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Sample records for sicily

  1. Endemic cretinism in Sicily.

    PubMed

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

    1981-01-01

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

  2. Evaporite karst in Sicily

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2008-01-01

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

  3. Surface denudation rate of gypsum in Sicily

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

    Studies on surface denudation rate of karst rocks were carried out for many years with different methods, although researches on limestones are much more numerous than those on gypsum. In Sicily the most large and complete Messinian evaporite succession of Gruppo Gessoso - Solfifero outcrops and since 1993-1994 surface denudation measurements were performed on different types of gypsum by the Micro-Erosion Meter (M.E.M.) method. MEM stations were placed on natural sites representing different lithological features of gypsum outcrops of the Island: 1) selenite gypsum with centimetre-sized crystals; 2) selenite gypsum with sub-centimetre crystals; 3) gypsum arenite; 4) microcrystalline gypsum; and 5) gypsum laminite (balatino type). The measuring stations are positioned in three localities in western and central Sicily: Santa Ninfa (Trapani), Ciminna (Palermo) and Campofranco (Caltanissetta). The average lowering rates vary in the different lithofacies: from 0.25 mm yr-1 in microcrystalline gypsum to 0.74 mm yr-1 in selenite gypsum with centimetre-sized crystals. The average surface denudation rates are 0.40 mm yr-1 in balatino gypsum and gypsum arenite, and 0.37 mm yr-1 in selenite gypsum with sub-centimetre crystals. These different values are connected to several factors such as: rock texture, dip of gypsum surfaces, climatic conditions, troubles on the measurement sites (e.g.: presence of lichens, soil, remains of vegetation, etc.). The aim of this paper is to show the results of roughly twenty years of experimental measurements, and to compare the surface denudation rate of gypsum in Sicily with those of other evaporite areas characterised by different climatic settings.

  4. Anisakidae in Fishing Products Sold in Sicily

    PubMed Central

    Cicero, Antonello; Costa, Antonella; Alongi, Angelina; Palumbo, Paola; Graci, Stefania; Giangrosso, Giuseppe

    2014-01-01

    One of the parasite diseases associated with the consumption of raw fish that occurs with some frequency is the anisakiasis, a human disease caused by the accidental ingestion of larval nematodes of the genus Anisakis, family Anisakidae. At the National Reference Centre for Anisakiasis (C.Re.N.A.) from October 2012 to February 2013, a number of 231 bony fish (Trichiuridae, Engraulidae, Scombridae and Clupeidae) were received from different fishing sites in Sicily. Anisakis pegreffii is the main species detected in fish, as identified by molecular analysis based on polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism, while Anisakis simplex sensu stricto was found only in Scomber scombrus caught in the Mediterranean Sea (Fishing Areas 37), in the Spanish coast (Fishing Areas 37) and in the Atlantic Ocean (Fishing Areas 34). Larvae of the genus Pseudoterranova were found only in fish caught in the Norwegian Sea. PMID:27800344

  5. Genetic models of poljes in Sicily

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  6. Radon exhalation rate in south-east Sicily building materials

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morelli, D.; Catalano, R.; Filincieri, R.; Immé, G.; Mangano, G.

    2015-05-01

    One of the main contributions to indoor radon levels is given by the exhalation from building materials. For this reason we performed measurements of radon exhalation rate in materials commonly used in buildings of the eastern Sicily. The measurements were carried out by using solid state nuclear track detectors in diffusion chambers. We report the results obtained for samples of materials used both for building and for decorating dwellings. The obtained values have shown that building materials commonly used in the eastern Sicily have surface exhalation rates ranging between 1.9 and 43.1 mBq m-2h-1 showing higher values for volcanic materials.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1975-01-01

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

  8. Wild food plants of popular use in Sicily.

    PubMed

    Lentini, Francesca; Venza, Francesca

    2007-03-30

    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.

  9. Wild food plants of popular use in Sicily

    PubMed Central

    Lentini, Francesca; Venza, Francesca

    2007-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1994-12-31

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

  11. ESONET LIDO Demonstration Mission: the East Sicily node

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-05-01

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

  12. Sicily Island High School: A Case Study of a Rural High School Yielding Results

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    MacLean, Margaret; Williams, Doris Terry

    2004-01-01

    This report describes the demographic and economic characteristics of Sicily Island, Louisiana and its schools, and discusses the ways in which teaching and learning have changed in Sicily Island schools since they embarked on a program of reform in the late 1990s. It examines the schools' improvement efforts and results through the lenses of the…

  13. Geological evidence of paleotsunamis at Torre degli Inglesi (northeast Sicily)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pantosti, D.; Barbano, M. S.; Smedile, A.; De Martini, P. M.; Tigano, G.

    2008-03-01

    Two layers of fine sand of marine origin occur in a sequence of organic rich colluvia in an archaeological excavation at Torre degli Inglesi, on Capo Peloro, northeast Sicily. Stratigraphic and micropaleontologic analyses support the hypothesis that these layers are related to deposition due to paleotsunami waves. Their ages are constrained both with radiocarbon and archaeological datings. The age of the oldest layer is coincident with the 17 A.D. earthquake that hit Reggio Calabria but for which no tsunami was previously reported. The age of the youngest layer can be only constrained in the range 3rd-19th century and is tentatively associated to the 6 Feb. 1783 event.

  14. Derivation of critical rainfall thresholds for landslide in Sicily

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

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

  15. Isoleucine epimerization ages of the dwarf elephants of Sicily

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Belluomini, Giorgio; Bada, Jeffrey L.

    1985-07-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Demcheck, Dennis K.; Dupuy, Alton J.

    1980-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bonaccorso, Brunella; Aronica, Giuseppe

    2016-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  20. Municipal waste management in Sicily: Practices and challenges

    SciTech Connect

    Messineo, Antonio Panno, Domenico

    2008-07-01

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

  1. 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

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

    PubMed

    Giuga, Luca; Jordana, Rafael

    2013-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1974-01-01

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

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. [Psychiatric institutions in the regno delle due Sicilie].

    PubMed

    Leoni, F

    1993-01-01

    Before 1510 there wasn't a single hospital in Southern Italy which took in mental patients, with the possible exception of L'ospedale degli Incurabili, which in any case dealt with other kinds of illnesses as well. Finally, in 1813 the decision was taken to found an institution in the city of Aversa which would deal exclusively with mental patients. This institution was put under the control of Giovanni Maria Linguiti. He took care of all patients using his therapeutic methods, with such excellent results that his reputation spread outside the kingdom. In 1816 in Sicily, an attempt was made to repeat the success of Aversa, but not until 1824 was it decided that L'ospizio di Santa Teresa should care for mental patients. Don Pietro Pisani was delegated to coordinate that hospital and, in 1827, he published a number of theories and guidelines concerning mental healthcare similar to those of Linguiti. In December 1864 a Royal Decree forced through parliament a statute which laid down the rules for the reorganization of these hospitals. Finally in August 1874, after numerous financial difficulties and struggles between political bodies and health service management, a Royal Decree was established and a new guiding statute was passed.

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

    PubMed Central

    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 vaccinations and a number of recommended vaccinations. The study aimed to explore the issues surrounding parental acceptance or non-acceptance of the recommended vaccinations for children. Methods Parents of children aged 3-5 years of day-care centres in Sicily were asked to fill out an anonymous questionnaire. Determinants of the attitude towards recommended vaccinations and social influence on the decision-making process were assessed using logistic regression analysis. Results Of the 1,500 selected parents, 81.0% participated in the study. Prior to the survey, the majority of children (97.6%) received recommended vaccines. Most parents (74.4%) received information about vaccinations from Family Paediatricians, showed a good knowledge about the side effects of the vaccines (73.1%), did not worry about their potential dangerousness (53.0%) and would have accepted their children to be vaccinated even if it was not required for day care (84.1%). The majority (79.9%) were not disposed to follow the advises of the anti-vaccination movements. Parents' background characteristics, sources of information and social influence were not significantly associated with parental acceptance of recommended vaccines for childhood. Conclusions This study suggests that health information by Family Paediatricians is significantly associated with parental acceptance of recommended vaccinations. PMID:21569424

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-10-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-02-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-07-01

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

  12. Radium isotopes as tracers of submarine groundwater discharge in Sicily

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moore, Willard S.

    2006-05-01

    The results derived from radium isotopes of a submarine groundwater discharge (SGD) intercomparison on the southern coast of Sicily are reported. Radium isotope samples were collected from seepage meters, active springs, shallow wells and a hole on the beach, and Mediterranean surface waters. Samples collected within a boat basin were highly enriched in all four radium isotopes with respect to offshore samples. This implies that there are strong nearshore sources of radium. Samples collected from seepage meters in the boat basin were about a factor of 2-3 higher in radium activity than overlying waters and had higher 224Ra/ 223Ra activity ratios (AR). A beach spring (presumed to originate in the artesian freshwater aquifer) was enriched in 226Ra relative to 228Ra. The "pier wells" and beach hole (presumed to represent the salty surficial aquifer) were enriched in 228Ra compared 226Ra. The different 228Ra/ 226Ra AR clearly defines these aquifers. Samples collected in the boat basin and offshore as well as samples collected in seepage bags within the boat basin fall between the isotopic composition of these sources. These observations imply that there are at least two sources of SGD supplying radium isotopes to the coastal waters. Seepage from the shallow aquifer contributes more SGD than the offshore springs. Overall, the surficial aquifer contributes 81% of SGD and the artesian aquifer contributes 19%. The estimated SGD flux for this coastline is 10 6 m 3 km -1 d -1. This is at least a factor of 5 greater than the flux based on a 222Rn model within the boat basin. Buoyancy associated with the artesian aquifer may facilitate exchange between the ocean and the surficial aquifer.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  14. 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...

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    1981-09-01

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

  17. 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...

  18. 78 FR 14619 - Culturally Significant Objects Imported for Exhibition Determinations: “Sicily: Art and Invention...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-03-06

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

  19. Sicily 2002 balloon campaign: a test of the HASI instrument

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bettanini, C.; Fulchignoni, M.; Angrilli, F.; Lion Stoppato, P. F.; Antonello, M.; Bastianello, S.; Bianchini, G.; Colombatti, G.; Ferri, F.; Flamini, E.; Gaborit, V.; Aboudan, A.

    2004-01-01

    A mock-up of the probe descending in the Titan atmosphere as part of the Huygens Cassini Mission was successfully launched and recovered on 30th May 2002 after a stratospheric balloon launch from the Italian Space Agency Base "Luigi Broglio" in Trapani, Sicily. To simulate the Huygens mission at Titan, the probe was lifted to an altitude of 32 km and then released to perform a 45 min parachute decelerated descent. The probe was hosting spares of HASI instruments, housekeeping sensors and other dedicated sensors, Beagle II UV Sensors and Huygens Tilt Sensor, for a total of 76 acquired sensor channels and sampled during the ascent, drift and descent phase. An integrated data acquisition and instrument control system was developed, based on PC architecture and soft-real-time application. Sensors channels were sampled at the nominal HASI data rates, with a max rate of 1 kHz. Software was developed for data acquisition, onboard storage and telemetry transmission satisfying all requests for real-time monitoring, diagnostic and redundancy. The main goal of this flight was to verify sensor performance and perform a realistic functional test for HASI hardware in dynamical and environmental conditions similar to those of the Titan atmosphere as well as the impact detection sequence of HASI accelerometer and HASI during ground landing. Aerodynamic study of the probe has contributed in achieving descent velocity and spin rate profiles close to the ones envisioned for the Huygens Titan descent. Profiles have been calculated by solving a system of ODE describing the translational and rotational motion of the probe through the Earth's atmosphere during parachute aided descent. Results of these calculations have driven the choice of an appropriate angle of attack of the blades in the bottom of the probe and ballast weight during flight. Passive thermal control of the probe has also been designed and implemented in order to guarantee proper temperature ranges on critical components

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-08-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2008-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-05-01

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

  3. [Malignant pleuric mesothelioma in Sicily. Epidemiologic observations during the time 1998-2005].

    PubMed

    Venuti, V; De Pasquale, D; Abbate, A; Brecciaroli, R; Giorgianni, C

    2007-01-01

    Pleural malign mesothelioma is the only one to which we can straight attribute to an exposition, in professional and ambient ambit, to a good identified agent and, precisely, to the fibres of asbestos. Objective of our work has been to verify the incidence of the pleural malign mesothelioma in Sicily and in particular in the Messina's area, during the period 1988-2005. We have examined the epidemiologic data of the period 1988-1997 and 1998-2005 through the consultation of the Mesothelioma Sicilian Register; Mesothelioma Italian Register and of the available documentation in the Health Superior Institute. The study showed that the pleural malign mesothelioma in sicily and in Messina's area is reduced for the elimination of the asbestos and for the low use of asbestos in the sicilian industry.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1975-01-01

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

  5. Two rare northern Entoloma species observed in Sicily under exceptionally cold weather conditions.

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2001-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2008-09-01

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

  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. 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.

  10. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  12. The Sicily Channel surface circulation revisited using a neural clustering analysis of a high-resolution simulation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jouini, Manel; Béranger, Karine; Arsouze, Thomas; Beuvier, Jonathan; Thiria, Sylvie; Crépon, Michel; Taupier-Letage, Isabelle

    2016-07-01

    The Sicily Channel surface circulation is investigated by analyzing the outputs of a high-resolution ocean model MED12 forced during 46 years by the ARPERA atmospheric fields. Applying a neural network classifier, we show that the surface circulation in the Sicily Channel can be decomposed into 8 modes characterizing the major patterns of that circulation, particularly the Algerian Current separation at the entrance to the Sicily Channel, the features of the Atlantic Tunisian Current and of the Atlantic Ionian Stream. These modes reflect the variability of the circulation in space and time at seasonal and inter-annual scales. Some modes preferably occur in winter whilst others are characteristic of summer. The mode sequence presents an inter-annual variability in good agreement with observations. The topography of the Sicily Channel sill plays a major role in steering the circulation. In particular the summer upwelling along the southern coast of Sicily, which is present in several modes, could be explained by a large-scale density forcing. A combination of barotropic/baroclinic double Kelvin waves generated on both sides of the sill provides a mechanism for explaining the complexity of the surface circulation advecting the surface waters from the Western Mediterranean toward the Eastern Mediterranean, the most salient features of which are the Atlantic Tunisian Current, the Atlantic Ionian Stream and the Tyrrhenian Sicilian Current which is a new feature highlighted by the present study.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nigro, Fabrizio; Renda, Pietro; Favara, Rocco

    2010-05-01

    tilting, which induces synchronously mass elevation and subsidence. Not considering sea-level fluctuations and the climatic-lithologic parameters, the 2D distribution of uplift rate influences the landmass evolution in time. The tendency of rock masses to equilibrium resulting from concurrent tectonic building and denudation forces defines the geomorphic cycle. This evolution is checked by different stages, each characterised by a well-recognisable morphometric patterns. The dominance of uplift or erosion and concurrent block tilting induce characteristic a landform evolution tendency, which may be evaluated with the morphometric analysis. A lot of morphometric functions describe the equilibrium stage of landmasses, providing useful tools for deciphering how tectonics acts in typology (e.g. inducing uplift uniformly or with crustal block tilting) and resulting effects on landforms (magnitude of uplift rate vs tilting rate). We aim to contribute in the description of landforms evolution in Sicily (Central Mediterranean) under different morphoevolutive settings, where may prevails uplift, tilting or erosion, each characterised by different morphometric trends. The present-day elevation of Pliocene to upper Pleistocene deposits suggests that Northen Sicily underwent neotectonic uplift. The recent non-uniform uplift of Northern Sicily coastal sector is suggested by the different elevation of the Pliocene-Upper Pleistocene marine deposits. The maximum uplift rate characterise the NE Sicily and the minimum the NW Sicily. The overall westwards decreasing trend of uplift is in places broken in the sectors where are located a lot of morphostructures. Localised uplift rates higher than the adjacent coastal plains are suggested by the present-day elevation of the beachshore deposits of Tyrrhenian age. Northern Sicily may be divided into a lot of crustal blocks, underwent to different tilting and uplift rates. Accentuate tilting and uplift results from transtensional active faulting

  14. Risk factors for the persistence of bovine brucellosis in Sicily from 2008 to 2010.

    PubMed

    Calistri, Paolo; Iannetti, Simona; Atzeni, Marcello; Di Bella, Calogero; Schembri, Pietro; Giovannini, Armando

    2013-07-01

    Bovine brucellosis is a worldwide zoonotic disease, responsible for economic and reproductive losses in farmed animals. Despite the application of control and eradication measures, after several years the brucellosis situation still remains problematic in Sicily, one of the regions with the highest prevalence of infection in Italy. The objective of this paper is to evaluate the possible risk factors influencing the presence of bovine brucellosis in Sicily. Data on existing cattle herds in Sicily and on their structure in 2008, 2009 and 2010 were extracted from the national database (NDb) of holdings and animals. Several possible brucellosis risk factors were considered, in particular herd-related factors and the performances of the control activities carried out by the veterinary services and recorded into national animal health information system (SANAN). Statistical analysis (χ(2) and Mann-Whitney tests) and spatial cluster analysis using a simple spatial Bernoulli model were performed. The multivariable logistic regression was also performed using SPSS for Windows. The spatial distribution of infected herds shows two main clusters of infection, in Messina and in Siracusa provinces. The results of the statistical analysis performed show that the infection is associated to the largest herds (P<0.0001) and to beef and mixed herds (P<0.0001). A significant association can be observed between the infected status in 2010 and presence of positive animals in 2008 or in 2009 (P<0.0001). This article shows the importance of detailed and reliable epidemiological data through information systems, allowing a continuous monitoring of the health status of animal populations and also the evaluation and re-planning of veterinary activities.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2007-01-01

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

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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).

