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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. Sickle cell disease in Sicily.

    PubMed Central

    Roth, E F; Schiliro, G; Russo, A; Musumeci, S; Rachmilewitz, E; Neske, V; Nagel, R

    1980-01-01

    The chemical and physical properties of haemoglobin S derived from homozygotes for this haemoglobin in Sicily were examined, as well as some erythrocytic characteristics. Sicilian Hb S was identical to that found in USA black patients in electrophoretic mobility on both starch and citrate agar media, solubility, mechanical precipitation rate of oxyhaemoglobins, and minimum gelling concentration, as well as by peptide mapping and amino-acid analysis of all beta-chain peptides. Taken together with the presence in Sicily of African blood group markers and certain historical considerations, it seems clear that the source of Hb S in Sicily is Africa. While the clinical severity in nine Sicilian children did not seem remarkably different from the disease in the USA, the most severe and fatal complications were not seen. Mean Hb F Was 10.5% and 2,3-diphosphoglycerate (2,3-DPG) values were higher in Sicilian homozygotes than in black USA counterparts (21.79 mumol/g Hb vs 15.16). Red cell AT values were also slightly higher in Sicilian patients. The presence of concomitant thalassaemia was excluded by both family studies and globin chain synthetic ratios. In conclusion, haemoglobin S in Sicilian homozygotes is identical to Hb S found in USA blacks. Although the severity of the disease seems quite similar in both groups of patients, other erythrocytic properties were found to be different. Whether these factors influence severity remains to be elucidated. Images PMID:7365760

  3. 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

  4. A crustal seismic profile across Sicily

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Accaino, Flavio; Catalano, Raimondo; Di Marzo, Luigi; Giustiniani, Michela; Tinivella, Umberta; Nicolich, Rinaldo; Sulli, Attilio; Valenti, Vera; Manetti, Piero

    2011-07-01

    A crustal reflection seismic profile, more than 100 km long, was recorded across central Sicily, from the Tyrrhenian shore to the Sicily Channel, to understand the deep structures and the collision mechanisms between Europe and Africa and the subsequent geodynamic evolution. The profile was acquired using explosive sources and 240 active channels recorded by a Sercel 408-XL, 24 bits A/D converter, with a 12 km spread and a 24-fold coverage. The data were processed following a non-conventional procedure in order to preserve the relative amplitudes of the reflections and to better investigate the Sicily deep structures down to the Moho. The main highlighted structures are the dramatic flexure of the Iblean crust, the huge, deeper than expected, trough of Caltanissetta consisting of deep seated thrusts and nappes, and the imbricate thrust system of rigid bodies characterizing the northern Maghrebian chain. We designed an ad hoc acquisition and processing in order to highlight these main geological features in the seismic stacked section. Moreover, the deepest parts of the Caltanissetta trough are imaged for the first time, and its bottom is now fixed at more than 7 s TWT. The giant crustal wedge flexuring the Iblean foreland and the Moho geometries are examinated.

  5. The surface circulation in the Sicily Channel

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

  6. Magnetic signature of the Sicily Channel volcanism

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lodolo, E.; Civile, D.; Zanolla, C.; Geletti, R.

    2012-03-01

    Widespread Late Miocene to Quaternary volcanic activity is know to have occurred in the Sicily Channel continuing up to historical time. New magnetic anomaly data acquired in the Pantelleria Graben, one of the three main tectonic depressions forming the WNW-trending Sicily Channel rift system, integrated with available profiles, are used to identify and map volcanic bodies in this sector of the northern African margin. Some of these manifestations, both outcropping at the sea-floor or buried beneath a variable thickness of Plio-Quaternary sedimentary cover, have been imaged by seismic reflection profiles. Three main positive magnetic anomalies have been found: to the S-E of the Pantelleria Island, the largest emerged caldera of the Sicily Channel, along the eastern margin of the Nameless Bank, and at the north-western termination of the Linosa Graben. Only the anomaly located off the south-eastern coast of the Pantelleria Island, associated with a large outcropping body gradually buried beneath a substantially undisturbed Upper Pliocene-Quaternary sediments, aligns with the trend of the tectonic depression. 2-D geophysical models produced along seismic transects perpendicularly crossing the Pantelleria Graben have allowed to derive its deep crustal structure, and detect the presence of buried magmatic bodies which generate the anomalies. Marginal faults seem to have played a major role in focussing magma emplacement in this sector of the Sicily Channel. The other anomalies represent off-axis volcanic episodes and generally do not show evident magmatic manifestations at the sea-floor. These magnetic maxima seem to follow a NNE-SSW-trending belt extending from Linosa Island to the Nameless Bank, where pre-existing crustal anisotropies may have conditioned magma emplacement both at deep and shallow crustal levels. In general, data analysis has shown that there is a structural control on magma emplacement, with the major magmatic features located in specific locations like boundary faults and transfer zones, in a manner similar to that found along several segments of the East African Rift system.

  7. 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

  8. View of eastern coast of Sicily area

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1973-01-01

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

  9. 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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1975-01-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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)

  14. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Messineo, Antonio; Panno, Domenico

    2008-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Napoli, Mariangela

    2008-01-01

    Background The author reports on the plants, rituals and spells used against worms and the so-called scantu (fright) in some areas of Sicily. The work is based on ethnobotanical research carried out, prevalently, between 2002-2006, in some areas of Eastern, South-Eastern, North-Central and South-Central Sicily. Methods This research is based on dialogue. Senior 'healers' were contacted; furthermore, doctors, teachers, farmers and in general 'experts' with herbs and 'magic' rituals. Information was collected about the way the plants of folk medicine are prepared. The interviewees were also invited to recite prayers and spells against helminthiasis. Results The author has highlighted the importance of how, in some parts of Sicily, some ailments like helminthiasis and other correlated pathologies like scantu are 'treated' and, especially within the rural social classes, by folk medicine remedies, herbal practises, particular prayers, rituals and spells. Conclusion As regards health/illness, it should be noted that in the last ten years conventional medicine has provided very satisfactory results even resolving potentially mortal pathologies. However, in certain social classes, there is no real collaboration between conventional and folk medicine; so for some senior citizens, the 'healer' with his rituals and empirical and magical herbs is still the person to turn to for the 'cure' of particular ailments. Interest in these practises from ancestral heritage in an advanced country like Italy, is only relevant if the aim is to recoup a cultural identity which is already in decline. It is significant to report a piece: on 14 October 2007 the news on a well-known national Italian TV channel reported an interview with a 94 year-old man from Arbatax (Sardinia) referred to as a 'healer' because both his townspeople and others from all over the world go to him for his cures. He is not paid except in kind and has been known to cure St. Anthony's fire, burns, scalding and marine fungal infections, by smearing his saliva over the infected part and reciting 'special words'. PMID:18823529

  17. Active faulting in the Calabrian arc and eastern Sicily

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Monaco, Carmelo; Tortorici, Luigi

    2000-04-01

    The Calabrian arc and eastern Sicily are areas of the central Mediterranean where the effects of Quaternary tectonics are well preserved. The most impressive tectonic feature in this region is represented by a major normal fault belt that runs more or less continuously along the inner side of the Calabrian arc, extending through the Strait of Messina along the Ionian coast of Sicily as far as the Hyblean Plateau. The distinct normal fault segments within the belt, which during Pleistocene times have controlled the evolution of major marine sedimentary basins, have lengths ranging from 10 to 45 km. They exhibit huge fault scarps which defines the fronts of the main mountain ranges of the region (Catena Costiera, Aspromonte, Serre, Peloritani and Hyblean). Morphological features of fault scarps, and the age of the faulted rocks, suggest slip rates of 0.5-1.2 mm/year for the last 700 kyear (Middle Pleistocene-Holocene), reaching values of about 2.0 mm/year in the areas of active volcanism. From a seismological point a view, the Calabrian arc and eastern Sicily represent a very active area which is characterized by crustal earthquakes, the largest of which reached in the last nine centuries an intensity of X-XI (6 < M ≤ 7.4). The occurrence of intermediate and deep focus earthquakes located along the inner side of the arc, beneath the southern Tyrrhenian Sea, is associated to the existence of a slab of Ionian lithosphere. The distribution of crustal seismicity shows that most of the events which have occurred in the area, are located in the hangingwalls of the main Quaternary normal faults hence suggesting a strong relationship between seismic activity and the growth of extensional structures. Geological observations, together with seismological data, indicate that normal faulting in the area results from the development of a main rift zone, related to an overall ESE-WNW extension, which also controls the evolutionary history of the magmatism in this sector of southern Italy.

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

    PubMed

    Giuga, Luca; Jordana, Rafael

    2013-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1974-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-08-01

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

  1. 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.

  2. Landslide hazard in the Nebrodi Mountains (Northeastern Sicily)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cubito, A.; Ferrara, V.; Pappalardo, G.

    2005-03-01

    The eastern sector of the Nebrodi Mountains (NE Sicily), a part of the Apenninic-Maghrebian orogenic chain, is characterized by an high landslide hazard. The village of S. Domenica Vittoria, which lies in the area, has been particularly affected by various landslide phenomena, with resulting damage to buildings and infrastructure. The rocks outcropping in the area belong to the Cretaceous Monte Soro Flysch; they consist of an alternation of argillaceous and calcareous beds at the base and argillaceous and quartzarenitic beds at the top. The lithotechnical characteristics of the formation and the steepness of the slopes in the area lead to an elevated instability, as testified by the widespread occurrence of sub-vertical arcuate cliffs (landslide scarps) and sub-horizontal areas (landslide terraces), typical of a landslide-controlled morphology. From a kinematics point of view, the observed phenomena can be referred to multiple rotational slides, flows, and complex landslides, often with a retrogressive development and enlargement. Triggering causes lie principally in the intense rainfalls that determine the decay of the geomechanical properties of the terrain and supply discontinuos groundwater circulation that is evident in seasonal springs. Human activity, such as the construction of roads and buildings on steep slopes and dispersal of water from supply systems and sewers has a significant impact as well. Due to the instability of the area, expansion of the village, which is already limited by the morphological conditions, is made difficult by the high hazard level, especially in the areas at higher elevations, where the principal landslide scarps are located, and even more on the rims of the scarps. Considering the high hazard level, S. Domenica Vittoria has been inserted by the National Geological Service among the sites in Sicily to be monitored by means of a GPS network. The survey carried out along the entire slope hosting the village has furnished the base for geological and geomorphological knowledge needed for the planning of the network, to identify the areas at landslide risk, where parts of the village lie, including the areas of expansion of the village, the main roads, and a portion of the Favoscuro river bed.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-10-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

  6. Genital myiasis by Wohlfahrtia magnifica (Diptera, Sarcophagidae) in Sicily (Italy).

    PubMed

    Gaglio, Gabriella; Brianti, Emanuele; Abbene, Salvatore; Giannetto, Salvatore

    2011-11-01

    Wohlfahrtia magnifica (Schiner, 1862; Diptera: Sarcophagidae), known also as flesh fly or screwworm, is a fly distributed especially in south Europe, Middle East, North Africa and China. Maggots of W. magnifica are responsible for traumatic myiasis in warm-blooded vertebrate animals and humans. In Italy data on wohlfahrtiosis in animals and humans are scant. This paper reports three cases of genital myiasis by W. magnifica in Sicily that occurred in a goat, a ram and a dog, respectively. Maggots were found in the vulva of a goat, in a wound localised in the scrotum of a ram and in the prepuce of a dog. Although the disease was not recorded before in the region, data collected from a questionnaire specifically designed for the study suggest that the disease is endemic in the area for more than 20 years. Larger epidemiological studies in the region are needed to get more data on disease prevalence and pattern of infestation as well as more information and education is needed for both farmers and veterinarians on wohlfahrtiosis and its strategies of control and treatment. PMID:21541751

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

  8. The prevalence of multiple sclerosis in Sicily. II: Agrigento city.

    PubMed Central

    Dean, G; Savettieri, G; Giordano, D; Butera, C; Taibi, G; Morreale, S; Karhausen, L

    1981-01-01

    The prevalence of probable multiple sclerosis in Agrigento city on the south-west coast of Sicily is at least 2 per 100 000. This is likely to be a considerable underestimate of the true prevalence because the study presented particular difficulties in that the city is far from the neurological centres of Palermo. Catania, and Messina. There is no neurological department at either the general or the psychiatric hospital in Agrigento and there was a low awareness of the disease among the doctors in the city. Most of the patients were diagnosed in other centres. Agrigento is a good example of the difficulties of studying multiple sclerosis in a rural city which has no special interest in neurological problems and is far from a neurological centre. Studies in such centres must be pursued with great enthusiasm and over a long period of time, and all available sources of information in the city, medical and lay, and in other cities, must be utilised if a high proportion of the patients is to be found. PMID:7299336

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2005-04-01

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

  10. Investigation of suitable sites for Wave Energy Converters around Sicily (Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-02-01

    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 hot-spot-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 may be possible sites for the implementation of WEC farms.

  11. 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.

  12. Upper-miocene submarine volcanism in the strait of sicily (banco senza nome)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beccaluva, L.; Colantoni, P.; Savelli, C.; di Girolamo, P.

    1981-09-01

    Two basaltic fragments dredged from a volcanic seamount in the Sicilian continental slope of the Strait of Sicily show petrochemical features typical of within plate alkalibasaltic lavas and K/Ar age of about 10 m.y. The data represent the first volcanic evidence of Upper Miocene tensional tectonics in this sector of the African plate.

  13. 78 FR 14619 - Culturally Significant Objects Imported for Exhibition Determinations: “Sicily: Art and Invention...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-03-06

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  16. 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...

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-05-01

    Mount Etna is a composite stratovolcano located along the Ionian coast of eastern Sicily. It is characterized by basaltic eruptions, both effusive and explosive, occurred during a complex eruptive history over the last 500 ka. Flank eruptions occur at an interval of decades, mostly concentrated along the NE, S and W rift zones. A vent clustering at various scales is a common feature in many volcanic settings. In order to identify the clusters within the studied area, a spatial point pattern analysis is undertaken using vent positions, both known and reconstructed. It reveals both clustering and spatial regularity in the Etna region at different distances. The visual inspection of the vent spatial distribution suggests a clustering on the rift zones of Etna volcano. To confirm this evidence, a coarse analysis is performed by the application of Ξ2- and t-test simple statistics. Then, a refined analysis is performed by using the Ripley K-function (Ripley, 1976), whose estimator K(d), knowing the area of the study region and the number of vents, allow us to calculate the distance among two different location of events. The above estimator can be easier transformed by using the Besag L-function (Besag, 1977); the peaks of positive L(d)=[K(d)/π]1/2 -d values indicate clustering while troughs of negative values stand for regularity for their corresponding distances d (L(d)=0 indicates complete spatial randomness). Spatial pattern of flank vents is investigated in order to model the spatial distribution of likely eruptive vents for the next event, basically in terms of relative probabilities. For this, a Gaussian kernel technique is used, and the L(d) function is adopted to generate an optimal smoothing bandwidth based on the clustering behaviour of the Etna volcano. A total of 154 vents (among which 36 are reconstructed), related to Etna flank activity of the last 4.0 ka, is used to model future vent opening. The investigated region covers an area of 850 km2, divided into 3400 squared cells (50*68, each of 0.25 km2 of area). Due to the uncertainty of the reconstructed vent position, a circular error zone (with radius equal to the uncertainty) is associated to these vents. For uniformity, an error zone is also associated to the known positions; then, after considering a regular grid spaced of 100 m, we are looking for points inside the relative error zone. This approach yields to the new concept of point-vents, and a total of 6886 of these are retrieved. The obtained results evidence significant probability of future flank vent opening along S and NE rifts, as well as in the Valle del Bove, with minor probability to the W rift. References Besag, J. (1977), Comment's on Ripley's paper, J. Royal Stat. Soc., B39 (2), 193-195. Ripley, B. D. (1976), The second-order analysis of stationary point process, J. Appl. Prob., 13, 255-266.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2008-12-01

    The Augusta Bay, in Eastern Sicily (Italy), was repeatedly hit by tsunami waves related to large historical earthquakes (e.g. 1908, 1693, 1169). The area is characterized by coastal lowlands or lagoons, and by a relatively wide continental shelf with a thick late-Holocene record that has been investigated through the acquisition of a tight grid of CHIRP-sonar profiles. Well targeted sediment samples have been collected both offshore and inland. The integrated interpretation of the geophysical and geological data has been carried out in order to recognize, date and correlate key-layers in the sediment column that may be directly or indirectly related to tsunami events. A total of 26 cores were collected inland at a maximum distance of 530 m from the present coastline. The clay and silt dominated stratigraphy is intercalated by at least 5 high-energy or anomalous depositional layers, repeatedly found in several cores. These layers are made of coarse to fine sand with sharp basal contacts and present a bioclastic component made of microfauna (foraminifera) and shell fragments both suggestive of a marine provenance. Chronological constraints on the age of these deposits is based on AMS radiocarbon datings and on the attribution of a tephra layer to the 122 BC Etna eruption (thanks to petro- chemical and morphoscopic analyses). Integrating these data, the inland sequence spans the last 4100 yrs and the two uppermost high-energy events could be related to the AD 1169 and 1693 historical tsunamis. The offshore record was studied from a 6.7 m-long piston-core collected at 70 m water depth. The homogeneous sequence of dark gray mud is interrupted at -3 m by the same Etna tephra deposit found inland. Through the analysis of tephrostratigraphy, radiocarbon datings, high resolution paleomagnetic analysis and radioactive tracers, the entire core sequence has been dated back to the last 4500 yrs. Moreover, the quantitative micropaleontological analysis on the benthic foraminifera assemblage highlighted 11 anomalous peaks, marked by high percentage of displaced epiphytic specimens. These microfaunal anomalies were generally accompanied by significant amount of vegetal remains in the washed fraction, by localized concentration of mollusks and by darker stripes (organic?) in the X-Ray films. These 11 peaks may represent either the primary effect of tsunami waves (in particular the back-wash) or the secondary effect of significant seagrass remobilization due to earthquake shaking. In both cases, these events made available an extra amount of material that, also thanks to the local bottom currents, moved from the uppermost infralittoral zone to deeper regions. Even though we do not know if these anomalies in the offshore core are representative of tsunamis only or alternatively of local earthquakes, our results suggest that the marine environment is more preservative (11 events in the offshore vs 5 events inland) with respect to the littoral one and potentially more sensible to high-energy events like tsunamis and earthquakes.

