed, few minutes later, by a Sieberg - Ambraseys Intensity 6 tsunami (Tinti et al., 2004). It produced a large inundation along the Sicilian and Calabrian coast, with run-up exceeding in many localities 10 m, and up to 13 m at Pellaro (Calabrian coast), and 11.70 m at Sant'Alessio (Sicilian coast). The maximum on-land water penetration was 600 meters at Pellaro (along La Fiumarella stream), and almost 700 meters in the Catania Plain (Sicily), at the mouth of the Simeto river. Based on a carefully screening of contemporary documents, i.e. technical reports (Franchi, 1909; Mercalli, 1909; Novarese, 1909; Omori, 1909; Platania, 1909; Sabatini, 1909; Baratta, 1910), newspapers and other archive material, a geo-database, reporting the tsunami characteristics and effects, has been performed. The collected data enable us to evaluate the potential impact of an analogous future tsunami event in the Messina Strait area. Particularly, run-up and flooding data have been used to construct the potential inundation maps related to 155 km of the Sicilian coast (from Peloro Cape to Brucoli village) and to 98 km of the Calabrian coast (from Bagnara village to Spartivento Cape). The results show that a future comparable tsunami is expected to inundate an area of about 33 sq km along the Sicilian coast (8,7 sq km with water height > 3 m) and about 9,8 sq km along the Calabrian coast (5,2 sq km with water height > 3 m). Maximum risk is located in the area between Pellaro and Lazzaro villages, south of Reggio Calabria, where high values of run up and ingression are expected to hit an highly urbanized coastal area. For example, the population of Lazzaro village increased from 1259 inhabitants in 1901 to 3260 in 2001; it has been reflected in the almost total urbanization of coastal areas. Even in numerous sectors of the Sicilian coast the expected inundation will impact highly urbanized areas: according to CORINE Land Cover 2000, these areas are classified primarily as "residential zones", primarily "continuous" and subordinately "discontinuous".

  17. Napoli and Volcanism - Vesuvius and Mt. Etna

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2002-01-01

    For more than 240 million years the region now known as Italy has been the scene of episodic volcanic activity. East-southeast of Napoli (Naples) stands the imposing cone of Vesuvius, which erupted explosively in 79 A.D. to bury Pompeii and Herculaneum. More recently, when the crew of Space Shuttle mission STS-104 captured this view, Mt. Etna (Sicily, not seen in this image, but photographed the day before) was spewing ash and gas thousands of meters into the air, some of which can be seen as a brownish smear over Isola d' Ischia and the Tyrrhenian Sea. The Appenine ranges extend from northern Italy, down the boot of the peninsula and westward into Sicily. This photograph of the Appenino Napoletano is part of an 18-frame stereophoto mapping strip that spans the entire mountain chain. The almost 1200-km-long belt of volcanoes and folded/faulted mountains is a result of the ongoing collision of Africa and Eurasia, accompanied by the progressive closing of the Mediterranean Sea. Using overlapping pairs of stereophotos, and a special viewer, scientists can get a three-dimensional perspective on the ranges that surpasses any image viewed alone. For more information, see another image of Mt. Vesuvius, taken by the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER). References: Behncke, Boris, 2000, Vesuvio - The eruption of A.D. 79: Italy's Volcanoes - The Cradle of Volcanology [http://www.geo.mtu.edu/boris/VESUVIO_79.html (accessed 10/18/01)] Doglioni, C., and Flores, G., 1997, Italy, in Moores, E. M., and Fairbridge, R. W., editors, Encyclopedia of European and Asian Regional Geology: London, Chapman and Hall, p. 414-435 Shuttle photograph STS104-710-60 was taken 23 July 2001 from the orbiter Atlantis using a Hasselblad camera with 250-mm lens. The image is provided by the Earth Sciences and Image Analysis Laboratory at Johnson Space Center. The entire mapping series (of frames numbered in sequence from 50 through 68) can also be downloaded from the database and printed for stereo viewing and analysis. Searching and viewing of additional images taken by astronauts and cosmonauts is available at the NASA-JSC Gateway to Astronaut Photography of Earth.

  18. A flash flood early warning system based on rainfall thresholds and daily soil moisture indexes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brigandì, Giuseppina; Tito Aronica, Giuseppe

    2015-04-01

    Main focus of the paper is to present a flash flood early warning system, developed for Civil Protection Agency for the Sicily Region, for alerting extreme hydrometeorological events by using a methodology based on the combined use of rainfall thresholds and soil moisture indexes. As matter of fact, flash flood warning is a key element to improve the Civil Protection achievements to mitigate damages and safeguard the security of people. It is a rather complicated task, particularly in those catchments with flashy response where even brief anticipations are important and welcomed. In this context, some kind of hydrological precursors can be considered to improve the effectiveness of the emergency actions (i.e. early flood warning). Now, it is well known how soil moisture is an important factor in flood formation, because the runoff generation is strongly influenced by the antecedent soil moisture conditions of the catchment. The basic idea of the work here presented is to use soil moisture indexes derived in a continuous form to define a first alert phase in a flash flood forecasting chain and then define a unique rainfall threshold for a given day for the subsequent alarm phases activation, derived as a function of the soil moisture conditions at the beginning of the day. Daily soil moisture indexes, representative of the moisture condition of the catchment, were derived by using a parsimonious and simply to use approach based on the IHACRES model application in a modified form developed by the authors. It is a simple, spatially-lumped rainfall-streamflow model, based on the SCS-CN method and on the unit hydrograph approach that requires only rainfall, streamflow and air temperature data. It consists of two modules. In the first a non linear loss model, based on the SCS-CN method, was used to transform total rainfall into effective rainfall. In the second, a linear convolution of effective rainfall was performed using a total unit hydrograph with a configuration of one parallel channel and reservoir, thereby corresponding to 'quick' and 'slow' components of runoff. In the non linear model a wetness/soil moisture index, varying from 0 to 1, was derived to define daily soil moisture catchment conditions and then conveniently linked to a corresponding CN value to use as input to derive the corresponding rainfall threshold for a given day. Finally, rainfall thresholds for flash flooding were derived using an Instantaneous Unit Hydrograph based lumped rainfall-runoff model with the SCS-CN routine for net rainfall. Application of the proposed methodology was carried out with reference to a river basin in Sicily, Italy.

  19. Surface circulation in the Eastern Mediterranean using drifters (2005-2007)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gerin, R.; Poulain, P.-M.; Taupier-Letage, I.; Millot, C.; Ben Ismail, S.; Sammari, C.

    2009-11-01

    Within the framework of the EGITTO/EGYPT programs, the spatial structure and the temporal variability of the surface circulation in the eastern basin of the Mediterranean Sea was studied with satellite-tracked drifters. A total of 97 drifters drogued to 15-m nominal depth were released between September 2005 and March 2007, regularly along ship-of-opportunity routes in the Sicily Channel and within specific structures during dedicated campaigns in the Levantine sub-basin. This study complements previous ones in the former and in the Ionian, but it is the first one in the latter. After editing and low-pass filtering, the drifter trajectories were used to estimate pseudo-Eulerian statistics: mean current, variance ellipses, mean and eddy kinetic energies. A statistical analysis was also performed dividing the dataset in two extended seasons (winter and summer). A branching behaviour of the surface water after passing through the Sicily Channel is evidenced, together with a seasonal variability inducing a reversal of the circulation in the southern part of the Ionian. In the Levantine, the surface circulation describes an eastward flow along the Libyan and Egyptian slopes (the Libyo-Egyptian Current: LEC) that continues in a cyclonic circuit along the Middle East and Turkish slopes. This general alongslope circuit can be perturbed locally and temporally by the numerous anticyclonic eddies that co-exist in the Levantine, mainly created by the instability of the LEC in the south (Libyo-Egyptian Eddies: LEEs), but also by the wind (Ierapetra and Pelops), and by the topography (over the Eratosthenes Seamount and off Latakia). The most frequent perturbation is the entrainment of part of the flow seaward: the LEEs close to the slope can interact with the LEC, which then spreads more or less around them, so that a series of contiguous LEEs (paddle-wheel effect) can possibly result in an eastward offshore transport (the so-called Mid Mediterranean Jet). Additionally, when LEEs are close enough to the slope, most of the surface flow is spread seaward. Along the slope the current is then induced by the LEEs southern side which results in a westward current. Locally and temporally the circulation along the slope can thus be reversed.

  20. 137Caesium distribution in the eastern Mediterranean Sea: recent changes and future trends.

    PubMed

    Papucci, C; Delfanti, R

    1999-09-30

    A series of sampling campaigns were carried out in the eastern Mediterranean in the period 1995-1997, to examine the relationship between the distribution of 137Cs in the water column and water mass circulation. 137Cs concentration in the surface water ranges between 3.3 and 4.0 mBq/l all over the area, indicating that the input due to the Chernobyl accident has been transferred to deep water layers by convection processes. In fact, in the vertical profiles, relative maxima are observed in the intermediate (4 mBq/l) and deep waters (approximately 2.5 mBq/l) formed after the Chernobyl accident. A clear Chernobyl signal also traces the new deep waters formed in the Aegean Sea that, exiting from the Cretan Arc Straits, since 1991 are spreading in the bottom layer of the eastern Mediterranean. The changes in 137Cs vertical profiles related to the new thermohaline circulation of the intermediate and deep waters of the eastern Mediterranean are being monitored at a deep station in the western Ionian Sea. The 1997 profile shows a decrease in 137Cs concentration both in the Levantine intermediate water and in the eastern Mediterranean deep water with respect to 1996. The decrease in Levantine intermediate water is likely due to seasonal/interannual variability, while the changes in the deep layer are related to the spreading westward into the Ionian of the new Aegean dense water. Along the path towards the western Mediterranean, 137Cs content in the Levantine intermediate water decreases from approximately 4 mBq/l in the W-Ionian Sea to approximately 2 mBq/l at the western sill of the Sicily Straits, due to mixing with underlying water, with lower caesium content, near the Malta Sill. Time-series measurements at the western sill of the Sicily Straits show that, while 137Cs concentration in the surface water entering the eastern Mediterranean remained constant (approximately 3.5 mBq/l) in the period 1993-1997, its level in the Levantine intermediate water leaving the basin decreased from 3.5 to 2.0 mBq/l. PMID:10568266

  1. An experimental operative system for shallow landslide and flash flood warning based on rainfall thresholds and soil moisture modelling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brigand?, G.; Aronica, G. T.; Basile, G.; Pasotti, L.; Panebianco, M.

    2012-04-01

    On November 2011 a thunderstorms became almost exceptional over the North-East part of the Sicily Region (Italy) producing local heavy rainfall, mud-debris flow and flash flooding. The storm was concentrated on the Tyrrhenian sea coast near the city of Barcellona within the Longano catchment. Main focus of the paper is to present an experimental operative system for alerting extreme hydrometeorological events by using a methodology based on the combined use of rainfall thresholds, soil moisture indexes and quantitative precipitation forecasting. As matter of fact, shallow landslide and flash flood warning is a key element to improve the Civil Protection achievements to mitigate damages and safeguard the security of people. It is a rather complicated task, particularly in those catchments with flashy response where even brief anticipations are important and welcomed. It is well known how the triggering of shallow landslides is strongly influenced by the initial soil moisture conditions of catchments. Therefore, the early warning system here applied is based on the combined use of rainfall thresholds, derived both for flash flood and for landslide, and soil moisture conditions; the system is composed of several basic component related to antecedent soil moisture conditions, real-time rainfall monitoring and antecedent rainfall. Soil moisture conditions were estimated using an Antecedent Precipitation Index (API), similar to this widely used for defining soil moisture conditions via Antecedent Moisture conditions index AMC. Rainfall threshold for landslides were derived using historical and statistical analysis. Finally, rainfall thresholds for flash flooding were derived using an Instantaneous Unit Hydrograph based lumped rainfall-runoff model with the SCS-CN routine for net rainfall. After the implementation and calibration of the model, a testing phase was carried out by using real data collected for the November 2001 event in the Longano catchment. Moreover, in order to test the capability of the system to forecast thise event, Quantitative Precipitation Forecasting provided by the SILAM (Sicily Limited Area Model), a meteorological model run by SIAS (Sicilian Agrometeorological Service) with a forecast horizon up to 144 hours, have been used to run the system.

  2. Integrated management of TYLCV/TYLCSV on greenhouse hydroponic tomatoes in Southern Italy.

    PubMed

    Fanigliulo, A; Ferrara, L; Caligiuri, G; Comes, S; Momol, M T; Olson, S M; Crescenzi, A

    2006-01-01

    Tomato yellow leaf curl (TYLC) caused by Tomato yellow leaf curl virus (TYLCV) and Tomato yellow leaf curl Sardinia virus (TYLCSV), vectored by the whitefly Bemisia tabaci, is a major disease of tomato in Sardinia and Sicily, and is becoming a serious threat in Southern Italy too. TYLCSV was first reported in Calabria region in 1991, but apparently it was an occasional outbreak, and B. tabaci was not detected. Later, during the 2003-2004 winter, a serious epidemic was observed in protected tomato crops in Castrovillari, Cosenza province. TYLCV was first described in Sicily in 2003 and during 2004 in continental Italy. Both viruses were detected in winter 2005-2006 on the Basilicata Ionic coast, in the Metapontum area, both in protected and in open field tomato crops. Experiments were conducted in Calabria Region, Southern Italy, under controlled conditions in a group of greenhouses where several tomato crops were grown hydroponically to determine the separate and integrated effects of UV-reflective mulch (UVRM), Acibenzolar-S-methyl (Actigard) and the two insecticides Imidacloprid (ADMIRE 2F) and Thiamethoxam (ACTARA 25WG). Highly UV-reflective mulch covered plots were treated with Actigard and insecticides, both alone or in combination. TYLC disease incidence was determined from late August 2005 to late January 2006. The highly UVRM alone was effective in reducing disease incidence of about 28.6% at the end of October, and of 31.7% at the end of January. However, Actigard with UVRM significantly reduced TYLC disease incidence to 70% and 48.5%, in 2 months and 5 months after the first treatment, respectively. The insecticides with UVRM, resulted in a moderate reduction of disease incidence (22.5%) at the end of October. At the end of January a reduction in disease incidence due to insecticide applications was not significant. The use of Actigard combined with the insecticides on UVRM reduced the disease incidence (63.4% with Admire and 56.1% with Actara) at the end of January. Actigard alone or with insecticides on UVRM was effective in reducing disease incidences. Highly UVRM and Actigard were effective in reducing the primary spread of TYLCV/TYLCSV in greenhouse hydroponic tomatoes. Comparative analysis of their effects at different periods post-treatment suggests that multiple applications of Actigard may be necessary to reduce progress of this disease. PMID:17390886

  3. Seismic Hazard Maps for the Maltese Archipelago: Preliminary Results

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    D'Amico, S.; Panzera, F.; Galea, P. M.

    2013-12-01

    The Maltese islands form an archipelago of three major islands lying in the Sicily channel at about 140 km south of Sicily and 300 km north of Libya. So far very few investigations have been carried out on seismicity around the Maltese islands and no maps of seismic hazard for the archipelago are available. Assessing the seismic hazard for the region is currently of prime interest for the near-future development of industrial and touristic facilities as well as for urban expansion. A culture of seismic risk awareness has never really been developed in the country, and the public perception is that the islands are relatively safe, and that any earthquake phenomena are mild and infrequent. However, the Archipelago has been struck by several moderate/large events. Although recent constructions of a certain structural and strategic importance have been built according to high engineering standards, the same probably cannot be said for all residential buildings, many higher than 3 storeys, which have mushroomed rapidly in recent years. Such buildings are mostly of unreinforced masonry, with heavy concrete floor slabs, which are known to be highly vulnerable to even moderate ground shaking. We can surely state that in this context planning and design should be based on available national hazard maps. Unfortunately, these kinds of maps are not available for the Maltese islands. In this paper we attempt to compute a first and preliminary probabilistic seismic hazard assessment of the Maltese islands in terms of Peak Ground Acceleration (PGA) and Spectral Acceleration (SA) at different periods. Seismic hazard has been computed using the Esteva-Cornell (1968) approach which is the most widely utilized probabilistic method. It is a zone-dependent approach: seismotectonic and geological data are used coupled with earthquake catalogues to identify seismogenic zones within which earthquakes occur at certain rates. Therefore the earthquake catalogues can be reduced to the activity rate, the b-value of the Gutenberg-Richter relationship and an estimate of the maximum magnitude. In this article we also defined a new seismogenic zones in the central Mediterranean never considered before. In order to determine the ground motion parameters related to a specified probability of exceedance, the above statistical parameters are combined with ground motion prediction equations. Seismic hazard computations have been performed within the island boundaries. The preliminary maps for PGA distribution on rock site obtained for a 10% probability of exceedance shows values ranging between 0.09-0.18 g whereas, SA for 0.2, 04, 1.0 s show values of about 0.21-0.40 g, 0.14-0.24 g and 0.05-0.08 g respectively.

  4. Sea-level and climate forcing of the Sr isotope composition of marginal basins in the late Miocene Mediterranean Basin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schildgen, T. F.; Cosentino, D.; Frijia, G.; Castorina, F.; Dudas, F. O.; Iadanza, A.; Cipollari, P.; Caruso, A.; Bowring, S. A.; Strecker, M. R.

    2013-12-01

    Sr isotope records from marginal marine basins track the mixing between sea water and local continental runoff. Because changes in sea level determine the amount of mixing between global marine and continental water, and climate affects the amount of continental runoff, both sea-level and climate changes can potentially be recorded in marine fossil Sr isotope composition. Our 128 new 87Sr/86Sr analyses on 73 oyster, foraminifera, and coral samples from eight late Miocene stratigraphic sections in southern Turkey, Crete, and Sicily show that 87Sr/86Sr in Mediterranean marginal basins started to depart from global ocean values several million years before the Messinian Salinity Crisis (MSC), with sub-basin 87Sr/86Sr commonly dropping 0.000100 below contemporaneous global ocean values. The marked departure coincided with tectonic uplift and basin shallowing along the margins of the Mediterranean Basin. In contrast, centrally-located basins within the Mediterranean (e.g., Cyprus, Sicily, Crete) only record departures during the MSC. Besides this general trend, our 57 new 87Sr/86Sr analyses from the astronomically tuned Lower Evaporite unit deposited during the MSC in the central Apennines (Italy) allow us to explore in detail the effect of sea-level and humidity changes on 87Sr/86Sr . Most of the variation in 87Sr/86Sr that we observe can be explained by changes in eustatic sea level, with greatest departures from global ocean values (with differences up to 0.000150) occurring during sea-level lowstands, which were characterized by relatively arid conditions in the Mediterranean. However, in a few cases, the greatest 87Sr/86Sr departures (up to 0.000300) occur during sea-level highstands, which are marked by more humid conditions. Because the correlations between peaks in Sr departures and highstands (humid conditions) occur only after episodes of prolonged aridity, variations of residence time of continental water (particularly groundwater) could have affected its Sr concentration, and hence the degree to which continental water could perturb 87Sr/86Sr in marine sub-basins. Although our results demonstrate that the forcing behind variations in Sr isotope composition in marginal marine basins is more complex than what is typically included in Sr isotope box models, they also imply that high-resolution records, particularly when combined with independent information on sea-level or climate changes, could offer unique insights into local tectonic, climatic, and sea-level variations.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-11-01

    This work documents the effective use of X-band radar observations for monitoring severe storms in an operational framework. Two severe hail-bearing Mediterranean storms that occurred in 2013 in southern Italy, flooding two important Sicilian cities, are described in terms of their polarimetric radar signatures and retrieved rainfall fields. The X-band dual-polarization radar operating inside the Catania airport (Sicily, Italy), managed by the Italian Department of Civil Protection, is considered here. A suitable processing is applied to X-band radar measurements. The crucial procedural step relies on the differential phase processing, being preparatory for attenuation correction and rainfall estimation. It is based on an iterative approach that uses a very short-length (1 km) moving window, allowing proper capture of the observed high radial gradients of the differential phase. The parameterization of the attenuation correction algorithm, which uses the reconstructed differential phase shift, is derived from electromagnetic simulations based on 3 years of drop size distribution (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 field amounts were reconstructed using a combined polarimetric rainfall algorithm based on reflectivity and specific differential phase. The first storm was observed on 21 February when a winter convective system that originated in the Tyrrhenian Sea, marginally hit the central-eastern coastline of Sicily, causing a flash flood in Catania. Due to an optimal location (the system is located a few kilometers from the city center), it was possible to retrieve the storm characteristics fairly well, including the amount of rainfall field at the ground. Extemporaneous signal extinction, caused by close-range hail core causing significant differential phase shift in a very short-range path, is documented. The second storm, on 21 August 2013, was a summer mesoscale convective system that originated from a Mediterranean low pressure system lasting a few hours that eventually flooded the city of Syracuse. The undergoing physical process, including the storm dynamics, is inferred by analyzing the vertical sections of the polarimetric radar measurements. The high registered amount of precipitation was fairly well reconstructed, although with a trend toward underestimation at increasing distances. Several episodes of signal extinction were clearly manifested during the mature stage of the observed supercells.

  6. Climate-driven environmental changes around 8,200 years ago favoured increases in cetacean strandings and Mediterranean hunter-gatherers exploited them.

    PubMed

    Mannino, Marcello A; Talamo, Sahra; Tagliacozzo, Antonio; Fiore, Ivana; Nehlich, Olaf; Piperno, Marcello; Tusa, Sebastiano; Collina, Carmine; Di Salvo, Rosaria; Schimmenti, Vittoria; Richards, Michael P

    2015-01-01

    Cetacean mass strandings occur regularly worldwide, yet the compounded effects of natural and anthropogenic factors often complicate our understanding of these phenomena. Evidence of past stranding episodes may, thus, be essential to establish the potential influence of climate change. Investigations on bones from the site of Grotta dell'Uzzo in North West Sicily (Italy) show that the rapid climate change around 8,200 years ago coincided with increased strandings in the Mediterranean Sea. Stable isotope analyses on collagen from a large sample of remains recovered at this cave indicate that Mesolithic hunter-gatherers relied little on marine resources. A human and a red fox dating to the 8.2-kyr-BP climatic event, however, acquired at least one third of their protein from cetaceans. Numerous carcasses should have been available annually, for at least a decade, to obtain these proportions of meat. Our findings imply that climate-driven environmental changes, caused by global warming, may represent a serious threat to cetaceans in the near future. PMID:26573384

  7. Dynamics of Two Picophytoplankton Groups in Mediterranean Sea: Analysis of the Deep Chlorophyll Maximum by a Stochastic Advection-Reaction-Diffusion Model

    PubMed Central

    Denaro, Giovanni; Valenti, Davide; Spagnolo, Bernardo; Basilone, Gualtiero; Mazzola, Salvatore; Zgozi, Salem W.; Aronica, Salvatore; Bonanno, Angelo

    2013-01-01

    A stochastic advection-reaction-diffusion model with terms of multiplicative white Gaussian noise, valid for weakly mixed waters, is studied to obtain the vertical stationary spatial distributions of two groups of picophytoplankton, i.e., picoeukaryotes and Prochlorococcus, which account about for 60% of total chlorophyll on average in Mediterranean Sea. By numerically solving the equations of the model, we analyze the one-dimensional spatio-temporal dynamics of the total picophytoplankton biomass and nutrient concentration along the water column at different depths. In particular, we integrate the equations over a time interval long enough, obtaining the steady spatial distributions for the cell concentrations of the two picophytoplankton groups. The results are converted into chlorophyll a and divinil chlorophyll a concentrations and compared with experimental data collected in two different sites of the Sicily Channel (southern Mediterranean Sea). The comparison shows that real distributions are well reproduced by theoretical profiles. Specifically, position, shape and magnitude of the theoretical deep chlorophyll maximum exhibit a good agreement with the experimental values. PMID:23826130

  8. Estimation of synthetic flood design hydrographs using a distributed rainfall-runoff model coupled with a copula-based single storm rainfall generator

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Candela, A.; Brigandì, G.; Aronica, G. T.