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. Soil radon monitoring in the NE flank of Mt. Etna (Sicily).

    PubMed

    Immè, G; La Delfa, S; Lo Nigro, S; Morelli, D; Patanè, G

    2006-05-01

    Soil radon has been monitored at a fixed location on the northeastern flank of Mt. Etna, a high-risk volcano in Sicily. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of the recent volcanic activity on soil radon concentration. Continuous radon measurements have been performed since July 2001. While comparison between the trend in in-soil radon concentration and the acquired meteorological series (temperature, humidity and pressure) appear to confirm a general seasonal correlation, nevertheless particular anomalies suggest a possible dependence of the radon concentration on volcanic dynamics. PMID:16413194

  2. Soil radon monitoring in the NE flank of Mt. Etna (Sicily).

    PubMed

    Immè, G; La Delfa, S; Lo Nigro, S; Morelli, D; Patanè, G

    2006-05-01

    Soil radon has been monitored at a fixed location on the northeastern flank of Mt. Etna, a high-risk volcano in Sicily. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of the recent volcanic activity on soil radon concentration. Continuous radon measurements have been performed since July 2001. While comparison between the trend in in-soil radon concentration and the acquired meteorological series (temperature, humidity and pressure) appear to confirm a general seasonal correlation, nevertheless particular anomalies suggest a possible dependence of the radon concentration on volcanic dynamics.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nijholt, Nicolai; Govers, Rob; Wortel, Rinus

    2016-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-02-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-01

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

  6. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Urone, Noemi; Colomba, Claudia; Ferraro, Donatella

    2016-03-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pagnoni, Gianluca; Tinti, Stefano

    2016-03-01

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

  9. Holocene climate variability in Sicily from a discontinuous stalagmite record and the Mesolithic to Neolithic transition

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Frisia, Silvia; Borsato, Andrea; Mangini, Augusto; Spötl, Christoph; Madonia, Giuliana; Sauro, Ugo

    2006-11-01

    Fabric and stable isotopic composition of a Holocene stalagmite (CR1) from a cave in northern Sicily record changes in paleorainfall in the early Holocene. High δ 13C stable isotope values in the calcite deposited from ca. 8500 to ca. 7500 yr ago are interpreted as reflecting periods of high rainfall. The wet phase was interrupted by two periods of multi-century duration characterized by relatively cool and dry winters centered at ca. 8200 and ca. 7500 yr ago, highlighted by low δ 13C and δ 18O values. A high variability of δ 13C values is recorded from ca. 7500 to ca. 6500 yr ago and indicates that the transition from a pluvial early Holocene to the present-day climate conditions was punctuated by decadal-scale periods of relatively dry winters. In northern Sicily, the traditional elements of the Neolithic appear at ca. 7700 yr ago. It is possible that changes in rainfall influenced the passage from hunter-gathering to farming and sheep-herding economies.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-02-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-10-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-01

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

  15. Groundwater Nitrate Contamination Risk Assessment in Canicattì area (Sicily)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pisciotta, Antonino; Cusimano, Gioacchino; Favara, Rocco

    2010-05-01

    Groundwaters play a dominant role in the Sicily, because as most part of Mediterranean countries this island is interested by the phenomenon of desertification and the quality of the groundwater reservoir is one of the most important aim for the management policy strategies. During last decade most of the Italian regions the nitrate levels in river and groundwaters have increased gradually over mainly as a consequence of large-scale agricultural application of manure and fertilizers, thereby threatening drinking water quality. The excessive use of chemicals and fertilizers increases the risk to pollution of surface and groundwater from diffuse source, an important reflex to human health and the environment. The studied area is located in Canicattì (central Sicily, Italy), the current land use (grape, olive grove and almond) is the main source of groundwater pollution. In order to investigate the effect of the over farming on the groundwater quality we report the study on the potential risk of contamination from nitrate of agricultural origin through the join of the application of two parametric methods: the IPNOA method (the intrinsic nitrate contamination risk from Agricultural sources) applied to define the Nitrate Vulnerable Zones and the SINTACS method applied to determine the aquifer vulnerability to contamination.

  16. Genetic heterogeneity of glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency in south-east Sicily.

    PubMed

    Cittadella, R; Civitelli, D; Manna, I; Azzia, N; Di Cataldo, A; Schilirò, G; Brancati, C

    1997-05-01

    In order to explore the nature of glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency in south-east Sicily, we have analysed the G6PD gene in 25 unrelated males with abnormal G6PD activity and/or electrophoretic mobility, by using the analysis of the appropriate PCR-amplified fragment of DNA and subsequent digestion by appropriate restriction-enzymes, looking for the presence of certain known G6PD mutations. We amplified the entire G6PD coding sequence into eight fragments, followed by single-strand conformation polymorphism (SSCP) analysis and sequencing of those individual fragments that were found to be abnormal by SSCP. Through these methods we found a total of twelve G6PD Mediterranean variants with the association of a silent mutation 1311 (also known as polymorphic site Bcl I), one G6PD Mediterranean without this association, four G6PD A-Val 68 and two G6PD Santamaria and five G6PD Chatham. In a subject with normal activity a mutation was found in exon 5, designated as G6PD Sao Borja. This is the first report on the molecular analysis of G6PD mutations in Sicily and we have obtained evidence for four distinct classes of variants.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-01

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

  18. Description of two new Jujubinus species (Gastropoda: Trochidae) from the Sicily Channel, with notes on the Jujubinus curinii species complex.

    PubMed

    Smriglio, Carlo; Di Giulio, Andrea; Mariottini, Paolo

    2014-01-01

    Based on shell characters, two new species of the gastropod family Trochidae, Jujubinus eleonorae n. sp. and Jujubinus trilloi n. sp., from the Sicily Channel are described. Shells of the new taxa were collected in the lower infralittoral of the Skerki and Talbot Banks, respectively. The new taxa are compared with Jujubinus curinii Bogi & Campani, 2005, morphologically the most closely related species.

  19. Searching for a significant correlation between volcanic tremor amplitude and SO2 emissions at Mount Etna volcano, Sicily

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leonardi, Sabrina; Gresta, Stefano; Mulargia, Francesco

    2000-06-01

    A strong correlation between the amplitude of volcanic tremor and the flux of SO2 has been found at Mount Etna volcano, Sicily, corresponding to enhanced volcanic activity in the period 1987-1995. We therefore suggest that tremors and SO2 emissions have a common physical origin linked to the magma dynamics of the volcano.

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

    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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Calò, M.; Parisi, L.

    2014-10-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-03-01

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

  3. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2008-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2005-06-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2005-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-11-01

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

  8. Neolithic ceramic findings from western Sicily. Chemical-physical and mineralogical characterization.

    PubMed

    Rivarola, E; Bellia, S; Donato, I D; Orecchio, S; Ponterio, R; Tusa, S

    2001-01-01

    This paper presents the results of a study that is part of a wider research program regarding the knowledge of the initial living phases of Sicilian agricultural and pastoral societies. Three ceramic samples attributed to the medium initial Neolithic (NEO1 and NEO2) and to the first neolithic (NEO3), recovered in two different archaeological sites of the western Sicily, have been analysed. Chemical, mineralogical and spectroscopic data point out a similarity between NEO1 and NEO3 samples; compositional and morphological differences instead have been observed in the NEO2 sample. The firing temperatures of the samples have been estimated by Mössbauer spectroscopy; they are lower than 500 degrees C for the samples NEO1 and NEO3, and about 700 degrees C for NEO2.

  9. Lava flow volume and morphology from digitised contour maps: a case study at Mount Etna, Sicily

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stevens, N. F.; Wadge, G.; Murray, J. B.

    1999-07-01

    The volume and morphology of a lava flow-field can be measured by mapping and comparing the topography before and after lava emplacement. Contour maps are a widely available source of topographic data, containing a record of the geomorphological changes at volcanoes due to lava emplacement. This paper explores the use of 1:25,000 scale digitised contour maps for mapping two lava flows of diverse eruption history and morphology at Mount Etna, Sicily. We find that subtracting DEMs created from these maps gives a good representation of volume and shape for thicker lava flows (>10 m mean thickness) in the case of the 1983 lava flow. However, thinner (<10 m) flows, e.g., the 1981 flow, are not represented on this scale of map and the technique cannot be used. Hence, caution is required in using this technique. The assumption of accurate representation of modified topography in contour maps may not always be valid.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  12. The age of the Miocene-Pliocene boundary in the Capo Rossello area (Sicily)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hilgen, F. J.; Langereis, C. G.

    1988-12-01

    Detailed correlations of magnetostratigraphy, biostratigraphy and lithostratigraphy reveal that the basal Pliocene is equally complete in the Eraclea Minoa and Capo Rossello sections (Sicily) and the Singa section (Calabria), and that, in accordance with the model of the Pliocene flooding event in the Mediterranean, the deposition of the pelagic marls of the Trubi Formation started synchronously on Sicily and in adjacent Calabria. In addition, the data obtained from the Trubi in the Eraclea Minoa section allows the age of the Miocene-Pliocene boundary to be adjusted slightly from 4.83-4.84 [1] to 4.86 Ma because downward extrapolation of both sedimentation rate and average duration of small-scale sedimentary cycles in the Trubi yields this age for the boundary in this section. Linearly interpolated ages for the top of the Sphaeroidinellopsis acme and the first substantial increase in Globorotalia margaritae (the FOD of this species is non-existent in the Mediterranean Pliocene) at Eraclea Minoa arrive at 4.74 and 4.63 Ma respectively. Because of the detailed magnetostratigraphy and the very accurate dating of the Miocene-Pliocene boundary, it is preferable to select the Eraclea Minoa section as the boundary stratotype rather than the Capo Rossello section. Finally, this age of 4.86 Ma for the Miocene-Pliocene boundary suggests that the beginning of the Pliocene is connected with the termination of a series of latest Miocene glaciations and that the re-establishment of open marine conditions in the Mediterranean might be of glacio-eustatic origin.

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

    PubMed

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

    2003-01-01

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

  14. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-04-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2016-01-01

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

  17. Rediscovery and identity of Pumilomyia protrahenda De Stefani (Diptera, Cecidomyiidae) in Sicily with redescription and reassessment of its taxonomic position.

    PubMed

    Skuhravá, Marcela; Massa, Bruno; Cerasa, Giuliano

    2016-01-01

    A population of the gall midge Pumilomyia protrahenda De Stefani, 1919 causing galls on Artemisia arborescens (Asteraceae) was discovered near Palermo (Sicily) in 2008. This species had not been found since 1918. Detailed study of morphological characters of adults, larvae and pupae revealed that Pumilomyia protrahenda belongs to the genus Rhopalomyia Rübsaamen, 1892, tribe Rhopalomyiini. The monotypic genus Pumilomyia De Stefani, 1919 is therefore synonymized under Rhopalomyia Rübsaamen, 1892. Rhopalomyia protrahenda comb. n. is redescribed, with important morphological characters illustrated. Adults have one-segmented palpi, antennae with 12-13 short flagellomeres and long legs with simple tarsal claws. A neotype is designated in the present paper because the type of this species is lost. The host plant has a circum-Mediterranean distribution but the gall midge is currently known only from Sicily, where it completes several generations between January and May.

  18. Rediscovery and identity of Pumilomyia protrahenda De Stefani (Diptera, Cecidomyiidae) in Sicily with redescription and reassessment of its taxonomic position

    PubMed Central

    Skuhravá, Marcela; Massa, Bruno; Cerasa, Giuliano

    2016-01-01

    Abstract A population of the gall midge Pumilomyia protrahenda De Stefani, 1919 causing galls on Artemisia arborescens (Asteraceae) was discovered near Palermo (Sicily) in 2008. This species had not been found since 1918. Detailed study of morphological characters of adults, larvae and pupae revealed that Pumilomyia protrahenda belongs to the genus Rhopalomyia Rübsaamen, 1892, tribe Rhopalomyiini. The monotypic genus Pumilomyia De Stefani, 1919 is therefore synonymized under Rhopalomyia Rübsaamen, 1892. Rhopalomyia protrahenda comb. n. is redescribed, with important morphological characters illustrated. Adults have one-segmented palpi, antennae with 12–13 short flagellomeres and long legs with simple tarsal claws. A neotype is designated in the present paper because the type of this species is lost. The host plant has a circum-Mediterranean distribution but the gall midge is currently known only from Sicily, where it completes several generations between January and May.

  19. Rediscovery and identity of Pumilomyia protrahenda De Stefani (Diptera, Cecidomyiidae) in Sicily with redescription and reassessment of its taxonomic position.