  19. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  1. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  3. Active folding along a rift-flank: The Catania region case history (SE Sicily)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Catalano, Stefano; Torrisi, Salvatore; Tortorici, Giuseppe; Romagnoli, Gino

    2011-01-01

    In this paper a new kinematic and dynamic model on the Recent and active contractional deformation of the Catania region, eastern Sicily, is discussed. The study area represents one of the most seismically active region of the Mediterranean, located at the intersection between the front of the Sicily collision belt and the seismogenic Siculo-Calabrian Rift-Zone. The analysed contractional tectonics form an active triangle zone that originated from the tectonic inversion of a Lower-Middle Pleistocene extensional basin, which was located at the northern edge of the African foreland. The triangle zone consists of two antithetic ENE-WSW oriented thrust-ramps that show evidence of motion during the Holocene and bound a folded belt that involves alluvial deposits as young as 40 ka. These contractional structures represent the final product of the positive tectonic inversion of extensional features located, in the Hyblean Plateau in SE Sicily, along the flank of the active rift zone. The Late Quaternary motions along the inverted structures was accommodated to the west by a major N-S oriented left-lateral fault zone, which separates the active contractional domains from the adjacent sectors of the African margin. As a whole, the Late Quaternary contractional tectonics of SE Sicily have been related to a NW-verging crustal stacking, related to a Mantle intrusion beneath the Hyblean Plateau that developed as effect of the rift-flank deformation. The crustal lineaments, which compose the new kinematic model, represents potentially active seismogenic sources that might be considered in the frame of the seismotectonic picture of the Catania region.

  4. Risk factors for toxoplasmosis in pigs bred in Sicily, Southern Italy.

    PubMed

    Villari, S; Vesco, G; Petersen, E; Crispo, A; Buffolano, W

    2009-04-01

    The aim of the study was to determine the seroprevalence of Toxoplasma gondii infection in pigs raised and slaughtered in Sicily, Southern Italy, and to evaluate the risk factors associated with the infection. Samples were collected in seven slaughterhouses and on-site on 274 raising farms across Sicily, in the period from January 2006 until March 2007. For each sampled pig born and raised in Sicily, information was obtained on gender, age, origin, final destination of meat and farm management. Data on the farm included: farming type, presence of cats and dogs, rodent control by rodenticides, cleaning methods, water supply, altitude and herd size.T. gondii-specific antibodies were detected using a commercial Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay (Institut Pourquier, France).Antibodies against T. gondii were found in 16.3% of Sicilian pigs. The lowest seroprevalence, 7%, was found in the age group 5-7 months (market pig) and the highest, 19%, in the age group >24 months. Risk factors for seropositivity were: age 11-24 months compared to younger (OR 5.62; CI 1.52-20.8); farrow-to-finish farming type (OR 6.85; CI 1.87-25.01) compared to finishing and farrow-to-breed type; less than 50 pigs on the farm (OR 6.8; CI 1.76-26.2); no use of rodenticides (OR 2.71; CI 1.10-6.64), use of water coming from private sources (especially wells; OR 2.8; CI 1.03-7.72).Pigs raised in Sicily shows a high prevalence of antibodies against T. gondii. Pre-harvesting interventions to lower the risk of locally produced meat consumption for consumers should point as soon as possible to increase hygienic condition on the farm, by carefully removing waste with automatic cleaning and reducing biohazard by rodent control. Consumers must receive information on the correct handling and cooking locally produced pork meat derivatives. PMID:19246158

  5. Conservation studies on ornamental and building stones of north-eastern Sicily. Hydric and colorimetric investigations.

    PubMed

    Cardiano, P; Sergi, S; Lo Schiavo, S; Piraino, P

    2001-01-01

    In this paper we report on the results regarding the hydric properties of lithic materials widely used in north-eastern Sicily. We report also on the hydrophobic properties of these stones treated with some preserving products (silanes, siloxanes, epoxides, perfluoropolyethers, acrylates, acrylsilicones). In addition, the quantitative colour readings of the untreated and treated stones are presented, together with their chromatic alterations after artificial UV weathering. Final considerations on the selection of the best regime treatment are also reported. PMID:11329769

  6. 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.

  7. [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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

  9. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-10-01

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

  11. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2007-12-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bonaccorso, Brunella; Cancelliere, Antonino

    2015-04-01

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

  17. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-05-01

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

  19. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pagnoni, Gianluca; Tinti, Stefano

    2016-03-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-10-01

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

  2. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Urone, Noemi; Colomba, Claudia; Ferraro, Donatella

    2016-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-01

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

  6. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-07-01

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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2008-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-11-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. Contourites offshore Pantelleria Island (Sicily Channel, Mediterranean Sea): depositional, erosional and biogenic elements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martorelli, Eleonora; Petroni, Giorgia; Chiocci, Francesco Latino

    2011-12-01

    High-resolution seismic reflection profiles and multibeam bathymetry data collected in 2006 and 2008 around Pantelleria Island show the widespread occurrence of contourite drifts and erosional elements ~30 km from the narrowest part (~145 km) of the Sicily Channel, where water masses from the Eastern Mediterranean flow towards the Western Mediterranean. The contourite drifts are rather small (up to 10 km long and 3.3 km wide), at water depths of ~250-750 m. Most are elongated separated drifts with quite well-developed moats and crests, aligned roughly parallel to the regional bathymetric contours. Erosional elements include abraded surfaces, moats, scours and sub-circular depressions. In addition, a wide sector of the seafloor adjacent to a seamount located SW of Pantelleria Island is characterized by numerous biogenic build-ups colonized by deep-water corals ( Madrepora oculata). The spatial distribution of sediment drifts, erosional features and biogenic build-ups suggests an origin from a north-westward-flowing bottom current, in this case the outflow of Levantine Intermediate Water and transitional Eastern Mediterranean Deep Water via the Sicily Channel. These findings for the Pantelleria offshore sector demonstrate that contourite processes are able to concentrate a high variety of closely spaced depositional and erosional features even in small areas (in this case, about 2,000 km2). This Pantelleria focusing can plausibly be related to a particular configuration of the prevailing bottom-current regime in complex interaction with an uneven bathymetry shaped mainly by tectonic and volcanic activity. The distribution of bottom currents seems to be strongly influenced by morphological features ranging from major seabed obstacles, such as the Pantelleria volcanic complex and the so-called southwest seamount, to smaller-scale escarpments and banks. This is consistent with previous findings for Mediterranean and other settings characterized by neotectonics and large topographic features.

  18. Mediterranean diet and longevity in Sicily: survey in a Sicani Mountains population.

    PubMed

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

    2012-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-08-01

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

  20. Dynamics and molecular evolution of HIV-1 strains in Sicily among antiretroviral naïve patients.

    PubMed

    Tramuto, F; Maida, C M; Bonura, F; Perna, A M; Vitale, F

    2013-06-01

    HIV-1 subtype B is the most frequent strain in Sicily. To date, there is no available data about the genetic diversity of HIV-1 viral strains circulating in Sicily among antiretroviral (ARV) naïve subjects and the role of immigration as potential determinant of evolutionary dynamics of HIV-1 molecular epidemiology. For this purpose, HIV-1 polymerase (pol) sequences obtained from 155 ARV naïve individuals from 2004 to 2009 were phylogenetically analysed. The overall rate of HIV-1 non-B infections was 31.0% (n=48/155), increasing from 7.8% in 2004-2006 to 40.9% in 2009, and about one-third were identified as unique recombinant forms. CRF02_AG was the prevalent non-B clade (n=28/48, 58.3%), while subtype C-related strains were responsible for about 30% HIV-1 infections. Non-B viruses strictly associated with heterosexual transmission (85.4%) and were mostly found among immigrants (77.1%). Phylogenetic analysis of non-B sequences found in foreign-born subjects was geographically correlated to the respective country of origin. Moreover, the detection of non-B viral variants in the autochthonous population may support an increasing genetic diversity in Sicily as well as a local circulation of HIV strains also uncommon in our country. In Sicily, HIV-1 epidemic is still mostly attributable to the B subtype. Nevertheless, migration and population movements are progressively introducing novel HIV-1 subtypes causing a continuous increase of HIV-1 molecular dynamic at local level. Molecular surveillance is needed to monitor the genetic evolution of HIV-1 epidemic. PMID:23470353

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Eremeeva, Marina E.; Stromdahl, Ellen Y.

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Buccheri, Teresa; Quattropani, Maria C

    2015-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pirrotta, Claudia; Serafina Barbano, Maria

    2010-05-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-07-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Parisi, L.; Calo, M.

    2013-12-01

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

  12. Metasomatic events recorded in ultramafic xenoliths from the Hyblean area (Southeastern Sicily, Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scribano, Vittorio; Viccaro, Marco; Cristofolini, Renato; Ottolini, Luisa

    2009-03-01

    Three types of ultramafic xenoliths from the Hyblean area (Sicily) show prime evidence for mantle metasomatism, namely: 1) Spinel-facies depleted harzburgite veined by phlogopite-bearing clinopyroxenite; 2) Amphibole-bearing harzburgite; and 3) Al-spinel websterite. (2) and (3) exhibit glassy pockets having respectively mugearitic and basanitic compositions, but a little amount of glass with low Ca and very low alkalis in (2). Glasses generally show trace element distributions consistent with the partial melting of pargasite-dominated mineral assemblages. Abundant Ca-Mg-carbonate globules immersed in these glassy pockets testify to immiscibility between silicate and carbonatite melts. Silicate melts and hydrous-silicate supercritical fluids, which underwent phase separation during fluxing throughout the semi-brittle lithospheric mantle, may account for such metasomatizing processes. The nature and abundance of some fluid-mobile elements in glasses and hydrous minerals (especially the Ca-poor glass, with B = 59 ppm, Li = 27 ppm, Ba = 700 ppm and phlogopite, with Ba = 8,465 ppm, Sr = 260 ppm, F = 5,700 ppm) suggest that some hydrous fluids may derive from hydrothermally altered oceanic crust. Conversely, metasomatizing silicate melts probably have a deep-seated origin. These results confirm previous suggestions on the key role of mantle metasomatism in the origin of some alkaline Hyblean magmas.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-02-01

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

  16. Factors associated with adherence to the Mediterranean diet among adolescents living in Sicily, Southern Italy.

    PubMed

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

    2013-12-01

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

  17. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  1. Soil carbon and soil physical properties under land use change in a protected area of Sicily

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-05-01

    This work investigated the role of land cover and land use change as a soil's ability to store carbon and reduce carbon dioxide emission in a Mediterranean area. Using both historic records and land cover crop maps we estimated the effect of land cover change on the carbon stock from 1972 to 2008 in a natural reserve (Grotta di S. Ninfa) in the West of Sicily. Five paired sites in different soil types were selected and five land use classes (arable land, vineyard, olive grove, gariggue, eucalyptus afforestation, relict woods of Quercus pubescens and Quercus ilex and high maquis of Laurus nobilis) were analyzed. We studied the effect of land use on soil organic carbon (SOC) content in bulk soil and 1000-2000 µm, 500-1000 µm, 250-500 µm, 63-250 µm, 25-63 µm and <25 µm size fractions. Furthermore, laboratory incubation of the soil samples was conducted to measure carbon dioxide evolution in bulk soil and a smaller size fraction from each five land use classes. In this way we evaluated mass distribution of different SOC pools influenced by land use and their relationships with carbon mineralization and different soil proprieties. Finally our results indicated that land use conversion, vegetation type and management practices, which control biogeochemical and physical soil properties, could help to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and sequester SOC. Key Words: Carbon Dioxide Emission,Land Use change,Soil Organic Carbon.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-05-28

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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Malta, R; Maira, G; Salerno, A

    2007-01-01

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

  11. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barreca, Giovanni

    2014-12-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-09-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bonaccorso, Brunella; Cancelliere, Antonino; Rossi, Giuseppe

    2015-07-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    2008-01-01

    Background Little attention has been paid to the consequences of the last landbridge between Africa and Sicily on Mediterranean biogeography. Previous paleontological and scarce molecular data suggest possible faunal exchange later than the well-documented landbridge in the Messinian (5.3 My); however, a possible African origin of recent terrestrial Sicilian fauna has not been thoroughly tested with molecular methods. To gain insight into the phylogeography of the region, we examine two mitochondrial and two nuclear markers (one is a newly adapted intron marker) in green toads (Bufo viridis subgroup) across that sea barrier, the Strait of Sicily. Results Extensive sampling throughout the western Mediterranean and North Africa revealed a deep sister relationship between Sicilian (Bufo siculus n.sp.) and African green toads (B. boulengeri) on the mitochondrial and nuclear level. Divergence times estimated under a Bayesian-coalescence framework (mtDNA control region and 16S rRNA) range from the Middle Pliocene (3.6 My) to Pleistocene (0.16 My) with an average (1.83 to 2.0 My) around the Pliocene/Pleistocene boundary, suggesting possible land connections younger than the Messinian (5.3 My). We describe green toads from Sicily and some surrounding islands as a new endemic species (Bufo siculus). Bufo balearicus occurs on some western Mediterranean islands (Corsica, Sardinia, Mallorca, and Menorca) and the Apennine Peninsula, and is well differentiated on the mitochondrial and nuclear level from B. siculus as well as from B. viridis (Laurenti), whose haplotype group reaches northeastern Italy, north of the Po River. Detection of Calabrian B. balearicus haplotypes in northeastern Sicily suggests recent invasion. Our data agree with paleogeographic and fossil data, which suggest long Plio-Pleistocene isolation of Sicily and episodic Pleistocene faunal exchange across the Strait of Messina. It remains unknown whether both species (B. balearicus, B. siculus) occur in sympatry in northern Sicily. Conclusion Our findings on green toads give the first combined mitochondrial and nuclear sequence evidence for a phylogeographic connection across the Strait of Sicily in terrestrial vertebrates. These relationships may have implications for comparative phylogeographic research on other terrestrial animals co-occurring in North Africa and Sicily. PMID:18294389

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-05-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

  20. 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.

  1. The point prevalence of otitis media with effusion among primary school children in Western Sicily.

    PubMed

    Martines, Francesco; Bentivegna, Daniela; Di Piazza, Fabiola; Martinciglio, Gioacchino; Sciacca, Vincenzo; Martines, Enrico

    2010-05-01

    The objective of this study is to identify the prevalence of otitis media with effusion (OME) in primary school children and to value the possible predisposing factors focusing on relationship between allergy and OME in Western Sicily. 2,097 children attending primary school were screened from September 2006 to June 2007 in Sciacca. Children underwent pneumatic otoscopy, skin tests, tympanogram and acoustic reflex tests. Audiogram was performed if the child had a type B or a type C tympanogram. The criteria for diagnosis of OME were: documented persistent middle ear effusion by otoscopic examination for a minimum of 3 months, presence of B or C tympanogram, absence of ipsilateral acoustic reflex and a conductive hearing loss greater than 25 dB at any one of the frequencies from 250 Hz to 4 kHz. OME was identified in 143 children, in 61 of whom OME was unilateral and in 82 of whom it was bilateral. The overall prevalence of OME was 6.8%, with a maximum prevalence of 12.9% between 5 and 6 years of age. By increasing age, the prevalence of OME decreased. Also, we found a higher prevalence rate of OME in children with positive skin tests (62.9%) than those with negative skin tests (37.1%). The present study evidences the high social impact of OME, whose prevalence is directly correlated to age and atopy. Moreover, our finding supports the literature data that climatic and environmental factors may also have a role in the occurrence of OME. PMID:19859723

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-03-01

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

  5. 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

  6. Paleomagnetic dating of the most recent silicic eruptive activity at Pantelleria (Strait of Sicily)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Speranza, Fabio; Landi, Patrizia; D'Ajello Caracciolo, Francesca; Pignatelli, Alessandro

    2010-09-01

    We report on the paleomagnetism of ten sites in the products of the most recent silicic eruptive cycle of Pantelleria, Strait of Sicily. Previously radiometrically dated at 5-10 ka, our comparison with proxies for geomagnetic field directions allows us to narrow considerably the time window during which these eruptions occurred. The strongly peralkaline composition causes the magmas to have low viscosities, locally resulting in strong agglutination of proximal fall deposits. This allows successful extraction of paleomagnetic directions from the explosive phases of eruptions. One of our sites was located in the Serra della Fastuca fall deposit, produced by the first explosive event of the eruptive cycle. The other nine sites were located in the most recent explosive (pumice fall and agglutinate from Cuddia del Gallo and Cuddia Randazzo) and effusive (Khaggiar lava) products. The (very similar) paleomagnetic directions gathered from eight internally consistent sites were compared to reference geomagnetic field directions of the last 5-10 ka. Directions from Cuddia del Gallo agglutinate and Khaggiar flows translate into 5.9- to 6.2-ka ages, whereas the Fastuca pumices yield a slightly older age of 6.2-6.8 ka. Hence, the most recent silicic eruptive cycle lasted at most a millennium and as little as a few centuries around 6.0 ka. Paleomagnetically inferred ages are in good agreement with published (and calibrated by us) 14C dates from paleosols/charcoals sampled below the studied volcanic units, whereas K/Ar data are more scattered and yield ˜30% older ages. Our data show that the time elapsed since the most recent silicic eruptions at Pantelleria is comparable to the quiescence period separating the two latest volcanic cycles.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-04-01