    2014-07-01

    In this paper a procedure to derive synthetic flood design hydrographs (SFDH) using a bivariate representation of rainfall forcing (rainfall duration and intensity) via copulas, which describes and models the correlation between two variables independently of the marginal laws involved, coupled with a distributed rainfall-runoff model, is presented. Rainfall-runoff modelling (R-R modelling) for estimating the hydrological response at the outlet of a catchment was performed by using a conceptual fully distributed procedure based on the Soil Conservation Service - Curve Number method as an excess rainfall model and on a distributed unit hydrograph with climatic dependencies for the flow routing. Travel time computation, based on the distributed unit hydrograph definition, was performed by implementing a procedure based on flow paths, determined from a digital elevation model (DEM) and roughness parameters obtained from distributed geographical information. In order to estimate the primary return period of the SFDH, which provides the probability of occurrence of a hydrograph flood, peaks and flow volumes obtained through R-R modelling were treated statistically using copulas. Finally, the shapes of hydrographs have been generated on the basis of historically significant flood events, via cluster analysis. An application of the procedure described above has been carried out and results presented for the case study of the Imera catchment in Sicily, Italy.

  9. Case study: inorganic pollutants associated with particulate matter from an area near a petrochemical plant.

    PubMed

    Bosco, M L; Varrica, D; Dongarrà, G

    2005-09-01

    The area of Gela (Sicily, Italy) contains one of the largest petroleum refineries in Europe and also has several oil fields both on land and offshore. This paper discusses how the oil refinery and traffic-related air pollution affect the chemical composition of airborne particulate matter over the town of Gela, using pine needles and urban road dust as the means of survey. Forty-one samples of pine needles from Pinus halepensis (Mill.) and two composite samples of roadway dust, each subdivided into six size fractions, were analyzed for major and trace elements. Information on the natural or anthropogenic origin of the observed heavy metals was deduced from factor analysis and element distribution maps. Factor analysis was applied to a data set of 20 element concentrations in pine needles and identified three main sources of metals: soil, vehicle traffic, and industrial emissions. The petrochemical plant appears to be associated with raised levels of As, Mo, Ni, S, Se, V, and Zn. Similarly, enhanced Cu, Pb, Pt, Pd, Sb, and partly Zn concentrations are closely associated with traffic. High correlations between Ni and V, As and Se, and Pb and Sb were observed. Element distribution maps, showing a decrease in heavy metal contents immediately farther inland, confirm that local sources play a considerable role in heavy metal pollution. Morphological alterations and accumulation of phenols were observed in sections of Pinus halepensis needles collected from sites with high traffic density and industrial emissions. PMID:16053924

  10. Cistus incanus and Cistus monspeliensis inhibit the contractile response in isolated rat smooth muscle.

    PubMed

    Attaguile, G; Perticone, G; Mania, G; Savoca, F; Pennisi, G; Salomone, S

    2004-06-01

    The lyophilized aqueous extracts from Cistus incanus L. (CI) and Cistus monspeliensis L. (CM) collected in Sicily were studied in order to evaluate their myorelaxant activity by using isolated smooth muscle of rat ileum and rat aorta. Both CI and CM extracts concentration-dependently inhibited the contractile response to acetylcholine (ACh), phenylephrine (PE) and to 100 mM KCl. The concentration-contraction curves to ACh in ileum and to PE in aorta, were displaced to the right by Cistus extracts in a non-competitive manner, with a depression of the maximum contractile response. The EC50 (microg/ml) of CM and CI were: ileum/KCl, CM 457+/-99, CI 681+/-80; ileum/ACh 100 microM, CM 297+/-66, CI 335+/-41; aorta/KCl, CM 360+/-21, CI 843+/-36; and aorta/PE 10 microM, CM 287+/-33, CI 451+/-58. The two extracts resulted almost equi-active in ileum, whereas CM was more active than CI in aorta. These data indicate that Cistus extracts act as spasmolytic on intestinal and vascular smooth muscle. The antagonism they exert on ACh-, PE- and KCl-evoked contractions seems to be functional, because it is not specifically directed toward any particular receptor; furthermore, a calcium-antagonist activity seems unlikely, since the extracts are capable of completely block the contractile response to agonists. PMID:15138007

  11. Antiproliferative and cytotoxic activity of extracts from Cistus incanus L. and Cistus monspeliensis L. on human prostate cell lines.

    PubMed

    Vitali, Federica; Pennisi, Giuseppa; Attaguile, Giuseppa; Savoca, Francesca; Tita, Beatrice

    2011-02-01

    Benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH) is a common condition in elderly men that impairs quality of life and leads to a number of medical complications. The use of phytotherapeutic compounds in patients with relatively moderate BPH symptoms has been growing steadily. In the present study, acute toxicity of lyophilised aqueous extracts of Cistus incanus L. and Cistus monspeliensis L., collected in Sicily, was evaluated on the shrimp (Artemia salina L.) lethality assay, an alternative test to determine the toxicity of natural products. The cytotoxic and growth inhibitory effects were studied on normal human prostate cells (PZ-HPV-7 and PNT1A) and on a lung fibroblast cell line (V79-4). Cell proliferation was evaluated by MTT and SRB assays. Cytotoxicity was measured using the Trypan blue exclusion assay. Cistus extract treatment on prostate cell lines resulted in an almost identical growth inhibitory response and in a significant decrease in an cell viability. These findings indicate the biologically relevant effect of polyphenolic compounds present in Cistus extracts, and suggest that these substances may prove beneficial in BPH treatment. PMID:20544500

  12. The effects of anthropogenic organic matter inputs on stable carbon and nitrogen isotopes in organisms from different trophic levels in a southern Mediterranean coastal area.

    PubMed

    Vizzini, Salvatrice; Mazzola, Antonio

    2006-09-15

    Stable isotope ratios were used to determine the impact of anthropogenically derived organic matter from onshore and offshore fish farming and a sewage outfall on organisms at different trophic levels (primary producers and consumers) on the south-east coast of Sicily (Italy, Mediterranean). Representative macroalgae and consumers were collected in three sampling locations: "Impact" and two putative "Controls" sited to the north of the impacted location. While delta(13)C values of both organic matter sources and consumers varied little between locations, delta(15)N spatial variability was higher and delta(15)N was shown to be a good descriptor of organic enrichment and uptake of anthropogenically derived material within coastal food webs. Isotopic data were analysed using a multivariate approach. Organic matter sources and benthic components were more sensitive to pollution than nektobenthic species and revealed that the effects of anthropogenic activities seem to be detectable over a wide area. The study site is characterised by wide waste dispersal, which brings a reduction in impact in the area directly affected by organic matter inputs and enlarges the area of moderate impact. PMID:16540153

  13. Studying the Lunar Ionosphere by Virtue of the SMART-1 Signals.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maccone, C.; Pluchino, S.

    The European probe SMART-1, in orbit around the Moon until it crashed on it on September 3rd, 2006, provided a new, good opportunity to investigate the radial density and refractive index of the tiny ionosphere surrounding the Moon. In fact, the carriers emitted by the probe in S, X and Ka bands were picked up by radiotelescopes on Earth and analyzed by virtue of the traditional occultation techniques. In Italy, the Team led by Salvatore Pluchino as the P.I., with Claudio Maccone, Luca Derosa and Christian M. Firrone as co-investigators, was able to gather a host of data by virtue of the two 32-meter radiotelescopes available at Medicina (near Bologna) and Noto (near Siracusa, in Sicily). Strong support also came from the Medicina Radiotelescope Team led by Stelio Montebugnoli. Furthermore, a joint cooperation with the Team of the Hat Creek Observatory in northern California, led by Jill Tarter, provided a sound opportunity for cross-checking the data in S and X bands. In conclusion, it is hoped that these experimental investigations will finally produce an improved mathematical model of the tiny Lunar ionosphere that would be pivotal to construct a future radiotelescope on the Farside of the Moon \\citep{ref1,ref2}, as suggested by Maccone at the conclusion of his IAA Cosmic Study about the ``Lunar Farside Radio Lab'' (2005) \\citep{maccone1,maccone2} .

  14. Medical topics in the De anima commentary of Coimbra (1598) and the Jesuits' attitude towards medicine in education and natural philosophy.

    PubMed

    Sander, Christoph

    2014-01-01

    Early-modern Jesuit universities did not offer studies in medicine, and from 1586 onwards, the Jesuit Ratio studiorum prohibited digressions on medical topics in the Aristotelian curriculum. However, some sixteenth-century Jesuit text books used in philosophy classes provided detailed accounts on physiological issues such as sense perception and its organic location as discussed in Aristotle's De anima II, 7-11. This seeming contradiction needs to be explained. In this paper, I focus on the interst in medical topics manifested in a commentary by the Jesuits of Coimbra. Admittedly, the Coimbra commentary constituted an exception, as the Jesuit college that produced it was integrated in a royal university which had a strong interest in educating physicians. It will be claimed that the exclusion of medicine at Jesuit universities and colleges had its origin in rather incidental events in the course of the foundation of the first Jesuit university in Sicily. There, the lay professors of law and medicine intended to avoid subordination to the Jesuits and thereby provoked a conflict which finally led the Jesuit administration to refrain from including faculties of medicine and law in Jesuit universities. Towards the end of the sixteenth century, a veritable Jesuit animosity towards medicine emerged for philosophical and pedagogical reasons. This development reflects educational concerns within the Society as well as the role of commentaries on Aristotle for early-modern learning. PMID:24988761

  15. Observation manipulator bell proves worth in Transmediterranean pipeline construction

    SciTech Connect

    Lewis, R.E.

    1981-10-26

    In constructing the trans-Mediterranean undersea pipeline between Tunisia and Sicily, Perry Oceanographics used a manned, tethered vehicle called an observation manipulator bell (OMB), which has proven itself in deepwater pipelaying operations. The OMB carries a crew of two inside a pressure hull with an internal diameter of 76 in. Its overall diameter is 102 in. and it weighs 17,500 lb. The vehicle has two 5-hp port- and starboard-mounted electric thrusters. Its vertical position can be controlled by either the bell operator using a clump-weight haul-down winch or the surface operator with the umbilical winch. The OMB is fitted with video cameras and voice communication. The vehicle has reached depths of 3000 ft within 30 min with only a 10-ft overshoot. The OMB's single and/or dual manipulator-arm systems can operate its onboard impact wrenches, cut-off saws, water jets, and cable cutters. In addition, the manipulator claws can operate valve wheels and levers, attach anodes, and connect of disconnect cables and hydraulic systems. The versatility of the OMB was demonstrated recently when the vehicle rescued a PC-1602 submarine that had become entangled at 1740 ft.

  16. Effect of Crop cultivation after Mediterranean maquis on soil carbon stock, ?13C spatial distribution and root turnover

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Novara, Agata; Gristina, Luciano; Santoro, Antonino; La Mantia, Tommaso

    2013-04-01

    The aim of this work was investigate the effect of land use change on soil organic carbon (SOC) stock and distribution in a Mediterranean succession. A succession composed by natural vegetation, cactus pear crop and olive grove, was selected in Sicily. The land use change from mediterranena maquis (C3 plant) to cactus pear (C4 plant) lead to a SOC decrease of 65% after 28 years of cultivation, and a further decrease of 14% after 7 years since the land use from cactus pear to olive grove (C3 plant). Considering this exchange and decrease as well as the periods after the land use changes we calculated the mean residence time (MRT) of soil C of different age. The MRT of C under Mediterranean maquis was about 142 years, but was 10 years under cactus pear. Total SOC and ?13 C were measured along the soil profile (0-75cm) and in the intra-rows in order to evaluate the distribution of new and old carbon derived and the growth of roots. After measuring of weight of cactus pear root, an approach was developed to estimate the turnover of root biomass. Knowledge of root turnover and carbon input are important to evaluate the correlation between carbon input accumulation and SOC stock in order to study the ability of C sink of soils with different use and managements.

  17. Underwater Photogrammetry and 3d Reconstruction of Marble Cargos Shipwreck

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

    Nowadays archaeological and architectural surveys are based on the acquisition and processing of point clouds, allowing a high metric precision, essential prerequisite for a good documentation. Digital image processing and laser scanner have changed the archaeological survey campaign, from manual and direct survey to a digital one and, actually, multi-image photogrammetry is a good solution for the underwater archaeology. This technical documentation cannot operate alone, but it has to be supported by a topographical survey to georeference all the finds in the same reference system. In the last years the Ca' Foscari and IUAV University of Venice are conducting a research on integrated survey techniques to support underwater metric documentation. The paper will explain all the phases regarding the survey's design, images acquisition, topographic measure and the data processing of two Roman shipwrecks in south Sicily. The cargos of the shipwrecks are composed by huge marble blocks, but they are different for morphological characteristic of the sites, for the depth and for their distribution on the seabed. Photogrammetrical and topographical surveys were organized in two distinct methods, especially for the second one, due to the depth that have allowed an experimentation of GPS RTK's measurements on one shipwreck. Moreover, this kind of three-dimensional documentation is useful for educational and dissemination aspect, for the ease of understanding by wide public.

  18. Assessing the influence of topographical data and of the calibration procedure on the estimation of flood inundation probabilities and associated uncertainty

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fabio, Pamela; Candela, Angela; Aronica, Giuseppe T.

    2010-05-01

    Floods are considered the most frequent natural disaster world-wide and may have serious socio economic impacts in a community. In order to accomplish flood risk mitigation, flood risk analysis and assessment is required to provide information on current or future flood hazard and risks. Hazard and risk maps involve different data, expertise and effort, depending also to the end-users. In general praxis, more or less advanced deterministic approaches are usually used, but probabilistic approaches seem to be more correct and suited for modelling flood inundation. Two very important matters remain still opened for research: the calibration of hydraulic model (oriented towards the estimation of effective roughness parameters) and the uncertainties (e.g. related to data, model structure and parameterisation) affecting flood hazard mapping results. Here, the new way to incorporate uncertainty in flood hazard will be applied using more accurate topographical data and a new mesh for a complex two-dimensional hyperbolic finite element model. Through a comparison among resulting hazard maps, the influence of these kinds of data will be shown. Moreover, in order to show the influence of the calibration procedure to the final hazard maps, a further comparison will be effected. The calibration of the 2D hydraulic model will be carried out by combining more than one type of observational data. To date, limited applications still exist chiefly because data sets for historical events are quite rare. The procedures were tested on a flood prone area located in the southern part of Sicily, Italy.

  19. Genetic diversity and population structure of leafy kale and Brassica rupestris Raf. in south Italy.

    PubMed

    Maggioni, Lorenzo; von Bothmer, Roland; Poulsen, Gert; Branca, Ferdinando; Bagger Jørgensen, Rikke

    2014-12-01

    Local varieties of leafy kales (Brassica oleracea L.) are grown in home gardens in Calabria and Sicily for self-consumption, in the same area where the wild relative Brassica rupestris Raf. also grows. With the use of AFLP markers, comparisons were made of the genetic diversity and population structure of ten wild and 22 cultivated populations, as well as of a hybrid population and of four commercial cultivars of different B. oleracea crops. The level of genetic diversity was higher in leafy kales than in wild populations and this diversity was mainly distributed within populations. Wild populations remained distinct from cultivated material. Additionally, most wild populations were distinctively isolated from each other. On the other hand, it was not possible to molecularly distinguish even geographically distant leafy kale populations from each other or from different B. oleracea crops. It was possible to detect inter-crossing between leafy kales and B. rupestris. Findings from this study illustrate the existing level of genetic diversity in the B. oleracea gene pool. Individual populations (either wild or leafy kales) with higher levels of genetic diversity have been identified and suggestions are given for an informed conservation strategy. Domestication hypotheses are also discussed. PMID:25588302

  20. Checklist and Scoring System for the Assessment of Soft Tissue Preservation in CT Examinations of Human Mummies

    PubMed Central

    Panzer, Stephanie; Mc Coy, Mark R.; Hitzl, Wolfgang; Piombino-Mascali, Dario; Jankauskas, Rimantas; Zink, Albert R.; Augat, Peter

    2015-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to develop a checklist for standardized assessment of soft tissue preservation in human mummies based on whole-body computed tomography examinations, and to add a scoring system to facilitate quantitative comparison of mummies. Computed tomography examinations of 23 mummies from the Capuchin Catacombs of Palermo, Sicily (17 adults, 6 children; 17 anthropogenically and 6 naturally mummified) and 7 mummies from the crypt of the Dominican Church of the Holy Spirit of Vilnius, Lithuania (5 adults, 2 children; all naturally mummified) were used to develop the checklist following previously published guidelines. The scoring system was developed by assigning equal scores for checkpoints with equivalent quality. The checklist was evaluated by intra- and inter-observer reliability. The finalized checklist was applied to compare the groups of anthropogenically and naturally mummified bodies. The finalized checklist contains 97 checkpoints and was divided into two main categories, “A. Soft Tissues of Head and Musculoskeletal System” and “B. Organs and Organ Systems”, each including various subcategories. The complete checklist had an intra-observer reliability of 98% and an inter-observer reliability of 93%. Statistical comparison revealed significantly higher values in anthropogenically compared to naturally mummified bodies for the total score and for three subcategories. In conclusion, the developed checklist allows for a standardized assessment and documentation of soft tissue preservation in whole-body computed tomography examinations of human mummies. The scoring system facilitates a quantitative comparison of the soft tissue preservation status between single mummies or mummy collections. PMID:26244862

  1. The potential reproductive contribution of Mediterranean migrating eels to the Anguilla anguilla stock

    PubMed Central

    Capoccioni, Fabrizio; Costa, Corrado; Canali, Emiliano; Aguzzi, Jacopo; Antonucci, Francesca; Ragonese, Sergio; Bianchini, Marco L.

    2014-01-01

    The European eel is a highly migratory fish. After the reproduction in the Sargasso Sea early larval-stages start a passive ocean migration towards European and Mediterranean continental waters. After several years as yellow eels, mature adults change to silver stage and then start their return trip. The trajectory of their backward migration is unknown, because of low probability of capturing migrating individuals, having this capture never been reported in the Mediterranean. Recently, 8 silver eels were collected in the Strait of Sicily. Using literature information about possible individual route and speed, their geographical position was projected up to the spawning site during reproductive season. Despite using optimal and continuous migration swimming speed, none of the specimens may have been able to reach the Sargasso Sea in time for mating. Subsequently, to identify putative Mediterranean areas from which eels could have been reaching the spawning grounds on time, a backward scenario was postulated using the previous scientific assumptions. Our results suggests that just a small quota of Mediterranean silver males successfully reaches the Sargasso area, and only females from the westernmost and central parts of the basin could be able to fruitfully pond their eggs during the supposed spawning period. PMID:25424371

  2. The potential reproductive contribution of Mediterranean migrating eels to the Anguilla anguilla stock.

    PubMed

    Capoccioni, Fabrizio; Costa, Corrado; Canali, Emiliano; Aguzzi, Jacopo; Antonucci, Francesca; Ragonese, Sergio; Bianchini, Marco L

    2014-01-01

    The European eel is a highly migratory fish. After the reproduction in the Sargasso Sea early larval-stages start a passive ocean migration towards European and Mediterranean continental waters. After several years as yellow eels, mature adults change to silver stage and then start their return trip. The trajectory of their backward migration is unknown, because of low probability of capturing migrating individuals, having this capture never been reported in the Mediterranean. Recently, 8 silver eels were collected in the Strait of Sicily. Using literature information about possible individual route and speed, their geographical position was projected up to the spawning site during reproductive season. Despite using optimal and continuous migration swimming speed, none of the specimens may have been able to reach the Sargasso Sea in time for mating. Subsequently, to identify putative Mediterranean areas from which eels could have been reaching the spawning grounds on time, a backward scenario was postulated using the previous scientific assumptions. Our results suggests that just a small quota of Mediterranean silver males successfully reaches the Sargasso area, and only females from the westernmost and central parts of the basin could be able to fruitfully pond their eggs during the supposed spawning period. PMID:25424371

  3. The Norse discovery of America.

    PubMed

    Langmoen, Iver A

    2005-12-01

    In the late 8th century, the stage for Viking expansion was set by commercial expansion in northwest Europe, the pressure of an increasing population in limited territorial reserves, and the development of the Viking ships. The Norsemen traveled extensively over the oceans, south to the Holy Land, and north to the White Sea and settled over a wide area from Sicily to Greenland. Historical sources, including the reports by Adam of Bremen and the Icelandic Sagas, describe several expeditions from Greenland to Vinland (somewhere along the east coast of North America) in approximately AD 1000 and later. Historians have arrived at highly different conclusions with respect to the location of Vinland (from Labrador to Georgia), but, in 1960, the Norwegian explorer Helge Ingstad localized ancient house sites on L'Ans aux Meadows, a small fishing village on the Northern beaches of Newfoundland. From 1961 to 1969, Ingstad and his wife, Anne Stine (an archaeologist), led several archaeological expeditions that revealed Viking turf houses with room for approximately 100 people. They also excavated a smithy, outdoor cooking pits, boathouses, a bathhouse, and enclosures for cattle, in addition to several Viking artifacts. The finds were C dated to AD 990 +/- 30. The present report reviews historical and archaeological evidence indicating the sites to which the Vikings traveled and attempted to settle in the new world. PMID:16331154

  4. Determination of trace metal baseline values in Posidonia oceanica, Cystoseira sp., and other marine environmental biomonitors: a quality control method for a study in South Tyrrhenian coastal areas.

