Sample records for sicily

  1. Sicily: Art and Invention

    NSDL National Science Digital Library

    2013-01-01

    Co-organized by the J. Paul Getty Museum, the Cleveland Museum of Art, and the Assessorato dei Beni Culturali e dell'IdentitÃ?  Siciliana, Sicily: Art and Invention celebrates 2013 as the Year of Italian Culture in the United States. To complement the exhibit (on view at the Getty Museum until August) the website is organized into five thematic sections: The Greeks in Sicily, Religion and Ritual, The Discoveries of Archimedes, Literature and Theater, and The Roman Conquest. The section on Archimedes includes a diagram of his water-raising screw, a Leaf from the Archimedes Palimpsest, and a short video discussing those of Archimedes' inventions still in use today. Teachers and parents may wish to note: the literature and theater section contains some possibly adult-only content, such as the Statue of Priapos, 250ââ?¬â??212 B.C. [DS

  2. Summer in Sicily Program Snapshot

    E-print Network

    Fraden, Seth

    Summer in Sicily Program Snapshot · No language prerequisite · 1 year of Italian language covered the opportunity to attend the CET Intensive Italian Language in Sicily summer program. program, based Italian language learning, and language partners and local roommates ensure that language practice

  3. A crustal seismic profile across Sicily

    Microsoft Academic Search

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

    2011-01-01

    A crustal reflection seismic profile, more than 100km 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,

  4. 3, 221254, 2006 Sicily Channel model

    E-print Network

    Paris-Sud XI, Université de

    Science The Sicily Channel Regional Model forecasting system: initial boundary conditions sensitivity regional models, that do not include deep ocean basins, may be much quicker. In order to start a model run / Esc Printer-friendly Version Interactive Discussion EGU Abstract The Sicily Channel Regional Model

  5. 78 FR 14619 - Culturally Significant Objects Imported for Exhibition Determinations: “Sicily: Art and Invention...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-03-06

    ...Sicily: Art and Invention Between Greece and Rome'' ACTION: Notice, correction...Sicily: Art and Invention Between Greece and Rome.'' The referenced notice is...Sicily: Art and Invention Between Greece and Rome,'' imported from abroad...

  6. 77 FR 54647 - Culturally Significant Objects Imported for Exhibition Determinations: “Sicily: Art and Invention...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-09-05

    ...Exhibition Determinations: ``Sicily: Art and Invention Between Greece and Rome'' SUMMARY: Notice is hereby given of the following...included in the exhibition ``Sicily: Art and Invention Between Greece and Rome,'' imported from abroad for temporary...

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Microsoft Academic Search

    A. Cubito; V. Ferrara; G. Pappalardo

    2005-01-01

    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

  10. Wild food plants of popular use in Sicily

    PubMed Central

    Lentini, Francesca; Venza, Francesca

    2007-01-01

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

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

    Microsoft Academic Search

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

    2011-01-01

    Microscopic blebs of sulfur-bearing organic matter (OM) commonly occur between the secondary calcite grains and fibrous phyllosilicates in extensively serpentinized and carbonated mantle-derived ultramafic xenoliths from Hyblean nephelinite diatremes, Sicily, Italy. Rarely, coarse bituminous patches give the rock a blackish color. Micro Fourier transform infrared spectra (?-FTIR) point to asphaltene-like structures in the OM, due to partially condensed aromatic rings

  12. ESONET LIDO Demonstration Mission: the East Sicily node

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-05-01

    Off East Sicily (at 2100 m depth, 25 km off the harbour of Catania) a prototype of a cabled deep-sea observatory (NEMO-SN1) was set up and has been operational in real-time since 2005 (the cabled deep-sea multi-parameter station SN1, equipped with geophysical and environmental sensors and the cabled NEMO-O?DE, equipped with 4 broadband hydrophones). The Western Ionian Sea is one of the node sites for the upcoming European permanent underwater network (EMSO). Within the activities of the EC project ESONET-NoE some demonstration missions have been funded. The LIDO-DM (Listening to the Deep Ocean-Demonstration Mission) is one of these and is related to two sites, East Sicily and Iberian Margin (Gulf of Cadiz), the main aims being geo-hazards monitoring and warning (seismic, tsunami, and volcanic) and bio-acoustics. The LIDO-DM East Sicily installation represents a further major step within ESONET-NoE, resulting in a fully integrated system for multidisciplinary deep-sea science, capable to transmit and distribute data in real time to the scientific community and to the general public. LIDO-DM East Sicily hosts a large number of sensors aimed at monitoring and studying oceanographic and environmental parameters (by means of CTD, ADCP, 3-C single point current meter, turbidity meter), geophysical phenomena (low frequency hydrophones, accelerometer, gravity meter, vector and scalar magnetometers, seismometer, absolute and differential pressure gauges), ocean noise monitoring and identification and tracking of biological acoustic sources in deep sea. The latter will be performed using two tetrahedral arrays of 4 hydrophones, located at a relative distance of about 5 km, and at about 25 km from the shore. The whole system will be connected and powered from shore, by means of the electro-optical cable net installed at the East Sicily Site Infrastructure, and synchronised with GPS. Sensors data sampling is performed underwater and transmitted via optical fibre link, with optimal S/N ratio for all signals. This will also permit real-time data acquisition, analysis and distribution on-shore. Innovative electronics for the off-shore data acquisition and transmission systems has been designed, built and tested. A dedicated computing and networking infrastructure for data acquisition, storage and distribution through the internet has been also created. The deployment and connection of the deep sea structures will be performed using the dedicated ROV and Deep Sea Shuttle handling facilities (PEGASO, owned by INGV and INFN). LIDO-DM constitutes the enhancement of the Western Ionian site in view of the EMSO Research Infrastructure.

  13. Data-driven simulations of synoptic circulation and transports in the Tunisia-Sardinia-Sicily region

    E-print Network

    Leonard, John J.

    Data-driven simulations of synoptic circulation and transports in the Tunisia of the Tunisia-Sardinia-Sicily region are assimilated into a primitive equations ocean model. The model circulation and transports in the Tunisia-Sardinia-Sicily region, J. Geophys. Res., 108(C9), 8123, doi:10

  14. 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)

    Microsoft Academic Search

    A. Savini; C. Tessarolo; C. Corselli

    2007-01-01

    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

  15. Derivation of critical rainfall thresholds for landslide in Sicily

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

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

  16. Parents' attitudes and behaviours towards recommended vaccinations in Sicily, Italy

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Maria Anna Coniglio; Marco Platania; Donatella Privitera; Giuseppe Giammanco; Sarina Pignato

    2011-01-01

    Background  Since a long time, Italy has maintained a dual system to administer childhood immunisations, that is a certain number of mandatory\\u000a vaccinations and a number of recommended vaccinations. The study aimed to explore the issues surrounding parental acceptance\\u000a or non-acceptance of the recommended vaccinations for children.\\u000a \\u000a \\u000a \\u000a \\u000a Methods  Parents of children aged 3-5 years of day-care centres in Sicily were asked to

  17. Municipal waste management in Sicily: Practices and challenges

    SciTech Connect

    Messineo, Antonio [Department of Energy and Environmental Researches (DREAM), University of Palermo, Viale delle Scienze, Palermo 90128 (Italy)], E-mail: messineo@dream.unipa.it; Panno, Domenico [Department of Energy and Environmental Researches (DREAM), University of Palermo, Viale delle Scienze, Palermo 90128 (Italy)

    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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  3. 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 0.12?m. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-05-01

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

  5. Vega field and potential of Ragusa basin, Offshore Sicily

    SciTech Connect

    Schramm, M. Jr.; Livraga, G.

    1984-09-01

    Vega, the largest single oil field in the Mediterranean Sea, is located between the southeastern coast of Sicily and the Island of Malta. The field lies entirely in Italian waters. Its discovery in October 1980 was based on interpretation of a very poor-quality seismic survey which, nevertheless, roughly outlined a relatively small structure. A limestone and dolomite fractured reservoir of the Inici, or Siracusa Formation, of Late Jurasic age, may contain in excess of 1 billion bbl of heavy crude (15.5 API) within a productive area of approximately 10,000 acres (4000 ha.). Reservoir properties are excellent, with permeabilities in darcys. The field extends northwest-southeast for 8.5 mi (14 km) and averages 1.7 mi (3 km) in width, according to the 3D seismic survey (2000 km) shot soon after the discovery well was drilled. The gross oil column reaches approximately 820 ft (250 m). The southeasternmost part of the Vega structure is not yet completely defined, and an additional 3D seismic survey is in progress. Should the new seismic results confirm expectations, the Vega structure could extend over 10 mi (17 km). The overlying Inici reservoir consists of dolomite and underlain by limestone in the southwestern part of the basin, and entirely of limestone in the northwestern portion of the basin. The Inici Formation represents the platform facies of the open-sea Villagonia and Giardini sediments. The Cammarata-Pozzillo (discovered in 1959), Perla (1979), Vega (1980), and Prezioso (1983) heavy crude oil fields are related to this formation. The potential for discovery of other fields similar to Vega in the Ragusa basin is excellent.

  6. Thematic maps for environmental and landscape compatibility in Sicily for projects on energy crops

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Giuseppina Marina D'Agosta; Agata Milazzo; Cristina Patanè

    This study aims at verifying the environmental and landscape compatibility of energy crop cultivation in Sicily, by means of georeferenced thematic maps. GIS was used to identify suitable areas for cultivation and each map is made up of a set of shapefiles which represent the desired themes to be highlighted at any given time. Processing thematic maps for environmental and

  7. Ground Penetrating Radar Survey Inside the S. Agata Cathedral of Catania (Eastern Sicily)

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Sebastiano Imposa; Giuliana Mele

    2011-01-01

    This article presents the results of a ground penetrating radar survey carried out in 2003 inside the S. Agata Cathedral of Catania (eastern Sicily). The aim was to reconstruct the subsurface conditions of the central nave floor to assess the load-bearing capacity of the vauable pavement in view of restoration interventions. Data was acquired with a multi-antenna array along a

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

    Microsoft Academic Search

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

    2002-01-01

    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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  10. Maximum entropy spectral analysis of volcanic tremor using data from Etna (Sicily) and Merapi (central Java)

    Microsoft Academic Search

    D. Seidl; S B Kirbani; W. Brüstle

    1990-01-01

    The maximum entropy spectral analysis (MESA) method is applied to synthetic and observed tremor time series using autoregressive processes and recordings from the volcanoes Etna (Sicily) and Merapi (central Java). The MESA analysis can be used to estimate power spectra with sharp peaks from short data records. If the tremor source process can be modelled by an autoregressive process, the

  11. 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...

  12. Ecology and distribution of a controversial macrophyte in Sicily: Zannichellia peltata (Zannichelliaceae)

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Giuseppe Bonanno; Vincenzo Veneziano

    2011-01-01

    Two new records of Zannichellia peltata Bertol. were reported from Sicily (Italy), together with the history of the taxonomic studies. This macrophyte, usually considered\\u000a as a synonym or subspecies of Z. palustris, was reported only twice from Italy over one century ago. Taxonomic relationships within the Zannichellia genus, habitat ecology and anthropogenic disturbance factors were also investigated.

  13. Cultural Districts, A New Strategy for Regional Development? The South-East Cultural District in Sicily

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Antoine Le Blanc

    2010-01-01

    Le Blanc A. Cultural districts, a new strategy for regional development? The South-East Cultural District in Sicily, Regional Studies. The industrialization of cultural production and a strong trend for the development of regional networks have recently led to the creation of new spatial and economic forms called ‘cultural districts’. However, these new economic systems rely on very different geographical bases,

  14. Numerical simulation of the barotropic tides in the Tunisian Shelf and the Strait of Sicily

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Jihène Abdennadher; Moncef Boukthir

    2006-01-01

    We have investigated the barotropic tides in the Tunisian shelf and the Strait of Sicily using the Regional Ocean Modelling System (ROMS) with very high-resolution. Model performance was evaluated with respect to tide gauge, satellite data, and current meter measurements. The model fields faithfully reproduced the major feature of the barotropic tidal currents and agreed well with existing tidal elevation

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-08-01

    Microscopic blebs of sulfur-bearing organic matter (OM) commonly occur between the secondary calcite grains and fibrous phyllosilicates in extensively serpentinized and carbonated mantle-derived ultramafic xenoliths from Hyblean nephelinite diatremes, Sicily, Italy. Rarely, coarse bituminous patches give the rock a blackish color. Micro Fourier transform infrared spectra (?-FTIR) point to asphaltene-like structures in the OM, due to partially condensed aromatic rings with aliphatic tails consisting of a few C atoms. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) analysis indicates the occurrence of minor S?O (either sulphonyl or sulphoxide) functional groups in the OM. Solubility tests in toluene, thermo-gravimetric (TGA) and differential thermal (DTA) analyses confirm the presence of asphaltene structures. It is proposed that asphaltenes derive from the in situ aromatization (with decrease in H/C ratio) of previous light aliphatic hydrocarbons. Field evidence excludes that hydrocarbon from an external source percolated through the xenolith bearing tuff-breccia. The discriminating presence of hydrocarbon in a particular type of xenolith only and the lack of hydrocarbon in the host breccia matrix, are also inconsistent with an interaction between the ascending eruptive system and a supposed deep-seated oil reservoir. Assuming that the Hyblean unexposed basement consists of mantle ultramafics and mafic intrusive rocks having hosted an early abyssal-type hydrothermal system, one can put forward the hypothesis that the hydrocarbon production was related to hydrothermal activity in a serpentinite system. Although a bacteriogenesis or thermogenesis cannot be ruled out, the coexisting serpentine, Ni-Fe ores and hydrocarbon strongly suggest a Fischer-Tropsch-type (FTT) synthesis. Subsequent variations in the chemical and physical conditions of the system, for example an increase in the water/rock ratio, gave rise to partial oxidation and late carbonation of the serpentinite hosted hydrocarbon. Admitting an authigenic origin for most of the modal calcite (30-50% by volume) in these rocks, one can conclude as a general rule that un-carbonated serpentinites tectonically emplaced at shallow crustal levels are potential reservoir rocks (as well putative source rocks) for exploitable petroleum reserves.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-06-01

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

  17. Late Quaternary high uplift rates in northeastern Sicily: evidence from calcareous nannofossils and benthic and planktonic foraminifera

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Enrico Di Stefano; Mauro Agate; Alessandro Incarbona; Fabio Russo; Rodolfo Sprovieri; Sergio Bonomo

    The northeastern part of Sicily is characterized by intense seismic activity. Several systems of faults have been recognized\\u000a in Pliocene and Pleistocene sediments in the area and, in fact, estimates of uplift rates are among the highest recorded in\\u000a Sicily and south Italy. We examined calcareous nannofossil and benthic and planktonic foraminifera assemblages from pelitic\\u000a sediments of the Contrada Zura

  18. Mid and late-Holocene vegetation and fire history at Biviere di Gela, a coastal lake in southern Sicily, Italy

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Roland Noti; Jacqueline F. N. van Leeuwen; Daniele Colombaroli; Elisa Vescovi; Salvatore Pasta; Tommaso La Mantia; Willy Tinner

    2009-01-01

    The vegetation and fire history of few coastal sites has been investigated in the Mediterranean region so far. We present\\u000a the first paleoecological reconstruction from coastal Sicily, the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. We analysed pollen\\u000a and charcoal in the sediments of Biviere di Gela, a lake (lagoon) on the south coast of Sicily. Our data suggest that the

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

    Microsoft Academic Search

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

    2009-01-01

    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.

  20. Hydrological characteristics in the Tunisia–Sardinia–Sicily area during spring 1995

    Microsoft Academic Search

    C. Sammari; C. Millot; I. Taupierletage; A. Stefani; M. Brahim

    1999-01-01

    Within the framework of the Tunisian – EC SALTO\\/AVICENNE project, four hydrological sections were performed between Tunisia, Sardinia and Sicily with a 10–20km sampling interval in April–June 1995. To our knowledge, it is the first time that sections were repeated there at such a high frequency. These data significantly increase the number of observations available on the Tunisian side of

  1. Geologic development and hydrocarbon habitats of the Tunisia-Sicily shelf

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Schamel

    1988-01-01

    Hydrocarbon habitats on the Tunisia-Sicily shelf result from the complex interplay of three factors: (1) proximity to a source of terrigenous sediments, (2) eustatic sea level changes resulting in major transgressive\\/regressive events, and (3) a varied and ever-changing structural mosaic involving successive transtensional, transpressive, and compressional tectonic phases. The stratigraphy, structure, and petroleum resources of the shelf are linked, directly

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

    Microsoft Academic Search

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

    In the present study, we investigated the concentrations and distribution of organochlorine pesticides (OCs) and polychlorinated\\u000a biphenyls (PCBs) in intestine, liver, and muscle samples of 11 common buzzards (Buteo buteo) from Sicily used as bioindicator for monitoring pollution in environment. All samples of common buzzards were collected\\u000a at the “Recovery Center of Wild Fauna” of Palermo, through the Zooprophilactic Institute.

  3. Characterisation and differentiation of pigments employed on the façade of “Noto’s Valley” monuments (Sicily)

    Microsoft Academic Search

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

    2008-01-01

    Most of the “Noto’s Valley” monuments façades, located in different towns of Sicily such as Ragusa Ibla, Modica and Noto,\\u000a present different colours and in many cases the towns themselves are characterized by evident chromatic variations. The knowledge\\u000a of colour and in particular the characterization of pigments is of utmost importance in the baroque Sicilian buildings, because\\u000a the peculiarity of

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

    Microsoft Academic Search

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

    2008-01-01

    Renaissance blue decorated pottery fragments from the archaeological site of Caltagirone (Sicily, Italy) were analysed by\\u000a scanning electron microscopy – energy dispersive X-ray spectrometry (SEM\\/EDS). The samples were dated back to 16th century\\u000a AD on the basis of archaeological observations. The micro-chemical analyses were performed on the ceramic body and the surface\\u000a decorated layer of the samples. Particularly, the investigation

  5. On particular ignimbrites of the Island of Pantelleria (channel of sicily)

    Microsoft Academic Search

    L. Villari

    1969-01-01

    On the Island of Pantelleria (Channel of Sicily) several layers of particular ignimbrites have been found. Their properties\\u000a can be explained only by admitting a great fluidity of the deposited material. Such a low viscosity is abnormal for sodarhyolitic\\u000a or sodatrachytic melts and demonstrates that the temperature must have been exceptionally high, as it is possible only in\\u000a the case

  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. Geologic development and hydrocarbon habitats of the Tunisia-Sicily shelf

    SciTech Connect

    Schamel, S. (Univ. of South Carolina, Columbia (USA))

    1988-08-01

    Hydrocarbon habitats on the Tunisia-Sicily shelf result from the complex interplay of three factors: (1) proximity to a source of terrigenous sediments, (2) eustatic sea level changes resulting in major transgressive/regressive events, and (3) a varied and ever-changing structural mosaic involving successive transtensional, transpressive, and compressional tectonic phases. The stratigraphy, structure, and petroleum resources of the shelf are linked, directly or indirectly, to the crustal template created during the middle Mesozoic rifting of the Tethyan margin of north Africa. Transtensional stretching and crustal fragmentation forming the Tunisia-Sicily passive margin occurred in the Late Triassic-Jurassic at the juncture of the South Saharan and Gibraltar shear zones, creating a complex array of ridges and furrows and localized pull-apart basins. During the Cretaceous and early Tertiary, the subsident block-faulted shelf was buried beneath a varied stratigraphy ranging from a thin pelagic limestone succession devoid of terrigenous components in Sicily to a considerably thicker neritic Tunisian succession composed of mixed terrigenous and carbonate strata. Beginning in the middle Cretaceous, the region experienced localized tectonic instability expressed as transtensional faulting, crustal inversion, salt diapirism, and submarine volcanism. The principal post-Paleozoic hydrocarbon habitats are (1) Triassic-Jurassic restricted pull-apart basins, (2) Cretaceous-early Tertiary structurally controlled shallow shelf edges, and (3) the late Cenozoic foredeep containing synorogenic clastic facies.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-05-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-03-01

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

  17. Volatile constituents of Dianthus rupicola Biv. from Sicily: activity against microorganisms affecting cellulosic objects.

    PubMed

    Casiglia, Simona; Bruno, Maurizio; Senatore, Felice

    2014-01-01

    Dianthus rupicola Biv. (cliffs carnation) is a camephytic, suffruticous, perennial plant growing up to 40 cm high. The plant is widespread in Sicily and neighbouring islands (Egadi, Lampedusa, Lipari) and in some areas of southern Italy. GC and GC-MS analyses of the essential oil distilled from the flowers showed the presence of 66 components. Its composition is characterised by the high content of thymol and carvacrol derivatives. A good antibacterial activity against Bacillus cereus and Bacillussubtilis, both infesting cellulosic historical material, was shown, whereas the antioxidant capacity was determined to be quite poor. PMID:25115728

  18. Analysis of subsidence and modeling of Oil Formation in the Ragusa basin (Iblean Plateau, southeast Sicily)

    SciTech Connect

    Moretti, I.; Brosse, E.; Delahaye, S.; Roure, F. (Institut Francais du Petrole, Rueil Malmaison (France)); Mattavelli, L. (Agip, Milan (Italy))

    1990-05-01

    The Iblean plateau (southeastern Sicily) was part of the Apulian (African) margin of the Ligurian Tethys during the Mesozoic and played the role of a foreland during the Tertiary Alpine compression. From the Tortonian until the Holocene, the Apulian platform has been subducting northward underneath the European plate. Both the thickness and nature of the Apulian crust are poorly known. Subsurface data, from wildcat wells in the Ragusa petroleum basin, and backstripping have been used to quantify the vertical movements and thinning of the Apulian margin in southeastern Sicily. After quiet tectonics during the Middle Triassic, a rifting phase was initiated in the Hettangien, and lasted until the end of the Lias. Tectonic synrift subsidence can be great (up to 800 m in the wells analyzed). By contrast, the postrift subsidence, which gives an image of the lithospheric thermal anomaly, is very low. Comparison with some other current passive margin evolution, such as the Gulf of Lions, suggests that the Iblean plateau remained quite far away from the main axis of the rift. In this general tectonic context, the burial history of the source rocks, i,e., the Noto (Rhaetian) and Streppenosa (mainly Hettangien) formations are quite different from one area of the Ragusa basin to another. Early Jurassic subsidence rates were relatively higher in the center and in the south, and this could have resulted in early oil kitchens in local grabens. On the contrary, in the north, oil formation is a very recent phenomenon, induced by the overthrust of the Maghrebidic (Apenninic) nappes.

  19. Red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) bioindicator of lead and copper pollution in Sicily (Italy).

    PubMed

    Naccari, C; Giangrosso, G; Macaluso, A; Billone, E; Cicero, A; D'Ascenzi, C; Ferrantelli, V

    2013-04-01

    The aim of this study was to evaluate Pb and Cu accumulation in muscle and skin samples of red fox (Vulpes vulpes) from Sicily, for monitoring of environmental metals pollution. Metals determination, carried out by atomic absorption spectrophotometer (AAS), showed the presence of Pb and Cu in all samples analyzed. Pb concentrations were similar in muscle (0.04±0.009 mg/kg) and skin (0.03±0.004 mg/kg) samples, while Cu levels resulted higher in muscle (1.842±0.178 mg/kg) than in skin (1.22±0.151 mg/kg). In addition, a comparative analysis of Pb and Cu concentrations was carried out among samples from different areas of Sicily and between female and male, young and old, immature and mature foxes. Metals content found in all muscle and skin samples demonstrates that V. vulpes could be a valid "sentinel" species of rural and suburban areas to study the environmental metals pollution and the habitat quality. PMID:23313116

  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. Dispersal rate and parasitism by Closterocerus chamaeleon (Girault) after its release in Sicily to control Ophelimus maskelli (Ashmead) (Hymenoptera, Eulophidae)

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Virgilio Caleca; Gabriella Lo Verde; Maria Concetta Rizzo; Roberto Rizzo

    2011-01-01

    Spread of the exotic parasitoid Closterocerus chamaeleon (Girault) and its parasitism on the Eucalyptus gall wasp Ophelimus maskelli (Ashmead) (Hymenoptera, Eulophidae) were studied in Sicily after C. chamaeleon introduction in May 2006. Parasitoid spread was evaluated by sampling sites at increasing distances from the five release sites. C. chamaeleon quickly established and spread; within 5months, it caused 62% parasitism at

  2. Spatial variability of Posidonia oceanica (L.) Delile epiphytes around the mainland and the islands of Sicily (Mediterranean Sea)

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Giuseppina Pardi; Luigi Piazzi; David Balata; Ilaria Papi; Francesco Cinelli; Lisandro Benedetti-Cecchi

    2006-01-01

    This paper investigates patterns of variability in epiphytes of Posidonia oceanica leaves at various spatial scales around Sicily, including geographical differences among the Mediterranean basins, differences between the small islands and mainland, and the variability among and within replicated meadows in each of the previous conditions. Data on percentage cover of the most common epiphytic organisms were analysed by univariate

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-07-01

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

  4. 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.

  5. Past and present role of the Indian-fig prickly-pear ( Opuntia ficus-indica (L.) Miller, Cactaceae) in the agriculture of sicily

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Giuseppe Barbera; Francesco Carimi; Paolo Inglese

    1992-01-01

    Of prickly-pear cacti occurring in Sicily, the most widespread and economically important isOpuntia ficus-indica (L.) Miller. In Sicily it has, since its introduction, played an important role in the exploitation of marginal areas. The\\u000a Sicilian experience is described with reference to the historical outlines and the present intensive production of late fruit.\\u000a Information on historical and actual uses of the

  6. 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

  7. 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.

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

    Microsoft Academic Search

    John E. Guest; Ellen R. Stofan

    2005-01-01

    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

  9. Late Quaternary slip rates on the Acireale-Piedimonte normal faults and tectonic origin of Mt. Etna (Sicily)

    Microsoft Academic Search

    C. Monaco; P. Tapponnier; L. Tortorici; P. Y. Gillot

    1997-01-01

    Mt. Etna is located along the east coast of Sicily, near the boundary between the continental crust of the Hyblean Plateau and the Mesozoic oceanic crust of the Ionian basin. The main active faults near Mt. Etna cut the base of its eastern flank, forming a 30 km long system of NNE- and NNW-trending, ene´chelon fault segments (the Acireale-Piedimonte system),

  10. A paleomagnetic and geochemical record of the upper Cochiti reversal and two subsequent precessional cycles from Southern Sicily (Italy)

    Microsoft Academic Search

    A. A. M. van Hoof; B. J. H. van Os; J. G. Rademakers; C. G. Langereis; G. J. de Lange

    1993-01-01

    A detailed paleomagnetic and geochemical study of the upper Cochiti (N-R) reversal recorded in marine marls on\\u000asouthern Sicily shows two consecutive and very rapid transitions (R-N and N-R) that coincide with distinct lithological\\u000aboundaries. A 'Fe-migration model' is presented in which magnetite is formed under different diagenetic conditions. During\\u000asulphate reduction, originally formed ('primary') magnetite is preserved. This primary

  11. 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.

  12. Centenarians and diet: what they eat in the Western part of Sicily

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    This paper pays attention to the modifiable lifestyle factors such as diet and nutrition that might influence life extension and successful ageing. Previous data reported that in Sicily, the biggest Mediterranean island, there are some places where there is a high frequency of male centenarians with respect to the Italian average. The present data show that in Sicani Mountain zone there are more centenarians with respect to the Italian average. In fact, in five villages of Sicani Mountains, there were 19 people with an age range of 100–107?years old from a total population of 18,328 inhabitants. So, the centenarian number was 4.32-fold higher than the national average (10.37 vs. 2.4/10,000); the female/male ratio was 1.1:1 in the study area, while the national ratio is 4.54:1. Unequivocally, their nutritional assessment showed a high adherence to the Mediterranean nutritional profile with low glycemic index food consumed. To reach successful ageing it is advisable to follow a diet with low quantity of saturated fat and high amount of fruits and vegetables rich in phytochemicals. PMID:22524271

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-10-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2004-06-01

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

  15. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bonaccorso, Brunella; Cancelliere, Antonino; Rossi, Giuseppe

    2015-07-01

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

  17. 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

  18. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2005-02-01

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

  1. 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

  2. Water masses and nutrient distribution in the Gulf of Syrte and between Sicily and Libya

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Placenti, F.; Schroeder, K.; Bonanno, A.; Zgozi, S.; Sprovieri, M.; Borghini, M.; Rumolo, P.; Cerrati, G.; Bonomo, S.; Genovese, S.; Basilone, G.; Haddoud, D. A.; Patti, B.; El Turki, A.; Hamza, M.; Mazzola, S.

    2013-07-01

    This paper analyzes for the first time the water masses circulation in the Gulf of Syrte (Libya) and along a Sicily-Libya transect (central Mediterranean Sea) based on a new dataset of hydrological and nutrients data. The collected dataset highlights the presence of three main water masses with different chemical-physical features: Atlantic Water, Levantine Intermediate Water and Deep Water. Atlantic Water shows an intrusive low-salinity water near the Sicilian (? 37.6) and Libyan coasts (? 37.8), linked to the Atlantic Ionian Stream and the Atlantic Libyan Current respectively. The surface circulation evidences meandering structures throughout the area and the presence of an anti-cyclonic vortex in the central part of the Gulf of Syrte. In this latter area no coastal surface current is recognized, suggesting a seasonal character for such coastal circulation. In the Gulf the anti-cyclonic pattern characterizes also the intermediate water circulation. The nutrient distribution confirms the oligotrophic character of the area with a strong reduction in concentration in the surface layer due to the assimilation of phytoplankton in the euphotic zone. Furthermore, there is an evident increase in the deep water caused by the re-mineralization of organisms. The nitrate:phosphate ratio is ~ 10 and ~ 30 in the surface waters and deep waters, respectively, the latter being far in excess of the Redfield ratio (16:1) found in the oceans' deep waters. Nutrients data close to the Libyan coast do not show any enrichment pattern as a potential effect of the input of Saharan dust.

  3. 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.

  4. Sequence stratigraphy of a Mesozoic carbonate platform-to-basin system in western Sicily

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Basilone, Luca

    2009-09-01

    Sequence stratigraphic studies of the Triassic through Paleogene carbonate successions of platform, slope and basin in western Sicily (Palermo and Termini Imerese Mountains) have identified a sedimentary cyclicity mostly caused by relative oscillations of sea level. The stratigraphic successions of the Imerese and Panormide palaeogeographic domains of the southern Tethyan continental margin were studied with physical-stratigraphy and facies analysis to reconstruct the sedimentary evolution of this platform-to-basin system. The Imerese Basin is characterized by a carbonate and siliceous-calcareous succession, 1200-1400m thick, Late Triassic to Eocene in age. The strata display a typical example of a carbonate platform margin, characterized by resedimented facies with progradational stacking patterns. The Panormide Carbonate Platform is characterized by a carbonate succession, 1000-1200 m thick, Late Triassic to Late Eocene, mostly consisting of shallow-water facies with periodic subaerial exposure. The cyclic arrangement has been obtained by the study of the stratigraphic signatures (unconformities, facies sequences, erosional surfaces and stratal geometries) found in the slope successions. The recognized pattern has been compared with coeval facies of the shelf. This correlation provided evidence of sedimentary evolution, influenced by progradation and backstepping of the shelf deposits. The stratigraphic architecture of the platform-to-basin system is characterized by four major transgressive/regressive cycles during the late Triassic to late Eocene. These cycles, framed in a chronostratigraphic chart, allows the correlation of the investigated shelf-to-basin system with the geological evolution of the African continental margin during the Mesozoic, showing tectono-eustatic cycles. The first cycle, encompassing the late Triassic to early Jurassic, appears to be related to the late syn-rift stage of the continental margin evolution. The following three cycles, spanning from the Jurassic to Eocene, can be related to the post-rift evolution and to thermal subsidence changes.

  5. Seismotectonic outline of South-Eastern Sicily: an evaluation of available options for the earthquake fault rupture scenario

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sirovich, L.; Pettenati, F.

    Seismotectonic information and interpretations available for SE Sicily suggest three groups of possible sources for the M=7.1-7.5 mainshock of 1693 and its strong foreshock: (1) normal faults belonging to the Ibleo Maltese Escarpment (also: Malta Escarpment); (2) normal faults associated with the two adjacent Simeto and Scordia-Lentini structures; (3) a transfer structure between the Sicily Straits rift system and the two grabens to the north. We use a new kinematic model to invert the data sets of macroseismic intensities of the two earthquakes to retrieve information on their sources. For this, we invert point observations, or intensities tessellated with the Voronoi polygons technique, and treat residuals of inversion in the matrix of points, or in the tessellated plane. Our inversions of the regional intensity patterns using this technique show that family N°3 is a good candidate for the foreshock of 9 January, 1693. For the mainshock of 11 January, 1693, an almost perfect synthesis of its intensity IX area was obtained with our model and a source belonging to family N°3. However, all information considered (tsunami included), this earthquake could have been produced either by (3) or by a fault located along the Ibleo-Maltese Escarpment, and tangential to the Augusta and Siracusa promontories.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. Vaccination against the 2009 pandemic influenza A (H1N1) among healthcare workers in the major teaching hospital of Sicily (Italy)

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Emanuele Amodio; Giovanna Anastasi; Maria Grazia Laura Marsala; Maria Valeria Torregrossa; Nino Romano; Alberto Firenze

    2011-01-01

    The aim of the study was to investigate factors involved in vaccination acceptance among healthcare workers (HCWs) and adverse reactions rates associated with pandemic influenza vaccination. The study was carried out in the major teaching hospital of Sicily from November 2009 to February 2010 on 2267 HCWs. A total of 407 (18%) HCWs were vaccinated against the 2009 pandemic influenza

  9. SHORT REPORT: SURVEILLANCE OF LEISHMANIA SP. AMONG SAND FLIES IN SICILY (ITALY) USING A FLUOROGENIC REAL-TIME POLYMERASE CHAIN REACTION

    Microsoft Academic Search

    EDUARDO GÓMEZ-SALADÍN; CARL W. DOUD; MICHELE MAROLI

    Leishmaniasis caused by Leishmania infantum is a complex zoonotic disease, resulting in cutaneous and visceral manifestations in both dogs and humans. The present study involved a published Taqman fluorogenic real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay for surveillance of Leishmania sp. parasites among sand flies trapped in two provinces in Sicily, Catania and Agrigento, during the summer and fall of 2003.

  10. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

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

  12. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-05-01

    Submarine mass movements represent a common phenomenon in the evolution of continental margins. In order to enhance knowledge on trigger mechanisms and assess the geologic risk of slope failure, many studies focus on extensive and voluminous slide complexes, since these may have catastrophic and largely unpredictable consequences for offshore infrastructures and coastal communities alike. However, rather thick and complex deposits often hinder the definition of internal structures and hence the recognition of individual failure events. Small-scaled slide complexes are uniquely positioned in this context, as full data coverage often allows for a more detailed evaluation of the timing and recurrence rates of failure. We present evidence from a multidisciplinary study combining high-resolution acoustic data with deep-drilled core material (MeBo type) from a prominent example - the NE portion of Gela Basin within Sicily Channel, Central Mediterranean Sea. Morphological data (Kongsberg Simrad EM120 and EM1002 multibeam echosounder) and subsurface imagery (Atlas parametric sediment echosounder) from this submarine landslide complex between 200 and 700 m water depth reveal multiple slope failures and stacked mass transport deposits of varying thicknesses and lateral distributions. Correlations of the acoustic data to 14C-dated core material (GeoB14401, 35.5 mbsf) drilled through the stacked mass transport deposits suggest the occurrence of four major failure events within the basin during the last ~30 ka. Failure times of these events relate to different palaeo-environments including (1) the MIS2/3 boundary, (2) the Last Glacial Maximum [LGM], (3) the deposition of Sapropel S1 equivalent, and (4) the late Holocene. In addition to these major events, the occasional presence of reworked shelf-benthic foraminifera species within the core sedimentary record hints towards the presence of additional, small-scaled events during the period of the LGM chronozone. Frequent failure of limited sediment volumes might have counteracted the development of major events during this time. However, the fact that these features, indicating sediment instability, are not resolvable in the acoustic record highlights the benefits of an integrated/multidisciplinary approach in identifying individual failure events within a slide complex.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-04-01

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

  15. Role of local wind circulation in plume monitoring at Mt. Etna volcano (Sicily): Insights from a mesoscale numerical model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2004-05-01

    Mesoscale simulations at Mt. Etna volcano (Sicily, Italy), validated by measurements, highlight the fundamental role played by the local wind field in the dispersion of a gaseous volcanic plume. During the night, downslope surface winds (over-hill flow and katabatic breezes) force the plume to follow the steep morphology, whereas during the day very frequent NNW synoptic winds crash into the cone and are contrasted by SE strong sea breezes and anabatic winds, with the consequent formation of convective ascendant currents. The local mesoscale wind reconstruction can provide useful improvements in gaseous flux estimation. Far away synoptic wind velocities, often used in these flux evaluations, might be inadequate. We propose a 3D numerical mesoscale wind reconstruction to evaluate plume dynamics (and from it plume flux and potential hazard) throughout all the hours of the day.

  16. 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.

  17. Analogue modelling of Late Miocene-Early Quaternary continental crustal extension in the Tunisia-Sicily Channel area

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Belguith, Youssef; Geoffroy, Laurent; Mourgues, Regis; Rigane, Adel

    2013-11-01

    We adopt analogue modelling to investigate continental crustal stretching by simulating a Late Miocene-Early Quaternary extensional event occurred in Tunisia and in the Sicily Channel. The analogue model of the continental crust is composed of a lower ductile crust and an upper brittle crust including a low-viscosity layer to simulate the presence of evaporites. In our models, the extension is driven by tectonic stresses and not solely by gravity. All models are run under the same boundary conditions with a moveable lateral edge. Different physical hypotheses are tested to interpret the origin and geometry of this rifting event that affected the SW sector of the Mediterranean basin. The modelling of the continental crustal stretching produces small tectonic troughs with regular spacing that simulates the pattern observed in the Atlasic Rift System (Tunisia) as well as a large rift zone involving bulk crust thinning simulating the features of the Sicily Channel Rift Zone. In accordance with geological and geophysical data, extension in the Atlasic Rift Zone is controlled at depth by the Triassic evaporite layer and by inherited diapiric structures that create rheological “soft points” in the upper crust. The best accordance between models and nature are thus obtained when combining crustal-scale stretching, decoupling level within the upper-crust and pre-structuration (inheritance) of the evaporitic layer. We propose that the NE-trending extensional event occurring since the Pliocene to the early Quaternary in the Tunisian-Pelagian Sea area was driven by a transient eastward migration of the Tunisia-Pelagian-Ionian area (acting as a micro-plate with an undefined southern boundary) due to a far-field pull of the Western-Hellenic/Dinaride subduction.