    In the Central Mediterranean region the foreland domains are represented by two continental blocks, the Apulian Block to the north and the Pelagian Block to the south, respectively belonging to the Adria and to the Africa plates. They are separated since Permo-Triassic times by the oceanic crust of the Ionian Sea. The Apenninic-Maghrebian orogen is located between two oceanic crusts: the old Ionian crust, at present time subducting beneath the Calabrian Arc, and the new crust of the opening Tyrrhenian Sea. The orogenic belt is represented by a multilayer allochthonous edifice, composed of the Calabride Chain (CC) tectonically overlying the Apenninic-Maghrebian Chain (AMC), which in turn overthrust onto the Upper Miocene and Pliocene top-levels of a deep seated thrust system, originating by the deformation of the innermost carbonates of the Pelagian/Apulian blocks (External Thrust System: ETS). The AMC tectonic units derive from the orogenic transport during Oligo-Miocene times of sedimentary sequences deposited in palaeogeographical domains located between the Europe and the Afro-Adriatic plates. These units are composed of Meso-Cenozoic shallow-water carbonate successions detached from a continental type crust sector, the Panormide/Apenninic Block, recognizable by means of seismic lines shot in the Tyrrhenian offshore of Southern Apennines and Northern Sicily. The Meso-Cenozoic basinal units, that compose the AMC, can be distinguished into two main groups of sequences, originally located on oceanic crusts separated by the Panormide/Apenninic Block: the external ones (Ionides) related to an original basin belonging to branches of the Ionian Palaeobasin involved in the orogenesis, and the internal ones ascribed to the Alpine Tethys (Sicilide Units). The terrigenous deposits of the basinal sequences belonging to the Ionides are represented by Tertiary foreland/foredeep deposits, whose relationships with the substratum are occasionally preserved, although large detachments occurred with further forward transport, which generated repeated slices with an apparent increase to the original thickness. . The Alpine Tethydes are composed of sedimentary sequences, which were deposited in the Alpine Tethys, and originally were located between the European and the Panormide/Apenninic Block. They are represented by allochthonous far travelled tectonic units, resting on both the Panormide/Apenninic Platforms and the Ionides. The Calabride Chain originated by the delamination of the European margin. This roof thrust system includes nappes of Hercynian basement with remains of the original Meso-Cenozoic covers deformed during the Paleogene and sutured by the Late Oligocene-Early Burdigalian Capo d'Orlando Flysch. The geological, geophysical data and the volcanological characters permit to restore the palaeogeography and the geodynamic evolution, and allow to recognize three orogenic stages: the Eo-Alpine, originated during Cretaceous-Eocene times, evident in the western Calabria, in the Tyrrhenian basin and the Alpine Corsica; the Balearic stage (Late Oligocene-Early Miocene), in which the Corsica-Sardinia block rotated and collided with the Adria-Africa margins with thrusting of the Alpine Tethydes over Panormide/Apenninic platforms; and the Tyrrhenian stage (Middle Miocene to Present), when the onset of the Tyrrhenian back-arc basin occurred and after the closure of the interposed Palaeoionian branches the Ionides were tectonically transported onto the foreland blocks. The CROP crustal sections allow to distinguish thickness and distribution of the crusts in this area of the Mediterranean Sea, and their clear influence on geodynamic evolution of the Tyrrhenian stage. They confirm that both the foreland blocks extend below the orogenic belt, reaching the Tyrrhenian margins, with a gradual thinning and a transition to a Palaeo-Ionian slab, probably not active at present time, from which the Ionides detached and overrode the ETS. The seismogeological data indicate the presence of the Panormide/Apenninic blocks, that took part in the closure of the branches of the Palaeo-Ionian Sea interposed between the Panormide/Apenninic crust and the Pelagian/Apulian Blocks. At the present time the Panormide/Apenninic blocks are colliding with the foreland blocks. Such a collisional stage along the Tyrrhenian coast of north-western Sicily and the contemporaneous active subduction processes below the Calabrian Arc produce the NW-SE oriented South Tyrrhenian System. This system drives the transfer of the orogenic front towards areas characterized by still subducting oceanic crust of the Ionian sector. In particular it consists of predominantly NW-SE oriented right lateral faults system with antithetical NE-SW and coeval associated N-S normal faults and south-verging thrusts. All these structures are compatible with an unique cinematic framework dominated by transcurrent tectonics. Geological mapping carried out in the on-shore areas of Sicily, integrated with stratigraphical and structural analysis, permit to recognize some main structures in connection with the geodynamic evolution of the Tyrrhenian stage and allow to propose an updated structural model of this area.

  15. 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

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

    TOXLINE Toxicology Bibliographic Information

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ferjani, Dhouha; Gana, Slim

    2010-10-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sirovich, L.; Pettenati, F.

    2007-05-01

    The part of the seismic hazard map of Italy (http:zonesismiche.mi.ingv.it/mappa_ps_apr04/italia.html) that regards SE Sicily has recently been modified on the basis also of the new location of the source of one of the strongest earthquakes that ever struck the Mediterranean basin (in 1693 in SE Sicily; 54,000 casualties; see Sirovich and Pettenati, 2001 in BSSA). That source was located inland according to the KF geophysical inversion of the regional damage patterns of the earthquake of Jan. 11, 1693 and of its destructive foreshock of Jan. 9 (see Gentile et al., 2004 in BSSA, and Sirovich and Pettenati, 2004 in JGR, for the genetic KF inversion technique). The damage patterns of Jan. 9 and 11, 1693 had been evaluated by three different groups of historians and seismologists on three different intensity scales. (Detailed information was available from the reports of the Officers of the "Regno delle Due Sicilie" of the time as well as from many other documents). Previously, both earthquakes were traditionally ascribed to the well known Malta Escarpment, the most prominent physiographical and structural feature of the area, which is found offshore, south-east of Sicily. However, given the inland damage of 1693, an offshore epicenter would imply a mean radius of 45 km for the virtual area of degree XI (70 km for degree X) and, thus, a magnitude of 8.3±0.2 with a fault length of approximately 280 km. This fault source would cross the NE part of Sicily from the southern Jonian Sea to the Island of Lipari in the Tyrrhenian Sea; but tectonically this seems unrealistic. All the inversion tests, however, pointed to a complex source inland which could have hosted both earthquakes. Here, we used our kinematic KF model in the direct mode in a parametric, deterministic-Montecarlo way to produce a seismic hazard scenario, in terms of maximum ground displacement. This scenario will be compared with PSHA results for long recurrence times in the frame of a project of the Civil Protection of Italy and the National Institute for Geophysics and Vulcanology (INGV). New tentative seismic rules based on displacements are the goals of that project (S5, coordinated by E. Faccioli and A. Rovelli). In the present paper, three linear sources were assumed, to accommodate all the area's guessed inland sources, those of 1693 included. The Montecarlo technique was applied to the eleven source parametres of the KF formula, with the purpose of accounting for the large seismotectonic uncertainties we had. In so doing, 33,280 sources were obtained, allowing us to calculate the mean plus-one-standard-deviation scenarios (in seismic intensity and in horizontal displacement). Our mean scenario reaches 40-50 cm (80-90 cm summing one standard deviation), which, as expected, is more than the maximum provisional PSHA values for the 475-year return period (S5 Project, Faccioli 2007); consider that the return period of an earthquake like that in 1693 is unknown, but it could be of the order of thousands of years. The comparison with the damage in 1693 showed that our provisional result is still not cautious enough, however. It is hypothesized that this is due to the asymmetric distribution of the calculated values in each site also because of the presence of the XII intensity upper bound. In Acapulco, we plan to show the parametric scenario obtained using the median values too.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-03-01

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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-05-01

    A statistical approach was employed to model the spatial distribution of rainfall-triggered landslides in two areas in Sicily (Italy) that occurred during the winter of 2004-2005. The investigated areas are located within the Belice River basin and extend for 38.5 and 10.3 km2, respectively. A landslide inventory was established for both areas using two Google Earth images taken on October 25th 2004 and on March 18th 2005, to map slope failures activated or reactivated during this interval. Geographic Information Systems (GIS) were used to prepare 5 m grids of the dependent variables (absence/presence of landslide) and independent variables (lithology and 13 DEM-derivatives). Multivariate Adaptive Regression Splines (MARS) were applied to model landslide susceptibility whereas receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves and the area under the ROC curve (AUC) were used to evaluate model performance. To evaluate the robustness of the whole procedure, we prepared 10 different samples of positive (landslide presence) and negative (landslide absence) cases for each area. Absences were selected through two different methods: (i) extraction from randomly distributed circles with a diameter corresponding to the mean width of the landslide source areas; and (ii) selection as randomly distributed individual grid cells. A comparison was also made between the predictive performances of models including and not including the lithology parameter. The models trained and tested on the same area demonstrated excellent to outstanding fit (AUC > 0.8). On the other hand, predictive skill decreases when measured outside the calibration area, although most of the landslides occur where susceptibility is high and the overall model performance is acceptable (AUC > 0.7). The results also showed that the accuracy of the landslide susceptibility models is higher when lithology is included in the statistical analysis. Models whose absences were selected using random circles showed a significantly better performance when learning and validation samples were extracted from the same area; whereas, conversely, no significant difference was observed when testing the models outside the training area.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

  8. 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.

  9. GIS-based landslide hazard assessment at regional scale in Sicily (Central Mediterranean)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nigro, Fabrizio; Pisciotta, Antonino; Perricone, Marcella; Renda, Pietro; Favara, Rocco

    2010-05-01

    The presence, type and abundance of landslides in an area depend on the characteristics of the triggers and on the predisposing conditions. Natural conditions that control these factors include the local and regional morphological and lithological setting, the presence and abundance of geological discontinuities including bedding planes, faults, joints, and cleavage systems, the type and depth of the soil, the extent and type of the vegetation cover, and the mechanical and hydrological properties of the rocks and soils. In order to evaluate the landslides susceptibility requires understanding of spatial distribution of all these factors that control slope instability. They depend on intrinsic and extrinsic variables. Intrinsic variables determining hazards include bedrock geology, topography, soil depth, soil type, slope gradient, slope aspect, slope curvature, elevation, engineering properties of the slope material, land use pattern and drainage patterns. Extrinsic variables include heavy rainfall, earthquakes and volcanic activities. Although the probability of landslide occurrence depends on both intrinsic and extrinsic variables, the latter possess a temporal distribution which is more difficult to handle in modelling practice. Therefore, for landslide hazard assessment, "landslide susceptibility mapping" is often conducted in which the extrinsic variables are not considered in determining the probability of landslide occurrence. The landslide susceptibility zoning methods mainly applied are: qualitative, statistical methodologies, and geotechnical/safety factor models. Qualitative approaches are based on the judgment of those conducting the susceptibility or hazard assessment; the statistical approach uses a predictive function or index derived from a combination of weighted factors; and the deterministic, models are based on the physical laws of conservation of mass, energy, and momentum. Regarding the statistical methodologies, the combination of factors that have led to landslides in the past are determined and quantitative predictions are made for areas currently free of landslides. In these methods the use of complex statistics requires the collection of large amounts of data to produce reliable results. Instead, deterministic landslide hazard maps normally provide the most detailed results, expressing the hazard in absolute values in the form of safety factors, or the probability of failure given a set of boundary conditions for groundwater levels and seismic acceleration. A methodology for landslide susceptibility mapping of the Sicily using a GIS technology is presented, based on a weighted approach. The degree of susceptibility was weighted considering the extrinsic variable of rainfall and the prevalence of the condition of geology, elevation, slope and land cover. Finally, an overlay analysis is carried out by evaluating the layers obtained according to their weight, and the landslide susceptibility map is produced. The study area was classified into five classes of relative landslide susceptibility, namely, very low, low, moderate, high and very high.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. Degradation of stone materials in the archaeological context of the Greek-Roman Theatre in Taormina (Sicily, Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brai, M.; Casaletto, M. P.; Gennaro, G.; Marrale, M.; Schillaci, T.; Tranchina, L.

    2010-09-01

    In the present work results on the degradation phenomena of stone materials in the Ancient Theatre of Taormina, one of the most important Greek-Roman monuments of Sicily, are reported. Artificial stone materials in different conservation conditions were investigated. Samples of salt efflorescences from brick walls and degraded setting mortars were taken from the open gallery in “ summa cavea”. The chemical, physical and structural characterization was performed by means of X-Ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy (XPS), X-Ray Diffraction (XRD) and X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF), both in situ and ex situ. Results showed that the deterioration of stone materials is due to the aggressive action of the environment agents. Soluble salts, such as chlorides, sulphates and nitrates, were found in efflorescence samples. Mortars were affected by a decomposition process induced by sulphates’ attack.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tondi, Emanuele

    2007-04-01

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

  14. The fibres with fluoro-edenitic composition in Biancavilla (Sicily, Italy): health impact and clues for environmental remediation.

    PubMed

    Comba, Pietro; Scondotto, Salvatore; Musmeci, Loredana

    2014-01-01

    Subsequently to the observation of a localized excess of mortality from malignant pleural neoplasms in the town of Biancavilla (Sicily), previously unknown amphibolic fibres with fluoro-edenitic composition were detected as naturally occurring soil contaminants. Less then two years after the initial report, ISS provided a set of public health recommendations that were complied by regional and local institutions. The recognition of Biancavilla as a National Priority Contaminated Site in 2002 opened the way to clean-up interventions. An up-dating of epidemiological studies, exposure assessment investigations and in vivo and in vitro mechanistic studies on fluoro-edenite fibres is provided in this issue. Scientific evidence can provide a sound foundation to public health action and environmental remediation. Finally, it is now necessary to properly tune the response of the health system to the community needs in terms of diagnostic procedures and medical treatment. PMID:24968907

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-05-01

    We present a high resolution paleomagnetic and rock magnetic study of two cores, MS06 and MS06-SW (6.7 and 1.1 m long, respectively) collected in the Augusta Bay shelf (Eastern Sicily, Ionian Sea, Italy) about 2.3 km from the coastline at 72 m depth. Geophysical surveying carried out in the sampling area highlighted the presence of a transparent homogeneous sedimentary sequence, likely deposited after the Last Glacial Maximum, not affected by anthropogenic disturbances, despite the intense industrial activities along the adjacent shore. The MS-06 cores penetrated a monotonous mud sedimentary sequence, interrupted at ~3 m below the top by a 3-4 cm thick volcanic sandy layer that, according to petrochemical analyses, was correlated with the tephra fallout deposit produced by the 122 BC plinian eruption of Mt. Etna. This tephra along with radiocarbon dating of 9 marine shells and with radioactive tracers for the uppermost 0.3 m (210Pb and 137Cs) provided the chronological constraints for the stratigraphic sequence that resulted younger than 4500 yr B.P. The two cores have been subsampled with u-channels. Paleomagnetic and rock magnetic measurements were taken at 1 cm spacing on a pass-through cryogenic magnetometer with 4.2 cm access diameter, equipped in-line AF demagnetization coils, anhysteretic remanent magnetization (ARM) acquisition solenoid and a susceptibility meter with a loop sensor. We measured the low-field magnetic susceptibility and the natural remanent magnetization (NRM) for both cores. The NRM has been stepwise AF demagnetized up to a maximum field of 100 mT. An ARM was then produced on the u-channel samples (in 100 mT AF and 0.05 mT DC fields) and subjected to the same demagnetization treatment applied to the NRM. The data show that the sample sequence is magnetically homogeneous, with magnetic susceptibility values oscillating between 60 and 280 (x 10E-06 SI) and ARM values mostly comprised between 50 and 200 (x 10E-03 A/m). A single interval of high magnetic mineral concentration is observed, which corresponds to the volcanic sandy layer. Paleomagnetic data allowed the identification of a well defined characteristic remanent magnetization which provides a high-resolution record of paleosecular variation (PSV) at the sampling site. The reconstructed PSV curve is in good agreement with the available reference PSV curves for the Mediterranean region and with the prediction from recent PSV modelling for Europe. The paleomagnetic data obtained in this study on the one hand support and refine the age model for the cores, derived from other independent constraints, and on the other hand provide an original high-resolution PSV curve which can serve as a reference for the central Mediterranean over the last 4 kyr.

  18. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-12-01

    The objective of this study was to report the prevalence of intramammary infections (IMI) in Ragusa, Sicily, from milk samples (n = 18,711) collected between October 2000 and June 2006 from 101 dairy herds. Milk samples were collected at 9,747 cow sampling events from 5,285 individual cows. Samples were individual quarter (92.8%) or composite samples (7.2%) from an individual cow. Logistic regression was used to examine the prevalence of IMI at the level of milk sample and at the level of cow, controlling for year and season of collection, type of sample (individual quarter or composite), and type of housing and bedding of the cow at the time of collection. Bedding and housing types were as follows, respectively (number of herd groups): bedding: none (61), organic [51 (straw, 50; sawdust, 1)], and sand (3); housing: bedded pack (37), free stalls (57), tie stalls (4), and paddock (17). Raw prevalence of cow IMI for a sample event was as follows (percentage of cow samples): no growth, 47.4%; coagulase-negative staphylococci, 22.6%; Staphylococcus aureus, 20.6%; other Streptococcus spp., 11.1%; Streptococcus agalactiae, 2.3%; coliform bacteria, 2.9%; and other organisms, 5.8%. Prevalence of IMI differed by bedding type for Staph. aureus (none, 24.5%; organic, 12.7%; sand, 12.3%) and coagulase-negative staphylococci (none, 13.1%; organic, 27.4%; sand, 26.9%) but not for Streptococcus spp. or coliform bacteria. Prevalence of Streptococcus spp. IMI differed by housing type (tie stalls, 22.2%; bedded pack, 12.8%; free stalls, 8.4%; paddock, 7.1%). Housing was not associated with the prevalence of IMI for other bacteria. Herd monthly prevalence of Staph. aureus and Streptococcus spp. IMI was associated with decreased mean milk production (Staph. aureus, -1.42 kg/d per cow, SEM 0.51; Streptococcus spp., -1.31 kg/d per cow, SEM 0.64) and increased mean linear score (Staph. aureus, 1.01 units/d per cow, SEM 0.16; Streptococcus spp., 0.59 units/d per cow, SEM 0.22). Herds (n = 11) with a mean linear score (MLS) less than 3.3 units had the lowest prevalence of Staph. aureus IMI and monthly MLS and the greatest monthly mean milk production compared with other herds grouped by MLS [MLS 3.31 to 3.99 (n = 20), MLS 4.00 to 4.46 (n = 20), MLS >4.46 (n = 17), and MLS not available (n = 33)]. Implementation of a milk quality program to control gram-positive organisms is important for Ragusa. PMID:18024774

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bressan, Lidia; Tinti, Stefano; Pagnoni, Gianluca

    2014-05-01

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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. [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 Gela is significantly higher for both sexes, and this is shown also in the Municipality of Niscemi, especially among the male population. Hospital discharge records for tumor causes, but especially for non-tumor ones, exceeded expectations in both genders and must be analysed taking into consideration the attraction exerted on the surrounding areas by the Gela hospital. Data analysis according to 5 ten-year birth cohorts, from 1915 to 1964, shows a decreasing mortality trend, whereas the increase of hospital admissions is confirmed in the younger generations. The issue of birth defects is recurrent in this area: a suitable register is lacking so that updated figures cannot be presented. However, data previously published showed excesses of prevalence rates of several specific birth defects, mainly urinary tract and genital anomalies. The same is worth in the incidence of new cancer cases since the development of a proper register is yet in progress. Tools and methodologies that should be applied in Gela to study environment-health relations are proposed, like Life Cycle Analysis, dispersion patterns and an air-quality monitoring system. A conceptual model considering all pollution sources and different exposure patterns present in Gela, developed by the Multidisciplinary Working Group, is presented. Among the activities carried out by regional authorities, two Reports on the Regional Environment Protection Agency monitoring activity and on the EU Program SEARCH, School Environment And Respiratory Health in Children, are included. A section is devoted to understanding what is necessary to build an epidemiological monitoring system specifically designed for this area, in order to keep under permanent control environment-related health outcomes. This includes a systematic and continuative collection, storage and analysis of environmental-induced diseases, exposure and risk factors, as well as a timely dissemination of those information to the decision-makers. The final article describes the research activities carried out to design and implement a human biomonitoring survey in the area. These activities included relation-building with local communities, information collection, meetings, involvement of stake-holders. This experience will reach its climax when the community-exposure data feedback will be provided, because it will mark the consolidation of present knowledge and its possible processing into public health action plans. The present publication can represent an important tool and a model for all interest-bearers to assess environmental pollution impacts on human health in contaminated areas. A local system to assess the relation between environmental pollution and population health is therefore urgently needed to provide risk managers with ad-hoc tools to improve environmental protection and prevent further risks for local communities. PMID:19776462

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-03-01

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

  5. Exploring relationships between recruitment of European hake ( Merluccius merluccius L. 1758) and environmental factors in the Ligurian Sea and the Strait of Sicily (Central Mediterranean)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abella, A.; Fiorentino, F.; Mannini, A.; Orsi Relini, L.