    PubMed

    Skuhravá, Marcela; Massa, Bruno; Cerasa, Giuliano

    2016-01-01

    A population of the gall midge Pumilomyia protrahenda De Stefani, 1919 causing galls on Artemisia arborescens (Asteraceae) was discovered near Palermo (Sicily) in 2008. This species had not been found since 1918. Detailed study of morphological characters of adults, larvae and pupae revealed that Pumilomyia protrahenda belongs to the genus Rhopalomyia Rübsaamen, 1892, tribe Rhopalomyiini. The monotypic genus Pumilomyia De Stefani, 1919 is therefore synonymized under Rhopalomyia Rübsaamen, 1892. Rhopalomyia protrahenda comb. n. is redescribed, with important morphological characters illustrated. Adults have one-segmented palpi, antennae with 12-13 short flagellomeres and long legs with simple tarsal claws. A neotype is designated in the present paper because the type of this species is lost. The host plant has a circum-Mediterranean distribution but the gall midge is currently known only from Sicily, where it completes several generations between January and May. PMID:27667957

  20. Rediscovery and identity of Pumilomyia protrahenda De Stefani (Diptera, Cecidomyiidae) in Sicily with redescription and reassessment of its taxonomic position

    PubMed Central

    Skuhravá, Marcela; Massa, Bruno; Cerasa, Giuliano

    2016-01-01

    Abstract A population of the gall midge Pumilomyia protrahenda De Stefani, 1919 causing galls on Artemisia arborescens (Asteraceae) was discovered near Palermo (Sicily) in 2008. This species had not been found since 1918. Detailed study of morphological characters of adults, larvae and pupae revealed that Pumilomyia protrahenda belongs to the genus Rhopalomyia Rübsaamen, 1892, tribe Rhopalomyiini. The monotypic genus Pumilomyia De Stefani, 1919 is therefore synonymized under Rhopalomyia Rübsaamen, 1892. Rhopalomyia protrahenda comb. n. is redescribed, with important morphological characters illustrated. Adults have one-segmented palpi, antennae with 12–13 short flagellomeres and long legs with simple tarsal claws. A neotype is designated in the present paper because the type of this species is lost. The host plant has a circum-Mediterranean distribution but the gall midge is currently known only from Sicily, where it completes several generations between January and May. PMID:27667957

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-06-01

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

  2. Surface circulation patterns in the Sicily Channel and Ionian Sea as revealed by MODIS chlorophyll images from 2003 to 2007

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ciappa, Achille Carlo

    2009-09-01

    The surface circulation in the Sicily Channel and in the Ionian Sea is investigated using MODerate-resolution Infrared Spectro-radiometer (MODIS) chlorophyll-a images collected from 2003 to 2007. The use of chlorophyll as surface tracer in the area is verified by comparison with satellite altimeter measurements available during the same period. The interaction between waters with different concentrations of chlorophyll adds new particulars to the surface circulation of the Atlantic Water (AW) in the study area. In the Sicily Channel, warm anticyclonic structures located in the southern end drive the AW flow along their northern boundary to the south-east, towards the Libyan coast. In winter, the anticyclonic structures contract in a stable nucleus (the Sidra gyre) close to the African coast allowing AW intrusion over the Tunisian shelf (Atlantic Tunisian Current). In summer, the anticyclonic structure expands westwards, limiting the Atlantic Tunisian Current, and northwards, grazing the Atlantic Ionian Stream. It also fragments, allowing occasional AW intrusion into the central part of the Sicily Channel along different pathways. Due to the activity of the Sidra gyre, no evidence of the extension of the Atlantic Tunisian Current along the Libyan coast (east of 15°E) is found in the observation period. AW spreads into the central Ionian for long periods in summer but rarely in winter. It reaches the northern Ionian Sea via anticyclonic eddies (already observed in thermal imagery) departing from the northern and eastern border of the anticyclonic structure, captured by the prevalent clockwise offshore circulation in the northern Ionian (except in summer 2003). The deduced circulation is in agreement with recent studies based on the altimetric Mean Dynamic Topography and trajectories of drifters released in the Sicily Channel in recent years.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-01

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

  4. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Buccheri, Teresa; Quattropani, Maria C

    2015-12-01

    The study was aimed at investigating perception of, attitudes toward, and knowledge of epilepsy among college students of the University of Messina in Sicily (Italy), high school students, and teachers from Sicily in order to structure health educational programs to remediate inadequate knowledge and stigma about epilepsy. Participants in this study consisted of 932 subjects (571 males, 361 females) aged between 13 and 63 years old (M 21.75 ± 8.7): 571 college students aged between 18 and 35 years old (M 21.54 ± 2.59), 62 teachers aged between 38 and 63 years old (M 51.18 ± 6.27), and 299 high school students aged between 13 and 19 years old (M 16.05 ± 1.67). Measures were two anonymous questionnaires to collect sociodemographic information and to assess knowledge of, attitudes toward, and perception of epilepsy. Analyses were performed with descriptive statistical analysis (mean, standard deviation, frequency counts, and percentages) and Mann-Whitney U-test nonparametric for two independent samples. This study provides general information about psychosocial aspects of epilepsy in Sicily which provides the basis for further studies and the development of interventions to eliminate prejudices against persons with epilepsy and related myths.

  7. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2007-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Curry, Brandon; Henne, Paul D.; Mesquita-Joanes, Francesc; Marrone, Federico; Pieri, Valentina; La Mantia, Tommaso; Calò, Camilla; Tinner, Willy

    2016-10-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-10-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-07-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barreca, Giovanni

    2014-12-01

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

  14. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-02-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Sustainability evaluation of Sicily's lemon and orange production: an energy, economic and environmental analysis.

    PubMed

    Pergola, M; D'Amico, M; Celano, G; Palese, A M; Scuderi, A; Di Vita, G; Pappalardo, G; Inglese, P

    2013-10-15

    The island of Sicily has a long standing tradition in citrus growing. We evaluated the sustainability of orange and lemon orchards, under organic and conventional farming, using an energy, environmental and economic analysis of the whole production cycle by using a life cycle assessment approach. These orchard systems differ only in terms of a few of the inputs used and the duration of the various agricultural operations. The quantity of energy consumption in the production cycle was calculated by multiplying the quantity of inputs used by the energy conversion factors drawn from the literature. The production costs were calculated considering all internal costs, including equipment, materials, wages, and costs of working capital. The performance of the two systems (organic and conventional), was compared over a period of fifty years. The results, based on unit surface area (ha) production, prove the stronger sustainability of the organic over the conventional system, both in terms of energy consumption and environmental impact, especially for lemons. The sustainability of organic systems is mainly due to the use of environmentally friendly crop inputs (fertilizers, not use of synthetic products, etc.). In terms of production costs, the conventional management systems were more expensive, and both systems were heavily influenced by wages. In terms of kg of final product, the organic production system showed better environmental and energy performances. PMID:23850762

  4. Assessment of hazards and risks for landscape protection planning in Sicily.

    PubMed

    La Rosa, Daniele; Martinico, Francesco

    2013-09-01

    Landscape protection planning is a complex task that requires an integrated assessment and involves heterogeneous issues. These issues include not only the management of a considerable amount of data to describe landscape features but also the choice of appropriate tools to evaluate the hazards and risks. The landscape assessment phase can provide fundamental information for the definition of a Landscape Protection Plan, in which the selection of norms for protection or rehabilitation is strictly related to hazards, values and risks that are found. This paper describes a landscape assessment methodology conducted by using GIS, concerning landscape hazards, values and risk. Four hazard categories are introduced and assessed concerning urban sprawl and erosion: landscape transformations by new planned developments, intensification of urban sprawl patterns, loss of agriculture land and erosion. Landscape value is evaluated by using different thematic layers overlaid with GIS geoprocessing. The risk of loss of landscape value is evaluated, with reference to the potential occurrence of the previously assessed hazards. The case study is the Province of Enna (Sicily), where landscape protection is a relevant issue because of the importance of cultural and natural heritage. Results show that high value landscape features have a low risk of loss of landscape value. For this reason, landscape protection policies assume a relevant role in landscapes with low-medium values and they should be addressed to control the urban sprawl processes that are beginning in the area.

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

    PubMed

    Vasto, Sonya; Rizzo, Claudia; Caruso, Calogero

    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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2008-09-01

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

  7. Geology of the Strait of Sicily: An example of geological mapping

    SciTech Connect

    Yutsis, V.V. )

    1988-08-01

    The Strait of Sicily is a comparatively shallow-water threshold which divides the Mediterranean into western and eastern deep-water hollows. The author composed a geologic map of the bottom of the Sicilian Strait and adjacent aquatories with a scale of 1:500,000. This map is based on the geologic-geophysical data of Soviet and foreign investigations (including more than 15,000 km of seismic reflection profiles, dredging, sampling, and drilling data) and their seismostratigraphic interpretation. Most of this region is underlain by the continental crust with a thick sedimentary cover. The most widespread sediments are Pliocene-Quaternary. On the map they are shown only in basins where thickness exceeds 200 m (Hammamet, Gabes, Tunisian, etc). Additionally, there are mapped outcrops of Messinian evaporites at the steep slopes of the Malta escarpment, Pantelleria and Malta grabens, Adventure and Skerki banks, etc. Also shown are outcrops of Paleogene, Cretaceous, Jurassic, and Upper Triassic rocks. This new geologic map should generate great interest because of the high petroleum potential of this region.

  8. Assessment of hazards and risks for landscape protection planning in Sicily.

    PubMed

    La Rosa, Daniele; Martinico, Francesco

    2013-09-01

    Landscape protection planning is a complex task that requires an integrated assessment and involves heterogeneous issues. These issues include not only the management of a considerable amount of data to describe landscape features but also the choice of appropriate tools to evaluate the hazards and risks. The landscape assessment phase can provide fundamental information for the definition of a Landscape Protection Plan, in which the selection of norms for protection or rehabilitation is strictly related to hazards, values and risks that are found. This paper describes a landscape assessment methodology conducted by using GIS, concerning landscape hazards, values and risk. Four hazard categories are introduced and assessed concerning urban sprawl and erosion: landscape transformations by new planned developments, intensification of urban sprawl patterns, loss of agriculture land and erosion. Landscape value is evaluated by using different thematic layers overlaid with GIS geoprocessing. The risk of loss of landscape value is evaluated, with reference to the potential occurrence of the previously assessed hazards. The case study is the Province of Enna (Sicily), where landscape protection is a relevant issue because of the importance of cultural and natural heritage. Results show that high value landscape features have a low risk of loss of landscape value. For this reason, landscape protection policies assume a relevant role in landscapes with low-medium values and they should be addressed to control the urban sprawl processes that are beginning in the area. PMID:22766043

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  11. Sustainability evaluation of Sicily's lemon and orange production: an energy, economic and environmental analysis.

    PubMed

    Pergola, M; D'Amico, M; Celano, G; Palese, A M; Scuderi, A; Di Vita, G; Pappalardo, G; Inglese, P

    2013-10-15

    The island of Sicily has a long standing tradition in citrus growing. We evaluated the sustainability of orange and lemon orchards, under organic and conventional farming, using an energy, environmental and economic analysis of the whole production cycle by using a life cycle assessment approach. These orchard systems differ only in terms of a few of the inputs used and the duration of the various agricultural operations. The quantity of energy consumption in the production cycle was calculated by multiplying the quantity of inputs used by the energy conversion factors drawn from the literature. The production costs were calculated considering all internal costs, including equipment, materials, wages, and costs of working capital. The performance of the two systems (organic and conventional), was compared over a period of fifty years. The results, based on unit surface area (ha) production, prove the stronger sustainability of the organic over the conventional system, both in terms of energy consumption and environmental impact, especially for lemons. The sustainability of organic systems is mainly due to the use of environmentally friendly crop inputs (fertilizers, not use of synthetic products, etc.). In terms of production costs, the conventional management systems were more expensive, and both systems were heavily influenced by wages. In terms of kg of final product, the organic production system showed better environmental and energy performances.

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-05-28

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

  13. The 1928 eruption of Mount Etna volcano, Sicily, and the destruction of the town of Mascali.

    PubMed

    Duncan, A M; Dibben, C; Chester, D K; Guest, J E

    1996-03-01

    In November 1928 there was an eruption of Mount Etna, Sicily, which led to lava largely destroying the town of Mascali, situated low on the eastern flank of the volcano. Destruction of the town took just over a day but there was an orderly evacuation of its inhabitants and, with help from the military, families were able to remove furniture and fittings from their houses. Evacuees were relocated to nearby towns staying with relatives, friends or in hired apartments. Rebuilding Mascali provided an opportunity for the fascist government of the time to demonstrate efficient centralised planning. A completely new town was built on a grid-iron plan with many of the buildings reflecting the 'fascist architecture' of the time. The town was complete by 1937 and housing condztzons were very advanced in comparison with other towns in the region. The 1928 eruption is important as it was the most destructive on Etna since 1669 when the city of Catania was overwhelmed. In terms of hazard and risk assessment the 1928 eruption demonstrates that lava can reach the lower flanks of the volcano within a short period after the onset of an eruption.

  14. Adaptation and selection in the Senecio (Asteraceae) hybrid zone on Mount Etna, Sicily.

    PubMed

    Brennan, Adrian C; Bridle, Jon R; Wang, Ai-Lan; Hiscock, Simon J; Abbott, Richard J

    2009-08-01

    Hybrid zone theory provides a powerful theoretical framework for measuring and testing gene flow and selection. The Senecio aethnensis and Senecio chrysanthemifolius hybrid zone on Mount Etna, Sicily, was investigated to identify phenotypic traits under divergent selection and to assess the contributions of intrinsic and extrinsic selection against hybrids to hybrid zone maintenance. Senecio samples from 14 sites across Mount Etna were analyzed for 24 quantitative traits classified into four groups (QTGs), six allozymes and seven simple sequence repeat (SSR) loci to describe patterns of variation throughout the hybrid zone. Narrower cline widths or shifts in cline centre position were observed for three QTGs relative to the molecular clines, indicating that these traits are likely to be under extrinsic environmental selection. Altitude was key to describing species distributions, but dispersal and intrinsic selection against hybrids explained patterns at smaller spatial scales. The hybrid zone was characterized by strong selection against hybrids, high dispersal rates, recent species contact and few loci differentiating QTGs based on indirect measures. These results support the hypothesis that extrinsic and intrinsic selection against hybrids maintains the hybrid zone and species distinctiveness despite gene flow between the two Senecio species on Mount Etna.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-01

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

  16. Identification of D179H, a novel missense GJB2 mutation in a western Sicily family.

    PubMed

    Bartolotta, Caterina; Salvago, Pietro; Cocuzza, Salvatore; Fabiano, Carmelo; Sammarco, Pietro; Martines, Francesco

    2014-06-01

    The main purpose of this study was to describe a novel missense mutation (p.D179H) found in a Western Sicily family and to examine the genetic and audiologic profiles of all family members by performing a GJB2 and GJB6 mutations analysis and a complete audiologic assessment. The proband was a 3-month-old infant with a congenital profound sensorineural hearing loss; direct sequencing of the GJB2 revealed the presence of a c.35delG mutation in the heterozygous state and a heterozygous G>C transition at nucleotide 535 in trans; this novel mutation, called p.D179H, resulted in an aspartic acid to histidine change at codon 179. It was also evidenced in the heterozygous state in two members of this family, both with normal hearing. No GJB6 mutations were evidenced in all subjects studied. Considering the genotypic and phenotypic analysis of all family members, we suggest, differently from the p.D179 N mutation previously reported, a recessive mode of inheritance. Functional studies on p.D179H have to be performed to confirm our hypothesis.

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

  18. Incipient extension along the active convergent margin of Nubia in Sicily, Italy: Cefalù-Etna seismic zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Billi, Andrea; Presti, Debora; Orecchio, Barbara; Faccenna, Claudio; Neri, Giancarlo

    2010-08-01

    Recent geodetic data are compatible with NNE-SSW tectonic extension at a rate of ˜5 mm/yr in Sicily, southern Italy, within a broader region of net active compression along the Nubian plate margin (northern Africa). The structures that accommodate such extensional regime and its cause are still unknown. From field structural surveys and seismological analyses, the geometry, kinematics, structural architecture, and seismic potential of an extensional seismic zone linking Cefalù and Mount Etna in central eastern Sicily are defined. The zone includes high-angle WNW striking normal and right-lateral strike-slip faults and subordinate north and NNE striking strike-slip faults either right or left lateral. The occurrence of small discontinuous faults and the absence of related depressions and sedimentary basins suggest that the extensional regime is still in an incipient stage. The ongoing seismic activity possibly reactivates preexisting faults. Instrumentally and historically recorded earthquakes are lower than about 6 in magnitude, and destructive events are historically unknown since at least 1300 A.D. This apparent upper bound of earthquake magnitudes is consistent with the maximum magnitude values estimated from the length of the longest mapped faults and sources of seismic swarms, which all together suggest a value between 6 and 6.5 as the maximum expected magnitude that can be proposed at the present stage of investigation for earthquakes in the study area. Lateral extension on preexisting faults and upwelling of melt mantle material beneath Mount Etna are considered viable processes to explain, at least in part, the active extensional tectonics along the Cefalù-Etna seismic zone. Strike-slip seismic faulting beneath Mount Etna may be part of a previously proposed diffuse transfer zone affecting northeastern Sicily and including the Tindari Fault.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  20. 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

  1. 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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-05-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-05-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  6. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Salvago, Pietro; Martines, Enrico; Martines, Francesco

    2013-11-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Argnani, A.; Trincardi, F.

    1988-08-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  10. 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.