    PubMed

    Conti, Marcelo Enrique; Mecozzi, Mauro; Finoia, Maria Grazia

    2015-03-01

    In this study, we investigated Cd, Cr, Cu, Pb, and Zn in the seagrass Posidonia oceanica (L.) Delile leaves and in the brown algae Cystoseira sp. sampled along a 280-km transect in the Tyrrhenian Sea, from the Ustica to Linosa Islands (Sicily, Italy) with the aim to determine their control charts (baseline levels). By applying the Johnson's (Biometrika 36:149-175, 1949) probabilistic method, we determined the metal concentration overlap ranges in a group of five biomonitors. Here, we propose the use of the indexes of bioaccumulation with respect to the lowest (L'i) and the highest (L i) extreme values of the overlap metal concentration ranges. These indexes allow the identification of the most opportune organism (or a suite of them) to better managing particular environmental conditions. Posidonia leaves have generally high L i indexes for Cd, Cu, Pb, and Zn, and this suggests its use as biomonitor for baseline marine areas. Our results confirm the high aptitude of Patella as a good biomonitor for Cd levels in seawater. From this study, Ustica resulted with higher levels of Cd, Cu, Pb, and Zn than the other Sicilian Islands. PMID:25253055

  5. Evolution of lava flow-fields at Mount Etna, 27-28 October 1999, observed by Landsat 7 ETM+

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wright, Robert; Flynn, Luke; Harris, Andrew

    2001-03-01

    Landsat 7 Enhanced Thematic Mapper + (ETM+) data are presented which document the thermal characteristics of a series of lava flows emplaced at Mount Etna volcano, Sicily, during 27-28 October 1999. By examining the composition of the short-wave infrared (SWIR) signal emitted from the flow surface, we identified distinctive flow units. The first unit appears to comprise recently active lava flows with relatively cool crusts which, by virtue of the integrity of this crust as determined from the ETM+ data, we infer are stationary or barely moving. The second unit is characterized by much higher levels of SWIR radiance, consistent with a channel-fed active flow unit. Analysis of the SWIR data confirm that this is fed by a lava channel, the properties of which are consistent with vigorously active channels observed on Kilauea, Hawaii. Model predictions of the maximum length that such flows could attain compare favorably with the actual flow lengths observed in the ETM+ data, indicating that the cooler flows had indeed stopped advancing, and may have attained a cooling-limited, rather than volume-limited, maximum length. Our observations and modeling provide a physical corroboration for the supposition made by Wadge (1978) in his analysis of the shape of lava flow fields on Mount Etna, which in the cooling-limited case principal flows are active one after the other and not at the same time.

  6. Cementation of Upper Miocene reefs in western Mediterranean

    SciTech Connect

    Esteban, M.; Calvet, F.

    1983-03-01

    Coral reefs in the western Mediterranean (southeast Spain, Balearic Island, northern Morocco, Sicily, and Italy) show a wide variety of cement types, ranging from completely tight, well-cemented, to poorly cemented reefs with most of the primary porosity still preserved. Cementation processes in those coral reefs appear to be controlled to a great extent by repeated changes of relative sea levels and regional variations of seawater chemistry. Reef progradation occurred during four to six (or more) important sea level changes, resulting in complicated geometric relationships of reef complexes and their freshwater lenses. Progradation occurred during sea level rises and falls and is reflected in abrupt escarpments in some field localities, generally separated by important terraced erosional surfaces. Various types of aragonitic isopachous cement fringes of marine origin, 0.1 to 1.5 cm (.04 to .6 in.) thick, are well preserved in some localities. This is probably due to subsequent plugging by gypsum cement during the Messinian salinity crises. Another possible effect of salinity fluctuations is the abundance of thick crusts of peletoidal, micrite cement of marine origin, locally forming about three-fourths of the volume of the reef core.

  7. Trends in organic geochemistry for petroleum exploration

    SciTech Connect

    Tissot, B.P.

    1988-08-01

    Exploration efficiency has increased since 1970 due to improvements in geophysical treatments and the development of organic geochemistry. Further increase of the success ratio in wildcats is expected during the 1990s from integrating all earth sciences in basin modeling. Explorationists expect from geochemistry a clear answer to several questions essential for prospect evaluation: existence and location of source rock kitchens, amount and type of hydrocarbons generated, migration paths, and quantity and type of petroleum accumulated in traps. Based on the scientific knowledge developed during the last 20 years, such a clear answer can now be given to all questions related to generation. Kinetic models of oil generation will help us quantify the evaluation. Regarding migration, both approaches - observations and basin model - offer promising trends for individual trap evaluation. However, further work is needed before a quantitative figure of inplace reserves can be given. Examples of bacterial and thermal gas prospects in the Po basin (northern Italy), mainly from lower Tertiary and lower Mesozoic sources, respectively, are presented. Occurrences of liquid oil at great depth in the same basin are also presented, and the influences of kerogen type, burial history, geothermal gradient, and pressure regime are discussed. Immature heavy oils are present in the Adriatic basin and in Sicily. Their conditions of generation are interpreted with respect to specific type of high-sulfur crudes and burial history. More generally the important role of a late subsidence associated with the Europe-Africa collision is emphasized.

  8. The physician, the Emperor and the fibromyalgia: Charles-Edouard Brown-Sequard (1817-1894) and Dom Pedro II (1825-1891) of Brazil.

    PubMed

    Kurizky, Patricia Shu; Oliveira, Ana Cristina Vanderley; da Mota, Licia Maria Henrique; Diniz, Leonardo Rios; Neto, Leopoldo Luiz Dos Santos

    2014-02-11

    The physician Charles-Édouard Brown-Séquard was a neurologist of considerable importance. In 1846 his thesis 'Researches and Experiments on the Physiology of the Spinal Cord' brought out knowledge about the sensory pathways which remains until today. The Emperor, Dom Pedro II was the second and last Emperor of Brazil, reigning for 49 years and remembered for defending the nation's integrity, the end of slavery, support for education and culture, diplomacy and relations with international personalities. He married Dona Teresa Cristina of Bourbon-Two Sicilies (1822-1889) by proxy in 1843, the fourth and last Empress consort of Brazil. This paper reports the exchange of letters between these personalities of the XIX century. Although they lived far from each other and worked in areas so different, they discussed the health of the Empress in letters. Dom Pedro II made contact with Brown-Séquard hoping that '?…?your knowledge shall help heal my wife of nervous disease?…?.?'?According to Dom Pedro the Empress suffered '?…?for a long time with more or less long interruptions of horrible neuralgic pains in the legs, head and the scalp. Two points on the dorsal spine feel the effects more or less with pressure applied?…?.?'?In addition to describing and documenting the exchange of letters, this paper raises the possibility that the Empress suffered from the fibromyalgia syndrome. PMID:24585623

  9. Modeling unusual eruptive behavior of Mt. Etna, Italy, by means of event bush

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Behncke, Boris; Pshenichny, Cyril A.

    2009-09-01

    One of the best-studied volcanoes of the world, Mt. Etna in Sicily, repeatedly exhibits eruptive scenarios that depart from the behavior commonly considered typical for this volcano. Episodes of intense explosive activity, pyroclastic flows, dome growth and cone collapse pose a variety of previously underestimated threats to human lives in the summit area of the volcano. However, retrospective analysis of these events shows that they were likely caused by the same very sets of premises and starting conditions as "normal" eruptions, yet combined in an unexpected, probably unique, way. To cope with such unexpected consequences, we involve an approach of artificial intelligence developed specially for needs of the geosciences, the event bush. Scenarios inferred from the event bush fit the observed ones and allow to foresee other low-probability events that may occur at the volcano. Application of the event bush provides a more impartial vision of volcanic phenomena and may serve as an intermediary between expert knowledge and numerical assessment, e.g., by means of Bayesian Belief Networks.

  10. Post mortem investigations on cetaceans found stranded on the coasts of Italy between 1990 and 1993.

    PubMed

    Di Guardo, G; Agrimi, U; Morelli, L; Cardeti, G; Terracciano, G; Kennedy, S

    1995-04-29

    Detailed pathological and virological examinations were carried out on 25 cetaceans found stranded between 1990 and 1993 on the coasts of six Italian regions (Latium, Tuscany, Apulia, Abruzzo, Veneto and Sicily). There were 16 striped dolphins (Stenella coeruleoalba), three bottlenosed dolphins (Tursiops truncatus), three Risso's dolphins (Grampus griseus), one rough-toothed dolphin (Steno bredanensis), one fin whale pup (Balaenoptera physalus), and one minke whale (Balaenoptera acutorostrata). Apart from parasitic diseases (44 per cent), the most frequently detected lesions were pneumonia (68 per cent), enteritis (44 per cent), non-purulent hepatitis (40 per cent), interstitial nephritis (32 per cent) and encephalitis (32 per cent). Morbilivirus infection was diagnosed by immunocytochemistry in four striped dolphins, two stranded on the coasts of Latium in 1991 and two on the coasts of Tuscany in 1993. Despite the presence of lesions consistent with morbilliviral pneumonia in two other striped dolphins stranded on the coast of Apulia in 1991, no morbillivirus antigen was demonstrated in the tissues of these animals. Anticanine distemper virus antibodies were detected in the serum of the adult minke whale found stranded on the coast of Tuscany in 1993. However, no viruses were isolated from the tissues of any of the 25 cetaceans. PMID:7631479

  11. Nanocrystalline TiO2 by sol-gel: Characterisation and photocatalytic activity on Modica and Comiso stones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bergamonti, Laura; Alfieri, Ilaria; Lorenzi, Andrea; Montenero, Angelo; Predieri, Giovanni; Barone, Germana; Mazzoleni, Paolo; Pasquale, Stefania; Lottici, Pier Paolo

    2013-10-01

    A self-cleaning photocatalytic coating for limestone materials, based on TiO2 nanoparticles obtained by the sol-gel process has been studied. TiO2 sol was applied directly to the surface or after a SiO2 intermediate layer. The selected test materials are the Modica and the Comiso calcarenites, limestones of Ragusa Formation outcropping in the South Eastern Sicily (Italy). SEM-EDS, XRD and Raman investigations were carried out to characterise the TiO2 nanoparticles and coating. Nanocrystalline anatase and, to a lesser extent, brookite forms are obtained. To evaluate the harmlessness of the treatment, colorimetric tests, water absorption by capillarity and crystallisation of salts measurements were performed. Photocatalytic activity of the TiO2 colloidal suspension and of the coatings (TiO2 and SiO2/TiO2) was assessed under UV irradiation through methyl orange dye degradation tests. The results show good photodegradation activity and satisfactory compatibility between the sol and the surface of the investigated limestones.

  12. First Ingv Cnt GPS Permanent Stations for Monitoring Crustal Deformation in Italy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Galvani, A.; Anzidei, M.; Casula, G.; Pietrantonio, G.; Riguzzi, F.; Serpelloni, E.

    2004-12-01

    The National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology in 1999 started to set up a first set of new continuosly operating GPS stations. The aims are to detect the geodinamic pattern at regional scale in the mediterranean area and densify the existing CGPS network belonging to ASI and to support the not permanent networks. Six stations (MAOO INGP RSTO INGR VVLO MTTM) are located in central appennine belt and one (GIBI) in northern Sicily. Geodetic pillars are located in the outcropping geological units and across tha main seismogenic sources of historical and recent eathquakes. Different monuments was planned, depending on local lithology, with 3D self centering system for precise antenna set up designed at INGV Daily 24 hours DAT and RINEX data at 30 sec sampling rate are locally collected by Trimble Reference Station (www.trimble.com) and transferred by telephone line to a server located at INGV. Data are stored in specific directory and compressed by Hatanaka procedures. Data transfer, storage and compression are controlled by automated tasks implemented on Windows operative system. Data are daily quality checked by TEQC software (UNAVCO) and processed with Bernese 4.0 software, producing daily and weekly coordinate solution in sinex format and velocity and strain field solution in sinex format.

  13. Predictive mechanistic bioenergetics to model habitat suitability of shellfish culture in coastal lakes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rinaldi, A.; Montalto, V.; Manganaro, A.; Mazzola, A.; Mirto, S.; Sanfilippo, M.; Sarà, G.

    2014-05-01

    Quantitative tools based on mechanistic modelling of functional traits able to enhance the sustainability of aquaculture and most other human activities (i.e. reducing the likelihood of detrimental impacts optimising productions), are especially important factors in the decision to site aquaculture facilities in coastal lakes, ponds and lagoons and, in the case of detrimental impact, to adopt mitigation measures. We tested the ability of mechanistic functional trait based models to predict life history traits of cultivable shellfish in shallow coastal lakes. Dynamic Energy Budget (DEB) models were run to generate spatially explicit predictions of Mytilus galloprovincialis life history (LH) traits (e.g. body size and fecundity). Using fortnightly data of food supply and hourly data of body temperatures, and exploiting the power of mechanistic rules, we estimated the amount of faeces ejected by a fixed quantity of organisms cultivated in two shallow Southern Mediterranean (Sicily) lakes. These differed in terms of temperature and food density, implying large differences in life history traits of mussels in the two study areas. This information could help facilitate the selection of sites where environmental conditions are more suitable for aquaculture and contextually compatible with sustainability. The validation exercise obtained by comparing the predicted and observed data was nearly consistent. Therefore, a mechanistic functional traits-based model seems able to capture the link between habitat characteristics and functional traits of organisms, delineating the fundamental portion of an ecological niche, the possibility of predicting LH traits and potential ecological applications in the management of natural coastal resources.

  14. Paleomagnetism and the Adriatic Promontory: a Reappraisal

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lowrie, W.

    1986-09-01

    The geodynamic evolution of the Western Mediterranean area was influenced strongly by the Adriatic promontory of the African plate, which can be outlined at present by current seismicity and by facies and ophiolite distributions. Paleomagnetic results from different parts of the promontory contribute useful information about its past history. The evaluation of these data is made difficult by the lack of a well defined apparent polar wander path for Africa. This has resulted in occasional overinterpretation of some paleomagnetic studies. Results from Umbria and the Southern Alps cover a long enough period of time to define part of an APW path and support the idea that the promontory moved as an adjunct to the African plate during the late Mesozoic and early Cenozoic. A conservative evaluation of Cretaceous paleomagnetic data, the most abundant for the promontory as a whole, shows no strong evidence for previously proposed counterclockwise rotations of Sicily or the Southern Alps relative to the African plate. Paleomagnetic data, however, suggest about 17 degrees counterclockwise rotation of autochthonous Gargano and Istria, and about 25 degrees counterclockwise rotation of allochthonous Umbria. Tectonic rotation of the middle part of the promontory appears to have occurred without significant rotation of its northern and southern extremities.

  15. Urban MEMS based seismic network for post-earthquakes rapid disaster assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    D'Alessandro, A.; Luzio, D.; D'Anna, G.

    2014-09-01

    In this paper, we introduce a project for the realization of the first European real-time urban seismic network based on Micro Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS) technology. MEMS accelerometers are a highly enabling technology, and nowadays, the sensitivity and the dynamic range of these sensors are such as to allow the recording of earthquakes of moderate magnitude even at a distance of several tens of kilometers. Moreover, thanks to their low cost and smaller size, MEMS accelerometers can be easily installed in urban areas in order to achieve an urban seismic network constituted by high density of observation points. The network is being implemented in the Acireale Municipality (Sicily, Italy), an area among those with the highest hazard, vulnerability and exposure to the earthquake of the Italian territory. The main objective of the implemented urban network will be to achieve an effective system for post-earthquake rapid disaster assessment. The earthquake recorded, also that with moderate magnitude will be used for the effective seismic microzonation of the area covered by the network. The implemented system will be also used to realize a site-specific earthquakes early warning system.

  16. The ASTRI/CTA mini-array software system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tosti, Gino; Schwarz, Joseph; Antonelli, Lucio Angelo; Trifoglio, Massimo; Catalano, Osvaldo; Maccarone, Maria Concetta; Leto, Giuseppe; Gianotti, Fulvio; Canestrari, Rodolfo; Giro, Enrico; Fiorini, Mauro; La Palombara, Nicola; Pareschi, Giovanni; Stringhetti, Luca; Vercellone, Stefano; Conforti, Vito; Tanci, Claudio; Bruno, Pietro; Grillo, Alessandro; Testa, Vincenzo; di Paola, Andrea; Gallozzi, Stefano

    2014-07-01

    ASTRI (Astrofisica con Specchi a Tecnologia Replicante Italiana) is a Flagship Project financed by the Italian Ministry of Education, University and Research, and led by INAF, the Italian National Institute of Astrophysics. The main goals of the ASTRI project are the realization of an end-to-end prototype of a Small Size Telescope (SST) for the Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA) in a dual- mirror configuration (SST-2M) and, subsequently, of a mini-array comprising seven SST-2M telescopes. The mini-array will be placed at the final CTA Southern Site, which will be part of the CTA seed array, around which the whole CTA observatory will be developed. The Mini-Array Software System (MASS) will provide a comprehensive set of tools to prepare an observing proposal, to perform the observations specified therein (monitoring and controlling all the hardware components of each telescope), to analyze the acquired data online and to store/retrieve all the data products to/from the archive. Here we present the main features of the MASS and its first version, to be tested on the ASTRI SST-2M prototype that will be installed at the INAF observing station located at Serra La Nave on Mount Etna in Sicily.

  17. Effects of alewife predation on zooplankton populations in Lake Michigan

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wells, LaRue

    1970-01-01

    The zooplankton populations in southeastern Lake Michigan underwent striking, size-related changes between 1954 and 1966. Forms that decline sharply were the largest cladocerans (Leptodora kindtii, Daphnia galeata, and D. retrocurva), the largest calanoid copepods (Limnocalanus macrurus, Epischura lacustris, and Diaptomus sicilis), and the largest cyclopoid copepod (Mesocyclops edax). Two of these, D. galeata and M. edax (both abundant in 1954), became extremely rare. Certain medium-sized or small species increased in numbers: Daphnia longiremis, Holopedium gibberum, Polyphemus pediculus, Bosmina longirostris, Bosmina coregoni, Ceriodaphnia sp., Cyclops bicuspidatus, Cyclops vernalis, and Diaptomus ashlandi. Evidence is strong that the changes were due to selective predation by alewives. The alewife was uncommon in southeastern Lake Michigan in 1954 but had increased to enormous proportions by 1966; there was a massive dieoff in spring 1967, and abundance remained relatively low in 1968. The composition of zooplankton populations in 1968 generally had shifted back toward that of 1954, although D. galeata and M. edax remained rare. The average size, and size at onset of maturity, of D. retrocurva decreased noticeably between 1954 and 1966 but increased between 1966 and 1968.

  18. The influence of land use change on landslide susceptibility zonation: the Briga catchment test site (Messina, Italy).

    PubMed

    Reichenbach, P; Busca, C; Mondini, A C; Rossi, M

    2014-12-01

    The spatial distribution of landslides is influenced by different climatic conditions and environmental settings including topography, morphology, hydrology, lithology, and land use. In this work, we have attempted to evaluate the influence of land use change on landslide susceptibility (LS) for a small study area located in the southern part of the Briga catchment, along the Ionian coast of Sicily (Italy). On October 1, 2009, the area was hit by an intense rainfall event that triggered abundant slope failures and resulted in widespread erosion. After the storm, an inventory map showing the distribution of pre-event and event landslides was prepared for the area. Moreover, two different land use maps were developed: the first was obtained through a semi-automatic classification of digitized aerial photographs acquired in 1954, the second through the combination of supervised classifications of two recent QuickBird images. Exploiting the two land use maps and different land use scenarios, LS zonations were prepared through multivariate statistical analyses. Differences in the susceptibility models were analyzed and quantified to evaluate the effects of land use change on the susceptibility zonation. Susceptibility maps show an increase in the areal percentage and number of slope units classified as unstable related to the increase in bare soils to the detriment of forested areas. PMID:25164982

  19. Near-specular acoustic scattering from a buried submarine mud volcano.

    PubMed

    Gerig, Anthony L; Holland, Charles W

    2007-12-01

    Submarine mud volcanoes are objects that form on the seafloor due to the emission of gas and fluidized sediment from the Earth's interior. They vary widely in size, can be exposed or buried, and are of interest to the underwater acoustics community as potential sources of active sonar clutter. Coincident seismic reflection data and low frequency bistatic scattering data were gathered from one such buried mud volcano located in the Straits of Sicily. The bistatic data were generated using a pulsed piston source and a 64-element horizontal array, both towed over the top of the volcano. The purpose of this work was to appropriately model low frequency scattering from the volcano using the bistatic returns, seismic bathymetry, and knowledge of the general geoacoustic properties of the area's seabed to guide understanding and model development. Ray theory, with some approximations, was used to model acoustic propagation through overlying layers. Due to the volcano's size, scattering was modeled using geometric acoustics and a simple representation of volcano shape. Modeled bistatic data compared relatively well with experimental data, although some features remain unexplained. Results of an inversion for the volcano's reflection coefficient indicate that it may be acoustically softer than expected. PMID:18247739

  20. Detection of Leishmania infantum, Babesia canis, and rickettsiae in ticks removed from dogs living in Italy.

    PubMed

    Trotta, Michele; Nicetto, Martina; Fogliazza, Alessandro; Montarsi, Fabrizio; Caldin, Marco; Furlanello, Tommaso; Solano-Gallego, Laia

    2012-12-01

    The aims of this study were to determine natural infections by Anaplasma phagocytophilum/Anaplasma platys, Bartonella henselae, Ehrlichia canis, Leishmania infantum, Rickettsia spp., Babesia spp., and Hepatozoon spp. by molecular methods in ticks (n=91) removed from dogs with clinical signs and laboratory abnormalities compatible with tick-borne diseases (n=22) living in Italy and to assess the distribution and species of ticks encountered. Ticks from dogs living in southern Italy were all identified as Rhipicephalus sanguineus (n=25), ticks from central Italy included Rh. sanguineus (n=8) and Ixodes ricinus (n=9), ticks from northern Italy included Rh. sanguineus (n=45), Dermacentor marginatus (n=3), and one I. ricinus. Leishmania infantum, Rickettsia spp., and Babesia canis were the only pathogens detected in 7 (8%), 4 (4%), and 2 (2%) out of 91 ticks, respectively. L. infantum was detected in I. ricinus from central Italy and in Rh. sanguineus from northern and central Italy. Rickettsia conorii and Ri. massiliae were detected in Rh. sanguineus ticks from central and southern Italy (Sicily), respectively. Bab. canis was detected in D. marginatus ticks from northern Italy. PMID:23182545

  1. Climate-driven environmental changes around 8,200 years ago favoured increases in cetacean strandings and Mediterranean hunter-gatherers exploited them

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mannino, Marcello A.; Talamo, Sahra; Tagliacozzo, Antonio; Fiore, Ivana; Nehlich, Olaf; Piperno, Marcello; Tusa, Sebastiano; Collina, Carmine; di Salvo, Rosaria; Schimmenti, Vittoria; Richards, Michael P.