  18. Risk factors for classical Kaposi sarcoma in a population-based case-control study in Sicily

    PubMed Central

    Anderson, LA; Lauria, C; Romano, N; Brown, EE; Whitby, D; Graubard, BI; Li, Y; Messina, A; Gafà, L; Vitale, F

    2009-01-01

    Background Classical Kaposi sarcoma (cKS) is a rare complication of Kaposi sarcoma-associated herpes virus (KSHV) infection. We conducted a population-based, frequency-matched case-control study in Sicily to further investigate the reported inverse relationship between smoking and cKS and to identify other factors associated with altered risk. Methods All incident, histologically confirmed, cKS cases in Sicily were eligible. A two-stage cluster sample design was applied to select population controls. KSHV seropositivity was determined using 4 antibody assays (K8.1 and orf73 enzyme immunoassays and 2 immunofluroescence assays). Using SAS-callable SUDAAN we compared the characteristics of cKS cases and KSHV seropositive controls. Odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) are presented. Results In total, 142 cKS cases and 123 KSHV seropositive controls were recruited. Current cigarette smoking was associated with reduced risk of cKS (OR 0.20, 95% CI 0.06-0.67). Edema was associated with cKS, but only when it presented on the lower extremities (OR 3.65, 95% CI 1.62-8.23). Irrespective of presentation site, diabetes and oral corticosteroid medications were associated with increased risk (ORs, 95% CIs: 4.73, 2.02-11.1 and 2.34, 1.23-4.45, respectively). Never smoking, diabetes and oral corticosteroid medication use were all independently associated with cKS risk. Discussion We confirmed previous reports that cigarette smoking was associated with a reduced risk of cKS, and we found that risk was lowest among current smokers. We also found that cKS risk was strongly and independently associated with oral corticosteroid use and diabetes. Corroboration of these observations and investigation of possible underlying mechanisms are warranted. PMID:19064559

  19. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-05-01

    Five years ago we started a coring campaign with the purpose to identify evidence for tsunami inundations along the coastal areas of eastern Sicily, that were affected in historical times by devastating tsunamis, generated both by local earthquakes, such as the 1169, 1693 and 1908 events, and by distant seismic sources, such as those belonging to the Aegean subduction zone (e.g. the A.D. 365 Crete earthquake). Following a multi-theme approach, we used the available historical information to address geomorphological study of the coastal landscape: aerial-photographs analysis, satellite images interpretation and field surveys allowed us to select areas likely invaded by tsunami waves in the past, representing potential trap-site for high energy deposits sedimentation and preservation. Given the variability in the nature of tsunami deposit characteristics, they are not uniquely identifiable, and other kinds of high energy deposits may share some of their features. Despite the abundant literature regarding diagnostic criteria for tsunami deposits, their distinction from storm and hurricane deposits remains a debated issue. We present the geological evidence of a tsunami inundation that left continuous onshore sandy deposit inside the Pantano Morghella along the south-eastern Sicilian coast. Pantano Morghella an almost flat area, about 1.3 km long and 0.8 km wide, surrounded by Upper Cretaceous lavas and volcanoclastic deposits, Late Cretaceous limestone calciruditi, calcarenites and marls. To the east Quaternary deposits, beach sands and 3 m high, partially cemented, dunal system (Holocene and Late Pleistocene) separate the Pantano from the sea forming the intertidal pond with a little channel from which sea water can rush into. The site was partially used as salt-pans in the recent past. In this site, we dug 33 cores down to a maximum depth of 5.80 m, from 200 m up to 1200 m from the coastline. The sedimentological core analysis reveals a fine stratigraphic sequence mainly composed by clay and silty clay, interrupt by a yellow sandy layer (about 8-10 cm thick) at about one meter of depth. Paleontological analyses show that the sandy samples have different macro and microfauna composition with respect to those samples collected above and below characterized by a lagoonal assemblage. The sandy layer, mainly composed by well-rounded yellowish carbonatic clasts, is made of several reworked foraminifera (both planktonic and benthonic), few well preserved littoral benthic foraminifera, marine macro fossil fragments and few lagoonal specimens. The deposit shows similarity with the local beach sand and it also presents a landward thinning. X-Ray analysis performed on some selected cores shows that the sandy layer is characterized by a fining upward granulometry and a sharp basal contact, possibly erosional. Summarizing, we investigated spatial distribution and lithofacies of this peculiar deposit and observed the following properties as typical of high energy deposition event: (1) the deposit covers the surface almost continuously on gentle topography and extend inland for about 1200 meters; (2) its thickness varies across local surface undulation; (3) the foraminiferal assemblage contains several reworked marine planktonic and benthonic specimens with some lagoonal species; (4) the deposit is characterized by erosive basal contact. Moreover, its composition consisting of a single structureless bed of normally graded sand, its thickness decreasing with distance from the sea and its landward limit represent attributes that strongly suggest a tsunami origin. Radiocarbon dating, performed on three samples collected just above, within and below the sandy anomalous layer, gives ages close in time, confirming a sudden deposition due to a high energy event occurred in the interval 270-650 A.D. Comparing this age with the historical tsunami catalogue, we can hypothesize that the sandy layer represents the geological record of the 365 A.D. Crete tsunami.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    Landslide hazard assessment, effected by means of geostatistical methods, is based on the analysis of the relationships between landslides and the spatial distributions of some instability factors. Frequently such analyses are based on landslide inventories in which each record represents the entire unstable area and is managed as a single instability landform. In this research, landslide susceptibility is evaluated through the study of a variety of instability landforms: landslides, scarps and areas uphill from crown . The instability factors selected were: bedrock lithology, steepness, topographic wetness index and stream power index. The instability landform densities computed for all the factors, which were arranged in Unique Condition Unit, allowed us to derive a total of three prediction images for each landslide typology. The role of the instability factors and the effects generated by the use of different landforms were analyzed by means of: a) bivariate analysis of the relationships between factors and landslide density; b) predictive power validations of the prediction images, based on a random partition strategy. The test area was the Iato River Basin (North-Western Sicily), whose slopes are moderately involved in flow and rotational slide landslides (219 and 28, respectively). The area is mainly made up of the following complexes: Numidian Flysch clays (19%, 1%), Terravecchia sandy clays (5%, 1%), Terravecchia clayey sands (3%, 0.3%) and San Cipirello marly clays (9%, 0%). The steepness parameter shows the highest landslide density in the [11-19°] class for both the typologies (8%, 1%), even if the density distributions for rotational slides are right-asymmetric and right-shifted. We obtained significant differences in shape when we used different instability landforms. Unlike scarps and areas uphill from crowns, landslide areas produce left-asymmetric and left-shifted density distributions for both the typologies. As far as the topographic wetness index is concerned, much more pronounced differences were detected among the instability landforms of rotational slides. In contrast, the flow landslides produce normal-like density distributions. The latter and the rotational slide landslide areas produce the highest density values in the class [5.5-6.7], despite an abrupt decreasing trend starting from the first class [3.2-4.4], which is generated by the density values of the rotational slide scarps and areas uphill from crowns. The stream power index at the foot of the slopes, which was automatically derived using a GIS-procedure, shows a positive correlation with the landslide densities marked by the maximum classes: [4.8-6.0] for flows, and [6.0-7.2] for rotational slides. The validation procedure results confirmed that the choice of instability landform influences the results of the susceptibility analysis. Furthermore, the validation procedure indicates that: a) the predictive models are generally satisfactory; b) scarps and zones uphill from crown areas are the most diagnostically unstable landforms, for flow and rotational slide landslides respectively.

  3. 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 closu

  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.

    2015-05-01

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

  5. Monitoring of submarine groundwater discharge along the Donnalucata coast in the south-eastern Sicily using underwater gamma-ray spectrometry

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Pavel P. Povinec; Jean-Francois Comanducci; Isabelle Levy-Palomo; Benjamino Oregioni

    2006-01-01

    A novel technique for monitoring of submarine groundwater discharge (SGD) in coastal zones based on an in situ underwater gamma-ray spectrometry of radon-decay products is described. Several sites were visited during the IAEA’2002 expedition offshore Donnalucata in the south-eastern Sicily. Continuous monitoring of 222Rn in the beach spring at Donnalucata has shown variable 222Rn activity concentrations in groundwater (from 12

  6. Shallow seep-related seafloor features along the Malta plateau (Sicily channel – Mediterranean Sea): Morphologies and geo-environmental control of their distribution

    Microsoft Academic Search

    A. Savini; E. Malinverno; G. Etiope; C. Tessarolo; C. Corselli

    2009-01-01

    Between 140 and 170 m water depth, more than 100 small-scale domes and peculiar ridges were mapped a few miles offshore of south-eastern Sicily along the Malta plateau (eastern Mediterranean Sea), Swath bathymetric data along with a dense grid of side scan sonar and seismic profiles were acquired in an area extending over 100 km2. Gravity cores, water samples and video observations

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

    Microsoft Academic Search

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

    2008-01-01

    Two species of Philometra Costa, 1845 (Nematoda: Philometridae), were, for the first time, recorded from fishes of the family Sparidae (porgies) from\\u000a the Tyrrhenian Sea off Sicily, Italy: Philometra obladae sp. n. from the body cavity of the saddled seabream Oblada melanura (Linnaeus) and Philometra filiformis (Stossich, Boll Soc Adriat Sci Nat 17:121–136, 1896) from the gonads of the common

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-07-01

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

  9. Towards management of coastal erosion problems and human structure impacts using GIS tools: case study in Ragusa Province, Southern Sicily, Italy

    Microsoft Academic Search

    G. Anfuso; J. A. Martínez del Pozo

    2005-01-01

    A geomorphologic approach, combined with GIS spatial analysis, was used to investigate a 90-km long coastal sector in Southern\\u000a Sicily, Italy, affected by important erosive processes. Applied methodology allowed the creation of a database involving a\\u000a range of coastal characteristics thereby providing helpful information on coastal processes and general sediment circulation\\u000a patterns. Coastal erosion, mainly linked to the construction of

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

    Microsoft Academic Search

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

    2006-01-01

    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

  11. 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 [University of California at Berkeley, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, 760 Davis Hall (United States); Reiner, Tom [Graduate Engineer, Buro Happold Consulting Engineers, Inc., 9601 Jefferson Blvd., Suite B, Culver City, CA 90232 (United States)

    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.

  12. Clastic dykes and sills from Numidian flysch (Sicily and Tunisia): Sandy injection related to a high-density turbidity deposit

    SciTech Connect

    Parize, O.; Beaudoin, B. (ENSMP/CGGM, Fontainebleau (France))

    1988-08-01

    The Numidian flysch is a thick (approximately 2,000-4,000 m) turbiditic formation (Oligocene to lower Miocene) of the southern part of the Alpine chain in western Europe. In Sicily (Geraci-Siculo) and Tunisia (Tabarka, Cap Negro, Ras El Korane), the Numidian basin paleocurrent pattern is southward. Numerous sedimentary sills and dikes cut as well as shales, argillaceous slumps, and intercalated sandstones. These sandy injections fossilize a complex network of horizontal, oblique, and vertical synsedimentary joints controlled by stratification planes, general paleoslope, differential compaction, and regional tectonic setting. The sills may exceed 5 m in thickness and 100 m in lateral extent; the dikes are less than 0.9 m wide, locally 1.2 m. Depth of penetration below the mother sand is 30 M to 150 m. The dikes are often folded in ptygmatic fashion, and the sills and dikes show pillars; these occurrences allow quantification of a postinjection compaction ratio ranging from 1.2 to 2.8. This late compaction of the surrounding mud together with the presence of burrows on both flanks of the dikes and through the sills, and the connection with channeling sandstones bodies, indicates the early occurrence of this injection. Sand was injected downward from high-density turbidity currents filling erosive, deep, steep-walled channels or gullies.

  13. Long-term effects of agronomic practices on soil organic carbon and crop productivity in the internal hills of Sicily

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cosentino, Salvatore; Copani, Venera; Testa, Giorgio; Scordia, Danilo

    2013-04-01

    In the hilly areas of Mediterranean environment the high intensity of autumnal rains determines high level of soil erosion losses in agricultural field reducing the soil fertility in the long run. In Sicily region this phenomenon have been emphasized by the crop management and by the orography of the territory. The experimental farm of UNICT for the collection of surface runoff is located in the c.da Manca di Geracello, Enna (550 m a.s.l, 37° 21'N, 14°16'E). The establishment consists of 12 plots. In the last sixteen years (1996-2011) the study of the impact assessment of various herbaceous cropping systems, both in terms of crop rotation (one crop, alternating different crops), crop habit (annual or perennials), types of soil tillage (traditional, minimum tillage, no tillage) on the dynamics of soil organic matter was carried out. The soil organic matter content, according to the depth of measurement (0-30 and 31-60 cm), the portion on the plot where the sample was taken (high, medium, low), and the season (winter and summer), was found significantly different according to the different cropping systems. The variation of organic matter in time was depending upon the soil tillage (plowing or not and sod seeding), the habitus of crop (annual or perennial). In the case of perennial the organic matter increased from 1.2 to 2.2%. The sod seeding allowed to take the organic matter around 1.8-2.0%

  14. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-04-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 4He and heat balance as groundwater-dating tools: the study case of Sciacca thermal basin, Sicily (Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Caracausi, A.; Nuccio, P. M.; Favara, R.; Rizzo, A.

    2012-04-01

    Rare gas content measurements in groundwater of Sciacca Thermal Basin (STB), western Sicily (Italy), showed an excess of helium respect to a typical water in equilibrium with atmosphere (ASW). The isotopic composition of such helium is 2.9 Ra (where Ra is the 3He/4He ratio in atmosphere), displaying an excess of 3He which cannot be explained by cosmogenic production/accumulation but is attributed to the addition of mantle-derived He. Taking into account that helium isotopes are not much sensitive to degassing processes from water , the measured isotopic composition can be considered representative of the area. The isotopic signature of the dissolved heavier noble gases (i.e. Ne, Ar) constrains their atmospheric origin, but their elemental abundances are lower than expected for an ASW. This is interpreted in terms of elemental fractionation during degassing processes. We re-calculated the residual fraction (F) of noble gases in groundwater and the pristine amount of dissolved atmospheric noble gases on the basis of the classical liquid-gas phase portioning model. Such data allowed us to compute the correct amount of pristine 4He dissolved into the thermal water. Then, once known the He flux, we estimated the age of STB groundwaters as a function of the physical parameters of the aquifer. Tritium measurements carried out in these waters give us values below 1TU highlighting the "old" nature of waters. Hence here we used radiogenic helium as tracer of groundwater age and check the result with the groundwater age computed by using a new dating method based on heat balance equation. On the basis of the calculated total amount of helium dissolved into the groundwaters and its isotopic ratio we compute the amounts of radiogenic dissolved helium. Thus known the 4He flux we dated the STB groundwater as function of the physical parameters of the aquifer. It is well known that the validity of estimated groundwater residence time depends on the accurate evaluation of 4He accumulation rates and some hydrological parameters such as porosity and thickness of aquifers. Thus, in order to better constrain the water age, we used an other dating approach based on heat balance equation. Firstly, we analysed the complete sequence of water transport through the deep thermal aquifer system, from its recharge to the discharge. The ratio between the internal energy of a defined volume of water and the net heat conducted out allows to estimate the residence time of the water in each elementary volume. The ages of the STB groundwaters arising from the two independent approach are comparable and the resident time results older than tens of thousands of years.

  20. 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.

  1. Internal vs. external forcing in shallow marine diatreme formation: A case study from the Iblean Mountains (SE-Sicily, Central Mediterranean)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Suiting, Ines; Schmincke, Hans-Ulrich

    2009-10-01

    A model of diatreme evolution in a shallow marine setting is based on a multi-disciplinary analysis of diatremes in the Iblean Mountains (Sicily). The approach includes stratigraphic, volcanological, structural, petrologic and compositional data. We invoke a complex interplay of internal (rapid ascent and pyroclastic fragmentation of a volatile (CO 2)-rich nephelinitic magma at depth) and external factors. These comprise hydroclastic explosions due to near-surface interaction of the rising particle/volatile mixture with seawater and water-saturated lime mud. Other external factors contributing to diatreme formation include regional and local tectonics (graben formation in pull-apart motion) combined with lateral pipe enlargement by bedrock-spalling and radial block subsidence into the diatreme pipe. We suggest that fragmentation of volatile-rich magma due to internal eruption forcing was fundamental in the formation of the Iblean shallow marine diatremes. Internal and external factors may act to a variable degree, however, during diatreme evolution in general.

  2. 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.

  3. Hospitalisation of children aged 0-59 months with rotavirus gastro-enteritis before the introduction of routine vaccination (Sicily 2003-2012).

    PubMed

    Amodio, Emanuele; Tabacchi, Garden; Cracchiolo, Manuela; Sciuto, Valentina; Vitale, Francesco

    2014-11-19

    Background: Recent evidence demonstrates that rotavirus vaccination is the best strategy for reducing rotavirus gastro-enteritis (RVGE) in young children. Aims: This study describes the epidemiology of RVGE hospitalisation of Sicilian children before universal rotavirus vaccination was introduced into the regional immunisation programme in January 2013. Methods: An observational study was undertaken by analyzing data obtained from the Regional Hospital Discharge database, including hospitalisation from 2003 to 2012 of subjects aged 0-59 months who lived in Sicily. Children discharged with the rotavirus-specific ICD-9-CM code of 008·61 on first or any diagnosis stage were considered to be RVGE cases. Results: From 2003 to 2012, 9317 children (median age 19 months, M/F ratio 1·19) were hospitalised with a diagnosis of RVGE. During the study period, annual rates of hospitalisation were between 2·64 and 4·68 cases/1000 children (mean 3·74 cases). Incidence rates were higher in children aged 6-11 months (8·85/1,000 children/year), decreasing significantly with age (P<0·001). RVGE hospitalisation peaked during winter and spring with a statistically significant downward trend throughout summer and autumn. Conclusion: During the study period, the cumulative risk of hospitalisation with RVGE was determined to be about one in 54 Sicilian children in the 1st 5 years of life. Although the present study cannot be considered a proper pharmaco-economic evaluation, the findings suggest that in Sicily the health and economic burden of RVGE hospitalisation strongly supports the introduction of rotavirus vaccination into the regional immunisation programme as a probably cost-saving intervention. PMID:25410688

  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. Permian fusulinids from Sicily

    E-print Network

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

    1966-06-22

    discoidal to subspherical, umbilicate, axis of coiling in shorter diameter. Mature specimens have 4 to 4.5 whorls, and measure 0.90 to 1.00 mm. in axial length, and 1.38 to 2.05 mm. in sagittal diameter. Form ratio varies from 0.46 to 0.65. Spirotheca... subcylindrical, with bluntly rounded poles. Our only well-oriented axial section has 5 whorls, and measures 3.07 mm. in length, and 1.15 mm. in diameter. Form ratio is 2.67. First 2.5 to 3 whorls constitute a tightly coiled juvenarium lenticular in shape...

  8. 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.

  9. High-resolution chemostratigraphic records for the Tethyan Bonarelli Level (latest Cenomanian) from the Hybla Formation at Calabianca, NW Sicily, Italy: implications for its duration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scopelliti, G.; Bellanca, A.; Neri, R.; Coccioni, R.; Luciani, V.; Baudin, F.

    2003-04-01

    The latest Cenomanian Bonarelli Level is a well-known organic carbon-rich black shale horizon which is considered to be the sedimentary expression of a short-term global Oceanic Anoxic Event (OAE2). It has been recognized in different settings throughout Italy, from the Southern Alps to Sicily. The present work is focused on a 3 m-thick pelagic sedimentary succession of the Hybla Formation outcropping at Calabianca (NW Sicily). The studied succession spans the top of the Rotalipora cushmani zone and the base of the Whiteinella archaeocretacea zone of latest Cenomanian age. The Bonarelli Level equivalent is about 1.5 m-thick and consists of cm-thick couplets of radiolarian cherts or cherty mudstones and black shales. Within the Bonarelli Level radiolarians proliferate but scattered planktonic foraminifers, mainly represented by small hedgerbellids and shackoinids, also occur. The black shales are laminated, organic carbon-rich (TOC values up to 26%) and show fish remains and occasional radiolarians. A distinct positive excursion of 2.5 ? ppm in the carbon isotope curve is recorded for the studied section. This shift is correlated with analogous signals recognized for the same stratigraphic interval in other sequences from Italian Apennines and Alps as well as in various sections in the world in coincidence with the global OAE2. Moreover, the high resolution of the ?13C record (sample spacing of 2 cm) allows us to split the carbon curve into different segments with peculiar trends. The abundance of biogenic silica and the relatively high Ca/Al and Ba/Al ratios in the radiolarian rich-layers suggest that during their deposition, surface water were rather fertile possibly due to an efficient recycling of nutrients from deeper waters. Black shale deposition is characterized by relatively oxygen-depleted bottom water (high Fe/Mn ratios and V and Ni concentrations) probably as consequence of an enhanced stratification induced by an increase in nutrient-rich riverine influxes (D* greater than 0.63 and high P_2O_5 concentrations). Cyclic organization of couplets seems to represent climatic cycles. Power spectral analysis applied to Ca/Al ratios shows cyclicity of 21, 40, and 100 ka which could be explained by periodic orbital-climatic cycles, in tune with the Milankovitch cycles. Based on this, we suggest for the Bonarelli Level of the Calabianca section a duration of 350 ± 20 ka, which fits well with estimates provided by other authors for the same stratigraphic interval.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. Late Triassic tholeiitic magmatism in Western Sicily: A possible extension of the Central Atlantic Magmatic Province (CAMP) in the Central Mediterranean area?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cirrincione, R.; Fiannacca, P.; Lustrino, M.; Romano, V.; Tranchina, A.

    2014-02-01

    Late Triassic basaltic rocks crop out in the Lercara area in Western Sicily. Major and trace element composition, as well as Sr-Nd isotopic ratios (87Sr/86Sri = 0.7074 - 0.7076; ?Ndi = from - 0.69 to - 1.09) of the Lercara rocks shows many similarities with Large Ion Lithophile Elements (LILE)- and Light Rare Earth Elements (LREE)-rich tholeiitic basalts of the Central Atlantic Magmatic Province (CAMP), that erupted during the Mesozoic fragmentation of the Pangea supercontinent and subsequent opening of the Central Atlantic Ocean. The geochemical features of the Lercara igneous rocks, together with the spatial distribution of the ~ 200 Ma old CAMP rocks are unlikely to be associated with the arrival of a thermal anomaly in the form of a mantle plume and are more compatible with adiabatic melting of passively upwelling sub-lithospheric mantle. The original melts variably interacted with lower crustal rocks before reaching the surface. AFC modeling suggests two distinct differentiation paths including either simple mixing or assimilation-fractional crystallization processes involving lower crustal rocks. These interactions with continental crust indicate that an ocean basement most probably had not yet formed.

  13. Monitoring of submarine groundwater discharge along the Donnalucata coast in the south-eastern Sicily using underwater gamma-ray spectrometry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Povinec, Pavel P.; Comanducci, Jean-Francois; Levy-Palomo, Isabelle; Oregioni, Benjamino

    2006-05-01

    A novel technique for monitoring of submarine groundwater discharge (SGD) in coastal zones based on an in situ underwater gamma-ray spectrometry of radon-decay products is described. Several sites were visited during the IAEA'2002 expedition offshore Donnalucata in the south-eastern Sicily. Continuous monitoring of 222Rn in the beach spring at Donnalucata has shown variable 222Rn activity concentrations in groundwater (from 12 to 19kBqm-3), depending inversely on water levels during tide. Spatial variations of SGD have been observed in the Donnalucata boat basin. Average 222Rn activity concentrations in seawater varied from ˜0.1 to 3.7kBqm-3, showing an inverse relationship with salinity. A continuous monitoring carried out at the site closest to the coast has also revealed an inverse relationship of 222Rn activity concentration on tide and salinity. The 222Rn concentrations in seawater varied from 2.3kBqm-3 during high tides to 4.8kBqm-3 during low tides, confirming the tidal influence on SGD.

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-12-01

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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. Iblean diatremes 2: shallow marine volcanism in the Central Mediterranean at the onset of the Messinian Salinity Crisis (Iblean Mountains, SE-Sicily)—a multidisciplinary approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Suiting, Ines; Schmincke, Hans-Ulrich

    2010-12-01

    A multidisciplinary analysis of intraplate volcanic complexes interbedded with shallow and deeper marine sediments of a Late Miocene carbonate platform (Iblean Plateau, Sicily) has allowed a detailed paleo-environmental reconstruction. Our approach includes sedimentology, physical volcanology, stratigraphy, geochemistry/mineralogy, paleontology and 40Ar/39Ar dating. Four volcanic complexes are distinguished from each other. Two comprise an eastern shallow water platform (diatreme field and Carlentini complex) and two a western deeper water environment representing a seamount belt on the carbonate ramp (Valle Guffari seamount and Mineo complex). The late Miocene volcanism was not time-equivalent: episodic eruptions took place from the Late Tortonian (ca. 9.38 Ma at Mt. Carrubba) to Early Messinian (ca. 6.46 Ma at Valle Guffari). Explosive volcanism of the diatreme field may be related geodynamically to the period of periodic sea-level oscillations at the onset of the Messinian Salinity Crisis. Marine diatomites preserved in the crater areas of two diatremes are the only remnants of Early Messinian diatomites in the eastern Iblean Mountains.

  18. Iblean diatremes 3: volcanic processes on a Miocene carbonate platform (Iblean Mountains, SE-Sicily): a comparison of deep vs. shallow marine eruptive processes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Suiting, Ines; Schmincke, H.-U.

    2012-01-01

    Evolution and magma fragmentation processes of two contrasting, well-exposed diatreme complexes interbedded with Late Miocene calcareous marine sediments in distinct sedimentary environments of a carbonate platform (Iblean Plateau, Sicily) are compared with each other. The nephelinitic Cozzo Molino diatreme (CMD) to the east developed in shallow water (0-80 m water depth); the alkali basaltic Valle Guffari seamount (VGS) to the west grew on a deeper water carbonate ramp (150-200 m water depth). We focus on the dominant boundary conditions inferred to have governed depth of magma fragmentation and subaqueous emplacement mechanisms: water depth, physical nature of host rocks, magma composition, and inferred differences in initial volatile concentrations. There are gross similarities in the composition of the two moderately evolved magmas. The low-viscosity magmas in both diatremes were laden with xenoliths originating from mantle to lower crustal sites. Although similar, the eastern shallow water CMD was likely more volatile-rich, with magma fragmented prior to reaching the surface and the surrounding tephra cone was partly emergent. The eruptions of the entirely submarine VGS diatreme complex in the deeper water environment were dominated by interaction of soft sediment and alkali basaltic magma or a pre-fragmented volatile-particle mixture. Eruption columns were, thus, strongly damped and the submarine complex never pierced the water surface.

  19. Population study of the short tandem repeat polymorphisms HumTH01, HumvWA31, HumFESFPS and HumF13A01 in Sicily (Southern Italy)

    Microsoft Academic Search

    A. Asmundo; C. Crinò

    1998-01-01

    Population genetic studies were carried out on randomly selected and unrelated healthy individuals from Sicily (n = 140–150 individuals) using the short tandem repeat (STR) systems HumTH01, HumvWA31, HumFESFPS and HumF13A01. After vertical\\u000a electrophoresis on polyacrylamide denaturing gels 6 alleles could be identified for TH01, 9 for vWA31, 7 for FESFPS and 11\\u000a for F13A01. No significant deviations from Hardy-Weinberg

  20. large-scale structural pattern as the result of the interplay between compression and extension during chain building: the case of the Sicily Belt (Central Mediterranean)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nigro, Fabrizio; Renda, Pietro; Favara, Rocco; Salvaggio, Gaetano

    2010-05-01

    There are very close relationships between chains building and contemporaneous basins formation in terms of spatial and structural interdependence, mutual compensation of sediments, tectonic interaction and simultaneous evolution. In fact, extensional tectonics has been worldwide documented as a process that contributes to the evolution of orogenic belts. The dynamics of wedge growth may partly dictate by localised extensional forces which may support basin formation both in the back of the wedge (piggy-back basins) and in its toe region (foredeep-foreland basins). The evolution of chain-foredeep-foreland systems is characterised by contractional structures coupled by extensional deformations, both at the chain-foredeep and at the foredeep-foreland transition zone. As a consequence, the architecture of most foredeep depressions is generally envisioned as controlled by active regional thrusts and coeval subsidiary normal faults in their inner and outer edges. These structures may contribute to accommodate flexure of foreland plates induced by the load of advancing thrust sheets. The connection between thrusting-and-folding evolution (including thermal and mechanical perturbations of the continental lithosphere induced by mountain building) and the wedge failure towards the extensional collapse in collisional settings is poorly argued and two main different models are known: I) syn-orogenic extension (extensional tectonics contemporaneous with shortening induced by the overstepping at the back of an accretionary wedge during continuous deeper subduction) and II) post-orogenic extension (often explained as the result of crustal change in stress path related to gravitational collapse of the previously thickened and thermally weakened lithosphere). Syn-orogenic extension observed during the build-up of the mountain belt is usually restricted to the upper brittle crust and to the brittle-ductile transition. A kinematic model relative to the chain building lack for the Sicily Belt, including folding-and-thrusting and extension interactions. Sicily, located in the Central Mediterranean, is considered as part of the Tertiary Alpine-Himalayan suture zone. The Sicilian Thrust System (STS) is a south-verging fold-and-thrust belt and represents the South-eastern arcuate portion of the Apennine-Maghrebides thin-skinned fold-and-thrust belt. The STS is made of a lot of thrust sheets, including Mesozoic-Lower Tertiary pre-orogenic multilayered sedimentary sequence and occupies the larger part of the island. The thrust stack owes its origin to the deformation of pre-orogenic strata deposited in different palaeogeographic domains belonging to the Northern Africa passive margin. The belt developed during the Neogene, following the closure of the Tethys Ocean and the continental collision between the Sardo-Corso Block and the Africa margin. The thrust pile was detached from the underlying basement during Miocene-Pliocene time interval and experienced both faulting, folding and stretching. A general hinterland-to-foreland thrust propagation is recorded in the syn-orogenic deposits. The recognised regional-scale structural setting allow us to reconstruct tectonic evolution: I) piggy-back thrusting from the early Oligocene to the Langhian, inducing the building of the Inner Sicilian Chain (ISC) that migrated progressively forelandwards. Extensional deformations were active only in the foredeep-foreland system; II) piggy-back thrusting from the Langhian to the Tortonian, inducing the building of the Middle Sicilian Chain (MSC) that migrated progressively forelandwards. Extensional deformations were active both in the foredeep-foreland system and in the ISC as the result of incipient supercritical wedge taper conditions; III) wedge failure (ISC+MSC) from the Tortonian to the earliermost Pliocene, inducing generalised extensional deformations in the chain-foredeep-foreland system; IV) new onset of piggy-back thrusting since the early Pliocene for renewed subcritical wedge taper conditions, allowed the building of the Outer Sicilian Chain (OSC) an

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pagnoni, Gianluca; Tinti, Stefano

    2015-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

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

  3. 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

  4. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

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

  8. 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)

    Ga?i?, 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Sicily statement on evidence-based practice

    Microsoft Academic Search

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

    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

  11. 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.

  12. Radon in fumarolic gases from vulcano island (Sicily, Italy)

    SciTech Connect

    Cioni, R.; Corazza, E.; D'Amore, F.

    1984-01-01

    In this study, Radon-222 activity was measured sporadically in fumarolic gases from the island of Vulcano (Italy) between 1978 and 1980. Rn variations in the crater fumaroles (300/sup 0/C) were found to be correlated with microseismic activity; they also correlate positively with water and negatively with the S/C1 ratio. On the basis of a geochemical model, the fumarolic gases at Vulcano are assumed to be a mixture of deep magmatic gases and fluids from shallow aquifers. Rn is carried by these fluids (an average of 500 nCi per kg of fluid). Circulating water can strip Rn from the U-rich rocks on Vulcano. At present it is impossible to determine whether microseismicity is producing composition changes, or vice versa, or whether both are the consequence of a main volcano-tectonic event.

  13. Viral gastroenteritis in children hospitalised in Sicily, Italy

    Microsoft Academic Search

    C. Colomba; S. De Grazia; G. M. Giammanco; L. Saporito; F. Scarlata; L. Titone; S. Arista

    2006-01-01

    The aim of the present study was to describe the epidemiologic and clinical characteristics of acute viral gastroenteritis in hospitalised Italian children. A total of 215 stool specimens were collected from January to December 2003 from patients hospitalised in Palermo for acute diarrhoea. Samples were tested for group A rotavirus, astrovirus, adenovirus, norovirus, enteropathogenic bacteria, and parasites. Rotaviruses, mostly belonging

  14. Municipal waste management in Sicily: Practices and challenges

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Antonio Messineo; Domenico Panno

    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

  15. Cefal, Sicily 29th September -4th October 2013

    E-print Network

    Fiebig, Peter

    (D. Banabic) Laser welding and brasing (M. Shmidt) · Advanced Laser treatments (M. Shmidt) · Tube of Titanium alloys (L. Fratini) Fees SMART registration fee includes: School fee; Transfer from/to Palermo

  16. The July–August 2001 eruption of Mt. Etna (Sicily)

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Boris Behncke; Marco Neri

    2003-01-01

    The July–August 2001 eruption of Mt. Etna stimulated widespread public and media interest, caused significant damage to tourist facilities, and for several days threatened the town of Nicolosi on the S flank of the volcano. Seven eruptive fissures were active, five on the S flank between 3,050 and 2,100 m altitude, and two on the NE flank between 3,080 and 2,600 m

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

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Christian Conoscenti; Cipriano Di Maggio; Edoardo Rotigliano

    2008-01-01

    Landslide hazard assessment, effected by means of geostatistical methods, is based on the analysis of the relationships between landslides and the spatial distributions of some instability factors. Frequently such analyses are based on landslide inventories in which each record represents the entire unstable area and is managed as a single instability landform. In this research, landslide susceptibility is evaluated through

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  19. 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.

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

    E-print Network

    Utrecht, Universiteit

    Cyclostratigraphy and astrochronology of the Tripoli diatomite formation (pre-evaporite Messinian opposing scenarios explaining the cyclic diatomite forma- tion include intensification of Atlantic inflow by Tripoli diatomite cycles points to an orbital control on the sedimentary cyclicity since sapropels

  1. Cyclostratigraphy and astrochronology of the Tripolo diatomite formation pre-evaporite Messinian, Sicily, italy)

    Microsoft Academic Search

    F. J. Hilgen; W. Krijgsman

    1999-01-01

    The ongoing debate about the Messinian salinity crisis in the Mediterranean is fuelled in part by the lach of an adequate time control. The most accurate and, at the same time, detailed constrains are nowadays provided by the astronomical dating technique. Here we present an astronomical age model for the cyclically bedded Tripoli diatomite Formation on Scily pre-evaporite Messinian, Italy)

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-07-01

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

  3. Birth and early evolution of a Jurassic escarpment: Monte Kumeta Western Sicily

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Piero Di Stefano; András Galácz; Gianni Mallarino; Andrea Mindszenty; Attila Vörös

    2002-01-01

    Summary  The accurate reconstruction of the facies architecture in the Jurassic succession of Monte Kumeta, coupled with a detailed\\u000a biostratigraphy, allow to define dynamics and genetic factors controlling the conversion of a Bahamian-type carbonate platform\\u000a to a pelagic escarpment.\\u000a \\u000a A change from tidalites to oolites i.e. from the restricted, interior lagoon to a more open-marine sandy depositional environment,\\u000a records the establishment

  4. Geochronology of the medium to high-grade metamorphic units of the Peloritani Mts., Sicily

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Sofia De Gregorio; Silvio G. Rotolo; Igor M. Villa

    2003-01-01

    The Peloritani Mountains are a fragment of an orogen variably attributed to the Alpine or Hercynian orogeny. On the basis of 39Ar- 40Ar, U-Pb and Rb-Sr dating, the main metamorphism of the two medium–high grade metamorphic units, the Mela and Aspromonte Units, and most of the thrusting responsible for stacking the orogenic edifice are seen to be Hercynian. The main

  5. Evaluation of mercury levels in Pangasius and Cod fillets traded in Sicily (Italy)

    Microsoft Academic Search

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

    2012-01-01

    Predator fishes at the top of the aquatic food chain can accumulate large concentrations of metals and their consumption, consequently, makes a significant contribution, in particular, to mercury intake. The aim of this study was to determine mercury levels in fillets of two predatory species: pangasius (Pangasius hypophthalmus) from the Vietnam region of Megong and Chao Pharayai and cod (Gadus

  6. The growth of aa lava flow fields on Mount Etna, Sicily

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Christopher R. J. Kilburn; Rosaly M. C. Lopes

    1988-01-01

    The historical lavas on Mount Etna provide a large body of data for examining the growth of aa flow fields. A flow field, the final product of an eruption, is composed of one or more flows. Flow generation depends on the ratio SR\\/SD of crustal retaining strength (SR) to stress driving the lava outward (SD), rate of flow thickening h,

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

    SciTech Connect

    Bianco, Alessia [Lab. M.A.Re., PAU Department, Mediterranean University of Reggio Calabria (Italy); Candela, Michele [PAU Department, Mediterranean University of Reggio Calabria (Italy); Fonti, Roberta [Graduated in SCBAA, Faculty of Architecture, Mediterranean University of Reggio Calabria (Italy)

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

    Microsoft Academic Search

    A. Frepoli; A Amato

    2000-01-01

    We have retrieved the stress tensor orientation in the Italian region, applying the FMSI technique (Gephart, J., 1990b. FMSI: a FORTRAN program for inverting fault\\/slickenside and earthquake focal mechanism data to obtain the regional stress tensor. Comput. Geosci. 16, 953–989) to fault plane solutions of 298 small earthquakes (2.5

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

    Microsoft Academic Search

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

    2005-01-01

    The present paper describes a multidisciplinary approach to the evaluation of a seismically triggered landslide that occurred in the Cerda area (Italy) on September 6, 2002, about 1 h after an earthquake took place in the south Tyrrhenian Sea. The study was focused on an analysis of the role of the seismic input in triggering the landslide, in view of

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2000-03-01

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

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. Late Miocene paleoenvironmental changes in North Africa and the Mediterranean recorded by geochemical proxies (Monte Gibliscemi section, Sicily)

    E-print Network

    Utrecht, Universiteit

    Late Miocene paleoenvironmental changes in North Africa and the Mediterranean recorded: Geochemical proxy parameters Palaeoclimate Eastern Mediterranean Late Miocene Biosiliceous production Miocene palaeoenvironmental conditions (~9.7­7.0 Ma) in North Africa. Here we have utilised carbonate

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

    E-print Network

    Boyer, Edmond

    slightly older than the two caldera collapses that marked the volcanological history of the island') caldera collapse is now tightly constrained between 139-146 ka and the caldera-forming eruption can eruptive event is comparable in magnitude to the younger (caldera forming) Green Tuff Plinian eruption

  18. Development of tumuli in the medial portion of the 1983 aa flow-field, Mount Etna, Sicily

    Microsoft Academic Search

    A. M. Duncan; J. E. Guest; E. R. Stofan; S. W. Anderson; H. Pinkerton; S. Calvari

    2004-01-01

    A number of tumuli formed on the aa-dominated lava fan complex which developed in the medial zone of the 1983 flow-field of Mount Etna during the later stages of the eruption. This complex flow-field formed on shallow sloping ground below a scarp between 1900 and 1700 m asl. A major tube system fed a branching tube network in the fan

  19. 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.

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

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Emanuela Manno; Daniela Varrica; Gaetano Dongarrà

    2006-01-01

    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

  1. A new large barn owl (Aves, Strigiformes, Tytonidae) from the Middle Pleistocene of Sicily, Italy, and its taphonomical significance

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Marco Pavia

    2004-01-01

    A new species of Tytonidae, Tyto mourerchauvireae, is described from the Sicilian cave deposits of Spinagallo, Luparello and Marasà, which have yielded a common vertebrate fossil assemblages referred to the early Middle Pleistocene. T. mourerchauvireae nov. sp. shows a pronounced increase in body size compared to other congeneric taxa. It is larger than the extant Tyto alba and the extinct

  2. Reconstructing historical trends in metal input in heavily-disturbed, contaminated estuaries: studies from Bilbao, Southampton Water and Sicily

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Andrew B. Cundy; Ian W. Croudace; Alejandro Cearreta; Mar??a J. Irabien

    2003-01-01

    Estuaries may be important reservoirs for contaminants as they tend to act as sinks for fine, contaminant-reactive sediments, and, historically, they have acted as centres for industrial and urban development. Analysis of dated sediment cores from these areas may allow historical trends in heavy metal input to be reconstructed, and recent and historical inputs of metal contaminants to be compared.

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

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Alessandro Aiuppa; Patrick Allard; Walter D’Alessandro; Agnes Michel; Francesco Parello; Michel Treuil; Mariano Valenza

    2000-01-01

    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 CO2 and the contribution of aqueous transport to the overall metal discharge of the volcano. We show that gaseous input of magmatic

  4. Soil CO 2 degassing on Mt Etna (Sicily) during the period 1989–1993: discrimination between climatic and volcanic influences

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Salvatore Giammanco; Sergio Gurrieri; Mariano Valenza

    1995-01-01

    Wide variations were measured in the diffuse CO2 flux through the soils in three selected areas of Mt Etna between August 1989 and March 1993. Degassing of CO2 from the area of Zafferana Etnea-S. Venerina, on the eastern slope of the volcano, has been determined to be more strongly influenced by meteorological parameters than the other areas. The seasonal component

  5. Evolution of volcanism around the eastern sector of Mt. Etna, inland and offshore, in the structural framework of eastern Sicily

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Patané, Giuseppe; Agostino, Ivan; La Delfa, Santo; Leonardi, Riccardo

    2009-04-01

    The authors highlight a new perspective to understanding the volcanism in the Mt. Etna eastern sector, inland and offshore, based on original studies of the sea floor off the Ionian coast of Etna by means of various direct surveying methods (underwater explorations) and indirect ones (bathymetric reconstructions using echosounders). They also propose a new interpretation of geophysical, geochemical and structural surveys carried out over the last two decades. Results show that eastern Etnean sector's volcanism extends as far as the Ionian Sea, to a maximum distance from the coast of probably about 20 km. In their opinion, the absence of outcropping apparatuses in the lower eastern flank of Etna is due to these apparatuses being buried by a large detritic formation ("Chiancone") due to the dismantling of the Ancient Alkaline Centres (AAC) localised to the West. The authors consider the structures highlighted by the study of the Digital Elevation Model (DEM) of the Ionian sea floor and by the Multibeam analysis (Marani et al., 2004. From Seafloor to Deep Mantle: Architecture of the Tyrrhenian Backarc Basin, vol. 44. Mem. Descr. Carta Geol. Ital. pp. 1-2) to be of a volcanic nature. This hypothesis opens up a new field of study within the evolution of the eastern Etnean edge's volcanism, inland and offshore, in the last 500 Ky and would further confirm the eruptive axes migration from East to West.

  6. 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; Giuffrè, 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-06-01

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

  8. 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.

  9. 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-5?-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

  10. 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

  11. 2013 Dragon Symposium, 3-7 June 2013, Palermo, Sicily, Italy Time-variable gravity: generated from a simulated data set according to

    E-print Network

    Stuttgart, Universität

    (replaced by MERRA), ice and solid Earth in 6h-intervals. The overall simulation period is five years (2000 of Technology) for providing time-variable gravity fields generated by the MERRA model. We used this data

  12. 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.