    This paper explores the relationships between the spatial patterns of the distribution of the young hakes of the year (YOY) and the oceanographical features in two areas of the Central Mediterranean (the Ligurian Sea and the Strait of Sicily), characterised by the occurrence of straits and channels. Comparative and correlative approaches were used to investigate coupling between biological and physical patterns. Density indices of the YOY were derived from annual trawl surveys from 1994 to 2004 in spring and autumn. Mean patterns of the YOY distributions were compared with the mesoscale oceanographical features reported in literature. No evident trends in recruitment strength were found in either areas. Inter-annual variability in YOY abundance in the Ligurian Sea was higher than in the Strait of Sicily. The location of nursery grounds in the study areas coincides with zones of relatively higher production, where upwelling and other enrichment processes regularly occur. The presence of predictable eddies and the frontal systems play a major role in the localization of nursery areas in the Strait of Sicily, maintaining their stable position throughout the years. The strongest transport of southern waters from the Tyrrhenian to the Ligurian Sea, due to the East Corsica Current, which is negatively correlated to winter North Atlantic Oscillation, is associated with the highest abundance of hake recruits in the nurseries of the Northern Ligurian Sea.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Active strain-rates across the Messina Straits and kinematics of Sicily and Calabria from GPS data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mastrolembo Ventura, B.; Serpelloni, E.; Burgmann, R.; Anzidei, M.; Baldi, P.; Cavaliere, A.

    2009-04-01

    The Messina Straits is the locus of one of the strongest seismic event that ever hit Italy during historical times, the 1908 Mw 7.1 earthquake, and the same region also suffered major damage from other strong earthquakes in the last few centuries. However, despite the large amount of data and studies carried out, our knowledge of the present-day deformation of this area is still debated. While a general consensus has been reached about the kinematics of the 1908 causative fault, less is known about the rate and shape of interseismic loading across the Straits, and debate continues also about the general kinematics and geodynamic framework of this region which are strongly influenced by subduction and retreat of Ionian lithosphere. Thanks to the increasing number of GPS Networks in the study region it is now possible to study both the regional kinematics and strain loading across active faults. In this work we analyze all the observations collected over the Messina non-permanent GPS Network for the 1994-2008 time span, and data from about 600 CGPS stations in the Euro-Mediterranean region, using the GAMIT software. The output of our analysis is a new and denser velocity field, which is used to study the plate kinematics and the rate of interseismic strain building across the Straits. GPS velocities show a sudden change in their orientation across the Straits moving to NNW-ward, in Estern Sicily, to NNE-ward in Western Calabria, depicting this area as a primary boundary between two different tectonic domains. The maximum strain-rates observed across the Straits are about 120 nanostrain/yr, with extension oriented about normal to the coasts of Sicily according to the presence of a normal fault. The measured velocity gradient can be used to model the creeping dislocation at depth, however, over the Messina Straits the interseismic elastic strains accumulating across other nearby active faults can significantly affect the observed velocity gradient.For this reason we investigate, using a regional elastic block-modeling approach, these effects. We use the block model to test for different microplates configurations and to account for nearby active faults while inverting for optimal fault geometry and intersismic slip-rates across the Straits.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cronin, Kelly; Reiner, Tom; Whyte, Catherine

    2008-07-01

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

  10. Microbially-induced Fe and Mn oxides in condensed pelagic sediments (Middle-Upper Jurassic, Western Sicily)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Préat, A.; Mamet, B.; Di Stefano, P.; Martire, L.; Kolo, K.

    2011-06-01

    This article presents a petrographic comparison of the Rosso Ammonitico facies of Western Sicily and the original Rosso Ammonitico Veronese of Northern Italy based on a total of 27 sections. The Rosso Ammonitico has been the subject of numerous controversies that range from bathyal to shallow-water platform sedimentation. Therefore it seemed interesting to verify if the term Rosso Ammonitico has the same geologic connotation from region to region. The Middle-Upper Jurassic Rosso Ammonitico of Western Sicily is a condensed succession formed during a period of extensional synsedimentary tectonics related to the spreading of the Ionian Ocean. Slope-to-basin or pelagic carbonate deposits characterize the sedimentation which consists of reddish mudstones and wackestones. The abundant fauna is composed of radiolarians, protoglobigerinids, Saccocoma, Bositra associated with ammonites. A few ferruginous hardgrounds, Fe-Mn oxide crusts and Mn-coated condensation horizons are also present. The red matrices contain abundant Fe-Mn encrusted, microbored and bioeroded bioclasts. Sporadic Fe-Mn oncolites composed of amorphous Mn-minerals and goethite are also conspicuous. The matrix, as well as the shells and the fillings of the complex associated veinlets, are frequently altered into calcite microsparite. Submicronic iron bacterial and fungal filaments associated with mineralized extracellular polymeric substances (EPS) are observed in the matrix. They record dysaerobic microenvironments at or near the sediment-water interfaces. Early mineralized discontinuities enhanced by subsequent pressure dissolution are reported in the succession. Mn-(Ni) bacterial filaments are exceptionally observed in the cortex of the Fe-Mn oncolites. As a consequence of an early lithification, the Mn filaments are poorly preserved. The pigmentation of the rock is due to the dispersion of submicronic oxyhydroxides (now goethite and amorphous iron) formed by bacterial mediation during early diagenesis in microaerophilitic environments. As in the case of the original 'Rosso Ammonitico Veronese', Fe and Mn bacteria/fungi were able to produce bioconstructions which have no bathymetric significance. The limiting factor must have been the oxygen content which was low in these very quiet and relatively deep environments. Thus the Rosso Ammonitico of northern and southern Italy have a number of points in common, but some obvious dissimilarities are observed that explain some of the various sedimentological interpretations. Among them, the chemical composition is of particular importance, more Fe is present in Veneto (Northern Italy) while Mn is associated with the Sicilian Rosso Ammonitico. The Sicilian localities were more proximal to oceanic magmatic sources which were related to the activity of the oceanic crust.

  11. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Lanzo, G; Rizzo, S; Tomarchio, E

    2014-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-06-01

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

  15. 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).

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guest, John E.; Stofan, Ellen R.

    2005-04-01

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

  18. Petrophysical properties of deep-seated xenoliths from south-eastern Sicily, Italy: contribution to the Hyblean lithospheric model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Punturo, Rosalda

    2010-05-01

    A suite of deep-seated xenoliths from Miocene tuff-breccia pipes of the Hyblean Plateau has been studied in order to provide useful constrains for modelling the lithosphere underneath south-eastern Sicily (Italy). To this aim, a plagioclase-bearing (mafic granulite) xenolith, considered to represent the inaccessible crust, together with two spinel peridotites and one pyroxenite were selected for a petrographic and petrophysical study. The seismic properties of this suite of deep-seated xenoliths were experimentally determined with a multi-anvil apparatus at confining pressure up to 600MPa (room temperature) and up to 600°C (at 600MPa). Laboratory measurements of Vp and Vs also permitted the P-wave related seismic anisotropy and shear wave splitting to be determined. On same xenoliths, seismic properties were also calculated on the basis of whole rock composition and mineral chemistry. These data, integrated with measured crystallographic preferred orientations of olivine in peridotites, permitted a correlation between fabric patterns of olivine and the degree of deformation within the Hyblean upper mantle to be set out. Finally, the parameters of the compressional velocity-pressure relationship were computed with the MATLAB program VPPLOT. These calculations endow with important constrains for the calibration of seismic data and therefore for reconstructing the Hyblean litosphere, as they permit the seismic velocities to be extrapolated at any P condition within the stability field of the mineral assemblage of a given rock.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-08-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-05-01

    After detailed field (stratigraphic and structural) and laboratory analyses of intact and deformed rocky outcrops, we studied the multi-scale properties of strike-slip faults nucleated and developed in Pleistocene carbonate grainstones of Favignana Island (Sicily, Italy). This skeletal carbonate rocks ranging in thickness between 5 and 20 meters make up the whole eastern side of the Island, where they unconformably lie on silicoclastic deposits of the Upper Pliocene. The studied structures are very similar to those one affecting carbonate grainstones of San vito Lo Capo Peninsula (Sicily, Italy) and already documented in a recent paper. There strain localization into narrow bands encompass first compaction, shear, pressure solution formation, their subsequent shearing, and finally cataclasis. The transitions from one deformation process to another, which were likely controlled by changes in the material properties, are recorded by different ratios and dissimilar distributions of the fault dimensional attributes. In Favignana Island, the results of our study allow us to: (i) indentify two conjugate sets of faults trending NW and NNE, characterized by right-lateral and left-lateral kinematics, respectively; (ii) document the progression of the deformation from single compactive shear bands, with an offset ranging between mm's to cm's, to zones of compactive shear bands, characterized by a larger amount of offset with discontinuous cataclasis and slip surfaces, and finally to well developed faults, with an inner cataclastic core surrounded by wider damage zones made up of compactive shear bands, joints, and possible dilational bands; (iii) decipher that linkage processes, responsible for fault development, took place by mechanical interaction of adjacent individual structures at any deformation stage (single bands, zone of shear bands or well developed faults) with formation of characteristic ramp and eye structures. Based on their internal architecture and petrophysical properties, the studied strike-slip faults behave as combined barrier-conduit hydraulic structures to fluid flow. The single compactive shear bands, the shear band zones, and the cataclastic cores of the faults have a lower porosity relative to the surrounding carbonate host rocks, and therefore form seals for cross-fault fluid flow. On the contrary, the discrete and undulated slip surfaces present either within or at the edges of the fault cores enhance the along-fault fluid flow. Finally, the detailed analyses of macro- and mesostructural features exposed in Favignana Island show that the overall deformation pattern in the area may be interpreted in terms of strike-slip tectonics driven by a current stress field geometry characterized by a NW oriented maximum compression. The stress field acting in the area appears to be directly controlled by the convergence between the African and European plates. The present-day Africa motion along NNW-SSE- to NW-SE-directed vectors is substantiated by geological, seismological, VLBI (very long baseline interferometry) and global positioning system data.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nigro, Fabrizio; Renda, Pietro; Favara, Rocco

    2010-05-01

    We can distinguish two morphological evolutions of the drainage basins which develop in the earth's sectors subjected to uplift and tilting, in relationship to their antecedence or subsequence in comparison to the tectonic process. If this process begins in concomitance with a geomorphic cycle the main valleys of the drainage basins will longitudinally be developed according to the tilting direction which the crustal block is subjected. But if the non-uniform vertical movement develops in a sector already characterized by the presence of a idrographic network, this can be influenced in its pattern in various ways. A crustal block contemporarily subject to uplift and tilting will be characterized to its inside, at the end of this process, by more elevated and less elevated sectors. The erosive ground processes suffer this non-uniform vertical movement and since it gradually develops in time, landforms, as valleys of drainage basins, will suffer analogous variations. If pre-existing, the slopes of the valleys will be subjected to tilting also and one of the characteristics in the evolution of the reliefs connected with the uplift and the tilting of crustal blocks are represented by the progressive asymmetry of the slopes of a valley. The uplift and the tilting of the block progressively determines a difference of inclination of the slopes of the incising valley. This effect is given by the progressive incision and migration of the axis of the valley that it determines slopes with crests to different middle elevation between the right side and that left. The erosional process that determines him with the uplift and the tilting of the crustal blocks are characterized by a greater erosion rate in the sectors of head of the slope that is mostly raised. Likewise, the migration of the river consistent with the tilting direction determines a greater rate of erosion along one of the banks. The general morphometric result can be that of the individualization of slopes that -in section- constitute polylines assimilable to arcs of circumference with different rays of bending. In map view, the evolution of the drainage network is characterised also from a different development of the river channels of different orders. Particularly, in the slope that is more subject to uplift the drainage network is more branched, with larger formation of river orders with respect to the opposite slope. If we suppose that the crustal block underwent to uplift and tilting is eroded from several idrographic networks that are identified in more drainage basins, at the end of the process, in absence of large-scale deformations as folding and faulting, the slope asimmetry of every main valley is maintained but, for tilting direction about orthogonal with respect to the directions of the rivers, a different altimetric development will be observed of the main rivers. If to the tilting and uplift of the crustal block are associated internal deformations as folds and faults, then the asymmetry of the slopes not always may result clearly evident, as well as the altimetric development of the main valleys. Regarding the above concepts, we recognised a non-uniform uplift and large-scale recent faulting in Northern Sicily (Central Mediterranean), both from drainage network pattern analisys, slopes geometries and structural data. The data sets have been compared with the uplift rate and seismicity distributions, allowing us to recognise different crustal blocks in which the northern Sicily chain may be divided. Each chain block reflects characteristic morphometric pattern of the drainage basins. The morphostructural setting, the distribution of seismicity and the orientation of the recent faults indicate that the main neotectonic narrow deformation zones bounding the crustal blocks range from NW-SE, NE-SW and W-E.

  4. 1891 Submarine eruption of Foerstner volcano (Pantelleria, Sicily) : insights into the vent structure of basaltic balloon eruptions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-12-01

    Numerous shallow water basaltic eruptions have produced abundant floating scoria up to several meters in diameter, yet little is known about the conditions that give rise to this unusual style of volcanism. On October 17, 1891, a submarine eruption began 4 kilometers northwest of the island of Pantelleria, Sicily. The eruptive vent was located at a depth of 250 meters along the NW-SE trending Sicily Channel Rift Zone. Evidence for the eruption was provided by the occurrence of hot, scoriaceous lava "balloons" floating on the sea surface along a narrow line about 850-1000 meters long trending along the rift. These extremely vesicular fragments were spherical to ellipsoidal in shape and ranged from <50 to 250 cm in diameter. Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROVs) and existing bathymetric maps have been used to conduct the first detailed investigation of a vent site associated with this unique style of volcanism. In 2011 the ROV Hercules, deployed from the E/V Nautilus, explored the 1891 Foerstner vent using high definition video cameras and produced a high resolution bathymetric map of the area using a BlueView multibeam imaging sonar. Light backscattering and oxidation-reduction potential sensors (MAPRs) were added to Hercules to detect discharge from active venting. ROV video footage has been used in conjunction with the high resolution bathymetric data to construct a geologic map of the vent area based on a variety of facies descriptors, such as abundance of scoria bombs, occurrence of pillow or scoria flow lobes, extent of sediment cover, and presence of spatter-like deposits. Initial results of the mapping have shown that there are two main vents that erupted within the observed area of floating scoria and most likely erupted at the same time as evidenced by similar bulk chemical compositions of recovered samples. Scoria bomb beds and some scoria flow lobes largely cover the suspected main vent, located at a depth of 250 meters. Distinct pillow flow lobes cover the second, previously unknown vent located north of Foerstner volcano at a depth of around 350 meters. Given the close proximity of these two vents, the differences in deposit types may be due to changing eruption style as a function of water depth. The abundant pillow flow lobes observed at the northern vent are most likely the result of more effusive eruptions occurring in deeper water (350 m) whereas the dominantly fragmental nature of material in the main southern vent indicates more vigorous explosive activity at shallower levels (250 m). Based on the nature of deposits found at the vent areas, the basaltic balloons of the 1891 Foerstner eruption are suspected to be a result of both coarse, localized fire fountaining activity and detachment from gas-charged flow lobes. The larger and shallower southern vent area is likely to have been the main source of the basaltic balloons observed on the surface during the 1891 eruption. A review of other historic eruptions that have produced basaltic balloons suggests that this style of activity is likely to be restricted to a rather narrow range of water depths and thus recognition of the distinct deposits produced by this type of activity in ancient deposits could help place important paleodepth constraints on volcaniclastic sequences.

  5. Primary origin of some trachytoid magmas: Inferences from naturally quenched glasses in hydrothermally metasomatized gabbroic xenoliths (Hyblean area, Sicily)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Viccaro, Marco; Scribano, Vittorio; Cristofolini, Renato; Ottolini, Luisa; Manuella, Fabio C.

    2009-12-01

    Hydrothermally-modified gabbroic xenoliths from the Hyblean tuff-breccia deposits (Sicily) consist of albitized plagioclase, Fe-Mg-rich clays, aegirine-augite, ± zeolites, titanite, apatite, magnetite, and hydrothermal zircon. Pockets of silicate glass with perlitic cracking occur in some samples forming 15-20% (by volume) of the rock modal assemblage. Electron microprobe analyses show the trachytic composition of the glass, with generally peralkaline sodic affinity [molar Al 2O 3/(Na 2O + K 2O) ~ 0.8 (average value); molar Al 2O 3/(Na 2O + K 2O + CaO) ~ 0.7 (average value); Na 2O/K 2O (wt.%) = 1.7-2.3]. The glass trace element abundances, obtained by secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS) analyses are consistent with those of world-wide trachytes (e.g. Zr/Ti = 0.15-018; Nb/Y = 0.73-1). Relatively high abundances of Cl (700-1600 ppm) and F (> 500 ppm) were also detected in the glass. Careful macroscopic and microscopic observations exclude the possibility that external silicate melt infiltrated the xenolith. The occurrence of glass pockets between the mafic clay assemblages and the feldspar grains, along with comparisons between chemical compositions of the glass and the surrounding minerals, suggest that the glass is due to the melting of a eutectoid system consisting of Na-rich alkali feldspar, Fe-Mg-rich clays and aegirine-augite. Halogens had probably played an important role in the partial melting process by decreasing the melting temperature of modal minerals, especially feldspar. The occurrence of these trachytic glasses lends support to petrologic models suggesting that partial melting of a hydrothermally altered, brine-rich oceanic crust induced by shallow-seated basic intrusions can produce primary trachytoid melts. This may explain the "Daly-gap" characterizing some oceanic within-plate volcanoes.