  11. Time-lapse Imaging of Active Lava Flows at Mt. Etna, Sicily

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    James, M. R.; Pinkerton, H.; Applegarth, L. J.; Hancock, A.; Slatcher, N.; Owen, J.; Calvari, S.; Ganci, G.

    2014-12-01

    Over the last ~6 years, remote time-lapse cameras have been deployed on Mt. Etna, Sicily, with a view to capturing the emplacement of a substantial lava flow field. Initial deployment of wildlife trail-style cameras in 2008 acquired data on lava channel processes during the 2008-9 eruption. In 2009, just in time to capture the dying phases of the eruption, an upgraded network of dSLRs was installed. The network has subsequently captured the steady growth of the New South East crater and the rapid emplacement of short-lived sheet flows that have accompanied the recent paroxysmal fire fountaining events. Most of the imagery has been acquired over distances of multiple kilometres, but the portability of the time-lapse setup has also allowed several opportunistic close range (hundreds of metres or less) deployments, to observe near-vent processes or effusion inside the Bocca Nuova crater. Here, we provide an overview of the equipment, and the approaches used to georeference the monoscopic time-lapse imagery through integrating with 3D data (e.g. existing DEMs, or data simultaneously collected by terrestrial laser scanner or photogrammetric techniques). The acquired observations of flow front emplacement, flow inflation, channel breaching and effusion rate variations that provide insight into the processes involved in long lived flow fields will be presented. Significant opportunities remain, for example, in the near real-time derivation of bulk rheological parameters, and integration with numerical flow models, and the challenges involved in using such imagery will be discussed.

  12. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-04-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  17. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-18

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

  2. 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

  3. A neighborhood revealed by geophysical prospection: An example of urbanization at the Phoenician-Punic settlement of Mozia (western Sicily, Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Di Mauro, D.; Alfonsi, L.; Sapia, V.; Urbini, S.

    2014-05-01

    The archaeological site of Mozia, a small island in front of the western coast of Sicily (Italy), is one of the most important Phoenician-Punic settlements in the Mediterranean; it preserves important vestiges and remains, located in an uncontaminated site, inhabited and car-free. The remains are still partially hidden under vegetation and vineyards.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-03-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-05-01

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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-04-01

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

  11. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-08-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-02-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

  15. Reliability and relative validity of a food frequency questionnaire for Italian adults living in Sicily, Southern Italy.

    PubMed

    Marventano, Stefano; Mistretta, Antonio; Platania, Alessio; Galvano, Fabio; Grosso, Giuseppe

    2016-11-01

    The aim of this study was to develop and test the reliability and relative validity of a food frequency questionnaire (FFQ) specifically developed for individuals living in Sicily, southern Italy. This study was conducted on a convenient sample of 178 adult volunteers aged 18-80 years recruited in the urban population of Catania. Dietary intake estimated by 2 FFQs was compared with six 24-h recalls covering a period of 10 months. A total of 110 food items were included in the FFQ. Person's coefficients between the first FFQ and mean of the six 24-h recalls showed high correlations for coffee, tea, pasta and dairy products, alcohol, total fats and carbohydrates (in women). The test-retest analysis showed high reproducibility of the FFQ. We showed that our FFQ provided a useful estimate of both food and nutrient intake in a healthy adult population.

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

    PubMed

    Comba, Pietro; Scondotto, Salvatore; Musmeci, Loredana

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-01

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

  19. Reliability and relative validity of a food frequency questionnaire for Italian adults living in Sicily, Southern Italy.

    PubMed

    Marventano, Stefano; Mistretta, Antonio; Platania, Alessio; Galvano, Fabio; Grosso, Giuseppe

    2016-11-01

    The aim of this study was to develop and test the reliability and relative validity of a food frequency questionnaire (FFQ) specifically developed for individuals living in Sicily, southern Italy. This study was conducted on a convenient sample of 178 adult volunteers aged 18-80 years recruited in the urban population of Catania. Dietary intake estimated by 2 FFQs was compared with six 24-h recalls covering a period of 10 months. A total of 110 food items were included in the FFQ. Person's coefficients between the first FFQ and mean of the six 24-h recalls showed high correlations for coffee, tea, pasta and dairy products, alcohol, total fats and carbohydrates (in women). The test-retest analysis showed high reproducibility of the FFQ. We showed that our FFQ provided a useful estimate of both food and nutrient intake in a healthy adult population. PMID:27333325

  20. Raman Investigation of Precious Jewelry Collections Preserved in Paolo Orsi Regional Museum (Siracusa, Sicily) Using Portable Equipment.

    PubMed

    Barone, Germana; Mazzoleni, Paolo; Raneri, Simona; Jehlička, Jan; Vandenabeele, Peter; Lottici, Pier Paolo; Lamagna, Gioconda; Manenti, Angela Maria; Bersani, Danilo

    2016-09-01

    This work is a part of a large scientific project aimed at highlighting the potential of portable Raman equipment in characterizing jewelry materials preserved in museums, carried out in collaboration with gemologists and archeologists. In detail, we report the results of a measurement campaign performed for the study of gems and jewels preserved in the well-known Medagliere section at the Paolo Orsi Regional Museum of Siracusa (Sicily). The studied materials consist of exquisite examples of engraved loose gems and really rare examples of Hellenistic-Roman jewels, mainly coming from relevant Sicilian archaeological sites. Portable Raman measurements have been carried out using two instruments equipped with different excitation wavelengths. The obtained results have allowed for a complete characterization of the studied gemological materials, also suggesting sometimes misclassification for some valuable objects and gems. PMID:27520839

  1. Pb isotope composition in lichens and aerosols from eastern Sicily: Insights into the regional impact of volcanoes on the environment

    SciTech Connect

    Monna, F. ); Aiuppa, A.; Varrica, D. ); Dongarra, G. CNR, Palermo . Istituto Geochimica dei Fluidi)

    1999-08-01

    A total of 25 lichen thalli of Parmelia conspersa (Ehrh), collected at Vulcano island and at Mt. Etna, during a one-year biogeochemical survey, were analyzed for Pb, br, Al, Sc,[sup 206]Pb/[sup 207]Pb, and [sup 208]Pb/[sup 206]Pb ratios. Lead isotope ratios were also measured on aerosol samples from urban areas and industrial sites of Sicily. The observed [sup 206]Pb/[sup 207]Pb range for urban and industrial aerosols matches the anthropogenic signature. Lichens instead, are closer to the compositional field of [sup 206]Pb rich geogenic sources. This natural input is more evident at Vulcano island than at Mt. Etna, where the anthropogenic activities are considerably more effective. On the basis of lead isotope data, Pb/Br ratios and calculated lead enrichment factors, a natural lead pollution from volcanoes is suggested. Volcanic lead contribution ranges from 10 to 30% at Mt. Etna to 10--80% at Vulcano island.

  2. Raman Investigation of Precious Jewelry Collections Preserved in Paolo Orsi Regional Museum (Siracusa, Sicily) Using Portable Equipment.

    PubMed

    Barone, Germana; Mazzoleni, Paolo; Raneri, Simona; Jehlička, Jan; Vandenabeele, Peter; Lottici, Pier Paolo; Lamagna, Gioconda; Manenti, Angela Maria; Bersani, Danilo

    2016-09-01

    This work is a part of a large scientific project aimed at highlighting the potential of portable Raman equipment in characterizing jewelry materials preserved in museums, carried out in collaboration with gemologists and archeologists. In detail, we report the results of a measurement campaign performed for the study of gems and jewels preserved in the well-known Medagliere section at the Paolo Orsi Regional Museum of Siracusa (Sicily). The studied materials consist of exquisite examples of engraved loose gems and really rare examples of Hellenistic-Roman jewels, mainly coming from relevant Sicilian archaeological sites. Portable Raman measurements have been carried out using two instruments equipped with different excitation wavelengths. The obtained results have allowed for a complete characterization of the studied gemological materials, also suggesting sometimes misclassification for some valuable objects and gems.

  3. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  5. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-05-01

    Mount Etna is a composite stratovolcano located along the Ionian coast of eastern Sicily. The frequent flank eruptions occurrence (at an interval of years, mostly concentrated along the NE, S and W rift zones) lead to a high volcanic hazard that, linked with intense urbanization, poses a high volcanic risk. A long-term volcanic hazard assessment, mainly based on the past behaviour of the Etna volcano, is the basic tool for the evaluation of this risk. Then, a reliable forecast where the next eruption will occur is needed. A computer-assisted analysis and probabilistic evaluations will provide the relative map, thus allowing identification of the areas prone to the highest hazard. Based on these grounds, the use of a code such BET_EF (Bayesian Event Tree_Eruption Forecasting) showed that a suitable analysis can be explored (Selva et al., 2012). Following an analysis we are performing, a total of 6886 point-vents referring to the last 4.0 ka of Etna flank activity, and spread over an area of 744 km2 (divided into N=2976 squared cell, with side of 500 m), allowed us to estimate a pdf by applying a Gaussian kernel. The probability values represent a complete set of outcomes mutually exclusive and the relative sum is normalized to one over the investigated area; then, the basic assumptions of a Dirichlet distribution (the prior distribution set in the BET_EF code (Marzocchi et al., 2004, 2008)) still hold. One fundamental parameter is the the equivalent number of data, that depicts our confidence on the best guess probability. The BET_EF code also works with a likelihood function. This is modelled by a Multinomial distribution, with parameters representing the number of vents in each cell and the total number of past data (i.e. the 6886 point-vents). Given the grid of N cells, the final posterior distribution will be evaluated by multiplying the a priori Dirichlet probability distribution with the past data in each cell through the likelihood. The probability hazard map

  7. Imprint of foreland structure on the deformation of a thrust sheet: The Plio-Pleistocene Gela Nappe (southern Sicily, Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ghisetti, Francesca C.; Gorman, Andrew R.; Grasso, Mario; Vezzani, Livio

    2009-08-01

    In Sicily, the progressive imbrication of the Apenninic thrust belt above the Pelagian-African Foreland is traced by the southward migration of marine basins that were progressively shortened during the late Miocene-Pleistocene. The outermost and youngest thrust sheet (Gela Nappe) displays a peculiar shortening, with Messinian to early Pliocene E-W folds refolded in the late Pliocene-early Pleistocene by approximately N-S folds (subparallel to the transport direction of the thrust sheets). This structural interference is documented in south Sicily within localized belts of refolding spaced ˜5-8 km apart. The significance of this fold interference pattern is highlighted by our analysis of the offshore seismic reflection line M23A (CROP Mare Project) that intersects the Gela Nappe along a trace suborthogonal to the thrust transport direction. Migration and depth conversion of the line reveal multiple imbrications and draping of the allochthonous units above structural highs of the foreland, delimited by inherited N-S faults. The largest faults bound mid-late Miocene extensional basins but were reactivated in compression during the late Pliocene-early Pleistocene, causing (1) superposed folding along discordant N-S structural trends, (2) compressional extrusion of the whole wedge of the Gela Nappe, and (3) offset of its sole thrust. The reactivation of faults subparallel to the transport direction accommodates differential flexure of the rigid foreland beneath the Apenninic wedge, and these late stage deformations in the foreland are responsible for the superposition of E-W finite shortening onto N-S shortening.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-10-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bressan, Lidia; Tinti, Stefano; Pagnoni, Gianluca

    2014-05-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-07-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-03-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-05-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Cronin, Kelly; Whyte, Catherine; Reiner, Tom

    2008-07-08

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Negm, Amro; Jabro, Jay; Provenzano, Giuseppe

    2016-04-01

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

  1. Bioclimatic requirements for olive flowering in two Mediterranean regions located at the same latitude (Andalucia, Spain and Sicily, Italy).

    PubMed

    Orlandi, Fabio; Vazquez, Luis Manuel; Ruga, Luigia; Bonofiglio, Tommaso; Fornaciari, Marco; Garcia-Mozo, Herminia; Domínguez, Eugenio; Romano, Bruno; Galan, Carmen

    2005-01-01

    The Mediterranean Region is the major area devoted to olive tree crop, and therefore a study of olive flowering is of great interest for the European Community. On the other hand, olive pollen is one of the main causes of pollen allergy in the Mediterranean area. Olive flowering is affected by climatic factors such as temperature and photoperiod, which vary geographically in latitude and altitude. Temperature has been used to study those processes that lead to flowering in the olive tree. The aim of the present paper is firstly the comparison of the flowering full bloom dates in two Mediterranean areas, Sicily (Italy) and Cordoba (Spain), located in the same latitudinal band (37-38 degrees N) and to calculate the heat requirement until flowering by determination of different threshold temperatures and methods of heat accumulation. A delay of the full flowering dates in the Spanish compared with the Italian olive groves was observed. The most suitable threshold temperatures were carried out in a 7 degrees -15 degrees C range by considering the heat accumulation start on 1 January in each olive grove. In particular, some causes were indicated as responsible for the different threshold temperatures recorded in the 2 study areas: First, the different climatic conditions (continental and insular climate) secondly the different cultivars present in the olive groves.

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Lisi, Oscar; Sabella, Giorgio; Pilato, Giovanni

    2014-05-28

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2006-05-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2008-07-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-09-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lo Verde, Gabriella; La Mantia, Tommaso

    2011-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Lisi, Oscar; Sabella, Giorgio; Pilato, Giovanni

    2014-01-01

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

  9. Pollen competition among two species of Senecio (Asteraceae) that form a hybrid zone on Mt. Etna, Sicily.

    PubMed

    Chapman, Mark A; Forbes, David G; Abbott, Richard J

    2005-04-01

    Hybridization between interfertile, sympatric or parapatric, plant species can be reduced significantly by conspecific pollen advantage (CPA), whereby conspecific pollen has an advantage over heterospecific pollen in terms of ovule fertilization. We examined CPA in two interfertile species of Senecio, S. aethnensis, and S. chrysanthemifolius (Asteraceae), which form a hybrid zone on Mt. Etna, Sicily. Individuals of both species were pollinated with pollen mixtures containing 0, 25, 50, 75, or 100% heterospecific pollen, and offspring were genotyped to determine if they were products of conspecific or heterospecific pollen fertilizing the ovules. The mean proportion of hybrid offspring produced on S. aethnensis plants was not significantly different to that expected based on the proportion of heterospecific pollen applied to the flower head. However, S. chrysanthemifolius mother plants showed moderate CPA, with the proportion of hybrid offspring significantly less than expected. Seed set or seed germination was not reduced, hence the CPA found for S. chrysanthemifolius acts before ovule fertilization. The consequences of asymmetry in CPA on the reproductive isolation of S. aethnensis are briefly discussed, along with other mechanisms that may play a role in the maintenance of the hybrid zone on Mt. Etna.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-12-01

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

  11. 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

  12. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  18. 1891 Submarine eruption of Foerstner volcano (Pantelleria, Sicily) : insights into the vent structure of basaltic balloon eruptions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nigro, Fabrizio; Renda, Pietro; Favara, Rocco

    2010-05-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-11-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2000-01-01

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

  2. 3D Subsoil Model of the San Biagio `Salinelle' Mud Volcanoes (Belpasso, Sicily) derived from Geophysical Surveys

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-07-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-11-01

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

  4. 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.

  5. New Metacentric Populations and Phylogenetic Hypotheses Involving Whole-Arm Reciprocal Translocation in Mus musculus domesticus from Sicily, Southern Italy.