  13. The Holocene 23(10) 14771486

    E-print Network

    Bern, Universität

    of Tunisia and 100 km southwest of Sicily (Figure 1). The island has a small lake of volcanic origin, Lago di, Institute of Earth and Environmental Science, Germany 3 Geological Institute, ETH Zurich, Switzerland 4 in the Strait of Sicily between Tunisia and Sicily was recovered. The lake is located in the coastal infra

  14. Simultaneous determination of Cd(II), Cu(II), Pb(II) and Zn(II) by derivative stripping chronopotentiometry in Pittosporum tobira leaves: a measurement of local atmospheric pollution in Messina (Sicily, Italy)

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Rosina Matarese Palmieri; Lara La Pera; Giuseppa Di Bella; Giacomo Dugo

    2005-01-01

    The purpose of this study is to investigate the bio-accumulation of Cd(II), Cu(II), Pb(II) and Zn(II) in Pittosporum tobira (Thunb.) Aiton leaves sampled in different zones of Messina, in order to assess the level of atmospheric metal deposition in correlation with the traffic volume. Derivative stripping chronopotentiometry was used as a practical, precise and sensitive technique to determine simultaneously Cd,

  15. A new large barn owl (Aves, Strigiformes, Tytonidae) from the Middle Pleistocene of Sicily, Italy, and its taphonomical significance Une nouvelle espèce d'effraie géante (Aves, Strigiformes, Tytonidae) du Pléistocène moyen de Sicile, Italie, et son importance taphonomique

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Marco Pavia

    A new species of Tytonidae, Tyto mourerchauvireae, is described from the Sicilian cave deposits of Spinagallo, Luparello and Marasà, which have yielded a common vertebrate fossil assemblages referred to the early Middle Pleistocene. T. mourerchauvireae nov. sp. shows a pronounced increase in body size compared to other congeneric taxa. It is larger than the extant Tyto alba and the extinct

  16. Ocean Sci., 3, 3141, 2007 www.ocean-sci.net/3/31/2007/

    E-print Network

    Paris-Sud XI, Université de

    under a Creative Commons License. Ocean Science The Sicily Channel Regional Model forecasting system January 2007 Abstract. The Sicily Channel Regional Model forecasting system was tested using- ited Area Model (LAM) as SCRM at regional scale em- bedded into a coarse resolution ocean model (OGCM

  17. 1st Semester 2005/2006, period a & b Dr Benedikt Lowe

    E-print Network

    Löwe, Benedikt

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

  18. Trans-Med expansion nears start-up; Maghreb line nears construction

    SciTech Connect

    True, W.R.

    1994-01-17

    Efforts to move more Algerian gas to Europe have hit full stride this year. Planning is well under way for the Maghreb-Europe pipeline, a second gas line from North Africa, this time across the Strait of Gibraltar into Spain. Construction on most segments will begin this summer. Meanwhile, construction is nearly complete to double capacity on the original Trans-Mediterranean gas pipeline from Algeria across the Sicily Channel to Italy. From a technical standpoint, the new project can be divided into two parts: the landlines in Tunisia, in Sicily, and on the Italian peninsula; and the subsea stretches of the Sicily Channel and the Messina strait.

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

    E-print Network

    Morton, Peter Charles Francis

    2012-11-30

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

  20. Modeling crustal deformation and rupture processes related to upwelling of deep CO2-rich fluids during the 1965-1967 Matsushiro Earthquake Swarm in Japan

    E-print Network

    Cappa, F.

    2010-01-01

    for an earthquake sequence in northern Italy [Miller etstudy of earthquake faulting at Colfiorito, Italy, by Millerearthquake swarms in active tectonic areas: The case of the Peloritani Mts. (Sicily, Italy),

  1. Beyond National Origins: The Development of Modern Immigration Policymaking, 1948-1968

    E-print Network

    Wolgin, Philip Eric

    2011-01-01

    of 1968. When the earthquake hit Sicily, Italy already had aearthquake victims in Greece,” and flood victims in Holland, Italy,earthquake victims in Greece, the flood victims in Holland, the Po River Valley flood victims in Italy

  2. Maurolico [Marul, Marol], Francesco (1494-1575)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Murdin, P.

    2000-11-01

    Born in Messina, Italy, became a Benedictine and acted in several civil posts in Sicily. He observed the nova of 1572, now known as `TYCHO's supernova', and wrote new editions of classical Greek mathematics, most published after his death....

  3. Original article Apis mellifera ruttneri, a new honey bee subspecies

    E-print Network

    Paris-Sud XI, Université de

    Original article Apis mellifera ruttneri, a new honey bee subspecies from Malta WS Sheppard MC, 61440 Oberursel, Germany (Received 17 July 1997; accepted 6 August 1997) Summary — Endemic honey subspecies, similar to the situation with endemic island honey bees of Sicily (A m sicula). These findings

  4. Genetic and phytochemical difference between some Indian and Italian plants of Withania somnifera (L.) Dunal

    Microsoft Academic Search

    P. Scartezzini; F. Antognoni; L. Conte; A. Maxia; A. Troìa; F. Poli

    2007-01-01

    The geographical distribution of Withania somnifera (L.) Dunal is quite wide. However, in Italy, this species is very rare and grows spontaneously only in Sicily and in Sardinia. The PCR–RAPD technique has been utilized in this work to determine the genetic relationship among Sicilian, Sardinian and Indian samples and the HPLC analysis of whitaferin A was used as a marker

  5. Situation structurale et nature ophiolitique de roches basiques jurassiques associées aux flyschs maghrébins du Rif (Maroc) et de Sicile (Italie)

    Microsoft Academic Search

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

    2000-01-01

    At both ends of the Maghrebides belt, in the Rif Mountains and Sicily, Middle to Upper Jurassic slices of basic rocks with an E-MORB character are associated with various tectonic units of the Maghrebian flysch zone. This zone, which was located between the internal zones, originally linked to the European plate and the African external zones of this Alpine belt,

  6. BOUNDARIES BETWEEN DIVISIONS OF THE PERMIAN IN SOUTHERN EUROPE AND SOUTHERN ASIA

    Microsoft Academic Search

    B. K. Likharev

    1962-01-01

    The literature reflects differences of opinion on the boundaries between the several divisions of the Permian in certain classical sections. The Sosio limestone of Sicily should be referred to the lower portions of the upper, rather than lower, division of the Permian. Accordingly beds with higher fusulinids in other Eurasian sections must represent a similar stratigraphic position. The fauna of

  7. North African geology: exploration matrix for potential major hydrocarbon discoveries

    Microsoft Academic Search

    W. H. Kanes; T. E. OConnor

    1985-01-01

    Based on results and models presented previously, it is possible to consider an exploration matrix that examines the 5 basic exploration parameters: source, reservoir, timing, structure, and seal. This matrix indicates that even those basins that have had marginal exploration successes, including the Paleozoic megabasin and downfaulted Triassic grabens of Morocco, the Cyrenaican platform of Libya, and the Tunisia-Sicily shelf,

  8. Nutrients in the Mediterranean Sea, mass balance and statistical analysis of concentrations with respect to environmental change

    Microsoft Academic Search

    J. P Béthoux; P Morin; C Chaumery; O Connan; B Gentili; D Ruiz-Pino

    1998-01-01

    Experimental data obtained from the Algero–Provençal basin (Western Mediterranean) in 1994 illustrates the homogeneity of phosphate, nitrate and silicate concentrations in deep-water throughout this basin, comparable to temperature and salinity homogeneity. Nutrient mass balances across the straits of Gibraltar and Sicily enable us to estimate new production (NP) and f ratio (new vs. total production) in the inner basins. Rather

  9. The Silica Cycle in the Ultraoligotrophic Eastern Mediterranean Sea , K. Fanning2

    E-print Network

    Simon, Emmanuel

    The Silica Cycle in the Ultraoligotrophic Eastern Mediterranean Sea N. Kress1 , K. Fanning2 and M studies aimed at understanding the Si cycle in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea (EMS). Here we use Mediterranean Sea (WMS) water at the Straits of Sicily. It does not change seasonally because there is only

  10. COMMUNICATIONS LIBRES ET RAPPORT DES GROUPES DE TRAVAIL Proteins of the milk and genetic variants In certain sheep populations

    E-print Network

    Paris-Sud XI, Université de

    districts of Sicily. Proteins of the whey : the pathways present one single constant band of (3SESSION IV COMMUNICATIONS LIBRES ET RAPPORT DES GROUPES DE TRAVAIL Proteins of the milk and genetic of an electrophoretic assay (pH 8.6 starch gel) on the individual milk of 200 subjects chosen by chance in diverse

  11. Late Miocene magnetostratigraphy, biostratigraphy and cyclostratigraphy in the Mediterranean

    Microsoft Academic Search

    W. Krijgsman; F. J. Hilgen; C. G. Langereis; A. Santarelli; W. J. Zachariasse

    1995-01-01

    A new chronology for the late Miocene of the Mediterranean is presented by combining magnetostratigraphic, biostratigraphic (planktonic foraminifera and dinoflagellates) and cyclo-stratigraphic data. Long and continuous upper Miocene sections on Gavdos (Metochia section) and Sicily (Gibliscemi section) display cyclic alternations of homogeneous marls and sapropels and can be correlated on the basis of their distinct cyclic patterns. The Metochia section

  12. Narrow genetic base in forest restoration with holm oak (Quercus ilex L.) in1 Burgarella Concetta1*

    E-print Network

    Paris-Sud XI, Université de

    1 Narrow genetic base in forest restoration with holm oak (Quercus ilex L.) in1 Sicily2 3: Genetic diversity in holm oak restoration22 hal-00374102,version1-8Apr2009 Author manuscript, published to empirically assess the effect of actual seed sampling strategy on genetic25 diversity of holm oak (Quercus

  13. Effect of boat noise on the behaviour of bluefin tuna Thunnus thynnus in the Mediterranean Sea

    Microsoft Academic Search

    G. Sarà; J. M. Dean; G. Buscaino; A. Oliveri; S. Genovese; S. Ferro; G. Buffa; M. Lo Martire; S. Mazzola

    2007-01-01

    The effect of boat noise on the behaviour of bluefin tuna Thunnus thynnus was investi- gated in the Egadi Islands, Sicily, during spring 2005 using a fixed tuna trap set near shipping routes. Tuna behaviour was observed when exposed to both natural ambient sound and sound generated by hydrofoil passenger ferries, small boats and large car ferries. Acoustical and behavioural

  14. Mt. Etna sulfur dioxide flux monitoring using ASTER-TIR data and atmospheric observations

    Microsoft Academic Search

    S. Pugnaghi; G. Gangale; S. Corradini; M. F. Buongiorno

    2006-01-01

    This work is aimed at estimating the sulfur dioxide emission of Mt. Etna volcano (Sicily, Italy) using the thermal infrared images remotely sensed by the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER). A new procedure (named FUN) is presented based on approximating functions which represent the atmospheric terms of the radiative transfer equation: transmittance, up-welling and down-welling radiances. The

  15. Foreign Fishery Developments The Sicilian

    E-print Network

    . Economic Role Sicily's 300 billion lire (US$385 mil- lion) fIshing industry plays a significant roleForeign Fishery Developments The Sicilian Fishing Industry Introduction The fishing industry advantage of high poten- tial profits resulting from increasing de- mand and high fish prices. But the in

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

    Microsoft Academic Search

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

    2004-01-01

    This paper presents a summary of the 3D modeling work that was accomplished in preparing multimedia products for cultural heritage interpretation and entertainment. The three cases presented are the Byzantine Crypt of Santa Cristina, Apulia, temple C of Selinunte, Sicily, and a bronze sculpture from the 6th century BC found in Ugento, Apulia. The core of the approach is based

  17. Echo-resonance and hydraulic perturbations in magma cavities: application to the volcanic tremor of Etna (Italy) in relation to its eruptive activity

    Microsoft Academic Search

    A. Montalto; V. Longo; G. Patanè

    1995-01-01

    A study is presented of spectral features of volcanic tremor recorded at Mount Etna (Sicily, Italy) following the methods of analysis suggested by the resonant scattering formalism of Gaunaurd and Überall (1978, 1979a, 1979b) and the model for hydraulic origin of Seidl et al. (1981). The periods investigated include summit and flank eruptions that occurred between 1984 and 1993. Recordings

  18. ELI STUDENT VOICESVolume 14, Issue 1 Spring, 2010 My Love Story (1st

    E-print Network

    Pilyugin, Sergei S.

    I'm sitting on a beach at Sicily, waiting for my husband; he is buying some food to eat at the beach'm expecting a baby and honestly, I'm the happiest woman in the whole universe. Everything is perfect because I

  19. Biochemical properties of a Mediterranean soil as affected by long-term crop management systems

    Microsoft Academic Search

    R Riffaldi; A Saviozzi; R Levi-Minzi; R Cardelli

    2002-01-01

    Soil biochemical properties under long-term crop management systems may be useful indicators of soil quality. We measured seven enzyme activities and six calculated biological indices at four adjacent study sites on an andosol in a semiarid area of eastern Sicily. Soils were sampled under natural grassland (NG), orange-grove (OG), winter wheat (WW) and horticultural crop (HC) managed according to local

  20. Limnol. Oceanogr., 34(4), 1989, 785-789 0 1989, by the American Society of Limnology and Oceanography, Inc.

    E-print Network

    and Oceanography, Inc. Wax estersin two speciesof freshwater zooplankton Abstract-Lipid classes were determined zooplankton. Diaptomus sicilis ex- hibits a typical freshwater lipid profile and con- tains triacylglycerols and Sprules 1987). Although wax esters have not been reported in freshwater zooplankton, small quantities

  1. USV test flight by stratospheric balloon: Preliminary mission analysis

    Microsoft Academic Search

    A. Cardillo; I. Musso; R. Ibba; O. Cosentino

    2006-01-01

    The Unmanned Space Vehicle test flights will use a 7m 1300kg aircraft. The first three launches will take place at the Italian Space Agency ASI base in Trapani–Milo, Sicily, through a stratospheric balloon that will drop the aircraft at a predefined height. After free fall acceleration to transonic velocities, the parachute deployment will allow a safe splash down in the

  2. Chemometric evaluation of surface water quality at regional level

    Microsoft Academic Search

    V. Librando

    1991-01-01

    To reduce the volume of information needed for the evaluation of the quality of some surface waters designated for purification, data gathered in a previous study on three rivers (Simeto, Alcantara and Oreto) in Sicily have been subjected to statistical multivariate analysis. The data base comprised twentyfive variables from eight sampling points at monthly intervals for one year. Such a

  3. Colonial life versus solitary life in Cyrtophora citricola (Araneae, Araneidae)

    Microsoft Academic Search

    R. Leborgne; T. Cantarella; A. Pasquet

    1998-01-01

    Summary: Among spiders, some species could be qualified as colonial. Individuals may live alone or in colonies where each spider exploits its own capture web in a communal network. We compared solitary with colonial life in Cyrtophora female populations from South-East Sicily in 1992 and 1993. We used 6 parameters to describe and compare the populations: spider size, web size,

  4. Cruise tourism externalities and residents' support: A generalized ordered logit analysis

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Juan Gabriel Brida; Giacomo Del Chiappa; Marta Meleddu; Manuela Pulina

    2012-01-01

    This paper investigates residents' preferences towards cruise tourism investment in their home port. The research uses data collected during the peak cruise season in 2011 at Messina, a port of call in Sicily, Italy. A generalized ordered logit analysis is run to analyse what factors influence the residents' preferences towards investment in cruise tourism. Positive and negative externalities produced by

  5. Distribution of the tiger beetle Lophyridia aphrodisia (Baudi, 1864) on the Turkish Mediterranean coast

    E-print Network

    , Turkey, Syria, Middle East. Introduction The tiger beetle Lophyridia aphrodisia, a highly specialized in the eastern Mediterranen (Sicily, Rhodes, Cyprus, Mediterranean coast of Turkey and Syria; HORN 1931, CASSOLA distribu- tion area of L. aphrodisia aphrodisia (Baudi, 1864) (reaching from Latakia in Syria into Turkey

  6. Shifting styles of basaltic explosive activity during the 2002–03 eruption of Mt. Etna, Italy

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Daniele Andronico; Antonio Cristaldi; Paola Del Carlo; Jacopo Taddeucci

    2009-01-01

    The 2002–03 flank eruption of Etna was characterized by two months of explosive activity that produced copious ash fallout, constituting a major source of hazard and damage over all eastern Sicily. Most of the tephra were erupted from vents at 2750 and 2800 m elevation on the S flank of the volcano, where different eruptive styles alternated. The dominant style of

  7. Holocene vegetation and fire dynamics in the supra-mediterranean belt of the Nebrodi Mountains

    E-print Network

    Bern, Universität

    of the Mediterranean Sea and because of its complex topography (e.g. Etna volcano exceeds 3000 m a.s.l.) it has diverseHolocene vegetation and fire dynamics in the supra-mediterranean belt of the Nebrodi Mountains, a small lake in the supra-mediterranean belt in the Nebrodi Mountains of Sicily (Italy). The data suggest

  8. Source of the 1693 Catania earthquake and tsunami (southern Italy): New evidence from tsunami modeling of a locked subduction fault plane

    E-print Network

    Paris-Sud XI, Université de

    Source of the 1693 Catania earthquake and tsunami (southern Italy): New evidence from tsunami, and S. Tinti (2006), Source of the 1693 Catania earthquake and tsunami (southern Italy): New evidence April 2006. [1] The 1693 Catania earthquake, which caused 60000 deaths in eastern Sicily and generated

  9. Fish community associated with Halophila stipulacea meadow in the Mediterranean Sea

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Bessy Stancanelli

    2007-01-01

    The fish fauna of a Halopila stipulacea meadow was studied in the Peninsula of Maddalena (Eastern Sicily, Italy; Mediterranean). Visual censuses were conducted every three months from October 1998 to July 1999 and from Octo- ber 2003 to July 2004. Environmental variables for water temperature, salinity and seagrass shoot density were collected on each sampling occasion. A total of 30

  10. Proteomes and Proteins A Course Jointly Organized by

    E-print Network

    Pascucci, Valerio

    Sicily, and is easily reachable via hydrofoil boat or ferry from Naples, Messina and Milazzo. Its natural + hydrofoil, 2 social tours and the social dinner. Participants who wish to stay one week only may choose + hydrofoil, 1 social tour and the social dinner. The social dinner is organized on the black beach of Vulcano

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

    Microsoft Academic Search

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

    2001-01-01

    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

  12. Biological effect of Opuntia ficus indica (L.) Mill. (Cactaceae) waste matter

    Microsoft Academic Search

    E. M Galati; M. M Tripodo; A Trovato; N Miceli; M. T Monforte

    2002-01-01

    In this work we studied in rat the diuretic activity of Opuntia ficus indica (L.) Mill. (Cactaceae) waste matter. The cladodes, flowers and non commerciable fruits were collected in S. Cono (CT, Sicily) cultivation. Acute and chronic diuretic activity of 15% infusion of cladodes, flowers and fruits were assayed. Natriuresis, kaliuresis and the activity on fructose-induced hyperuricemia was also studied.

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

    Microsoft Academic Search

    M. L. Bosco; D. Varrica; G. Dongarra

    2005-01-01

    The area of Gela (Sicily, Italy) contains one of the largest petroleum refineries in Europe and also has several oil fields both on land and offshore. This paper discusses how the oil refinery and traffic-related air pollution affect the chemical composition of airborne particulate matter over the town of Gela, using pine needles and urban road dust as the means

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

    Microsoft Academic Search

    ANTONELLA AGODI; ESHWAR MAHENTHIRALINGAM; MARTINA BARCHITTA; VIVIANA GIANNINO; AGATA SCIACCA; STEFANIA STEFANI

    2001-01-01

    The prevalence, epidemiology, and genomovar status of Burkholderia cepacia complex strains recovered from Italian cystic fibrosis (CF) patients were investigated using genetic typing and species identification methods. Four CF treatment centers were examined: two in Sicily, one in central Italy, and one in northern Italy. B. cepacia complex bacteria were isolated from 59 out of 683 CF patients attending these

  15. The concept of the 1 MW\\/el\\/ solar thermal power plant of the European economic community

    Microsoft Academic Search

    J. Hofmann; J. Gretz

    1978-01-01

    The 1 MWe solar thermal demonstration power plant of the central receiver type, being implemented by the EEC is surveyed. The project, in its design stage, is supported by the governments of West Germany, France, and Italy and is located in Sicily. Attention is given to the major subsystems consisting of: (1) heliostat field, (2) receiver and tower, (3) electrical

  16. MT. ETNA VOLCANIC AEROSOL AND ASH RETRIEVALS USING MERIS AND AATSR DATA

    E-print Network

    Oxford, University of

    MT. ETNA VOLCANIC AEROSOL AND ASH RETRIEVALS USING MERIS AND AATSR DATA Spinetti C. (1) , Corradini to the presence of volcanoes. Mt. Etna in Sicily, displays persistent activity, periodically interrupted techniques has been adapted. MERIS and AATSR data acquired during the Mt. Etna 2002-2003 volcanic eruption

  17. Mt. Etna volcanic aerosol and ash retrievals using MERIS and AATSR data

    E-print Network

    Oxford, University of

    Mt. Etna volcanic aerosol and ash retrievals using MERIS and AATSR data C. Spinetti (1) , S to the presence of volcanoes. Mt. Etna in Sicily, displays persistent activity, periodically interrupted data acquired during the Mt. Etna 2002-2003 volcanic eruption. The data have been requested via

  18. Quantum Metrology and Fundamental Physical Constants

    Microsoft Academic Search

    J H Sanders

    1984-01-01

    The NATO Advanced Study Institute held at Erice, Sicily, in November 1981 brought together specialists in precise measurement to present a tutorial introduction to quantum metrology and the measurement of the fundamental physical constants.Ever since the evolution of experimental physics as a scientific pursuit the measurement of the values of quantities accepted to be constants of nature has commanded the

  19. Relationship between pigmentation and reproduction in two species of Diaptomus (copepoda)

    Microsoft Academic Search

    NELSON G. HAIRSTON; N. G. Jr

    1979-01-01

    Adult Diaptomus sicilis and Diaptomus nevadensis in two central Washington lakes show a seasonal range in body pigmentation: from high throughout the year to markedly seasonal with a winter and early spring peak. Both species have winter-spring peaks in reproduction in both lakes. Pigment is accumulated by adult females and concentrated in their eggs and nauplii. During the day, the

  20. Influence of Cultivar on Lemon Oil Composition

    Microsoft Academic Search

    A. Verzera; C. Russo; G. La Rosa; I. Bonaccorsi; A. Cotroneo

    2001-01-01

    In order to evaluate the differences in the qualitative and quantitative composition of lemon essential oils obtained from different lemon cultivars, the oils were analyzed by HRGC and HRGC\\/MS. The components were identified in each oil on polar and apolar capillary columns. The samples analyzed were obtained from lemon plants cultivated in Sicily in an experimental field. The selection reflected

  1. The fast life of a dwarfed giant

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Pasquale Raia; Carmela Barbera; Maurizio Conte

    2003-01-01

    In the first half of the 1960s, a rich paleontological site was discovered at Spinagallo caves (Eastern Sicily, Southern Italy). A very abundant fossil population (at least 104 specimens) of the dwarf elephant Elephas falconeri, the smallest elephant that ever lived, was recovered. We computed the survivorship curve for this fossil population in order to investigate both the great juvenile

  2. Chemical composition and fungicidal activity of the essential oil of Laserpitium garganicum from Italy

    Microsoft Academic Search

    B. Tirillini; R. Pagiotti; P. Angelini; G. Pintore; M. Chessa; L. Menghini

    2009-01-01

    Laserpitium garganicum subsp. garganicum (Ten.) Bertol.(= Laserpitium siler L. subsp. garganicum (Ten.) Arcangeli) is a perennial herb belonging to the Apiaceae family. The distribution is limited to the southern area of the Balkan peninsula and Italy [1]. In Italy this plant is found in the central Apennines, Sicily and Sardinia [2]. This plant is described as a subspecies of L.

  3. Origins of Logic Greek mathematics

    E-print Network

    Löwe, Benedikt

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

  4. Geologic setting for hydrocarbons in Tunisia

    SciTech Connect

    Schamel, S. (Univ. of South Carolina, Columbia (USA))

    1990-05-01

    Hydrocarbon habitats on the Tunisia-Sicily shelf result from the complex interplay of three factors: (1) proximity to a source of terrigenous sediments, (2) eustatic sea level changes resulting in major transgression/regression events, and (3) a varied and ever-changing structural mosaic involving successive transtensional, transpressive, and compressional tectonic phases. The stratigraphy, structure, and petroleum resources of the shelf are linked to the crustal template created during the middle Mesozoic rifting of the Tethyan margin of North Africa. Transtensional stretching and crustal fragmentation forming the Tunisia-Sicily passive margin occurred in the Late Triassic-Jurassic at the juncture of the South Saharan and Gibraltar shear zones, creating a complex array of ridges and furrows and localized pull-apart basins. During the Cretaceous and early Tertiary, the subsident block-faulted shelf was buried beneath a varied stratigraphy ranging from a thin pelagic limestone succession devoid of terrigenous components in Sicily to a considerably thicker neritic Tunisian succession composed of mixed terrigenous and carbonate strata. Differences in stratigraphic character across the shelf relate to the relative position of Sicily and Tunisia between the unstable and subsident Tethyan margin and the stable and emergent Saharn platform. Beginning in the middle Cretaceous, the region experienced localized tectonic instability expressed as transtensional faulting, crustal inversion, salt diapirism, and submarine volcanism. These events profoundly altered bathymetry and facies distribution on the shelf. As the North African continental margin subducted northward beneath the Kabyle-Calabrian accretionary complex in the late Cenozoic, the thin competent carbonate successions of Sicily responded by detaching in a series of southward migrating thrust sheets. The thrusts die out along strike in Tunisia.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  6. 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

  7. Mediterranean forest vegetation to fire disturbance during the Holocene: insights from the peri-Adriatic region

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Daniele Colombaroli; Willy Tinner; Jacqueline van Leeuwen; Roland Noti; Elisa Vescovi; Boris Vanniere; Michel Magny; Roland Schmidt; Harald Bugmann

    Aim To test whether fire contributed to the expansion and compositional change of evergreen forests in the Mediterranean region during the Holocene. Location The peri-Adriatic region, encompassing the Italian peninsula, Sicily and the western and southern Balkans between latitudes 46? and 37? N. Methods New high-resolution pollen and microscopic charcoal data from Lago dell'Accesa (Tuscany, Italy) were used to estimate

  8. Patterns in the distribution of Arctic freshwater zooplankton related to glaciation history

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Larysa Samchyshyna; Lars-Anders Hansson; Kirsten Christoffersen

    2008-01-01

    We analysed circumpolar samples from 68 lakes within the 10°C-July isotherm from Arctic Canada, Nunavut, Greenland, Svalbard,\\u000a Eastern Siberia, the Beringia region, and Alaska. In total, we found 3 species of Anostraca, 17 of Diplostraca, 1 species\\u000a of cyclopoid and 14 species of calanoid copepods. Our study identifies a wider distribution for some copepods—e.g. Eurytemora\\u000a pacifica, Leptodiaptomus sicilis, Arctodiaptomus novosibiricus,

  9. Geologic setting for hydrocarbons in Tunisia

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Schamel

    1990-01-01

    Hydrocarbon habitats on the Tunisia-Sicily shelf result from the complex interplay of three factors: (1) proximity to a source of terrigenous sediments, (2) eustatic sea level changes resulting in major transgression\\/regression events, and (3) a varied and ever-changing structural mosaic involving successive transtensional, transpressive, and compressional tectonic phases. The stratigraphy, structure, and petroleum resources of the shelf are linked to

  10. An outbreak of Tinea pedis and Tinea cruris in a tyre factory in Messina, Italy.

    PubMed

    Todaro, F; Germano, D; Criseo, G

    1983-01-01

    A case of an epidemic by Tinea cruris and Tinea pedis in a tyre factory in Sicily is reported. There was noticeable spread of the causative agents throughout the environment. They were mainly transmitted by wash-basins in the footbaths, by footboards of showers and in smaller numbers by towels. Trichosporon beigelii was the most common fungus isolated from the environment, followed by Trichophyton rubrum, Trichophyton mentagrophytes, Epidermophyton floccosum, Candida parapsilosis and Geotrichum candidum. PMID:6633632

  11. Letter Written by Courtland R. Burnham, Jr. to the Bryant College Service Club Dated August 2, 1943

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Burnham Jr. Courtland R

    1943-01-01

    [Transcription begins]\\u000aSomewhere in SicilyAugust 2, 1943\\u000aHello Bryant Service Club,\\u000aSure was glad to receive your informative V Mail about good old Bryant College. I often think about it and the good times connected with my two years there. I was especially interested in learning the whereabouts of Ben Scuda + Johnnie Hall having been in both their classes.

  12. Retroricoprimento medio-pleistocenico di Argille Scagliose a Serra San Biagio (Sicilia orientale): evidenze stratigrafiche e tettoniche

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Gianni Lanzafame; Anna Leonardi; Marco Neri

    1999-01-01

    \\u000a Abstract  Near the town of Fiumefreddo and the coast of the Ionian Sea, the small hill of Serra San Biagio (eastern Sicily) is made\\u000a up of Pleistocene calcarenites and marls overlain by Cretaceous-Eocene Argille Scagliose of the Apennine-Maghrebian Chain;\\u000a at the top there are Late Pleistocene fluviomarine deposits. The contact between the Argille Scagliose and the Pleistocene\\u000a sediments is well exposed,

  13. Extension of the astronomically calibrated (polarity) time scale to the Miocene\\/Pliocene boundary

    Microsoft Academic Search

    F. J. Hilgen

    1991-01-01

    The early Pleistocene to late Pliocene astronormcally calibrated time scale of Shackleton et al. [1] and Hllgen [2] is\\u000aextended to the Mlocene\\/Pllocene boundary This is done by correlating the detailed record of CaCO 3 cycles in the Trubl and\\u000athe lower part of the overlying Narbone Formation (Rossello composite sechon, Sicily) to the astronomical record, using (1)\\u000amferred phase

  14. Mediterranean shelf-edge muddy contourites: examples from the Gela and South Adriatic basins

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Giuseppe Verdicchio; Fabio Trincardi

    2008-01-01

    We present new evidence of shallow-water muddy contourite drifts at two distinct locations in the central Mediterranean characterized\\u000a by a relatively deep shelf edge (between 170 and 300 m below sea level): the south-eastern Adriatic margin and the north-western\\u000a Sicily Channel. The growth of these shelf-edge contourite drifts is ascribed to the long-term impact of the Mediterranean\\u000a themohaline circulation. The Levantine

  15. Maecenas: Images of Ancient Greece and Rome

    NSDL National Science Digital Library

    1998-01-01

    Maintained by Classics Professor Leo Curran of the University at Buffalo, this collection of images could be a useful resource for courses in the Classics, Ancient History, or Archaeology. The collection currently contains many high-quality photos from France and Italy, with separate sections for Sicily and Rome. The images are offered free for any non-commercial purpose, and the site is periodically updated with new photos.

  16. 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.

  17. Growth and reproductive simulation of candidate shellfish species at fish cages in the southern mediterranean: Dynamic energy budget (deb) modelling for integrated multi-trophic aquaculture

    Microsoft Academic Search

    G. Sarà; G. K. Reid; A. Rinaldi; V. Palmeri; M. Troell; S. A. L. M. Kooijman

    A Dynamic Energy Budget (DEB) model is used to simulate growth and reproduction of the shellfish Mytilus galloprovincialis and Crassostrea gigas in an Integrated multi-trophic aquaculture (IMTA) farm scenario situated in the Southern Mediterranean (the Gulf of Castellammare, Sicily). We modelled the effect of primary production enrichment at fish cages on shellfish growth and life history traits using 4years-hourly temperature

  18. Modern pollen assemblages as climate indicators in southern Europe

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Walter Finsinger; Oliver Heiri; Verushka Valsecchi; Willy Tinner; André F. Lotter

    2007-01-01

    Aim and Location Our aim is to develop pollen–climate inference models for southern Europe and to test their performance and inference power by cross-validation with modern climate data. Surface sediments collected from lakes along a climate gradient from the winter-cold\\/summer-wet Alps to winter-wet\\/summer-dry Sicily were analysed for modern pollen assemblages.\\u000a\\u000aMethods For each lake, mean monthly temperatures, seasonal precipitation and

  19. Biomarker Alterations Produced in Rat Lung by Intratracheal Instillations of Air Particulate Extracts and Chemoprevention with Oral W-acetyIcysteine1

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Alberto Izzotti; Anna Camoirano; Francesco D'Agostini; Salvatore Sciacca; Filippo De Naro Papa; Carmelo F. Cesarone; Silvio De Flora

    Organic matter extracts were obtained from particulates recovered from 10,000-m3 air samples collected in Sicily (Italy). The overall concen trations of acenaphthene, benzo(a)pyrene, phenanthrene, anthracene, flu- oranthene, and pyrene were 526 ng\\/m3 air in a highly polluted urban area and 48 ng\\/m3 in a rural area affected by motor vehicle traffic pollution. After metabolic activation, both samples were mutagenic in

  20. Relict Populations and Endemic Clades in Palearctic Reptiles: Evolutionary History and Implications for Conservation

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Ulrich Joger; Uwe Fritz; Daniela Guicking; Svetlana Kalyabina-Hauf; Zoltan T. Nagy; Michael Wink

    \\u000a The phylogeographic history of eight species complexes of West Palearctic reptiles was reconstructed using mitochondrial and\\u000a nuclear markers. Cryptic endemic taxa were detected in the Southern European peninsulas (Iberia, Southern Italy\\/Sicily, and\\u000a Greece) as well as in North Africa, Anatolia, Iran, and the Caucasus. These endemics are mainly of Tertiary or early Pleistocene\\u000a age. Only part of them can be

  1. Ustica Island (Tyrrhenian Sea, Italy): from shoaling to emergent stage

    Microsoft Academic Search

    L. B. Marinoni; G. Pasquaré; L. Vezzoli

    2003-01-01

    Ustica is a volcanic island located in the southern Tyrrhenian sea, ~60 km NW of Sicily. As usual for volcanic ocean islands, its exposed part (8.6 km2, 248 m max elevation, mostly of Pleistocene age), is a small fraction of the whole edifice which rises from ~2000 m depth. Its 5-pointed-star shape is slightly elongated in a NE direction. A

  2. The Miocene Costa Giardini diatreme, Iblean Mountains, southern Italy: model for maar-diatreme formation on a submerged carbonate platform

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Sonia Calvari; Lawrence H. Tanner

    2011-01-01

    In this paper we present a model for the growth of a maar-diatreme complex in a shallow marine environment. The Miocene-age\\u000a Costa Giardini diatreme near Sortino, in the region of the Iblei Mountains of southern Sicily, has an outer tuff ring formed\\u000a by the accumulation of debris flows and surge deposits during hydromagmatic eruptions. Vesicular lava clasts, accretionary\\u000a lapilli and

  3. Variations in a LF radio signal on the occasion of the recent seismic and volcanic activity in Southern Italy

    Microsoft Academic Search

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

    2004-01-01

    Low Frequency (LF) radio signals lie in the band 30–300 kHz. The electric field of three LF broadcasting stations––CLT (f=189 kHz, Sicily, Italy), MCO (f=216 kHz, France) and CZE (f=270 kHz, Czech Republic)––has been monitored since 1997 with a sampling frequency of ten minutes at a site named AS and located in central Italy. During September–November 2002, we observed significant

  4. 14th International Conference on Ion Sources

    E-print Network

    Latora, Vito

    Break Visit to Etna north-east region 16:00 - 18:10 16:30 - 18:40 Poster Session Poster Session Oral on Thursday 15th and it will touch some enchanting areas of the Etna park. Etna Park was the first Park established in Sicily in March 1987. And not by chance. As a matter of fact, Etna is not only the highest

  5. Sulfur emissions from Mt. Etna

    Microsoft Academic Search

    Wolfgang Jaeschke; Harald Berresheim; Hans-W. Georgii

    1982-01-01

    In the course of three measuring trips to the Mt. Etna volcano (Sicily), field measurements and measurements by aircraft were carried out in the plume of the volcano to determine the concentration distributions and emission rates for the sulfur compounds H2S, SO2, and SO42-. Furthermore, the removal of H2S and SO2 and the production of SO42- in the dispersing plume

  6. 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

  7. Incised marks on Late Helladic and Late Minoan III pottery 

    E-print Network

    Hirschfeld, Nicolle Elise

    1990-01-01

    . Rhodes and the Dodecanese. Cyclades . . Mainland Greece Crete. Italy, Sicily, Sardinia. Geographical Distribution: Summary . SHAPES . . FS 36: Three-handled Piriform Jar FS 164: Large Stirrup Jar CATALOGUE OF SIGNS Classification Method Cypro...-Minoan Signs Timing of Marking 14 . 14 . . 18 . . 18 . . 22 . 22 . . . 25 . . . 28 . . 29 . . . 32 34 . . 34 . . . 38 38 . 41 . . 46 . . 46 53 . 65 SUMMARY, INTERPRETATION AND CONCLUSIONS A Cypriot Marking System Cypriots in the Argolid...

  8. Phylogeographic inferences from the mtDNA variation of the three-toed skink, Chalcides chalcides (Reptilia: Scincidae).

    PubMed

    Giovannotti, Massimo; Cerioni, Paola Nisi; Kalboussi, Mohsen; Aprea, Gennaro; Caputo, Vincenzo

    2007-05-15

    Genetic diversity was analyzed in Chalcides chalcides populations from peninsular Italy, Sardinia, Sicily and Tunisia by sequencing 400 bp at the 5' end of the mitochondrial gene encoding cytochrome b (cyt b) and by restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) analysis of two mitochondrial DNA segments (ND-1/2 and ND-3/4). The results of the phylogenetic analysis highlighted the presence of three main clades corresponding with three of the four main geographical areas (Tunisia, Sicily and the Italian peninsula), while Sardinia proved to be closely related to Tunisian haplotypes suggesting a colonization of this island from North Africa by human agency in historical times. On the contrary, the splitting times estimated on the basis of cyt b sequence data seem to indicate a more ancient colonization of Sicily and the Italian Peninsula, as a consequence of tectonic and climatic events that affected the Mediterranean Basin during the Pleistocene. Finally, the analysis of the genetic variability of C. chalcides populations showed a remarkable genetic homogeneity in Italian populations when compared to the Tunisian ones. This condition could be explained by a rapid post-glacial expansion from refugial populations that implied serial bottlenecking with progressive loss of haplotypes, resulting in a low genetic diversity in the populations inhabiting the more recently colonized areas. PMID:17219367

  9. 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

  10. 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)

    Ga?i?, 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bartol, J.; Topper, R. P.

    2014-12-01

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

  12. 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

  13. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-02-01

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

  15. 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.

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

    E-print Network

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

    2012-01-01

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

  17. 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.

  18. Earth

    NSDL National Science Digital Library

    This NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) planet profile provides data and images of the planet Earth. These data include planet size, orbit facts, distance from the Sun, rotation and revolution times, temperature, atmospheric composition, density, surface materials and albedo. Images with descriptions show Earth features such as the Ross Ice Shelf in Antarctica, Simpson Desert in Australia, Mt. Etna in Sicily, the Cassiar Mountains in Canada, the Strait of Gibraltar, Mississippi River, Grand Canyon, Wadi Kufra Oasis in Libya, and Moon images such as Hadley Rille, Plum Crater, massifs and Moon rocks. These images were taken with the Galileo Spacecraft and by the Apollo missions.

  19. [Agueda of Catania: the patron saint of patients with breast diseases].

    PubMed

    Ortiz-Hidalgo, Carlos

    2011-01-01

    For those suffering from breast cancer, Agatha is their patron saint. She was a beautiful Christian maiden, from Catania, Sicily, who dedicated her life to God. As she rejected the love proposals of consul Quintiliano, she suffered cruel tortures. One of the tortures she suffered was to have her breast cut off, with iron shears, a detail that furnished to the Christian medieval iconography, the peculiar characteristic of Agatha. Catania honors Agatha as her patron saint and throughout the region around Mt. Etna. Saint Agatha's feast day is February 5. All of those dedicated to the treatment and prevention of breast cancer are known as "the soldiers of Saint Agatha". PMID:22089679

  20. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-02-01

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

  2. Trace element behaviour in seawater during Etna's pyroclastic activity in 2001: Concurrent effects of nutrients and formation of alteration minerals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Censi, P.; Randazzo, L. A.; Zuddas, P.; Saiano, F.; Aricò, P.; Andò, S.

    2010-06-01

    The eruption of Etna in Sicily on 13 July 2001 marked the most intense activity of the volcano in the last 300 years. The eruption occurred while the oceanographic cruise ANSIC 01 was being conducted to the east of Sicily, presenting a unique opportunity for the investigation of the chemical effects on the marine system during a period of significant (˜ 1 g m -2) ash deposition. Comparison of trace element data with measured concentrations from the oceanographic cruise JUVENILE 99, carried out two years before, indicates large enrichments of V, Cr, Mn, Fe, Co, Cu and Pb. We attribute this behaviour to leaching of freshly-erupted volcanic ash, according to trace element concentrations measured in suspended particulate matter (SPM). The exception is Pb, which is likely to be influenced by another, possibly anthropogenic, source. Trace element behaviour in the water column and during leaching experiments suggests that trace element distributions are driven by the occurrence of alteration minerals on glass surfaces, given that the main trace element source in seawater appears to come from the soluble-ash fraction. Trace element solubility is likely to be increased by organic complexation, which accelerates the alteration of ash particles. Organic substances suitable for complex trace elements are probably formed during the lysis of phytoplankton cells, produced during an increase in marine primary productivity associated with the volcanic fertilisation of surface waters.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Roberts, J.J.; Wood, R.A.; Haszeldine, R.S. [Scottish Carbon Capture and Storage, School of GeoSciences, Grant Institute, University of Edinburgh, West Mains Road, Edinburgh EH9 3JW, Scotland (United Kingdom)

    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.

  4. A new inventory of inorganic nutrients data for the Western Mediterranean Sea: interannual variability in repeated transects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Giovanna, Massucco; Mireno, Borghini; Gabriella, Cerrati; Anna, Vetrano; Katrin, Schroeder

    2013-04-01

    Few studies on Mediterranean's biogeochemical properties and their temporal variability have been published since now. For this reason, one of the aims of this work was to put together a large biogeochemical dataset derived from a series of oceanographic campaigns in the Western Mediterranean from 1997 to 2012. The analysis of these data, especially the vertical and horizontal variability of nitrate, phosphate and silicate and their stoichiometric ratios along repeated transects, allows to differentiate Mediterranean water masses and to verify biogeochemical anomalies already described in literature. In fact nutrients, besides being tracers of new production, biological cycles and transport processes, can be also used like non-conservative tracers of water masses and mixing. To obtain more specific results, the "semiconservative" parameters NO and PO were derived. This type of tracers combines oxygen, nitrate and phosphate data in order to take into account respiration processes. The principal target of this study was the characterization of Mediterranean water masses from a biogeochemical point of view. In particular, specific repeated transects (i.e. the Sicily Channel, which is extremely important for water exchanges, the Corsica Channel and the passage between Sardinia and Sicily) permitted to analyse the temporal variability of these elements in intermediate and deep waters, which have a fundamental role in re-distribution of nutrients in the Mediterranean basin.