  6. Plio Quaternary tectonic evolution and structure of the Catania foredeep, the northern Hyblean Plateau and the Ionian shelf (SE Sicily)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Torelli, Luigi; Grasso, Mario; Mazzoldi, Glauco; Peis, Davide

    1998-11-01

    Available multi- and single-channel seismic reflection profiles, calibrated by onshore borehole data, have been used for defining the structural styles in the shelf and slope of the Ionian Sea between Catania and Augusta (SE Sicily). The geological and geophysical data suggest that this area represents a segment of the foredeep-foreland system which collapsed after Late Pliocene times. The foundering was controlled by normal faults trending NE-SW, which flank the southern margin of the Catania foredeep. Onland, in outcrop, these faults appear largely to be post-dated by Lower Pleistocene sediments, nearshore carbonates passing laterally into basinal clays, which lie unconformably upon older substrata. Offshore, close to the southern edge of the foredeep, seismic lines allow recognition of two distinct units: a syn-rift wedge (Upper Pliocene submarine tholeiites and sediments), and a post-rift sequence which can be correlated with Lower Pleistocene carbonates, sands and clays recognisable on land, both in outcrop and by borehole data. The true frontal part of the thrust belt, as detected by the seismic lines, occupies the inner part of the area investigated and is buried by Upper Pliocene and Lower Pleistocene sediments. However, the compressive deformation seems to propagate toward the south-southeast by means of growing detachment levels developing at depth within Pleistocene marine clays, for a length of about 10 km, ahead of the present-day thrust front. Offshore, the faults trending NE-SW are dissected towards the east by faults trending NNW-SSE, subparallel to the Malta Escarpment, which flank the edge of the submerged Messina Rise. These faults, originating in a steep scarp which drops eastwards to the deep Ionian basin, have triggered submarine slides and affected the present-day seafloor sediments. As shown by seismic lines and as stressed by the modern seismicity of the area, some of the faults along the Malta Escarpment could be still active.

  7. Comparison of Advanced Differential Interferometric SAR methods for the retrieval of surface deformation in south-east Sicily

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vollrath, Andreas; Zucca, Francesco; Stramondo, Salvatore; Guglielmino, Francesco; Bonforte, Alessandro

    2014-05-01

    The study provides a comparative analysis of Advanced Differential Interferometric SAR (A-DInSAR) methods and processing approaches. State-of-the-art A-DInSAR techniques, such as Persistent Scatterers Interferometry (PSI) or the Small BASeline (SBAS) approach are powerful geodetic tools with a large potential for an operational, cost-effective mapping of surface deformations up to an accuracy of 1 mm/y on a regional scale. Both approaches focus on different characteristics of the scatterers within a resolution cell. While PSI extracts the phase change by analyzing stable, dominant scatterers, the SBAS technique is sensitive to stable, but distributed scatterers. In order to assess the practical implications of the two approaches we processed a 8-year spanning time-series of ENVISAT ASAR data for the heterogeneous, rural environment in south-eastern Sicily, Italy and its hinterland. Different natural and anthropogenic induced deformation phenomena are present within the study area. In addition to the PSI and SBAS approach, a combined method, called Multi-Temporal Interferometry (MTI), was applied using the StaMPS software. The density of retrieved points was confronted to the different land cover classes. In addition, deviations between the different methods are presented. The results reveal the complimentary character of both approaches for the study site and suggest that the MTI approach is favorable for wide area analysis. Validation with GPS measurements from the INGV network was undertaken and the integration in the framework of the SISTEM approach, where different measurements are combined, allowed for the derivation of three-dimensional surface deformation.

  8. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-04-01

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

  10. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ferrara, V.; Pappalardo, G.

    2005-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2002-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    1990-02-01

    Visual perceptual integrative motor ability was investigated in 719 6- to 12-yr-old, presumably normal, primary schoolchildren living in 2 iodine-deficient endemic goiter areas in Sicily, identified on the basis of the presence (area A) or absence (area B) of endemic cretinism, by administrating the Bender Gestalt test. All of these clinically euthyroid schoolchildren were also examined neurologically by an investigator unaware of the result of the Bender test. Ninety-nine (13.76%) schoolchildren were found to be defective by the Bender test; this prevalence was significantly higher than that (3.0%) found in an iodine-sufficient goiter-free control area (area C) lying at sea level (chi 2 = 36.25; P less than 0.000001). No difference in the prevalence of Bender abnormalities was apparent if the children were divided according to the area of provenience (area A, 14.4%; area B, 13.1%). A high percentage of children falling in the lower range of normality was found in both area A (15.5%) and area B (19.0%); this was significantly higher than that in area C (3.8%; chi 2 = 77.55; P less than 0.000001). Neuromuscular and neurosensorial abnormalities, including increased tendon reflexes, clonus of the foot, Babinski sign, minor disturbances in balance, and gait, and minor defects in hearing and speech, were apparent in 19.3% (area A) and 18.5% (area B) of the children. These disorders were significantly more frequent in defective children identified by the Bender test (33.3%) than in normal children (15.3%; (chi 2 = 17.29; P less than 0.00005). The general intellectual aptitude in Bender deficient subjects was evaluated by the Terman Merrill test and was found to be impaired in 95%, thus confirming the existence of an endemic cognitive deficiency (ECD), distinct from the endemic mental deficiency previously found in other endemic goiter, iodine-deficient areas. ECD seems to be epidemiologically independent of the existence of endemic cretinism. Further clinical auxological and biochemical studies in a selected group of ECD children suggested the epidemiological and, possibly, pathogenic association of cognitive impairment with iodine deficiency. PMID:2298854

  14. 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.

  15. A Late Holocene record of tsunamis in the Augusta Bay area (eastern Sicily, Italy): historical vs geological data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Martini, P.; Barbano, M.; Smedile, A.; Gerardi, F.; Pantosti, D.; Del Carlo, P.; Pirrotta, C.

    2009-12-01

    The importance of hazard plans based on realistic inundation scenarios was dramatically highlighted in December 2004. These scenarios are generally based on numerical models of tsunami wave propagation that can become more realistic and accurate when calibrated with the distribution of true inundated locations and the frequency of event occurrence. This information is generally acquired by historical reports, usually limited to the past few hundreds years, but we believe that it can be properly and fully obtained also from geological investigations. We present results coming from two different approaches, on one side we collected detailed information on historical tsunamis in eastern Sicily; on the other side, through geological investigation, we found evidence for a 4 ka long record of tsunami deposits in two different sites, Augusta Hospital and Priolo Reserve, along the Augusta Bay coast. The research was carried out through a multi-theme study consisting of historical analysis, geomorphologic and geologic surveys, coring campaigns and several laboratory analyses (paleontological, radiometric, X-Ray, magnetic susceptibility, tephra, etc.). From the historical research, we discovered that the study area experienced at least four tsunamis (in 1908, 1693, 1542 and 1169) during the past millennium (period for which the historical tsunamis record can be considered complete) with a maximum inundation distance of about 170 m, recorded at the Augusta town during the 1693 event. Thus, a historical tsunami recurrence interval of about 250 years for the past millennium can be derived from written reports (note that considering the whole historical dataset it becomes ~400 years long). From the geological research, summarizing and combining all the geological data collected in the field, we found seven distinct tsunami deposits, all characterized by sediments coarser than above and below, by a clear marine origin and often by sharp erosional basal contacts. Our findings are remarkably far from the present coastline (400 to 500 m inland) and on the basis of the available international literature they could be hardly related to storm waves. The number of identified tsunami deposits implies a geologic tsunami recurrence interval of about 600 years for the past 4 ka. Geological and historical data collected for the Augusta Bay suggest interesting difference in terms of tsunami recurrence interval and inundation distance and we would like to discuss the possible reasons of these discrepancies. Finally, we believe that the identification and characterization of historical and paleotsunamis deposits allow to estimate long-term recurrence intervals and true inundation distances, data otherwise difficult to get. This information may have a significant relevance for Civil Protection applications, being easily suitable for tsunami scenario and modeling, especially in the Augusta Bay area that hosts both important industrial petrochemical facilities and a basis of the Italian Navy and NATO.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-06-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2010-04-15

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

  20. 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.

  1. 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: bad, poor, moderate, good and high.

  2. Analysis of large boulders along the coast of south-eastern Sicily to discriminate between storm and tsunami deposits.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pirrotta, Claudia; Serafina Barbano, Maria; Gerardi, Flavia

    2010-05-01

    We present a study to discriminate the kind of anomalous waves, storms or tsunamis, that were responsible for the large boulder accumulation in the Vendicari Reserve along the south-eastern Sicilian coast. These depositional and erosional indicators of the large wave impact have been already observed in some rocky coasts of the Mediterranean basin and associated to strong waves of tsunamigenic or meteorological origin. Distinguishing boulders deposited by tsunamis from that deposited by storms and determining the age of their deposition can help to evaluate the magnitude and frequency of tsunamis and the hazard along the coast also regarding extraordinarily violent storms. The Sicilian Ionian coast has been affected in historical time by large destructive earthquake-related tsunamis (e.g. the 1169, 1693 and 1908) and it is exposed to an intense wave motion coming from a NNE- SSE span direction . In the rocky coastal area of Vendicari Reserve, three different GPS surveys (from September 2006 until April 2009) have been performed with the aim to observe the distance of each boulders with respect to the shoreline and if storms removed boulders or deposited new ones. A morphological analysis aiming to identify boulder shapes, measuring their volumes, elongation axis azimuth, pre-transport setting and the probable transport mechanism on the platform, was also carried out. The calcarenitic boulders (specific weight about 2,3 g/cm3), reaching about 20 tons and a distance up to 60m from the shoreline, are generally carved out from the supratidal or mid-sublittoral zone, showing widespread biogenic encrustations sometimes so fresh that suggest a recent deposition. The GPS surveys allowed us to observed that, after a strong storm during January 2009, several boulders were removed while new have been deposited on the platform by the storm waves. Hydrodynamic equations jointly to statistical analysis of sea storms have been used to determine the extreme event, geological or meteorological, responsible for this singular accumulation. We computed the minimum wave height, of storm and tsunami, required to start the movement of each boulder from its initial position. Moreover, we calculated the maximum penetration of the waves for the two major storm waves estimated at Vendicari and for the 1693 and 1908 tsunami waves. Finally we compared the computed values with the boulder distribution. The results show that the strongest storms were probably responsible for the current distribution of many boulders but about the 30% of them need of stronger waves, likely tsunami waves, than the maximum assumed storms to be moved and transported in their final place. Radiocarbon dating, performed on three probably tsunami boulders, having weight of about 15 t and sited at a distance >40 m from the shoreline, suggests that two of them were probably deposited by the 1693 tsunami, and one by a tsunami occurred after 650-930 AD that could be an unknown event or one of the historical tsunamis occurred in the Ionian coast of Sicily. Absolute age dating, such as optical stimulated luminescence, should be necessary to gather a correct imprint of the paleotsunami event.

  3. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  5. SMART: a spatially explicit bio-economic model for assessing and managing demersal fisheries, with an application to italian trawlers in the strait of sicily.

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  6. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  8. The Role of Wrench Tectonics In The Neogene-quaternary Evolution of The Western Hyblean Plateau (sicily)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mattina, D.

    This study focussed on the kinematics and temporal variations of neotectonic-to-active structures on the margin of the Southern Apennines thrust front. The border between the thrustbelt contractional terranes and continental plateau hosts a number of strike- slip and, secondarily, normal structures of still disputed geometry. Based on newly- acquired data, this research opened new issues with respect to present-day kinematics of these fault systems, suggesting a new interpretation for the tectonic mechanisms underpinning the Hyblean plateau. Given its geodynamic environs, the present-day structural configuration of this plateau reflects a long tectonic history involving both intraplate extension and plate margin deformation. As a consequence, the platform area has been dominated by a complex interplay between extensional, compressional and strike-slip tectonics, expressed by subvertical faults that can be brokendown into two main trends: NE-SW and NNE- SSW. Fieldwork, integrated by interpretation of aerial photos and SPOT images, con- tributed to constrain and enhance a structural model of the region. The main NNE- SSW fault system (Scicli - Ragusa - Giarratana) is well exposed in the western part of the Hyblean plateau, called Ragusa Platform. This is an important structural feature which affects all domains present here and is characterised by vertical slip rates with a lateral component of motion. Structural analysis was primarily concentrated in this zone. Notably, a large set of structural elements, associated with a principal rigth-lateral NNE-SSW and NE-SW fault zone, was documented in the area and local transpressive elements, associated with these faults, are shown on the basis of their morphological evidence. A large bending and elevated area characterises the northern edge of the Ragusa platform and unveils the presence of several N-S striking reverse faults, with dextral lateral component of movement, and anticlinal folds. The detailed meso-structural analysis conducted on the Ragusa platform revealed the presence of non-coaxial compressive deformations, which in turn generated folds, re- verse faults and rare thrusts, involving the Upper Miocene - Lower Pleistocene de- posits. The structural analysis was conducted at the 1:25.000 scale, using the dis- persion of bedding data to define the orientation of the main structures. These data display a certain scattering but nevertheless allow to recognise a common trend; the 1 main fold system is characterised by structures trending~N-S. Subordinately, another set of folds is present; these are less developed and continuous than the previous sys- tem, forming fold with an average trend of about N 140E. The scattering of these structures is summarized in the structural model developed, including diagrams of some meso-folds recognized in the field. The presence of reverse faults is interpreted as flower structures and push-up systems which developed in a transpressive stress regime. In order to devise a tectonic model of the Hyblean plateau, the structural dataset was supplemented with a comparative morphological analysis, as revealed by fieldwork, satellite images, aerial photos and topographic data. Drainage network has been thor- oughly ascertained. In the case that the preferential directions of rivers were statisti- cally significant and different from those expected from non-structural controls (e.g. topographic and geographic trend), they were deemed to be a diagnostic tool to iden- tify the deformation system. This is based on the assumption of a strict structural control on the local hydrographic network and its evolution. The close relationship between the structural and morphological features underline the recent activity of the main fault trends. This study indicates that widespread occurrence of folds and reverse faulting can be ascribed to the transpressive regime, as a consequence of regional active wrenching capable of generating push-up and positive flower structures. Consequently, transform systems and brittle/ductile deformation is herewith envisaged to pertain to a single ma- jor deformation event. Within the central Mediterranean framework, the Scicli shear zone represents the on-shore strand of a major dextral transform system, documented off-shore to be the triggering mechanism responsible for the opening of the Sicily Strait. Such system also splits the western and eastern sectors of the Hyblean plateau, as indicated by differing kinematic evolutions. Present-day opening of the Pantelleria Rift, connected to a NE-SW extensional axis (Illies etl., 1981; Finetti et al., 1982; Boccaletti et al., 1987), activated the NNE trans- form system, whose on-shore expressions are highlighted by Scicli and Chiaramonte structures. Inception of activity for these fault systems is synchronous with the one characterizing the Rift (5 Ma; Ben-Avraham et al., 1991). Such line of evidence would enable to substantiate the Plio-Pleistocene shear mechanisms documented along these faults, indicating its viability within a regional stress field. Its likely s1, triggering con- traction at the plate boundary and causative of the rifting transtensional regime, would therefore be oriented NW-SE. 2

  9. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-04-01

    A geomorphologic and sedimentologic approach, combined with GIS spatial analysis, was used to investigate a 19 - km long coast sector in Southern Sicily, Italy, affected by important erosion processes. The methodology that we applied allowed the creation of a database involving a range of coastal characteristics helpful to reconstruct coastal processes and general sediment circulations patterns. The littoral zone studied belongs to the Trapani Province, South East of Sicily, Italy, and is situated between Punta Granitola and Porto Palo of Menfi. Coastal orientation varies from W/SW-E/NE in the western sector, between Punta Granitola and Triscina, to W-E in the central sector between Triscina and Belice River and to W/NW-E/SE between Belice River and Portopalo. In the investigated area houses, roads and other human structures, which have appeared in the last 30 - 40 years, are exceedingly close to shore line. More over at the same time harbours and artificial barrier were constructed. All these human structures have probably halted the littoral transport. The first goal of this work was the general knowledge of morphological characteristics of shore line and of the broad sediment circulation patterns. To this end the landform characteristic were obtained thought several field observations and the analysis of recent aerial photographs and topographic maps of different years. The ESRI® ArcMap 9.2. software was used for geo-referencing and for the elaboration of the topographic maps and of the aerial photographs. The ESRI® ArcMap 9.2. was later used for integration, digitalization and finally for the analysis of data. All data were presented as Universal Transverse Mercatore Coordinates, with the European 1950 datum (zone 33N). Moreover we performed a preliminary sedimentological study of this coast line. On this base we have identified 7 km of unimodal sand beach, situated between Punta Granitola and Triscina, where we have carried out a more detailed morphological and sedimentological study. In this area 68 transepts orthogonal to the coast line were collected with a total laser station Geodimeter System 600. The 68 transepts were repeated for four seasons. Moreover about 1000 sand samples were collected in the same four seasons. On 711 of these samples we performed the granulometric and compositional analysis. The elaboration of the granulometric data, using the Folk and Ward statistic parameters, was used to study and analyze the local drift. In this sector, that is prevalently oriented W/NW-E/SE and that is partially sheltered by a fear in west, the drift is prevalently from east to west as confirmed by the interpretation of the statistic parameters.

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

    PubMed 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

  12. Personal eating, lifestyle, and family-related behaviors correlate with fruit and vegetable consumption in adolescents living in sicily, southern Italy.