    2015-11-01

    Cetacean mass strandings occur regularly worldwide, yet the compounded effects of natural and anthropogenic factors often complicate our understanding of these phenomena. Evidence of past stranding episodes may, thus, be essential to establish the potential influence of climate change. Investigations on bones from the site of Grotta dell’Uzzo in North West Sicily (Italy) show that the rapid climate change around 8,200 years ago coincided with increased strandings in the Mediterranean Sea. Stable isotope analyses on collagen from a large sample of remains recovered at this cave indicate that Mesolithic hunter-gatherers relied little on marine resources. A human and a red fox dating to the 8.2-kyr-BP climatic event, however, acquired at least one third of their protein from cetaceans. Numerous carcasses should have been available annually, for at least a decade, to obtain these proportions of meat. Our findings imply that climate-driven environmental changes, caused by global warming, may represent a serious threat to cetaceans in the near future.

  2. From cumulative cultural transmission to evidence-based medicine: evolution of medicinal plant knowledge in Southern Italy

    PubMed Central

    Leonti, Marco; Staub, Peter O.; Cabras, Stefano; Castellanos, Maria Eugenia; Casu, Laura

    2015-01-01

    In Mediterranean cultures written records of medicinal plant use have a long tradition. This written record contributed to building a consensus about what was perceived to be an efficacious pharmacopeia. Passed down through millennia, these scripts have transmitted knowledge about plant uses, with high fidelity, to scholars and laypersons alike. Herbal medicine's importance and the long-standing written record call for a better understanding of the mechanisms influencing the transmission of contemporary medicinal plant knowledge. Here we contextualize herbal medicine within evolutionary medicine and cultural evolution. Cumulative knowledge transmission is approached by estimating the causal effect of two seminal scripts about materia medica written by Dioscorides and Galen, two classical Greco-Roman physicians, on today's medicinal plant use in the Southern Italian regions of Campania, Sardinia, and Sicily. Plant-use combinations are treated as transmissible cultural traits (or “memes”), which in analogy to the biological evolution of genetic traits, are subjected to mutation and selection. Our results suggest that until today ancient scripts have exerted a strong influence on the use of herbal medicine. We conclude that the repeated empirical testing and scientific study of health care claims is guiding and shaping the selection of efficacious treatments and evidence-based herbal medicine. PMID:26483686

  3. NATO Advanced Study Institute on Spectroscopy

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    DiBartolo, Baldassare; Barnes, James (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    This booklet presents an account of the course 'Spectroscopy of Systems with Spatially Confined Structures' held in Erice-Sicily, Italy, from June 15 to June 30, 2001. This meeting was organized by the International School of Atomic and Molecular Spectroscopy of the 'Ettore Majorana' Centre for Scientific Culture. The purpose of this course was to present and discuss nanometer-scale physics, a rapidly progressing field. The top-down approach of semiconductor technology will soon meet the scales of the bottom-up approaches of supramolecular chemistry and of spatially localized excitations in ionic crystals. This course dealt with the fabrication, measurement and understanding of the relevant structures and brought together the scientific communities responsible for these development. The advances in this area of physics have already let to applications in optoelectronics and will likely lead to many more. The subjects of the course included spatially resolved structures such as quantum wells, quantum wires and quantum dots, single atoms and molecules, clusters, fractal systems, and the development of related techniques like near-field spectroscopy and confocal microscopy to study such systems.

  4. Mechanical properties of Municipal Solid Waste by SDMT.

    PubMed

    Castelli, Francesco; Maugeri, Michele

    2014-02-01

    In the paper the results of a geotechnical investigation carried on Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) materials retrieved from the "Cozzo Vuturo" landfill in the Enna area (Sicily, Italy) are reported and analyzed. Mechanical properties were determined both by in situ and laboratory large-scale one dimensional compression tests. While among in situ tests, Dilatomer Marchetti Tests (DMT) is used widely in measuring soil properties, the adoption of the DMT for the measurements of MSW properties has not often been documented in literature. To validate its applicability for the estimation of MSW properties, a comparison between the seismic dilatometer (SDMT) results and the waste properties evaluated by laboratory tests was carried out. Parameters for "fresh" and "degraded waste" have been evaluated. These preliminary results seems to be promising as concerns the assessment of the friction angle of waste and the evaluation of the S-wave in terms of shear wave velocity. Further studies are certainly required to obtain more representative values of the elastic parameters according to the SDMT measurements. PMID:24252372

  5. Ancient wood of the Acqualadrone rostrum: materials history through gas chromatography/mass spectrometry and sulfur X-ray absorption spectroscopy.

    PubMed

    Frank, Patrick; Caruso, Francesco; Caponetti, Eugenio

    2012-05-15

    In 2008 the rostrum from an ancient warship was recovered from the Mediterranean near Acqualadrone, Sicily. To establish its provenance and condition, samples of black and brown rostrum wood were examined using sulfur K-edge X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS) and gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS). GC/MS of pyrolytic volatiles yielded only guaiacyl derivatives, indicating construction from pinewood. A derivatized extract of black wood yielded forms of abietic acid and sandaracopimaric acid consistent with pine pitch waterproofing. Numerical fits to the sulfur K-edge XAS spectra showed that about 65% of the endogenous sulfur consisted of thiols and disulfides. Elemental sulfur was about 2% and 7% in black and brown wood, respectively, while pyritic sulfur was about 12% and 6%. About 2% of the sulfur in both wood types was modeled as trimethylsulfonium, possibly reflecting biogenic (dimethylsulfonio)propionate. High-valent sulfur was exclusively represented by sulfate esters, consistent with bacterial sulfotransferase activity. Traces of chloride were detected, but no free sulfate ion. In summary, the rostrum was manufactured of pine wood and subsequently waterproofed with pine pitch. The subsequent 2300 years included battle, foundering, and marine burial followed by anoxia, bacterial colonization, sulfate reduction, and mobilization of transition metals, which produced pyrite and copious appended sulfur functionality. PMID:22545724

  6. NEMO-\\onde: a submarine station for real-time monitoring of acoustic background installed at 2000 m depth in the Mediterranean Sea

    E-print Network

    The NEMO Collaboration; L. Cosentino; M. Favetta; G. Larosa; G. Pavan; D. J. Romeo; S. Privitera; F. Speziale

    2008-04-17

    The NEMO (NEutrino Mediterranean Observatory) Collaboration installed, 25 km E offshore the port of Catania (Sicily) at 2000 m depth, an underwater laboratory to perform long-term tests of prototypes and new technologies for an underwater high energy neutrino km$^3$-scale detector in the Mediterranean Sea. In this framework the collaboration deployed and successfully operated for about two years, starting form January 2005, an experimental apparatus for on-line monitoring of deep-sea noise. The station was equipped with 4 hydrophones and it is operational in the range 30 Hz - 43 kHz. This interval of frequencies matches the range suitable for the proposed acoustic detection technique of high energy neutrinos. Hydrophone signals were digitized underwater at 96 kHz sampling frequency and 24 bits resolution. A custom software was developed to record data on high resolution 4-channels digital audio file. This paper deals with the data analysis procedure and first results on the determination of sea noise sound pressure density curves. The stored data library, consisting of more than 2000 hours of recordings, is a unique tool to model underwater acoustic noise at large depth, to characterise its variations as a function of environmental parameters, biological sources and human activities (ship traffic, ...), and to determine the presence of cetaceans in the area.

  7. NEMO-O$\

    E-print Network

    Aiello, S

    2008-01-01

    The NEMO (NEutrino Mediterranean Observatory) Collaboration installed, 25 km E offshore the port of Catania (Sicily) at 2000 m depth, an underwater laboratory to perform long-term tests of prototypes and new technologies for an underwater high energy neutrino km$^3$-scale detector in the Mediterranean Sea. In this framework the collaboration deployed and successfully operated for about two years, starting form January 2005, an experimental apparatus for on-line monitoring of deep-sea noise. The station was equipped with 4 hydrophones and it is operational in the range 30 Hz - 43 kHz. This interval of frequencies matches the range suitable for the proposed acoustic detection technique of high energy neutrinos. Hydrophone signals were digitized underwater at 96 kHz sampling frequency and 24 bits resolution. A custom software was developed to record data on high resolution 4-channels digital audio file. This paper deals with the data analysis procedure and first results on the determination of sea noise sound pr...

  8. Cropping systems and control of soil erosion in a Mediterranean environment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cosentino, Salvatore; Copani, Venera; Testa, Giorgio; Scalici, Giovanni

    2013-04-01

    The research has been carried out over the years 1996-2010 in an area of the internal hill of Sicily region (Enna, c.da Geracello, 550 m a. s. l. 37° 23' N. Lat, 14° 21' E. Long) in the center of Mediterranean Sea, mainly devoted to durum wheat cultivation, using the experimental plots, established in 1996 on a slope of 26-28%, equipped to determine surface runoff and soil losses. The establishment consists of twelve plots, having 40 m length and 8 m width. In order to study the effect of different field crop systems in controlling soil erosion in slopes subjected to water erosion, the following systems were studied: permanent crops, tilled annual crops, no-tilled annual crops, set-aside. The used crops were: durum wheat, faba bean, rapeseed, subterranean clover, Italian ryegrass, alfalfa, sweetvetch, moon trefoil, barley, sweet sorghum, sunflower. The results pointed out that the cropping systems with perennial crops allowed to keep low the soil loss, while annual crop rotation determined a high amount of soil loss. Sod seeding showed promising results also for annual crop rotations.

  9. Biochemical and bioaccumulation approaches for investigating marine pollution using Mediterranean rainbow wrasse, Coris julis (Linneaus 1798).

    PubMed

    Tomasello, Barbara; Copat, Chiara; Pulvirenti, Valentina; Ferrito, Venera; Ferrante, Margherita; Renis, Marcella; Sciacca, Salvatore; Tigano, Concetta

    2012-12-01

    A multibiomarkers approach was used in order to estimate and monitor marine pollution. Coris julis (Linneaus, 1758) was chosen as a sentinel organism, and the specimens were collected from three well-known sites along the Ionic coast of Sicily: the protected marine area (P.M.A) "Cyclop's Islands" of Acitrezza (CT), used as a control site, Riposto (CT), and the industrial site of Augusta (SR). Abiotic levels of contaminants were also detected. High levels of biotic and abiotic accumulation were found at the industrial site in which the presence of genotoxic and oxidative damage were also evidenced, measured by Micronuclei, Alkaline and Fpg-modified Comet assays. The protein expression analysis showed metallothioneins (MTs) as good tissue-specific markers of metal accumulation. Their levels were significantly higher in muscle than in liver tissue for all the sampling sites, with a positive correlation among tissue levels and the degree of pollution at the sites. Conversely, heat shock proteins 70 (HSP70) expression was higher in Augusta and Riposto than in the control site, but no significant difference was found between the examined tissues among all sites. PMID:23025894

  10. Multidetector CT investigation of the mummy of Rosalia Lombardo (1918-1920).

    PubMed

    Panzer, Stephanie; Gill-Frerking, Heather; Rosendahl, Wilfried; Zink, Albert R; Piombino-Mascali, Dario

    2013-10-01

    Whole-body multidetector computed tomography (CT) was performed on the mummified corpse of two-year-old Rosalia Lombardo, an anthropogenic mummy displayed in the Capuchin Catacombs of Palermo, Sicily, Italy. Rosalia Lombardo reportedly died of bronchopneumonia in 1920 and was preserved by the embalmer and taxidermist Alfredo Salafia with a formaldehyde-based fluid. Rosalia Lombardo's body is still exhibited in the Capuchin Catacombs inside the original glass-topped coffin in which she was placed. Only her head is visible: the rest of her body is covered by a sheet. CT images of Rosalia's body within her coffin were of reduced quality because of distinct metal artifacts caused by the coffin itself. Nevertheless, a detailed radiological analysis was possible for most of the body. Analysis of the data from the CT examination revealed indicators for the historically-reported endovasal and intracavity treatment. Rosalia's entire body was preserved in a remarkable state. The exceptional preservation of her internal organs made it possible to consider a radiological diagnosis of pneumonia. For this study, CT was determined to be the ultimate method for investigation, since Rosalia's body had to be kept untouched in her sealed coffin for conservation purposes. The CT examination offered new insights into the current preservation status of the body, and the superior contrast of CT allowed detailed assessment of different tissues. Post-processing methods provided reconstructions on any desired plane, as well as three-dimensional reconstruction, for the best possible visualization and interpretation of the body. PMID:23725823

  11. South Africa calls Italy: effective exchange activity through costless (Skype like) connections in the framework of the EU UNAWE project

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zanazzi, A.; Albanese, L.; Naidoo, T.

    2014-10-01

    In summer 2012 the Italian EU-UNAWE team joined with the South African team in Cape Town, working with the township schools organizing activities at school and also a teachers' training event at the SAAO Observatory. In order to involve in the exchange not only the project's experts but also to the teachers and the children, we organized Skype connections between the Cape town teachers participating in the project and the teachers in Sicily (South Italy) that also participated in one of the Italian training sessions and later between the children of the Italian school and those in Zanemfundo School (Cape Town). Thanks to this chance of seeing each other and talking directly, children have - with huge interest and participation - shared and learned methods, experiences, curiosities. They shared their prepared actual science researches, in order to understand why an equal gnomon cast different shadows at the same time in the two countries. The teachers confronted on curricula, didactic methodologies such as working with a background story during the whole school year, interdisciplinary uses of astronomy, languages etc. The EU-UNAWE project and International or Regional conferences such as LARIM are perfect chances to create exchanges between countries all around the World, and this simple communication model between children and teachers appears like an enormous resource yet to be fully exploited.

  12. Irrigation and Soil Salinization in Mediterranean agro-ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ortega, Angelo; Viola, Francesco; Valerio Noto, Leonardo; Mau, Yair; Porporato, Amilcare

    2015-04-01

    During the warm and dry growing season of Mediterranean climates, the availability of good quality water for primary production in agriculture tends to be limited. This aspect makes the use of saline and brackish water appealing, given the potential of natural flushing of the soils by deep percolation during the wet and colder dormant season. Thus the cyclic alternation between the two different phases in the cold and warm season gives rise to a delicate equilibrium that can lead to long term secondary salinization if the mean salt input from irrigation overpasses the average annual natural leakage amount. The main goal of this study is to evaluate the long term salt mass balance in the presence of irrigation and possible changes in seasonality. An elevated concentration of salt in the soil may in turn lead to both a decrease of its fertility and to osmotic stress reducing plant productivity. To this purpose, a stochastic soil and water balance salinity model is developed to quantify the balance between salt accumulation phases during the growing season and leaching phases during the wet season. We provide the numerical and the analytical representation of secondary long-term salinization process, highlighting the role of soil depth, plant and climate together with the impact of shifts in the seasonal vs. interannual rainfall fluctuations. An application to a test case in the Southern part of Sicily (ITALY) is also presented, highlighting the strong relationship between salt dynamics, water management and climatic conditions.

  13. Trans-Sahara pipe line would deliver Nigeria gas to Europe

    SciTech Connect

    Muenzler, M.H.

    1983-11-01

    Bechtel has made an in-house study of a natural gas transmission line extending from Nigeria to the Mediterranean and then on into Europe. Based upon the analysis, the pipeline project appears sufficiently viable to warrant further study. Perhaps the single most important element in design of pipelines crossing international borders is the political aspects involved in constructing, owning, and operating the line. These considerations not only effect the location of the pipeline, the manner of financing and ownership, but also whether the line will be constructed. The line crosses several international boundaries, depending upon the route selected. Each route crosses Niger. Case A crosses Algeria and into Tunisia where it ultimately would cross the Strait of Sicily into Italy. Case B crosses the Niger- Algerian border and then traverses Algeria to the Mediterranean where it is planned to connect to the Segamo pipeline and to link with the pipeline network in Spain. Case C crosses the countries of Niger, Mali, Mauritania, and into Morocco, and ultimately crosses the Mediterranean Sea close to the Strait of Gibraltar. Nigeria has proven natural gas reserves estimated to range from 2.5 to 4 trillion cu m (38 to 140 tcf).

  14. Petroleum geology of Tunisia

    SciTech Connect

    Burollet, P.F. ); Ferjami, A.B.; Mejri, F. )

    1990-05-01

    Recent discoveries and important oil shows have proven the existence of hydrocarbons in newly identified depocenters and reservoirs. In general, except for some areas around the producing fields, Tunisia is largely underdrilled. The national company ETAP has decided to release data and to publish a synthesis on the petroleum geology of Tunisia. The geology of Tunisia provides a fine example of the contrast between Alpine folding, which typifies northern Tunisia and the African craton area of the Saharan part. Eastern Tunisia corresponds to an unstable platform forming plains or low hills and extending eastwards to the shallow Pelagian Sea. There are a wide variety of basins: central and northern Tunisia represents a front basin the Saharan Ghadames basin or the Chott trough are sag basins; the Gulf of Gabes was formed as a distension margin the Gulf of Hammamet is a composite basin and several transversal grabens cut across the country, including offshore, and are rift-type basins. All these features are known to be oil prolific throughout the world. Two large fields and many modest-size pools are known in Tunisia. Oil and gas fields in the surrounding countries, namely the Saharan fields of Algeria and Libya the large Bouri field offshore Tripolitania and discoveries in the Italian part of the Straits of Sicily, suggest a corresponding potential in Tunisia. Exposed paleogeographic and structural maps, balanced sections, and examples of fields and traps will support an optimistic evaluation of the future oil exploration in Tunisia.

  15. Miocene reefs in western Mediterranean

    SciTech Connect

    Esteban, M.

    1988-01-01

    Coral reefs were particularly abundant and well developed during the late Tortonian and Messinian in southeastern Spain, the Balearic Islands, Italy, Sicily, Algeria, and Morocco. These reefs occurred just before and during the deposition of the thick Messinian evaporite units in the basinal areas and disappeared completely from Mediteranean during the early Pliocene. Most of the coral reefs are fringing terrigenous coastal fan complexes with very small lagoons and show progradation of less than 2 km. Some of the reefs occur on, or are intercalated with, Neogene volcanics or Messinian evaporites. Barrier-reef complexes are less common, have extensive lagoons behind them, and show complex progradational geometries more than 10 km wide. Excellent outcrops allow detailed reconstruction of paleogeography and sea level changes. Progradation predominated during phases of relative sea level drops and stillsands, while significant retrogradation occurred during sea level rises. The coral reef wall framework is commonly less than 20 m thick and is dominated by Porites and, locally, Tarbellastrae. Older Miocene reefs are less well developed, but show greater diversity of corals and reef organisms. Younger Miocene reef complexes occurring in open ocean settings are formed by only one branching coral genus (Porites or, locally, Tarbellastraea) with branching colonies up to 7 m high. Halimeda sands are particularly abundant in the upper reef slopes with occasional intercalations of red algae pavements that most likely coincide with episodes of terrigenous influx.

  16. Miocene reef facies of Pelagian Block, central Mediterranean

    SciTech Connect

    Pedley, H.M.

    1988-01-01

    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. Substrate, topography, sedimentation rate, and tectonic/eustatic events controlled reef development, which can be grouped into three settings: The most stable situation, the oldest Maltese and southeastern Sicilian reefs, has a ramp profile 15-30 km wide. The outermost zone consists of a broad belt of the large benthic foraminifer Heterostegina (compared with the underyling Oligocene beds rich in Lepidocyclina). Coralline algal carbonates, commonly rhodolitic, form a broad biostromal up-ramp association, kilometers in width, which commonly extends into the shallowest parts of the shelf. Scattered across the shallower ramp areas, in water depths generally less than 10 m, are coral-algal patch reefs, rarely larger than 20-50 m in diameter, commonly with truncated tops, and dominated by crustose coralline algae and the corals Porites and Tarbellastraea.

  17. Magnetic and structural constraints for the noncylindrical evolution of a continental forebulge (Hyblea, Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Billi, Andrea; Porreca, Massimiliano; Faccenna, Claudio; Mattei, Massimo

    2006-06-01

    The Hyblean Plateau in southeastern Sicily, Italy, consists of an isolated and elevated forebulge structure formed since the early Miocene time by bending the foreland lithosphere below the advancing Maghrebian thrust-fold belt. The Hyblean forebulge is presently located in front of an orogenic recess and partly surrounded by two orogenic salients. We analyzed magnetic (anisotropy of magnetic susceptibility) and structural (joints, faults, slickenside lineations, and bed attitudes) fabric data from Neogene carbonate rocks exposed atop the Hyblean forebulge. Results showed unidirectional fabrics developed in response to a NW-SE extension at the end the of early Miocene time and beginning of middle Miocene time, and duple-to-multiple fabrics developed in response to major NW-SE and NE-SW extensions from the Langhian time onward. We interpreted these results as the evidence for the growth of a doubly plunging forebulge due to the presence of foreland crustal heterogeneities, which enhanced differential retreating processes of the foreland along the subduction zone and the subsequent formation of orogenic salients and recesses. A semianalytical model shows that the observed brittle deformations potentially involved a significant thickness of the carbonate sedimentary cover, thereby reducing the lithosphere flexural rigidity and enhancing its bending aptitude.

  18. Salinity and Bacterial Diversity: To What Extent Does the Concentration of Salt Affect the Bacterial Community in a Saline Soil?

    PubMed Central

    Canfora, Loredana; Bacci, Giovanni; Pinzari, Flavia; Lo Papa, Giuseppe; Dazzi, Carmelo; Benedetti, Anna

    2014-01-01

    In this study, the evaluation of soil characteristics was coupled with a pyrosequencing analysis of the V2-V3 16S rRNA gene region in order to investigate the bacterial community structure and diversity in the A horizon of a natural saline soil located in Sicily (Italy). The main aim of the research was to assess the organisation and diversity of microbial taxa using a spatial scale that revealed physical and chemical heterogeneity of the habitat under investigation. The results provided information on the type of distribution of different bacterial groups as a function of spatial gradients of soil salinity and pH. The analysis of bacterial 16S rRNA showed differences in bacterial composition and diversity due to a variable salt concentration in the soil. The bacterial community showed a statistically significant spatial variability. Some bacterial phyla appeared spread in the whole area, whatever the salinity gradient. It emerged therefore that a patchy saline soil can not contain just a single microbial community selected to withstand extreme osmotic phenomena, but many communities that can be variously correlated to one or more environmental parameters. Sequences have been deposited to the SRA database and can be accessed on ID Project PRJNA241061. PMID:25188357

  19. Finding of an historical document describing an eruption in the NW flank of Etna in July 1643 AD: timing, location and volcanic products

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Branca, Stefano; Vigliotti, Luigi

    2015-11-01

    The eruptive activity of Etna volcano is well known in detail due to the integration of numerous geological and historical investigations. The study of historical sources of the volcano's activity started in the sixteenth century and has been reported in several catalogues of the eruptions published mainly in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. We have found a new document written in 1643 by the Fiscal Prosecutor of the High Court for the viceroy of Sicily in which he reported earthquakes occurring in the small town of Troina. The document also describes an eruption taking place in the Bronte region of Etna between 18 and 28 of July that was previously unknown in current historical catalogues, even those compiled by recent historiographical studies. This eruption clearly produced the volcanic products outcropping in the upper NW flank, shown on the new geological map of Etna as the Val di Cannizzola lava flow. The July 1643 eruption was a brief event with the emission of a roughly 2.7-km-long lava flow of very low volume (3-4 × 106 m3). It occurred in a period characterised instead by long-lasting and high-lava-volume eruptions that preceded the large and destructive 1669 eruption, the main event that has occurred on Etna in historical time.