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

    E-print Network

    Mir, Tariq Ahmad; Cerqueti, Roy

    2014-01-01

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

  6. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

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

  8. Vega is first offshore development for Montedison

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1985-10-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. Kinematics of the Western Africa-Eurasia Plate Boundary From Focal Mechanisms and GPS Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Serpelloni, E.; Vannucci, G.; Pondrelli, S.; Argnani, A.; Casula, G.; Anzidei, M.; Baldi, P.; Gasperini, P.

    2006-12-01

    We used earthquake and GPS data to study the present-day kinematics and tectonics of the Africa-Eurasia plate boundary in the Western Mediterranean. Crustal seismicity and focal mechanisms outline the geometry of major seismic belts and characterise their tectonics and kinematics. Continuous GPS data have been analyzed to determine Euler vectors for the Nubian and Eurasian plates and to provide the global frame for a new Mediterranean GPS velocity field, obtained by merging continuous and campaign observations. GPS velocities and displacements predicted by the Nubia-Eurasia pole provide estimates of the deformation accommodated across the tectonically active belts. Our analysis reveals a more complex fragmentation of the plate boundary than previously proposed. The roughly E-W trending mainly compressive segments (i.e., southwestern Iberia, northern Algeria and southern Tyrrhenian), where plate convergence is largely accomodated across rather localized deformation zones, and partially transferred northward to the adjacent domains (i.e., the Algero-Balearic and Tyrrhenian basins), are interrupted by regions of more distributed deformation (i.e., the Rif-Alboran-Betics, Tunisia-Libya and eastern Sicily deformation zones), or limited seismicity (i.e., the Strait of Sicily), which are characterized by less homogeneous regimes (mainly transcurrent to extensional). In correspondence of the observed breaks, tectonic structures with different orientation interfere, and we find belts with only limited deformation (i.e., the High and Mid Atlas, the Tunisian Atlas and the offshore Tunisia-Libya belt) that extends from the plate boundary into the Nubian plate, along pre-existing tectonic lineaments. Our analysis suggest that the Sicilian-Pelagian domain is moving independently from Nubia, according to the presence of a right-lateral and extensional decoupling zone corresponding to the Tunisia-Libya and Strait of Sicily deformation zone. Despite the space variability of active tectonic regimes, plate convergence still governs most of the seismotectonic and kinematic setting up to the central Aeolian region. In general, local complexities derive from pre-existing structural features, inherited from the tectonic evolution of the Mediterranean region. On the contrary, along Calabria and the Apennines the contribution of the subducted Ionian oceanic lithosphere and the occurrence of microplates (i.e., Adria) appear to substantially modify both tectonics and kinematics. Finally, GPS data across the Gibraltar Arc and the Tyrrhenian-Calabria domain support the hypothesis that slab rollback in these regions is mostly slowed down or stopped.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Statistical analysis of inter-arrival times of rainfall events for Italian Sub-Alpine and Mediterranean areas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Agnese, C.; Baiamonte, G.; Cammalleri, C.; Cat Berro, D.; Ferraris, S.; Mercalli, L.

    2012-09-01

    In this work a set of time-series of inter-arrival times of rainfall events, at daily scale, was analysed, with the aim to verify the issue of increasing duration of dry periods. The set consists of 12 time-series recorded at rain gauges in 1926-2005, six of them belong to an Italian Sub-Alpine area (Piedmont) and six to a Mediterranean one (Sicily). In order to overcome the problem related to limited sample size for high values of inter-arrival times, the discrete probability polylog-series distribution was used to fit the empirical data from partial (20 yr) time-series. Moreover, a simple qualitative trend analysis was applied to some high quantiles of inter-arrival times as well as to the average extent of rain clusters. The preliminary analysis seems to confirm the issue of increasing duration of dry periods for both environments, which is limited to the "cold" season.

  15. Nanodiamond finding in the hyblean shallow mantle xenoliths.

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  16. Ground deformations in the Island of Pantelleria (Italy): Insights into the dynamic of the current intereruptive period

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mattia, M.; Bonaccorso, A.; Guglielmino, F.

    2007-11-01

    The Island of Pantelleria, located between the coasts of Sicily (Italy) and Tunisia, is deforming due to volcanic and tectonic activity. Here we use electro-optical distance meter, leveling, GPS, and differential interferometry synthetic aperture radar data to constrain the inter-eruptive deformation pattern. We observe subsidence affecting the main caldera of Pantelleria, in the central southern sector of the island. Subsidence is mainly related to hydrothermal cooling and/or fluid withdrawal from a shallow (4 km below sea level) magma chamber located beneath the caldera. The relationships between the caldera area and the remnant part of the island are also investigated through a review of petrographic, geochemical, and structural data.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2005-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2004-12-01

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

  19. Status of NEMO Project

    SciTech Connect

    Viola, S.

    2010-03-01

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

  20. 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

  1. Submarine pipeline inspection: The 12 years experience of TRANSMED and future developments

    SciTech Connect

    Iovenitti, L.; Venturi, M. [Snamprogetti S.p.A., Fano (Italy). Offshore Division; Albano, G.; Touisi, E.H. [Mariconsult S.p.A., Milan (Italy)

    1994-12-31

    TRANSMED is a submarine pipeline gas transportation system crossing the Sicily Channel, in the Mediterranean Sea, at a maximum water depth of 610 m. It went into operation in 1981. Initially composed of three lines, it has been increased to five lines and to a total length of 780 Km in the last year. In the present paper criteria, methodology and equipment used for the periodic inspection surveys of TRANSMED and for the management of gathered data are presented. The twelve years inspection activity and the relevant results of data analysis, mainly the historical evolution of scour induced free spans and the incidence of other hazards, are illustrated. Moreover, the critical aspects concerning data acquisition, processing and management are analyzed and the planned developments are presented.

  2. Recent advances in offshore pipeline technology

    SciTech Connect

    Bruschi, R.; Vitali, L. [Snamprogetti S.p.A., Fano (Italy)

    1994-12-31

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

  3. Atmospheric carbon dioxide record from flask measurements at Lampedusa Island

    NSDL National Science Digital Library

    Chamard, Paolo.

    2001-01-01

    Air samples from Lampedusa Island, located south of Sicily in the Mediterranean sea, were collected weekly from May 1992 through December 2000 and analyzed for carbon dioxide content. "On the basis of annual averages calculated from monthly averages, CO2 levels at Lampedusa Island have risen from 360.80 in 1993 to 371.27 in 2000. The data show an average trend of +1.5 ppmv/y." The data from the study, newly available this month from the Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center (CDIAC), include a plot of mean carbon dioxide concentration (ppmv) against time and a text table of the annual mean values. Methods, notes, and references are also provided.

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-03-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-05-01

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

  6. Ocean bottom seismometers deployed in Tyrrhenian Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dahm, Torsten; Thorwart, M.; Flueh, E. R.; Braun, Th.; Herber, R.; Favali, P.; Beranzoli, L.; D'Anna, G.; Frugoni, F.; Smriglio, G.

    The Institute for Geophysics (IfG) at Hamburg University and the Research Center for Marine Geoscience (GEOMAR) of Kiel University have developed new, wideband ocean bottom seismic stations (OBS) for long-term, deep-sea deployments of up to 1 year. A first long-term pilot experiment of these stations was conducted in the Tyrrhenian Sea north of Sicily, in-cooperation with the first long-term, deep-sea test of the European Ocean Bottom Observatory GEOSTAR [Beranzoli et al., 2000] by Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia (INGV). The seismic data retrieved prove that the new OBSs are useful for seismological studies. A large number of tele-seismic earthquakes have been recorded in good quality; waves originating from such events pass the mantle and crust below the network, and thus provide important constraints on their structure.

  7. Temples of Malta

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ventura, Frank; Hoskin, Michael

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

  8. Pleural mesothelioma cases in Biancavilla are related to a new fluoro-edenite fibrous amphibole.

    PubMed

    Comba, Pietro; Gianfagna, Antonio; Paoletti, Luigi

    2003-04-01

    A cluster of deaths from pleural mesothelioma was previously reported for Biancavilla, Italy, a city in eastern Sicily. An environmental survey suggested that the stone quarries located southeast of the city might be a source of asbestos exposure. The materials extracted from the quarries, used widely in the local building industry, contain large quantities of a fibrous amphibole that was initially referred to as an anomalous intermediate phase of sodium- and fluorine-rich tremolite-actinolite. A subsequent crystal chemistry investigation identified the mineral as fluoro-edenite, a new end-member of the edenite --> fluoro-edenite series. The material is very similar in morphology and composition to the minerals of the tremolite-actinolite series. To the authors' knowledge, fluoro-edenite becomes the 3rd mineral fiber (along with erionite and winchite), not yet classified as asbestos, with a demonstrable mesotheliomatogenous action in humans. PMID:14655903

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Romagnoli, Francesco; Blumberga, Dagnija; Gigli, Emanuele

    2010-01-01

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

  10. 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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2000-01-01

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

  12. Submarine groundwater discharge measured by seepage meters in sicilian coastal waters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Taniguchi, Makoto; Burnett, William C.; Dulaiova, Henrieta; Kontar, Evgeny A.; Povinec, Pavel P.; Moore, Willard S.

    2006-05-01

    Seepage measurements of submarine groundwater discharge (SGD) were carried out in March 2002 in the Donnalucata boat basin in the southeastern Sicily. SGD rates measured by manual seepage meters ranged from 5.5 to 19.3 L/min/m (with an average of 12.1 L/min/m), which was 0.6 and 5.9 times the SGD determined in Florida and Perth, respectively. The spatial distribution of SGD was found to be highly variable along ˜300 m long coast area. Semi-diurnal SGD variations which anti-correlated with tide were found using newly developed automated seepage meters that can provide continuous SGD data with high resolution. These variations may be attributed to the tidal effect, when a greater hydraulic gradient, observed at low tide, moves groundwater from land to the ocean, and an opposite effect is observed at high tide.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-09-01

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

  14. Erupting Volcano Mount Etna

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2002-01-01

    Expedition Five crew members aboard the International Space Station (ISS) captured this overhead look at the smoke and ash regurgitated from the erupting volcano Mt. Etna on the island of Sicily, Italy in October 2002. Triggered by a series of earthquakes on October 27, 2002, this eruption was one of Etna's most vigorous in years. This image shows the ash plume curving out toward the horizon. The lighter-colored plumes down slope and north of the summit seen in this frame are produced by forest fires set by flowing lava. At an elevation of 10,990 feet (3,350 m), the summit of the Mt. Etna volcano, one of the most active and most studied volcanoes in the world, has been active for a half-million years and has erupted hundreds of times in recorded history.

  15. Three new mutations of thyroid hormone receptor-{beta} associated with resistance to thyroid hormone

    SciTech Connect

    Bartolone, L.; Regalbuto, C.; Benvenga, S.; Filetti, S.; Trimarchi, F.; Pontecorvi, A. [Catholic Univ., Rome (Italy)] [Catholic Univ., Rome (Italy)

    1994-07-01

    Three novel point mutations at nucleotides 1249, 1282, and 1614 (exons 9 and 10) of the human thyroid hormone receptor-{beta} gene were observed in six individuals affected by the syndrome of resistance to thyroid hormone. All three mutations occurred in a heterozygous pattern and caused the following changes in the mature form of the receptor protein: Asp{sup 322} to Asn, Glu{sup 333} to Gln, and Lys{sup 443} to Asn, respectively. The first and third point mutations arose in two unrelated families from eastern Sicily, whereas the second concerned an individual from southern Calabria, apparently presenting a sporadic form of the resistance syndrome. The clinical and biochemical features of resistance to thyroid hormone, both before and after the administration of thyroid hormones, highlight the striking intrafamilial heterogeneity in the phenotypical presentation of the syndrome. 7 refs., 3 figs., 1 tab.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Garrison, James L.; Ruffini, Giulio; Rius, Antonio; Cardellach, Estelle; Masters, Dallas; Armatys, Michael; Zavorotny, Valery; Bauer, Frank H. (Technical Monitor)

    2000-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-06-01

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

  18. A review of Western Palaearctic Amblyscelio and Baryconus (Hymenoptera: Platygastroidea, Platygastridae).

    PubMed

    Popovici, Ovidiu Alin; Masner, Lubomir; Notton, David G; Popovici, Mariana

    2013-01-01

    The European species of the genera Amblyscelio and Baryconus are reviewed and revised based on morphological data. Females of Amblyscelio striaticeps Kieffer, 1913 and Baryconus graeffei (Kieffer, 1908) are described and the ovipositor of Amblyscelio is illustrated for the first time. The monotypic genus Amblyscelio was previously known only from a single male specimen. Baryconus graeffei is confirmed as a distinct species, while B. orbus Kononova, 2008 is recognized as a junior subjective synonym of B. europaeus (Kieffer, 1908) syn. nov. These findings are supported by a principal component analysis (PCA) of ratios of various distance measurements. Amblyscelio striaticeps is newly recorded from Greece and Slovenia, Baryconus graeffei from France, Greece, Montenegro and Turkey and B. europaeus (Kieffer, 1908) from Croatia, France, Morocco, Portugal, Sicily, Spain and the United Arab Emirates. PMID:24613955

  19. 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.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Johnson, T.B.; Brown, W.P.; Corry, T.D.; Hoff, M.H.; Scharold, J.V.; Trebitz, A.S.

    2004-01-01

    We describe the diets of lake herring (Coregonus artedi) and rainbow smelt (Osmerus mordax) in western Lake Superior during the summers of 1996 and 1997. Both species consumed predominantly (> 71% by number) zooplankton, showing a preference for larger taxa. Diet overlap between the two species was low (Schoener's index = 0.42). Mysis was most important in rainbow smelt diets, whereas Diaptomus sicilis was most important in lake herring diets. Rainbow smelt selected larger taxa, and larger individuals within a taxon when compared to lake herring, although rainbow smelt tended to be smaller fish. Fish diets have changed relative to previous studies and may be reflecting changes in the zooplankton community. Continued changes in the fish and zooplankton community will alter predator-prey and energetic pathways, ultimately affecting growth and production of the ecosystem.

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-08-01

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

  2. 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.

  3. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-03-01

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

  5. Determining radio wave delay by non-hydrostatic atmospheric modelling of water vapour over mountains

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Webley, P. W.; Wadge, G.; James, I. N.

    Meteorological modelling of tropospheric water vapour over and around Mount Etna, Sicily is used to determine the atmospheric delay on radio waves used in synthetic aperture radar interferometry (InSAR). The model, NH3D, is used to simulate a non-hydrostatic three-dimensional representation of the troposphere over and around Mount Etna. It has radiative lateral boundary conditions, a bottom boundary derived from a 30? DEM of Sicily and an `absorption' layer above 10 km to act as a non-reflective upper boundary. The simulations have a horizontal spatial resolution of 1.7 km over a domain of 180 km and 30 vertical levels. Water vapour is treated as a passive tracer and the model diagnostics include three-dimensional fields of specific humidity, wind speed and the column integrated water vapour (IWV). The IWV results from the NH3D models are converted to equivalent delays in radio wave propagation at the time of radar imaging by the ERS-2 satellite. Initialisation of the model uses data from radiosonde launches or numerical weather prediction (NWP) model output. Results are sensitive to the source and timing of these initialisations, particularly when frontal systems are involved. Six water vapour delay difference fields are simulated and compared to the differential interferogram for the 6th September-11th October 2000. The field initialised by NWP data closest in space and time to the radar acquisitions best represents the interferogram. The NWP initialisations will generally give more opportunity to get the initial conditions close to the optimum.

  6. Applying the Multiple Inverse Method to the analysis of earthquake focal mechanism data: New insights into the active stress field of Italy and surrounding regions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Macchiavelli, Chiara; Mazzoli, Stefano; Megna, Antonella; Saggese, Ferdinando; Santini, Stefano; Vitale, Stefano

    2012-12-01

    In order to obtain new insights into the active tectonic setting of the Italian territory and surrounding regions, the Multiple Inverse Method (MIM) has been applied to the analysis of fault plane solutions from more than 700 earthquakes with Mw ? 4. The active stress field in the top 40 km of the lithosphere has been defined for four 10 km-thick layers, each including 810 square cells of 1.5° side. The obtained stress field maps point out that most of the upper crustal seismicity of the Western and Central Alps is controlled by a strike-slip regime, which is dominant also in part of the Dinarides, Albanides and Hellenides and in a large sector encompassing eastern Sicily and the Malta area to the eastern Tunisia offshore. On the other hand, the well-known extensional belt occurring in the interior of the Apennines appears to extend well beyond the backbone of Italy, potentially reaching the outer foothills of the northern Marche region, while the adjacent Adria block (extending to the eastern Po Plain and the outer Dinarides) sticks out as a major area characterised by dominant thrust faulting in the upper crust. A similar regime characterises also a large sector of the western Tyrrhenian Sea, from NE Tunisia through western Sicily and the west coast of Sardinia, to the Provence coast. Besides lateral variations, our analysis also points out a significant vertical heterogeneity of the stress field, the deeper levels (20 to 40 km) investigated in this study being characterised by dominant horizontal maximum compression even in areas of upper crustal extension. The application of the MIM to a large seismological dataset, providing basic information for the compilation of active stress maps, contributes to a better understanding of active tectonic processes and may be used for improving seismotectonic zoning and reservoir management.

  7. Respiratory syncytial virus infection in a Sicilian pediatric population: risk factors, epidemiology, and severity.

    PubMed

    Corsello, Giovanni; Di Carlo, Paola; Salsa, Ludovico; Gabriele, Bruna; Meli, Lidia; Bruno, Sandra; Titone, Lucina

    2008-01-01

    Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is the leading cause of hospitalization for lower respiratory tract infections (LRTIs) in young children worldwide. This study evaluated the epidemiological and clinical patterns of RSV infection in infants hospitalized for LRTIs in Sicily. Over a 7-month period (October 1, 2005 to April 30, 2006), all children <2 years of age hospitalized for LRTIs were evaluated and tested for respiratory viruses. Logistic regression was used to identify the risk factors associated with RSV infection and with more severe disease. One hundred sixty-four children were enrolled and 40.9% were found to be RSV(+). The epidemic peak of RSV occurred in April, and no cases were observed in October, November, and December. RSV Infections had the highest incidence in children <3 months of age (54.7%). The likelihood to be RSV(+) rather than RSV(-) was lower for female gender and children >6 months old, with a gestational age (GA) of >36 weeks, with a birth weight of >2.50 g, with previous hospitalizations due to LRTI, with smokers in the household, and with a history of breast-feeding (p < 0.05 for each). RSV infection was associated with a higher likelihood to be admitted to neonatal intensive care units and to longer hospitalizations (p = 0.061). The collected data show that, in Sicily, RSV is an important cause of LRTIs in infants and a variety of factors, such as gender, chronological age at hospitalization, GA, birth weight, and exposure to tobacco smoke and breast-feeding may affect the prevalence of RSV-related lower respiratory tract disease and, possibly, the risk of developing asthma-like symptoms during the school years. PMID:18430319

  8. A genotype-phenotype correlation in Sicilian patients with GJB2 biallelic mutations.

    PubMed

    Martines, Francesco; Salvago, Pietro; Bartolotta, Caterina; Cocuzza, Salvatore; Fabiano, Carmelo; Ferrara, Sergio; La Mattina, Eleonora; Mucia, Marianna; Sammarco, Pietro; Sireci, Federico; Martines, Enrico

    2015-08-01

    The aim of this work was to study the genotype distribution of Sicilian patients with biallelic GJB2 mutations; to correlate genotype classes and/or specific mutations of GJB2 gene (35delG-non-35delG) with audiologic profiles. A total of 10 different mutations and 11 different genotypes were evidenced in 73 SNHL subjects; 35delG (90.36 % of cases) and IVS1+1 (13.69 %) were the most common mutations found in the cohort with a significant difference in the distribution between North and South Sicily. Audiological evaluation revealed a severe (16/73) to profound (47/73) hearing loss (HL) in 86.13 % of cases without significant difference between the degree of HL and the province of origin of the subjects (P = 0.727). The homozygous truncating (T/T) genotype was the most widespread (89.04 % of cases), with a severe-to-profound hearing impairment in 90.36 % of T/T class with respect to truncating/non-truncating (T/NT) and non-truncating/non-truncating (NT/NT) genotypes (P = 0.012). From the comparison of homozygous 35delG and 35delG/non-35delG genotypes, a more profound HL in the homozygous 35delG than in compound heterozygous 35delG/non-35delG (p < 0.0001) resulted. This study confirms that 35delG is the most common mutation in the Mediterranean area with a heterogeneous distribution of the genotypes between North and South Sicily; probands homozygotes for 35delG or presenting a T/T genotype are more apt to have a severe-to-profound HL. PMID:24627074

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

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

  10. Strain Accumulation in the Messina Straits (Southern Italy) From Terrestrial Geodetic Measurements and GPS observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cheloni, D.; D'Agostino, N.; Hunstad, I.; Selvaggi, G.; Maseroli, R.

    2008-12-01

    We use geodetic (terrestrial and GPS) measurements at different spatial and temporal scales, to study the present-day style and rate of active crustal deformation in the Messina Straits southern Italy). The first set of observations consists of triangulation and trilateration measurements from a small-aperture (~ 10 km wide) terrestrial network located in the northern part of the Straits, surveyed between 1971 and 2004. The second set of measurements consists of continuous GPS observations from the larger aperture RING network (inter-station distance in the study area ~ 10-30 km).The results show that the main deformation pattern from GPS and triangulation measurements is given by a 110-160 nstrain/yr right-lateral N-S simple shear. Although affected by an unclear systematic bias the trilateration measurements are statistically consistent with this pattern. This deformation appears to correspond to the transition between collision in Sicily and subduction in Calabria and is determined by the differential retrograde motion of the Ionian lithosperic slab relative to Sicily, where the arrival of buoyant continental lithosphere has caused the end of subduction activity. The rate of observed deformation implies a tectonic loading of the order of 1.1-1.6 mm/yr over the 10 km wide Messina Straits network and 6-9 mm/yr over the larger (50-60 km) subarray of the RING network. The understanding of how this deformation is presently accomodated by faulting is presently unclear but very important for the evaluation of the seismic hazard. We find here that the current strain accumulation in the Messina Straits confirms the hypothesis which considers the Messina Straits as an important boundary between distinct crustal domains. On the other hand the style of interseismic deformation appears scarcely consistent with the faulting geometry generally associated with the 1908 M_w=7.1 Messina earthquake.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-08-01

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

  12. Lithospheric P- and S-wave velocity models of the Sicilian area using WAM tomography: procedure and assessments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Calò, Marco; Parisi, Laura; Luzio, Dario

    2013-10-01

    We present 3-D models of the P- and S-wave velocity distributions in the crust and uppermost mantle beneath Sicily, Calabria (Southern Italy), and surrounding submerged areas, obtained by tomographic inversion of traveltimes of regional body waves phases. Our method combines double-difference tomographic inversion with a post-processing procedure [Weighted Average Model method (WAM)]. This procedure was applied to a set of models consistent with the experimental data. We tested the ability of the WAM procedure to mitigate the uncertainty associated with the arbitrary nature of the many input parameters required for each inversion. The local reliability and resolution of the obtained models have been assessed through: synthetic tests, experimental tests carried out with independent data sets and unconventional tests based on the analysis of the internal consistency of the P- and S-velocity models. The tomographic images provide a detailed sketch of P- and S-wave velocity anomalies. These clearly show the shape of the Sicilian-Maghrebian belt beneath Sicily and Calabrian Arc at different depths. Low VP and Vs bodies are imaged beneath Stromboli and Marsili volcanoes in the southern Tyrrhenian, whereas high and low seismic velocities alternate beneath the Etna giving inferences on the possible depth of the mantle melting feeding the volcano. In the upper crust, the main sedimentary basins and tectonic features are also well imaged. Finally, tomographic cross sections show the trend of the Moho in the study area, where its depth ranges between 35 and 40 km beneath the Sicilian belt and between 15 and 22 km in the southern Tyrrhenian basin and Ionian Sea.

  13. Seismic potential in Italy from integration and comparison of seismic and geodetic strain rates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Angelica, Carmelo; Bonforte, Alessandro; Distefano, Giovanni; Serpelloni, Enrico; Gresta, Stefano

    2013-11-01

    Seismological and geodetic data provide key information about the kinematics and active tectonics of plate margins. Focal solutions enable the determining of the directions in which the current tectonic stress acts when fault rupturing occurs; GPS measurements provide information on the crustal velocity field and on current interseismic strain rates. The comparison of the strain rates resulting from the two datasets provides further insight into how large an area is affected by aseismic deformation, which is a valuable indicator for seismic hazard mitigation and estimation of the seismic potential. In this work, we investigate both seismic and geodetic strain rates and the combined field resulting from the joint inversion of the geodetic and seismic datasets, providing a picture of the overall deformation field and its variation during the last decades. In this way, we try to give an overview of the seismic potential distribution across the Apennines and southern Italy, as a qualitative analysis of space-time variations in the released seismic strain rate, compared to the space-time distribution of the cumulated geodetic strain rate. The results show a variable distribution of the seismic efficiency over Italy. The Southern Apennines shows the greatest seismic potential, highlighting a significantly lower seismicity in the last two decades over an area affected by the highest total strain rates. The Messina Straits and eastern Sicily have a significant seismic potential, together with the Calabrian arc (from the Tindari-Letojanni and central Aeolian islands to the Mt. Pollino area), as a result of seismic gaps with respect to the combined strain rates in the investigated period. This long gap highlights the longer recurrence periods for the strongest earthquakes on this area. The central-northern Apennines and off-shore northern Sicily, show a lower seismic potential than central-southern Apennines, probably due to the more recent seismicity affecting these areas.

  14. The complex I subunit NDUFA10 selectively rescues Drosophila pink1 mutants through a mechanism independent of mitophagy.

    PubMed

    Pogson, Joe H; Ivatt, Rachael M; Sanchez-Martinez, Alvaro; Tufi, Roberta; Wilson, Emma; Mortiboys, Heather; Whitworth, Alexander J

    2014-11-01

    Mutations in PINK1, a mitochondrially targeted serine/threonine kinase, cause autosomal recessive Parkinson's disease (PD). Substantial evidence indicates that PINK1 acts with another PD gene, parkin, to regulate mitochondrial morphology and mitophagy. However, loss of PINK1 also causes complex I (CI) deficiency, and has recently been suggested to regulate CI through phosphorylation of NDUFA10/ND42 subunit. To further explore the mechanisms by which PINK1 and Parkin influence mitochondrial integrity, we conducted a screen in Drosophila cells for genes that either phenocopy or suppress mitochondrial hyperfusion caused by pink1 RNAi. Among the genes recovered from this screen was ND42. In Drosophila pink1 mutants, transgenic overexpression of ND42 or its co-chaperone sicily was sufficient to restore CI activity and partially rescue several phenotypes including flight and climbing deficits and mitochondrial disruption in flight muscles. Here, the restoration of CI activity and partial rescue of locomotion does not appear to have a specific requirement for phosphorylation of ND42 at Ser-250. In contrast to pink1 mutants, overexpression of ND42 or sicily failed to rescue any Drosophila parkin mutant phenotypes. We also find that knockdown of the human homologue, NDUFA10, only minimally affecting CCCP-induced mitophagy, and overexpression of NDUFA10 fails to restore Parkin mitochondrial-translocation upon PINK1 loss. These results indicate that the in vivo rescue is due to restoring CI activity rather than promoting mitophagy. Our findings support the emerging view that PINK1 plays a role in regulating CI activity separate from its role with Parkin in mitophagy. PMID:25412178

  15. The Complex I Subunit NDUFA10 Selectively Rescues Drosophila pink1 Mutants through a Mechanism Independent of Mitophagy

    PubMed Central

    Pogson, Joe H.; Wilson, Emma; Mortiboys, Heather; Whitworth, Alexander J.

    2014-01-01

    Mutations in PINK1, a mitochondrially targeted serine/threonine kinase, cause autosomal recessive Parkinson's disease (PD). Substantial evidence indicates that PINK1 acts with another PD gene, parkin, to regulate mitochondrial morphology and mitophagy. However, loss of PINK1 also causes complex I (CI) deficiency, and has recently been suggested to regulate CI through phosphorylation of NDUFA10/ND42 subunit. To further explore the mechanisms by which PINK1 and Parkin influence mitochondrial integrity, we conducted a screen in Drosophila cells for genes that either phenocopy or suppress mitochondrial hyperfusion caused by pink1 RNAi. Among the genes recovered from this screen was ND42. In Drosophila pink1 mutants, transgenic overexpression of ND42 or its co-chaperone sicily was sufficient to restore CI activity and partially rescue several phenotypes including flight and climbing deficits and mitochondrial disruption in flight muscles. Here, the restoration of CI activity and partial rescue of locomotion does not appear to have a specific requirement for phosphorylation of ND42 at Ser-250. In contrast to pink1 mutants, overexpression of ND42 or sicily failed to rescue any Drosophila parkin mutant phenotypes. We also find that knockdown of the human homologue, NDUFA10, only minimally affecting CCCP-induced mitophagy, and overexpression of NDUFA10 fails to restore Parkin mitochondrial-translocation upon PINK1 loss. These results indicate that the in vivo rescue is due to restoring CI activity rather than promoting mitophagy. Our findings support the emerging view that PINK1 plays a role in regulating CI activity separate from its role with Parkin in mitophagy. PMID:25412178

  16. The surface effects of the 1908 Southern Calabria - Messina earthquake (Southern italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-04-01

    The December 28, 1908, Southern Calabria - Messina earthquake (Intensity MCS XI, Mw 7.24; Stucchi et al, 2007) was the strongest seismic event of the 20th century in Italy and the most ruinous in terms of casualties (at least 80,000). According to Michelini et al. (2005) its epicentre was located at sea in the southern part of the Messina Straits. The damages were particularly catastrophic along the Calabrian coast, between south of Reggio Calabria and south-west of Scilla, and along the eastern coast of Sicily from its easternmost tip to south of Messina (Baratta, 1910; Boschi et al., 1995; Barbano et al., 2005). Messina and Reggio Calabria were almost totally destroyed. Few minutes after the earthquake, both sides of the Straits were inundated by several tsunami waves, worsening the ruinous effects due directly to the earthquake. We have collected and catalogued all the described coseismic effects on the environment by means of a careful screening of contemporary documents, i.e. technical and photographic reports, newspapers and other archive material. Inside 447 different testimonies of environmental effects, we have identified 290 independent occurrences. Among these effects, particularly relevant were the changes in elevation (mainly ground lowering) along both sides of the Straits, partly due to the settlement of loose sediments and artificial filling (e.g., Messina and Reggio Calabria port areas), and partly ascribed to landslides and tectonic deformation. Liquefaction phenomena, described as water, mud or sand ejection, occurred in the areas of Messina, lake Pantano (Ganzirri) and Reggio Calabria. Portions of the coast were lost, especially on the Calabrian side, most of them because of landslides and the combined action of the tsunami erosion and the earthquake shaking (at Lazzàro the shoreline retreated landward 175 m; Novarese, 1909). Ground cracks were reported in 69 localities, most of them in Messina, Reggio Calabria and Villa San Giovanni. 80 slope movements occurred in many Sicilian and Calabrian localities (especially between Reggio Calabria and Bagnara) mainly along coastal areas, but also inland. An undersea telephone cable between Gallico (in Calabria) and Gazzi (in Sicily) was cut, likely by a submarine slide. 11 mass depositions on the sea floor were recognised. Several hydrological anomalies occurred in both regions: appearance or disappearance of springs, change of spring discharge, water temperature variations. Also descriptions of gas emissions have been collected as well as a number of testimonies of rumbles and lights. It is readily evident that documented coseismic environmental effects are, as a whole, less than commonly expected for earthquakes of similar magnitude in that region (i.e., 1783 Calabrian and 1693 eastern Sicily earthquakes). The larger part of the collected effects is localised in the urban areas, which attracted the attention of the reporter, and along the coastal areas which were more easily accessible. In particular, no coseismic effects described by contemporary witnesses have been definitely interpreted as an evidence of surface faulting. Therefore, the ground elevation changes, measured by means of geometric levelling soon after the earthquake (Loperfido 1909), remain, so far, the only evidence of tectonic deformation. In 25 localities, where more diagnostic environmental effects occurred, we have applied the ESI 2007 scale (Guerrieri & Vittori 2007) in order to evaluate the intensity: in the Straits area the ESI values are one or two degrees lower than the MCS values (the maximum ESI value is X, while the maximum MCS value is XI). We have to consider that the ESI scale is calibrated on the MM and MSK scales, which provide intensity estimates lower than the MCS scale for the highest degrees. Moreover, the strong earthquakes that struck this area in 1894, 1905 and 1907 had certainly weakened the buildings, many of them constructed using fluvial stones and poor quality mortar, which had been badly restored afterwards. In addition, the seismic resistant construction st

  17. Kinematics of the Western Africa-Eurasia plate boundary from focal mechanisms and GPS data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Serpelloni, E.; Vannucci, G.; Pondrelli, S.; Argnani, A.; Casula, G.; Anzidei, M.; Baldi, P.; Gasperini, P.

    2007-06-01

    The Western Mediterranean displays a complex pattern of crustal deformation distributed along tectonically active belts developed in the framework of slow oblique plate convergence. We used earthquake and Global Positioning System (GPS) data to study the present-day kinematics and tectonics of the Africa-Eurasia plate boundary in this region. Crustal seismicity and focal mechanisms, analysed in terms of seismic moment release and seismic deformation, outline the geometry of major seismic belts and characterize their tectonics and kinematics. Continuous GPS data have been analysed to determine Euler vectors for the Nubian and Eurasian plates and to provide the global frame for a new Mediterranean GPS velocity field, obtained by merging continuous and campaign observations collected in the 1991-2005 time span. GPS velocities and displacements predicted by the Nubia-Eurasia rotation pole provide estimates of the deformation accommodated across the tectonically active belts. The rather simple deformation occurring in the Atlantic region, characterized by extension about perpendicular to the Middle Atlantic and Terceira ridges and right-lateral motion along the Gloria transform fault, turns into a complex pattern of deformation, occurring along broader seismic belts, where continental lithosphere is involved. Our analysis reveals a more complex fragmentation of the plate boundary than previously proposed. The roughly E-W trending mainly compressive segments (i.e. southwestern Iberia, northern Algeria and southern Tyrrhenian), where plate convergence is largely accomodated across rather localized deformation zones, and partially transferred northward to the adjacent domains (i.e. the Algero-Balearic and Tyrrhenian basins), are interrupted by regions of more distributed deformation (i.e. the Rif-Alboran-Betics, Tunisia-Libya and eastern Sicily) or limited seismicity (i.e. the Strait of Sicily), which are characterized by less homogeneous tectonics regimes (mainly transcurrent to extensional). In correspondence of the observed breaks, tectonic structures with different orientation interfere, and we find belts with only limited deformation (i.e. the High and Middle Atlas, the Tunisian Atlas and the offshore Tunisia-Libya belt) that extends from the plate boundary into the Nubian plate, along pre-existing tectonic lineaments. Our analysis suggest that the Sicilian-Pelagian domain is moving independently from Nubia, according to the presence of a right-lateral and extensional decoupling zone corresponding to the Tunisia-Libya and Strait of Sicily deformation zone. Despite the space variability of active tectonic regimes, plate convergence still governs most of the seismotectonic and kinematic setting up to the central Aeolian region. In general, local complexities derive from pre-existing structural features, inherited from the tectonic evolution of the Mediterranean region. On the contrary, along Calabria and the Apennines the contribution of the subducted Ionian oceanic lithosphere and the occurrence of microplates (i.e. Adria) appear to substantially modify both tectonics and kinematics. Finally, GPS data across the Gibraltar Arc and the Tyrrhenian-Calabria domain support the hypothesis that slab rollback in these regions is mostly slowed down or stopped.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-05-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Parisi, Bianca

    2015-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

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

  1. A simple method to directly retrieve reference evapotranspiration from geostationary satellite images

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cammalleri, C.; Ciraolo, G.

    2013-04-01

    Application of FAO-56 methodology for the assessment of reference evapotranspiration, ET0, is challenging in areas of the world with sparse meteorological network stations. For this reason alternative procedures using remotely observed data have been proposed in the literature. In this work, a simplified version of the Makkink approach [J. Inst. Wat. Eng. 11: 277-288, 1957] was tested in a typical Mediterranean environment (Sicily, Italy). The implemented Makkink approach (MAK) uses remotely estimated solar radiation derived from Meteosat Second Generation (MSG) satellite data and in situ observations of air temperature to assess ET0 at daily time scale. Alternatively, taking advantage of well-defined relationships that exist between seasonality, elevation and air temperature, a deterministic procedure for estimating air temperature inputs used in the MAK approach (named RS) was also tested. This approach allows the assessment of daily ET0 without the need of auxiliary air temperature ground observations. A comparison between the FAO-56 and MAK approaches was performed for 45 sites in Sicily over the period 2007-2010. Assuming FA0-56 as the benchmark, the average accuracy of the MAK methodology was 0.4 mm d-1, with a relative error of 12%. Similar to other applications of the same procedure, the MAK approach showed a slightly underestimation of ET0 high values; however, an average regression slope of 0.96 (and negligible intercept) suggests a satisfactory agreement with the FAO-56 modeled values. Air temperature observations acquired during 2002-2006 were used to calibrate the deterministic relation between air temperature, seasonality (as a function of the DOY) and orography (as a function of elevation). For the period 2007-2010, the RS approach performs similarly to MAK, with an average difference of less than 0.05 mm d-1. Analysis of monthly, seasonal and yearly ET0 maps shows a slight decrease in RS performance during June and July; nevertheless, the differences between MAK and RS approaches are negligible at all analyzed temporal scales.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-11-01

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

  3. Numerical Modeling of Thermal-Geochemical Processes in the Hydrothermal System of Pantelleria Island, Italy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bellani, S.; Gherardi, F.

    2009-12-01

    The island of Pantelleria, located in the Sicily Channel, Central Mediterranean, (about 100 km from Sicily and 70 km from Tunisia), represents the emergent part of a quiescent Quaternary volcano. It has been affected by an intense recent volcano-tectonic activity. The rocks outcropping on the island are mainly lavas and pyroclastic deposits, mostly represented by pantellerites and trachytes. Surface geothermal manifestations are diffused in Pantelleria, with fumaroles, mofettes and hot springs with temperatures up to 98 °C. Since the 60s’, a number of pre-feasibility studies was carried out on the island, which underwent an extensive geothermal exploration during the early 90s’. The results of the exploration revealed a very promising zone in the southern part of the island, where the main geothermal manifestations are concentrated. Temperatures above 250°C were measured in exploratory drillings down to 1100 m b.g.l. (well PPT1). The intrusion of pure seawater likely occurs throughout the island, and deep geothermal reservoir recharge appears to be predominantly of marine origin, though contributions from meteoric water are also possible. A conceptual model of the system has been set up on the basis of a wide set of geological, geophysical and geochemical data obtained during the surveys. The TOUGHREACT simulator was used for the water-rock reaction simulations. A plug-flow model has been used to perform non-isothermal calculations. Boundary thermal conditions have been calibrated according to heat flow measurements and well temperature data. Water-rock interactions have been evaluated in successive steps. First, the saturation states of minerals of sampled geothermal fluids were computed at reservoir temperatures to determine the mineral phases which would likely be dissolving or precipitating. The composition of “synthetic”, nearly-equilibrated waters likely occurring at depth within the reservoir has been then numerically reconstructed. Next, the evolution of fluid and rock compositions with time has been monitored and compared with “real-world” data. Numerical simulations were able to reproduce the mineralogical assemblage found in the reservoir and to highlight the role of CO2 degassing in controlling the geochemical evolution of the system. Fluid geochemistry can be likely ascribed to a mixing among seawater, freshwater and volcanic gas.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brigandì, Giuseppina; Tito Aronica, Giuseppe

    2015-04-01

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

  5. Napoli and Volcanism - Vesuvius and Mt. Etna

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2002-01-01

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

  6. Lichen-rock interaction in volcanic environments: evidences of soil-precursor formation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vingiani, S.; Adamo, P.; Terribile, F.