    PubMed

    Grosso, Giuseppe; Marventano, Stefano; Nolfo, Francesca; Rametta, Stefania; Bandini, Lorenzo; Ferranti, Roberta; Bonomo, Maria Concetta; Matalone, Margherita; Galvano, Fabio; Mistretta, Antonio

    2013-01-01

    Lifestyle habits and parental modeling have been reported to influence adolescents’ food choices, such as for fruit and vegetable consumption. The aim of this study was to investigate the association be-tween personal eating (i. e. breakfast and snacking behavior), lifestyle (sedentary and physical activity), and family-related (i. e. consuming meals with parents, family rules, and television use) habits and fruit and vegetable consumption among adolescents living in Sicily, southern Italy. A cross-sectional survey was conducted across 14 schools in urban and rural areas, including 1,135 adolescents (12 - 14 years old). Validated instruments were used to assess possible relationships between the study variables and daily fruit and vegetable consumption. Higher parental education, occupation, and rural environment were positively associated with adolescents’ daily consumption of fruits and vegetables. Both types of food consumption were negatively associated with an increased frequency of between-meal and out-of-home eating, and positively with having meals with parents and higher parental influence in adolescents’ food choices. Television viewing habits were not related with adolescents’ vegetable consumption, whereas having a television in their room and commercial advertisings were negatively associated with daily intake of fruits. Although socioeconomic and cultural status may influence fruit and vegetable consumption, personal eating and family-related behaviors may be targeted for implementing recommendations. PMID:25497779

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-09-01

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

  14. 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.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Realmuto, Vincent J.

    1992-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-11-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-05-01

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

  18. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-07-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. delta beta-Thalassaemia in Sicily: report of a case of double heterozygosity for A gamma delta beta-thalassaemia and A gamma G gamma delta beta-thalassaemia.

    PubMed Central

    Musumeci, S; Romeo, M A; Pizzarelli, G; Schilirò, G; Russo, G

    1983-01-01

    A case of double heterozygosity for A gamma delta beta-thalassaemia and A gamma G gamma delta beta-thalassaemia was found during a screening programme in Sicily. The proband, a 4-year-old girl, showed a clinical picture of thalassaemia intermedia. Hb F (85.12% by the Singer method) was G gamma A gamma type. The parents and the brother were delta beta-thalassaemia carriers. Structural analysis of Hb F showed both G gamma and A gamma chains in the father, but only A gamma chains in the mother. Images PMID:6188831

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-09-01

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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Grechi, Daniele; Biggeri, Annibale

    2016-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2006-06-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-10-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-05-01

    Rainfall-induced shallow landslides are a widespread phenomenon that frequently causes substantial damage to property, as well as numerous casualties. In recent years a wide range of physically-based models has been developed to analyze the triggering process of these events. Specifically, in this paper we propose an approach for the evaluation of different shallow landslide triggering scenarios by means of TRIGRS numerical model. For the calibration of the model, a back-analysis of the landslide event occurred in the study area (located SW of Messina, north-eastern Sicily, Italy) on 1 October 2009 was performed, by using different methods and techniques for the definition of the input parameters. After evaluating the reliability of the model through the comparison with the 2009 landslide inventory, different triggering scenarios were defined using rainfall values derived from the rainfall probability curves, reconstructed on the basis of daily and hourly historical rainfall data. The results emphasize how these phenomena are likely to occur in the area, given that even short-duration (3-6 h) rainfall events having a relatively low return period (e.g. 10 years) can trigger numerous slope failures. On the contrary, for the same rainfall amount, the daily simulations overestimate the instability conditions. The tendency of shallow landslides to trigger in this area agrees with the high number of landslide/flood events occurred in the past and summarized in this paper by means of archival researches. Considering the main features of the proposed approach, the authors suggest that this methodology could be applied to different areas, even for the development of landslide early warning systems.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-05-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Albanese, Cinzia; Sulli, Attilio

    2012-01-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  20. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-10-01

    The response of benthic foraminiferal assemblages to trace element pollution in the marine sediments of the Gulf of Milazzo (north-eastern Sicily) was investigated. Since the 1960s, this coastal area has been a preferred site for the development of two small marinas and a commercial harbour as well as for heavy industry. Forty samples collected in the uppermost 3-4 cm of an undisturbed layer of sediment in the littoral environment were used for this benthic foraminiferal analysis. The enrichment factors (EFs) of selected trace elements (As, Co, Cr, Cu, Mn, Ni, Pb and Zn) were also calculated. Changes both in benthic foraminiferal assemblages and in some trace elements concentrations have provided evidence that the gulf's littoral zone can be subdivided into three sectors characterised by environmental changes in the marine ecosystem. In the sector unpolluted, close to the Milazzo Cape, foraminiferal assemblages exhibit high values of species richness and foraminiferal density while trace element concentrations and their EFs are very low. Here, the highest densities of Miliolids and epiphytic species are present. On the contrary, in the sector polluted, from the marinas to the crude oil refinery, foraminiferal density and species diversity are low, and assemblages are dominated, albeit with very low densities, by species that tolerate stressed environmental conditions, such as LOFAs, agglutinants and Ammonia spp. Here, the highest trace elements concentrations of Pb, Zn and Cu and related EFs were detected. Eastwards, in the sector moderately polluted, foraminiferal populations are quite poor. They are characterised by low values of species richness and foraminiferal densities, nevertheless trace element concentrations become lower than in the other sectors and their EFs are often below 1. Deformed foraminifera, with percentages up to 7.14 %, were found in all three of the sectors. Differences in benthic foraminiferal assemblages, coupled with results from statistical analysis, indicate that anthropogenic trace element pollution could be considered as one of the most important causes of the modifications of foraminiferal assemblages in the study area. PMID:23828269

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-07-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  5. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

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

  7. The “Camporeale wedge-top Basin” (NW Sicily; Italy) in the frame of the Late Miocene Sicilian Foreland Basin System; Inferences from the Upper Tortonian-Lower Messinian Terravecchia Formation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gugliotta, C.

    2011-05-01

    Since the latest Oligocene-earliest Miocene the building of the Sicilian fold and thrust belt has been accompanied by development of a "peripheral" foreland basin system which migrated toward the foreland. In north-western Sicily, the sedimentary record of the foreland basin system migration is represented by a stratigraphic succession made up of several lithostratigraphic units, bounded by regional unconformity surfaces, deposited recording at least four main sedimentary phases, each characterized by the development of different types of syntectonic basins. In particular, during the Late Miocene (Late Tortonian to Early Messinian) a wide wedge-top depozone developed in the innermost sectors of the Sicilian foreland basin system, above the moving thrust sheets. There, wide to quite narrow "syn-kinematic" sedimentary basins developed in response to the tectonic deformation of the deeper carbonate units (Cu). These basins were filled by a thick wedge of silico- and carbonate-clastic deposits pertaining to the Terravecchia Formation (Upper Tortonian-Lower Messinian) which unconformably overlaid the already deformed substrate. Among these basins, the "Camporeale wedge-top Basin" (NW Sicily) was located between an uplifting subaerial chain (northward) acting as source area for coarse clastics and a major depositional area (foredeep depozone) mainly characterized by fine-grained marine sedimentation. Integrated stratigraphic and sedimentologic analyses performed on the Terravecchia Fm. in the Camporeale Basin allowed us to identify a coarsening to fining upward "outer wedge-top sequence" characterized by three main facies associations (i) sandy-to-gravelly unconfined braidplain, (ii) sandywave and storm-dominated delta front, (iii) clayey offshore, settled in several adjacent sedimentary environments. Sedimentation has been driven by several interplaying control factors among which the tectonics played a predominant role. Moreover, the structural analysis performed on the Camporeale Basin fill allows us to recognize major E-W, NE-SW, N-S-, NW-SE-trending structures (faults and folds) interpreted as the superficial expression of deep-seated thrusts with both S-ward and predominantly N-ward vergence, developed under a roughly N170°-oriented stress field. The comparison of the Camporeale Basin with other coeval basins of Sicily allows us to image the Late Miocene Sicilian foreland basin system, as being characterized by a wide continental to shallow-marine wedge-top depozone characterized, in turn, by an inner and outer sector passing basinward, through a foredeep transition zone, into a foredeep depozone characterized by open marine deposition.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aronica, Giuseppe T.; Brigandi', Giuseppina

    2010-05-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. Inner vs. outer wedge-top depozone "sequences" in the Late Miocene (late Tortonian-early Messinian) Sicilian Foreland Basin System; new data from the Terravecchia Formation of NW Sicily

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gugliotta, C.

    2012-04-01

    The wedge-top depozone belongs to the innermost portion of a Foreland Basin System (FBS) (DeCelles and Giles, 1996) and includes all sediments, typically coarse-grained proximal facies, that bury the active frontal part of a fold and thrust belt. The Terravecchia Formation (Flores, 1959; Schmidt Di Friedberg, 1962, 1964-1965; Catalano, 1979) is a composite lithostratigraphic unit widespread in Sicily (southern Italy) which has been recently considered (Gugliotta, 2010) as a part of the stratigraphic record of the Late Miocene (late Tortonian to early Messinian) Sicilian wedge-top depozone and represent the main object of this paper. Two end-member wedge-top "sequences" the (i) the inner wedge-top sequence (IWS) and (ii) the outer wedge-top sequence (OWS), respectively, were recognized in the Terravecchia Formation outcropping in different sectors of NW Sicily and here described and compared on the base of both their depositional and deformative pattern. The differences existing between the IWS and OWS clearly reflect the tectono-depositional evolution of sedimentary basins located at different position across the wedge-top depozone. The more coarse grained and IWS was deposited filling narrow and often oversupplied basins located in the inner sectors of the wedge-top depozone. In these basins the sedimentary evolution has been strongly controlled by a syn-sedimentary transpressional tectonics which produced, since the late Tortonian, the development of "local scale" intraformational angular unconformities. Contemporaneously, the more fine-grained OWS was deposited filling relatively wide and mainly shallow-water marine basins, probably open to major marine areas, located in a less external position of the wedge-top depozone. In these external areas during the late Tortonian-early Messinian the transpressional tectonics was active but still confined to the deeper structural layers producing long wavelength deformation and "basin-scale" unconformities. Integrating all data an alternative tectono-depositional model of the Sicilian Late Miocene Foreland Basin System has been outlined. The model here presented substantially differs from those previously known from other authors and shows a complex wedge-top depozone articulated in a "inner" and "outer" sector whose evolution has been driven by the progressive activation of deep-seated structures.

  13. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Sicily statement on evidence-based practice

    PubMed Central

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

    2005-01-01

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

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. [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

  1. Tsunami risk assessments in Messina, Sicily - Italy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  2. 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.

  3. Toscana virus encephalitis following a holiday in Sicily.

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-11-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-08-01

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

  7. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    1984-12-01

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

  9. 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.

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Epidemiology of antibiotic resistance in human isolates of Enterobacteriaceae in Sicily.

    PubMed

    Blandino, G; Caccamo, F; Di Marco, R; Speciale, A; Nicoletti, G

    1990-02-01

    The authors have studied the antimicrobial susceptibility of 1073 clinical isolates of various genera of Enterobacteriaceae (collected during the period July-December 1988) to ampicillin, piperacillin, cefotaxime, ceftazidime, ceftriaxone, aztreonam, imipenem, gentamicin, amikacin, netilmicin, norfloxacin, and ciprofloxacin. Antimicrobial susceptibility was determined by Bauer-Kirby disk diffusion method. Of 1073 tested bacteria, 704 (65.6%) produced beta-lactamase detectable by nitrocefin test. The highest percentage of resistant strains occurred with ampicillin (70%) followed by piperacillin (24%) and cefotaxime (19%). Lower percentages of resistant strains were found for gentamicin (10%), aztreonam (8%), netilmicin (7%), norfloxacin (5%) and amikacin (4%). Two percent of the strains were resistant to ciprofloxacin and 0.5% to imipenem. The incidence of resistance in Klebsiella sp., Enterobacter sp., E. coli and Proteus sp. was compared to that found among 872 strains isolated during July-Dec. 1984. In all the Enterobacteriaceae, mainly Enterobacter sp., the increase in the resistance was high for ampicillin, piperacillin and cefotaxime and lower for gentamicin. PMID:2332782

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liguori, Vincenzo; Manno, Giorgio

    2014-05-01

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

  15. 77 FR 54647 - Culturally Significant Objects Imported for Exhibition Determinations: “Sicily: Art and Invention...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-09-05

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barbera, Giuseppe; Feo, Roberto; Freni, Gabriele

    2015-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-05-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1990-05-01

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

  1. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-10-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2008-11-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-06-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

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

  7. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bianco, Alessia; Candela, Michele; Fonti, Roberta

    2008-07-01

    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.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1985-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Vertesi, Janet

    2004-06-01

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

  12. Fluoro-edenitic fibres in the sputum of subjects from Biancavilla (Sicily): a pilot study

    PubMed Central

    Putzu, Maria Grazia; Bruno, Caterina; Zona, Amerigo; Massiccio, Marilena; Pasetto, Roberto; Piolatto, Pier Giorgio; Comba, Pietro

    2006-01-01

    Background An excess of mortality for malignant neoplasms of the pleura in Biancavilla, promoted an investigation for pleural mesothelioma, disclosing 17 cases. As the absence of known sources of asbestos exposure, a local stone quarry, located near the inhabited area, used for the extraction of building materials, was investigated. Amphibolic fibres were found in the quarry and identified as fluoro-edenite "new end-member of the edenite / fluoro-edenite series" and recognized as the fluoro-edenite holotype by International Mineralogical Association – Commission on New Minerals and Mineral Names. A pilot study was performed to verify the feasibility of using spontaneous sputum as an exposure indicator for these fibres, in a context in which the use of aerosol-induced sputum technique would not be easily accepted. Methods Hypothesizing a behaviour of the new fibre analogous to that of asbestos, the determination of the free fibres and the ferruginous bodies in spontaneous sputum was carried out. Phase Contrast Optical Microscope and an Environmental Scanning Electron Microscope fitted with X-ray energy dispersive analysis system (micro-analysis) were used to examine the samples. The criteria for inclusion in the study were: 1) subjects hospitalized for exacerbation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease symptoms, 2) age ≥ 45 years, 3) residence in Biancavilla for at least 30 years. Results The preliminary findings are related to 12 subjects (7 females and 5 males). Uncoated fibres (with length > 5 μm, diameter < 3 μm, aspect ratio 3.1) and ferruginous bodies were searched. Six out of twelve subjects (4 females, 2 males) had at least one of the three samples positive for the presence of fluoro-edenite, confirmed by micro-analysis. The fibre concentration found in the sputum ranged from 0.04 to 10 fibres/g; the length from 20 to 40 μm, the diameter was < 0.5 μm. No ferruginous bodies were found in any of the samples. The four women with a positive sample were housewives. Of the two men with a positive sample, one was a farmer and the other a mason. Therefore, it may be assumed that the exposure to fluoro-edenitic fibres was mainly environmental. Conclusion The occurrence of the pleural mesothelioma cases and the presence of fluoro-edenitic fibres in spontaneous sputum, evidence the need to study the biological activity of fluoro-edenitic fibres and the implementation of epidemiological monitoring systems. PMID:16780574

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-10-17

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  16. Food safety in hospital: knowledge, attitudes and practices of nursing staff of two hospitals in Sicily, Italy

    PubMed Central

    Buccheri, Cecilia; Casuccio, Alessandra; Giammanco, Santo; Giammanco, Marco; La Guardia, Maurizio; Mammina, Caterina

    2007-01-01

    Background Food hygiene in hospital poses peculiar problems, particularly given the presence of patients who could be more vulnerable than healthy subjects to microbiological and nutritional risks. Moreover, in nosocomial outbreaks of infectious intestinal disease, the mortality risk has been proved to be significantly higher than the community outbreaks and highest for foodborne outbreaks. On the other hand, the common involvement in the role of food handlers of nurses or domestic staff, not specifically trained about food hygiene and HACCP, may represent a further cause of concern. The purpose of this study was to evaluate knowledge, attitudes, and practices concerning food safety of the nursing staff of two hospitals in Palermo, Italy. Association with some demographic and work-related determinants was also investigated. Methods The survey was conducted, by using a semi-structured questionnaire, in March-November 2005 in an acute general hospital and a paediatric hospital, where nursing staff is routinely involved in food service functions. Results Overall, 401 nurses (279, 37.1%, of the General Hospital and 122, 53.5%, of the Paediatric Hospital, respectively) answered. Among the respondents there was a generalized lack of knowledge about etiologic agents and food vehicles associated to foodborne diseases and proper temperatures of storage of hot and cold ready to eat foods. A general positive attitude towards temperature control and using clothing and gloves, when handling food, was shared by the respondents nurses, but questions about cross-contamination, refreezing and handling unwrapped food with cuts or abrasions on hands were frequently answered incorrectly. The practice section performed better, though sharing of utensils for raw and uncooked foods and thawing of frozen foods at room temperatures proved to be widely frequent among the respondents. Age, gender, educational level and length of service were inconsistently associated with the answer pattern. More than 80% of the respondent nurses did not attend any educational course on food hygiene. Those who attended at least one training course fared significantly better about some knowledge issues, but no difference was detected in both the attitude and practice sections. Conclusion Results strongly emphasize the need for a safer management of catering in the hospitals, where non professional food handlers, like nursing or domestic staff, are involved in food service functions. PMID:17407582

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2004-08-01

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

  19. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  1. 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).

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cannata, Andrea; Alparone, Salvatore; Ursino, Andrea

    2014-05-01

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

  3. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Ragaini, R.C.

    1994-06-01

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

  6. 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).

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Manno, Emanuela; Varrica, Daniela; Dongarrà, Gaetano

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

  9. 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…

  10. 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.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1981-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-05-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-10-01

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

  14. GC-MS analysis of the essential oils of ripe fruits, roots and flowering aerial parts of Elaeoselinum asclepium subsp. meoides growing in Sicily.