  20. Synthesis of water suitable as the MEPC.174(58) G8 influent water for testing ballast water management systems.

    PubMed

    D'Agostino, Fabio; Del Core, Marianna; Cappello, Simone; Mazzola, Salvatore; Sprovieri, Mario

    2015-10-01

    Here, we describe the methodologies adopted to ensure that natural seawater, used as "influent water" for the land test, complies with the requirement that should be fulfilled to show the efficacy of the new ballast water treatment system (BWTS). The new BWTS was located on the coast of SW Sicily (Italy), and the sampled seawater showed that bacteria and plankton were two orders of magnitude lower than requested. Integrated approaches for preparation of massive cultures of bacteria (Alcanivorax borkumensis and Marinobacter hydrocarbonoclasticus), algae (Tetraselmis suecica), rotifers (Brachionus plicatilis), and crustaceans (Artemia salina) suitable to ensure that 200 m(3) of water fulfilled the international guidelines of MEPC.174(58)G8 are here described. These methodologies allowed us to prepare the "influent water" in good agreement with guidelines and without specific problems arising from natural conditions (seasons, weather, etc.) which significantly affect the concentrations of organisms at sea. This approach also offered the chance to reliably run land tests once every two weeks. PMID:26403705

  1. Use of lichens in detecting environmental risk and in geochemical prospecting

    SciTech Connect

    Dongarra, G.; Sabatino, G.; Triscari, M.

    1995-10-01

    This paper provides data on variations in the contents of As, Sb, Ni, V, Pb, Cu, Au, Zn, Sc, and Al, measured in the thalli of a saxicolous lichen species, X anthoria calcicola Ochsner s.l., collected in northeastern Sicily, near an industrial zone and along a belt crossing areas of known ores containing sulfides of heavy metals. A total of 91 lichen samples were collected on roof tiles (39) and on rocks (52). In the industrial zone, analysis of lichen thalli revealed high contents of nickel and vanadium, decreasing at increasing distances from the source of contamination. The results have also revealed the versatility of Xanthoria calcicola in geochemical prospecting for heavy metals such as Pb, Zn, As, Au, Sb, Ni, V, and Cu. The contents of these elements in the analyzed lichens highlight the same geochemical associations observed in prospecting surveys on samples of river sediments and identify similar anomalies. Interpretation of data in terms of enrichment factors (EFs) turned out to be particularly useful. 31 refs., 7 figs., 2 tabs.

  2. Steps towards a phylogeny of the pill millipedes: non-monophyly of the family Protoglomeridae, with an integrative redescription of Eupeyerimhoffia archimedis (Diplopoda, Glomerida)

    PubMed Central

    Oeyen, Jan Philip; Wesener, Thomas

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Eupeyerimhoffia archimedis (Strasser, 1965) is redescribed based on several specimens collected at a number of sites close to the type locality on Sicily, Italy. Scanning electron microscopy is used to illustrate several unusual morphological characters for a member of the Glomerida for the first time. A fragment of the mitochondrial COI gene (668bp) is sequenced for the first time in Eupeyerimhoffia to provide a species-specific barcode and to gain first insights into the genetic distances between the genera in the widespread family Protoglomeridae. The novel sequences are compared to representatives of all other genera of the family: Protoglomeris vasconica (Brölemann, 1897) from northern Spain, the dwarfed Glomerellina laurae Silvestri, 1908 from Italy and Glomeroides primus (Silvestri, 1929) from western North America. The addition of COI sequences from the two other families of the Glomerida renders the family Protoglomeridae paraphyletic with Glomeroides primus being more closely related to Glomeridella minima (Latzel, 1884) than to the other genera in the family. The large genetic distances (13.2–16.8%) between Eupeyerimhoffia and the other genera in the order, as well as its unusual morphological characters, including unique morphological adaptations to roll into a ball, are probably an indication of the old age of the group. PMID:26257534

  3. The potential reproductive contribution of Mediterranean migrating eels to the Anguilla anguilla stock

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Capoccioni, Fabrizio; Costa, Corrado; Canali, Emiliano; Aguzzi, Jacopo; Antonucci, Francesca; Ragonese, Sergio; Bianchini, Marco L.

    2014-11-01

    The European eel is a highly migratory fish. After the reproduction in the Sargasso Sea early larval-stages start a passive ocean migration towards European and Mediterranean continental waters. After several years as yellow eels, mature adults change to silver stage and then start their return trip. The trajectory of their backward migration is unknown, because of low probability of capturing migrating individuals, having this capture never been reported in the Mediterranean. Recently, 8 silver eels were collected in the Strait of Sicily. Using literature information about possible individual route and speed, their geographical position was projected up to the spawning site during reproductive season. Despite using optimal and continuous migration swimming speed, none of the specimens may have been able to reach the Sargasso Sea in time for mating. Subsequently, to identify putative Mediterranean areas from which eels could have been reaching the spawning grounds on time, a backward scenario was postulated using the previous scientific assumptions. Our results suggests that just a small quota of Mediterranean silver males successfully reaches the Sargasso area, and only females from the westernmost and central parts of the basin could be able to fruitfully pond their eggs during the supposed spawning period.

  4. Quantification of diffuse and concentrated pollutant loads at the watershed-scale: an Italian case study.

    PubMed

    Candela, Angela; Freni, Gabriele; Mannina, Giorgio; Viviani, Gaspare

    2009-01-01

    In this study, diffuse and point source pollutant loads were evaluated using an Italian case study: the Nocella catchment, which has been subject to extensive monitoring. The Nocella catchment is located in Sicily (Italy) and has an area of about 60 km(2). The river receives wastewater and stormwater from two urban areas drained by combined sewers. The two sewer systems, two wastewater treatment plants and a river reach were monitored during both dry and wet weather periods. Thereafter, an integrated catchment-scale model was applied to simulate point pollutant sources, i.e., pollution coming from the urban drainage system, and nonpoint pollutant sources, i.e., pollution coming from agricultural and wildlife activities. Different models were combined and long-term simulations were carried out in order to reconstruct the total pollutant loads discharged into the receiving water body and identify the roles of the different pollutant sources. This study demonstrates the complexity of water quality assessment in partially urbanised natural basins where neither point nor nonpoint sources can be neglected. Point sources are mainly responsible for acute oxygen demanding polluting impact during wet weather periods, and both point and nonpoint sources are responsible for the impact of nutrients on the receiving water body. PMID:19494451

  5. Climate-driven environmental changes around 8,200 years ago favoured increases in cetacean strandings and Mediterranean hunter-gatherers exploited them

    PubMed Central

    Mannino, Marcello A.; Talamo, Sahra; Tagliacozzo, Antonio; Fiore, Ivana; Nehlich, Olaf; Piperno, Marcello; Tusa, Sebastiano; Collina, Carmine; Di Salvo, Rosaria; Schimmenti, Vittoria; Richards, Michael P.

    2015-01-01

    Cetacean mass strandings occur regularly worldwide, yet the compounded effects of natural and anthropogenic factors often complicate our understanding of these phenomena. Evidence of past stranding episodes may, thus, be essential to establish the potential influence of climate change. Investigations on bones from the site of Grotta dell’Uzzo in North West Sicily (Italy) show that the rapid climate change around 8,200 years ago coincided with increased strandings in the Mediterranean Sea. Stable isotope analyses on collagen from a large sample of remains recovered at this cave indicate that Mesolithic hunter-gatherers relied little on marine resources. A human and a red fox dating to the 8.2-kyr-BP climatic event, however, acquired at least one third of their protein from cetaceans. Numerous carcasses should have been available annually, for at least a decade, to obtain these proportions of meat. Our findings imply that climate-driven environmental changes, caused by global warming, may represent a serious threat to cetaceans in the near future. PMID:26573384

  6. A One-Layer Satellite Surface Energy Balance for Estimating Evapotranspiration Rates and Crop Water Stress Indexes

    PubMed Central

    Barbagallo, Salvatore; Consoli, Simona; Russo, Alfonso

    2009-01-01

    Daily evapotranspiration fluxes over the semi-arid Catania Plain area (Eastern Sicily, Italy) were evaluated using remotely sensed data from Landsat Thematic Mapper TM5 images. A one-source parameterization of the surface sensible heat flux exchange using satellite surface temperature has been used. The transfer of sensible and latent heat is described by aerodynamic resistance and surface resistance. Required model inputs are brightness, temperature, fractional vegetation cover or leaf area index, albedo, crop height, roughness lengths, net radiation, air temperature, air humidity and wind speed. The aerodynamic resistance (rah) is formulated on the basis of the Monin-Obukhov surface layer similarity theory and the surface resistance (rs) is evaluated from the energy balance equation. The instantaneous surface flux values were converted into evaporative fraction (EF) over the heterogeneous land surface to derive daily evapotranspiration values. Remote sensing-based assessments of crop water stress (CWSI) were also made in order to identify local irrigation requirements. Evapotranspiration data and crop coefficient values obtained from the approach were compared with: (i) data from the semi-empirical approach “Kc reflectance-based”, which integrates satellite data in the visible and NIR regions of the electromagnetic spectrum with ground-based measurements and (ii) surface energy flux measurements collected from a micrometeorological tower located in the experiment area. The expected variability associated with ET flux measurements suggests that the approach-derived surface fluxes were in acceptable agreement with the observations. PMID:22389585

  7. Tdr Procedures for Slope Stability and Hydraulic Regime Condition Monitoring

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ceccio, D.; Marino, A.; Teramo, A.

    2010-12-01

    The geomorphological hazard assessment of areas heavily exposed to hydrogeological instability is dealt with the implementation of low-cost and not invasive procedures based on specific applications of TDR (Time Domain Reflectometry), which allow data on slope stability and level of soil moisture to be acquired. The proposed procedure is depicted on the implementation of an expert system for real-time monitoring of slope stability, with early warning thresholds, based on suitable geophysical surveys carried out in the study area and data acquired by a TDR network of stations appropriately placed in the territory, provided with deformation and soil moisture sensors. The acquired data and surveys will allow, however, different types of instability and main geometric and kinematic characteristics, necessary for assessing the potential damage and arranging specific risk mitigation tools to be identified. It has been provided a significant application in the city of Francavilla di Sicilia, in the province of Messina (Italy), the city with the highest level of hydrogeological vulnerability in Sicily.

  8. The Ancient Wood of the Acqualadrone Rostrum: A Materials History Through GC-MS and Sulfur X-ray Absorption Spectroscopy

    PubMed Central

    Frank, Patrick; Caruso, Francesco; Caponetti, Eugenio

    2012-01-01

    In 2008 the rostrum from an ancient warship was recovered from the Mediterranean near Acqualadrone, Sicily. To establish its provenance and condition, samples of black and brown rostrum wood were examined using sulfur K-edge x-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS) and GC-MS. GC-MS of pyrolytic volatiles yielded only guaiacyl derivatives, indicating construction from pinewood. A derivatized extract of black wood yielded forms of abietic acid and sandaracopimaric acid consistent with pine pitch waterproofing. Numerical fits to the sulfur K-edge XAS spectra showed that about 65% of the endogenous sulfur consisted of thiols and disulfides. Elemental sulfur was about 2% and 7% in black and brown wood, respectively, while pyritic sulfur was about 12% and 6%. About 2% of the sulfur in both wood types was modeled as trimethylsulfonium, possibly reflecting biogenic dimethylsulfonio-propionate. High valent sulfur was exclusively represented by sulfate esters, consistent with bacterial sulfotransferase activity. Traces of chloride were detected, but no free sulfate ion. In summary, the rostrum was manufactured of pine wood and subsequently waterproofed with pine pitch. The subsequent 2300 years included battle, foundering, and marine burial followed by anoxia, bacterial colonization, sulfate reduction, and mobilization of transition metals, which produced pyrite and copious appended sulfur functionality. PMID:22545724

  9. Simulation of tsunami generation, propagation and coastal inundation in the Eastern Mediterranean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Samaras, A. G.; Karambas, Th. V.; Archetti, R.

    2015-08-01

    In the present work, an advanced tsunami generation, propagation and coastal inundation 2-DH model (i.e. 2-D Horizontal model) based on the higher-order Boussinesq equations - developed by the authors - is applied to simulate representative earthquake-induced tsunami scenarios in the Eastern Mediterranean. Two areas of interest were selected after evaluating tsunamigenic zones and possible sources in the region: one at the southwest of the island of Crete in Greece and one at the east of the island of Sicily in Italy. Model results are presented in the form of extreme water elevation maps, sequences of snapshots of water elevation during the propagation of the tsunamis, and inundation maps of the studied low-lying coastal areas. This work marks one of the first successful applications of a fully nonlinear model for the 2-DH simulation of tsunami-induced coastal inundation; acquired results are indicative of the model's capabilities, as well of how areas in the Eastern Mediterranean would be affected by eventual larger events.

  10. Status and first results of the NEMO Phase-2 tower

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chiarusi, T.; Aiello, S.; Ameli, F.; Anghinolfi, M.; Barbarino, G.; Barbarito, E.; Barbato, F.; Beverini, N.; Biagi, S.; Bouhadef, B.; Bozza, C.; Cacopardo, G.; Calamai, M.; Calì, C.; Capone, A.; Caruso, F.; Ceres, A.; Circella, M.; Cocimano, R.; Coniglione, R.; Costa, M.; Cuttone, G.; D'Amato, C.; D'Amato, V.; D'Amico, A.; DeBonis, G.; De Luca, V.; Deniskina, N.; De Rosa, G.; Distefano, C.; Fermani, P.; Flaminio, V.; Fusco, L. A.; Garufi, F.; Giordano, V.; Giovanetti, G.; Gmerk, A.; Grasso, R.; Grella, G.; Hugon, C.; Imbesi, M.; Kulikovsky, V.; Larosa, G.; Lattuada, D.; Leonora, E.; Litrico, P.; Lonardo, A.; Longhitano, F.; Lo Presti, D.; Maccioni, E.; Margiotta, A.; Martini, A.; Masullo, R.; Migliozzi, P.; Migneco, E.; Miraglia, A.; Mollo, C.; Mongelli, M.; Morganti, M.; Musico, P.; Musumeci, M.; Nicolau, C. A.; Orlando, A.; Papaleo, R.; Pellegrino, C.; Pellegriti, M. G.; Perrina, C.; Piattelli, P.; Pugliatti, C.; Pulvirenti, S.; Raffaelli, F.; Randazzo, N.; Riccobene, G.; Rovelli, A.; Sanguineti, M.; Sapienza, P.; Sgura, I.; Simeone, F.; Sipala, V.; Spurio, M.; Speziale, F.; Spitaleri, A.; Taiuti, M.; Terreni, G.; Trasatti, L.; Trovato, A.; Ventura, C.; Vicini, P.; Viola, S.; Vivolo, D.

    2014-03-01

    In March 2013, the NEMO Phase 2 tower has been successfully installed in the Capo Passero site, at a depth of 3500 m and 80 km off from the southern coast of Sicily. The unfurled tower is 450 m high; it is composed of 8 mechanical floors, for a total amount of 32 PMTs and various instruments for environmental measurements. The tower positioning is achieved by an acoustic system. The tower is continuously acquiring and transmitting all the measured signals to shore. Data reduction is completely performed in the Portopalo shore station by a dedicated computing facility connected to the persistent storage system at LNS, in Catania. Results from the last 9 months of acquisition will be presented. In particular, the analyzed optical rates, showing stable and low baseline values, are compatible with the contribution mainly of 40K light emission, with a small percentage of light bursts due to bioluminescence. These features reveal the optimal nature of the Capo Passero abyssal site to host a km3-sized Neutrino Telescope.

  11. Yearlong moored bioluminescence and current data at KM3NeT neutrino telescope sites in the deep Ionian Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van Haren, Hans; de Jong, Maarten; Kooijman, Paul

    2015-07-01

    Yearlong observations are presented using stand-alone small optical sensors and current meters in the deep Ionian Sea, E-Mediterranean. At two future neutrino telescope sites, off Sicily (I) and off Peloponessos (Gr), we deployed 2500-3000 m long mooring lines with oceanographic instrumentation. At about 150 m above the sea-floor, a glass sphere was mounted to each line holding two 3?-diameter photo-multiplier-tubes 'PMTs' in opposing directions for a first deep-sea test. Due to technical problems the background optical count rate could not be well established. Here, the focus is on the variations with time of bioluminescence bursts and their correlation with currents. Spectral analysis demonstrates that the PMT data best resemble those of horizontal currents (kinetic energy), significantly peaking at near-inertial, sub-inertial mesoscale and (Gr only) at tidal frequencies. Out-of-phase differences between signals from opposing PMTs in the same optical unit indicate impacts of bioluminescent organisms as a function of current direction, rather than a bacterial glow constant with time.

  12. Population structure of Cynara cardunculus complex and the origin of the conspecific crops artichoke and cardoon

    PubMed Central

    Gatto, Angela; De Paola, Domenico; Bagnoli, Francesca; Vendramin, Giovanni Giuseppe; Sonnante, Gabriella

    2013-01-01

    Background and Aims Globe artichoke and leafy cardoon, two crops within the same species Cynara cardunculus, are traditionally cultivated in the Mediterranean region and play a significant role in the agricultural economy of this area. The two cultigens have different reproductive systems: artichoke is generally vegetatively propagated, while leafy cardoon is seed propagated. The domestication events underlying the origin of both artichoke and cultivated cardoon from their wild relative and the area of occurrence are not yet fully understood. The aim of this study was to investigate population structure in wild cardoon, globe artichoke and leafy cardoon material and infer domestication events. Methods Thirty-five microsatellite (simple sequence repeat) markers, distributed in the C. cardunculus genome, and a large geographical and numerical sampling in southern Europe and North Africa were used to assess population structure and diversity. Key Results The results suggest the presence of two distinct domestication events for artichoke and leafy cardoon, and also suggest a new possible scenario, with western wild cardoon having originated from cultivated cardoon escaped from cultivation. Evidence was found for a demographic bottleneck in the past history of globe artichoke. Conclusions The results shed new light on the relationships between the three taxa of C. cardunculus and highlight relevant aspects on the evolution of domestication of two crops with a different reproductive system within the same species. It is proposed that the probable centre of origin of artichoke is located in southern Italy, probably Sicily. PMID:23877076

  13. Assessment of actual transpiration rate in olive tree field combining sap-flow, leaf area index and scintillometer measurements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Agnese, C.; Cammalleri, C.; Ciraolo, G.; Minacapilli, M.; Provenzano, G.; Rallo, G.; de Bruin, H. A. R.

    2009-09-01

    Models to estimate the actual evapotranspiration (ET) in sparse vegetation area can be fundamental for agricultural water managements, especially when water availability is a limiting factor. Models validation must be carried out by considering in situ measurements referred to the field scale, which is the relevant scale of the modelled variables. Moreover, a particular relevance assumes to consider separately the components of plant transpiration (T) and soil evaporation (E), because only the first is actually related to the crop stress conditions. Objective of the paper was to assess a procedure aimed to estimate olive trees actual transpiration by combining sap flow measurements with the scintillometer technique at field scale. The study area, located in Western Sicily (Italy), is mainly cultivated with olive crop and is characterized by typical Mediterranean semi-arid climate. Measurements of sap flow and crop actual evapotranspiration rate were carried out during 2008 irrigation season. Crop transpiration fluxes, measured on some plants by means of sap flow sensors, were upscaled considering the leaf area index (LAI). The comparison between evapotranspiration values, derived by displaced-beam small-aperture scintillometer (DBSAS-SLS20, Scintec AG), with the transpiration fluxes obtained by the sap flow sensors, also allowed to evaluate the contribute of soil evaporation in an area characterized by low vegetation coverage.

  14. What Do Pneumocystis Organisms Tell Us about the Phylogeography of Their Hosts? The Case of the Woodmouse Apodemus sylvaticus in Continental Europe and Western Mediterranean Islands

    PubMed Central

    Michaux, Johan; Barriel, Véronique; Pinçon, Claire; Aliouat-Denis, Cécile Marie; Pottier, Muriel; Noël, Christophe; Viscogliosi, Eric; Aliouat, El Moukhtar; Dei-Cas, Eduardo; Morand, Serge; Guillot, Jacques

    2015-01-01

    Pneumocystis fungi represent a highly diversified biological group with numerous species, which display a strong host-specificity suggesting a long co-speciation process. In the present study, the presence and genetic diversity of Pneumocystis organisms was investigated in 203 lung samples from woodmice (Apodemus sylvaticus) collected on western continental Europe and Mediterranean islands. The presence of Pneumocystis DNA was assessed by nested PCR at both large and small mitochondrial subunit (mtLSU and mtSSU) rRNA loci. Direct sequencing of nested PCR products demonstrated a very high variability among woodmouse-derived Pneumocystis organisms with a total number of 30 distinct combined mtLSU and mtSSU sequence types. However, the genetic divergence among these sequence types was very low (up to 3.87%) and the presence of several Pneumocystis species within Apodemus sylvaticus was considered unlikely. The analysis of the genetic structure of woodmouse-derived Pneumocystis revealed two distinct groups. The first one comprised Pneumocystis from woodmice collected in continental Spain, France and Balearic islands. The second one included Pneumocystis from woodmice collected in continental Italy, Corsica and Sicily. These two genetic groups were in accordance with the two lineages currently described within the host species Apodemus sylvaticus. Pneumocystis organisms are emerging as powerful tools for phylogeographic studies in mammals. PMID:25830289

  15. Lake Ontario zooplankton in 2003 and 2008: community changes and vertical redistribution

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rudstam, Lars G.; Holeck, Kristen T.; Bowen, Kelly L.; Watkins, James M.; Weidel, Brian C.; Luckey, Frederick J.