    PubMed

    Castiglia, Riccardo; Capanna, Ernesto; Bezerra, Alexandra M R; Bizzoco, Domenico; Zambigli, Emanuela; Solano, Emanuela

    2015-01-01

    The house mouse Mus musculus domesticus is characterized by more than 100 metacentric populations, due to the occurrence of Robertsonian (Rb) fusions, together with the standard all-telocentric karyotype (2n = 40). We examined G-banded karyotypes of 18 mice from 10 localities in Sicily and describe 3 new metacentric populations: 'Ragusa Ibla' (IRAG), 2n = 33-36, Rb(2.4), Rb(5.6), Rb(9.16), Rb(13.17); 'Piana degli Albanesi' (IPIA), 2n = 23, Rb(1.18), Rb(2.15), Rb(3.5), Rb(4.12), Rb(6.11), Rb(7.8), Rb(9.16), Rb(10.14), Rb(13.17); 'Trapani' (ITRA), 2n = 22, Rb(1.18), Rb(2.15), Rb(3.7), Rb(4.12), Rb(5.9), Rb(6.11), Rb(8.16), Rb(10.14), Rb(13.17). Three mice belonged to the previously reported 'Castelbuono' race (ICAS), 2n = 24, which is very similar to the nearby 'Palermo' (IPAL) race, 2n = 26. Three Rb fusions not yet observed in wild mouse populations were identified: Rb(3.5), Rb(3.7) and Rb(5.9). Rb fusions shared among 4 races (IPIA, IRAG, ICAS, and IPAL) allowed us to describe their potential phylogenetic relationships. We obtained 2 alternative phylogenetic trees. The differences between them are mainly due to various modes of formation of IPIA and ITRA. In the first hypothesis, the specific Rb fusions occurred independently. In the second, those of IRAG originated from those of IPIA via whole-arm reciprocal translocations.

  6. Sleep quality and duration is related with diet and obesity in young adolescent living in Sicily, Southern Italy.

    PubMed

    Ferranti, Roberta; Marventano, Stefano; Castellano, Sabrina; Giogianni, Gabriele; Nolfo, Francesca; Rametta, Stefania; Matalone, Margherita; Mistretta, Antonio

    2016-01-01

    The aim of this study was to evaluate the association between sleeping habits, Mediterranean diet pattern, and weight status in an adolescent population. The sample consisted of 1586 individuals aged 11-14 years attending 15 secondary schools of Sicily, Southern Italy. School were randomly selected and the data collected during two school years. Anthropometric data was collected and body composition was assessed by bioelectrical impedance analysis. Demographic information, sleep duration, pediatric daytime sleepiness questionnaire (PDSS), physical activity and dietary habits (including adherence to the Mediterranean Diet using the KIDMED score) were further collected. The mean age was 12±0.7 and about 24% were overweight and obese. An inverse correlation between total sleep time and body mass index (β=-0.829, P=0.021), fat mass (β=-0.526, P=0.025), and waist circumference (β=-0.426, P=0.045) was found. Similar results were found for weekdays sleep time, while an inverse relationship was found with PDSS score. Adherence to Mediterranean Diet was higher in under/normal weight adolescent with a significant linear association between the KIDMED score and the PDSS, weekdays sleep time and total sleep time. Sleep duration was also associated positively with fruits and vegetable intake and negatively with sweet and snack consumption and eating outside habits. Short sleep duration and poor sleep were associated with an increase in BMI and fat mass as well as to unhealthy eating behaviors. These findings suggest that sleep patterns could be a potential target for obesity prevention programs in young adolescence. PMID:27656277

  7. Metasomatizing effects of serpentinization-related hydrothermal fluids in abyssal peridotites: new contributions from Hyblean peridotite xenoliths (southeastern Sicily)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Manuella, Fabio Carmelo; Ottolini, Luisa; Carbone, Serafina; Scavo, Lidia

    2016-11-01

    We studied a partially serpentinized peridotite xenolith, found in the diatreme tuff-breccia deposit at Valle Guffari (Hyblean Plateau, southeastern Sicily, Italy), which is representative of the Hyblean peridotite xenolith suite. We also considered all published (21) whole-rock analyses of Hyblean peridotites, to investigate the metasomatizing effects of seawater-related hydrothermal fluids in the Hyblean basement, an in-situ remnant of the ultraslow-spreading Permian Tethys. In detail, we analyzed the serpentine veins by different techniques (scanning electron microscopy-SEM, electron-probe microanalysis-EPMA, micro-Raman spectroscopy, X-ray powder diffraction-XRPD) to determine the crystal-chemical composition and the structure of the veins. In addition, secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS) was applied to measure the abundance of trace elements. Serpentine veins are made up of two Fe-rich polytypes, chrysotile 2Mc1 and lizardite 1T. The chondrite-normalized rare earth element compositions of both serpentine polytypes are lower than 1, except for a modest light rare earth element (LREE) enrichment, and also in some fluid-mobile elements (FME: B, Rb, Sr, U). Conversely, the whole-rock composition of the studied peridotite xenolith is enriched with LREE and other trace elements (B, Sr, P, Th, U, Pb), like most Hyblean peridotites. The REE and multi-element patterns of Hyblean peridotites are akin to those of hydrothermal sediments from the Mid-Atlantic Ridge and St. Demetrio hill (northern Hyblean Plateau), and abyssal peridotites (serpentinites) whose trace element abundance is generally ascribed to melt-rock interaction. The integrated interpretation of the data and the documentation of hydrothermal minerals [(Na,S)-rich apatite, carbonates] in serpentine veins indicate that serpentinization-related hydrothermal fluids do have a primary role in metasomatism (mainly for the abundance of LREE and high field strength elements-HFSE) of ancient (Permian Tethys) and

  8. Friction and mixing effects on potential vorticity for bottom current crossing a marine strait: an application to the Sicily Channel (central Mediterranean Sea)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Falcini, F.; Salusti, E.

    2014-11-01

    We discuss here the evolution of vorticity and potential vorticity (PV) for a bottom current crossing a marine channel in shallow-water approximation, focusing on the effect of friction and mixing. We argue that bottom current vorticity is prone to significant sign changes and oscillations due to topographic effects when, in particular, the current flows over the sill of a channel. These vorticity variations are, however, modulated by frictional effects due to seafloor roughness and morphology. Such behavior is also reflected in the PV spatial evolution, which shows an abrupt peak around the sill region. Our theoretical findings are discussed by means of in situ hydrographic data related to the Eastern Mediterranean Deep Water, i.e., a dense, bottom water vein that flows northwestward, along the Sicily Channel (Mediterranean Sea). Indeed, the narrow sill of this channel implies that friction and entrainment need to be considered. Small tidal effects in the Sicily Channel allow for a steady theoretical approach. Our diagnoses on vorticity and PV allow us to obtain general insights about the effect of mixing and friction on the pathway and internal structure of bottom-trapped currents flowing through channels and straits, and to discuss spatial variability of the frictional coefficient. Our approach significantly differs from other PV-constant approaches previously used in studying the dynamics of bottom currents flowing through rotating channels.

  9. 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.

  10. Tectonics and sedimentation of the Lower and Middle Pleistocene mixed siliciclastic/bioclastic sedimentary successions of the Ionian Peloritani Mts (NE Sicily, Southern Italy): the onset of opening of the Messina Strait

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stefano, Agata; Longhitano, Sergio

    2009-03-01

    Biostratigraphic analyses carried out on siliciclastic/bioclastic deposits discontinuously cropping out along the Ionian flank of NE Sicily, indicate that they form two sedimentary events of Early and Middle Pleistocene, respec tively. Vertical facies successions, showing transgressive trends, suggest that sedimentation occurred within semi-enclosed marine embayments, where sublittoral coastal wedges developed on steep ramp-type shelves. Sediments accumulated in shoreface to offshore transitions along steep bottom profiles. This depositional scenario was strongly conditioned by the tectonic activity of the rift zone linking Western Calabria and Eastern Sicily. The effects of glacio-eustatism were also recognized. According to our reconstruction, the study area was controlled by a transfer fault system which affected the coastal margin producing major episodes of uplift and subsidence. Block-faulting was responsible for significant cannibalization and recycling of older deposits during the Middle Pleistocene. Such a tectonic setting can be considered the precursor scenario for the formation of the Messina Strait between Calabria and Sicily. This narrow, linear basin influences the hydrodynamic setting of sublittoral deposits along the Ionian coast of Sicily, giving rise to strong flood/ebb tidal currents. The uppermost part of the Middle Pleistocene succession recognized in the study area is indeed dominated by tide-influenced associations of sedimentary structures which most likely record the first stage of the opening of this `seaway' of the central Mediterranean Sea.

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

    PubMed

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

    1990-02-01

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

  12. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-07-01

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

  18. deducing the sequence of deformations during chain building from the analysis of minor structures: the case of the Sicily Belt (Central Mediterranean)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nigro, Fabrizio; Renda, Pietro; Favara, Rocco

    2010-05-01

    Kinematics of mountain belts is often very difficult to decipher. Main problems consist in the linkage between different stages of deformation which define the chain building, their significance in the context of lithospheric evolution dominates by plate collision and the interaction with previous structures recorded in the rocks. Also, the overprinting of structures developing later with respect to the chain building may further make complicate the way to unravel the tectonic evolution of the wedge. Folding and faulting are the dominant modes for strain partitioning during chain building. The micro-to-macroscopic related structures represent shortening accommodation in the shallow crustal levels during plate collision. The structures defined by both modes are often geometrically and kinematically linked. Folding and faulting may also be representative of distinct episodes of tectonism. Meso-scale structural observations provide a powerful tool to unravel the evolution of map- and regional-scale structures. Several studies are known worldwide, regarding the deformative history during a single contractional episode. Also in the Mediterranean region, several outcrop- and map-scale examples are consistent with a progressive deformation model, where folding and thrusting are interpreted as kinematically linked. The connection between thrusting-and-folding evolution and the wedge failure towards the extensional collapse in collisional settings is poorly argued. Different opinions are known about this concept: i) one view is that extension post-date thrusting and wedge growth and is due to thermal processes in the inner zones of the chain built; and ii) the other view is that extension develops during the chain building processes and is related to the wedge taper evolution. In Sicily, located in the Central Mediterranean, lack a kinematic model relative to the chain building, including folding-and-thrusting and extension. Our aim is to provide constraints to help unravel

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2010-04-15

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-05-01

    synthetic way. The first, characterized or estimated, prognosticated one or several indexes of geological ecological conditions. In the second type of maps, the whole complex is reflected, which defined the modern or prognosticable ecological geological situation. Regarding the ecological geological zoning maps, the contemporary state of ecological geological conditions may be evaluated by a range of parameters into classes of conditions and, on the basis of these informations, the estimation from the position of comfort and safety of human life and function of ecosystem is given. Otherwise, the concept of geoecological land evaluation has become established in the study of landscape/environmental plannings in recent years. It requires different thematic data-sets, deriving from the natural-, social- and amenity-environmental resources analysis, that may be translate in environmental (vulnerability/quality) indexes. There have been some attempts to develop integrated indices related to various aspects of the environment within the framework of sustainable development (e.g.: United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development, World Economic Forum, Advisory Board on Indicators of Sustainable Development of the International Institute for Sustainable Development, Living Planet Index established by the World Wide Fund for Nature, etc.). So, the ecological geological maps represent the basic tool for the geoecological land evaluation policies and may be computed in terms of index-maps. On these basis, a GIS application for assessing the ecological geological zoning is presented for Sicily (Central Mediterranean). The Geo-Ecological Quality Index (GEQUI) map was computed by considering a lot of variables. Ten variables (lithology, climate, landslide distribution, erosion rate, soil type, land cover, habitat, groundwater pollution, roads density and buildings density) generated from available data, were used in the model, in which weighting values to each informative layer were

  1. Origin of methane expelled from the "Macalube di Aragona" mud volcanoes area (Central Sicily, Italy): thermogenic or bacterial?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grassa, F.; Inguaggiato, S.; Favara, R.

    2005-12-01

    The "Macalube di Aragona" area is located in Central Sicily (Italy) within a thick accretionary wedge (up to 6 km), developing along the frontal part (Southern margin) of the Sicilian thrust belt. Mud volcanoes are among the most important natural emissions of waters, oil and gaseous hydrocarbons from buried sediments. We have periodically collected gases from one mud volcano and one pool with the aim to investigate the origin of the hydrocarbons from the "Macalube di Aragona". Gas released from mud volcano and mud pool from the "Macalube di Aragona" show very similar chemical and isotopic composition. They consist of mostly CH4 (90 to 92.5 Vol.) with δDCH4 and δ13CCH4 around -190 and -48 respectively. N2, O2 and CO2 are only minor components with N2/O2 ratios very close to same ratio of Air. The carbon isotope composition of methane straddles the fields relative to thermogenic and microbial gas, thus giving ambiguous indication on the origin of gases. However, coupling the molecular and the isotopic composition of hydrocarbons, the hypothesis of a mixing process seems to be not realistic. Then, the occurrence of secondary post-genetic processes which masks the original molecular composition and/or the isotope signature should be invoked. Three post-genetic processes have been considered and evaluated. The first process suggests that gas are thermogenic in origin and they are selectively enriched in CH4 with respect to heavier molecular gas during migration. The remaining processes include that gas are preferentially originated by bacterial reduction and the change in the composition are due (1) to the depletion of substrate, which cause a progressive enrichment in 13C in the residual reservoir and consequently in the produced gases or (2) to the preferential loss of CH4 as a consequence of oxidation processes. In fact, being methane oxidized much more easily than heavier hydrocarbons such a process causes an enrichment of heavier isotope in the residual methane

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-04-01

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

  3. Friction and mixing effects on potential vorticity for bottom current crossing a marine strait: an application to the Sicily Channel (central Mediterranean Sea)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Falcini, F.; Salusti, E.

    2015-05-01

    We discuss here the evolution of vorticity and potential vorticity (PV) for a bottom current crossing a marine channel in shallow-water approximation, focusing on the effect of friction and mixing. The purpose of this research is indeed to investigate the role of friction and vertical entrainment on vorticity and PV spatial evolution in channels or straits when along-channel morphology variations are significant. To pursue this investigation, we pose the vorticity and PV equations for a homogeneous bottom water vein and we calculate these two quantities as an integral form. Our theoretical findings are considered in the context of in situ hydrographic data related to the Eastern Mediterranean Deep Water (EMDW), i.e., a dense, bottom water vein that flows northwestward, along the Sicily Channel (Mediterranean Sea). Indeed, the narrow sill of this channel implies that friction and entrainment need to be considered. Small tidal effects in the Sicily Channel allow for a steady theoretical approach. We argue that bottom current vorticity is prone to significant sign changes and oscillations due to topographic effects when, in particular, the current flows over the sill of a channel. These vorticity variations are, however, modulated by frictional effects due to seafloor roughness and morphology. Such behavior is also reflected in the PV spatial evolution, which shows an abrupt peak around the sill region. Our diagnoses on vorticity and PV allow us to obtain general insights about the effect of mixing and friction on the pathway and internal structure of bottom-trapped currents flowing through channels and straits, and to discuss spatial variability of the frictional coefficient. Our approach significantly differs from other PV-constant approaches previously used in studying the dynamics of bottom currents flowing through rotating channels.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-06-01

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

  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 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  7. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-05-01

    With the aim of studying the multi-scale fault architecture and permeability in hydrocarbon-rich porous carbonate rocks, we are currently involved in a project focused on the structural analysis of fractured and faulted platform-to-ramp carbonates cropping out in the Hyblean Plateau (Sicily, Italy). The Hyblean Plateau is part of the Maghrebian foreland and forms the northern portion of the African plate. The plateau is a NE-oriented structural high crosscut by a large-scale N10°-20°E oriented strike-slip fault system, named Scicli-Ragusa, which was affected by right-lateral kinematics during the Upper Miocene-Lower Pliocene. Some authors documented a recent activity of the Scicli-Ragusa fault system, during the Quaternary, characterized by left-lateral kinematics. The portion of the Hyblean Plateau crosscut by this fault system represents an excellent example of an outcropping analogue of a fractured carbonate reservoir. By taking advantage of the several oil shows located along the Scicli-Ragusa fault system, we combine stratigraphic-structural analyses, both at outcrop and microscopic scales, to assess the structural control exerted by faults and fractures on hydrocarbon migration and storage. The field work focused on the geological mapping, at 1:10.000 scale, on detailed stratigraphic characterization of the outcropping layered carbonates (Ragusa Fm.) and on traditional faults and fractures analysis. Sample collection was also performed in order to conduct, in the laboratory, optical microscope and image analyses. The Oligo-Miocenic Ragusa Fm. is comprised of two main members: i) the lower Leonardo Member, which is characterised by well-cemented carbonate packstones intercalated with marl-rich levels; ii) the upper Irminio Member, characterised by an alternation of well-cemented and poorly-cemented grainstones/packstones. According to both orientations and kinematics, we grouped the fault segments of the Scicli-Ragusa fault system into three major sets: (i

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

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

  10. Recent, allopatric, homoploid hybrid speciation: the origin of Senecio squalidus (Asteraceae) in the British Isles from a hybrid zone on Mount Etna, Sicily.