    2012-04-01

    The weathering action of the lichens Lecidea fuscoatra (L.) Ach. and Stereocaulon vesuvianum Pers. on basaltic rock collected on the slopes of Mt. Etna (Sicily) at 1550 m a.s.l. has been studied using optical (OM) and electron (SEM) microscopy equipped with microanalytical device (EDS). Biological factors associated with lichen growth play a major role in the weathering of minerals on bare rocks and contribute to the preliminary phases of soil formation. The present work investigates the biogeophysical and biogeochemical weathering associated to the growth of epilithic lichens on lava flows from Mt. Etna (Sicily) and Mt. Vesuvius (Campania). The chosen lichen species were the crustose Lecidea fuscoatra (L.) Ach., the foliose Xanthoparmelia conspersa and the fructicose Stereocaulon vesuvianum Pers. An integrated approach based on the study of both disturbed and undisturbed samples of lichenized rock was applied in order to appreciate the complexity of the rock-lichen interface environment in terms of micromorphological, mineralogical and chemical properties. XRD and XRF analyses coupled to microscopical (OM), submicroscopical (SEM) and microanalitical (EDS) observations were the used techniques. In both study environments, the chemical, mineralogical and micromorphological properties of the uncoherent materials found at the lichen-rock interface suggest they consist of rock fragments eroded from the surroundings and accumulated in cavities and fissures of the rough lava flows. According to the thallus morphology, the lichens colonizing the lava preserve the interface materials from further aeolic and water erosion, provide these materials of organic matter and moisture, entrap allochtonous quartz and clay minerals. The calcium oxalate production by L. fuscoatra and X. conspersa, the Al enrichment around S. vesuvianum hyphae and the occurrence of Fe-oxide phases at the rock-lichen interface are evidences of lichens interaction with the underlying sediments. Indeed, according to the young age of the basaltic lava the recent lichen colonization results in a physical reorganization and chemical modification of the interface materials, which are not necessarily produced by the lichen action on the rock substrate. In volcanic environment, the ability of lichens to retain considerable amount of unconsolidated material, which becomes mixed with organic matter, produced by decomposition of the thallus, and trap atmospheric dust may contribute to the andosolization process. Accumulation of Al and Fe, found at the rock-lichen interface likely as organo-metal complexes, can be considered initial stage of Al and Fe active phases formation, distinguishing features of Andosols development. The simple chelating oxalic acid, produced by the lichens, may be involved in the formation of organo-metal complexes.

  7. Effects of the new anti-mafia law on the proceeds of crime and on the Italian economy.

    PubMed

    Arlacchi, P

    1984-01-01

    In 1982, the Italian authorities enacted a new law against the mafia conspiracy, which provided for the seizure and confiscation of property illegally acquired by criminals and their associates. This law is intended to strike at the accumulation of wealth of the mafiosi, which chiefly motivates their criminal activity. According to the established procedure, the district attorney or the chief of police are authorized to propose the seizure of property suspected of being derived from crimes, and a court of law decides either to accept or reject such a proposal and, where appropriate, orders the confiscation of illegally acquired assets. Two phenomena were identified, particularly in the southern part of Italy, which preceded the adoption of this new law: one was the establishment of an illegal sector of the economy with the development of a vast illicit market of drugs, and the other was an increase in the number of mafia firms and entrepreneurs. In some areas of western Sicily, for example at Palermo and Trapani, the income derived from illegal activities is estimated at approximately 15 to 20 per cent of the total gross income; the illicit sale of drugs nation-wide exceeds 10,000 billion lire, according to estimates. An assessment of the impact of the new law reveals positive results. In four provinces--Calabria, Campania, Lombardy and Sicily--property suspected of being derived from crimes was seized on 352 occasions and illegally acquired property was confiscated on 108 occasions during a period of 21 months following the adoption of the new law; 98 per cent of the seizures and all of the confiscations took place in the above-mentioned four provinces. The effective enforcement of the new law is, in the long run, expected to result in a movement from illegal to legal activity; if the risk involved in persisting in illegal activities becomes high enough, it should trigger a tendency towards avoiding involvement in the illegal activities and converting the assets into property shares protected by legal means. A certain tendency towards such "legalization" and investment in financial affairs rather than in real estate, agriculture and tertiary assets has already been observed. It is, however, unlikely that the mafia will be inclined to give up easily its profits derived from crime and its power of influence in society, and, consequently, it is expected that the confiscation of the illegally acquired properties will for a long time be the cornerstone of every effective struggle against criminal activity on a large scale. PMID:6570702

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

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

  9. Applicability of a displaced-beam laser scintillometer in a sparse tall Mediterranean vegetation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cammalleri, C.; Agnese, C.; D'Urso, G.; Georgiadis, T.; La Loggia, G.; Sciortino, M.; de Bruin, H. A. R.

    2009-09-01

    Recent studies showed that the sensible heat flux (H) measured with an array of eddy-correlation system has an high spatial and temporal variability over sparse tall vegetation, such as olive trees, whereas Hdetermined with a displaced-beam laser scintillometer (DBLS) appeared to behave more stable. In this study, the results are shown of two field experiments performed over an olive tree plantation in Sicily in 2007 and 2008, in order to investigate the applicability of a DBSL in combination with remote sensing techniques for the actual evapotranspiration assessment. In 2007 the laser beams was closer to the top of the canopy than in 2008. Various aspects of the scintillation method will be discussed, such as uncertainty about Monin-Obukhov similarity relations for dissipation of kinetic turbulence energy (É?), the structure parameter of temperature (CT2 ), effects of the roughness sub-layer and the outer scale of turbulence. Finally, a practical method will be proposed for routine applications in agriculture of the DBLS over sparse tall Mediterranean vegetation.

  10. Commensal symbiosis between agglutinated polychaetes and sulfate-reducing bacteria.

    PubMed

    Guido, A; Mastandrea, A; Rosso, A; Sanfilippo, R; Tosti, F; Riding, R; Russo, F

    2014-05-01

    Pendant bioconstructions occur within submerged caves in the Plemmirio Marine Protected Area in SE Sicily, Italy. These rigid structures, here termed biostalactites, were synsedimentarily lithified by clotted-peloidal microbial carbonate that has a high bacterial lipid biomarker content with abundant compounds derived from sulfate-reducing bacteria. The main framework builders are polychaete serpulid worms, mainly Protula with subordinate Semivermilia and Josephella. These polychaetes have lamellar and/or fibrillar wall structure. In contrast, small agglutinated terebellid tubes, which are a minor component of the biostalactites, are discontinuous and irregular with a peloidal micritic microfabric. The peloids, formed by bacterial sulfate reduction, appear to have been utilized by terebellids to construct tubes in an environment where other particulate sediment is scarce. We suggest that the bacteria obtained food from the worms in the form of fecal material and/or from the decaying tissue of surrounding organisms and that the worms obtained peloidal micrite with which to construct their tubes, either as grains and/or as tube encompassing biofilm. Peloidal worm tubes have rarely been reported in the recent but closely resemble examples in the geological record that extend back at least to the early Carboniferous. This suggests a long-lived commensal relationship between some polychaete worms and heterotrophic, especially sulfate-reducing, bacteria. PMID:24636469

  11. The Heidelberg Airborne Imaging DOAS Instrument (HAIDI) - a novel imaging DOAS device for 2-D and 3-D imaging of trace gases and aerosols

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    General, S.; Pöhler, D.; Sihler, H.; Bobrowski, N.; Frieß, U.; Zielcke, J.; Horbanski, M.; Shepson, P. B.; Stirm, B. H.; Simpson, W. R.; Weber, K.; Fischer, C.; Platt, U.

    2014-10-01

    Many relevant processes in tropospheric chemistry take place on rather small scales (e.g., tens to hundreds of meters) but often influence areas of several square kilometer. Thus, measurements of the involved trace gases with high spatial resolution are of great scientific interest. In order to identify individual sources and sinks and ultimately to improve chemical transport models, we developed a new airborne instrument, which is based on the well established Differential Optical Absorption Spectroscopy (DOAS) method. The Heidelberg Airborne Imaging DOAS Instrument (HAIDI) is a passive imaging DOAS spectrometer, which is capable of recording horizontal and vertical trace gas distributions with a resolution of better than 100 m. Observable species include NO2, HCHO, C2H2O2, H2O, O3, O4, SO2, IO, OClO and BrO. Here we give a technical description of the instrument including its custom-built spectrographs and CCD detectors. Also first results from measurements with the new instrument are presented. These comprise spatial resolved SO2 and BrO in volcanic plumes, mapped at Mt. Etna (Sicily, Italy), NO2 emissions in the metropolitan area of Indianapolis (Indiana, USA) as well as BrO and NO2 distributions measured during arctic springtime in context of the BRomine, Ozone, and Mercury EXperiment (BROMEX) campaign, which was performed 2012 in Barrow (Alaska, USA).

  12. The Heidelberg Airborne Imaging DOAS Instrument (HAIDI) - a novel Imaging DOAS device for 2-D and 3-D imaging of trace gases and aerosols

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    General, S.; Pöhler, D.; Sihler, H.; Bobrowski, N.; Frieß, U.; Zielcke, J.; Horbanski, M.; Shepson, P. B.; Stirm, B. H.; Simpson, W. R.; Weber, K.; Fischer, C.; Platt, U.

    2014-03-01

    Many relevant processes in tropospheric chemistry take place on rather small scales (e.g. tens to hundreds of meters) but often influence areas of several square kilometer. Thus, measurements of the involved trace gases with high spatial resolution are of great scientific interest. In order to identify individual sources and sinks and ultimately to improve chemical transport models, we developed a new airborne instrument, which is based on the well established DOAS method. The Heidelberg Airborne Imaging Differential Optical Absorption Spectrometer Instrument (HAIDI) is a passive imaging DOAS spectrometer, which is capable of recording horizontal and vertical trace gas distributions with a resolution of better than 100 m. Observable species include NO2, HCHO, C2H2O2, H2O, O3, O4, SO2, IO, OClO and BrO. Here we report a technical description of the instrument including its custom build spectrographs and CCD detectors. Also first results from measurements with the new instrument are presented. These comprise spatial resolved SO2 and BrO in volcanic plumes, mapped at Mt. Etna (Sicily, Italy), NO2 emissions in the metropolitan area of Indianapolis (Indiana, USA) as well as BrO and NO2 distributions measured during arctic springtime in context of the BROMEX campaign, which was performed 2012 in Barrow (Alaska, USA).

  13. Acoustic scattering from mud volcanoes and carbonate mounds.

    PubMed

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

    2006-12-01

    Submarine mud volcanoes occur in many parts of the world's oceans and form an aperture for gas and fluidized mud emission from within the earth's crust. Their characteristics are of considerable interest to the geology, geophysics, geochemistry, and underwater acoustics communities. For the latter, mud volcanoes are of interest in part because they pose a potential source of clutter for active sonar. Close-range (single-interaction) scattering measurements from a mud volcano in the Straits of Sicily show scattering 10-15 dB above the background. Three hypotheses were examined concerning the scattering mechanism: (1) gas entrained in sediment at/near mud volcano, (2) gas bubbles and/or particulates (emitted) in the water column, (3) the carbonate bio-construction covering the mud volcano edifice. The experimental evidence, including visual, acoustic, and nonacoustic sensors, rules out the second hypothesis (at least during the observation time) and suggests that, for this particular mud volcano the dominant mechanism is associated with carbonate chimneys on the mud volcano. In terms of scattering levels, target strengths of 4-14 dB were observed from 800 to 3600 Hz for a monostatic geometry with grazing angles of 3-5 degrees. Similar target strengths were measured for vertically bistatic paths with incident and scattered grazing angles of 3-5 degrees and 33-50 degrees, respectively. PMID:17225386

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Sonnante, Gabriella; Pignone, Domenico; Hammer, Karl

    2007-01-01

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

  16. Subaqueous volcanism in the Etnean area: evidence for hydromagmatic activity and regional uplift inferred from the Castle Rock of Acicastello

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Corsaro, R. A.; Cristofolini, R.

    2000-01-01

    The subalkaline rocks outcropping at the Acicastello Castle Rock, Catania, Sicily, and on its abrasion platforms, are related to the oldest Etnean volcanism (500-300 ka; [Gillot, P.Y., Kieffer, G., Romano, R., 1994. The evolution of Mount Etna in the light of potassium-argon dating. Acta Vulcanol. 5, 81-87.]). Here, submarine lavas with pillows closely packed onto each other are associated with heterogeneous and poorly sorted volcaniclastic breccia levels with sub-vertical sharp boundaries. The present-day attitude was previously interpreted as due to a local tilt [Di Re, M., 1963. Hyaloclastites and pillow-lavas of Acicastello (Mt. Etna). Bull. Volcanol. 25, 281-284.; Kieffer, G., 1985. Evolution structurale et dynamique d'un grand volcan polygenique: stades d'edification et activitè actuelle de l'Etna (Sicile). Clermont Ferrand IIDoctorat Etat Tesi, Clermont Ferrand II.], or to the seaward sliding of the entire eastern Etnean flank [Borgia, A., Ferrari, L., Pasquarè, G., 1992. Importance of gravitational spreading in the tectonic and volcanic evolution of Mount Etna. Nature 357, 231-235.], on the assumption of originally horizontal boundaries. On the contrary, our observations do not match the hypothesis of a significantly tilted succession and lead us to conclude that, apart from the strong regional uplift, the present Castle Rock exposure did not suffer any substantial change of its attitude.

  17. Active and recent strike-slip tectonics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nur, Amos; Boccaletti, Mario

    An international workshop cosponsored by the Department of Geology, University of Florence, Italy and the Department of Geophysics, Stanford University, Stanford, Calif., was held in Florence, Italy, April 18-20, 1989,on the topic of active and recent strike-slip tectonics in the continental crust. Workshop participants from Turkey, Ethiopia, Israel, Greece, and various universities in Italy, Spain, West Germany, France, the United Kingdom, Brazil, and the United States reported on a broad range of studies involving strike-slip faulting in continental crustal setting. As it turned out, much of the work reported on involved aspects of strike-slip faulting that are only poorly understood, especially crustal deformation, which is distributed over a multiplicity of faults, or even fault domains.One of the rewarding aspects of this workshop was the diversity of geographic areas and geological settings covered by the reporters. The north and east Anatolian faults, the Dead Sea transform zone, western Turkey, north and central Greece, Malta, Sicily, southern Italy, the bethic Cordillera in southern Spain, Tunisia, Tibet and southwest China, offshore Brazil, Alaska, Nevada, and California. A recurring observation reported for all those areas was mixed mode faulting, i.e., the coterminous or sequential occurrence of strike-slip and normal faulting, or strike-slip and thrust, and in many instances also strikeslip, normal and thrust faulting in a single tectonic setting.

  18. North African petroleum geology: regional structure and stratigraphic overview of a hydrocarbon-rich cratonic area

    SciTech Connect

    O'Connor, T.E.; Kanes, W.H.

    1985-02-01

    North Africa, including Sinai, contains some of the most important hydrocarbon-producing basins in the world. The North African Symposium is devoted to examining the exploration potential of the North African margin in light of the most recent and promising exploration discoveries. The geologic variety of the region is extraordinary and can challenge any exploration philosophy. Of primary interest are the Sirte basin of Libya, which has produced several billion barrels of oil, and the Gulf of Suez, a narrow, evaporite-capped trough with five fields that will produce more than 5 billion bbl. Both are extensional basins with minimal lateral movement and with good source rocks in direct proximity to reservoirs. Structural models of these basins give firm leads for future exploration. More difficult to evaluate are the Tethyan realm basins of the northern Sinai, and the Western Desert of Egypt, the Cyrenaican Platform of Libya, and the Tunisia-Sicily shelf area, where there are only limited subsurface data. These basins are extensional in origin also, but have been influenced by lateral tectonics. Favorable reservoirs exist, but source rocks have been a problem locally. Structural models with strong stratigraphic response offer several favorable play concepts. The Paleozoic Ghadames basin in Libya, Tunisia, and Algeria has the least complex structural history, and production appears to be limited to small structures. A series of stratigraphic models indicates additional areas with exploration potential. The Paleozoic megabasin of Morocco, with its downfaulted Triassic grabens, remains an untested but attractive area.

  19. North African geology: exploration matrix for potential major hydrocarbon discoveries

    SciTech Connect

    Kanes, W.H.; O'Connor, T.E.

    1985-02-01

    Based on results and models presented previously, it is possible to consider an exploration matrix that examines the 5 basic exploration parameters: source, reservoir, timing, structure, and seal. This matrix indicates that even those basins that have had marginal exploration successes, including the Paleozoic megabasin and downfaulted Triassic grabens of Morocco, the Cyrenaican platform of Libya, and the Tunisia-Sicily shelf, have untested plays. The exploration matrix also suggests these high-risk areas could change significantly, if one of the 5 basic matrix parameters is upgraded or if adjustments in political or financial risk are made. The Sirte basin and the Gulf of Suez, 2 of the more intensely explored areas, also present attractive matrix prospects, particularly with deeper Nubian beds or with the very shallow Tertiary sections. The Ghadames basin of Libya and Tunisia shows some potential, but its evaluation responds strongly to stratigraphic and external nongeologic matrix variations based on degree of risk exposure to be assumed. Of greatest risk in the matrix are the very deep Moroccan Paleozoic clastic plays and the Jurassic of Sinai. However, recent discoveries may upgrade these untested frontier areas. Based on the matrix generated by the data presented at a North African Petroleum Geology symposium, significant hydrocarbon accumulations are yet to be found. The remaining questions are: where in the matrix does each individual company wish to place its exploration capital and how much should be the risk exposure.

  20. How the first dwarf planet became the asteroid Ceres

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cunningham, Clifford J.; Marsden, Brian G.; Orchiston, Wayne

    2009-11-01

    The discovery on 1 January 1801 of an object between Mars and Jupiter was the most remarkable astronomical discovery since the planet Uranus had been found in 1781. Its discoverer, Giuseppe Piazzi at Palermo Observatory in Sicily, was quick to name it Ceres Ferdinandea. But the discovery was considered so important that it sparked national rivalries. In Germany, the much anticipated planet had been dubbed Hera sixteen years previously, and other Germans quickly gave it their own names. Some leading French astronomers soundly rejected Ceres Ferdinandea, preferring to call it Piazzi, while others in Paris accepted the name Ceres, while at the same time objecting to Ferdinandea. Once another ‘planet’ dubbed Pallas was discovered in 1802, William Herschel realised that astronomers were dealing with a new class of object. He was uncertain what name should be employed however, so he canvassed his friends and colleagues for suggestions. Not content with the often ludicrous ideas put forward, he coined the word asteroid. This paper reveals these dual nomenclature issues through previously unpublished private letters, an Italian journal, and the much more sedate language used in printed journals.

  1. [Multidisciplinary team in cardiac rehabilitation and secondary prevention, from the assessment to the education: an educational project].

    PubMed

    Da Vico, Letizia; Ciompi, Maddalena; Schininà, Francesca; Sogaro, Elena; Mannelli, Weruska; Cortini, Sandro

    2014-03-01

    The authors explain the training project: "Multidisciplinarity in cardiac rehabilitation and secondary prevention: from the evaluation to the therapeutic education", the rationale and purpose of a pathway for patients with ischemic heart disease treated in the acute phase with both medical and surgical means, and then placed in a rehabilitation program. The training project was transformed into a learning event for the Region of Sicily and later for the Region of Tuscany that has adopted it, encouraging the spread over the entire region. It highlights the role of the team, which focuses on the patient, converging on it multidisciplinary expertise whose goal is the reintegration of the subjects in their life-context, with appropriate evaluation, treatment and changes in lifestyle. From the valuations and declining the specific interventions to each job profile according to the principle of synergy obtained by multi-professional integration. All phases of the training project (assessment, intervention, evaluation) are addressed by each of the professionals (nurse, dietitian, physiotherapist, psychologist) that under the responsibility of the cardiologist realize, within the welfare, a concrete process of therapeutic education from which no one can ignore the "vision" of a global care of the patient. PMID:25508791

  2. [Multidisciplinary team in cardiac rehabilitation and secondary prevention, from the assessment to the education: an educational project].

    PubMed

    Da Vico, Letizia; Ciompi, Maddalena; Schininà, Francesca; Sogaro, Elena; Mannelli, Weruska; Cortini, Sandro

    2014-03-01

    The authors explain the training project: "Multidisciplinarity in cardiac rehabilitation and secondary prevention: from the evaluation to the therapeutic education", the rationale and purpose of a pathway for patients with ischemic heart disease treated in the acute phase with both medical and surgical means, and then placed in a rehabilitation program. The training project was transformed into a learning event for the Region of Sicily and later for the Region of Tuscany that has adopted it, encouraging the spread over the entire region. It highlights the role of the team, which focuses on the patient, converging on it multidisciplinary expertise whose goal is the reintegration of the subjects in their life-context, with appropriate evaluation, treatment and changes in lifestyle. From the valuations and declining the specific interventions to each job profile according to the principle of synergy obtained by multi-professional integration. All phases of the training project (assessment, intervention, evaluation) are addressed by each of the professionals (nurse, dietitian, physiotherapist, psychologist) that under the responsibility of the cardiologist realize, within the welfare, a concrete process of therapeutic education from which no one can ignore the "vision" of a global care of the patient. PMID:25481939

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

    E-print Network

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

    2008-04-17

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

  4. NEMO-O$\

    E-print Network

    Aiello, S

    2008-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2014-01-01

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

  6. Long-range acoustic scattering from a shallow-water mud-volcano cluster.

    PubMed

    Holland, Charles W; Preston, John R; Abraham, Douglas A

    2007-10-01

    Analysis of reverberation measurements in the Straits of Sicily shows high intensity, discrete, scattered returns 10-20 dB above background reverberation. These returns are due to scattering from mud volcanoes. The reverberation from the mud volcanoes at ranges of 15-22 km is reasonably consistent over these spatial scales (i.e., kilometers) and temporal scales of several hours; measurements separated by 4 years are also similar. Statistical characterization indicates that the reverberation associated with a mud-volcano cluster is strongly non-Rayleigh and that the reverberation can be characterized by a single (shape) parameter, roughly independent of frequency. The non-Rayleigh statistics, with a concomitant increase in the probability of false alarm, indicate that mud volcanoes are a likely source of clutter. Mean target strengths were estimated at 1-11 dB over 160-1400 Hz and are consistent with target strengths measured during a different year at short (direct-path) ranges. Accumulated evidence points to small (order 10 m diameter and several meters high) carbonate chimneys on the mud-volcano edifice as the scattering mechanism as opposed to the edifice itself or scattering from gas bubbles in the water column. Thus, the results represent acoustic scattering from mud volcanoes in a quiescent state. PMID:17902831

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  8. Uniparental markers in Italy reveal a sex-biased genetic structure and different historical strata.

    PubMed

    Boattini, Alessio; Martinez-Cruz, Begoña; Sarno, Stefania; Harmant, Christine; Useli, Antonella; Sanz, Paula; Yang-Yao, Daniele; Manry, Jeremy; Ciani, Graziella; Luiselli, Donata; Quintana-Murci, Lluis; Comas, David; Pettener, Davide

    2013-01-01

    Located in the center of the Mediterranean landscape and with an extensive coastal line, the territory of what is today Italy has played an important role in the history of human settlements and movements of Southern Europe and the Mediterranean Basin. Populated since Paleolithic times, the complexity of human movements during the Neolithic, the Metal Ages and the most recent history of the two last millennia (involving the overlapping of different cultural and demic strata) has shaped the pattern of the modern Italian genetic structure. With the aim of disentangling this pattern and understanding which processes more importantly shaped the distribution of diversity, we have analyzed the uniparentally-inherited markers in ?900 individuals from an extensive sampling across the Italian peninsula, Sardinia and Sicily. Spatial PCAs and DAPCs revealed a sex-biased pattern indicating different demographic histories for males and females. Besides the genetic outlier position of Sardinians, a North West-South East Y-chromosome structure is found in continental Italy. Such structure is in agreement with recent archeological syntheses indicating two independent and parallel processes of Neolithisation. In addition, date estimates pinpoint the importance of the cultural and demographic events during the late Neolithic and Metal Ages. On the other hand, mitochondrial diversity is distributed more homogeneously in agreement with older population events that might be related to the presence of an Italian Refugium during the last glacial period in Europe. PMID:23734255

  9. Using the ARP-03 for high-resolution mapping of calcic horizons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Priori, S.; Fantappi?, M.; Magini, S.; Costantini, E. A. C.

    2013-09-01

    The aim of this work is to present a fast and cheap method for high-resolutionmapping of calcic horizons in vineyards based on geoelectrical proximal sensing. The study area, 45 ha located in southern Sicily (Italy), was characterized by an old, partially dismantled marine terrace and soils with a calcic horizon at different depths. The geoelectrical investigation consisted of a survey of the soil electrical resistivity recorded with the Automatic Resistivity Profiling-03 sensor. The electrical resistivity values at three pseudo-depths, 0-50, 0-100 and 0-170 cm, were spatialized by means of ordinary kriging. A principal component analysis of the three electrical resistivity maps was carried out. During the survey, 18 boreholes, located at different electrical resistivity values, were made for soil description and sampling. The depth to the calcic horizon showed a strong correlation with electrical resistivity. The regression model between calcic horizon and the principal component analysis factors with the highest correlation coefficients was selected to spatialise the calcic horizon values. An Normalized Difference Vegetation Index map was used to validate the calcic horizon map in terms of crop response to different soil rooting depths. The strengths of this method are the quick, non-invasive kind of survey, the relevance for vine vigour, and the high spatial resolution of the final map.

  10. Managing soil nitrate with cover crops and buffer strips in Sicilian vineyards

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Novara, A.; Gristina, L.; Guaitoli, F.; Santoro, A.; Cerdà, A.

    2013-04-01

    When soil nitrate levels are inadequate, plants suffer nitrogen deficiency but when the levels are excessive, nitrates (NO3-N) can pollute surface and subsurface waters. Strategies to reduce the nitrate pollution are necessary to reach a sustainable use of resources such as soil, water and plant. Buffer strips and cover crops can contribute to the management of soil nitrates, but little is known of their effectiveness in semiarid vineyards plantations. The experimental site, a 10 m wide and 80 m long area at the bottom of a vineyard was selected in Sicily. The soil between vine rows and upslope of the buffer strip (seeded with Lolium perenne) and non-buffer strips (control) was managed conventionally and with one of two cover crops (Triticum durum and Vicia sativa cover crop). Soil nitrate was measured monthly and nitrate movement was monitored by application of a 15N tracer to a narrow strip between the bottom of vineyard and the buffer and non-buffer strips. L. perenne biomass yield in the buffer strips and its isotopic nitrogen content were monitored. V. sativa cover crop management contribute with an excess of nitrogen, and the soil management determined the nitrogen content at the buffer areas. A 6 m buffer strip reduce the nitrate by 42% with and by 46% with a 9 m buffer strip.

  11. Impact of universal vaccination against varicella in Italy.

    PubMed

    Bechini, Angela; Boccalini, Sara; Baldo, Vincenzo; Cocchio, Silvia; Castiglia, Paolo; Gallo, Tolinda; Giuffrida, Sandro; Locuratolo, Francesco; Tafuri, Silvio; Martinelli, Domenico; Prato, Rosa; Amodio, Emanuele; Vitale, Francesco; Bonanni, Paolo

    2015-01-01

    In Italy, the introduction of Universal Varicella Vaccination (UVV) has been decided but postponed, as a national programme, until 2015, when data from Regions which have already implemented it will be available. Starting from 2003, eight Italian Regions (Basilicata, Calabria, Friuli Venezia Giulia, Apulia, Sardinia, Sicily, Tuscany and Veneto) have progressively introduced UVV, in their immunization programme, with different schedules in children aged 13-15 months and 5-6 years, currently a two-dose schedule is adopted by all Regions. In June 2013, an Interregional Group on Varicella Vaccination (IGVV) has been established in order to assess the effectiveness of varicella vaccination with standardized and shared tools. The aim of this study was to evaluate the impact of varicella vaccination on the incidence and hospitalizations due to varicella and its complications in the period 2003-2012 in order to support the Italian decision makers on the future national adoption. Preliminary data showed that a general reduction of incidence and hospitalization rates was observed in the study period, resulting in relevant savings for the National Health Service. Immunization coverage with first dose at 24 months of age was high in all Regions (84%-95%) in 2012. Adverse events due to varicella vaccines were rare and without permanent sequelae. Underreporting of varicella cases and delays in the administration of the first dose of varicella vaccines were the main critical issues. In conclusion, solid evidences in support of universal UVV arise from the experiences available today in Italy. PMID:25483517

  12. New Gravity Meter For Deep-sea Measurements Used In The Geostar 2 Mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Iafolla, V.; Fiorenza, E.; Nozzoli, S.; Milyukov, V.; Favali, P.; Beranzoli, L.; Gasparoni, F.; Calore, D.

    A new concept gravity meter, with sensitivity 10-9 g / Hz in the range 10-5 -1 Hz , was realised and used in the GEOSTAR 2 (GEophysical and Oceanographic Station for Abyssal Research)* mission, performed in the Mediterranean deep sea, close to Ustica island coast (Sicily, Italy) at about 2,000 m w.d.. The thermal stability of the sensors is ensured by the environmental condition, so that its power dissipation is less than 300mW. Its very high dynamics allowed the instrument to operate during the entire six months mission, without remote control, while a platform balance allows the instrument sensitive axis to recover the local verticality, also if the GEOSTAR station is placed 20° out of planarity. The gravity meter implement ed at IFSI makes use of the same know-how acquired in the framework of a space program, funded by the Italian Space Agency (ASI), concerning the study of a space-borne high sensitivity accelerometer, named ISA (Italian Spring Accelerometer). The gravimeter main characteristics will be described, and the experimental results show, obtained during the almost seven (206 days) months GEOSTAR 2 mission (measurements of tides vertical component, recordings of regional and teleseismic earthquakes). *Project funded by EC in the MAST-III 4th Framework Programme.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-12-01

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

  14. Phenolic compounds and antioxidant activity of Italian extra virgin olive oil Monti Iblei.

    PubMed

    Galvano, Fabio; La Fauci, Luca; Graziani, Giulia; Ferracane, Rosalia; Masella, Roberta; Di Giacomo, Claudia; Scacco, Antonio; D'Archivio, Massimo; Vanella, Luca; Galvano, Giacomo

    2007-12-01

    The profile of phenolic compounds, antioxidant capacity, oxidative stability, and chemical characteristics (free acidity, peroxide value, specific extinction K232 and K270 values, and DeltaK) of 22 commercial extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) samples coming from the denomination of protected origin (DPO) Monti Iblei and obtained from olives harvested in the period September-December 2005 in the production area of the province of Siracusa (Sicily, Italy) were evaluated. The content of total phenols, expressed as gallic acid equivalents, ranged from 14.80 to 121.20 mg/100 g, with a mean value of 53.72 mg/100 g, mainly attributable to deacetoxyligstroside aglycone, deacetoxyoleuropein aglycone, oleuropein aglycone, and ligstroside aglycone. The mean values of Trolox equivalent antioxidant capacity (TEAC) and of oxidative stability were 54.76 and 11.99 hours, respectively. Both TEAC and oxidative stability were positively correlated to the phenol content and to the percentage of inclusion of the olive cultivar "Tonda Iblea." The high mean content of phenols, besides conferring prolonged oxidative stability, likely confers to the DPO Monti Iblei EVOO marked potential beneficial effects for human health. PMID:18158836

  15. Bioactives and nutraceutical phytochemicals naturally occurring in virgin olive oil. The case study of the Nocellara del Belice Italian olive cultivar.

    PubMed

    Ranalli, F; Ranalli, A; Contento, S; Casanovas, M; Antonucci, M; Simone, G Di

    2013-01-01

    This work reports on the composition and bionutritional value of organic virgin olive oil from the Nocellara del Belice variety, one cultivated in the olive areas of the Sicily region, Italy. Destoned oils obtained by processing olives with a destoning-based procedure were compared with conventional oils. This innovative technique, consisting in removing the stone from fruits prior to processing, strongly enhanced the already high-quality level of the conventional product. An in-depth analytical investigation from 2008 to 2010 showed how this innovative olive extraction process led to an excellent peculiar final product, mainly attributable to the improved biophenol and volatile composition, as well as higher concentrations of the lipophilic and vitamin antioxidants (tocopherols and tocotrienols). It had higher levels of oleocanthal (p-HPEA-EDA), a nutraceutical compound exerting actions against COX1 and COX2 (cycloxygenases). Its head-space aroma displayed new volatile phytomolecules and also had higher levels of green volatiles from the lipoxygenase (LOX)-pathway (one having as precursors the polyunsaturated fatty acids containing a cis-cis-1,4-pentadiene system). Among the other bioactives, we highlight its significant levels of trans-?-carotene and xanthophylls (lutein, violaxanthin, neoxanthin and other carotenoids). Its enhanced nutritional value was also attributable to the increased intensity of valuable tasting notes. PMID:23356880

  16. Nutraceutical properties of extra-virgin olive oil: a natural remedy for age-related disease?

    PubMed

    Virruso, Claudia; Accardi, Giulia; Colonna-Romano, Giuseppina; Candore, Giuseppina; Vasto, Sonya; Caruso, Calogero

    2014-04-01

    The health benefits of the Mediterranean diet can be largely ascribed to the nutraceutical properties of extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO). Mono-unsaturated fatty acids and various phenolic compounds, such as oleocanthal, oleuropein, hydroxytyrosol, and tyrosol, are the main nutraceutical substances of EVOO. These substances have been suggested to have the ability to modulate aging-associated processes. In experimental models, it has been shown that EVOO with high concentrations of polyphenols has anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties. Indeed, it was observed that hydroxytyrosol and oleocanthal inhibit the cyclooxygenases (COX-1 and -2) responsible for prostaglandin production; oleuropein is a radical scavenger that blocks the oxidation of low-density lipoproteins. Due to the relevance of olive oil in the economy of Sicily, our group has been funded to assess the nutraceutical properties of different kinds of olive oil. Indeed, the aim of the study is to evaluate effects of EVOOs, with low and high polyphenols content, on immuno-inflammatory and oxidative stress responses in young and old people. A further objective of our group is to evaluate effects of EVOO, with low and high polyphenol content, on the expression of genes encoding proteins that take part in the insulin/insulin-like growth factor-1 signaling pathway involved in longevity. The results of the study will be useful for producing olive oil enriched in nutraceutical properties that may be likely helpful in the prevention of age-related diseases. PMID:24219356

  17. Evaluation of an IgM-ELISA test for the diagnosis of human leptospirosis.

    PubMed

    Vitale, G; La Russa, C; Galioto, A; Chifari, N; Mocciaro, C; Caruso, R; Micalizzi, A; Mansueto, P; Di Rosa, S; Mansueto, S

    2004-04-01

    Leptospirosis is a zoonosis with a worldwide distribution very common in most countries. In Italy this acute febrile illness is more frequent in the Northern than in the Southern regions. In the period 1994-1996, the number of cases of Leptospirosis in Sicily was lower with respect to the northern-central regions (7.2% and 73.4% respectively). Between January 1990 and December 1999, a total of 9 leptospirosis cases were observed in the Regional Centre for Leptospirosis of Palermo. The patients were all males (age between 22 and 59 years) and their occupations varied. Laboratory diagnosis is performed by the classical microagglutination microscopical (MAT) but this test is very complex and time-consuming. This study compared the classical MAT with ELISA IgM by using 19 serum samples from 9 patients with confirmed leptospirosis. We also tested 23 serum samples from blood-donors and 29 serum samples from patients with other infectious diseases. By the MAT and the PanBio IgM ELISA all sera from patients were found to be positive. Our results indicate that MAT represents the test with the highest degree of specificity (100%), but ELISA is simpler to perform, considering the favourable degree of sensitivity (100%) and specificity (95.9%). PMID:15164625

  18. The KM3NeT deep-sea neutrino telescope

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Margiotta, Annarita

    2014-12-01

    KM3NeT is a deep-sea research infrastructure being constructed in the Mediterranean Sea. It will host the next generation Cherenkov neutrino telescope and nodes for a deep sea multidisciplinary observatory, providing oceanographers, marine biologists, and geophysicists with real time measurements. The neutrino telescope will complement IceCube in its field of view and exceed it substantially in sensitivity. Its main goal is the detection of high energy neutrinos of astrophysical origin. The detector will have a modular structure with six building blocks, each consisting of about 100 Detection Units (DUs). Each DU will be equipped with 18 multi-PMT digital optical modules. The first phase of construction has started and shore and deep-sea infrastructures hosting the future KM3NeT detector are being prepared in offshore Toulon, France and offshore Capo Passero on Sicily, Italy. The technological solutions for the neutrino detector of KM3NeT and the expected performance of the neutrino telescope are presented and discussed.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-11-01

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

  20. Stochastic gradient boosting classification trees for forest fuel types mapping through airborne laser scanning and IRS LISS-III imagery

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chirici, G.; Scotti, R.; Montaghi, A.; Barbati, A.; Cartisano, R.; Lopez, G.; Marchetti, M.; McRoberts, R. E.; Olsson, H.; Corona, P.

    2013-12-01

    This paper presents an application of Airborne Laser Scanning (ALS) data in conjunction with an IRS LISS-III image for mapping forest fuel types. For two study areas of 165 km2 and 487 km2 in Sicily (Italy), 16,761 plots of size 30-m × 30-m were distributed using a tessellation-based stratified sampling scheme. ALS metrics and spectral signatures from IRS extracted for each plot were used as predictors to classify forest fuel types observed and identified by photointerpretation and fieldwork. Following use of traditional parametric methods that produced unsatisfactory results, three non-parametric classification approaches were tested: (i) classification and regression tree (CART), (ii) the CART bagging method called Random Forests, and (iii) the CART bagging/boosting stochastic gradient boosting (SGB) approach. This contribution summarizes previous experiences using ALS data for estimating forest variables useful for fire management in general and for fuel type mapping, in particular. It summarizes characteristics of classification and regression trees, presents the pre-processing operation, the classification algorithms, and the achieved results. The results demonstrated superiority of the SGB method with overall accuracy of 84%. The most relevant ALS metric was canopy cover, defined as the percent of non-ground returns. Other relevant metrics included the spectral information from IRS and several other ALS metrics such as percentiles of the height distribution, the mean height of all returns, and the number of returns.

  1. The Influence of Land Use Change on Landslide Susceptibility Zonation: The Briga Catchment Test Site (Messina, Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  2. Compact array of CdTe spectrometers for a prototype balloon flight

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Caroli, Ezio; Donati, Ariano; Landini, Gianni; Schiavone, Filomena; Stephen, John B.; Ventura, Giulio; Del Sordo, Stefano; Giarrusso, Salvatore; Strazzeri, M.; Taiocchi, Gianfranco

    2003-03-01

    The CACTuS (Compact Array of Cadmium Telluride Micro Spectrometers) instrument was constructed as a prototype detection plane for the Coded Imager and Polarimeter for High Energy Radiation (CIPHER) telescope. The instrument, flown as a 'piggy-back' experiment on a stratospheric balloon as part of the Summer 2002 trans-mediterranean flight campaign from the Milo Italian balloon base in Sicily, was constructed in order to verify the feasibility of using this kind of position sensitive detector for hard X and soft gamma ray polarimetry and imaging, with the objective of studying the instrumental background at stratospheric balloon altitudes over the 20-1000 keV energy range. Of particular interest is the spectrum and distribution of Compton scattered events that trigger two pixel (double) events, the recognition of which is essential for providing a high sensitivity to linear polarisation. It was also used to evaluate the efficiency and the reliability of an off-line numerical algorithm to be applied to the CdTe flight data for signal compensation, which uses the amplitudes obtained by readout electronics with a double shaping filter stage.

  3. CACT?S: A small CdTe array for a prototype balloon experiment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Caroli, Ezio; Donati, Ariano; Landini, Gianni; Schiavone, Filomena; Stephen, John B.; Ventura, Giulio; Celi, Filippo; del Sordo, Stefano; Giarrusso, Salvo; Strazzeri, Mauro

    2003-11-01

    The Compact Array of Cadmium Telluride Micro Spectrometers (CACT?S) instrument was constructed as a prototype detection plane for the Coded Imager and Polarimeter for High Energy Radiation (CIPHER) telescope. The instrument, flown as a `piggy-back' experiment on a stratospheric balloon from the Milo Italian balloon base in Sicily in July 2002, was constructed to verify the feasibility of using this kind of position sensitive detector for hard X- and soft ?-ray polarimetry and imaging. The main objective was to study the instrumental background at stratospheric balloon altitudes over the 20-1000keV energy range. Of particular interest is the spectrum and distribution of Compton scattered events that trigger two pixel, the recognition of which is essential for providing a high sensitivity to linear polarization. The CACT?S data will be also used to evaluate the efficiency and the reliability of an off-line numerical algorithm for CdTe signal compensation, which uses the amplitudes obtained by a double shaping filter stage readout electronics. Herein we present both a description of the experiment and preliminary results from the flight data.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-04-01

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

  5. Irrigation and Soil Salinization in Mediterranean agro-ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

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

  6. Heavy and tar sand oil deposits of Europe

    SciTech Connect

    Cornelius, C.D.

    1984-09-01

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

  7. Mitochondrial phylogeography of the European sprat (Sprattus sprattus L., Clupeidae) reveals isolated climatically vulnerable populations in the Mediterranean Sea and range expansion in the northeast Atlantic.