    2014-01-01

    Lake-wide zooplankton surveys are critical for documenting and understanding food web responses to ecosystem change. Surveys in 2003 and 2008 during the binational intensive field year in Lake Ontario found that offshore epilimnetic crustacean zooplankton declined by a factor of 12 (density) and factor of 5 (biomass) in the summer with smaller declines in the fall. These declines coincided with an increase in abundance of Bythotrephes and are likely the result of direct predation by, or behavioral responses to this invasive invertebrate predator. Whole water column zooplankton density also declined from 2003 to 2008 in the summer and fall (factor of 4), but biomass only declined in the fall (factor of 2). The decline in biomass was less than the decline in density because the average size of individual zooplankton increased. This was due to changes in the zooplankton community composition from a cyclopoid/bosminid dominated community in 2003 to a calanoid dominated community in 2008. The increase in calanoid copepods was primarily due to the larger species Limnocalanus macrurus and Leptodiaptomus sicilis. These coldwater species were found in and below the thermocline associated with a deep chlorophyll layer. In 2008, most of the zooplankton biomass resided in or below the thermocline during the day. Increased importance of copepods in deeper, colder water may favor cisco and rainbow smelt over alewife because these species are better adapted to cold temperatures than Alewife.

  16. Monitoring crop coefficient of orange orchards using energy balance and the remote sensed NDVI

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Consoli, Simona; Cirelli, Giuseppe Luigi; Toscano, Attilio

    2006-09-01

    The structure of vegetation is paramount in regulating the exchange of mass and energy across the biosphereatmosphere interface. In particular, changes in vegetation density affected the partitioning of incoming solar energy into sensible and latent heat fluxes that may result in persistent drought through reductions in agricultural productivity and in the water resources availability. Limited research with citrus orchards has shown improvements to irrigation scheduling due to better water-use estimation and more appropriate timing of irrigation when crop coefficient (Kc) estimate, derived from remotely sensed multispectral vegetation indices (VIs), are incorporated into irrigation-scheduling algorithms. The purpose of this article is the application of an empirical reflectance-based model for the estimation of Kc and evapotranspiration fluxes (ET) using ground observations on climatic data and high-resolution VIs from ASTER TERRA satellite imagery. The remote sensed Kc data were used in developing the relationship with the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) for orange orchards during summer periods. Validation of remote sensed data on ET, Kc and vegetation features was deal through ground data observations and the resolution of the energy balance to derive latent heat flux density (?E), using measures of net radiation (Rn) and soil heat flux density (G) and estimate of sensible heat flux density (H) from high frequency temperature measurements (Surface Renewal technique). The chosen case study is that of an irrigation area covered by orange orchards located in Eastern Sicily, Italy) during the irrigation seasons 2005 and 2006.

  17. Seismic Vulnerability Evaluations Within The Structural And Functional Survey Activities Of The COM Bases In Italy

    SciTech Connect

    Zuccaro, G.; Cacace, F.; Albanese, V.; Mercuri, C.; Papa, F.; Pizza, A. G.; Sergio, S.; Severino, M.

    2008-07-08

    The paper describes technical and functional surveys on COM buildings (Mixed Operative Centre). This activity started since 2005, with the contribution of both Italian Civil Protection Department and the Regions involved. The project aims to evaluate the efficiency of COM buildings, checking not only structural, architectonic and functional characteristics but also paying attention to surrounding real estate vulnerability, road network, railways, harbours, airports, area morphological and hydro-geological characteristics, hazardous activities, etc. The first survey was performed in eastern Sicily, before the European Civil Protection Exercise 'EUROSOT 2005'. Then, since 2006, a new survey campaign started in Abruzzo, Molise, Calabria and Puglia Regions. The more important issue of the activity was the vulnerability assessment. So this paper deals with a more refined vulnerability evaluation technique by means of the SAVE methodology, developed in the 1st task of SAVE project within the GNDT-DPC programme 2000-2002 (Zuccaro, 2005); the SAVE methodology has been already successfully employed in previous studies (i.e. school buildings intervention programme at national scale; list of strategic public buildings in Campania, Sicilia and Basilicata). In this paper, data elaborated by SAVE methodology are compared with expert evaluations derived from the direct inspections on COM buildings. This represents a useful exercise for the improvement either of the survey forms or of the methodology for the quick assessment of the vulnerability.

  18. Neutron radiography for the characterization of porous structure in degraded building stones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barone, G.; Crupi, V.; Longo, F.; Majolino, D.; Mazzoleni, P.; Raneri, S.; Teixeira, J.; Venuti, V.

    2014-05-01

    As it is well known, the porous structure of stones can change due to different degradation processes that modify the characteristics of freshly quarried blocks. Their knowledge is fundamental for predicting the behavior of stones and the efficacy of conservative treatments. In this context, neutron radiography is a useful tool not only to visualize the structure of porous materials, but also to evaluate the degree of degradation and surface modifications resulting from weathering processes. Furthermore, since thermal neutrons suffer a strong attenuation by hydrogen, this technique is effective in order to investigate the amount of absorbed water in building materials. In the present work, we report a neutron radiography investigation of limestones cropping out in the South-Eastern Sicily and widely used as building stones in Baroque monuments of the Noto Valley. The analyzed samples have been submitted to cyclic salt crystallization that simulate degradation processes acting in exposed stones of buildings. The obtained results demonstrate the interest of neutron radiography to better understand deterioration processes in limestones and to acquire information useful for restoration projects.

  19. Mechanical properties of Municipal Solid Waste by SDMT

    SciTech Connect

    Castelli, Francesco; Maugeri, Michele

    2014-02-15

    Highlights: • The adoption of the SDMT for the measurements of MSW properties is proposed. • A comparison between SDMT results and laboratory tests was carried out. • A good reliability has been found in deriving waste properties by SDMT. • Results seems to be promising for the friction angle and Young’s modulus evaluation. - Abstract: In the paper the results of a geotechnical investigation carried on Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) materials retrieved from the “Cozzo Vuturo” landfill in the Enna area (Sicily, Italy) are reported and analyzed. Mechanical properties were determined both by in situ and laboratory large-scale one dimensional compression tests. While among in situ tests, Dilatomer Marchetti Tests (DMT) is used widely in measuring soil properties, the adoption of the DMT for the measurements of MSW properties has not often been documented in literature. To validate its applicability for the estimation of MSW properties, a comparison between the seismic dilatometer (SDMT) results and the waste properties evaluated by laboratory tests was carried out. Parameters for “fresh” and “degraded waste” have been evaluated. These preliminary results seems to be promising as concerns the assessment of the friction angle of waste and the evaluation of the S-wave in terms of shear wave velocity. Further studies are certainly required to obtain more representative values of the elastic parameters according to the SDMT measurements.

  20. The Domestication of Artichoke and Cardoon: From Roman Times to the Genomic Age

    PubMed Central

    Sonnante, Gabriella; Pignone, Domenico; Hammer, Karl

    2007-01-01

    Background The history of domestication of artichoke and leafy cardoon is not yet fully understood and when and where it occurred remains unknown. Evidence supports the hypothesis that wild cardoon is the wild progenitor of both these crops. Selection for large, non-spiny heads resulted in artichoke and selection for non-spiny, large stalked tender leaves resulted in leafy cardoon. The two crops differ in their reproductive system: artichoke is mostly vegetatively propagated and perennial, while leafy cardoon is seed propagated and mostly grown as an annual plant. Here, new trends in artichoke cultivation are analysed, while the consequences of these tendencies on the conservation of artichoke genetic resources are highlighted. Scope The historical and artistic records, together with recent literature on genetics and biosystematics, are examined with the aim of achieving a better understanding of the present-day knowledge on the domestication of these two crops. Conclusions Historical, linguistic and artistic records are consistent with genetic and biosystematic data and indicate that the domestication of artichoke and cardoon diverged at different times and in different places. Apparently, artichoke was domesticated in Roman times, possibly in Sicily, and spread by the Arabs during early Middle Ages. The cardoon was probably domesticated in the western Mediterranean in a later period. PMID:17611191

  1. Old sleeping Sicilian beauty: seed germination in the palaeoendemic Petagnaea gussonei (Spreng.) Rauschert (Saniculoideae, Apiaceae).

    PubMed

    De Castro, O; Gianguzzi, L; Carucci, F; De Luca, A; Gesuele, R; Guida, M

    2015-09-01

    Petagnaea gussonei (Apiaceae) is a perennial herbaceous species endemic to northeast Sicily (Nebrodi Mountains). It is considered a remnant of the Sicilian Tertiary flora, and is endangered according to the Red List. There is no information in the literature about the germinability of its seeds, even though seed production is know to occur. The aim of this study was to obtain data to better understand seed germination of this species and its biological implications. Thus, several approaches were employed: vitality analyses, gibberellic acid supply, germination and soil microbial flora analyses via end-point and qPCR. The results suggest that seed germination occurs after ca. 1.5 years at a rate of ca. 11%. The seeds can be classified as physiologically dormant, and probably require prolonged cold stratification for germination. Because seed germination is low, it is likely that agamic reproduction represents an important mean for its conservation and survival. These results have important implications for P. gussonei survival and should be considered in possible re-introduction attempts aimed at restoring threatened populations. PMID:25847095

  2. The potential of e-nose aroma profiling for identifying the geographical origin of licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra L.) roots.

    PubMed

    Russo, Mariateresa; Serra, Demetrio; Suraci, Francesca; Di Sanzo, Rosa; Fuda, Salvatore; Postorino, Santo

    2014-12-15

    Licorice roots cultivated commercially in distinct geographical areas such as China, Iran, Italy (Abruzzo, Basilicata, Calabria and Sicily) and Turkey were classified using an artificial olfactive system (e-nose) based on metal oxide semiconductor sensors (MOS). The resultant instrumental data were processed using a multivariate statistical analysis method in order to classify the raw samples according to its origin. The e-nose odourprintings were obtained by a canonical discriminant analysis carried out with the aim of relating the specific data-sets corresponding to whole licorice roots aroma with the e-nose reference dataset. E-nose results were compared to those obtained by SPME/GC-MS. The HS-SPME/GC/MS analysis was used as a control system to check for the actual existence of differences in the chemical composition of sample headspace. These results imply the possibility to use an electronic nose as a tool for a quick, effective and non-destructive authentication of licorice roots. PMID:25038700

  3. Chemical composition and antibacterial potential of Artemisia arborescens L. essential oil.

    PubMed

    Militello, M; Settanni, L; Aleo, A; Mammina, C; Moschetti, G; Giammanco, G M; Blàzquez, M Amparo; Carrubba, A

    2011-04-01

    This study was undertaken to characterize the essential oil (EO) of Artemisia arborescens growing wild in Sicily. EO, extracted by steam distillation, was examined for its chemical composition and for its capability to inhibit some food-borne pathogen bacteria. A total of 43 compounds (13 monoterpene hydrocarbons, 14 oxygenated monoterpenes, 10 sesquiterpene hydrocarbons, three oxygenated sesquiterpenes and less amount of other three compounds), which account 93.73% of the total oil, were identified by gas chromatography and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. Oxygenated monoterpenes (57.32%) constituted the main fraction, with ?-thujone as the main compound (45.04%), followed by the sesquiterpene hydrocarbon chamazulene (22.71%). Undiluted EO showed a large inhibition spectrum against strains of Listeria monocytogenes (34 out of 44), whilst it was ineffective against enterobacteria and salmonellas. The minimum inhibition concentration (MIC) was evaluated for the two most sensitive strains (L. monocytogenes 186 and 7BO) at two cellular concentrations (10(6) and 10(7) CFU ml(-1)). The lowest MIC (0.625 ?l ml(-1), dilution of oil with acetone) was found for strain L. monocytogenes 186 at 10(6) CFU ml(-1). PMID:21188586

  4. Blind Deconvolution on Underwater Images for Gas Bubble Measurement

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zelenka, C.; Koch, R.

    2015-04-01

    Marine gas seeps, such as in the Panarea area near Sicily (McGinnis et al., 2011), emit large amounts of methane and carbon-dioxide, greenhouse gases. Better understanding their impact on the climate and the marine environment requires precise measurements of the gas flux. Camera based bubble measurement systems suffer from defocus blur caused by a combination of small depth of field, insufficient lighting and from motion blur due to rapid bubble movement. These adverse conditions are typical for open sea underwater bubble images. As a consequence so called 'bubble boxes' have been built, which use elaborate setups, specialized cameras and high power illumination. A typical value of light power used is 1000W (Leifer et al., 2003). In this paper we propose the compensation of defocus and motion blur in underwater images by using blind deconvolution techniques. The quality of the images can be greatly improved, which will relax requirements on bubble boxes, reduce their energy consumption and widen their usability.

  5. Contribution of planktonic and benthic food sources to the diet of the reef-forming vermetid gastropod Dendropoma petraeum in the western Mediterranean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vizzini, Salvatrice; Colombo, Francesca; Costa, Valentina; Mazzola, Antonio

    2012-01-01

    In the Mediterranean Sea, the vermetid Dendropoma petraeum (Monterosato, 1884) forms highly biodiverse reefs that have received increasing attention in recent years although very little is known about the food habit of this species. The main goal of this study was to describe the trophic role of planktonic and benthic food sources for D. petraeum. Specimens from three morphological zones of the reef (inner edge, cuvette and outer edge) at two sites with different wave exposure along the north-western coast of Sicily (Italy; western Mediterranean) were compared for ? 13C and ? 15N. Isotopic determinations were also carried out on potential food sources identified in epilithon, reef macroalgae and suspended particulate organic matter. ? 13C for D. petraeum showed significantly more depleted values in the more exposed conditions (i.e. the site with higher wave exposure and outer edge of the reef), while ? 15N did not differ appreciably. These results suggest greater exploitation of benthic sources in the sheltered than in the exposed site and reveal diet shift and trophic flexibility at a small spatial scale for the reef-former D. petraeum.

  6. Trophic structure of vermetid reef community: High trophic diversity at small spatial scales

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Colombo, Francesca; Costa, Valentina; Dubois, Stanislas F.; Gianguzza, Paola; Mazzola, Antonio; Vizzini, Salvatrice

    2013-03-01

    Stable isotopes were used to investigate contributions of autochthonous (i.e. benthic: epilithon and macroalgae) and allochthonous (i.e. pelagic: phytoplankton) organic matter sources to the diet of suspension-feeders, grazers and predators associated to small reef-pools (cuvettes) created by the reef-building species Dendropoma petraeum in the north-western coast of Sicily (Italy). Contributions of potential food sources were calculated using Bayesian mixing-models and integrated to a multivariate approach to highlight the diversity of C and N pathways within Dendropoma cuvettes. Both pelagic and benthic organic matter sources were exploited by benthic consumers, although clear differences were revealed in the various species depending on their feeding strategy. Three different trophic pathways were identified: one based mainly on phytoplankton, one based mainly on macroalgae and a third one mainly on epilithon. Suspension-feeders seemed to rely mainly on allochthonous organic matter sources, while grazers showed a wider diet spectrum. Predators revealed a high specialization in each of the three food chains and showed a distinct reliance on organic matter originated from benthic or pelagic sources. Stable isotopes evidenced here a marked differentiation of the trophic niche within the cuvette-associated community, which allows minimizing competition in very space-limited conditions.

  7. Nitrogen multitemporal monitoring through mosses in urban areas affected by mud volcanoes around Mt. Etna, Italy.

    PubMed

    Bonanno, Giuseppe

    2013-10-01

    Nitrogen emissions were assessed by using mosses as bioindicators in a densely inhabited area affected by mud volcanoes. Such volcanoes, locally called Salinelle, are phenomena that occur around Mt. Etna (Sicily, Italy), and are interpreted as the surface outflow of a hydrothermal system located below Mt. Etna, which releases sedimentary fluids (hydrocarbons and Na-Cl brines) along with magmatic gases (mainly CO2 and He). To date, N emissions from such mud volcanoes have been only quantitatively assessed, and no biomonitoring campaigns are reported about the cumulative effects of these emissions. This study analyzed N concentrations in moss, water and soil samples, collected in a 4-year monitoring campaign. The bryophyte Bryum argenteum, a species widely adopted in surveys of atmospheric pollution, was used as a biological indicator. N concentrations in biomonitors showed relatively low values in the study sites. However, the results of this study suggest that N emissions from Salinelle may have an impact on surrounding ecosystems because N values in moss and water showed a significant correlation. N oxides, in particular, contribute to acidification of ecosystems, thus multitemporal biomonitoring is recommended, especially in those areas where N emitting sources are anthropogenic and natural. PMID:23479119

  8. A reappraisal of the Pleurotus eryngii complex - new species and taxonomic combinations based on the application of a polyphasic approach, and an identification key to Pleurotus taxa associated with Apiaceae plants.

    PubMed

    Zervakis, Georgios I; Ntougias, Spyridon; Gargano, Maria Letizia; Besi, Maria I; Polemis, Elias; Typas, Milton A; Venturella, Giuseppe

    2014-01-01

    The Pleurotus eryngii species-complex comprises choice edible mushrooms growing on roots and lower stem residues of Apiaceae (umbellifers) plants. Material deriving from extensive sampling was studied by mating compatibility, morphological and ecological criteria, and through analysis of ITS1-5.8S-ITS2 and IGS1 rRNA sequences. Results revealed that P. eryngii sensu stricto forms a diverse and widely distributed aggregate composed of varieties elaeoselini, eryngii, ferulae, thapsiae, and tingitanus. Pleurotuseryngii subsp. tuoliensis comb. nov. is a phylogenetically sister group to the former growing only on various Ferula species in Asia. The existence of Pleurotusnebrodensis outside of Sicily (i.e., in Greece) is reported for the first time on the basis of molecular data, while P. nebrodensis subsp. fossulatus comb. nov. is a related Asiatic taxon associated with the same plant (Prangos ferulacea). Last, Pleurotusferulaginis sp. nov. grows on Ferulago campestris in northeast Italy, Slovenia and Hungary; it occupies a distinct phylogenetic position accompanied with significant differences in spore size and mating incompatibility versus other Pleurotus populations. Coevolution with umbellifers and host/substrate specificity seem to play key roles in speciation processes within this fungal group. An identification key to the nine Pleurotus taxa growing in association with Apiaceae plants is provided. PMID:25209640

  9. Inter-basin movements of Mediterranean sperm whales provide insight into their population structure and conservation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Frantzis, A.; Airoldi, S.; Notarbartolo-di-Sciara, G.; Johnson, C.; Mazzariol, S.

    2011-04-01

    The sperm whale is one of the very few deep diving mammal species in the Mediterranean Sea. Following a rare mass stranding of male sperm whales in the Adriatic Sea in December 2009, photo-identification methods were used in order to investigate previous sightings of the stranded whales in the region. Fluke photos of the stranded whales were compared with those of 153 and 128 free-ranging individuals photographed in the western and eastern Mediterranean basins, respectively. Three out of the seven stranded whales had been previously photo-identified and some of them more than once. To reach the stranding place, two of these re-identified whales performed long-range inter-basin movements of about 1600-2100 km (in a straight line) either through the Strait of Sicily or the Strait of Messina. In addition, comparisons among all whales photographed in the two Mediterranean basins revealed that one more individual first photographed in the western basin (1991) was re-identified 13 years later in the eastern basin (2004). These three cases provide the first conclusive evidence of inter-basin movement of sperm whales in the Mediterranean Sea. Inter-basin gene flow is important for the survival of the small and endangered Mediterranean sperm whale population. Mitigating the disturbance created by human activities in the straits area is crucial for its conservation.

  10. Environmental health literacy within the Italian Asbestos Project: experience in Italy and Latin American contexts. Commentary.

    PubMed

    Marsili, Daniela; Comba, Pietro; De Castro, Paola

    2015-01-01

    The adoption of multidisciplinary approaches to foster scientific research in public health and strengthen its impact on society is nowadays unavoidable. Environmental health literacy (EHL) may be defined as the ability to search for, understand, evaluate, and use environmental health information to promote the adoption of informed choices, the reduction of health risks, the improvement of quality of life and the protection of the environment. Both public health and environmental health literacy involve access to and dissemination of scientific information (including research findings), individual and collective decision-making and critical thinking. Specific experiences in environmental health literacy have been developed within the Italian National Asbestos Project (Progetto Amianto) in Latin American countries where the use of asbestos is still permitted, and in Italy where a specific effort in EHL has been dedicated to the risks caused by the presence of fluoro-edenite fibers in the town of Biancavilla (Sicily). Taking into account the different geographical and socio-economic contexts, both public health and environmental health literacy were addressed to a wide range of stakeholders, within and outside the health domain. PMID:26428039

  11. On the relationship between some production parameters and a vegetation index in viticulture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Santangelo, Tanino; Di Lorenzo, R.; La Loggia, G.; Maltese, A.

    2013-10-01

    The use and timing of many agronomical practices such as the scheduling of irrigation and harvesting are dependent on accurate vineyard sampling of qualitative and productive parameters. Crop forecasting also depends on the representativeness of vineyard samples during the whole phenological period. This manuscript summarizes the last two years of precision viticulture in Sicily (Italy); agronomic campaigns were carried out in 2012 and 2013 within the "Tenute Rapitalà" and "Donnafugata" farms. Normalized Difference Vegetation Index derived from satellite images (RapidEye) acquired at berry set, pre-veraison and ripening phenological stages (occurred at June, July and August respectively) have been related to production parameters (sugar and anthocyanins contents) at harvesting of a selected red autochthonous cultivar (Nero D'Avola). The research aims to assess how robust are prediction models based on simple linear regression analysis, in particular: 1) whether there is a suitable period for acquiring the remote sensing image to evaluate these parameters at harvesting, when their knowledge is required; 2) if these relationships are consistent between years or need to be re-calibrated; 3) the models transferability to other vineyard of the same cultivar.

  12. Altitudinal gradients, plant hybrid zones and evolutionary novelty

    PubMed Central

    Abbott, Richard J.; Brennan, Adrian C.