    PubMed

    James, Juliet K; Abbott, Richard J

    2005-12-01

    Homoploid hybrid speciation occurs through stabilization of a hybrid segregate (or segregates) isolated by premating and/or postmating barriers from parent taxa. Theory predicts that ecological and spatial isolation are of critical importance during homoploid hybrid speciation, and all confirmed homoploid hybrid species are ecologically isolated from their parents. Until recently, such species have been identified long after they originated, and consequently it has not been possible to determine the relative importance of spatial and ecological isolation during their origin. Here we present evidence for the recent origin (within the past 300 years) of a new homoploid hybrid species, Senecio squalidus (Asteraceae), in the British Isles, following long-distance dispersal of hybrid material from a hybrid zone between S. aethnensis and S. chrysanthemifolius on Mount Etna, Sicily, Italy. Historical records show that such hybrid material from Sicily was introduced to the Oxford Botanic Garden in Britain in the early part of the 18th century and that S. squalidus began to spread from there after approximately 90 years. A survey of randomly amplified polymorphic DNA/intersimple sequence repeats (RAPD/ISSR) marker variation demonstrated that S. squalidus is a diploid hybrid derivative of S. aethnensis and S. chrysanthemifolius that grow at high and low altitudes, respectively, on Mount Etna and that form a hybrid zone at intermediate altitudes. Senecio squalidus contained 11 of 13 RAPD/ISSR markers that were recorded at high frequency in S. chrysanthemifolius but were absent or occurred at low frequency in S. aethnensis, and 10 of 13 markers for which the reverse was true. Bayesian admixture analysis showed that all individuals of S. squalidus surveyed were of mixed ancestry with relatively high mean proportions of ancestry derived from both S. chrysanthemifolius and S. aethnensis (0.644 and 0.356, respectively). We argue that long-distance isolation of hybrid material from

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Falcini, Federico; Palatella, Luigi; Cuttitta, Angela; Buongiorno Nardelli, Bruno; Lacorata, Guglielmo; Lanotte, Alessandra S.; Patti, Bernardino; Santoleri, Rosalia

    2015-01-01

    Knowledge of the link between ocean hydrodynamics and distribution of small pelagic fish species is fundamental for the sustainable management of fishery resources. Both commercial and scientific communities are indeed seeking to provide services that could “connect the dots” among in situ and remote observations, numerical ocean modelling, and fisheries. In the Mediterranean Sea and, in particular, in the Sicily Channel the reproductive strategy of the European Anchovy (Engraulis encrasicolus) is strongly influenced by the oceanographic patterns, which are often visible in sea surface temperature satellite data. Based on these experimental evidences, we propose here a more general approach where the role of ocean currents, wind effects, and mesoscale activity are tied together. To investigate how these features affect anchovy larvae distribution, we pair ichthyoplankton observations to a wide remote sensing data set, and to Lagrangian numerical simulations for larval transport. Our analysis shows that while the wind-induced coastal current is able to transport anchovy larvae from spawning areas to the recruiting area off the Sicilian south-eastern tip, significant cross-shore transport due to the combination of strong northwesterly mistral winds and topographic effects delivers larvae away from the coastal conveyor belt. We then use a potential vorticity approach to describe the occurrence of larvae cross-shore transport. We conclude that monitoring and quantifying the upwelling on the southern Sicilian coast during the spawning season allows to estimate the cross-shore transport of larvae and the consequent decrease of individuals within the recruiting area. PMID:25915489

  13. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  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.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Realmuto, Vincent J.

    1992-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

  18. 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

  19. Calibration of a real-time tsunami detection algorithm for sites with no instrumental tsunami records: application to stations in Eastern Sicily, Italy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-06-01

    Coastal tide-gauges play a very important role in a Tsunami Warning System, since sea-level data are needed for a correct evaluation of the tsunami threat and the tsunami arrival has to be recognised as early as possible. Real-time tsunami detection algorithms serve this purpose. For an efficient detection they have to be calibrated and adapted to the specific local characteristics of the site where they are installed, which is easily done when the station has recorded a sufficiently large number of tsunamis. In this case the recorded database can be used to select the best set of parameters enhancing the discrimination power of the algorithm and minimizing the detection time. This chance is however rare, since most of the coastal tide-gauge stations, either historical or of new installation, have recorded only a few tsunamis in their lifetime, if not any. In this case calibration must be carried out by using synthetic tsunami signals, which poses the problem of how to generate them and how to use them. This paper investigates this issue and proposes a calibration approach by using as an example a specific case, that is the calibration of a real-time detection algorithm called TEDA for two stations, namely Tremestieri and Catania, in eastern Sicily, Italy, that have been recently installed in the frame of the Italian project TSUNET, aiming at improving the tsunami monitoring capacity in a region that is one of the most hazardous tsunami areas of Italy and of the Mediterranean.

  20. Calibration of a real-time tsunami detection algorithm for sites with no instrumental tsunami records: application to coastal tide-gauge stations in eastern Sicily, Italy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

    Coastal tide gauges play a very important role in a tsunami warning system, since sea-level data are needed for a correct evaluation of the tsunami threat, and the tsunami arrival has to be recognized as early as possible. Real-time tsunami detection algorithms serve this purpose. For an efficient detection, they have to be calibrated and adapted to the specific local characteristics of the site where they are installed, which is easily done when the station has recorded a sufficiently large number of tsunamis. In this case the recorded database can be used to select the best set of parameters enhancing the discrimination power of the algorithm and minimizing the detection time. This chance is however rare, since most of the coastal tide-gauge stations, either historical or of new installation, have recorded only a few tsunamis in their lifetimes, if any. In this case calibration must be carried out by using synthetic tsunami signals, which poses the problem of how to generate them and how to use them. This paper investigates this issue and proposes a calibration approach by using as an example a specific case, which is the calibration of a real-time detection algorithm called TEDA (Tsunami Early Detection Algorithm) for two stations (namely Tremestieri and Catania) in eastern Sicily, Italy, which were recently installed in the frame of the Italian project TSUNET, aiming at improving the tsunami monitoring capacity in a region that is one of the most hazardous tsunami areas of Italy and of the Mediterranean.

  1. The role of hydrodynamic processes on anchovy eggs and larvae distribution in the sicily channel (mediterranean sea): a case study for the 2004 data set.

    PubMed

    Falcini, Federico; Palatella, Luigi; Cuttitta, Angela; Buongiorno Nardelli, Bruno; Lacorata, Guglielmo; Lanotte, Alessandra S; Patti, Bernardino; Santoleri, Rosalia

    2015-01-01

    Knowledge of the link between ocean hydrodynamics and distribution of small pelagic fish species is fundamental for the sustainable management of fishery resources. Both commercial and scientific communities are indeed seeking to provide services that could "connect the dots" among in situ and remote observations, numerical ocean modelling, and fisheries. In the Mediterranean Sea and, in particular, in the Sicily Channel the reproductive strategy of the European Anchovy (Engraulis encrasicolus) is strongly influenced by the oceanographic patterns, which are often visible in sea surface temperature satellite data. Based on these experimental evidences, we propose here a more general approach where the role of ocean currents, wind effects, and mesoscale activity are tied together. To investigate how these features affect anchovy larvae distribution, we pair ichthyoplankton observations to a wide remote sensing data set, and to Lagrangian numerical simulations for larval transport. Our analysis shows that while the wind-induced coastal current is able to transport anchovy larvae from spawning areas to the recruiting area off the Sicilian south-eastern tip, significant cross-shore transport due to the combination of strong northwesterly mistral winds and topographic effects delivers larvae away from the coastal conveyor belt. We then use a potential vorticity approach to describe the occurrence of larvae cross-shore transport. We conclude that monitoring and quantifying the upwelling on the southern Sicilian coast during the spawning season allows to estimate the cross-shore transport of larvae and the consequent decrease of individuals within the recruiting area.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-04-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  5. Pleistocene volcaniclastic units from North-Eastern Sicily (Italy): new evidence for calc-alkaline explosive volcanism in the Southern Tyrrhenian Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Di Bella, Marcella; Italiano, Francesco; Sabatino, Giuseppe; Tripodo, Alessandro; Baldanza, Angela; Casella, Sergio; Pino, Paolo; Rasa', Riccardo; Russo, Selma

    2016-08-01

    A well-preserved volcaniclastic sequence crops out in Pleistocene marine sediments along the Tyrrhenian coastline of the Calabrian-Peloritani arc (Sicily, Italy), testifying the occurrence of Lower-Middle Pleistocene volcanic activity in Southern Tyrrhenian Sea. The presence of dominant highly vesicular and minor blocky glassy particles indicates that the volcanic clasts were originated by explosive events related to the ascent and violent emission of volatile-rich magmas accompanied by and/or alternated with hydromagmatic fragmentation due to magma-sea water interaction. Field investigations and sedimentological features of the studied volcaniclastic units suggest a deposition from sediment-water density flows. The chemical classification of the pumice clasts indicates prevalent rhyolitic and dacitic compositions with calc-alkaline to high-K calc-alkaline affinity. The geochemical features of immobile trace elements together with the presence of orthopyroxene are indicative of a provenance from an arc-type environment. The age (from 980-910 to 589 ka), the chemical composition and the evidence of subaerial explosive volcanic activity constrain the origin nature and temporal evolution of the arc-type volcanism in the Southern Tyrrhenian domain. Finally, the new information here provided contribute to a better understanding of the temporal geodynamic evolution of this sector of the Mediterranean domain.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-11-01

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

  9. 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; εNdi = 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-09-01

    Flash floods are phenomena in which the important hydrologic processes are occurring on the same spatial and temporal scales as the intense precipitation. Most of the catchment in the North-East part of Sicily (Italy) are small, with a steep slope, and characterized by short concentration times. These characteristics make those catchment prone to flash flood formation, as demonstrated by events that occurred in the area around Messina in the North-East part of Sicily, Italy in the last recent years. The events occurred on 25th October 2007 in the Mastroguglielmo torrent on the ionic sea coast, on 11th December 2008 in the Elicona catchment on the Tyrrhenian sea coast and on 1st October 2009 in Racinazzi and Giampilieri torrents on the ionic sea coast are an example of flash floods and debris flow events that caused not only significant economic damages to property, buildings, roads and bridges but also, for this that concern the 1st October 2009 flash flood event, loss of human life. This work is aimed by the 1st October 2009 flash flood and debris flow event where a devastating flooding was caused by a very intense rainfall concentrated over the Messina area. The storm caused severe flash floods in many villages around the city of Messina, such as Giampilieri, Scaletta Zanclea, Altolia Superiore and Molino with forty casualties and significant damage to property, buildings, roads and bridges estimated close to 200 million Euro. Main focus of this work is to perform a post event analysis of the 2009 flash flood event, putting together available meteorological and hydrological data in order to get better insight into temporal and spatial variability of the rain storm, the soil moisture condition and the consequent flash floods in the catchment of the Giampilieri catchment. Starting from these information another objective has been, then, to document the post-failure stage of event concerning slid materials. With the help of GIS technology and particularly spatial

  13. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-02-01

    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 A (H1N1). A logistic regression analysis indicates an increased risk of non-vaccination against pandemic influenza in females (OR=1.6; 95% CI=1.3-2.1) compared to males, in nurses/technicians/administrative workers (OR=1.7; 95% CI=1.3-2.2) compared to doctors/biologists, and in HCWs who were non-vaccinated against seasonal influenza in 2008-2009 (OR=4.9; 95% CI=3.7-6.5) compared to vaccinated HCWs. Overall, 302 (74.2%) out of 407 questionnaires distributed to vaccinated HCWs were returned within the observation period. One hundred fifty-two workers (50.3%) experienced at least one adverse reaction (30.1%, local reactions; 6.6% systemic reactions and 13.6% both of them). The most frequent side effect of vaccination was pain at the injection site (43.4%). Twelve (3.9%) out of 302 HCWs stated they experienced influenza-like illness episodes during the follow-up period. The use of an adjuvanted vaccine against pandemic influenza A (H1N1) appears to be an effective and safe preventive strategy, showing a prevalence of both local and systemic adverse reactions not very different from that seen after vaccination with non-adjuvanted seasonal influenza vaccine. Despite this finding, vaccination coverage among HCWs remains very low, suggesting the need to implement educational campaigns directed to groups with lower coverage rates.

  16. Subaerial exposure and drowning processes in a carbonate platform during the Mesozoic Tethyan rifting: The case of the Jurassic succession of Western Sicily (central Mediterranean)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sulli, A.; Interbartolo, F.

    2016-01-01

    The Liassic carbonate platform succession outcropping at Monte Maranfusa (central Western Sicily) consists of a shallowing-upward sequence of peritidal carbonates, with Jurassic to Paleogene pelagic limestone and siliciclastic Tertiary covers above. The cyclic sequences of subtidal wackestones/packstones, intertidal microcrystalline carbonates with bird's-eye pores, and supratidal bioclastic grainstones are interbedded with dark layers of the following composition: 1) dark-gray, compact, and well-cemented limestone with blackish clasts, interpreted as calcretes (a type of carbonate soil) and 2) reddish calcite laminae, deformed by elongated cavities, filled with vadose silt, interpreted as paleokarst. This succession is crossed by almost vertical faults, of the Late Liassic to Miocene, which often coincides with neptunian dykes, filled by several generations of Toarcian-Early Miocene pelagic sediments. Another system of dykes, known as neptunian sills, filled by injected Upper Lias-Dogger pelagic sediments, lies parallel to the stratification. The parallel dykes were caused by the flexure of the platform during the Jurassic and presumably by a planar slip in the carbonate rocks, whereas neptunian dykes are caused by faulting episodes. Here, we present evidence that the dark layers in the Liassic succession of Monte Maranfusa, previously described by many authors only as parallel dykes, can actually be interpreted as a) neptunian sills, b) pedogenic calcretes, and c) paleospeleothems. Therefore, we found evidence of exposure/flooding intervals in the evolution of the carbonate platform during the Liassic, linked to different pulses in both the subsidence/tectonic activity and the sea-level oscillations. At the top, Fe-Mn crusts (hardgrounds) seal the carbonate platform succession, which is in turn overlain by condensed pelagic deposits, confirming its drowning during rifting processes.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Grechi, Daniele; Biggeri, Annibale

    2016-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-10-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1994-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-02-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2006-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-09-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Realmuto, V.J.; Abrams, M.J.; Buongiorno, M.F.; Pieri, D.C. )

    1994-01-10

    The authors have found that image data acquired with NASA's airborne Thermal Infrared Multispectral Scanner (TIMS) can be used to make estimates of the SO[sub 2] content of volcanic plumes. TIMS image data are most applicable to the study of partially transparent SO[sub 2] plumes, such as those released during quiescent periods or nonexplosive eruptions. The estimation procedure is based on the LOWTRAN 7 radiative transfer code, which the authors use to model the radiance perceived by TIMS as it views the ground through an SO[sub 2] plume. The input to the procedure includes the altitudes of the aircraft and ground, the altitude and thickness of the SO[sub 2] plume, the emissivity of the ground, and altitude profiles of the atmospheric pressure, temperature, and relative humidity. They use the TIMS data to estimate both ground temperatures beneath a plume and SO[sub 2] concentrations within a plume. Applying this procedure to TIMS data acquired over Mount Etna, Sicily, on July 29, 1986, the authors estimate that the SO[sub 2] flux from the volcano was approximately 6700 t d[sup [minus]1]. The use of TIMS to study SO[sub 2] plumes represents a bridge between highly localized methods, such as correlation spectroscopy or direct sampling, and small-scale mapping techniques involving satellite instruments such as the Total Ozone Mapping Spectrometer or Microwave Limb Sounder. The authors require further airborne experiments to refine their estimation procedure. This refinement is a necessary preparation for the scheduled 1998 launch of the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflectance Radiometer, which will allow large-scale multispectral thermal infrared image data to be collected over virtually any volcano on Earth at least once every 16 days.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-10-01