    PubMed

    Debes, P V; Zachos, F E; Hanel, R

    2008-09-01

    We examined the genetic structure of the European sprat (Sprattus sprattus) by means of a 530-bp sequence of the mitochondrial control region from 210 fish originating from seven sampling localities of its distributional range. Phylogeographical analysis of 128 haplotypes showed a phylogenetic separation into two major clades with the Strait of Sicily acting as a barrier to gene flow between them. While no population differentiation was observed based on analysis of molecular variance and net nucleotide differences between samples of the Baltic Sea, the North Sea and the Bay of Biscay nor between the Black Sea and the Bosporus, a strong population differentiation between these samples and two samples from the Mediterranean Sea was found. Further, the biggest genetic distance was observed within the Mediterranean Sea between the populations of the Gulf of Lyon and the Adriatic Sea, indicating genetic isolation of these regions. Low genetic diversities and star-like haplotype networks of both Mediterranean Sea populations point towards recent demographic expansion scenarios after low population size, which is further supported by negative F(S) values and unimodal mismatch distributions with a low mean. Along the northeast Atlantic coast, a northwards range expansion of a large and stable population can be assumed. The history of a diverse but differentiated Black Sea population remains unknown due to uncertainties in the palaeo-oceanography of this sea. Our genetic data did not confirm the presently used classification into subspecies but are only preliminary in the absence of nuclear genetic analyses. PMID:18643878

  8. Insights into present-day crustal motion in the central Mediterranean area from GPS surveys

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anzidei, Marco; Baldi, Paolo; Casula, Giuseppe; Galvani, Alessandro; Mantovani, Enzo; Pesci, Arianna; Riguzzi, Federica; Serpelloni, Enrico

    2001-07-01

    In this paper we present observations of crustal motion related to a large GPS network located in the central-western Mediterranean area. Velocities are obtained by the analysis of more than 30 observing sites at which at least three different GPS campaigns were carried out in the time span 1991-1999. The results are presented both in the ITRF96 reference frame and with respect to a Eurasian fixed reference frame. The sites located along the northern African margin, in Sicily and southern Italy show prevalent northeastward movements with a mean velocity of roughly 0.7cmyr-1. The relatively dense network available in the southern Apennines led us to try a tentative estimate of the average strain rate in this zone, resulting in a maximum extension of 0.021+/-0.006×10-6yr-1 normal to the chain. In Ionian Greece the two sites located south of the Kephallinia discontinuity (Lefkas and Kastro Ilias) consistently indicate a south to southwestward motion at an average rate of roughly 15mmyr-1.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  10. Tephra hazard assessment at Mt. Etna (Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scollo, S.; Coltelli, M.; Bonadonna, C.; Del Carlo, P.

    2013-06-01

    In this paper we present a probabilistic hazard assessment for tephra fallout at Mt. Etna (Italy) associated with both short- and long-lived eruptions. We analyzed wind data from the atmospheric soundings of the Italian Air Force at Trapani Birgi (western Sicily), and use the TEPHRA advection-diffusion-sedimentation model to capture the variation of wind speed and direction with time. Two different typologies of eruptions were considered in our analysis: eruptions forming strong short-lived plumes (SSL eruptions) and eruptions forming weak long-lived plumes (WLL eruptions). One Eruption Scenario (OES) for both typologies and the Eruption Range Scenario (ERS) for WLL eruptions were identified based on well documented past activity of Etna since the '90. First, model calibration was carried out for two well-known Etna explosive eruptions: the 22 July 1998 and July 2001 Etna eruptions. Second, probabilistic maps were compiled. Results clearly show that the eastern flanks are significantly affected by tephra deposition and that the WLL eruptions and the Plinian eruption of 122 BC represent the largest threat for both infrastructures and agriculture.

  11. Trace element accumulation and distribution in the organs of Phragmites australis (common reed) and biomonitoring applications.

    PubMed

    Bonanno, G

    2011-05-01

    The concentrations of trace elements were studied in roots, rhizomes, stems, and leaves of Phragmites australis stands (common reeds), and in the corresponding samples of water and sediment from the mouth of the Imera Meridionale River (Sicily, Italy), an area affected by massive urbanization and intensive agriculture. The elements considered were Ag, Al, As, B, Ba, Be, Co, Fe, Mo, Pd, Pt, Rh, Sb, Se, Sr, Tl, and V. Concentrations in belowground organs were usually higher than aboveground tissues, and the general decreasing trend of element content was root>rhizome>leaf>stem. Trace element mobility was generally higher within the organs than in sediment to plant. Regarding Al, Fe, and V, the phytotoxic levels in roots and the low plant/root mobility, may indicate that roots are inherently tolerant to these metals, and act as filters to prevent toxic distribution in the plant. The high uptake of Pd and Rh showed that emissions of catalytic converters are one of the main health hazards of the study area. P. australis showed a direct response to the environmental conditions, and its application as a biomonitor should be considered. PMID:21316762

  12. Influence of Arbuscular Mycorrhizae on Biomass Production and Nitrogen Fixation of Berseem Clover Plants Subjected to Water Stress

    PubMed Central

    Saia, Sergio; Amato, Gaetano; Frenda, Alfonso Salvatore; Giambalvo, Dario; Ruisi, Paolo

    2014-01-01

    Several studies, performed mainly in pots, have shown that arbuscular mycorrhizal symbiosis can mitigate the negative effects of water stress on plant growth. No information is available about the effects of arbuscular mycorrhizal symbiosis on berseem clover growth and nitrogen (N) fixation under conditions of water shortage. A field experiment was conducted in a hilly area of inner Sicily, Italy, to determine whether symbiosis with AM fungi can mitigate the detrimental effects of drought stress (which in the Mediterranean often occurs during the late period of the growing season) on forage yield and symbiotic N2 fixation of berseem clover. Soil was either left under water stress (i.e., rain-fed conditions) or the crop was well-watered. Mycorrhization treatments consisted of inoculation of berseem clover seeds with arbuscular mycorrhizal spores or suppression of arbuscular mycorrhizal symbiosis by means of fungicide treatments. Nitrogen biological fixation was assessed using the 15N-isotope dilution technique. Arbuscular mycorrhizal symbiosis was able to mitigate the negative effect of water stress on berseem clover grown in a typical semiarid Mediterranean environment. In fact, under water stress conditions, arbuscular mycorrhizal symbiosis resulted in increases in total biomass, N content, and N fixation, whereas no effect of crop mycorrhization was observed in the well-watered treatment. PMID:24595111

  13. Petroleum geology of Tunisia

    SciTech Connect

    Burollet, P.F. (CIFEG, Paris (France)); Ferjami, A.B.; Mejri, F. (ETAP, Tunis (Tunisia))

    1990-05-01

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

  14. What do Pneumocystis organisms tell us about the phylogeography of their hosts? The case of the woodmouse Apodemus sylvaticus in continental Europe and western Mediterranean islands.

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dongarrà, G.; Ottomello, D.; Sabatino, G.; Triscari, M.

    1995-10-01

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

  16. Interactions between climate change, hydrology and soil erosion in different climatic zones in Italy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Capra, A.; Pavanelli, D.

    2010-03-01

    In Italy, during last century the mean annual temperature (Tym) increased by 0.4°C/100 years in Northern areas (N) (continental zone) and by 0.7°C/100 years in Central (C) and Southern (S) parts (peninsular zones). A negative trend of annual rainfall (Py) was evident in both N and S areas. Extreme events had different tendencies, corresponding to increases in rainfall intensity and in drought conditions in both N and S areas. Climate change affects both vegetation water availability and runoff and erosion. Different results on climatic trends were obtained for smaller sub-regions of Southern Italy. Therefore, climate change studies at a regional level should also account for geographical factors (e.g. distance from the sea, elevation, aspect). In the current study trend in precipitation recorded during last century in three different climatic zones in Italy were investigated and compared. The three zones are: a typical Tuscan-Emilian Apennines watershed (the Reno river) located in the continental area, the Calabria region located in the peninsular zone, and the Sicily region, an island located in the South of Italy. For Reno river mountain watershed (2.597 km2), an attempt was made to gain some knowledge about the changes in the 20th century of the land use and of the climate, connected to the erosion soil risk. The Italian Apennines, from the 16th century, were exploited for farming and for agro forestry and pastoral activities. This human activities encouraged intense erosive processes, but an important factor controlling the intense morphodynamics is the contemporary increase of rainfall in the "Little Ice Age". From the beginning of the 1900, have been led two conflicting and simultaneous phenomena: population moving both to cities and valley bottoms and agricultural mechanization. Their consequences have been evident on land use: abandonment of unproductive fields, of forestry practices and enlargement of the remaining plots. The Calabria region is a long narrow peninsula extending for about 250 km North to South. A mountain range (the Apennines) running perpendicularly to the dominant moisture-bearing wind direction, causes rainfall and temperature variability dividing the region into two different areas: the Tyrrhenian and Ionian. Bioclimatic parameters, such as evapotranspiration, rain deficit and aridity index, and drought characteristics have been analysed to check the climate change effects on vegetation. Sicily is the largest island of the Mediterranean Sea. According to traditional geographical distinctions for making sub-regional analysis, Sicily was divided into three homogeneous sub-regions (North, East, and South). Each sub-region is separated from the others by mountain ranges and for this reason the rainfall pattern is different from area to area. Because of its particular geographic location in the centre of the Mediterranean Sea, Sicily was often investigated as a key region in order to explain the climate evolution within the Mediterranean basin. The measures on ephemeral gully erosion conducted in the small catchment of Raddusa permit some considerations on climate change response. The overall results showed the importance of the climate change analyses at a regional scale. The analysis carried out showed an increase of temperature (ranging from 0.1 and 2.2°C/100 years for the mean annual temperature) and a decrease of precipitation (ranging from 153 to 344 mm/100 years for the annual rainfall) over the two investigated regions located in South Italy (Calabria and Sisily). In the North Apennines Reno watershed the mean precipitation during 1926-2006 was 1315 mm, with a decrease of precipitation about 7% during the last period 1976-2006. In the same period the river water flow decreased of about 22% (Casalecchio gauge) referring to the 1926-2006 (average outflow of 705 mm). The temperature increased over 0,4°C with consequent decrease of the snow and frost. The calculated values of evapotranspiration ET0, which accounted for mean (Ta), maximum (Tmax) and minimum (Tmin) values of temper

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wells, LaRue

    1970-01-01

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

  18. Effects of a small seagull colony on trophic status and primary production in a Mediterranean coastal system (Marinello ponds, Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Signa, Geraldina; Mazzola, Antonio; Vizzini, Salvatrice

    2012-10-01

    Colonies of seabirds have been shown to influence nutrient cycling and primary production of coastal areas, but knowledge is still limited above all for smaller colonies. This study evaluates the influence of a small resident seagull colony (Larus michahellis Naumann, 1840) on a Mediterranean coastal system (Marinello ponds, Sicily, Italy). The presence of ornithogenic organic matter from seagull guano was first assessed at increasing distances from the colony using ?15N to indicate the effects of guano on the trophic status and primary production. The pond directly affected by guano deposition showed an anomalous water and sediment chemistry, especially regarding physico-chemical variables (pH), nitrogen isotopic signature, nutrient balance and phytoplankton biomass. These effects were not observed in the adjacent ponds, highlighting pronounced, small spatial-scale variability. Given the worldwide presence of seabird colonies and the scarcity of research on their effect on coastal marine areas, the study shows that seabird-mediated input may be important in influencing ecosystem dynamics of coastal areas, even where both the system in question and the colony are small.

  19. Comparative study of measured amplitude and phase perturbations on VLF and LF radio signals induced by solar flares

    E-print Network

    Sulic, D M

    2014-01-01

    Very Low Frequency, VLF and Low Frequency, LF signal perturbations were examined to study ionospheric disturbances induced by solar X-ray flares. The aim was to understand processes in propagation VLF/LF radio signals over short paths, and to estimate specific characteristics of each short path. The receiver at Belgrade station continuously monitor the amplitude and phase of coherent and subionospherically propagating LF signal operated in Sicily, NSC at 45.90, kHz and VLF signal operated in Isola di Tavolara ICV at 20.27 kHz, with great circle distances of 953 km and 976 km, respectively. Geographical locations of transmitters and receiver site result that these short paths have many similarity. The main difference is in transmitter frequencies. In period from 2008 to February 2014 were selected around 200 events for further examination. In all selected examples amplitude and phase on VLF and LF signals were perturbed by occurrence of solar X-ray flares. This six years period covers minimum and maximum of so...

  20. Ancestral origins and worldwide distribution of the PRNP 200K mutation causing familial Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.

    PubMed Central

    Lee, H S; Sambuughin, N; Cervenakova, L; Chapman, J; Pocchiari, M; Litvak, S; Qi, H Y; Budka, H; del Ser, T; Furukawa, H; Brown, P; Gajdusek, D C; Long, J C; Korczyn, A D; Goldfarb, L G

    1999-01-01

    Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) belongs to a group of prion diseases that may be infectious, sporadic, or hereditary. The 200K point mutation in the PRNP gene is the most frequent cause of hereditary CJD, accounting for >70% of families with CJD worldwide. Prevalence of the 200K variant of familial CJD is especially high in Slovakia, Chile, and Italy, and among populations of Libyan and Tunisian Jews. To study ancestral origins of the 200K mutation-associated chromosomes, we selected microsatellite markers flanking the PRNP gene on chromosome 20p12-pter and an intragenic single-nucleotide polymorphism at the PRNP codon 129. Haplotypes were constructed for 62 CJD families originating from 11 world populations. The results show that Libyan, Tunisian, Italian, Chilean, and Spanish families share a major haplotype, suggesting that the 200K mutation may have originated from a single mutational event, perhaps in Spain, and spread to all these populations with Sephardic migrants expelled from Spain in the Middle Ages. Slovakian families and a family of Polish origin show another unique haplotype. The haplotypes in families from Germany, Sicily, Austria, and Japan are different from the Mediterranean or eastern European haplotypes. On the basis of this study, we conclude that founder effect and independent mutational events are responsible for the current geographic distribution of hereditary CJD associated with the 200K mutation. PMID:10090891

  1. PREFACE: Coordination Action on Defects Relevant to Engineering Silicon-Based Devices

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Evans-Freeman, Jan

    2005-06-01

    This issue contains a selection of papers presented at the First International Workshop of the European project entitled Coordination Action on Defects Relevant to Engineering Silicon-Based Devices (CADRES) held in Catania, Sicily, 26--28 September 2004. The CADRES project is sponsored by the European Commission in the Framework 6 IST programme. The Workshop was attended by about 107 delegates, from many European countries, who heard presentations from speakers prominent in their fields from all over the world, plus several excellent student presentations. Over the three days there were opportunities for very focussed discussion, and all who attended could benefit from new collaboration and training opportunities available as a result of this meeting. I would like to thank the local organizers, Professor Francesco Priolo and his students for the smooth running of the workshop, and Professor Bengt Svensson for acting as the Programme Chairman. I would also like to thank Professors Svensson and Priolo for their help with the selection of papers for the workshop and with the Proceedings.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-03-01

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

  3. Highlights from BNL-RHIC 2011-2013

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tannenbaum, M. J.

    2014-04-01

    Highlights from Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL) and experiments at the BNL Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC) are presented for the years 2011-2013. This review is a combination of lectures which discussed the latest results each year at a three year celebration of the 50th anniversary of the International School of Subnuclear Physics in Erice, Sicily, Italy. Since the first collisions in the year 2000, RHIC has provided nucleus-nucleus and polarized proton-proton collisions over a range of nucleon-nucleon center-of-mass energies (? {sNN}) from 7.7 GeV to 510 GeV with nuclei from deuterium to uranium, most often gold. The objective was the discovery of the Quark Gluon Plasma, which was achieved, and the measurement of its properties, which were much different than expected, namely a "perfect fluid" of quarks and gluons with their color charges exposed rather than a gas. Topics including quenching of light and heavy quarks at large transverse momentum, thermal photons, search for a QCD critical point as well as measurements of collective flow, two-particle correlations and J/? suppression are presented. During this period, results from the first and subsequent heavy ion measurements at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN became available. These confirmed and extended the RHIC discoveries and have led to ideas for new and improved measurements.

  4. Ticks infesting humans in Italy and associated pathogens

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

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

  5. The discovery of ancient history in the deep sea using advanced deep submergence technology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ballard, R. D.; McCann, A. M.; Yoerger, D.; Whitcomb, L.; Mindell, D.; Oleson, J.; Singh, H.; Foley, B.; Adams, J.; Piechota, D.; Giangrande, C.

    2000-09-01

    The Skerki Bank Project was the first interdisciplinary effort to determine the importance of the deep sea to the field of archaeology. Over a nine year period from 1988 to 1997, its various field programs resulted in the discovery of the largest concentration of ancient ships ever found in the deep sea. In all, eight ships were located in an area of 210 km 2, including five of the Roman era spanning a period of time from 100 B.C. to 400 A.D., documenting the existence of a major trading route in the central Mediterranean Sea between ancient Carthage, Rome, Sicily, and Sardinia. The project involved the use of highly sophisticated deep submergence technologies including towed acoustic and visual search vehicles, a nuclear research submarine, and an advanced remotely operated vehicle. Precision navigation and control permitted rapid yet careful mapping, both visual and acoustic, of each site with a degree of precision never attained before. Advanced robotics permitted the recovery of selected objects for subsequent analysis without intrusive excavation. This multi-disciplinary effort of archaeologists, oceanographers, and ocean engineers demonstrated that deep water archaeology has great promise and can be done without the exploitation of ancient sites for private gains. The Project also demonstrated that in the absence of evolving laws of the sea, a great deal of human history may be at peril.

  6. The Genographic Project

    NSDL National Science Digital Library

    Alright, so you have a few relatives from Poughkeepsie who might be able to trace their ancestry back to a certain part of Sicily. But have you ever considered that all humans might be able to trace their origins back to a group of people residing in Africa some 60,000 years ago? It's quite a thought, and the National Geographic Society (working with a number of partners) has created this site to deal with such thought-provoking questions of our shared "deep" genetic and ancestral makeup. To start things off, visitors should read the "About the Project" area, which provides some background on the project's ambitious mission. After that, a look into the "Genetics Overview" area is a must, as it provides some of the basic scientific knowledge that serves as the basis for this project. Without a doubt, the highlight of the site is the "Atlas of the Human Journey", which takes visitors on a tour of the great migrations of humans over the past 60,000 years. Along the way, visitors will learn about the changing genetic makeup of humans and how they moved around the earth.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Zuccaro, G.; Cacace, F. [Studies Center Plinivs--Lupt, Univ. of Naples 'Federico II', Via Toledo 402--80134 Naples (Italy); Albanese, V.; Mercuri, C.; Papa, F.; Pizza, A. G.; Sergio, S.; Severino, M. [Italian Department of Civil Protection, Via Vitorchiano 2, 00189, Rome (Italy)

    2008-07-08

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

  8. The Norse discovery of America.

    PubMed

    Langmoen, Iver A

    2005-12-01

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

  9. Early heat waves over Italy and their impacts on durum wheat yields

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fontana, Giovanna; Toreti, Andrea

    2015-04-01

    In the last decades the Euro-Mediterranean region has experienced an increase in extreme temperature events such as warm spells and heat waves. These extreme weather conditions can strongly affect arable crop growth and final yields. Since the most sensitive period for winter wheat in the Italian Peninsula is May-June, early heat waves from 1985 to 2013 are here identified and characterised. Then, their impact on annual durum wheat yields from 1995 to 2013 is investigated by using durum wheat yield time series retrieved from the Italian National Institute of Statistics - ISTAT for the most important (in term of durum wheat production) 39 areas. Results confirm, as expected, the 2003 peak in the time series of heat wave intensities and highlight other significant events, for instance in 2006, 2007 and 2009. In 2003, the development and growth of durum wheat were greatly influenced by heat stress, as shown by the very low values of durum wheat yields, exceeding -52% in southern Italy. However, the negative peak of yield anomalies (-65%) is recorded in south-eastern Italy in 2009. Results also show a high percentage (w.r.t. the total number of years with significant negative yield anomaly) of concurrent early heat waves/significant negative yield anomaly in many of the investigated areas. In the other areas (e.g., Sicily), lower numbers of concurrent events could be caused by the late occurrence of the early heat waves, i.e., after durum wheat maturity.

  10. Geochemistry and sedimentation of organic matter in the Triassic-Liassic carbonate laminated source rocks of the Ragusa basin (Italy)

    SciTech Connect

    Brosse, E.; Loreau, J.P.; Frixa, A.

    1988-08-01

    The Noto and Streppenosa formations of the Ragusa basin (southeastern Sicily) are considered the main source rocks for oil in this area. They display various styles of sedimentation in a generally carbonate context. The organic matter is basically of marine planktonic origin but with some variations, especially in terms of O/C ratio and kinetic behavior. Three main styles of sedimentation occurred within these formations: (1) laminates in a dominantly carbonate rock with thin recurrent interlayers of black shales; (2) alternating layers of marls and limestones, both containing interlayers of black shales and with occasional laminations in the limestones; and (3) silty shales, more or less rich in carbonates (30-70%). The highest petroleum potentials are neither strictly associated with the algal-sedimentary laminites nor with the basinal silty facies but with the black shales interbedded in the different facies or abruptly overlying limestones. In these black shales, oxygen-poor kerogens are dominant. Limestones of the alternated layers are generally organic lean (TOC < 1%), and oxygen-rich kerogens are dominant. The transition from one type of kerogen to the other occurs in the marly layers of the sequence. A tentative integration of both sedimentological and geochemical results is proposed, at the scale of the core, to interpret the respective influence of the depositional pattern and the diagenetic conditions on the content and nature of the kerogen in the source rocks.

  11. Comparative hydrodynamics of 10 Mediterranean lagoons by means of numerical modeling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Umgiesser, Georg; Ferrarin, Christian; Cucco, Andrea; De Pascalis, Francesca; Bellafiore, Debora; Ghezzo, Michol; Bajo, Marco

    2014-04-01

    A comparison study between 10 Mediterranean lagoons has been carried out by means of the 3-D numerical model SHYFEM. The investigated basins are the Venice and Marano-Grado lagoons in the Northern Adriatic Sea, the Lesina and Varano lagoons in the Southern Adriatic Sea, the Taranto basin in the Ionian Sea, the Cabras Lagoon in Sardinia, the Ganzirri and Faro lagoons in Sicily, the Mar Menor in Spain, and the Nador Lagoon in Morocco. This study has been focused on hydrodynamics in terms of exchange rates, transport time scale, and mixing. Water exchange depends mainly on the inlet shape and tidal range, but also on the wind regimes in the case of multi-inlet lagoons. Water renewal time, which is mostly determined by the exchange rate, is a powerful concept that allows lagoons to be characterized with a time scale. In the case of the studied lagoons, the renewal time ranged from few days in the Marano-Grado Lagoon up to 1 year in the case of the Mar Menor. The analysis of the renewal time frequency distribution allows identifying subbasins. The numerical study proved to be a useful tool for the intercomparison and classification of the lagoons. These environments range from a leaky type to a choked type of lagoons and give a representative picture of the lagoons situated around the Mediterranean basin. Mixing efficiency turns out to be a function of the morphological complexity, but also of the forcings acting on the system.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  13. Three-dimensional numerical simulations on wind- and tide-induced currents: The case of Augusta Harbour (Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    De Marchis, Mauro; Freni, Gabriele; Napoli, Enrico

    2014-11-01

    The hydrodynamic circulation in the coastal area of the Augusta Bay (Italy), located in the eastern part of Sicily, is analysed. Due to the heavy contamination generated by the several chemical and petrochemical industries active in the zone, the harbour was declared a Contaminated Site of National Interest. To mitigate the risks connected with the industrial activities located near the harbour, it is important to analyse the hydrodynamic circulation in the coastal area. To perform such analysis, a parallel 3D numerical model is used to solve the Reynolds-averaged momentum and mass balance, employing the k-? turbulence model for the Reynolds stresses. The numerical model is parallelized using the programing technology - Message Passing Interface (MPI) and applying the domain decomposition procedure. The Augusta Bay circulation is mainly due to the relative contribution of the wind force acting over the free surface and the tidal motion through the mouths. Due to the geometric complexity of the domain and the presence of several piers along the coast, a curvilinear boundary-fitted computational grid was used, where cells corresponding to land areas or to wharfs were excluded from the computation. Comparisons between numerical results and field measurements were performed. Three different simulations were performed to selectively isolate the effect of each force, wind and tide, acting in the considered domain. The current in the basin was successfully estimated on the basis of the numerical results, demonstrating the specific role of wind and tidal oscillation in the hydrodynamic circulation inside the harbour.

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

    PubMed Central

    Barbagallo, Salvatore; Consoli, Simona; Russo, Alfonso

    2009-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-05-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-04-01

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

  18. An update on subsea multiphase pumping

    SciTech Connect

    Colombi, P.; De Donno, S.

    1996-02-01

    Agip SpA anticipates that subsea multiphase production, based on long-distance transportation of untreated oilwell fluids--namely, oil, water, and gas, will be an efficient tool for the exploitation of deepwater and marginal fields. In 1990, at the Trecate onshore oil field, Agip completed long-term testing of a multiphase screw pump, which confirmed commercial surface applications. Agip then integrated a subsea version of an improved multiphase twin-screw pump into a subsea multiphase boosting unit that was installed at the Prezioso field, offshore Sicily, in 1994 That was the first subsea installation of an electrically driven multi-phase pump operating with live oil. Agip began endurance testing of the pumping system in January 1995 and by last November, the cumulated period of running reached 3,500 hours with no evidence of pump-capacity reduction. Testing focused on boosting at high gas-void fraction and oil viscosity, operation at variable motor speed for pump control, pump control by means of throttling valves, direct interaction of the pumping system with both wells and the multiphase export line, variation of the lube-oil pressure across seals and bearings, and the evaluation of any degradation effect on the pump flow capacity over time. This paper reviews the design and performance of this pump and applicability to other offshore projects.

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

    PubMed

    Gerig, Anthony L; Holland, Charles W

    2007-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  2. An Overview of the Genetic Structure within the Italian Population from Genome-Wide Data

    PubMed Central

    Di Gaetano, Cornelia; Voglino, Floriana; Guarrera, Simonetta; Fiorito, Giovanni; Rosa, Fabio; Di Blasio, Anna Maria; Manzini, Paola; Dianzani, Irma; Betti, Marta; Cusi, Daniele; Frau, Francesca; Barlassina, Cristina; Mirabelli, Dario; Magnani, Corrado; Glorioso, Nicola; Bonassi, Stefano; Piazza, Alberto; Matullo, Giuseppe

    2012-01-01

    In spite of the common belief of Europe as reasonably homogeneous at genetic level, advances in high-throughput genotyping technology have resolved several gradients which define different geographical areas with good precision. When Northern and Southern European groups were considered separately, there were clear genetic distinctions. Intra-country genetic differences were also evident, especially in Finland and, to a lesser extent, within other European populations. Here, we present the first analysis using the 125,799 genome-wide Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNPs) data of 1,014 Italians with wide geographical coverage. We showed by using Principal Component analysis and model-based individual ancestry analysis, that the current population of Sardinia can be clearly differentiated genetically from mainland Italy and Sicily, and that a certain degree of genetic differentiation is detectable within the current Italian peninsula population. Pair-wise FST statistics Northern and Southern Italy amounts approximately to 0.001 between, and around 0.002 between Northern Italy and Utah residents with Northern and Western European ancestry (CEU). The Italian population also revealed a fine genetic substructure underscoring by the genomic inflation (Sardinia vs. Northern Italy?=?3.040 and Northern Italy vs. CEU?=?1.427), warning against confounding effects of hidden relatedness and population substructure in association studies. PMID:22984441

  3. The history of derogations from chemical parametric values set by the European Drinking Water Directive (Council Directive 98/83/EC), in Italy and the Piedmont region.

    PubMed

    Zicari, Giuseppe; Marro, Silvia; Soardo, Vincenzo; Berruti, Renza; Maggi, Claudio; Cerrato, Elena; Ferrari, Romina; Gulino, Margherita

    2014-01-01

    Italian legislation (Article 13 of Legislative Decree 31/2001) provides for the possibility of establishing derogations from chemical parametric values for drinking water set by EU legislation (Council Directive 98/83/EC), if the supply of drinking water cannot be maintained by any other reasonable means. A derogation is possible only after obtaining a specific authorization and must be limited to the shortest time possible. This paper presents the history of derogations granted in Italy and the case of arsenic and nickel in Piedmont. From 2003 to 2009, 13 regions requested a derogation (Campania, Emilia Romagna, Latium, Lombardy, Marche, Piedmont, Apulia, Sardinia, Sicily, Tuscany, Trentino Alto Adige, Umbria, Venetia) at different times and for a total of 13 parameters. In 2012, tap water provided to almost one million Italians in 112 municipalities of three regions (Latium, Tuscany and Campania), did not comply with the legal limits for the following parameters: arsenic, boron and fluorides. Currently, in the Piedmont region there are no derogations from the maximum permitted concentrations of contaminants in drinking water. In the past derogations have been applied for the nickel parameter (years 2006-2007) and from the arsenic parameter (years 2006-2008). PMID:25194123

  4. Towards the identification of potential infectious sites for bluetongue in Italy: a spatial analysis approach based on the distribution of Culicoides imicola.

    PubMed

    Conte, A; Ippoliti, C; Calistri, P; Pelini, S; Savini, L; Salini, R; Goffredo, M; Meiswinkel, R

    2004-01-01

    A geographic information system (GIS) based on grids was developed by the National Reference Center for Veterinary Epidemiology at the Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale dell'Abruzzo e del Molise 'G. Caporale' (IZS) in Teramo to identify potential infectious sites for bluetongue (BT) disease in Italy. Geographical and climatic variables were used to build a spatial process model (SPM); the different layers were combined by sequential addition. The final grids (with a cell size of 0.0387 decimal degrees) were generated for each season of the year, and the suitability of each cell for the presence of C. imicola given a value ranking from 0 to 10. While this model more accurately predicts the presence of C. imicola in the Basilicata and Sicily regions, it still over-predicted its presence in the Puglia region. This could be due to the occurrence of calcareous soils which dominate the Puglia landscape. The present SPM is an additive model that assigns an equal weight to each variable. However, the results suggest the existence of hitherto unconsidered variables that significantly influence the prevalence of C. imicola. To reflect their importance, these variables should be assigned a higher weighting in future models. However, the decision in regard to precisely what this weighting should be depends on a very thorough knowledge of the ecology of C. imicola. PMID:20419684

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  6. Evaluation of the interferon-gamma (IFN-?) assay to diagnose Mycobacterium bovis infection in pigs.

    PubMed

    Pesciaroli, M; Russo, M; Mazzone, P; Aronica, V; Fiasconaro, M; Boniotti, M B; Corneli, S; Cagiola, M; Pacciarini, M; Di Marco, V; Pasquali, P

    2012-08-15

    Mycobacterium bovis recognizes as hosts a wide spectrum of animal species. In particular epidemiological situations, high prevalence of infection is found also in pigs. In the present study, we evaluated the capability of the interferon-gamma (IFN-?) assay to identify pigs infected with M. bovis. The results of the immune-diagnosis were correlated to the findings of the post mortem inspection and the bacterial culture of lymph nodes. Blood samples of 146 pigs, belonging to a local breed of Sicily reared in free or semi-free roaming conditions, were collected to assess the specificity and the sensibility of the IFN-? assay. Thirty-one pigs, from M. bovis free herds, did not react to the IFN-? assay, yielding a specificity of 100%. The IFN-? assay identified 15 out of 19 animals positive to the bacterial culture and 22 out of 26 animals with tuberculous lesions, with a sensibility of 78.9-84.6%, respectively. Out of 26 reactors to the test, 15 pigs (57.7%) confirmed to be infected after the bacterial culture and 22 (84.6%) had tuberculous lesions. The IFN-? assay was able to reveal 4 animals with no visible lesions (NVL). Together, these findings support the feasible use of the IFN-? assay as an intra vitam tool for the surveillance and management of M. bovis infection in swine populations. PMID:22771195

  7. Mechanical properties of Municipal Solid Waste by SDMT.

    PubMed

    Castelli, Francesco; Maugeri, Michele

    2014-02-01

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

  8. Medicanes: A prognostic analysis of November 7, 2014, case study based on ECMWF medium range products

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Matsangouras, Ioannis; Nastos, Panagiotis; Pytharouris, Ioannis; Kamperakis, Nicolaos

    2015-04-01

    Mediterranean basin is a well-known European region for cyclone formation. The so-called medicanes (MEDIterranean hurriCANES) are cyclones that develop over the Mediterranean basin and exhibit some similarities to tropical cyclones. These rare meteorological phenomena are rare warm-core cyclones that may cause significant impact at coastal regions. In this paper, we present an analysis of prognostic products derived from the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) investigating the development of a medicane case study. All forecast products are based on the 12:00 UTC ECMWF run. On November 7, 2014, a medicane developed over central Mediterranean, first hitting Lampedusa on the island of Linosa, then Malta (at around 16.30 UTC), and finally the eastern coast of Sicily. The analysis revealed that ECMWF 240 forecast products highlighted the central Mediterranean basin as an area of deep cyclonic circulation. In addition, results from 240 to 24 forecast analysis, demonstrated that this cyclonic signature became more constant.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-07-01

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

  10. Antioxidant characterization of some Sicilian edible wild greens.

    PubMed

    Salvatore, Sara; Pellegrini, Nicoletta; Brenna, Oreste V; Del Rio, Daniele; Frasca, Graziella; Brighenti, Furio; Tumino, Rosario

    2005-11-30

    Epidemiological studies have demonstrated that many antioxidants and the total antioxidant capacity (TAC) of the diet may protect against cancers and cardiovascular disease. Common fruits and vegetables are good sources of antioxidants, although in some Mediterranean areas traditional wild greens are responsible for a significant percentage of total dietary antioxidant intake. In the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition cohort of Ragusa (Sicily), a high number of subjects were found to frequently eat wild greens, including Sinapis incana and Sinapis nigra, Diplotaxis erucoides, Cichorium intybus, Asparagus acutifolius, and Borrago officinalis. On the basis of these observations, detailed characterization of single antioxidant components (i.e., polyphenols, carotenoids, chlorophylls, and ascorbic acid) and the TAC of these edible wild traditional plants was performed. The wild plants examined were found to be very rich in antioxidants, such as flavonoids and carotenoids, with high TAC values, suggesting that the importance of these vegetables, not only in the traditional but even in the contemporary diet, needs to be emphasized. PMID:16302763

  11. Uniparental Markers in Italy Reveal a Sex-Biased Genetic Structure and Different Historical Strata

    PubMed Central

    Sarno, Stefania; Harmant, Christine; Useli, Antonella; Sanz, Paula; Yang-Yao, Daniele; Manry, Jeremy; Ciani, Graziella; Luiselli, Donata; Quintana-Murci, Lluis; Comas, David; Pettener, Davide

    2013-01-01

    Located in the center of the Mediterranean landscape and with an extensive coastal line, the territory of what is today Italy has played an important role in the history of human settlements and movements of Southern Europe and the Mediterranean Basin. Populated since Paleolithic times, the complexity of human movements during the Neolithic, the Metal Ages and the most recent history of the two last millennia (involving the overlapping of different cultural and demic strata) has shaped the pattern of the modern Italian genetic structure. With the aim of disentangling this pattern and understanding which processes more importantly shaped the distribution of diversity, we have analyzed the uniparentally-inherited markers in ?900 individuals from an extensive sampling across the Italian peninsula, Sardinia and Sicily. Spatial PCAs and DAPCs revealed a sex-biased pattern indicating different demographic histories for males and females. Besides the genetic outlier position of Sardinians, a North West–South East Y-chromosome structure is found in continental Italy. Such structure is in agreement with recent archeological syntheses indicating two independent and parallel processes of Neolithisation. In addition, date estimates pinpoint the importance of the cultural and demographic events during the late Neolithic and Metal Ages. On the other hand, mitochondrial diversity is distributed more homogeneously in agreement with older population events that might be related to the presence of an Italian Refugium during the last glacial period in Europe. PMID:23734255

  12. Multidisciplinary geophysical study of the NE sector of the unstable flank of Etna volcano

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bonforte, Alessandro; Cocina, Ornella; Siniscalchi, Agata; Barberi, Graziella; Guglielmino, Francesco; Romano, Gerardo; Sicali, Simona; Tripaldi, Simona

    2015-04-01

    On volcanic areas, usually characterized by complex structural environments, a lot of independent geophysical studies are usually performed. The non-uniqueness of the geophysical inverse models, the different level of resolution and sensitivity of the results spurred us to integrate independent geophysical datasets and results collected on Mt. Etna volcano, in order to obtain more accurate and reliable model interpretation. Mt. Etna volcano is located along the eastern coast of Sicily and it is characterized by a complex structural setting. In this region, the general N-S compressive regime related to the Africa - Europe collision interacts with the WNW-ESE extensional regime associated to the Malta Escarpment dynamics, observable along the eastern coast of Sicily. At Mt Etna, a great number of studies concerns the existence of instability phenomena; a general eastward motion of the eastern flank of the volcano has been measured with always increasing detail and its relationship with the eruptive and magmatic activity is being investigated. The unstable flank appears bounded to the north by the E-W-trending Provenzana - Pernicana Fault System and to the SW by the NS Ragalna Fault system. Eastwards, this area is divided by several NW-SE trending faults. Recent studies consider this area as divided into several blocks characterized by different shape and kinematics. Ground deformation studies (GPS and InSAR) define the NE portion of the unstable flank as the most mobile one. In the frame of the MEDiterranean Supersites Volcanoes (MED-SUV) project, ground deformation data (GPS and INSAR), 3D seismicity, seismic tomography and two resistivity model profiles, have been analyzed together, in order to put some constraints on the deep structure of the NE sector of the unstable flank. Seismic data come from the permanent network run by the Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia (INGV) - Sezione di Catania, Osservatorio Etneo. Ground deformation data comes from InSAR Permanent Scatterers analyses of different spaceborn sensors. The resistivity models come from a MT survey carried out on the eastern flank of the volcano and consisting of thirty broad-band soundings along N-S and NW-SE oriented profiles. We found that the NE sector of the sliding volume, modeled by ground deformation data inversions and characterized by the highest displacement velocity, is characterized low resistivity values and it is bounded by two seismic clusters. The northern one is clearly related to the Pernicana fault and it's not deeper than 3 km b.s.l. while the second one is located southwards, beneath the northern wall of the Valle del Bove, not related to any evident structure at the surface. An evident layer with very reduced seismicity lies at 3 km of depth and well corresponds to the simplified analytic models of a sliding planar surface resulting from GPS data inversions.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2003-04-01

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

  14. The Sources of Destructive Earthquakes Retrieved From Their Regional Intensity Patterns by a new Inversion Technique

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sirovich, L.; Pettenati, F.

    2004-12-01

    On the J.G.R. (2004, Vol. 109, in press) and the B.S.S.A. (2004, Vol. 94, 5, in press) we demonstrated that it is possible to retrieve geometric and kinematic information on the sources of some destructive earthquakes of the past by inverting their regional macroseismic intensity patterns. In fact, in the study cases, the inversion results agree with the seismological instrumental measurements and/or with neotectonic evidence and/or with authoritative tectonic interpretation, independent from our work. The intensity patterns of the following earthquakes were inverted more or less successfully. First, direct validations were feasible in the case of these recent and well-recorded earthquakes: 1987 Whittier Narrows, 1990 Sierra Madre, 1994 Northridge, California; and 1936 Cansiglio, NE Italy, 1990 Santa Lucia, Sicily, Italy; and, less confidently, three small-magnitude events in 1983, 1989 and 2000 in SW Norway. Then, in the case of the earthquakes of the preinstrumental era, which follow, only the compatibility with neotectonic evidence and/or with authoritative seismotectonic interpretation, and the orientation of the maximum horizontal geodynamical compressive stress was demonstrable: we refer to the strongest earthquake that has ever struck the Mediterranean (in the XVII Century, in SE Sicily), and its strong foreshock of Jan. 9, 1693; the 1904 Oslo, Norway, the 1873 Belluno NE Italy, and the 1741 Fabriano, Central Italy, earthquakes. This series of validations, or of plausible results, leads to the hope that more knowledge about pre-instrumental events can be obtained from intensity data: a key towards improving the calculation of seismic hazard, mostly in the Old World. Our technique is able to retrieve 11 geometric and kinematic source parameters that are: the three nucleation coordinates, the fault-plane solution, the seismic Moment, the rupture velocities and rupture lengths along-strike and antistrike, the shear wave velocity in the half-space. We do this by an automatic nonlinear inversion with a Niching Genetic Algorithm (NGA), and by using our simplified KF formula for body-waves that radiate from a linear source (B.S.S.A., Vol. 86, 1019-1027; B.S.S.A., Vol. 89, 1203-1213; B.S.S.A., Vol. 93, 47-60). The NGA inversion finds the minima on the hypersurface of the minimum residuals (calculated-minus-observed intensity at all sites) in the multi-parameter model space. For almost pure dip-slip mechanisms, two minimum-variance source models are found, which resemble the two auxiliary planes of the same theoretical fault-plane solution. In other words, in certain conditions, the problem is bimodal. Some tests suggest that the retrieved fault-plane solutions remain rather stable either in coastal areas or in the presence of asymmetric distributions of the sites surveyed in the field.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-04-01

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

  17. A critical analysis of three remote sensing-based actual evapotranspiration assessment methods over sparse crops agricultural areas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cammalleri, Carmelo; Ciraolo, Giuseppe; La Loggia, Goffredo; Minacapilli, Mario

    2010-10-01

    During last two decades the increasing availability of remotely sensed acquisitions in the thermal infrared part of the spectrum has encouraged hydrologist community to develop models and methodologies based on these kind of data. The aim of this paper is to compare three methods developed to assess the actual evapotranspiration spatial distribution by means of remote sensing data. The comparison was focused on the differences between the "single" (SEBAL) and "two" source (TSEB) surface energy balance approaches and the S-SEBI semi-empirical method. The first assumes a semiempirical internal calibration for the sensible heat flux assessment; the second uses a physically based approach in order to assess separately the soil and vegetation fluxes. Finally, the last one is based on the correlation between albedo and surface temperature for evaporative fraction estimations. The models were applied using 7 high resolution images, collected by an airborne platform between June and October 2008, approximately every 3 weeks. The acquired data include multi-spectral images (red, green and near infrared) and thermal infrared images for surface temperature estimation. The study area, located in the south-west cost of Sicily, Italy), is characterised by the presence of typical Mediterranean cultivations: olive, vineyard and citrus. Due to irrigation supplies and rainfall events, the water availability for the crops varies in time and this allowed to perform the comparison in a wide range of the modelled variables. Additionally, the availability of high spatial resolution images allowed the testing of the models performances at field scale despite the high vegetation fragmentation of the study area. The comparison of models performance highlights a good agreements of model estimations, analyzed by means of MAD (Mean Absolute Differences) and MAPD (Mean Absolute Percent Differences) indices, especially in terms of study area averaged fluxes. The analysis in correspondence of various crop fields highlights higher differences for low vegetation coverage and for scarce water availability.