    2014-01-01

    Altitudinal gradients are characterized by steep changes of the physical and biotic environment that present challenges to plant adaptation throughout large parts of the world. Hybrid zones may form where related species inhabit different neighbouring altitudes and can facilitate interspecific gene flow and potentially the breakdown of species barriers. Studies of such hybrid zones can reveal much about the genetic basis of adaptation to environmental differences stemming from changes in altitude and the maintenance of species divergence in the face of gene flow. Furthermore, owing to recombination and transgressive effects, such hybrid zones can be sources of evolutionary novelty. We document plant hybrid zones associated with altitudinal gradients and emphasize similarities and differences in their structure. We then focus on recent studies of a hybrid zone between two Senecio species that occur at high and low altitude on Mount Etna, Sicily, showing how adaptation to local environments and intrinsic selection against hybrids act to maintain it. Finally, we consider the potential of altitudinal hybrid zones for generating evolutionary novelty through adaptive introgression and hybrid speciation. Examples of homoploid hybrid species of Senecio and Pinus that originated from altitudinal hybrid zones are discussed. PMID:24958920

  13. Ticks infesting humans in Italy and associated pathogens

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Ticks may transmit a large variety of pathogens, which cause illnesses in animals and humans, commonly referred to as to tick-borne diseases (TBDs). The incidence of human TBDs in Italy is underestimated because of poor surveillance and the scant amount of studies available. Methods Samples (n =?561) were collected from humans in four main geographical areas of Italy (i.e., northwestern, northeastern, southern Italy, and Sicily), which represent a variety of environments. After being morphologically identified, ticks were molecularly tested with selected protocols for the presence of pathogens of the genera Rickettsia, Babesia, Theileria, Candidatus Neoehrlichia mikurensis, Borrelia and Anaplasma. Results Ticks belonged to 16 species of the genera Argas, Dermacentor, Haemaphysalis, Hyalomma, Ixodes and Rhipicephalus, with Ixodes ricinus (59.5%) being the species most frequently retrieved, followed by Rhipicephalus sanguineus sensu lato (21.4%). Nymphs were the life stage most frequently retrieved (41%), followed by adult females (34.6%). The overall positivity to any pathogen detected was 18%. Detected microorganisms were Rickettsia spp. (17.0%), Anaplasma phagocytophilum (0.8%), Borrelia afzelii (0.5%), Borrelia valaisiana (0.3%), C. N. mikurensis (0.5%) and Babesia venatorum (0.6%). Conclusions Results indicate that people living in the Italian peninsula are at risk of being bitten by different tick species, which may transmit a plethora of TBD causing pathogens and that co-infections may also occur. PMID:25023709

  14. Kinematics, Thermicity and Petroleum Potential Appraisal in the External Parts of FOLD-and-THRUST Belts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roure, Francois

    2014-05-01

    Fold-and-thrust belts still constitute frontier areas for HC exploration. However, coupled 2D kinematic and thermal modelling techniques, based on seismic interpretation and the input of balanced cross sections, can be used to recontruct the burial history of source rocks and reservoirs, and to identify the timing of petroleum generation. Fluid flow and pore-fluid pressure modelling can be used also to get estimates on the hydrocarbon charge of potential prospects, and on chemical transfers occurring at both regional and reservoir scale when diagenesis operates in an open system. Bottom hole temperature and maturity ranks of the organic matter (Tmax, and R) can be used to calibrate the overall thermal history, but paleo-thermo-barometers are likely to provide better controls on the paleo-thickness of the eroded overburden. Further post-orogenic controls exerted by mantle dynamics must be also taken into account, because they can induce rapid uplift and erosion in both the foothills and adjacent foreland, and modify strongly the overall drainage areas. The integrated workflow developped at IFP-EN for the evaluation of the petroleum potential of fold-and-thrust belts will be documented by regional case studies in the Apennines, Sicily, Albania and North Algeria in the Mediterranean, as well as in the Sub-Andean basins from Veezuela and Colombia, and in Mexican and Canaduian segments of the North American Cordillera.

  15. Heavy and tar sand oil deposits of Europe

    SciTech Connect

    Cornelius, C.D.

    1984-09-01

    Several hundred heavy and extra-heavy oil and natural bitumen occurrences from 26 European countries (including European Turkey and the western borderlands of the USSR) were compiled. The definitions used for heavy crude oils and natural bitumens, as proposed by or prepared with the UNITAR/UNDP information center, were applied. Information on stratigraphy, lithology, and depth as well as on gravity, viscosity, and gas and water content, is given. Deposits are characteristically distributed along the flanks of the basins or within the separating uplifts. Nevertheless, they are found from the surface down to depths of 3000 m (9800 ft). Up to now, big accumulations have been exploited in Albania and Sicily, but they have been discovered also in the British North Sea, France, Spain, and West Germany. In carbonates, they were mostly encountered in fractures of synsedimentary or tectonic origin. The accumulations are the result of either intrusion of immature heavy oil from a source rock or of the immigration of mature oil, which was biodegraded afterward. In many cases, there have been at least two separate migration/accumulation events. In some cases paleoseepages did supply a source rock with asphaltic material or became an effective seal of a later hydrocarbon accumulation.

  16. [Methods for health impact assessment of policies for municipal solid waste management: the SESPIR Project].

    PubMed

    Parmagnani, Federica; Ranzi, Andrea; Ancona, Carla; Angelini, Paola; Chiusolo, Monica; Cadum, Ennio; Lauriola, Paolo; Forastiere, Francesco

    2014-01-01

    The Project Epidemiological Surveillance of Health Status of Resident Population Around the Waste Treatment Plants (SESPIR) included five Italian regions (Emilia-Romagna, Piedmont, Lazio, Campania, and Sicily) and the National Institute of Health in the period 2010-2013. SESPIR was funded by the Ministry of Health as part of the National centre for diseases prevention and control (CCM) programme of 2010 with the general objective to provide methods and operational tools for the implementation of surveillance systems for waste and health, aimed at assessing the impact of the municipal solid waste (MSW) treatment cycle on the health of the population. The specific objective was to assess health impacts resulting from the presence of disposal facilities related to different regional scenarios of waste management. Suitable tools for analysis of integrated assessment of environmental and health impact were developed and applied, using current demographic, environmental and health data. In this article, the methodology used for the quantitative estimation of the impact on the health of populations living nearby incinerators, landfills and mechanical biological treatment plants is showed, as well as the analysis of three different temporal scenarios: the first related to the existing plants in the period 2008-2009 (baseline), the second based on regional plans, the latter referring to MSW virtuous policy management based on reduction of produced waste and an intense recovery policy. PMID:25387745

  17. 1H HR-MAS NMR Spectroscopy and the Metabolite Determination of Typical Foods in Mediterranean Diet

    PubMed Central

    Corsaro, Carmelo; Mallamace, Domenico; Vasi, Sebastiano; Ferrantelli, Vincenzo; Dugo, Giacomo; Cicero, Nicola

    2015-01-01

    NMR spectroscopy has become an experimental technique widely used in food science. The experimental procedures that allow precise and quantitative analysis on different foods are relatively simple. For a better sensitivity and resolution, NMR spectroscopy is usually applied to liquid sample by means of extraction procedures that can be addressed to the observation of particular compounds. For the study of semisolid systems such as intact tissues, High-Resolution Magic Angle Spinning (HR-MAS) has received great attention within the biomedical area and beyond. Metabolic profiling and metabolism changes can be investigated both in animal organs and in foods. In this work we present a proton HR-MAS NMR study on the typical vegetable foods of Mediterranean diet such as the Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) cherry tomato of Pachino, the PGI Interdonato lemon of Messina, several Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) extra virgin olive oils from Sicily, and the Traditional Italian Food Product (PAT) red garlic of Nubia. We were able to identify and quantify the main metabolites within the studied systems that can be used for their characterization and authentication. PMID:26495154

  18. Ground-penetrating radar survey on the island of Pantelleria (Italy) reveals an ancient architectural complex with likely Punic and Roman components

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Urban, Thomas M.; Murray, Carrie Ann; Vella, Clive; Lahikainen, Amanda

    2015-12-01

    A ground-penetrating radar (GPR) survey conducted on the small volcanic island of Pantelleria, in the Strait of Sicily, south-central Mediterranean, revealed an apparent complex of Punic/Roman architecture. The survey focused on the Lago di Venere area, where a previously investigated ritual Punic site was built alongside a brackish volcanic lake. The site also exhibits evidence of earlier Eneolithic components and later Roman components. The full extent of the site has remained undetermined, however, with only the small area of the Punic ritual complex having been excavated from 1996 to 2002. The GPR survey was intended to explore whether additional architecture remained unseen in surrounding areas, thus taking a first step toward determining the site's full spatial extent and archaeological potential. This survey revealed a complex of architectural ruins beneath an active agricultural field immediately west of the previously excavated features, and extending to a depth of approximately 2 m. These newly discovered features expand the known architectural footprint of the immediate site by three-fold. This GPR study is the first published archaeo-geophysical investigation on the island.

  19. Analyses of TIMS and AVIRIS data, integrated with field and laboratory spectra, for lithological and mineralogical interpretation of Vulcano Island, Italy

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Buongiorno, M. Fabrizia; Bogliolo, M. Paola; Salvi, Stefano; Pieri, David C.; Geneselli, Francesco

    1995-01-01

    Vulcano Island is part of the Eolian archipelago, located about 25 km from the northeast coast of Sicily. The archipelago comprises seven major volcanic islands, two of which are active volcanoes (Vulcano and Stromboli). Vulcano covers an area of about 50 square km, and is about 10 km long. Explosive volcanic activity has predominated in the geological evolution of Vulcano Island, and there is no evidence that this pattern has ceased. Rather, the current situation is one of unrest, so a strict regimen of continuous geophysical and geochemical monitoring has been undertaken over the last decade. Though the year-round population of Vulcano is small (under 1000), during the summer the island becomes a very popular resort, and has thousands of additional tourists at any time throughout the high season, thus substantially increasing the number of people potentially at risk from an explosive eruption or other hazards such as noxious gas emissions (e.g., CO2, H2S, SO2). During the past ten years, remote sensing data have been repetitively acquired with optical and microwave airborne sensors. The present work shows the preliminary results of a study based on the integration of various remote sensing data sets with field spectroscopy, and other laboratory analyses, for the geological and geomorphological mapping of the island. It is hoped that such work will also usefully contribute to the evaluation of the volcanic hazard potential of the islands as well as to the evaluation of the status of its current activity.

  20. Performance assessment of a Robust Satellite Techniques (RST-FIRES) for forest fire detection and monitoring

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mazzeo, G.; Filizzola, C.; Coviello, I.; Marchese, F.; Corrado, R.; Lacava, T.; Paciello, R.; Pergola, N.; Tramutoli, V.

    2012-04-01

    In this work, an advanced satellite technique for forest fire detection and monitoring named RST-FIRES, based on the well known Robust Satellite Techniques (RST) approach, is presented. Performances of this technique, both in terms of reliability and sensitivity, have been analyzed in different (winter/summer) fire regimes, after 3 years of pre-operational sperimentation in 3 Italian Regions (Lombardy, Sicily and Basilicata). Results achieved by using Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) and MODerate resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) have been compared with the ones obtained by using traditional multichannels and contextuals algorithms. The potential of RST-FIRES in promptly detecting the beginning of fire events by means of sensors like Spinning Enhanced Visible and Infrared Imager (SEVIRI) flying aboard Meteosat Second Generation (MSG) geostationary satellites is also analyzed and discussed here. The achieved results demonstrates the high capabilities of RST-FIRES in indentifying even small fires with a very low (<10%) false positive rate under different observational conditions (day/night; winter/summer). In addition, they confirm the RST-FIRES potential to be used in operational contexts requiring to join reliable early warning and efficient support to decisions systems.

  1. The effect of urban waste compost applied in a vineyard, olive grove and orange grove on soil proprieties in Mediterranean environment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Novara, Agata; Gristina, Luciano; Bono, Giuseppe; Guaitoli, Fabio; Pasciuta, Giuseppe; Santoro, Antonino

    2013-04-01

    The application to soil of compost produced from urban wastes not only could improve the soil properties but also could be a solution for disposal of large quantities of different refuses. Knowledge on compost characteristic, soil properties as well as on mineral crop nutrition are important to proper management of fertilization with compost and to understanding the impact on C and N dynamics in field. We present the results of soil physical and chemical changes after the application of urban waste compost in three different orchards (vineyard, olive grove, and orange grove) in Mediterranean environment (Sicily). The compost was applied on November 2010 and samples were collected 1 month after application for two years. Soil pH, carbon content, weight of soil aggregate fractions, nitrate content were examined during the trial, comparing with adjacent no fertilized plot. The application of compost caused a decrease in soil organic carbon stock of 14% and 28% after two years in vineyard and orange grove, respectively, while a significant increase under olive grove was registered. Nitrate monitoring showed for all crops high content of Nitrate for most of the year that involved SOC stock depletion. This was not observed in olive grove, where soil received further C input thanks to soil management with cover crop. In two years of observations there were no significant change in soil physic properties.

  2. A Gis Model Application Supporting The Analysis of The Seismic Hazard For The Urban Area of Catania (italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grasso, S.; Maugeri, M.

    After the Summit held in Washington on August 20-22 2001 to plan the first World Conference on the mitigation of Natural Hazards, a Group for the analysis of Natural Hazards within the Mediterranean area has been formed. The Group has so far determined the following hazards: (1) Seismic hazard (hazard for historical buildings included); (2) Hazard linked to the quantity and quality of water; (3) Landslide hazard; (4) Volcanic hazard. The analysis of such hazards implies the creation and the management of data banks, which can only be used if the data are properly geo-settled to allow a crossed use of them. The obtained results must be therefore represented on geo-settled maps. The present study is part of a research programme, namely "Detailed Scenarios and Actions for Seismic Prevention of Damage in the Urban Area of Catania", financed by the National Department for the Civil Protection and the National Research Council-National Group for the Defence Against Earthquakes (CNR-GNDT). Nowadays the south-eastern area of Sicily, called the "Iblea" seismic area of Sicily, is considered as one of the most intense seismic zones in Italy, based on the past and current seismic history and on the typology of civil buildings. Safety against earthquake hazards has two as pects: structural safety against potentially destructive dynamic forces and site safety related to geotechnical phenomena such as amplification, land sliding and soil liquefaction. So the correct evaluation of seismic hazard is highly affected by risk factors due to geological nature and geotechnical properties of soils. The effect of local geotechnical conditions on damages suffered by buildings under seismic conditions has been widely recognized, as it is demonstrated by the Manual for Zonation on Seismic Geotechnical Hazards edited by the International Society for Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering (TC4, 1999). The evaluation of local amplification effects may be carried out by means of either rigorous complex methods of analysis or qualitative procedures. A semi quantitative procedure based on the definition of the geotechnical hazard index has been applied for the zonation of the seismic geotechnical hazard of the city of Catania. In particular this procedure has been applied to define the influence of geotechnical properties of soil in a central area of the city of Catania, where some historical buildings of great importance are sited. It was also performed an investigation based on the inspection of more than one hundred historical ecclesiastical buildings of great importance, located in the city. Then, in order to identify the amplification effects due to the site conditions, a geotechnical survey form was prepared, to allow a semi quantitative evaluation of the seismic geotechnical hazard for all these historical buildings. In addition, to evaluate the foundation soil time -history response, a 1-D dynamic soil model was employed for all these buildings, considering the non linearity of soil behaviour. Using a GIS, a map of the seismic geotechnical hazard, of the liquefaction hazard and a preliminary map of the seismic hazard for the city of Catania have been obtained. From the analysis of obtained results it may be noticed that high hazard zones are mainly clayey sites

  3. The surface circulation in the eastern basin of the Mediterranean Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hamad, N.; Millot, C.; Taupier-Letage, I.

    2003-04-01

    The POEM-schema of the Atlantic Water (AW, http://ciesm.org/events/RT5-WaterMassAcronyms.pdf) circulation in the eastern basin of the Mediterranean Sea widely referred to nowadays (Robinson et al., 1991, completed by Robinson and Golnaraghi, 1993, and by Malanotte-Rizzoli et al., 1997) represents, in particular, a jet meandering offshore across the whole basin. No information is given on the southern part of the basin and no mention is made of a possible overall alongslope anticlockwise flow there, as suggested by a contemporaneous analysis of infrared satellite images (Le Vourch et al., 1992; Millot, 1992). A roughly similar controversy was elucidated in the western basin where such imagery was proven reliable. This has motivated the detailed analysis of daily and weekly composite images (about 1000) during the period 1996-2000, and of monthly composites available since 1985. Our analysis shows that AW circulates alongslope and anticlockwise around the whole basin, as indicated by Nielsen (1912) who considered the Coriolis effect as dominant. This circulation, which is permanent from Tunisia to Turkey, exists more or less temporarily in the Aegean, in the Ionian around Greece and in the Adriatic, due to the Etesians. However, a branch having spread for years (up to early 1998) from the channel of Sicily towards the northern Ionian before vanishing represents marked interannual (not seasonal) variability. Being unstable during most of its circuit, the AW flow generates mesoscale eddies which had not been correctly described before and which represent a relatively large amount of AW. Other eddies are known to be generated by orographic effects on the wind field, especially the Etesians. Both kinds of eddies play a fundamental role in spreading AW from alongslope towards the open basin. Although these eddies have characteristics almost specific to each subbasin and/or generation mechanism, the largest ones are anticyclonic, both kinds reach diameters of a few 100s km and they can be tracked for months/years propagating at speeds up to a few km/d. In the southern Ionian, large eddies are generated as soon as the bathymetry is sufficiently deep (few 100s m), and they drift either alongslope or seaward. An eddy initially found East of Sicily has been shown to drift southwards until Libya and disturb the alongslope circulation there more than two years after its generation. All the eddies originated either in the North (including older drifting Pelops) or in the South can drift in the central Ionian and create there a complex eddy field that, being only partially investigated, was incorrectly associated with the alleged "Atlantic Ionian Stream" and "Mid-Ionian Jet". On average, AW does not cross the Ionian in its central and/or northern parts but ultimately concentrates in the southern Ionian along the western Libyan slope as an anticlockwise flow, which is unstable and generate anticyclonic eddies. These Libyan eddies then propagate downstream along the eastern Libyan slope and eventually interact with Ierapetra, thus increasing the interannual variability of the latter (that not only depends, henceforth, on the Etesians intensity). In addition, Ierapetra can survive more than one year, drift or remain motionless, merge with a former Ierapetra and/or reach later the Libyan and Egyptian slopes. At the entrance of the Levantine, Libyan eddies tend to follow the deep isobaths and thus detach from their parent current, and Ierapetra as well. Therefore, contrary to what has been believed hitherto, the area known as "Mersa-Matruh" is occupied not by a recurrent/permanent feature but by slowly propagating and merging anticyclonic eddies originated elsewhere. The northwestern edges of such mesoscale eddies must have been confused with a northeastward "Mid-Mediterranean Jet". The area known as Shikmona is in fact an offshore anticyclonic structure continuously fed by various kinds of small-scale eddies originated alongslope. Both the "Cilician Current" and the "Asia Minor Current&

  4. Development from the seafloor to the sea surface of the cabled NEMO-SN1 observatory in the Western Ionian Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sparnocchia, Stefania; Beranzoli, Laura; Borghini, Mireno; Durante, Sara; Favali, Paolo; Giovanetti, Gabriele; Italiano, Francesco; Marinaro, Giuditta; Meccia, Virna; Papaleo, Riccardo; Riccobene, Giorgio; Schroeder, Katrin

    2015-04-01

    A prototype of cabled deep-sea observatory has been operating in real-time since 2005 in Southern Italy (East Sicily, 37°30' N - 15°06'E), at 2100 m water depth, 25 km from the harbor of the city of Catania. It is the first-established real-time node of the "European Multidisciplinary Seafloor and water column Observatory" (EMSO, http://www.emso-eu.org) a research infrastructure of the Sector Environment of ESFRI. In the present configuration it consists of two components: the multi-parametric station NEMO-SN1 (TSN branch) equipped with geophysical and environmental sensors for measurements at the seafloor, and the NEMO-O?DE station (TSS branch) equipped with 4 wideband hydrophones. A 28 km long electro-optical cable connects the observatory to a shore laboratory in the Catania harbor, hosting the data acquisition system and supplying power and data transmission to the underwater instrumentation. The NEMO-SN1 observatory is located in an area particularly suited to multidisciplinary studies. The site is one of the most seismically active areas of the Mediterranean (some of the strongest earthquakes occurred in 1169, 1693 and 1908, also causing very intense tsunami waves) and is close to Mount Etna, one of the largest and most active volcanoes in Europe. The deployment area is also a key site for monitoring deep-water dynamics in the Ionian Sea, connecting the Levantine basin to the southern Adriatic basin where intermediate and deep waters are formed, and finally to the western Mediterranean Sea via the Strait of Sicily. The observatory is being further developed under EMSO MedIT (http://www.emso-medit.it/en/), a structural enhancement project contributing to the consolidation and enhancement of the European research infrastructure EMSO in Italian Convergence Regions. In this framework, a new Junction Box will be connected to the TSN branch and will provide wired and wireless (acoustic connections) for seafloor platforms and moorings. This will allow the implementation of new measurement capabilities at seafloor and along the water column with sensors for measurements of physical-chemical (pressure, temperature, salinity, dissolved oxygen, turbidity, pCO2, currents) and geophysical (magnetometer, seismometer and gravity meter) parameters. An imaging system for deep sea fauna will be deployed very soon at TSS. Furthermore, the data acquisition/elaboration system will be enhanced, and data will be shared in near real time through the Catania node of the high-speed telecommunication network for University and Scientific Research. An Open Access policy is adopted to favour the access of the international scientific community. According to the EMSO business plan and EC recommendations, the enhanced infrastructure will be open to scientists, companies and public actors on excellence research basis, for the development of innovative scientific and technological research products. The existing seafloor module is already offering this service under the TNA program of FixO3 EC Project (www.fixo3.eu). The ongoing development of NEMO-SN1 will strengthen its capabilities to monitor long-term variability of key physical, geophysical and biogeochemical parameters, with applications, for example, in studies on modifications of the properties of water masses and the marine circulation, changes in marine chemistry, with particular emphasis on the carbon system and its role in ocean acidification, evolving trends in global sea level, and to address geo-hazards issues, such as earthquake and tsunami risks, volcanic risk, instability and collapse of the slopes.

  5. The tropospheric processing of acidic gases and hydrogen sulphide in volcanic gas plumes as inferred from field and model investigations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aiuppa, A.; Franco, A.; von Glasow, R.; Allen, A. G.; D'Alessandro, W.; Mather, T. A.; Pyle, D. M.; Valenza, M.

    2006-11-01

    Improving the constraints on the atmospheric fate and depletion rates of acidic compounds persistently emitted by non-erupting (quiescent) volcanoes is important for quantitatively predicting the environmental impact of volcanic gas plumes. Here, we present new experimental data coupled with modelling studies to investigate the chemical processing of acidic volcanogenic species during tropospheric dispersion. Diffusive tube samplers were deployed at Mount Etna, a very active open-conduit basaltic volcano in eastern Sicily, and Vulcano Island, a closed-conduit quiescent volcano in the Aeolian Islands (northern Sicily). Sulphur dioxide (SO2), hydrogen sulphide (H2S), hydrogen chloride (HCl) and hydrogen fluoride (HF) concentrations in the volcanic plumes (typically several minutes to a few hours old) were repeatedly determined at distances from the summit vents ranging from 0.1 to ~10 km, and under different environmental conditions. At both volcanoes, acidic gas concentrations were found to decrease exponentially with distance from the summit vents (e.g., SO2 decreases from ~10 000 ?g/m3 at 0.1 km from Etna's vents down to ~7 ?g/m3 at ~10 km distance), reflecting the atmospheric dilution of the plume within the acid gas-free background troposphere. Conversely, SO2/HCl, SO2/HF, and SO2/H2S ratios in the plume showed no systematic changes with plume aging, and fit source compositions within analytical error. Assuming that SO2 losses by reaction are small during short-range atmospheric transport within quiescent (ash-free) volcanic plumes, our observations suggest that, for these short transport distances, atmospheric reactions for H2S and halogens are also negligible. The one-dimensional model MISTRA was used to simulate quantitatively the evolution of halogen and sulphur compounds in the plume of Mt. Etna. Model predictions support the hypothesis of minor HCl chemical processing during plume transport, at least in cloud-free conditions. Larger variations in the modelled SO2/HCl ratios were predicted under cloudy conditions, due to heterogeneous chlorine cycling in the aerosol phase. The modelled evolution of the SO2/H2S ratios is found to be substantially dependent on whether or not the interactions of H2S with halogens are included in the model. In the former case, H2S is assumed to be oxidized in the atmosphere mainly by OH, which results in minor chemical loss for H2S during plume aging and produces a fair match between modelled and measured SO2/H2S ratios. In the latter case, fast oxidation of H2S by Cl leads to H2S chemical lifetimes in the early plume of a few seconds, and thus SO2 to H2S ratios that increase sharply during plume transport. This disagreement between modelled and observed plume compositions suggests that more in-detail kinetic investigations are required for a proper evaluation of H2S chemical processing in volcanic plumes.