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

  7. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-10-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    Background The area of Milazzo-Valle del Mela (Sicily, Italy) is considered at high risk of environmental crisis by regional authorities. Objective To measure oxidative-stress, DNA repair and detoxification genes in school children living near the industrial area and in age-matched controls. Methods The parent study was a biomonitoring investigation evaluating heavy metal urine levels in 226 children aged 12–14 years, living in the high risk area, and in 29 age-matched controls living 45 km far from the industrial site. In the present study 67 exposed adolescents and 29 controls were included. Samples were analyzed for urinary 8-hydroxydeoxyguanosine (8OHdG) levels, and gene expression of OGG1 (DNA repair gene), NQO1, ST13, and MT1A (detoxifying genes). Results Urinary cadmium was higher (p = 0.0004) in exposed [geometric mean, 0.46 µg/L; 25th–75th percentile: 0.3–0.56] than in control adolescents [geometric mean, 0.26 µg/L; 25th–75th percentile: 0.2–0.3]. Chromium was also significantly elevated in exposed [geometric mean, 1.52 µg/L; 25th–75th percentile: 1.19–1.93] compared with controls [geometric mean, 1.25 µg/L; 25th–75th percentile: 1.05–1.48; p = 0.02]. Urinary 8-OHdG concentration was greater in exposed than in controls (71.49 vs 61.87 µg/L, p = 0.02), and it was correlated with cadmium levels (r = 0.46, p < 0.0001), and with the combined exposure index (r = 0.43, p < 0.0001). Moreover, cadmium levels showed a robust correlation with OGG1 and MT1A gene expression levels (r = 0.44, p < 0.0001; r = 0.39, p < 0.0001, respectively). Finally, OGG1 and MT1A were over-expressed in adolescents from Milazzo-Valle del Mela area compared with controls (p = 0.0004; p < 0.0001, respectively). Conclusions Continuous exposure at relatively low concentrations of heavy metals is associated with increased oxidative DNA damage and impaired expression of DNA repair and detoxification genes in adolescents. PMID:24936443

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

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

  12. 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

    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

  13. Chemical composition of the essential oil of Jacobaea maritima (L.) Pelser & Meijden and Jacobaea maritima subsp. bicolor (Willd.) B. Nord. & Greuter (Asteraceae) collected wild in Croatia and Sicily, respectively.

    PubMed

    Maggio, Antonella; Venditti, Alessandro; Senatore, Felice; Bruno, Maurizio; Formisano, Carmen

    2015-01-01

    In this study, the chemical compositions of the essential oils from aerial parts (JmA) and radices (JmR) of Jacobaea maritima (L.) Pelser & Meijden, collected in Croatia, and of Jacobaea maritima subsp. bicolor (Willd.) B. Nord. & Greuter, collected in Sicily, were evaluated by using gas chromatography and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. The main components of the essential oil from J. maritima, both in JmA and JmR, were pentacosane (15.7%), heptacosane (13.1%) and nonacosane (8.1%) whereas the essential oil from J. maritima subsp. bicolor was characterised by the presence of hexadecanoic acid (14.6%), caryophyllene oxide (9.3%) and hexahydrofarnesylacetone (6.5%). The comparison of the essential oil with other studied oils of the genus Jacobaea is discussed.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-05-01

    Landslides detection and mapping are fundamental requirements for every hazard and risk evaluation. Due to their inevitable shortcomings, geomorphological field surveys and airphoto interpretation do not document all the gravitational events. Indeed some unstable slopes are inaccessible to field surveyors, while some landslides are too slow to be detected with the naked eye or interpretation of aerial photographs. In this work, we integrate geomorphological surveys with ground motion data derived by employing COSMO-SkyMed satellite imagery and the Intermittent Small BAseline Subset (ISBAS; Sowter et al., 2013), a new Advanced Differential Interferometry Synthetic Aperture Radar (ADInSAR) technique which has been developed recently at the Nottingham University in the UK. The main advantage of ISBAS with respect to other InSAR and SBAS techniques, is the possibility to detect good radar reflectors even in non-urbanized terrain, where ground targets usually look intermittently coherent, meaning they have high coherence only in some interferograms but not in others. ISBAS has proven capable of increasing results over natural, woodland and agricultural terrains and, as a result, it makes it possible to improve the detection of landslide boundaries and the assessment of the state of activity where other InSAR approaches fail. We used COSMO-SkyMed StripMap data covering the period between November 2008 and October 2011, with 3m ground range resolution, 40° look angle and minimum revisiting time of 8 days. The data consist of 38 ascending images (track 133, frame 380) with ground track angle at scene centre of 169.5° from the north-south direction. These have been obtained thanks to an agreement between the Italian Ministry for the Environment, Land and Sea and the University of Naples 'Federico II'. We tested ISBAS in north-western Sicily (southern Italy), over a 1,530 km2 area where 1,473 landslides have been identified based on optical imagery and field surveys by the

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-04-01

    Mount Etna in northeastern Sicily (Italy) rises to over 3000 m, covers an area of ca.1750 km2 and is the most active volcano in Europe. Observations of Etna by literate observers stretch back to the classical era and one of the earliest references to an eruption of Etna was by Pindar in his Pythian Odes, to the event of ca. 474-479 B.C. The history of its activity has been reconstructed by scholars up to the present day and records of eruptions are reasonably complete from the early fifteenth century, reliable from 1669, and document the threats and destruction to human settlements and livelihoods. Effusive and explosive activity has occurred continually throughout the historical period and eruptions of Mount Etna have presented numerous eruption styles, from persistent central crater activity, to periodic flank eruptions. From 1600 to 1669 the activity of Etna was characterised by a high volumetric output of lava with a mean eruption rate of 1.19 m3s-1, this was followed by a pause from flank eruptions and the re-establishment of significant activity from the middle of the eighteenth century. After 1750 the output of lava by flank eruptions was lower than in the previous century, with the mean eruption rate falling to 0.18 m3s-1. This paper summarises: the characteristics of the eruptions that occurred between the period of 1600 to present; the particularities of the societal responses over time and the role of the authorities; and, the important lessons this history holds for the management of present-day civil defence planning in the region. People responded to the eruptions at three levels: as members of a family and extended family; as members of a community and, as citizens of the State. The State, however, was a minor player in responding to these eruptions until the early nineteenth century as the State then became more involved in each successive eruption as the responses moved to a more industrial nature rather than pre-industrial. Today emergencies are

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-01

    The second world cholera pandemic in Europe (1829-1849) was significant because of its geographic extent and the enormous numbers of people who fell ill or died. It was also singularly important because it demonstrated the profound levels of ignorance in both Europe and North America concerning the cause, modes of transmission, and treatment of cholera. This paper discusses the pandemic in the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies in great detail. Even though medical and public health authorities in this kingdom had several years to prepare for cholera's eventual arrival in 1836-1837, their elaborate preventive and therapeutic measures proved no more successful than elsewhere. Despite their efforts, it was estimated that there were 32,145 cases of cholera in the city of Naples by July 1837. Some 19,470 people were estimated to have died among the city's then 357,283 population. This amounted to a cholera-specific mortality rate of 54.5/1000 population. Sicily was also severely affected by the epidemic. It was estimated that 69,000 people died of cholera in Sicily, 24,000 of them in the city of Palermo. Two rural towns in the kingdom, San Prisco and Forio d'Ischia, were selected for in-depth epidemiologic study. The former had a population of 3700 in 1836-1837, while the latter had a population of 5500. The economic basis of both towns was agriculture. However, because Forio is located on an island, fishing and sea transport were then also important industries. Cholera appeared in San Prisco in July 1837 and quickly swept through the population. By August, the epidemic was essentially over. It is estimated that some 109 people died from cholera in San Prisco for a disease-specific mortality rate of 29.5/1000 population. The age range of those who died from cholera was 1 to 90 years. The majority of deaths (60.6 %) were among women. The first cases of cholera appeared in Forio d'Ischia in June 1837. The epidemic then peaked in July. It is estimated that approximately 316

  17. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gugliotta, C.

    2012-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

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

  20. Combination of geometric morphometric and genetic approaches applied to a debated taxonomical issue: the status of Onthophagus massai (Coleoptera, Scarabaeidae) as an endemic species vicarious to Onthophagus fracticornis in Sicily.

    PubMed

    Pizzo, Astrid; Mazzone, Fabio; Rolando, Antonio; Palestrini, Claudia

    2011-09-01

    The present study deals with the phenomenon of insular speciation and discusses, as a case study, the debated taxonomical issue of the status of Onthophagus massai (Coleoptera, Sarabaeidae) as an endemic species vicarious to Onthophagus fracticornis in Sicily. The authors investigated the differentiation patterns between an insular population belonging to the supposed species O. massai (collected in its locus typicus, Piano Battaglia) and three Italian O. fracticornis populations (collected along a N-S latitudinal gradient). These patterns are described and analysed using multiple approaches: the qualitative inspection of the microsculpture of elytral surfaces, considered a diagnostic character for O. massai identification; the comparison of horn static allometries, known to be a good indicator of divergence processes between closely related species or isolated populations of the same species; the comparison of the patterns of shape and size difference of the head, epipharynx and genitalia attained with a combination of traditional and geometric (landmark and semilandmark) morphometric methods; and, finally, the estimation of the genetic relationships between Sicilian and continental populations obtained by analysing cytochrome oxidase subunit 1 mitochondrial gene sequences. The integration of the results of these approaches indicates that there is not sufficient evidence to vindicate the species status for O. massai, which should more likely be considered a small-sized version of O. fracticornis (a possible case of insular dwarfism). However, the complex pattern of shape, size and genetic variation observed between the populations analysed hinted at the possibility that a diversification process is ongoing, but not only between insular and continental populations; each population showed a tendency to evolve as an evolutionarily independent unit.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Basilone, Luca; Sulli, Attilio

    2016-08-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-09-01

    In this paper we trace the impact of the 1669 eruption and the 1693 earthquakes in eastern Sicily, their effects on the people living in the Etna region and, more particularly, in the city of Catania and its hinterland. The former event was the largest historic eruption of Etna, having a flow field with an area of ca. 40 km2 and a maximum flow length of ca. 17 km, whereas the latter - occurring only 24 years later - killed between 11,000 and 20,000 of Catania's estimated 20-27,000 inhabitants, plus many more in smaller settlements. Using a combination of field-based research, contemporary accounts and archival sources, the authors are able to draw a number of conclusions. First, the 1669 eruption, although it did not kill or injure, was economically the most devastating of historical eruptions. Although it affected a limited area, inundation by lava meant that land was effectively sterilized for centuries and, in a pre-industrial agriculturally-based economy, recovery could not occur quickly without outside assistance from the State. Indeed some of the worst affected municipalities (i.e. Comuni) were only able to support populations that were much reduced in size. Secondly, much of the damage caused to buildings by volcanic earthquakes was effectively masked, because most of the settlements affected were quickly covered by lava flows. The vulnerability to volcanic earthquakes of traditionally constructed buildings has, however, remained a serious example of un-ameliorated risk exposure through to the present day. A third conclusion is that the 1693 earthquakes, although more serious with respect to the number of people and the area they affected in terms of mortality, morbidity and their immediate economic impact, saw a rapid and sustained recovery. This was due in part to the fact that, in contrast to lava flows, an earthquake does not sterilize land, but more significant was the reduction in population numbers which served both to release and concentrate funds

  3. Late cenozoic subduction complex of Sicily

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1990-01-01

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

  4. Y-chromosomal STR haplotypes in Sicily.

    PubMed

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

    2006-06-01

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

  5. Two new tardigrade species from Sicily.

    PubMed

    Pilato, Giovanni; Sabella, Giorgio; Lisi, Oscar

    2014-01-14

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

  6. Y-chromosomal STR haplotypes in Sicily.

    PubMed

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

    2006-06-01

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

  7. Two new tardigrade species from Sicily.

    PubMed

    Pilato, Giovanni; Sabella, Giorgio; Lisi, Oscar

    2014-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brancato, Alfonso

    2010-05-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  10. Microbiological and Chemical Analysis of Land Snails Commercialised in Sicily

    PubMed Central

    Cicero, Antonello; Giangrosso, Giuseppe; Cammilleri, Gaetano; Macaluso, Andrea; Currò, Vittoria; Galuppo, Lucia; Vargetto, Daniela; Vicari, Domenico

    2015-01-01

    In this study 160 samples of snails belonging to the species Helix aspersa maxima and Helix aspersa muller were examined for chemical and microbiological analysis. Samples came from Greece and Poland. Results showed mean concentration of cadmium (0.35±0.036 mg/kg) and lead (0.05±0.013 mg/kg) much higher than the limit of detection. Mercury levels in both species were not detected. Microbiological analysis revealed the absence of Salmonella spp. and Clostridium spp. in both examined species. E. coli and K. oxytoca were observed in Helix aspersa maxima and Helix aspersa muller. Furthermore, one case of fungi positivity in samples of Helix aspersa muller was found. The reported investigations highlight the need to create and adopt a reference legislation to protect the health of consumers. PMID:27800385

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-12-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mahood, G.A.; Hildreth, W.

    1986-01-01

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

  13. SO2 flux measurements at Mount Etna (Sicily)

    SciTech Connect

    Caltabiano, T.; Romano, R.; Budetta, G.

    1994-06-01

    Since 1987, over 220 measurements of the SO2 flux at Mount Etna have been carried out using a correlation spectrometer (COSPEC) with different measuring techniques (mainly with COSPEC mounted on ground-based vehicle). This paper reports and analyzes the data obtained between October 1987 and December 1991. During this period, three distinct time intervals characterized by particular SO2 emission patterns were identified. The first interval (A) showed a mean SO2 flux of 5500 t/d associated with relatively quiet summit crater eruptive activity. The second interval (B) included two eruptive periods, September-October 1989 and January-February 1990, associated with high fluxes reaching 10,000-25,000 t/d. The third interval (C) started in concert with a regional earthquake (December 13, 1990) and showed first a decrease and then an increase of SO2 emissions before the onset of the major 1991-1993 flank eruption. Analysis of the data reveals a cyclic pattern to the SO2 emissions over prolonged periods; a nearly constant supply of SO2 from the volcano`s main feeder system, especially evident in the long term; a two- to fivefold increase above mean flux values (from 10,000 to 25,000 t/d) when occurring with paroxysmal eruptive activity; and minimal flux values (approximately 1000 t/d) about 1 month prior to important eruptive events.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  15. Epidemiology and clinical features of cystic hydatidosis in Western Sicily: A ten-year review

    PubMed Central

    Cappello, Elisa; Cacopardo, Bruno; Caltabiano, Eleonora; Li Volsi, Sigismindo; Chiara, Rosa; Sapienza, Mauro; Nigro, Luciano

    2013-01-01

    AIM: To assess retrospectively the epidemiological and clinical aspects of cystic echinococcosis (CE) and to evaluate follow-up and response to treatment in patients affected by CE. METHODS: From January 2000 to December 2010, all patients affected by CE at the Infectious Diseases Units of the University of Catania and of Basilotta Hospital in Nicosia-Enna, were enrolled as participants in the study. Epidemiological, clinical and laboratory data were collected for each patient. Diagnosis of CE was performed using clinical imaging and laboratory parameters. Response to treatment was categorized as follows: “cure” as the disappearance or complete calcification of cyst/s; “improvement” as a reduction in the diameter and/or number of existing cysts; and “impairment” as an increase in the diameter and/or number of existing cyst/s and the onset of relapses (i.e., the onset of new cyst/s and an increase in the diameter of previously existing cyst/s and/or complications. Immunoglobulin E (IgE) titers and eosinophil percentages were evaluated at diagnosis, at six months after the initiation of treatment and again in the case of relapse. Hyper-eosinophilia was defined as an eosinophil percentage of ≥ 6%. RESULTS: Thirty-two patients were diagnosed with CE in our Unit during the research period, with a male-female ratio of 2:1. At the time of diagnosis, 40% of patients presented a single CE cyst. Sixty percent showed multi-organ involvement. The liver-lung localization ratio was 2:1. Patients below the age of 50 at diagnosis were more likely to have multiple cysts (73.7% vs 35.5%, P < 0.05). Regarding treatment, 30 patients were treated medically and 16 surgically. Fourteen patients were treated both medically and surgically. Relapses were seen to be less frequent in patients treated with albendazole before and after surgery. Complete cure or an improvement was achieved in 23 patients. Impairment was observed in one patient. Two patients showed no improvement. Relapses were more frequent in those patients treated before 2005. At diagnosis, 71% of patients were positive for specific CE IgE, and 56.3% showed an eosinophil percentage of ≥ 6%. Patients who were diagnosed with hyper-eosinophilia developed complications more frequently than the other patients, but did not suffer relapses. CONCLUSION: On the basis of our results, we propose cystic echinococcosis screening for family members of patients, appropriate pre- and post-surgery treatment and the assessment of anti-echinococcus IgE titer or eosinophil percentage as a therapy response marker in settings with limited resources. PMID:24409062

  16. The mineral contents of some Boletaceae species from Sicily (Southern Italy).

    PubMed

    Venturella, Giuseppe; Gargano, Maria Letizia; Compagno, Riccardo; Saitta, Alessandro; Alaimo, Maria Grazia

    2014-01-01

    Data on the accumulation of metals in wild edible and inedible macrofungi of the Boletaceae family are discussed here and compared with data reported in literature from northern Italy and other European countries, as well as from China, Brazil, and Africa. The results show a significant difference in the values detected in Sicilian fungi compared to those reported in the literature.