    PubMed

    Bader, Ammar; Cioni, Pier Luigi; Flamini, Guido

    2010-07-01

    The compositions of the essential oils obtained by hydrodistillation of the ripe fruits, flowering aerial parts and roots of Elaeoselinum asclepium (L.) Bertol subsp. meoides (Desf.) Fiori (Apiaceae) were determined by GC-MS analysis. All the analyzed parts were very rich in alpha-pinene (77.1%, 92.2% and 60.8%, respectively). Other compounds detected in appreciable amounts were beta-pinene (4.3%, 4.0% and 8.2%), and sabinene (11.9% in ripe fruits; 12.8% in aerial parts). The plant synthesizes different classes of monoterpenes, including pinane, camphane, thujane, menthane, and fenchane derivatives, besides some acyclic monoterpenes. Trace amounts of sesquiterpenes and diterpenes were also detected. PMID:20734952

  15. Differences in Kaposi sarcoma-associated herpesvirus-specific and –nonspecific immune responses in classic Kaposi sarcoma cases and matched controls in Sicily

    PubMed Central

    Amodio, Emanuele; Goedert, James J.; Barozzi, Patrizia; Riva, Giovanni; Firenze, Alberto; Bonura, Filippa; Viviano, Enza; Romano, Nino; Luppi, Mario

    2011-01-01

    SUMMARY Kaposi sarcoma (KS) may develop because of incompetent immune responses, both nonspecifically and specifically against the KS-associated herpes virus (KSHV). Peripheral blood mononuclear cells from 15 classic (non-AIDS) KS cases, 13 KSHV seropositives (without KS), and 15 KSHV-seronegative controls were tested for interferon-γ T-cell (Elispot) responses to KSHV-LANA, KSHV-K8.1, and CMV/EBV peptide pools. The forearm and thigh of each participant also was tested for delayed-type hypersensitivity (DTH) against common recall antigens. Groups were compared with Fisher exact test and multinomial logistic regression to calculate odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI). KSHV Elispot response was detected in 10 (67%) classic KS cases, 11 (85%) KSHV seropositives (without KS), and 2 (13%) seronegative controls. All 4 cases with KSHV-LANA responses had current KS lesions, whereas 5 of 6 cases with KSHV-K8.1 responses had no lesions (P=0.048). No case responded to both LANA and K8.1. Compared to seronegative controls, risk for classic KS was inversely related to DTH in the thigh (OR 0.71, 95% CI 0.55–0.94, P=0.01), directly associated with DTH in the forearm (OR 1.35, 95% CI 1.02–1.80, P=0.04), and tended to be increased 5-fold per KSHV Elispot response (OR 5.13, 95% CI 0.86–30.77, P=0.07). Compared to KSHV seropositives (without KS), risk for classic KS, was reduced 5-fold (OR 0.20, CI 0.03–0.77, P=0.04) per KSHV response. CMV/EBV Elispot responses were irrelevant. Deficiency of both KSHV-specific and –nonspecific immunity is associated with classic KS. This may clarify why Kaposi sarcoma responds to immune reconstitution. PMID:21740480

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2000-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-05-01

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

  18. 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

  19. Restraining stepover deformation superimposed on a previous fold-and-thrust-belt: A case study from the Mt. Kumeta-Rocca Busambra ridges (western Sicily, Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barreca, Giovanni; Maesano, Francesco Emanuele

    2012-04-01

    The western segment of the Sicilian Apennines (southern Italy) is affected by poly phase deformation characterized by non-coaxial structural associations. In particular, this study is focused on two narrow ˜E-W oriented structural and topographic culminations of the fold and thrust belt (Mt. Kumeta and Rocca Busambra ridges), resulting from the exhumation of a deep-seated tectonic unit. A detailed field mapping and meso-structural analysis reveals that since Pliocene time the region was tectonically controlled by the propagation of two major NW-SE oriented right-lateral shear zones and associated structures that often propagated along inherited discontinuities. In particular, the left-stepping geometry and the sense of motion of these regional strike-slip fault systems produced in the overlapping area a wide rhomboidal-shaped contractional region characterized by the occurrence of double-verging ˜E-W striking compressive structures. These bound the Mt. Kumeta and Rocca Busambra carbonate ridges, forming a pair of pop-up structures which link the coeval transcurrent boundary faults. Field data show that contractional structures are affected by significant bending along strike that increases close to the major shear zones. Structural rotations around the vertical axis allowed the carbonate ridges to develop a typical sigmoidal shape. The topographic expression and the internal structural architecture, compared with experimental models describing deformations associated with segmented strike-slip faults, suggest that the analyzed segment of Sicilian fold and thrust belt can be interpreted as a restraining stepover in which crustal shortening, exhumation and vertical axis rotation occurred. Moreover, field data, compared to the subsurface setting imaged by the analysis of available geophysical data (e.g. gravimetric maps and available/interpreted seismic profiles), reveal that, since Pliocene times, the restraining stepover deformation was transversally superimposed on a pre-existing NE-SW oriented thrust and fold system related to the Miocene Africa-Europe collision.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-01

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

  2. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Di Stefano, P.; Mindszenty, A.

    2000-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-06-01

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

  6. 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.

  7. 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%), β-thujone (7.8%), neryl propionate (6.5%), and τ-muurolol (6.5%) prevailed. α-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 β-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

  8. 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

  9. Italy: Mt. Etna

    Atmospheric Science Data Center

    2013-04-17

    article title:  Sicily's October Sky     View Larger Image The ... the volcano. The three natural-color (red, green and blue) images depict the scene as observed by MISR's downward-looking (nadir) ...

  10. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Ciappa, Achille; Costabile, Salvatore

    2014-07-15

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-05-15

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

  13. The Astronomical Orientation of Ancient Greek Temples

    PubMed Central

    Salt, Alun M.

    2009-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Mazzeo Rinaldi, Francesco

    2016-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2004-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2000-01-01

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

  17. 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. ...

  18. Plato (428-347 BC)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Murdin, P.

    2000-11-01

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

  19. 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...

  20. Schooling, Education and the Future.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Galtung, Johan

    A series of discussions on the present and possible future of education in Sweden is presented. The major themes covered are: the boredom of school; school and the life-cycle; the problem of examinations; a comparison of schooling and eating; a pupil centered school; experimental schools in Sicily and Oslo; the university; distinctions among the…

  1. 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)

  2. 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.

  3. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  5. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2005-05-01

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

  8. Chemical composition and biological activity of Salvia verbenaca essential oil.

    PubMed

    Canzoneri, Marisa; Bruno, Maurizio; Rosselli, Sergio; Russo, Alessandra; Cardile, Venera; Formisano, Carmen; Rigano, Daniela; Senatore, Felice

    2011-07-01

    Salvia verbenaca L. (syn. S. minore) is a perennial herb known in the traditional medicine of Sicily as "spaccapetri" and is used to resolve cases of kidney stones, chewing the fresh leaves or in decoction. The chemical composition of the essential oil obtained from aerial parts of S. verbenaca collected in Piano Battaglia (Sicily) on July 2009, was analyzed by GC and GC-MS. The oil was strongly characterized by fatty acids (39.5%) and carbonylic compounds (21.2%), with hexadecanoic acid (23.1%), (Z)-9-octadecenoic acid (11.1%) and benzaldehyde (7.3%) as the main constituents. The in vitro activity of the essential oil against some microorganisms in comparison with chloramphenicol by the broth dilution method was determined. The oil exhibited a good activity as inhibitor of growth of Gram + bacteria. PMID:21834249

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1996-11-01

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

  10. Erosion of continental margins in the Western Mediterranean due to sea-level stagnancy during the Messinian Salinity Crisis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Just, Janna; Hübscher, Christian; Betzler, Christian; Lüdmann, Thomas; Reicherter, Klaus

    2011-02-01

    High-resolution multi-channel seismic data from continental slopes with minor sediment input off southwest Mallorca Island, the Bay of Oran (Algeria) and the Alboran Ridge reveal evidence that the Messinian erosional surface is terraced at an almost constant depth interval between 320 and 380 m below present-day sea level. It is proposed that these several hundred- to 2,000-m-wide terraces were eroded contemporaneously and essentially at the same depth. Present-day differences in these depths result from subsidence or uplift in the individual realms. The terraces are thought to have evolved during one or multiple periods of sea-level stagnancy in the Western Mediterranean Basin. According to several published scenarios, a single or multiple periods of relative sea-level stillstand occurred during the Messinian desiccation event, generally known as the Messinian Salinity Crisis. Some authors suggest that the stagnancy started during the refilling phase of the Mediterranean basins. When the rising sea level reached the height of the Sicily Sill, the water spilled over this swell into the eastern basin. The stagnancy persisted until sea level in the eastern basin caught up with the western Mediterranean water level. Other authors assigned periods of sea-level stagnancy to drawdown phases, when inflowing waters from the Atlantic kept the western sea level constant at the depth of the Sicily Sill. Our findings corroborate all those Messinian sea-level reconstructions, forwarding that a single or multiple sea-level stagnancies at the depth of the Sicily Sill lasted long enough to significantly erode the upper slope. Our data also have implications for the ongoing debate of the palaeo-depth of the Sicily Sill. Since the Mallorcan plateau experienced the least vertical movement, the observed terrace depth of 380 m there is inferred to be close to the Messinian depth of this swell.

  11. Triangulum

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Murdin, P.

    2000-11-01

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

  12. 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

  13. Myiasis with Dermatobia hominis in a Sicilian traveller returning from Peru.

    PubMed

    Bongiorno, M R; Pistone, G; Aricò, M

    2007-05-01

    We report a case of a bot fly infestation of the scalp. A 45-year-old man after returning to Sicily noted a small white "worm" erupting from the upper lesion. Physical examination revealed a superficial furuncular lesion with central pores with sero-sanguineous discharge. The foreign body identified was diagnosed as the larva of the human bot fly, Dermatobia hominis. PMID:17448949

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-09-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2008-08-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-12-01

    In the Central Mediterranean, the differential roll-back of the subducting Nubia Plate caused the Neogene-Quaternary extrusion of the Calabrian arc onto the oceanic Ionian slab, and the opening of the oceanic Tyrrhenian Basin, in the overriding Eurasia Plate. The differential motion at the edges of the arc was largely accommodated along transform faults that propagated across the orogenic belt. Since the Late Quaternary, the southern edge of the arc has been replaced by the roughly N-S oriented Siculo-Calabrian Rift Zone (SCRZ) that formed as the NNW-directed normal faults of NE Sicily, crossing the orogenic belt, have linked the NNE-oriented Tyrrhenian margin of southern Calabria with the NNW-trending Africa-Ionian boundary of southeastern Sicily. Our study focused on the Sicily shoulder of the SCRZ, where the transition zone between the extensional belt and the still active Nubia-Eurasia convergent margin is characterized by two distinct mobile crustal wedges, both lying on an upwarped Mantle, where a re-orientations of the σ1 is combined with volcanism (e.g. Etna, Aeolian islands) and a huge tectonic uplift. In southeastern Sicily, the Hyblean-Etnean region evolved, since about 0.85 Ma, as an indipendent crustal wedge, moving towards the NNW and pointing to the active Mt. Etna volcano. A local ENE crustal stretching accompanied the traslation of the block and pre-dated the ESE-oriented extension governing the propagation of the southernmost branch of the SCR, which started at about 330 ka B.P.. Similarly, the Peloritani-Aeolian region, flanked by the 125 ka-old NE-Sicily branch of the rift zone, represents a mostly submerged crustal wedge that migrates towards the NE, diverging from the rest of the Sicily collision zone and pointing to the Stromboli volcano. The Peloritani-Aeolian block is characterized by the occurrence of a wide central NE-oriented collapsed basin contoured by an actively uplifting region, whose tectonic boundaries are evidenced by a sharp increase in the elevation of the marine terraces of the last 600 ka. In the two analysed crustal blocks, the crustal doming with the related basin collapses and the concurrent tectonic motion without any back-stop can be respectively related to the thermal anomalies and to the drag forces exerted by a hot Mantle flow, triggered by the opening of a vertical slab windows at the southern edge of the Calabrian arc. This process has favored the migration of hot Mantle material towards the sectors of larger rollback of the subduction hinge, producing the spectacular tectonic uplift and active magmatism of the region. The increase of the volume of the Mantle wedged in the subduction zone of the Calabrian arc has been also effective to accommodate the differential roll-back between the adjacent segments of Nubia Plate, thus replacing the motion along the pre-existing transform faults dissecting the orogenic belt. In this frame, the deformation of the Hyblean-Etnean and the Peloritani-Aeolian blocks heralded the development of the two Sicily branches of the SCRZ. The delayed crustal stretching responsible for the propagation of the rift zone across the orogenic belt can be framed in the dynamic of a still active convergent margin if interpreted as the result of the sliding of the crust along the Ionian flank of the Mantle flow.

  19. 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.

  20. Airborne EM for geothermal and hydrogeological mapping

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-12-01

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

  1. 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.

  2. Crustal motion and active deformation along the Eurasia-Africa collisional area in Southern Italy from GPS observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bruno, V.; Mattia, M.; Palano, M.; Rossi, M.; Cannavo', F.

    2009-12-01

    We have used continuously recording GPS and survey-mode GPS observations to determine a new velocity field of Southern Italy for the period 1996-2009. We have combined local, regional and global networks into a common reference frame (ITRF2005) and then rotated the estimated velocities with respect to both an Eurasian fixed and African fixed frame. Then, we have provided strain-rate values for the Eastern Sicily, where the GPS network is denser. The results highlight a different kinematic for the Calabrian Arc and Sicily. The Calabrian Arc behaves as an independent block. It has an independent motion with respect to both Eurasia and Africa. In Sicily the analysis of the geodetic velocities and strain-rate parameters shows the presence of different domains with different motions and deformation styles, besides local effects produced by the principal fault systems or volcanic activity. The deformation pattern can be considered as the result of the interaction between the main NNW-SSE regional compression and the local movements of the main faults cutting the area. The convergence along the Plio-Pleistocene nappe thrust front north of the Hyblean Plateau is active, with compressive strain-rate values of about 0.14 μstrain/yr. Part of the regional compression is localized in the Eastern sector of the Aeolian Islands, bounded at west by the Lipari-Vulcano complex, where the compressive strain-rate reaches the maximum values of about 0.65 μstrain/yr (with the principal axes mostly NW-SE oriented). A transition to extensional domains is observed in the Nebrodi-Peloritani and the Messina Straits area, showing the maximum strain-rate values along the Aeolian-Tindari-Letojanni and the Messina Straits fault systems. We have also calculated the movement rates along these fault systems.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-08-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-04-01

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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-07-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bartol, J.; Topper, R. P.

    2014-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    1998-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  12. A unique lower mantle source for Southern Italy volcanics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2007-07-01

    The Southern Italy volcanism is characterized by the unusual occurrence of volcanic rocks with ocean-island basalt (OIB)-like characteristics, in particular at Etna and Iblean Mts in Sicily. The geochemical properties of the source of the Italian magmatism are usually explained by a north-south binary mixing between a mantle- and a crustally-derived end-members. The nature of the mantle end-member is, however, not agreed upon. One type of interpretation invokes a mixture of depleted mantle (DMM) and high U/Pb (HIMU) end-members [Gasperini, D., Blichert-Toft, J., Bosch, D., Del Moro, A., Macera, P., Albarède, F., 2002. Upwelling of deep mantle material through a plate window: Evidence from the geochemistry of Italian basaltic volcanics, J. Geophys. Res. 107, 2367-2386], whereas an alternative view holds that the mantle end-member is unique and homogeneous, and similar to the FOZO- or C-type end-member identified in oceanic basalts [Bell, K., Castorina, F., Lavecchia, G., Rosatelli, G., Stoppa, F., 2004. Is there a mantle plume below Italy? EOS 85, 541-547]. Because mixing does not produce linear relationships between the isotopic compositions of different elements, we applied Principal Component Analysis (PCA) to the Pb isotope compositions of the Italian volcanics inclusive 36 of Sicily volcanoes. We demonstrate that HIMU cannot be an end-member of the Italian volcanics, but rather that the common component C (˜FOZO), which we interpret as reflecting the lower mantle, best represents the mantle source of the Italian magmatism. Our PCA calculation shows that the first principal component alone, which we take to be a mixture of two geochemical end-members, C and a crustally-derived component, explains 99.4% of the whole data variability. In contrast, the DMM end-member (the second principal component) is only present in the volcanics from the Tyrrhenian Sea floor. The C-like end-member, well represented by the Etna and Iblean Mts (Sicily), has relatively low 3He/ 4He ratios suggesting upwellings of lower mantle material from the 670 km transition zone. A slab detachment beneath the central-Southern Italy and probably the Sicily could account for the particular character of Italian magmatism.

  13. Productivity improvement by frontier horizontal drilling in Italy

    SciTech Connect

    Schenato, A.

    1995-12-31

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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-04-01

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

  17. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2001-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-03-01

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

  1. Dihydrostilbene derivatives from Glycyrrhiza glabra leaves.

    PubMed

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

    2005-07-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Cacopardo, M C; Moreno, J L

    1990-06-01

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

  3. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schiano, Pierre; Clocchiatti, Roberto; Ottolini, Luisa; Busà, Tiziana

    2001-08-01

    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 500kyr 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-01-01

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

  8. Italian populations during the Copper Age: assessment of biological affinities through morphological dental traits.

    PubMed

    Vargiu, Rita; Cucina, Andrea; Coppa, Alfredo

    2009-08-01

    The Copper Age (3rd millennium BC) was characterized by considerable socioeconomic transformations and coincided with the discovery of metallurgy. In this study we reconstruct the peopling of Italy during this period on the basis of dental morphology traits. Dental remains from 41 sites throughout Italy were analyzed; only three of the sites (Laterza and two from Sicily) span from the late Copper Age to the early Bronze Age. To work with adequate samples, we pooled the collections into nine geographically and culturally homogeneous groups. Dental morphological traits were scored on 8,891 teeth from 1,302 individuals using the ASUDAS scale. The correlation between the mean measure of divergence and geographic distances (calculated as air distances) was computed. Multidimensional scaling with the minimum spanning tree and maximum-likelihood methods was applied to assess the relationships between groups. The results revealed a substantial genetic homogeneity among the populations throughout the Italian peninsula during the Copper Age with the exception of Sardinia, which tends to diverge from the continental samples. Phenetic and geographic distances correlate highly significantly only when the southern samples from Sicily and Laterza are removed from the analysis, which indicates that these groups may have experienced genetic admixture with external populations. PMID:20067371

  9. 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

  10. Studies on European species of the water mite family Aturidae Thor (Acari: Hydrachnidia).

    PubMed

    Gerecke, Reinhard

    2014-01-01

    Selected water mite species of the family Aturidae are revised. The following synonyms are established: Aturus intermedius serrata K. Viets, 1922 = A. asserculatus Walter, 1906; A. lelgioensis Rensburg, 1971 = A. natangensis Protz, 1900; A. oudemansi Besseling, 1932 = A. intermedius Protz, 1900. The proposal of E. Angelier (1965), to synonymize A. paucisetus Motaş & Tanasachi, 1946 with A. brachypus K. Viets, 1934 is rejected. Aturus elongatus Walter, 1927 (described after females, type material heavily damaged) and Ljania bipapillata subterranea Schwoerbel, 1964 (no type material available, no type locality defined) are considered as species incertae. Ljania macilenta longissima Schwoerbel, 1962 is redescribed and elevated to species rank. Two species of the genus Kongsbergia are described as new to science from interstitial habitats in the Central Mediterranean: K. albanorum sp. nov. from Western Sicily and K. jaentschi sp. nov. from Sicily and Sardinia. Woolastookia basilicalabrica sp. nov. is described from mountain streams in Southern Italy. Numerous new records are given, extending noteworthy the known distribution area of several species in Southern Europe. Aturus rotundus Romijn, 1921, Kongsbergia dentata Walter, 1947 and K. simillima K. Viets, 1949 are recorded for the first time from Italy, K. pectinigera Motaş & Tanasachi, 1946 from France and Italy; first records from Corsica are given for Aturus intermedius and A. spatulifer Piersig, 1904. Lectotypes are designated for Aturus asserculatus Walter, 1906; A. asserculatus serratus K. Viets, 1922; A. oudemansi Besseling, 1932. PMID:25082026

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-01

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

  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. 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

  14. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2004-10-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2004-01-01

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-04-01

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

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. Time evolution of complex networks: commuting systems in insular Italy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Montis, Andrea; Caschili, Simone; Chessa, Alessandro

    2011-03-01

    The aim of this paper is to study the dynamics of the commuting system of two insular regions of Italy, Sardinia and Sicily, inspected as complex networks. The authors refer to a 20-year time period and take into account three census data sets about the work and study-driven inter-municipal origin-destination movements of residential inhabitants in 1981, 1991 and 2001. Since it is likely that the number of municipalities (in this case, the vertices of the system) does not display sharp variations, the authors direct the study to the variation of the properties emerging through both a topological and a weighted network representation of commuting in the time periods indicated.