  6. The tropospheric processing of acidic gases and hydrogen sulphide in volcanic gas plumes as inferred from field and model investigations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aiuppa, A.; Franco, A.; von Glasow, R.; Allen, A. G.; D'Alessandro, W.; Mather, T. A.; Pyle, D. M.; Valenza, M.

    2007-03-01

    Improving the constraints on the atmospheric fate and depletion rates of acidic compounds persistently emitted by non-erupting (quiescent) volcanoes is important for quantitatively predicting the environmental impact of volcanic gas plumes. Here, we present new experimental data coupled with modelling studies to investigate the chemical processing of acidic volcanogenic species during tropospheric dispersion. Diffusive tube samplers were deployed at Mount Etna, a very active open-conduit basaltic volcano in eastern Sicily, and Vulcano Island, a closed-conduit quiescent volcano in the Aeolian Islands (northern Sicily). Sulphur dioxide (SO2), hydrogen sulphide (H2S), hydrogen chloride (HCl) and hydrogen fluoride (HF) concentrations in the volcanic plumes (typically several minutes to a few hours old) were repeatedly determined at distances from the summit vents ranging from 0.1 to ~10 km, and under different environmental conditions. At both volcanoes, acidic gas concentrations were found to decrease exponentially with distance from the summit vents (e.g., SO2 decreases from ~10 000 ?g/m3at 0.1 km from Etna's vents down to ~7 ?g/m3 at ~10 km distance), reflecting the atmospheric dilution of the plume within the acid gas-free background troposphere. Conversely, SO2/HCl, SO2/HF, and SO2/H2S ratios in the plume showed no systematic changes with plume aging, and fit source compositions within analytical error. Assuming that SO2 losses by reaction are small during short-range atmospheric transport within quiescent (ash-free) volcanic plumes, our observations suggest that, for these short transport distances, atmospheric reactions for H2S and halogens are also negligible. The one-dimensional model MISTRA was used to simulate quantitatively the evolution of halogen and sulphur compounds in the plume of Mt. Etna. Model predictions support the hypothesis of minor HCl chemical processing during plume transport, at least in cloud-free conditions. Larger variations in the modelled SO2/HCl ratios were predicted under cloudy conditions, due to heterogeneous chlorine cycling in the aerosol phase. The modelled evolution of the SO2/H2S ratios is found to be substantially dependent on whether or not the interactions of H2S with halogens are included in the model. In the former case, H2S is assumed to be oxidized in the atmosphere mainly by OH, which results in minor chemical loss for H2S during plume aging and produces a fair match between modelled and measured SO2/H2S ratios. In the latter case, fast oxidation of H2S by Cl leads to H2S chemical lifetimes in the early plume of a few seconds, and thus SO2 to H2S ratios that increase sharply during plume transport. This disagreement between modelled and observed plume compositions suggests that more in-detail kinetic investigations are required for a proper evaluation of H2S chemical processing in volcanic plumes.

  7. Mt. Etna Eruption

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2002-01-01

    [figure removed for brevity, see original site] [figure removed for brevity, see original site] Figure 1: Vis/NIR Image CloseupFigure 2: Difference Image

    October 2002 Mt. Etna, a volcano on the island of Sicily, erupted on October 26, 2002. Preliminary analysis of data taken by the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) on NASA's Aqua satellite on October 28 shows the instrument can provide an excellent means to study the evolution and structure of the sulfur dioxide (SO2) plume emitted from volcanoes. These data also demonstrate that AIRS can be used to obtain the total mass of SO2 injected into the atmosphere during a volcanic event, information that may help us to better understand these dangerous natural occurrences in the future.

    This image was made from a sensor on the AIRS instrument that is sensitive to the visible and near-infrared portions of the spectrum. The visible/near infrared data show the smoke plume from Mt. Etna. The view is of Europe and the central Mediterranean with Italy in the center. Since the visible/near infrared sensor on AIRS is sensitive to wavelengths that are different than the human eye, vegetated regions appear red (compare the red color of Europe with the tan desert of North Africa in the lower left). Figure 1 is a closer view of Sicily and shows a long, brownish smoke plume extending across the Mediterranean to Africa. This is consistent with the enhanced feature in the difference image in Figure 2 and helps validate the information inferred from that image.

    Figure 2 clearly shows the SO2 plume. This image was created by comparing data taken at two different frequencies, or channels, and creating one image that highlights the differences between these two channels. Both channels are sensitive to water vapor, but one of the channels is also sensitive to SO2. By subtracting out the common water vapor signal in both channels, the SO2 feature remains and shows up as an enhancement in the difference image.

    The Atmospheric Infrared Sounder Experiment, with its visible, infrared, and microwave detectors, provides a three-dimensional look at Earth's weather. Working in tandem, the three instruments can make simultaneous observations all the way down to the Earth's surface, even in the presence of heavy clouds. With more than 2,000 channels sensing different regions of the atmosphere, the system creates a global, 3-D map of atmospheric temperature and humidity and provides information on clouds, greenhouse gases, and many other atmospheric phenomena. The AIRS Infrared Sounder Experiment flies onboard NASA's Aqua spacecraft and is managed by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., under contract to NASA. JPL is a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena

  8. Distribution and air-sea exchange of mercury (Hg) in polluted marine environments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bagnato, E.; Sprovieri, M.; Bitetto, M.; Bonsignore, M.; Calabrese, S.; Di Stefano, V.; Oliveri, E.; Parello, F.; Mazzola, S.

    2012-04-01

    Mercury (Hg) is emitted in the atmosphere by anthropogenic and natural sources, these last accounting for one third of the total emissions. Since the pre-industrial age, the atmospheric deposition of mercury have increased notably, while ocean emissions have doubled owing to the re-emission of anthropogenic mercury. Exchange between the atmosphere and ocean plays an important role in cycling and transport of mercury. We present the preliminary results from a study on the distribution and evasion flux of mercury at the atmosphere/sea interface in the Augusta basin (SE Sicily, southern Italy), a semi-enclosed marine area affected by a high degree of contamination (heavy metals and PHA) due to the oil refineries placed inside its commercial harbor. It seems that the intense industrial activity of the past have lead to an high Hg pollution in the bottom sediments of the basin, whose concentrations are far from the background mercury value found in most of the Sicily Strait sediments. The release of mercury into the harbor seawater and its dispersion by diffusion from sediments to the surface, make the Augusta basin a potential supplier of mercury both to the Mediterranean Sea and the atmosphere. Based on these considerations, mercury concentration and flux at the air-sea interface of the Bay have been estimated using a real-time atomic adsorption spectrometer (LUMEX - RA915+) and an home-made accumulation chamber, respectively. Estimated Total Atmospheric Mercury (TGM) concentrations during the cruise on the bay were in the range of 1-3 ng · m-3, with a mean value of about 1.4 ng · m-3. These data well fit with the background Hgatm concentration values detected on the land (1-2 ng · m-3, this work), and, more in general, with the background atmospheric TGM levels found in the North Hemisphere (1.5-1.7 ng · m-3)a. Besides, our measurements are in the range of those reported for other important polluted marine areas. The mercury evasion flux at the air-sea interface measured during the first cruise ranges from about 110 to 1500 ng · m-2day-1. This range is 1-2 order of magnitude higher than most of marine environments (Pacific Ocean, Mediterranean Sea, Artic Ocean) and some important polluted marine areas, such as the Tokyo Bay (19-259 ng · m-2day-1)b and the Yellow Sea (156-722 ng · m-2day-1)c. Further estimates on Hg atmospheric deposition flux (wet and dry) and biomonitoring are required for finally assessing a mass balance of Hg in Augusta basin. aLindberg et al., 2007. A Journal of the Human Environment, 3, 19-33. bNarukawa et al., 2006. Journal of Oceanography, 62, 249-257. cCi et al., 2011. Atmosphere Chemistry and Physics, 11, 2881-2892.

  9. PREFACE: International Conference on Optics of Excitons in Confined Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Viña, Luis; Tejedor, Carlos; Calleja, José M.

    2010-01-01

    The OECS11 (International Conference on Optics of Excitons in Confined Systems) was the eleventh of a very successful series of conferences that started in 1987 in Rome (Italy). Afterwards the conference was held at Naxos (Sicily, Italy, 1991), Montpellier (France, 1993), Cortona (Italy, 1995), Göttingen (Germany, 1997), Ascona (Switzerland, 1999), Montpellier (France, 2001), Lecce (Italy, 2003), Southampton (UK, 2005) and Patti (Sicily, Italy, 2007). It is addressed to scientists who lead fundamental and applied research on the optical properties of excitons in novel condensed-matter nanostructures. The 2009 meeting (7-11 September 2009) has brought together a large representation of the world leading actors in this domain, with the aim of stimulating the exchange of ideas, promoting international collaborations, and coordinating research on the newest exciton-related issues such as quantum information science and exciton quantum-collective phenomena. The meeting has included invited lectures, contributed oral presentations and posters, covering the following general topics: low-dimensional heterostructures: quantum wells, quantum wires and quantum dots polaritons quantum optics with excitons and polaritons many-body effects under coherent and incoherent excitation coherent optical spectroscopy quantum coherence and quantum-phase manipulation Bose-Einstein condensation and other collective phenomena excitons in novel materials The OECS 11 was held at the campus of the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid in Cantoblanco. The scientific program was composed of more than 200 contributions divided into 16 invited talks, 44 oral contributions and 3 poster sessions with a total of 150 presentations. The scientific level of the presentations was guaranteed by a selection process where each contribution was rated by three members of the Program Committee. The Conference has gathered 238 participants from 21 different countries, with the following distribution: Germany (43), France (41), Spain (33), UK (24), Switzerland (21), Italy (14), The Netherlands (12), USA (11), other (23). The conference was made possible by generous sponsors, whom we thank earnestly: Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Spanish Ministry of 'Educación y Ciencia', Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, European Union (ITN- 235114), Europhysics Letters, Semiconductor Science and Technology, Consolider Research Project 'Quantum Optical Information Technology', Lasing S A, Newport, Innova Scientific, Foundation Madrid-2016 and European Physical Society. We would like to acknowledge the members of the Organizing and Program Committees, who are responsible for the success of the Conference (names are listed below). Finally, the authors are thanked for the quality of their contributions. Luis Viña Carlos Tejedor José M Calleja EDITORS Organizing Committee Luis Viña-Chair, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid María D Martín-Scientific Secretary, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid José M Calleja, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid Luisa González, Instituto de Microelectrónica de Madrid Herko van der Meulen, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid Enrique Calleja, Instituto de Sistemas Optoelectrónicos y Microtecnología Madrid Daniele Sanvitto, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid Program Committee Carlos Tejedor-Chair, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid Israel Bar-Joseph, Weizmann Institute of Science Jeremy J Baumberg, Cambridge University Manfred Bayer, Universität Dortmund Jacqueline Bloch, Laboratoire de Photonique et de Nanostructures - CNRS Wolfgang Langbein, Cardiff University Marek Potemski, Grenoble High Magnetic Field Laboratory Antonio Quattropani, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne Salvatore Savasta, Università di Messina Vincenzo Savona, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne David Snoke, University of Pittsburgh Jerome Tignon, Ecole Normale Superieure Paris

  10. "Lupara Bianca" a way to hide cadavers after Mafia homicides. A cemetery of Italian Mafia. A case study.

    PubMed

    Pomara, Cristoforo; Gianpaolo, Di Peri; Monica, Salerno; Maglietta, Francesca; Sessa, Francesco; Guglielmi, Giuseppe; Turillazzi, Emanuela

    2015-05-01

    The Gargano, also known as the 'Spur of Italy', is a sub-region of Italy which is located in North of Puglia, in the Province of Foggia. A ravine located in this area was used as a dumping ground in past. During a clearing operation, a team of speleologists discovered human skeletal remains, which led to an official investigation by the local prosecutor's office. The prosecutor called a team of forensic specialist for a scene investigation to recover and identify the human skeletal remains. Four different human skeletal remains located at four different levels of depth underground were found and were in different conditions. A complete forensic investigation was initiated and comprised of radiological imaging with DNA profiling. Three of the four human skeletal remains that were found were identified as those belonging to men who vanished mysteriously in the nineties. The studies conducted have demonstrated that the victims found were murdered and the murders were attributed to the "Mafia of Gargano". The Mafia of Gargano was officially recognized as a criminal organization dating back to 2009 and their criminal activities included the smuggling of firearms and cigarettes, human trafficking, and smuggling of undocumented immigrants. Murders in which corpses are made to disappear is common practice in criminal activities including that of the Italian Mafia. The "Lupara Bianca" is a colloquial term commonly used in Sicily to refer to concealed murders. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first reported study describing the discovery of one of the locations used extensively by the local Mafia as a "cemetery" for victims of "Lupara Bianca" homicides. Based on evidences collected at the site, an explanation of this homicidal modality will be provided. PMID:25579982

  11. Using a new incentive mechanism to improve wastewater sector performance: the case study of Italy.

    PubMed

    De Gisi, Sabino; Petta, Luigi; Farina, Roberto; De Feo, Giovanni

    2014-01-01

    The system of "Service Objectives", introduced by the Italian National Strategic Framework 2007-2013, is an innovative results-oriented programme concerning 4 thematic areas (education, care for the elderly and children, management of municipal solid wastes and integrated water service) in which the Ministry of Economic Development and eight Southern Italy districts are involved. The system was initially associated to an incentive mechanism which provided subsidies for a total amount of EUR 3 billion from the national Underdeveloped Areas Fund, according to the achievement of specific targets set for 11 service indicators in 2013. The indicators used for the integrated water service refer to the efficiency in water supply service as well as the coverage of wastewater treatment service. The aim of the study is to describe the activities carried out in Italy by the ENEA Agency in order to define a new performance indicator for wastewater treatment service taking into account the appropriateness and efficiency of existing plants equipment and, consequently, evaluating economic incentives. The proposed procedure takes into account both wastewater treatment demand and quality of wastewater treatment service offered to citizens. Input data, provided by the National Institute of Statistics (ISTAT), were elaborated in order to define appropriate parameters, with a multi-criteria analysis being used to define the new performance indicator. The applicability of the proposed procedure was verified considering all the 8 Southern Italy and Island districts (Abruzzo, Molise, Campania, Apulia, Basilicata, Calabria, Sicily and Sardinia) involved in the programme. The obtained results show that the quality of municipal wastewater may influence the calculation of the incentive amount. The performance indicators defined in this work might be conveniently extended to other contexts similar to the assessed geographical area (Southern Italy and Islands). PMID:24291582

  12. 2013 Mt. Etna Pyroclastic Activity through the ADCP Recordings of NEMO-SN1 Multidisciplinary Seafloor Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lo Bue, N.; Sgroi, T.; Giovinetti, G.; Marinaro, G.; Favali, P.

    2014-12-01

    The Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler (ADCP) is one of the most useful sensor used to measure speed and direction of sea currents in the water column. More often ADCPs are being also used to monitor concentration of suspended matter in rivers or in marine environments by the analysis of the acoustic backscatter intensity. In the framework of the European Research Infrastructure EMSO (European Multidisciplinary Seafloor and water-column Observatory, www.emso-eu.org), its cabled node, the NEMO-SN1 multidisciplinary seafloor observatory, was deployed in the Western Ionian Sea (Southern Italy) at a depth of 2100 m, about 25 km off-shore Eastern Sicily close to the submarine slope of the Mt. Etna volcano. Starting from February 2013, the Mt. Etna was interested by thirteen different parossistic events producing intense eruption followed by pyroclastic fallout that reached distances of tens kilometres from the eruptive centre. Four of these events affected the ESE sector with a consequent fallout in the Western Ionian Sea and they were detected by NEMO-SN1. In fact, its scientific payload also included an ADCP (RDI WorkHorse 600 kHz) with the main aim to monitor the hydrodynamic conditions of about 30 metres of the water column above the station. Surprisingly, this sensor offered spectacular recordings of the Mt. Etna pyroclastic activity occurred on 2013 wich affected the ESE sector. This work aims to present new records of pyroclastic fallout associated to explosive events observed at sea bottom by the analysis of backscatter signal of the ADCP. A multidisciplinary approach taking into account the Mt. Etna eruptive activity as well as the local oceanographic dynamic is necessary to describe marine processes involved in volcanic ash sedimentation.

  13. Interannual Changes in Biomass Affect the Spatial Aggregations of Anchovy and Sardine as Evidenced by Geostatistical and Spatial Indicators.

    PubMed

    Barra, Marco; Petitgas, Pierre; Bonanno, Angelo; Somarakis, Stylianos; Woillez, Mathieu; Machias, Athanasios; Mazzola, Salvatore; Basilone, Gualtiero; Giannoulaki, Marianna

    2015-01-01

    Geostatistical techniques were applied and a series of spatial indicators were calculated (occupation, aggregation, location, dispersion, spatial autocorrelation and overlap) to characterize the spatial distributions of European anchovy and sardine during summer. Two ecosystems were compared for this purpose, both located in the Mediterranean Sea: the Strait of Sicily (upwelling area) and the North Aegean Sea (continental shelf area, influenced by freshwater). Although the biomass of anchovy and sardine presented high interannual variability in both areas, the location of the centres of gravity and the main spatial patches of their populations were very similar between years. The size of the patches representing the dominant part of the abundance (80%) was mostly ecosystem- and species-specific. Occupation (area of presence) appears to be shaped by the extent of suitable habitats in each ecosystem whereas aggregation patterns (how the populations are distributed within the area of presence) were species-specific and related to levels of population biomass. In the upwelling area, both species showed consistently higher occupation values compared to the continental shelf area. Certain characteristics of the spatial distribution of sardine (e.g. spreading area, overlapping with anchovy) differed substantially between the two ecosystems. Principal component analysis of geostatistical and spatial indicators revealed that biomass was significantly related to a suite of, rather than single, spatial indicators. At the spatial scale of our study, strong correlations emerged between biomass and the first principal component axis with highly positive loadings for occupation, aggregation and patchiness, independently of species and ecosystem. Overlapping between anchovy and sardine increased with the increase of sardine biomass but decreased with the increase of anchovy. This contrasting pattern was attributed to the location of the respective major patches combined with the specific occupation patterns of the two species. The potential use of spatial indices as auxiliary stock monitoring indicators is discussed. PMID:26313648

  14. Seasonal changes on microbial metabolism and biomass in the euphotic layer of Sicilian Channel.

    PubMed

    Zaccone, R; Caruso, G; Leonardi, M; Maimone, G; Monticelli, L S; Azzaro, M; Cuttitta, A; Patti, B; La Ferla, R

    2015-12-01

    As a part of a wider project on fisheries ecology, several biological and environmental parameters were monitored during two oceanographic cruises (BANSIC 2012 and NOVESAR 2013) in the Sicily Channel, which connects the Western and Eastern Mediterranean basins. The prokaryotic abundances and biomass as well as hydrolysis rates on organic matter were investigated in the euphotic layer of a retention area for fish larval stages including anchovy (Engraulis encrasicolus, Linnaeus, 1758) with the aim to investigate the different biogeochemical signatures in two seasonal conditions. The environmental parameters, particulate organic carbon and nitrogen together with heterotrophic production were also measured. Results showed significant increases for most of the studied parameters with increasing temperature during summer. This had effects on the Carbon cycle and recycling of nutrients; in fact total prokaryotic abundance and biomass, as well as carbon hydrolyzed by two enzymes (Leucine aminopeptidase and ?-glucosidase), increased significantly during summer. Conversely Alkaline phosphatase activity, Chlorophyll concentration and Oxygen increased during winter. The same environmental parameters affected also the presence of fish eggs. Moreover high percentages of free enzymes (i.e., enzymes not associated with cells) were measured, accounting for percentages variable from 12 to 95 % of the total enzymatic activity, with values generally higher in summer than in winter. In this oligotrophic environment, the prokaryotic biomass was supported by the C hydrolyzed by enzymatic activities. The ratio between the hydrolyzed C and prokaryotic biomass was higher in winter than in summer, indicating that alkaline phosphatase activity contribute to an efficient incorporation of C into biomass in winter. PMID:26231593

  15. Lunar and Planetary Science XXXV: Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2004-01-01

    The session "Mars" included the following reports:Tentative Theories for the Long-Term Geological and Hydrological Evolution of Mars; Stratigraphy of Special Layers Transient Ones on Permeable Ones: Examples from Earth and Mars; Spatial Analysis of Rootless Cone Groups on Iceland and Mars; Summer Season Variability of the North Residual Cap of Mars from MGS-TES; Spectral and Geochemical Characteristics of Lake Superior Type Banded Iron Formation: Analog to the Martian Hematite Outcrops; Martian Wave Structures and Their Relation to Mars; Shape, Highland-Lowland Chemical Dichotomy and Undulating Atmosphere Causing Serious Problems to Landing Spacecrafts; Shear Deformation in the Graben Systems of Sirenum Fosssae, Mars: Preliminary Results; Components of Martian Dust Finding on Terrestrial Sedimentary Deposits with Use of Infrared Spectra; Morphologic and Morphometric Analyses of Fluvial Systems in the Southern Highlands of Mars; Light Pattern and Intensity Analysis of Gray Spots Surrounding Polar Dunes on Mars; The Volume of Possible Ancient Oceanic Basins in the Northern Plains of Mars MARSES: Possibilities of Long-Term Monitoring Spatial and Temporal Variations and Changes of Subsurface Geoelectrical Section on the Base; Results of the Geophysical Survey Salt/Water Interface and Groundwater Mapping on the Marina Di Ragusa, Sicily and Shalter Island, USA ;A Miniature UV-VIS Spectrometer for the Surface of Mars; Automatic Recognition of Aeolian Ripples on Mars;