  18. Reconstruction of rainfall events responsible for landslides using an algorithm

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Melillo, Massimo; Brunetti, Maria Teresa; Gariano, Stefano Luigi; Guzzetti, Fausto; Peruccacci, Silvia

    2014-05-01

    In Italy, intense or prolonged rainfall is the primary trigger of damaging landslides. The identification of the rainfall conditions responsible for the initiation of landslides is a crucial issue and may contribute to reduce landslide risk. Objective criteria for the identification of rainfall conditions that could initiate slope failures are still lacking or ambiguous. The reconstruction of rainfall events able to trigger past landslides is usually performed manually by expert investigators. Here, we propose an algorithm that reconstructs automatically rainfall events from a series of hourly rainfall data. The automatic reconstruction reproduces the actions performed by an expert investigator that adopts empirical rules to define rainfall conditions that presumably initiated the documented landslides. The algorithm, which is implemented in R (http://www.r-project.org), performs three actions on the data series: (i) removes isolated events with negligible amount of rainfall and random noise generated by the rain gauge; (ii) aggregates rainfall measurements in order to obtain a sequence of distinct rainfall events; (iii) identifies single or multiple rainfall conditions responsible for the slope failures. In particular, the algorithm calculates the duration, D, and the cumulated rainfall, E, for rainfall events, and for rainfall conditions that have resulted in landslides. A set of input parameters allows the automatic reconstruction of rainfall events in different physical settings and climatic conditions. We tested the algorithm using rainfall and landslide information available to us for Sicily, Southern Italy, in the period between January 2002 and December 2012. The algorithm reconstructed 13,537 rainfall events and 343 rainfall conditions as possible triggers of the 163 documented landslides. Most (87.7%) of the rainfall conditions obtained manually were reconstructed accurately. Use of the algorithm shall contribute to an objective and reproducible definition of rainfall conditions responsible for landslides in different geographic areas, reducing the current subjectivity inherent in the manual treatment of the rainfall and landslide data.

  19. Regional tectonic control on large size explosive eruptions: Insights into the Green Tuff ignimbrite unit of Pantelleria

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Catalano, S.; Tortorici, L.; Viccaro, M.

    2014-01-01

    Original geological and structural data, which derive from the analysis of the rheomorphic Green Tuff ignimbrite unit of Pantelleria, have offered the opportunity to define its modes of emplacement and the location of the eruptive sources in terms of distribution and geometry. The Green Tuff displays a wide range of rheomorphic structures consisting of preserved penetrative foliations, lineations and folds which, developed at distinct times, have been assigned to three major (D1-D3) deformation events accompanying and following the ignimbrite unit emplacement. The first D1 event produced distinct sets of structures developed along ductile shear zones generated during the emplacement of pyroclastic density currents along current-deposit boundaries. Palaeoflow directions of this event are completely independent from topography and are directly related to high-energy currents generated from the eruption. D2 event is characterized by folding due to down-slope post-emplacement flows related to gravity sliding processes whereas the D3 event was dominated by semi-brittle to brittle structures developed after the complete emplacement of the flow units and their subsequent cooling and compaction. The statistical analysis of these structural data has led to the hypothesis that the Green Tuff eruption developed from fissural sources that are largely superimposed on the NNE-trending dip-slip normal fault zones of the island (the Zinedi and the Montagna Grande faults). Our model also implies that the Green Tuff ignimbrite deposit can be the result of several events within a single eruptive cycle. The orientation of the fissural eruptive systems is evidence that the feeding structures for this large-size explosive event were strongly controlled by the E-W to ESE-WNW directed extension structures that affect the island of Pantelleria and, as a whole, the entire region of the Sicily Channel.

  20. Stress field of Italy — Mean stress orientation at different depths and wave-length of the stress pattern

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pierdominici, Simona; Heidbach, Oliver

    2012-04-01

    We have studied the stress pattern of Italy using a dataset with 590 data records from the World Stress Map database release 2008 and 106 new data records to test the hypothesis the mean orientation of maximum horizontal stress SH is different at different depth sections. For this, we split the dataset into a shallow (0-6 km) and a deep (6-40 km) depth section. For the data analysis we used a new statistical tool that calculates the mean SH orientation on a 0.2° grid. The tool takes into account the distance to each grid point, number and quality of the data records within the search radius, and the radial distribution. The result is a smoothed Italian stress map that displays both; the mean SH orientation and the wave-length of the stress pattern. The stress pattern does not vary in depth except for two areas (Sardinia and southern Apulia). Therefore stress data from different depths can be used to estimate the mean SH orientation and the wave-length of the stress pattern in Italy. Furthermore, the smoothed Italian stress map reveals that most of Italy has short wave-length stress patterns (< 150 km). This indicates that the stress field is not controlled by first-order stress sources of plate tectonics, i.e. the convergence of Africa with respect to Eurasia, but that second-order stress sources such as topography, density, strength contrasts, and major faults systems are of great importance. In four regions (western part of the Alps, northern Tuscany, northern Adriatic Sea, Calabria and eastern part of Sicily) the wave-length is < 100 km. High values of the circular variance of the mean SH orientation observed here are driven by third-order local stress sources, such as basins or local neotectonic structures.

  1. Spreading and slope instability at the continental margin offshore Mt Etna, imaged by high-resolution 2D seismic data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gross, Felix; Krastel, Sebastian; Behrmann, Jan-Hinrich; Papenberg, Cord; Geersen, Jacob; Ridente, Domenico; Latino Chiocci, Francesco; Urlaub, Morelia; Bialas, Jörg; Micallef, Aaron

    2015-04-01

    Mount Etna is the largest active volcano in Europe. Its volcano edifice is located on top of continental crust close to the Ionian shore in east Sicily. Instability of the eastern flank of the volcano edifice is well documented onshore. The continental margin is supposed to deform as well. Little, however, is known about the offshore extension of the eastern volcano flank and its adjacent continental margin, which is a serious shortcoming in stability models. In order to better constrain the active tectonics of the continental margin offshore the eastern flank of the volcano, we acquired and processed a new marine high-resolution seismic and hydro-acoustic dataset. The data provide new detailed insights into the heterogeneous geology and tectonics of shallow continental margin structures offshore Mt Etna. In a similiar manner as observed onshore, the submarine realm is characterized by different blocks, which are controlled by local- and regional tectonics. We image a compressional regime at the toe of the continental margin, which is bound to an asymmetric basin system confining the eastward movement of the flank. In addition, we constrain the proposed southern boundary of the moving flank, which is identified as a right lateral oblique fault movement north of Catania Canyon. From our findings, we consider a major coupled volcano edifice instability and continental margin gravitational collapse and spreading to be present at Mt Etna, as we see a clear link between on- and offshore tectonic structures across the entire eastern flank. The new findings will help to evaluate hazards and risks accompanied by Mt Etna's slope- and continental margin instability and will be used as a base for future investigations in this region.

  2. First U-Pb detrital zircon ages from Numidian sandstones in Southern Apennines (Italy): Evidences of African provenance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fornelli, Annamaria; Micheletti, Francesca; Langone, Antonio; Perrone, Vincenzo

    2015-05-01

    Two samples of quartz-rich sandstones collected in the Numidian Flysch of Southern Apennines (Italy) have been studied to highlight the provenance of detritus using radiometric dating by LA-ICP-MS of detrital zircons and to compare the obtained ages with those of the Betic and Maghrebian Chains. The provenance of quartzose detritus from European or African Plates is still debated in these Chains, accordingly the ages of the detrital zircons can contribute significantly to discriminate the origin of the quartzose supply. The U-Pb zircon ages (n = 47) vary from 3047 ± 13 Ma (Mesoarchean) to 516 ± 19 Ma (Cambrian). The predominance of Paleo-Proteozoic ages (2500-1600 Ma) and the lack of Hercynian and Alpine ones suggest a provenance of the Numidian supply from North-African cratonic areas during the early-middle Langhian, when the Numidian successions of Southern Apennines were deposited. In addition, a cluster of ages at 773 ± 24 Ma and 668 ± 12 Ma in one sample and at 664 ± 17 Ma in the other sample, calculated on zircon domains with magmatic zoning, testify to an important contribution from Neo-proterozoic "granitic" rocks widely outcropping in the North-African Craton. The age data on detrital zircons from Numidian sandstones in Southern Apennines overlap those found in the Numidian sandstones widespread in the Betic Cordillera and in the Maghrebian Chain from south Spain to Sicily. This suggests that the entire depositional zone in which Numidian Flysch deposited, was fed from a southerly source represented by the African Craton where Archean, Proterozoic and Cambrian rocks widely crop out from the Atlantic coast to the Hoggar and Tibesti Massifs. Finally, it must be outlined that a Meso-Archean zircon age (3047 Ma) has been found in the Numidian Flysch of the Southern Apennines whereas in the Numidian Flysch of the Maghrebian Chain, zircons older than Paleo-proterozoic (1840 Ma) have not yet been found.

  3. Detection of pleural plaques in workers exposed to inhalation of natural fluoro-edenite fibres

    PubMed Central

    RAPISARDA, VENERANDO; LEDDA, CATERINA; RICCERI, VINCENZO; ARENA, FRANCESCO; MUSUMECI, ANDREA; MARCONI, ANDREA; FAGO, LUCREZIA; BRACCI, MASSIMO; SANTARELLI, LORY; FERRANTE, MARGHERITA

    2015-01-01

    Fluoro-edenite is a natural mineral species initially isolated in Biancavilla, Sicily. The fibres are similar in size and morphology to certain amphibolic asbestos fibres, the inhalation of which may cause chronic inflammation and cancer. Occupational asbestos exposure is known to be associated with pleural and lung diseases, including pleural plaques. The aim of this study was to report the pleural and lung parenchymal lesions detected by high-resolution computed tomography (HRCT) in a group of construction workers exposed to fluoro-edenite. Information regarding life habits and occupational history was collected from 43 workers enrolled into the study. The participants underwent physical examination, blood analysis, search for uncoated fibres and ferruginous bodies in the sputum, pulmonary function tests, including diffusion capacity for carbon monoxide (TLCO), and HRCT chest imaging. A general descriptive outcome analysis was also conducted; a prevalence ratio (PR) with 95% confidence interval and a two-tailed test P-value were calculated for pleural plaques using log-binomial regression, measuring plaque size and thickness, and cumulative exposure index (CEI). The mean values of the functional respiratory tests were within the normal range for all participants. A restrictive ventilatory defect was identified in two (5%) subjects and an obstructive ventilatory defect in three (7%) subjects. TLCO was reduced in two additional participants. Fibres were detected in 19 (44%) of subjects. Pleural involvement was documented in 39 (91%) workers, of whom 31 (72%) had bilateral plaques. Calcifications were detected in 25 (58%) of these participants. PR indicated a progressive increase in the risk of developing pleural lesions with rising CEI, i.e. length of exposure. The present findings demonstrate for the first time the presence of pleural plaques in the lungs of subjects exposed to fluoro-edenite fibres, and not to asbestos, through residing in Biancavilla and through their occupation.

  4. The role of regional tectonics, magma pressure and gravitational spreading in earthquakes of the eastern sector of Mt. Etna volcano (Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Patanè, G.; Montalto, A.; Imposa, S.; Menza, S.

    1994-07-01

    Data concerning M ? 3.3 earthquakes that occurred in the eastern sector of Mt. Etna volcano (Sicily, Italy) in the period 1984-1989 are here presented and discussed. Only events with reliable focal mechanisms and detailed macroseismic investigations have been considered. Instrumental information come from local seismic networks, both permanent and temporary, run by the University of Catania (UCT), the Seismological Observatory of Acireale (SOACR), the CNRS (Grenoble, France) and the Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris (IPG, France). Observations regarding the macroseismic effects have been collected by means of field recognitions mainly carried out by the authors. All available data are analyzed in light of the more recent interpretations on the kinematic behaviour of the shallowest structures of Etna, with particular reference to its eastern flank which, according to Borgia et al. (1992), is likely affected by a seaward gravitational migration, driven by the sliding of this sector of the volcanic apparatus over its clay-rich substratum. The results obtained support the hypothesis that the shallow seismicity of the eastern flank of Mt. Etna is related to a complex stress field due to the combined effects of: (a) the tectonics associated with the interaction between the African and Eurasian plates; (b) the rise of magma into the crust; and (c) the gravitative seaward sliding of the eastern sector of the volcano. In particular, we hypothesize that: (1) tectonic forces caused the end of the 1984 eruption, by means of a "locking mechanism"; (2) the increment of magma pressure at depth is periodically responsible for local re-orientation of the stress field acting on the volcano, which also produces earthquakes of high intensity; (3) shallow earthquakes ( z < = 5 km), showing eastward compression mechanism, could be related to the gravitational sliding of unbuttressed sectors of the volcanic body accompanying the emplacement of intrusive dykes.

  5. Impact of traditional practices on food safety: a case of acute toxoplasmosis related to the consumption of contaminated raw pork sausage in Italy.

    PubMed

    Vitale, Maria; Tumino, Giovanni; Partanna, Samanta; La Chiusa, Stella; Mancuso, Giorgio; Giglia, Maria La; Presti, Vincenzo Di Marco Lo

    2014-04-01

    A case of acute toxoplasmosis in an adolescent girl, almost certainly related to the consumption of raw sausage, is described. The girl suffered of fever and weakness and presented a swollen lymph node in the submandibular region. Serology analysis was positive for Toxoplasma gondii and excluded other infections. Further analysis, with avidity test and immunoblot, confirmed the acute toxoplasmosis. She reported that about a month before the appearance of the symptoms, she had eaten a piece of raw sausage while it was being prepared by her father. We analyzed sausage samples prepared from this same batch that had been frozen for later consumption, and they demonstrated evidence of T. gondii DNA when using a specific nested PCR assay. The sausage was prepared from the meat of a pig that had been backyard raised and slaughtered at home, a traditional practice in rural communities in many countries. The tasting of fresh prepared raw sausage is a common practice throughout Italy, and it could be a major cause for toxoplasmosis as suggested by the results of a questionnaire administered in the province of Palermo, Sicily. Contact with cats and, to a lesser extent, raw salad consumption were also referred to as presumptive causes for the symptomatic cases. Two additional cases of acute toxoplasmosis reported during questionnaire administration were alleged to have been caused by the consumption of fresh sausage made with the meat of a pig raised in the yard. Traditional practices in animal farming, and the processing of meat from animals raised in the backyard or meat from wild game animals, might have a big impact on food safety. PMID:24680078

  6. Volcanic lava flow hot-spots monitoring from remote sensing data using neural networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Piscini, Alessandro; Lombardo, Valerio

    2014-05-01

    Neural networks are an effective and well-established technique for the classification of satellite images. In addition, once well trained, they prove to be very fast in the application stage. Furthermore satellite remote sensing is a very effective and safe way to monitor volcanic eruptions in order to safeguard the environment and the people affected by such natural hazards. In our study a Back Propagation Neural Network was used for the recognition of thermal anomalies affecting hot lava pixels in multispectral remote sensed images. The network was trained using the three thermal channels of the Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHHR) sensor as inputs and the corresponding values of heat flux, estimated using a two thermal component model, as reference outputs. As a case study the volcano Etna (Eastern Sicily, Italy) was chosen and the neural network was trained with a time series of AVHRR images belonging to an effusive eruption which took place during the month of July 2006, and validated on three independent data sets of images of the same eruption and on two relative to an eruption occurred the following month. Whilst for both night-time and day-time validation images the neural network identified the image pixels affected by hot lava with a 100% success rate, for the daytime images also adjacent pixels were included, apparently not interested by lava flow. Despite these performance differences under different illumination conditions, the proposed method can be considered effective both in terms of classification accuracy and generalization capability. In particular our approach proved to be robust in the rejection of false positives, often corresponding to noisy or cloudy pixels, whose presence in multispectral images can often undermine the performance of traditional classification algorithms. Future work shall address application of the proposed method to data from different eruptions provided by the MODIS sensor aboard the Terra and Aqua satellites.

  7. Air pollution impact assessment on agroecosystem and human health characterisation in the area surrounding the industrial settlement of Milazzo (Italy): a multidisciplinary approach.

    PubMed

    Triolo, L; Binazzi, A; Cagnetti, P; Carconi, P; Correnti, A; De Luca, E; Di Bonito, R; Grandoni, G; Mastrantonio, M; Rosa, S; Schimberni, M; Uccelli, R; Zappa, G

    2008-05-01

    In order to evaluate the impact of atmospheric pollutants emitted by the industrial settlement of Milazzo (Italy) on agriculture, sulphur dioxide and ozone levels in air were monitored and the data were used to estimate yield losses of the most widespread cultures. Trace element concentrations in crops and soils were also detected and metabolic profiles of soil microbial communities were considered. Vibrio fischeri test was used to appraise airborne pollutant ecotoxicity and epidemiological studies on causes of death distribution were carried out to characterize health state of people living in the area. All the sampling points were selected in farms on the basis of a theoretical meteo-diffusive model of industrial air pollutants. Experimental SO2 and O3 values mainly exceeded the threshold established by Italian and EU regulations to protect vegetation and they correspond to estimated significant crop losses. Conversely toxic element residues in soils and in agroalimentary products were generally lower than the fixed values. SO2 and O3 concentrations, toxic element contents and ecotoxicity levels of airborne pollutants were not related only to industrial site emissions, while the fluctuations on metabolic profiles of soil microbial communities seem to agree with the predicted deposition of xenobiotic compounds from the industrial plants. The epidemiological study evidenced a better health state of populations living in the investigated area than in the Messina province and the Sicily region but, inside the area, males living in the municipalities closest to the industrial settlement exhibited a worst health state than those in the very far ones. PMID:17671848

  8. Bulk rock composition and geochemistry of olivine-hosted melt inclusions in the Grey Porri Tuff and selected lavas of the Monte dei Porri volcano, Salina, Aeolian Islands, southern Italy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Doherty, Angela L.; Bodnar, Robert J.; De Vivo, Benedetto; Bohrson, Wendy A.; Belkin, Harvey E.; Messina, Antonia; Tracy, Robert J.

    2012-06-01

    The Aeolian Islands are an arcuate chain of submarine seamounts and volcanic islands, lying just north of Sicily in southern Italy. The second largest of the islands, Salina, exhibits a wide range of compositional variation in its erupted products, from basaltic lavas to rhyolitic pumice. The Monte dei Porri eruptions occurred between 60 ka and 30 ka, following a period of approximately 60,000 years of repose. The bulk rock composition of the Monte dei Porri products range from basaltic-andesite scoria to andesitic pumice in the Grey Porri Tuff (GPT), with the Monte dei Porri lavas having basaltic-andesite compositions. The typical mineral assemblage of the GPT is calcic plagioclase, clinopyroxene (augite), olivine (Fo72-84) and orthopyroxene (enstatite) ± amphibole and Ti-Fe oxides. The lava units show a similar mineral assemblage, but contain lower Fo olivines (Fo57-78). The lava units also contain numerous glomerocrysts, including an unusual variety that contains quartz, K-feldspar and mica. Melt inclusions (MI) are ubiquitous in all mineral phases from all units of the Monte dei Porri eruptions; however, only data from olivine-hosted MI in the GPT are reported here. Compositions of MI in the GPT are typically basaltic (average SiO2 of 49.8 wt %) in the pumices and basaltic-andesite (average SiO2 of 55.6 wt %) in the scoriae and show a bimodal distribution in most compositional discrimination plots. The compositions of most of the MI in the scoriae overlap with bulk rock compositions of the lavas. Petrological and geochemical evidence suggest that mixing of one or more magmas and/or crustal assimilation played a role in the evolution of the Monte dei Porri magmatic system, especially the GPT. Analyses of the more evolved mineral phases are required to better constrain the evolution of the magma.

  9. Intraplate coupling distribution along the Calabrian Subduction Interface as imaged by GPS data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mastrolembo Ventura, Brunella; Anderlini, Letizia; Serpelloni, Enrico

    2015-04-01

    The degree of coupling of a subduction interface (i.e., the fraction of the motion accommodated by elastic strain accumulation with respect to the total plate convergence rate) is a key parameter to understand the seismogenic and tsunamigenic potential of subduction zones. While some results have been recently proposed for the Hellenic subduction, based on GPS velocities, informations about the state of interseismic coupling of the Calabrian subduction thrust are still elusive. Previous works have already shown that the degree of coupling of the subduction interface beneath the Calabrian arc, and the related elastic strain signal measurable at the Earth's surface can directly impact the behavior of other active faults in the region, with all the consequences this implies in terms of regional seismic hazard. In this work we use a dense GPS velocity field covering the Sicily and Calabria region, which is part of a wider Euro-Mediterranean and African solution, to investigate the kinematics and the inter-seismic coupling of the Calabrian subduction thrust, using an elastic block model approach. We use our previously published models, seismicity distributions and GPS data from more than 300 continuous stations to define the geometry of the regional active faults. We also realize a detailed 3D model of the slab interface based on the profiles released by The European Database of Seismogenic Faults in the frame of the european SHEAR project. The results of this study help constraining the location and geometry of the seismogenic portion of the Calabrian slab interface in the Ionian sea, which are discussed in the framework of seismic and tsunami hazards associated with the Nubia-Eurasia plate interactions and the tectonics of the Central Mediterranean region.

  10. Scenarios of Future Water use on Mediterranean Islands based on an Integrated Assessment of Water Management

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lange, M. A.

    2006-12-01

    The availability of water in sufficient quantities and adequate quality presents considerable problems on Mediterranean islands. Because of their isolation and thus the impossibility to draw on more distant or more divers aquifers, they rely entirely on precipitation as natural replenishing mechanism. Recent observations indicate decreasing precipitation, increasing evaporation and steadily growing demand for water on the islands. Future climate change will exacerbate this problem, thus increasing the already pertinent vulnerability to droughts. Responsible planning of water management strategies requires scenarios of future supply and demand through an integrated assessment including climate scenarios based on regional climate modeling as well as scenarios on changes in societal and economical determinants of water demand. Constructing such strategies necessitates a thorough understanding about the interdependencies and feedbacks between physical/hydrological and socio-economic determinants of water balances on an island. This has to be based on a solid understanding of past and present developments of these drivers. In the framework of the EU-funded MEDIS project (Towards sustainable water use on Mediterranean Islands: addressing conflicting demands and varying hydrological, social and economic conditions, EVK1-CT-2001-00092), detailed investigations on present vulnerabilities and adaptation strategies to droughts have been carried out on Mallorca, Corsica, Sicily, Crete and Cyprus. This was based on an interdisciplinary study design including hydrological, geophysical, agricultural-, social and political sciences investigations. A central element of the study has been the close interaction with stakeholders on the islands and their contribution to strategy formulation. An important result has been a specification of vulnerability components including: a physical/environmental-, an economical/regulatory- and a social/institutional/political component. Their linkage and the involvement of stakeholders will have to be taken into account when constructing future scenarios of water supply and demand on the islands. First results on scenario studies based on this approach will be presented.

  11. Evapotranspiration from pilot-scale constructed wetlands planted with Phragmites australis in a Mediterranean environment.

    PubMed

    Milani, Mirco; Toscano, Attilio

    2013-01-01

    This article reports the results of evapotranspiration (ET) experiments carried out in Southern Italy (Sicily) in a pilot-scale constructed wetland (CW) made of a combination of vegetated (Phragmites australis) and unvegetated sub-surface flow beds. Domestic wastewater from a conventional wastewater treatment plant was used to fill the beds. Microclimate data was gathered from an automatic weather station close to the experimental plant. From June to November 2009 and from April to November 2010, ET values were measured as the amount of water needed to restore the initial volume in the beds after a certain period. Cumulative reference evapotranspiration (ET(0)) was similar to the cumulative ET measured in the beds without vegetation (ET(con)), while the Phragmites ET (ET (phr) ) was significantly higher underlining the effect of the vegetation. The plant coefficient of P. australis (K(p)) was very high (up to 8.5 in August 2009) compared to the typical K(c) for agricultural crops suggesting that the wetland environment was subjected to strong "clothesline" and "oasis" effects. According to the FAO 56 approach, K(p) shows different patterns and values in relation to growth stages correlating significantly to stem density, plant height and total leaves. The mean Water Use Efficiency (WUE) value of P. australis was quite low, about 2.27 g L(-1), probably due to the unlimited water availability and the lack of the plant's physiological adaptations to water conservation. The results provide useful and valid information for estimating ET rates in small-scale constructed wetlands since ET is a relevant issue in arid and semiarid regions. In these areas CW feasibility for wastewater treatment and reuse should also be carefully evaluated for macrophytes in relation to their WUE values. PMID:23383642

  12. In Sicilian ethnic group non-classical congenital adrenal hyperplasia is frequently associated with a very mild genotype.

    PubMed

    Wasniewska, M; Di Pasquale, G; Rulli, I; Salzano, G; Caruso, M; Indovina, S; Di Pasquale, L; Zirilli, G; De Luca, F

    2007-03-01

    The spectrum of mutated alleles in non-classical congenital adrenal hyperplasia (NC-CAH) has been recently reported to be very large and haplotypes may significantly differ in the different ethnic groups. In order to confirm that population differences may exist in the genetic basis of this disease, we have analyzed the genetic presentation of NC-CAH in a Sicilian cohort of symptomatic patients and compared our findings with the ones reported in other studies of different ethnic groups. In 38 NC-CAH patients coming from two regions of Sicily and born of Sicilian parents, we found that 84.2% of the chromosomes examined bore only mild mutations and only the remaining 15.8% of the chromosomes bore at least 1 severe mutation. The overall predominant mutation was V281L, which was detected in 73.7% of alleles and in 89.5% of patients. About 58% of the patients were homozygotes for this mutation. V281L allele and homozygote frequencies were higher in the present series than in other European and Italian reports. In our NC-CAH population, which is one of the largest ever reported, the patients with two mild mutations exhibited a less severe impairment of both clinical and endocrine phenotype. On the basis of these results we can conclude that: a) in Sicilian ethnic groups NC-CAH is frequently associated with a very mild genotype; b) the most frequent genotype in our series is V281L homozygosis; c) clinical and biochemical expression of NC-CAH is more marked in the patients bearing a severe mutation; d) no correlations between genotype and phenotype were found in our patients affected by NC-CAH. PMID:17505149

  13. I-AMICA: infrastructure of high technology for environmental and climate monitoring in Southern Italy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bonasoni, Paolo

    2013-04-01

    I-AMICA (Infrastruttura di Alta tecnologia per il Monitoraggio Climatico Ambientale - Infrastructure of High Technology for Environmental and Climate Monitoring -) is a three years Italian National Operative Program (PON) project co-founded by the European Regional Development Fund. The project is devoted to strengthen the environmental monitoring in Southern Italy with the aim to support the integration among research, high training, and innovation also providing synergies among public and private research organizations. The activities are focused on actions addressed to strengthen the observational infrastructures for atmosphere, forest and coastal areas in the regions of Southern Italy, whose economic growth and social well-being are strongly related to the environment quality. In such Convergence Regions (Campania, Apulia, Calabria and Sicily), instrumental networks (e.g. advanced sensors, software tools, integrated platforms and mobile laboratory and stations) dedicated to the environmental and climatic monitoring in the Mediterranean area, in terms of air quality, forest and agriculture, coastal marine ecosystems are promoted and developed. In order to increase the competitive capacity at national and international level, four "pillar" activities are aimed to (1) strengthen observing infrastructures for climate and environment and data processing systems, (2) promote innovation, technological development and industrial transfer, (3) integrate these observational activities into international programs (i.e. GAW-WMO, ACTRIS, EARLINET, GMOS, ICOS, FLUXNET, SHARE, NEXT DATA) that will allow I-AMICA to effectively be integrated with important networks. Finally, (4) through the implementation of observations, networking, technological applications and territorial services in the Convergence Regions, I-AMICA provides an important support to the local and regional communities.

  14. Monitoring passively degassing volcanoes from space: A comparison between ASTER and OMI retrievals of lower tropospheric SO2

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Henney, L. A.; Watson, M.; Carn, S. A.

    2009-12-01

    Passively degassing volcanoes contribute a climatologically significant quantity of sulfur dioxide (SO2) to the atmosphere. Both the Advanced Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) and the Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI) are capable of detecting emissions from volcanoes in a non-eruptive state. There are fundamental differences between the sensors that affect their sensitivity to SO2. OMI operates in the ultraviolet with a 13x24 km nadir footprint and a 2600 km swath width, providing daily global coverage and retrievals of SO2 at all altitudes from the planetary boundary layer to the stratosphere (Carn et al, 2008). In contrast, ASTER operates in the infrared (specifically the 8.6 µm region of the thermal infrared for SO2 detection) with 90 m spatial resolution and a 60 km swath width. Hence the temporal resolution and geographic coverage of ASTER is somewhat less than OMI, with one ASTER scene acquired every 5-16 days for a given location. However, the higher spatial resolution of ASTER provides more information on the structure of tropospheric SO2 plumes. Six volcanoes were selected based on their differing climates, altitudes and SO2 emission rates: Mt Etna, Sicily; Pacaya, Guatemala; Masaya, Nicaragua; Popocatepetl, Mexico; Nyiragongo, DR Congo; and Kilauea, Hawaii. These volcanoes are continually active and typically emit in excess of 1000 metric tons per day of SO2. ASTER and OMI data were acquired for each volcano and processed in order to compare the satellite SO2 retrievals under different conditions. Our goal is to determine the optimum conditions for lower tropospheric SO2 retrievals using each instrument, and constrain the lower limit of volcanic SO2 emission rate that can be detected and monitored from space.

  15. Codominance of Lactobacillus plantarum and obligate heterofermentative lactic acid bacteria during sourdough fermentation.

    PubMed

    Ventimiglia, Giusi; Alfonzo, Antonio; Galluzzo, Paola; Corona, Onofrio; Francesca, Nicola; Caracappa, Santo; Moschetti, Giancarlo; Settanni, Luca

    2015-10-01

    Fifteen sourdoughs produced in western Sicily (southern Italy) were analysed by classical methods for their chemico-physical characteristics and the levels of lactic acid bacteria (LAB). pH and total titratable acidity (TTA) were mostly in the range commonly reported for similar products produced in Italy, but the fermentation quotient (FQ) of the majority of samples was above 4.0, due to the low concentration of acetic acid estimated by high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). Specific counts of LAB showed levels higher than 10(8) CFU g(-1) for many samples. The colonies representing various morphologies were isolated and, after the differentiation based on phenotypic characteristics, divided into 10 groups. The most numerous group was composed of facultative heterofermentative isolates, indicating a relevance of this bacterial group during fermentation. The genetic analysis by randomly amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD)-PCR, 16S rRNA gene sequencing and species-specific PCRs identified 33 strains as Lactobacillus plantarum, Lactobacillus curvatus and Lactobacillus graminis. Due to the consistent presence of L. plantarum, it was concluded that this species codominates with obligate heterofermentative LAB in sourdough production in this geographical area. In order to evaluate the performances at the basis of their fitness, the 29 L. plantarum strains were investigated for several technological traits. Twelve cultures showed good acidifying abilities in vitro and L. plantarum PON100148 produced the highest concentrations of organic acids. Eleven strains were positive for extracellular protease activity. Bacteriocin-like inhibitory substances (BLIS) production and antifungal activity was scored positive for several strains, included L. plantarum PON100148 which was selected as starter for experimental sourdough production. The characteristics of the sourdoughs and the resulting breads indicated that the best productions were obtained in presence of L. plantarum PON100148. PMID:26187828

  16. Estimating the burden of hospitalization for pneumococcal pneumonia in a general population aged 50 years or older and implications for vaccination strategies.

    PubMed

    Amodio, Emanuele; Costantino, Claudio; Boccalini, Sara; Tramuto, Fabio; Maida, Carmelo M; Vitale, Francesco

    2014-05-01

    Streptococcus pneumoniae is a major cause of human infectious diseases worldwide. Despite this documented evidence, data on pneumococcal disease rates among general populations are scant because of the frequent lack of cultural identification. In this study we propose a model for estimating the burden of pneumococcal pneumonia on hospitalizations. The study was performed by analyzing administrative and clinical data of patients aged 50 years or older, resident in Sicily, and hospitalized, from 2005 to 2012. Demographic information, admission/discharge dates, discharge status, and up to 6 discharge diagnoses coded according to ICD-9 CM were collected for each hospitalized patient. During the 8-year study period, a total of 72,372 hospitalizations with at least one ICD-9 CM diagnosis code suggestive of all-cause pneumonia were recorded. Of these, 1943 (2.7%) hospitalizations had specific ICD-9 CM diagnosis codes for pneumococcal pneumonia. According to the proposed model, 16,541 (22.9%) pneumonia out of all-cause pneumonia was estimated to be attributable to S. pneumoniae. Pneumococcal pneumonia and model-estimated pneumococcal pneumonia had mean hospitalization rates of 13.4 and 113.3/100,000, respectively, with a decreasing temporal trend. The risk of hospitalization for pneumococcal pneumonia was strongly correlated with age (P<0.001). Our model provides data usable to construct suitable decisional models for the decision-makers and could allow to the responsibles of healthcare facilities to assess the budget impact if they hypothesize to offer vaccination for pneumococcal disease to certain cohorts of subjects aged 50 years or older. In our area, the high estimated hospitalization rates among adults aged ?65 years suggest the need to implement effective preventive strategies (e.g., vaccination) tailored for these groups. PMID:24577505

  17. Receiver Functions Analysis and Regional Tomography at StromboliVolcano (Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Musumeci, C.; Barberi, G.; Martinez-Arevalo, C.; Castellano, M.; Patane, D.

    2006-12-01

    This study focuses on constraining the crust and upper mantle discontinuities at Stromboli volcano by considering both receiver function (RF) analysis on teleseismic body waveforms and regional tomography. The RF technique utilizes the waveforms of Ps conversions from velocity discontinuities to model variations in Vs beneath a seismic station (e.g. Ammon et al., 1990). The method is sensitive to velocity discontinuities, but it can only detect the velocity-depth product, and not the absolute velocity. Therefore, we use the regional tomographic results as an independent constraint on absolute velocity. In order to improve the velocity model beneath the volcano we reviewed the most recent classical local earthquake tomographies available for the thyrrenian region. Here we show a new lithospheric seismic tomography performed in the northeastern Sicily and southern Calabria, including the Aeolian Archipelago and Stromboli volcano area. The dataset, consisting of P and S arrival times from a thousand of earthquakes located in the studied area between 1994-2003, was inverted by using the standard tomography SimulPS and the double-difference algorithm of TomoDD (Zhang and Thurber, 2003) for simultaneous computation of hypocenter parameters and Vp and Vs three dimensional distributions. For RF analysis the seismograms from about 100 teleseismic earthquakes (M greater than 6.0), recorded between 2004 and 2006 at 13 broad-band seismic stations deployed by the INGV, have been considered to compute the receiver function by the Multi-Taper Spectral Correlation (MTSC) technique (Park and Levin, 2000). One key advantage of this method is its resistance to noise, which recommends its use in environments such as ocean sea islands with high noise levels in the seismic bands.

  18. Volcano Flank Structures on Earth and Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van Wyk de Vries, B.; Byrne, P. K.; Mathieu, L.; Murray, J. B.; Troll, V. R.

    2007-12-01

    Shield volcanoes on Earth and Mars share common features, including calderas and pit crater chains. A set of structures present on the sides of several of the large shields on Mars are not regarded as having Earth analogues, however. Flank terraces are topographically subtle structures, characterised by a gentle convex profile and a distinctive "fish scale" imbricate distribution pattern. Magma chamber inflation, lithospheric flexure, flank relaxation, or gravitational slumping have been suggested as terrace formation mechanisms. Terraces on both Mars and Earth are clearly visible only in slope maps, and may thus escape visual detection in the field. We show that both Mauna Loa (Hawaii) and Etna (Sicily) display the same characteristic "fish scale" terrace pattern. This pattern delineates structures that we contend are terrestrial flank terraces. Heterogeneities in volcano geometry, due to buttressing or extension, result in terrace distributions that are not as evenly circumferential as those on Mars. Plan and cross-sectional profiles, however, parallel those of the Martian structures. These structures may also be present on Alayta (Ethiopia), Santa Cruz (Galapagos), and Tendürek Dagi (Turkey). Another type of structure, larger and steeper than flank terraces but sharing a similar plan-view morphology, is also present on Mauna Lau and Etna. These "flank bulges" appear to correlate with structures on Piton de la Fournaise (La Réunion), Cosiguina (Nicaragua), and Karthala (Comoros) on Earth, and Apollinaris Patera and Tharsis Tholus on Mars. Elsewhere (Paul K. Byrne et al., this volume) we argue that lithospheric flexure is a likely formation mechanism for Martian terraces. Flexure is active beneath Mauna Loa, and possibly under Etna, and so may also be responsible for terrestrial flank terraces. Scaled analogue models suggest that the larger flank bulges are due to magma intrusions derived from large chambers within these edifices. There is thus a strong morphological link between deformation, intrusion, and surface topography. Additionally, as these structures occur on both planets, the governing tectonic and volcanological processes are fundamentally the same for Earth and Mars.

  19. Effects of organic fertilisation on sweet orange bearing trees

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roccuzzo, Giancarlo; Torrisi, Biagio; Canali, Stefano; Intrigliolo, Francesco

    2010-05-01

    In a study realised over a five year period (2001-2006) on orange bearing trees [Citrus sinensis (L.) Osbeck] cv. ‘Valencia late', grafted on sour orange (C. aurantium L.), four fertiliser treatments were applied: citrus by-products compost (CB), poultry manure (PM), livestock waste compost (LW) and mineral fertiliser (MF), as control. The trees, with the exception of MF treatment, were organically grown since 1994 in the experimental farm of CRA-ACM in Lentini, Sicily, and received the same N input every year. The research objectives were to evaluate the effect of long term repeated organic fertilisers application on i) soil fertility; ii) citrus bearing trees nutritional status by means of leaf analysis and iii) yield and fruit quality, determining parameters currently utilized to evaluate sweet orange production either for fresh consumption and processing. The CB treatment showed significantly higher values of Corg in soil than MF treatment (about 30%). Corg in PM and LW treatments was higher than MF treatment (13% and 20%, respectively), but these differences were not statistically significant either from the control treatment nor from the soil fertilised with CB. Similar trend was showed by the humic and fulvic C being the values of the CB treatment significantly higher than the control. PM and LW treatments had intermediate values, without statistical significance. The long term addition to soil of a quality compost (CB) with high C/N ratio increased the level of nutrients wich usually show low availability for citrus plants (P, Fe, Zn, Mn), as demonstrated by leaf analysis. No significant difference was noticed as far as yield was concerned, whereas CB treatment enhanced some fruit quality parameters.

  20. Description and application of the 3D-CMCC FEM on multi-temporal NDVI satellite imagery and future scenarios

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Collalti, A.; Natali, S.; Noilè, A.; Mattiuzzi, M.; Marconi, S.; Santini, M.; Valentini, R.

    2013-12-01

    3D-CMCC-Forest Ecosystem Model is a process based model developed to investigate carbon fluxes and partitioning in forest ecosystems, taking into account their structural complexity. Unfortunately process oriented models need a large amount of parameters and input data, which could reduce their usability for large/regional scale applications. For this reason great attention has been progressively paid in developing methodologies to couple ecosystem models to remotely-sensed data acquisition techniques. This work aims to present 3D-CMCC-FEM, together with a procedure developed to make it use temporal NDVI information taken from ALOS-AVNIR2 LB2G high resolution satellite images. With this aim we compared two different case study afferent to two different Italian wide areas, National Park of Madonie (Sicily region) and Comunità Montana del Titerno ed Alto Tammaro (Campania region), respectively. In the former we used the model with a prognostic phenology approach, while in the latter we used a prognostic/diagnostic approach, using satellite data. Results show 3D-CMCC-FEM good capability to simulate GPP, NPP and carbon allocation. Moreover the model seems to be able to simulate the reduction in rates of productivity for hygrophilous species in dry years. Even though 3D-CMCC-FEM in some cases produces slight overestimation, its results may be considered statistically meaningful. In conclusion, we can assess that coupling high resolution satellite data with field information may be a successfully way to simulate physiological processes in forest ecosystems at regional scale, minimizing the loss of preliminary information.

  1. Stratospheric balloon flight experiment campaign for the simulation of the Huygens probe mission: verification of HASI (Huygens Atmospheric Structure Instrument) performance in terrestrial atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lion Stoppato, P. F.; Ferri, F.; Bettanini, C.; Colombatti, G.; Antonello, M.; Bastianello, S.; Aboudan, A.; Flamini, E.; Gaborit, V.; Zarnecki, J. C.; Hathi, B.; Harri, A. M.; Lehto, A.; Bianchini, G.; Angrilli, F.; Fulchignomi, M.

    2004-02-01

    A stratospheric balloon flight experiment campaign is in progress, in collaboration with the Italian Space Agency (ASI), simulate the Huygens probe descent on Titan. The main purposes of this campaign of experiments are: - to verify sensors for planetary atmosphere entry probes effective performance in conditions similar to those of the actual mission descent - to obtain a set of data useful for the analysis of the probe trajectory as well as for the attitude reconstruction - to determine the atmospheric vertical profiles. A mock up of the Huygens probe carrying onboard HASI instrument and other Huygens instrumentation is launched with a stratospheric balloon from the ASI launch base of Trapani for a local flight on Sicily. The probe is lifted up to an altitude higher than 32 kilometres by means of a stratospheric balloon. Once the balloon is cut away, the probe starts to descent dragged by the parachute till the impact on ground. During the descent phase the probe spins at a rate inside the range of velocities expected for the mission thanks to straight line cascade and the de-coupling of the probe rotation from that one of the parachute. The measurements carried out during all the ascending and descending phases are transmitted in real time to ground by telemetry to check the system functionality and send telecommand, if needed. At the same time data are recorded and stored on board for post-flight processing. After landing the gondola and payload are recovered. Both the 2002 and 2003 flights have been extremely successful in terms of quantity and quality of acquired data, furthermore the equipment has been recovered working properly so that it will possible to re-use it in future flight.