  11. 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.

  12. Relationship between Parenting and Cognitive Schemas in a Group of Male Adult Offenders

    PubMed Central

    Pellerone, Monica; Craparo, Giuseppe; Tornabuoni, Ylenia

    2016-01-01

    This work analyzes the correlation of retrospective ratings on parental binding with cognitive patterns in the inmates for property crimes. The participant group comprehended 248 adults men, including 130 marked out as offenders (the target group), aged between 19 and 70, currently serving sentences in the Cavadonna prison in Siracusa, and 118 marked out as non-offenders (the control group), aged between 20 and 70, living in Siracusa (Sicily). The instruments used were the Parental Bonding Instrument (PBI), and the Young Schema Questionnaire-3 (YSQ). The preliminary analysis showed a high percentage of offenders who experienced an affectionate constraint parenting. Offenders scored significantly higher than the non-offenders on the level of paternal control and the YSQ subscales. The study underlines the influence of maternal care on most of the cognitive schemas, and the role of father's control on the tendency to social isolation and defectiveness in the offenders. PMID:27014121

  13. Moon shadow observation with ANTARES and KM3NeT neutrino telescope

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sanguineti, Matteo; Distefano, Carla

    2016-04-01

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

  14. Status report of the NEMO (NEutrino Mediterranean Observatory) project

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Margiotta, A.; NEMO Collaboration

    2006-10-01

    The activities towards the realization of a km3 Cherenkov neutrino detector, carried out by the NEMO Collaboration, are described. A long-term survey of a 3500 m deep site close to the coast of Sicily has shown that it is optimal for the installation of the detector. A complete feasibility study, considering all the components of the detector as well as its deployment, has been carried out demonstrating that technological solutions exist for the realization of an underwater km3 detector. An intense R&D activity finalized at the development of new solutions for the sensors and the acquisition electronics is also continuing. The realization of a technological demonstrator of the apparatus (the NEMO Phase 1 project) is under way.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. Mössbauer investigation on archaic trade amphoras of Phoenician and Etruscan origin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Deriu, A.; Calabrese, E.; Pelagatti, P.; Boitani, F.

    1986-02-01

    Etruscan trade amphoras are a kind of pottery widely diffused in the archaic period (VII VI century B.C.) in many archaeological sites of the Mediterranean area. It is only recently that the problem of their origin with regard to their similarity with Phoenician amphoras has been taken into consideration. Indeed, from the morphologic point of view, the earlier Etruscan and Phoenician trade amphoras are rather similar in shape. It is therefore difficult to distinguish, on archaeological grounds alone, the different production centers. We have therefore performed a detailed Mössbauer investigation on amphoras found in different sites of Central Italy and Sicily. The obtained data allowed us to assess with certainty the Etruscan origin of a peculiar type of amphoras for which a Phoenician origin had previously been proposed.

  18. Composition and Variability of the Essential Oil of the Flowers of Lavandula stoechas from Various Geographical Sources.

    PubMed

    La Bella, Salvatore; Tuttolomondo, Teresa; Dugo, Giacomo; Ruberto, Giuseppe; Leto, Claudio; Napoli, Edoardo M; Potorti, Angela Giorgia; Fede, Maria Rita; Virga, Giuseppe; Leone, Raffaele; D'Anna, Eleonora; Licata, Mario

    2015-11-01

    Samples of flowers of wild Lavandula stoechas L. spp. stoechas populations were collected in three areas of Sicily (Italy) and were characterized in agronomic and chemical terms. Essential oil (EO) was extracted by hydrodistillation and analyzed by GC-FID and GC-MS. GC-FID and GC-MS analyses permitted identification of 89 compounds from the EO. The samples were separated into 3 groups using PCA (Principal Component Analysis) statistical method, with reference to the chemical composition of the EO. All three Sicilian populations of lavender were identified as the fenchone chemotype with percentage content ranged between 52.8-71.1%. The population of Partinico showed the highest dry weight of flowers per plant (221.3 g), but the lowest EO yield (0.37%). The essential oils of the three wild Sicilian populations of L. stoechas L. spp. stoechas showed a greater chemical differentiation than those obtained from other Mediterranean areas. PMID:26749848

  19. Relationship between Parenting and Cognitive Schemas in a Group of Male Adult Offenders.

    PubMed

    Pellerone, Monica; Craparo, Giuseppe; Tornabuoni, Ylenia

    2016-01-01

    This work analyzes the correlation of retrospective ratings on parental binding with cognitive patterns in the inmates for property crimes. The participant group comprehended 248 adults men, including 130 marked out as offenders (the target group), aged between 19 and 70, currently serving sentences in the Cavadonna prison in Siracusa, and 118 marked out as non-offenders (the control group), aged between 20 and 70, living in Siracusa (Sicily). The instruments used were the Parental Bonding Instrument (PBI), and the Young Schema Questionnaire-3 (YSQ). The preliminary analysis showed a high percentage of offenders who experienced an affectionate constraint parenting. Offenders scored significantly higher than the non-offenders on the level of paternal control and the YSQ subscales. The study underlines the influence of maternal care on most of the cognitive schemas, and the role of father's control on the tendency to social isolation and defectiveness in the offenders. PMID:27014121

  20. 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.

  1. [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

  2. Statistical characterisation of heavy metal contents in Paracentrotus lividus from Mediterranean Sea.

    PubMed

    Salvo, Andrea; Potortì, Angela Giorgia; Cicero, Nicola; Bruno, Maurizio; Lo Turco, Vincenzo; Di Bella, Giuseppa; Dugo, Giacomo

    2014-01-01

    This work focuses on the estimation of Hg, As, Cr, Ni, Cu, V, Cd and Pb by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry in 135 adult specimens of Paracentrotus lividus collected in different coastal areas of Sicily (Gela, Punta Secca, Ragusa (RG), Siracusa, Priolo, Catania, Messina, Milazzo, Brolo and Filicudi), in order to monitor the Mediterranean marine ecosystem by use of sea urchin as bioindicator. Moreover, the paper deals with the statistical classification of the tested samples according to the sampling area based on metal concentrations. The descriptive statistics findings were obtained and, a starting multivariate matrix was built. Data-sets were subjected to Kruskal-Wallis test to verify the significance of differences in metal concentrations, and then a factor analysis with principal components extraction was performed to try to differentiate urchin samples collected in different areas. The results showed that P. lividus is a suitable organism to be used as bioindicator. PMID:24498867

  3. [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

  4. Texaco presses projects for gasification process

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1992-07-06

    This paper reports that Texaco Inc. continues to press international ventures for its gasification process. A combine of Italian companies plans an $800 million integrated gasification/combined cycle power plant at a refinery in Sicily that will use Texaco's process to gasify refinery residual to produce electrical power. Other Italian refiners are expected to follow suit with similar projects. Meanwhile, Texaco and Bitor America Corp., have signed a letter of agreement to develop integrated gasification/combined cycle electrical power generation projects. The venture plans to use Texaco's gasification process and Orimulsion, a boiler fuel that is an emulsion of Venezuelan heavy crude, water, and surfactant, as feedstock. Bitor, Boca Raton, Fla., and its parent, Bitumenes Orinoco SA, are units of Venezuela's state oil company Petroleos de Venezuela SA.

  5. A review of the genus Solariola Flach, 1908 (Coleoptera: Curculionidae: Entiminae, Peritelini).

    PubMed

    Baviera, Cosimo

    2015-01-01

    The species of the Italian endemic weevil genus, Solariola Flach, 1908 (Coleoptera: Curculionidae: Entiminae), are revised, the genus is re-diagnosed, re-described and transferred from the tribe Otiorhynchini to Peritelini. Three new species are described: Solariola angelae n. sp. and Solariola pesarinii n. sp. from Sicily, and Solariola fraterna n. sp. from Calabria. Solariola hirtula (A. Solari & F. Solari, 1923) is considered a good species and not a subspecies of Solariola gestroi (A. Solari & F. Solari, 1904), bringing the total number of species considered valid to 9. All the previously described species are re-described in detail. Distribution, ecology, maps and figures are provided for all the species of the genus, as well as a species-level identification key and a checklist of all known species. PMID:25781257

  6. Genetic sub-structure in western Mediterranean populations revealed by 12 Y-chromosome STR loci.

    PubMed

    Rodríguez, V; Tomàs, C; Sánchez, J J; Castro, J A; Ramon, M M; Barbaro, A; Morling, N; Picornell, A

    2009-03-01

    Haplotype and allele frequencies of 12 Y-chromosome short tandem repeat (Y-STR) loci (DYS19, DYS389I, DYS389II, DYS390, DYS391, DYS392, DYS393, DYS385 a/b, DYS437, DYS438 and DYS439) included in the Powerplex(R) Y System were determined in seven western Mediterranean populations from Valencia, Majorca, Ibiza (eastern Spain), Sicily and three Calabrian provinces (southern Italy). Amongst the 554 males included in the study, 443 different haplotypes were observed of which 372 were only observed once. The other haplotypes were shared by two to seven men. The overall haplotype diversity was 0.9988 +/- 0.0002. These Y-STRs markers showed a low capacity of discrimination (56.3%) in the Ibiza population probably due to genetic drift. Comparisons between the populations studied and other neighbouring populations showed a clear genetic sub-structure in the western Mediterranean area. PMID:19066931

  7. Prevalence and molecular characteristics of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) among subjects working on bovine dairy farms.

    PubMed

    Antoci, Eugenio; Pinzone, Marilia Rita; Nunnari, Giuseppe; Stefani, Stefania; Cacopardo, Bruno

    2013-06-01

    Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is a major cause of healthcare-associated infections worldwide and has recently been identified as an emerging pathogen in livestock and companion animals. Livestock-associated MRSA (LA-MRSA) may be responsible for increased rates of colonization and/or infection among people working on farms. We evaluated the prevalence and molecular characteristics of MRSA among dairy farmers in the province of Ragusa, South-Eastern Sicily, their animals and bulk tank milk samples. A surprisingly high number of samples tested positive for MRSA: 36% of human nasal swabs, 61% of bovine nasal swabs and 44% of bulk tank milk samples. MRSA carrier prevalence in humans significantly correlated with the percentage of positive cows on the farm, the number of livestock units and the presence of consensual positive bulk tank milk samples. Prospective studies are needed to investigate MRSA transmission between animals and humans and implement preventive strategies. PMID:23774976

  8. Hierarchical structure of the Sicilian goats revealed by Bayesian analyses of microsatellite information.

    PubMed

    Siwek, M; Finocchiaro, R; Curik, I; Portolano, B

    2011-02-01

    Genetic structure and relationship amongst the main goat populations in Sicily (Girgentana, Derivata di Siria, Maltese and Messinese) were analysed using information from 19 microsatellite markers genotyped on 173 individuals. A posterior Bayesian approach implemented in the program STRUCTURE revealed a hierarchical structure with two clusters at the first level (Girgentana vs. Messinese, Derivata di Siria and Maltese), explaining 4.8% of variation (amovaФ(ST) estimate). Seven clusters nested within these first two clusters (further differentiations of Girgentana, Derivata di Siria and Maltese), explaining 8.5% of variation (amovaФ(SC) estimate). The analyses and methods applied in this study indicate their power to detect subtle population structure. PMID:20497156

  9. FORMOSAT-3/COSMIC E region observations and daytime foE at middle latitudes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Perrone, Loredana; Mikhailov, Andrei V.; Korsunova, Lidija P.

    2011-06-01

    Ionosonde observations at Rome and Gibilmanna (Sicily) for some months of 2006-2007 were analyzed in the connection with recent COSMIC NmE results. Italy was completely located in the NmE enhanced zone according to COSMIC observations for the periods in question. COSMIC-observed NmE values in the NmE enhanced zone do not coincide with NmE scaled from ionograms in accordance with the URSI Recommendations, but the IRI model correctly describes monthly median NmE contrary to the Chu et al. (2009) conclusion. Three month averaged COSMIC NmE values turn out to be close to monthly median NmE corresponding to the blanketing frequency fbEs. A conclusion is made that sporadic E practically permanently existing during daytime hours in summer strongly contributes to NmE observed by COSMIC. Possible reasons for the occurrence of the NmE enhanced zones at middle latitudes are discussed.

  10. Prevalence of multiple sclerosis in the region of Osona, Catalonia, northern Spain.

    PubMed Central

    Bufill, E; Blesa, R; Galan, I; Dean, G

    1995-01-01

    To ascertain the prevalence of multiple sclerosis in the region of Osona in Catalonia, northern Spain, an intensive study was undertaken in a small population of 72,000 people over a period of five years, using many sources of information. Patients were classified according to the Poser criteria. Most of the patients presented with mild symptoms only and many had not seen a neurologist or attended a large hospital. The prevalence of definite and probable multiple sclerosis was 58 per 100,000. This is nine to 10 times higher than had been found previously in Catalonia and is a similar prevalence to that found in southern Spain, in Sicily, and in Greek speaking Cyprus. Images PMID:7745405

  11. An integrated remote sensing approach for landslide susceptibly mapping at the volcanic islands of Vulcano and Lipari (Eolian Island, Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scifoni, Silvia; Palenzuela Baena, José A.; Marsella, Maria; Pepe, Susi; Sansosti, Eugenio; Solaro, Giuseppe; Tizzani, Piero

    2015-10-01

    Volcanic Island can be affected by instability phenomena such as landslide and partial collapse events, even in quiescent period. Starting from data collected by an aerial laser scanning survey at cm-level accuracy), a GIS based approach was implemented in order to perform a landslide-susceptibility analysis. The results of this analysis were compared and integrated with data derived from Differential Synthetic Aperture Radar Interferometry (DinSAR) analysis able to identify the most active areas and quantify the on-going deformation processes. The analysis is focused on the on the active volcanic edifice of Vulcano Island and in some areas of Lipari island, both include in the Eaolian Islands in Sicily (Italy). The developed approach represent a step-forward for the compilation of hazard maps furnishing in an overall contest, updated and georeferenced quantitative data, describing the morphology and the present behaviour of the slopes in the area of investigation.

  12. Settlement of the alien mollusc Brachidontes pharaonis in a Mediterranean industrial plant: bioassays for antifouling treatment optimization and management.

    PubMed

    Garaventa, F; Corrà, C; Piazza, V; Giacco, E; Greco, G; Pane, L; Faimali, M

    2012-05-01

    In this work, we investigated the efficacy of three new biocides (77351, 73532, 73503--NALCO®) as specific antifouling products against adult organisms of the bivalve Brachidontes pharaonis (Fischer P., 1870), a Lessepsian species introduced in the Mediterranean Sea by sea transport (ballast water), and which has recently shown invasive behaviour in an industrial plant in Southern Italy (Sicily). These biocides were tested to verify their efficacy, as well as their environmental compatibility at discharge point, using the crustacean belonging to the genus Artemia (Leach, 1819) as model organism, according to Government Decree (D. Lgs) No. 152/06. Biocides were also tested using alternative crustaceans, Amphibalanus amphitrite (Darwin, 1854), and Tigriopus fulvus (Fischer, 1860), in order to check whether their introduction as model species in the national regulation could affect discharge limit concentrations (DLC) due to their different sensitivity, with likely economic and technical repercussions in the industrial water treatment sector. PMID:22005010

  13. The impact of dredge-fill on Posidonia oceanica seagrass meadows: regression and patterns of recovery.

    PubMed

    Badalamenti, Fabio; Alagna, Adriana; D'Anna, Giovanni; Terlizzi, Antonio; Di Carlo, Giuseppe

    2011-03-01

    Posidonia oceanica meadows can be severely damaged by dredge-fill operations. We report on the construction of gas pipelines that occurred between 1981 and 1993 in SW Sicily, Italy. A large portion of the meadow was mechanically removed, and the excavated trench was filled with a mosaic of substrates, ranging from sand to consolidated rock debris. Meadow loss and recovery were quantified over 7 years after the end of operations. We recorded an overall loss of 81.20 ha of meadow. Substrate strongly affected recovery as the percent cover by P. oceanica consistently increased on calcareous rubble, reaching values of 44.37 3.05% in shallow sites after 7 years, whereas no significant increase occurred on other substrates. As in the Mediterranean Sea exploitation of coastal areas continues to grow with consequent impacts on P. oceanica meadows, this case study illustrates how artificial rubble-like materials could be employed to support the restoration of damaged meadows. PMID:21256527

  14. 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

  15. Milnesium minutum and Milnesium sandrae, two new species of Milnesiidae (Tardigrada, Eutardigrada, Apochela)

    PubMed Central

    Pilato, Giovanni; Lisi, Oscar

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Two new species of Milnesium are described, Milnesium minutum sp. n. from Sicily and Milnesium sandrae sp. n. from the Hawaiian Archipelago. The body size of Milnesium minutum is the smallest of the known species of the genus. The stylet supports are inserted on the buccal tube at 63–66% of its length and the claws have a [3-3]-[3-3] configuration. Mil