  2. Probabilistic hazard for seismically induced tsunamis: accuracy and feasibility of inundation maps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lorito, S.; Selva, J.; Basili, R.; Romano, F.; Tiberti, M. M.; Piatanesi, A.

    2015-01-01

    Probabilistic tsunami hazard analysis (PTHA) relies on computationally demanding numerical simulations of tsunami generation, propagation, and non-linear inundation on high-resolution topo-bathymetric models. Here we focus on tsunamis generated by co-seismic sea floor displacement, that is, on Seismic PTHA (SPTHA). A very large number of tsunami simulations are typically needed to incorporate in SPTHA the full expected variability of seismic sources (the aleatory uncertainty). We propose an approach for reducing their number. To this end, we (i) introduce a simplified event tree to achieve an effective and consistent exploration of the seismic source parameter space; (ii) use the computationally inexpensive linear approximation for tsunami propagation to construct a preliminary SPTHA that calculates the probability of maximum offshore tsunami wave height (HMax) at a given target site; (iii) apply a two-stage filtering procedure to these `linear' SPTHA results, for selecting a reduced set of sources and (iv) calculate `non-linear' probabilistic inundation maps at the target site, using only the selected sources. We find that the selection of the important sources needed for approximating probabilistic inundation maps can be obtained based on the offshore HMax values only. The filtering procedure is semi-automatic and can be easily repeated for any target sites. We describe and test the performances of our approach with a case study in the Mediterranean that considers potential subduction earthquakes on a section of the Hellenic Arc, three target sites on the coast of eastern Sicily and one site on the coast of southern Crete. The comparison between the filtered SPTHA results and those obtained for the full set of sources indicates that our approach allows for a 75-80 per cent reduction of the number of the numerical simulations needed, while preserving the accuracy of probabilistic inundation maps to a reasonable degree.

  3. A new approach to assessing the water footprint of wine: an Italian case study.

    PubMed

    Lamastra, Lucrezia; Suciu, Nicoleta Alina; Novelli, Elisa; Trevisan, Marco

    2014-08-15

    Agriculture is the largest freshwater consumer, accounting for 70% of the world's water withdrawal. Water footprints (WFs) are being increasingly used to indicate the impacts of water use by production systems. A new methodology to assess WF of wine was developed in the framework of the V.I.V.A. project (Valutazione Impatto Viticoltura sull'Ambiente), launched by the Italian Ministry for the Environment in 2011 to improve the Italian wine sector's sustainability. The new methodology has been developed that enables different vines from the same winery to be compared. This was achieved by calculating the gray water footprint, following Tier III approach proposed by Hoekstra et al. (2011). The impact of water use during the life cycle of grape-wine production was assessed for six different wines from the same winery in Sicily, Italy using both the newly developed methodology (V.I.V.A.) and the classical methodology proposed by the Water Footprint Network (WFN). In all cases green water was the largest contributor to WF, but the new methodology also detected differences between vines of the same winery. Furthermore, V.I.V.A. methodology assesses water body contamination by pesticides application whereas the WFN methodology considers just fertilization. This fact ended highlights the highest WF of vineyard 4 calculated by V.I.V.A. if compared with the WF calculated with WFN methodology. Comparing the WF of wine produced with grapes from the six different wines, the factors most greatly influencing the results obtained in this study were: distance from the water body, fertilization rate, amount and eco-toxicological behavior of the active ingredients used. PMID:24908644

  4. usv test flight by stratospheric balloon: preliminary mission analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cardillo, A.; Musso, I.; Cosentino, O.; Ibba, R.

    The Unmanned Space Vehicle is a C.I.R.A. (Italian Aerospace Research Centre) project , devoted to the technologies development of the future Space Shuttle Vehicle. USV foresees four experimental flights, realized with three different Flying Test Bed (basically a winged vehicle, 7 m length and 1200 kg). For the first three flights, FTB will be released by a stratospheric balloon from an altitude of around 35 Km; the launches are planned to be performed from ASI (Italian Space Agency) Trapani-Milo base in Sicily. The fourth flight, which requires an altitude of 200 km, will comport the use of a mid-size rocket. This paper aims to show the results of the preliminary mission flight analysis for the first experimental flight. The analysis is performed taking into account both winter and summer launch windows; in those periods winds are stable in the Mediterranean area. During the winter launch window the stratospheric wind is eastward; this implies a recovery area on the lower region of the Ion Sea between the Italian and Greek coasts. The westward summer wind requires that the area for FTB release is located in the lower part of the Tyrrhenian Sea (in the opposite side w.r.t. the launch base). To allow a release lower than the balloon floating altitude the use of valves, for the altitude transfer, is considered and their characteristics evaluated. During the periods of interest and for the favourable launch days the authors compute the balloon trajectories correlating the meteorological analysis data (ECMWF) with the chosen mission profile. The last four years are considered: analysing the trajectories' properties the opportunities able to respect the mission requirements (safety included) are pointed out.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reichenbach, Paola; Busca, Claudia; Mondini, Alessandro; Rossi, Mauro

    2013-04-01

    Landslides spatial distribution and frequency are the consequence of different meteorological conditions, the land use and environmental settings including topographical, morphological, hydrological, lithology. Lithology and structure change over periods of millions of years, morphology varies rapidly or over a period of centuries if mass wasting processes are consistent, climate, and land use change seasonally or over a period of decades. In this work we have attempted to evaluate the influence of land use change in a period of about 60 years on landslide spatial distribution occurrence (susceptibility) for the Briga catchment test site. The Briga basin is located along the Ionian coast of Sicily (SW of Messina, Italy). On 1 October 2009, the area was hit by a high intensity rainfall event that triggered abundant slope failures, and resulted in widespread erosion and deposition of debris along ephemeral drainage channels. After the storm, an accurate event landslide inventory map was made for the catchment and a pre-event landslide map was prepared using aerial photographs. For the test area two different land use maps were realized. The first was obtained through a semi-automatic classification of a digitized aerial photographs acquired during the year 1954, the second through the combination of supervised classifications of two QuickBird images acquired in 2006 and 2009. Exploiting the two different land use maps, different susceptibility zonations were prepared through a multivariate statistical analysis of a set of morphological and land use information. Differences in the susceptibility models were analyzed to identify: i) land use change effects on the landslide susceptibility; ii) the influence of human action on the land use change and iii) the consequences of land use change on landslide vulnerability and risk. Preliminary results show an overall increase of the susceptibility, probably due to the increase of bare soil to the detriment of forested areas, mainly in correspondence of pre-existing and new urban areas.

  6. The magma storage capacity of Mt. Etna's feeding system constrained by four decades of alkali enrichment in erupted lavas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Allard, Patrick; Corsaro, Rosanna; Métrich, Nicole

    2015-04-01

    Deciphering the magma plumbing system of volcanoes is fundamental to improved understanding of their behaviour and forecasting of their eruptions. Mount Etna, in Sicily, is one of the most active basaltic volcanoes on Earth, built upon a 20-km thick continental crust at the collision boundary between the African and Eurasian plates. Seismic tomography and inversion of natural seismic data have revealed a complex feeding system that includes a huge vertical plutonic body and magma ponding zones in coincidence with the main lithological discontinuities in the crust (at ca. 8-10 km and 2-3 km depth b.s.l.). However, limitations in spatial resolution hamper accurate size estimate of these magma ponding zones. Here we use the remarkable trend of alkali enrichment observed in Etnean lavas since the early seventies and their cumulated erupted volumes to provide an updated estimate of the magma storage capacity of the volcano feeding system. The temporal evolution of K2O/Th and Rb/Th ratios - unaffected by magma differentiation processes - tracks the replenishment of Etna's plumbing system by a new, more alkaline trachybasaltic magma that has gradually mixed with the former resident magma. In a few occasions (e.g. 1974, 1998, 2001-2002) this new magma could reach the surface without pre-eruptive homogeneization in the mixing cell, producing highest eruption rates. Such variations indicate a complex storage system, made of sills and dykes, in which long-term mixing processes but also separate storage or upraise of some magma batches can happen. Combining with the co-erupted magma volumes, we estimate an overall magma storage capacity beneath Etna that is larger than previously inferred from radioactive disequilibria in lavas or SO2 gas fluxes. Our new estimate could be usefully compared with the results from recent seismic tomography realized within the framework of the European MED-SUV project (Mediterranean Supersite Volcanoes).

  7. Automated Detection of Volcanic Thermal Anomalies: Detailed Analysis of the 2004 - 2005 Mt. Etna, Italy Eruption

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Steffke, A. M.; Harris, A.; Garbeil, H.; Wright, R.; Dehn, J.

    2007-05-01

    Use of thermal infrared satellite data to detect, characterize and track volcanic thermal emissions is an appealing method for monitoring volcanoes for a number of reasons. It provides a synoptic perspective, with satellites sensors such as AVHRR and MODIS allowing global coverage at-least 4 times/day. At the same time, direct reception of calibrated digital data in a standard and stable format allows automation, enabling near-real time analysis of many volcanoes over large regions, including volcanoes where other geophysical instruments are not deployed. In addition, extracted thermal data can be use to convert to heat and volume flux estimates/time series. The development of an automated algorithm to detect volcanic thermal anomalies using thermal satellite data was first attempted over a decade ago (VAST). Subsequently several attempts have been made to create an effective way to automatically detect thermal anomalies at volcanoes using such high-temporal resolution satellite data (e.g. Okmok, MODVOLC and RAT). The underlying motivation has been to allow automated, routine and timely hot spot detection for volcanic monitoring purposes. In this study we review four algorithms that have been implemented to date, specifically: VAST, Okmok, MODVOLC and RAT. To test how VAST and MODVOLC performed we tested them on the 2004 - 2005 effusive eruption of Mount Etna (Sicily, Italy). These results were then compared with manually detected and picked thermal anomalies. Each algorithm is designed for different purposes, thus they perform differently. MODVOLC, for example, must run efficiently, up to 4 times a day, on a full global data set. Thus the number of algorithm steps are minimal and the detection threshold is high, meaning that the incidence of false positives are low, but so too is its sensitivity. In contrast, VAST is designed to run on a single volcano and has the added advantage of some user input. Thus, a greater incidence of false positives occurs, but more subtle anomalies are detected.

  8. Origin and distribution of Daltonism in Italy.

    PubMed

    Grassivaro Gallo, P; Romana, L; Mangogna, M; Viviani, F

    2003-01-01

    A research project was started in Italy in order to map dyschromatopsies in this country. Field data was collected by the authors in Liguria, Veneto, Emilia-Romagna, Apulia, Sicily, and by other authors in Lazio, Calabria, Basilicata, and Sardinia. The samples were all composed of more than 500 male subjects, of homogeneous origin, and assessed using the Ishihara (1973) and the Farnsworth (1947) tests. Statistical analysis identified two groups showing different mean percentages: one, coastal (n = 13,091; 6.50%) and the other, inland (n = 17,881; 5.21%). The results stimulated an ecological-ergonomic hypothesis based on nutrition (i.e., food gathering strategies) and the kind of light prevailing in the habitat. If trichromacy has been brought about by frugivore feeding (Polyach, 1957), dichromacy may have been maintained by giving a selective advantage to fishermen (originally fishing one fish at a time by hand). This is valid for both sea or fresh water habitats, characterized by blue-green prevailing light and with sharp discrimination for blue-gray shapes and colors (usually, 70% of dichromats are deutans). To support this hypothesis a field survey was carried out among 661 Sicilian traditional fishermen, which furnished the highest rates of dyschromatopsia in Italy: 7.90%. In conclusion, we can hypothesize that endogamous fishermen groups bordering the coastal areas of continents, searching for waters abounding in fish, could have determined a greater incidence of color blindness in the coastal regions, while exogamous marriages between fishermen and peasants contributed to the lower diffusion of the genes responsible in inland areas. PMID:12820198

  9. A knowledge base for Vitis vinifera functional analysis

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Background Vitis vinifera (Grapevine) is the most important fruit species in the modern world. Wine and table grapes sales contribute significantly to the economy of major wine producing countries. The most relevant goals in wine production concern quality and safety. In order to significantly improve the achievement of these objectives and to gain biological knowledge about cultivars, a genomic approach is the most reliable strategy. The recent grapevine genome sequencing offers the opportunity to study the potential roles of genes and microRNAs in fruit maturation and other physiological and pathological processes. Although several systems allowing the analysis of plant genomes have been reported, none of them has been designed specifically for the functional analysis of grapevine genomes of cultivars under environmental stress in connection with microRNA data. Description Here we introduce a novel knowledge base, called BIOWINE, designed for the functional analysis of Vitis vinifera genomes of cultivars present in Sicily. The system allows the analysis of RNA-seq experiments of two different cultivars, namely Nero d'Avola and Nerello Mascalese. Samples were taken under different climatic conditions of phenological phases, diseases, and geographic locations. The BIOWINE web interface is equipped with data analysis modules for grapevine genomes. In particular users may analyze the current genome assembly together with the RNA-seq data through a customized version of GBrowse. The web interface allows users to perform gene set enrichment by exploiting third-party databases. Conclusions BIOWINE is a knowledge base implementing a set of bioinformatics tools for the analysis of grapevine genomes. The system aims to increase our understanding of the grapevine varieties and species of Sicilian products focusing on adaptability to different climatic conditions, phenological phases, diseases, and geographic locations. PMID:26050794

  10. Effect of night time-intervals, height of traps and lunar phases on sand fly collection in a highly endemic area for canine leishmaniasis.

    PubMed

    Gaglio, Gabriella; Brianti, Emanuele; Napoli, Ettore; Falsone, Luigi; Dantas-Torres, Filipe; Tarallo, Viviana D; Otranto, Domenico; Giannetto, Salvatore

    2014-05-01

    The activity of phlebotomine sand flies was monitored in a sub-urban area of Sicily in order to acquire data on seasonality and to elucidate the effect of the night time-intervals, height of traps from ground and lunar phases on the abundance of the capture. The study was conducted in the farm of the University of Messina (Italy). Light traps were placed as in the following: biweekly, from dusk to dawn, and from May to November; for three consecutive nights from 18:00 to 6:00, with the net bag being changed every 2h; for 30 days, at different heights from 18:00 to 6:00. A total of five species (i.e., Phlebotomus perniciosus, Phlebotomus neglectus, Phlebotomus sergenti, Phlebotomus perfiliewi, and Sergentomyia minuta), three of which are proven vectors of Leishmania infantum, were captured. The most abundant species was P. perniciosus (73.3%) followed by S. minuta (23.3%). The highest number of phlebotomine sand flies was collected in August and September with a peak of collection recorded in the evening (i.e., from 20:01 to 22.00). The number of phlebotomine sand flies collected at 50cm above the ground was significantly higher (P=0.041) than that captured at 150cm. Results of this study shed light on the ecology of main phlebotomine species in the Mediterranean area, and on the influence of some factors, such as time and height of traps, on the light trap capture efficiency. PMID:24561074

  11. Characterization of street food consumption in palermo: possible effects on health

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Street Food (SF) consists of out-of-home food consumption and has old, historical roots with complex social-economic and cultural implications. Despite the emergence of modern fast food, traditional SF persists worldwide, but the relationship of SF consumption with overall health, well-being, and obesity is unknown. Methods This is an observational, cross-sectional study. The study was performed in Palermo, the largest town of Sicily, Italy. Two groups were identified: consumers of SF (n = 687) and conventional restaurant food (RES) consumers (n = 315). Study subjects answered a questionnaire concerning their health conditions, nutritional preferences, frequency of consumption of SF and a score relative to SF consumption ranging from 0 to 20 was calculated. Results Body mass index (BMI, kg/m2) was significantly and independently correlated with the score of street food consumption (r = 0,103; p < 0.002). The prevalence of different diseases, including hypertension and type 2 diabetes, and the use of medications did not differ between the two groups. Milza (a sandwich stuffed with thin slice of bovine spleen and lung) consumers had a significantly higher prevalence of hypertension (12.2% vs 6.2% in non consumers; p < 0.005) and in this subgroup the use of anti-hypertensive drugs was inversely correlated with the frequency of milza consumption (r = 0.11; P = 0.010). Conclusions This study suggests that SF consumption in Palermo is associated with a higher BMI and higher prevalence of hypertension in milza consumers. Further studies should evaluate whether frequent SF consumers have unfavourable metabolic and cardiovascular profile. PMID:22034903

  12. Cyclones causing wind storms in the Mediterranean: characteristics, trends and links to large-scale patterns

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nissen, K. M.; Leckebusch, G. C.; Pinto, J. G.; Renggli, D.; Ulbrich, S.; Ulbrich, U.

    2010-07-01

    A climatology of cyclones with a focus on their relation to wind storm tracks in the Mediterranean region (MR) is presented. Trends in the frequency of cyclones and wind storms, as well as variations associated with the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), the East Atlantic/West Russian (EAWR) and the Scandinavian variability pattern (SCAND) are discussed. The study is based on the ERA40 reanalysis dataset. Wind storm tracks are identified by tracking clusters of adjacent grid boxes characterised by extremely high local wind speeds. The wind track is assigned to a cyclone track independently identified with an objective scheme. Areas with high wind activity - quantified by extreme wind tracks - are typically located south of the Golf of Genoa, south of Cyprus, southeast of Sicily and west of the Iberian Peninsula. About 69% of the wind storms are caused by cyclones located in the Mediterranean region, while the remaining 31% can be attributed to North Atlantic or Northern European cyclones. The North Atlantic Oscillation, the East Atlantic/West Russian pattern and the Scandinavian pattern all influence the amount and spatial distribution of wind inducing cyclones and wind events in the MR. The strongest signals exist for the NAO and the EAWR pattern, which are both associated with an increase in the number of organised strong wind events in the eastern MR during their positive phase. On the other hand, the storm numbers decrease over the western MR for the positive phase of the NAO and over the central MR during the positive phase of the EAWR pattern. The positive phase of the Scandinavian pattern is associated with a decrease in the number of winter wind storms over most of the MR. A third of the trends in the number of wind storms and wind producing cyclones during the winter season of the ERA40 period may be attributed to the variability of the North Atlantic Oscillation.

  13. LAV@HAZARD: a Web-GIS Framework for Real-Time Forecasting of Lava Flow Hazards

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Del Negro, C.; Bilotta, G.; Cappello, A.; Ganci, G.; Herault, A.

    2014-12-01

    Crucial to lava flow hazard assessment is the development of tools for real-time prediction of flow paths, flow advance rates, and final flow lengths. Accurate prediction of flow paths and advance rates requires not only rapid assessment of eruption conditions (especially effusion rate) but also improved models of lava flow emplacement. Here we present the LAV@HAZARD web-GIS framework, which combines spaceborne remote sensing techniques and numerical simulations for real-time forecasting of lava flow hazards. By using satellite-derived discharge rates to drive a lava flow emplacement model, LAV@HAZARD allows timely definition of parameters and maps essential for hazard assessment, including the propagation time of lava flows and the maximum run-out distance. We take advantage of the flexibility of the HOTSAT thermal monitoring system to process satellite images coming from sensors with different spatial, temporal and spectral resolutions. HOTSAT was designed to ingest infrared satellite data acquired by the MODIS and SEVIRI sensors to output hot spot location, lava thermal flux and discharge rate. We use LAV@HAZARD to merge this output with the MAGFLOW physics-based model to simulate lava flow paths and to update, in a timely manner, flow simulations. Thus, any significant changes in lava discharge rate are included in the predictions. A significant benefit in terms of computational speed was obtained thanks to the parallel implementation of MAGFLOW on graphic processing units (GPUs). All this useful information has been gathered into the LAV@HAZARD platform which, due to the high degree of interactivity, allows generation of easily readable maps and a fast way to explore alternative scenarios. We will describe and demonstrate the operation of this framework using a variety of case studies pertaining to Mt Etna, Sicily. Although this study was conducted on Mt Etna, the approach used is designed to be applicable to other volcanic areas around the world.

  14. Shifting styles of basaltic explosive activity during the 2002-03 eruption of Mt. Etna, Italy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Andronico, Daniele; Cristaldi, Antonio; Del Carlo, Paola; Taddeucci, Jacopo

    2009-03-01

    The 2002-03 flank eruption of Etna was characterized by two months of explosive activity that produced copious ash fallout, constituting a major source of hazard and damage over all eastern Sicily. Most of the tephra were erupted from vents at 2750 and 2800 m elevation on the S flank of the volcano, where different eruptive styles alternated. The dominant style of explosive activity consisted of discrete to pulsing magma jets mounted by wide ash plumes, which we refer to as ash-rich jets and plumes. Similarly, ash-rich explosive activity was also briefly observed during the 2001 flank eruption of Etna, but is otherwise fairly uncommon in the recent history of Etna. Here, we describe the features of the 2002-03 explosive activity and compare it with the 2001 eruption in order to characterize ash-rich jets and plumes and their transition with other eruptive styles, including Strombolian and ash explosions, mainly through chemical, componentry and morphology investigations of erupted ash. Past models explain the transition between different styles of basaltic explosive activity only in terms of flow conditions of gas and liquid. Our findings suggest that the abundant presence of a solid phase (microlites) may also control vent degassing and consequent magma fragmentation and eruptive style. In fact, in contrast with the Strombolian or Hawaiian microlite-poor, fluidal, sideromelane clasts, ash-rich jets and plumes produce crystal-rich tachylite clasts with evidence of brittle fragmentation, suggesting that high groundmass crystallinity of the very top part of the magma column may reduce bubble movement while increasing fragmentation efficiency.

  15. Preserved aragonite cements in Miocene coral reefs: a record of Messinian salinity crises in Mediterranean

    SciTech Connect

    Esteban, M.; Prezbindowski, D.R.

    1985-02-01

    Layers of fibrous aragonite cement up to 2 cm thick, developed on aragonitic corals and micritic cements, occur in outcrops of Miocene coral reefs in western Sicily. These aragonitic fabrics show only minor amounts of corrosion after subaerial exposure for at least 3 m.y. Their preservation is attributed to encasement by subsequent gypsum cements. Although these botryoidal, banded aragonite cements are strontium-rich (7000 ppm) and resemble modern marine examples, they were precipitated in secondarily enlarged pores that formed during erosional episodes. Multiple cycles of enrichment in oxygen and carbon stable isotopes are recorded in the aragonite cement layers. The delta/sup 18/O values of these cycles range from -0.9 to +6.8 per thousand, whereas the delta/sup 13/C values range from +0.6 to +3.8 per thousand (PDB). These cyclic variations, indicated by isotopic data together with the petrology of the cements, are believed to record major changes in salinity, temperature, and organic productivity of the Mediterranean waters during the Miocene-Pliocene transition. These Messinian reefs were subaerially exposed and later onlapped by the upper evaporite unit with multiple cycles of marine hypersaline carbonate and evaporite deposition separated by periods of erosion. Aragonite cements formed in the enlarged cavities of the lower Messinian reefs during time of deposition of the upper evaporite and recorded the changes in Mediterranean water chemistry. This cementation is believed to have continued into the early Pliocene when colder Atlantic waters invaded the Mediterranean, ending reef growth and evaporite deposition.

  16. Palaeointensity results for historic lavas from MT Etna using microwave demagnetization/remagnetization in a modifiedThellier-type experiment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hill, Mimi J.; Shaw, John

    1999-11-01

    The bane of conventional Thellier-type palaeointensity experiments is the thermal alteration of the samples during experimentation. However, high-frequency microwaves can be used to stimulate the magnetic minerals directly, thus eliminating the need for the bulk sample to be heated (Walton et al. 1993). The microwave technique has been successfully applied to ceramics (Shaw et al. 1996, 1999), and here we present results for historic lavas from Mt Etna, Sicily. 20 samples were randomly selected from 10 different historic flows dating from 1843 to 1983. Hysteresis parameters were monitored as a check for alteration during experimentation and minimal alteration was found. Rock-magnetic analysis and AF plus microwave demagnetizations were carried out on all samples, and microwave intensity analysis was carried out on those samples that were stable to microwave demagnetization (16 in total). With one exception, all samples gave high-quality intensity results. Two or three subsamples from each sample were investigated and a weighted average calculated to give a single estimate of the field. When the intensity values were compared with the SV model based on direct observatory measurements (Bloxham & Gubbins 1985), it was found that those samples that contained a high multidomain (MD) component gave intensity values around 20 per cent lower than expected. This can be explained by the cooling rate effect (Dodson & McClelland-Brown 1980) and/or the presence of an MD component (McClelland et al. 1996). Those samples with the lowest numbers of MD grains gave field values which, within error, were the same as those for the model, or slightly too high: this is compatible with the cooling rate effect.

  17. Measures of safeguard and rehabilitation for landscape protection planning: a qualitative approach based on diversity indicators.

    PubMed

    La Rosa, Daniele; Privitera, Riccardo; Martinico, Francesco; La Greca, Paolo

    2013-09-01

    Maintaining existing levels of landscape diversity is becoming more and more important for planning considering the increasing pressures on agricultural ecosystems due to soil sealing, sprawl processes and intensive agriculture. Norms for land-use regulation and measures for landscape Safeguard and Rehabilitation have to take into consideration these threats in landscape planning. Evaluating the diversity of agricultural ecosystems is a fundamental step for proposing sound approaches to planning and managing both soil and landscape, as well as maintaining the related ecosystem services. The paper proposes a method aimed at the qualitative evaluation of spatial diversity of agricultural landscapes using a reduced set of ecological indicators based on land-use vector data. Indicators are calculated for defined landscape units characterized by landscape homogeneity. GIS geoprocessing and spatial analysis functions are employed. The study area is the Province of Enna in Sicily (Italy), which is characterized by cultivation mosaics in its southern region, cereal cultivation in the central region and prevailing natural environments in the northern region. Results from the indicator calculations are used to define measures to be included in a Landscape Protection Plan. Safeguard and Rehabilitation measures are introduced, which link indicator scores to planning protection aims. The results highlight the relevance of some agricultural mosaics in proximity to streams and seasonal fluvial environments, where some undamaged natural environments are still present. For these areas, specific landscape safeguard measures are proposed to preserve their diversity features together with their original agricultural functions. The work shows that even with a reduced number of indicators, a differentiated set of measures can be proposed for a Landscape Protection Plan. PMID:23388187

  18. Historical Isolation versus Recent Long-Distance Connections between Europe and Africa in Bifid Toadflaxes (Linaria sect. Versicolores)

    PubMed Central

    Fernández-Mazuecos, Mario; Vargas, Pablo

    2011-01-01

    Background Due to its complex, dynamic and well-known paleogeography, the Mediterranean region provides an ideal framework to study the colonization history of plant lineages. The genus Linaria has its diversity centre in the Mediterranean region, both in Europe and Africa. The last land connection between both continental plates occurred during the Messinian Salinity Crisis, in the late Miocene (5.96 to 5.33 Ma). Methodology/Principal Findings We analyzed the colonization history of Linaria sect. Versicolores (bifid toadflaxes), which includes c. 22 species distributed across the Mediterranean, including Europe and Africa. Two cpDNA regions (rpl32-trnLUAG and trnK-matK) were sequenced from 66 samples of Linaria. We conducted phylogenetic, dating, biogeographic and phylogeographic analyses to reconstruct colonization patterns in space and time. Four major clades were found: two of them exclusively contain Iberian samples, while the other two include northern African samples together with some European samples. The bifid toadflaxes have been split in African and European clades since the late Miocene, and most lineage and speciation differentiation occurred during the Pliocene and Quaternary. We have strongly inferred four events of post-Messinian colonization following long-distance dispersal from northern Africa to the Iberian Peninsula, Sicily and Greece. Conclusions/Significance The current distribution of Linaria sect. Versicolores lineages is explained by both ancient isolation between African and European populations and recent events of long-distance dispersal over sea barriers. This result provides new evidence for the biogeographic complexity of the Mediterranean region. PMID:21779399

  19. Effect of farming system and cheesemaking technology on the physicochemical characteristics, fatty acid profile, and sensory properties of Caciocavallo Palermitano cheese.

    PubMed

    Bonanno, A; Tornambè, G; Bellina, V; De Pasquale, C; Mazza, F; Maniaci, G; Di Grigoli, A

    2013-01-01

    Caciocavallo Palermitano is a typical stretched-curd cheese that has been produced over the centuries in Sicily according to traditional cheesemaking technology and using raw milk from autochthonous cow breeds reared at pasture. The objective of this experiment was to evaluate the effects of the farming system and processing technology on the characteristics of Caciocavallo Palermitano cheese, with particular regard to the fatty acid profile. The farming system was either extensive, using autochthonous cows fed a pasture-based diet, or intensive, with specialized dairy cow breeds fed mainly hay and concentrate. The cheese-processing technology was either artisanal, using traditional wooden tools and endemic lactic bacteria, or advanced, using modern steel equipment and selected lactic bacteria. Twelve Caciocavallo Palermitano cheeses, 3 from each of the 4 experimental theses (2 farming systems × 2 cheesemaking technologies), were obtained and aged for 1, 30, 60, and 120 d. Milk of origin and cheeses were analyzed for the main chemical and rheological parameters. Fatty acids were methylated in lyophilized cheese and analyzed by gas chromatography. Sensory analysis was carried out by trained panelists. The PROC GLM of SAS 9.1.2 (SAS Institute Inc., Cary, NY) was used for the statistical analysis. The physical, chemical, and sensory characteristics of Caciocavallo Palermitano cheese were influenced more by the farming system than by the cheesemaking technology. Compared with cheese produced through intensive farming, cheese from extensive farming was richer in polyunsaturated, n-3, and odd- and branched-chain fatty acids, as well as in conjugated linoleic acid (cis-9,trans-11 C18:2), with accompanying improved human health benefits. The cheesemaking technology produced variation in the evolution of proteolysis during aging, due presumably to the different active microflora, which influenced the sensory profile of the resulting cheese. Indeed, cheese produced by artisanal manufacturing was described as less "bitter" and more "piquant" than cheese produced through the advanced process. PMID:23127907

  20. Western Mediterranean coastal waters--monitoring PCBs and pesticides accumulation in Mytilus galloprovincialis by active mussel watching: the Mytilos project.

    PubMed

    Scarpato, Alfonso; Romanelli, Giulia; Galgani, Francois; Andral, Bruno; Amici, Marina; Giordano, Pierpaolo; Caixach, Josep; Calvo, Monica; Campillo, Juan Antonio; Albadalejo, José Benedicto; Cento, Alessandro; BenBrahim, Samir; Sammari, Cherif; Deudero, Salud; Boulahdid, Mostefa; Giovanardi, Franco

    2010-04-01

    In order to evaluate the contamination levels in the Western Mediterranean basin, the active mussel watch methodology has been applied. This methodology consists of mussel transplantation (Mytilus galloprovincialis) from non impacted areas to selected coastal areas, characterised by potential impact from the continent due to contaminating sources. The areas of interest were selected along the entire coastal development of the Western Mediterranean sea, 122 sites in total. The time of mussel caging exposure was 12 weeks. The project was co-financed in the frame of the Interreg IIIB Meddoc Programme, aimed at determining the overall chemical quality of the Mediterranean sea, consistent with the Water Framework Directive 2000/60. Several partners representative of the coastal Mediterranean Countries were involved in the Project, with the purpose of building up a common surveillance network, adopting shared methodologies. In this paper we present the results of three yearly monitoring campaigns (2004, 2005, 2006) carried out along the coasts of Italy, France, Spain, Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia, including the coastal environment of Baleares, Sicily, Sardinia and Corsica. The contamination levels of Pesticides (DDT and its metabolites, Hexachlorocyclohexane isomers alpha and gamma) and Polychlorinated biphenyls, are reported and discussed. Statistical elaborations performed on the original data set were mainly aimed at validating the raw sample distributions, by means of the Johnson method. Both DD and PCB species frequency distributions have been approximated to appropriate theoretical distributions, belonging to the Log-normal and Bounded families. By integrating the related Probability Density Functions (p.d.f.), different accumulation values for DDT, DDD and DDE and PCB species have been estimated, corresponding to fixed percentage points of the area under the respective curves. By choosing appropriate probability level boundaries (33rd and 66th percentile), different regional zones have been ranked in terms of low, medium and high accumulation for Pesticides and PCBs. PMID:20383374

  1. Variability of Bacterial Biofilms of the “Tina” Wood Vats Used in the Ragusano Cheese-Making Process?

    PubMed Central

    Licitra, G.; Ogier, J. C.; Parayre, S.; Pediliggieri, C.; Carnemolla, T. M.; Falentin, H.; Madec, M. N.; Carpino, S.; Lortal, S.

    2007-01-01

    Ragusano cheese is a “protected denomination of origin” cheese made in the Hyblean region of Sicily from raw milk using traditional wooden tools, without starter. To explore the Ragusano bacterial ecosystem, molecular fingerprinting was conducted at different times during the ripening and biofilms from the wooden vats called “tinas” were investigated. Raw milks collected at two farm sites, one on the mountain and one at sea level, were processed to produce Ragusano cheese. Raw milk, curd before and after cooking, curd at stretching time (cheese 0 time), and cheese samples (4 and 7 months) were analyzed by PCR-temporal temperature gel electrophoresis (PCR-TTGE) and by classical enumeration microbiology. With the use of universal primers, PCR-TTGE revealed many differences between the raw milk profiles, but also notable common bands identified as Streptococcus thermophilus, Lactobacillus lactis, Lactobacillus delbrueckii, and Enterococcus faecium. After the stretching, TTGE profiles revealed three to five dominant species only through the entire process of ripening. In the biofilms of the two tinas used, one to five species were detected, S. thermophilus being predominant in both. Biofilms from five other tinas were also analyzed by PCR-TTGE, PCR-denaturating gradient gel electrophoresis, specific PCR tests, and sequencing, confirming the predominance of lactic acid bacteria (S. thermophilus, L. lactis, and L. delbrueckii subsp. lactis) and the presence of a few high-GC-content species, like coryneform bacteria. The spontaneous acidification of raw milks before and after contact with the five tinas was followed in two independent experiments. The lag period before acidification can be up to 5 h, depending on the raw milk and the specific tina, highlighting the complexity of this natural inoculation system. PMID:17720831

  2. Jellyfish as prey: frequency of predation and selective foraging of Boops boops (Vertebrata, Actinopterygii) on the mauve stinger Pelagia noctiluca (Cnidaria, Scyphozoa).

    PubMed

    Milisenda, Giacomo; Rosa, Sara; Fuentes, Veronica L; Boero, Ferdinando; Guglielmo, Letterio; Purcell, Jennifer E; Piraino, Stefano

    2014-01-01

    In recent years, jellyfish blooms have attracted considerable scientific interest for their potential impacts on human activities and ecosystem functioning, with much attention paid to jellyfish as predators and to gelatinous biomass as a carbon sink. Other than qualitative data and observations, few studies have quantified direct predation of fish on jellyfish to clarify whether they may represent a seasonally abundant food source. Here we estimate predation frequency by the commercially valuable Mediterranean bogue, Boops boops on the mauve stinger jellyfish, Pelagia noctiluca, in the Strait of Messina (NE Sicily). A total of 1054 jellyfish were sampled throughout one year to quantify predation by B. boops from bite marks on partially eaten jellyfish and energy density of the jellyfish. Predation by B. boops in summer was almost twice that in winter, and they selectively fed according to medusa gender and body part. Calorimetric analysis and biochemical composition showed that female jellyfish gonads had significantly higher energy content than male gonads due to more lipids and that gonads had six-fold higher energy content than the somatic tissues due to higher lipid and protein concentrations. Energetically, jellyfish gonads represent a highly rewarding food source, largely available to B. boops throughout spring and summer. During the remainder of the year, when gonads were not very evident, fish predation switched towards less-selective foraging on the somatic gelatinous biomass. P. noctiluca, the most abundant jellyfish species in the Mediterranean Sea and a key planktonic predator, may represent not only a nuisance for human leisure activities and a source of mortality for fish eggs and larvae, but also an important resource for fish species of commercial value, such as B. boops. PMID:24727977

  3. [Causes of hospitalisation of migrants arrived in Lampedusa (Southern Italy) from January 2011 to June 2014].

    PubMed

    Pasta, Linda; Mesa Suero, Leonardo Antonio; Farinella, Enzo Massimo; Marchese, Gaetano; Serravalle, Domenico; D'Amico, Nicolò; Filippazzo, Maria Gabriella

    2015-01-01

    This is the synthesis of a study on admissions of migrants to hospitals in Sicily, from January 2011 to June 2014. Migrants arrived in Lampedusa were 49,000 in 2011; 4,000 in 2012; 15,000 in 2013; 6,000 in 2014; 378 patients requiring hospitalization were transported exclusively by the 118 Helicopter Emergency Medical Service in 6 Sicilian hospitals: 203 in 2011, 62 in 2012, 95 in 2013, 18 in 2014. The mean age was 25 years; more frequent areas of provenance were Horn of Africa, North Africa, Syria, and Nigeria. Women were hospitalised almost exclusively for obstetric-gynaecological problems, with a high prevalence of abortions (17/140 pregnancies) secondary to the long journey; men were hospitalised especially for bone fractures, burns, dehydration, infectious diseases, suicide attempts, and, recently, for CO poisoning of people locked in the holds of boats. Infectious diseases were mainly due to respiratory and intestinal distress, 20 people had tuberculosis (TB), 3 had HIV and 1 had malaria. No suspicious of Ebola virus infection was registered. The causes of hospitalisation do not depend on the nationality of patients and are constant over the years. Infectious diffusible diseases, mainly TB, are more common than in the Italian population, and consequently the best surveillance systems, aimed at identifying and treating patients immediately, should be activated. Mare Nostrum Operation helped migrants while they are in sea and allowed the reduction of serious health problems, mainly related to the hardships and duration of the journey, and also anticipating arrivals directly in Lampedusa, permitting a more efficient organisation of the relief in the sea. PMID:25855548

  4. Genetic diversity of the honeybee in Africa: microsatellite and mitochondrial data.

    PubMed

    Franck, P; Garnery, L; Loiseau, A; Oldroyd, B P; Hepburn, H R; Solignac, M; Cornuet, J M

    2001-04-01

    A total of 738 colonies from 64 localities along the African continent have been analysed using the DraI RFLP of the COI-COII mitochondrial region. Mitochondrial DNA of African honeybees appears to be composed of three highly divergent lineages. The African lineage previously reported (named A) is present in almost all the localities except those from north-eastern Africa. In this area, two newly described lineages (called O and Y), putatively originating from the Near East, are observed in high proportion. This suggests an important differentiation of Ethiopian and Egyptian honeybees from those of other African areas. The A lineage is also present in high proportion in populations from the Iberian Peninsula and Sicily. Furthermore, eight populations from Morocco, Guinea, Malawi and South Africa have been assayed with six microsatellite loci and compared to a set of eight additional populations from Europe and the Middle East. The African populations display higher genetic variability than European populations at all microsatellite loci studied thus far. This suggests that African populations have larger effective sizes than European ones. According to their microsatellite allele frequencies, the eight African populations cluster together, but are divided in two subgroups. These are the populations from Morocco and those from the other African countries. The populations from southern Europe show very low levels of 'Africanization' at nuclear microsatellite loci. Because nuclear and mitochondrial DNA often display discordant patterns of differentiation in the honeybee, the use of both kinds of markers is preferable when assessing the phylogeography of Apis mellifera and to determine the taxonomic status of the subspecies. PMID:11520342

  5. Temporal variation in plankton assemblages and physicochemistry of Devils Lake, North Dakota

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Leland, H.V.; Berkas, W.R.

    1998-01-01

    Seasonal and annual variation in biomass and structure of algal assemblages of hyposaline Devils Lake were examined in relation to turbidity, ambient concentrations of major ions, trace elements and nutrients, and the standing crop of herbivores. Lake level declined during the early years of study, but rose markedly in subsequent years as historically large volumes of water flowed into this hydrologically-closed basin. Winter algal assemblages were dominated (in biomass) most years by small, non-motile chlorophytes (Choricystis minor, Kirchneriella lunaris or Dunaliella sp.), or Euglena sp. in the most saline sub-basin. Spring assemblages were dominated by diatoms (Stephanodiscus cf. minutulus, Surirella peisonis, Cyclotella meneghiniana and Entomoneis paludosa were especially prominent) or chlorophytes (C. minor) until the lake level rose. C. minor abundances then declined in spring assemblages and diatoms (Stephanodiscus cf. agassizensis and S. niagarae; E. paludosa in the more saline sub-basins) dominated. The potential for nitrogen-deficient conditions for phytoplankton growth was evidenced most summers and early autumns by consistently high concentrations of reactive-P relative to inorganic-N and blooms of the N-fixing cyanophyte Aphanizomenon flos-aquae; Microcystis aeruginosa typically was a co-dominant (> 30% of biomass) in these assemblages. Pulses of diatoms (S. cf. agassizensis and C. meneghiniana) occurred in summers following unusually prolonged periods of calm weather or large water inflows. Physical (irradiance, turbulence) and chemical (major nutrients) variables were the primary factors associated with phytoplankton growth. Transparency and major nutrient concentrations accounted for more of the annual variation in phytoplankton structure than did salinity. Seasonal abundance patterns of the dominant zooplankton (the copepod Diaptomus sicilis; the cladocerans Ceriodaphnia quadrangula, Chydorus sphaericus, Daphnia pulex and Diaphanosoma birgei; and the rotifers Brachionus spp., Filinia longiseta, Keratella cochlearis and K. quadrata) also indicated variation in algal populations related to grazing. ?? 1998 Kluwer Academic Publishers.