  17. Knowledge, risk perception and behaviours in swimming pool users of Palermo city, Sicily.

    PubMed

    Amodio, Emanuele; Costantino, Claudio; Asciutto, Rosario; Dino, Claudia; Bianco, Antonino; Maringhini, Guido; Mammina, Caterina; Calamusa, Giuseppe

    2014-01-01

    To assess knowledge, risk perception and behaviours of a sample of swimming pool users in Palermo. A total of 498 subjects were interviewed by self-administered anonymous questionnaire including socio-demographic questions, knowledge/risk perception and behaviours. Overall, 289 subjects (58%) had a mean of 1.9 ± 1.2 healthy behaviours. Age older than 30 years (OR=0.46; 95% CI=0.26-0.81), female sex (OR=0.52; 95% CI=0.35-0.76) and a high knowledge score (OR=0.15; 95% CI=0.03-0.69) were significantly associated with having healthy behaviours in both univariate and multivariate analysis. Unhealthy behaviours can be frequently found in swimming pool bathers and, particularly, in some target groups. Public health prevention strategies should be implemented to improve public awareness and information on a safe use of recreational water environments.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Falsaperla, Susanna; Langer, Horst; Ferrazzini, Valérie

    2016-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Bianco, Alessia; Candela, Michele; Fonti, Roberta

    2008-07-08

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liguori, Vincenzo; Manno, Giorgio

    2014-05-01

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

  3. Fluxes and the mass balance of mercury in Augusta Bay (Sicily, southern Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Salvagio Manta, Daniela; Bonsignore, Maria; Oliveri, Elvira; Barra, Marco; Tranchida, Giorgio; Giaramita, Luigi; Mazzola, Salvatore; Sprovieri, Mario

    2016-11-01

    The flux (Φ) of mercury (Hg) at the sediment-seawater interface was investigated in Augusta Bay (southern Italy) where uncontrolled industrial discharge from one of the most important chlor-alkali plant in Europe has caused significant negative effects on the environment. Hg fluxes were measured by the deployment of in-situ benthic chamber. The obtained value of 1.3 kmol y-1 clearly emphasizes the role of the sediments as source of Hg for the overlying water column. Moreover, Hg concentrations in the outflowing bottom waters were measured to estimate the export of this pollutant from Augusta Bay to the open sea. The calculated value of 0.54 kmol y-1, corresponding to ∼4% of the anthropogenic input of Hg from coastal point/diffuse sources to the Mediterranean Sea (12.5 kmol y-1; Rajar et al., 2007; UNEP-MAP, 2001), assigns this area a crucial role in the Hg inventory of the entire Mediterranean basin. Finally, a consistent and robust mass balance for Hg in Augusta Bay was provided by combining the obtained data with Hg fluxes at seawater-atmosphere interface.

  4. Nondestructive Raman investigation on wall paintings at Sala Vaccarini in Catania (Sicily)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barone, Germana; Bersani, Danilo; Coccato, Alessia; Lauwers, Debbie; Mazzoleni, Paolo; Raneri, Simona; Vandenabeele, Peter; Manzini, Davide; Agostino, Giuseppe; Neri, Nicola Francesco

    2016-09-01

    In this work, the results of a Raman campaign for studying seventeenth-century Sicilian frescoes, by using two portable Raman systems, equipped with different excitation sources (785 and 1064 nm), are proposed. The measurements were performed with the aim to provide an in situ diagnostic analysis of the wall paintings (in terms of colorants and preparation layer) and to support the conservators in the framework of the ongoing restoration. The combined use of the two Raman spectrometers has given a complete overview on the artist palette and on the state of preservation of frescoes, also informing us about the technique employed by the painter. Natural pigments as hematite, vermillion, goethite, lead red, lead white and carbon-based black pigments have been identified. Additionally, the application of a transitional Romanesque-Renaissance frescoes method has been noticed by the systematic combined presence of calcite and gypsum in the substrate. Finally, the analyses have highlighted the presence of degradation products, mainly related to alteration of lead-based pigments.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1990-05-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barbera, Giuseppe; Feo, Roberto; Freni, Gabriele

    2015-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-06-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2006-01-01

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

  11. 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...

  12. 77 FR 54647 - Culturally Significant Objects Imported for Exhibition Determinations: “Sicily: Art and Invention...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-09-05

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

  13. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-08-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-04-01

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

  17. Risk factors of female cancers in Ragusa population (Sicily)--1. Endometrium and cervix uteri cancers.

    PubMed

    Cusimano, R; Dardanoni, G; Dardanoni, L; La Rosa, M; Pavone, G; Tumino, R; Gafà, L

    1989-09-01

    A case-control study on breast, cervix and endometrium cancer cases registered in Ragusa between January 1, 1983 and June 30, 1985 has been conducted. Information on risk factors has been obtained by means of a structured questionnaire. Risk factors for endometrium cancer were: few children (1-2 vs greater than 4 OR 15.18, 95%CL 1.96-117.64), oestrogenic treatment (OR 2.20, 95%CL 1.05-4.90), obesity (Quetelet index greater than 30 vs less than 22 OR 10.42, 95%CL 1.30-83.86), family history (OR 2.87, 95% CL 1.05-7.83). Risk factors for cervix uteri cancer were: multiple abortions (greater than 2 vs 0 OR 9.87, 95%CL 1.46-66.66), no contraception (OR 8.33, 95%CL 2.38-25.00), younger age of mother at birth (OR 6.89, 95%CL 1.71-27.70). Age at menarche, age at menopause and years of fertile life were not found to be related to either endometrium or cervix uteri cancer. The existence of influencing differences (ancestry, environment, lifestyle) has been postulated.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-02-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

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

  20. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-05-01

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

  2. New formulae for estimating lava flow volumes at Mt. Etna Volcano, Sicily

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Murray, J. B.; Stevens, N. F.

    A new data set of Etna lava flows erupted since 1868 has been compiled from eight topographic maps of the volcano published at intervals since then. Volumes of 59 flows or groups of flows were measured from topographic difference maps. Most of these volumes are likely to be considerably more accurate than those published previously. We cut the number of flow volumes down to 25 by selecting those examples for which the volume of an individual eruption could be derived with the highest accuracy. This refined data set was searched for high correlations between flow volume and more directly measurable parameters. Only two parameters showed a correlation coefficient of 70% or greater: planimetric flow area A (70%) and duration of the eruption D (79%). If only short duration (<18 days) flows were used, flow length cubed, L3, had a correlation coefficient of 98%. Using combinations of measured parameters, much more significant correlations with volume were found. Dh had a correlation coefficient of 90% (h is the hydrostatic head of magma above the vent), and , 92% (where W is mean width and E is the degree of topographic enclosure), and a combination of the two , 97%. These latter formulae were used to derive volumes of all eruptions back to 1868 to compare with those from the complete data set. Values determined from the formulae were, on average, lower by 16% (Dh), 7% ( , and 19% .

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lanzafame, Gabriele; Ferlito, Carmelo

    2014-10-01

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

  4. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-10-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  9. Levels of heavy metals in adolescents living in the industrialised area of Milazzo-Valle del Mela (northern Sicily).

    PubMed

    Interdonato, Monica; Bitto, Alessandra; Pizzino, Gabriele; Irrera, Natasha; Pallio, Giovanni; Mecchio, Anna; Cuspilici, Antonino; Minutoli, Letteria; Altavilla, Domenica; Squadrito, Francesco

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-10-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2000-06-01

    The concentrations and fluxes of major, minor and trace metals were determined in 53 samples of groundwaters from around Mt Etna, in order to evaluate the conditions and extent of alkali basalt weathering by waters enriched in magma-derived CO 2 and the contribution of aqueous transport to the overall metal discharge of the volcano. We show that gaseous input of magmatic volatile metals into the Etnean aquifer is small or negligible, being limited by cooling of the rising fluids. Basalt leaching by weakly acidic, CO 2-charged water is the overwhelming source of metals and appears to be more extensive in two sectors of the S-SW (Paternò) and E (Zafferana) volcano flanks, where out flowing groundwaters are the richest in metals and bicarbonate of magmatic origin. Thermodynamic modeling of the results allows to evaluate the relative mobility and chemical speciation of various elements during their partitioning between solid and liquid phases through the weathering process. The facts that rock-forming minerals and groundmass dissolve at different rates and secondary minerals are formed are taken into account. At Mt. Etna, poorly mobile elements (Al, Th, Fe) are preferentially retained in the solid residue of weathering, while alkalis, alkaline earth and oxo-anion-forming elements (As, Se, Sb, Mo) are more mobile and released to the aqueous system. Transition metals display an intermediate behavior and are strongly dependent on either the redox conditions (Mn, Cr, V) or solid surface-related processes (V, Zn, Cu). The fluxes of metals discharged by the volcanic aquifer of Etna range from 7.0 × 10 -3 t/a (Th) to 7.3 × 10 4 t/a (Na). They are comparable in magnitude to the summit crater plume emissions for a series of elements (Na, K, Ca, Mg, U, V, Li) with lithophile affinity, but are minor for volatile elements. Basalt weathering at Mt Etna also consumes about 2.1 × 10 5 t/a of magma-derived carbon dioxide, equivalent to ca. 7% of contemporaneous crater plume emissions. The considerable transport of some metals in Etna's aquifer reflects a particularly high chemical erosion rate, evaluated at 2.3∗10 5 t/a, enhanced by the initial acidity of magmatic CO 2-rich groundwater.

  14. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  16. Levels of heavy metals in adolescents living in the industrialised area of Milazzo-Valle del Mela (northern Sicily).

    PubMed

    Interdonato, Monica; Bitto, Alessandra; Pizzino, Gabriele; Irrera, Natasha; Pallio, Giovanni; Mecchio, Anna; Cuspilici, Antonino; Minutoli, Letteria; Altavilla, Domenica; Squadrito, Francesco

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2000-06-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-07-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Ragaini, R.C.

    1994-06-01

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

  2. Experimental constraints on depths of fractionation of mildly alkalic basalts and associated felsic rocks: Pantelleria, Strait of Sicily

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mahood, Gail A.; Baker, Don R.

    1986-06-01

    Pantelleria, Italy, is a continental rift volcano consisting of alkalic basalt, trachyte, and pantellerite. At 1 atm along the FMQ buffer, the least-evolved basalt (Mg #= 58.5% norm ne) yields olivine on the liquidus at ˜1,180° C, followed by plagioclase, then by clinopyroxene, and by titanomagnetite and ilmenite at ˜ 1,075°. After ˜70% crystallization, the residual liquid at ˜1,025° is still basaltic and also contains apatite and possibly kaersutite. A less alkalic basalt shows the same order of phase appearance. Glass compositions define an Fe-enrichment trend and a density maximum for anhydrous liquids that coincides with a minimum in Mg#. During the initial stages of crystallization at 1 atm, liquids remain near the critical plane of silica-undersaturation until, at lower temperatures, Fe-Ti oxide precipitation drives the composition toward silica saturation. Thus the qtz-normative trachytes and pantellerites typically associated with mildly ne-normative basalts in continental rifts could be produced by low-pressure fractional crystallization or by shallow-level partial melting of alkali gabbro. At 8 kbar, clinopyroxene is the liquidus phase at ˜1,170° C, followed by both olivine and plagioclase at ˜1,135°. Because clinopyroxene dominates the crystallizing assemblage and plagioclase is more albitic than at 1 atm, liquids at 8 kbar are driven toward increasingly ne-normative compositions, suggesting that higher-pressure fractionation favors production of phonolitic derivatives. Natural basaltic samples at Pantelleria are aphyric or contain 1 10% phenocrysts of plag≥ ol≥cpx or ol>cpx, with groundmass Fe-Ti oxides and apatite. The lack of phenocrystic plagioclase in two of the lavas suggests that crystallization at slightly higher PH2O may have destabilized plagioclase relative to the 1-atm results, but there is no preserved evidence for significant fractionation at mantle depths as clinopyroxene is the least abundant phenocryst phase in all samples and contains only small amounts of octahedral Al. The liquid line and phenocryst compositions match more closely the 1-atm experimental results than those at 8 kbar. Although major-element trends in natural liquids and crytals reflect low-pressure fractionation, minor- and trace-element concentrations preserve evidence of multiple parental liquids. Scatter in variation diagrams exceeds that attributable to crystal accumulation in these phenocryst-poor rocks, and the large range in concentrations of P and Ti at high MgO contents cannot be produced by polybaric fractionation nor by mixing with coexisting felsic magmas. Sr and O isotope ratios rule out significant interaction with crystalline upper crust, Mesozoic shelf sediments, or Tertiary evaporites. Positive correlations of compatible and incompatible elements suggest that the basalts are not simply related to one another by closed-system fractional crystallization of a single parental magma. Increasing Ce/Yb with Ce suggests that these relations are not a product of mixing within a replenished magma chamber, nor of mixing with more felsic members of the suite, which have smaller Ce/Yb ratios. Low-pressure fractional crystallization of ol+cpx+ plag±oxides from slightly different parental magmas produced by varying degrees of melting of garnet-bearing peridotite is a possible scenario. Small and infrequently replenished magma reservoirs in this continental rift environment may account for the strongly differentiated nature of the Pantellerian basalts. There is no correlation between Mg# and eruptive frequency, in part because concentration of volatiles in residual liquids offsets the effect of Fe-enrichment on melt density, such that strong Fe-enrichment is no hindrance to eruption.

  3. Salinity variations in the water resources fed by the Etnean volcanic aquifers (Sicily, Italy): natural vs. anthropogenic causes.

    PubMed

    D'Alessandro, Walter; Bellomo, Sergio; Bonfanti, Pietro; Brusca, Lorenzo; Longo, Manfredi

    2011-02-01

    In this paper, in an attempt to reveal possible changes connected to natural or anthropogenic causes, the main results of hydrogeochemical monitoring carried out at Mount Etna are evaluated. We report on the salinity contents of the groundwaters that flow in fractured volcanics, which make up the flanks of the volcano. These waters, analyzed for major ion chemistry, were sampled regularly from 1994 to 2004. Basing on nonparametric Sen's slope estimator, time series of groundwater composition reveal that the salinity of most of the Etnean aquifers increased by 0.5% to 3.5% each year during this period. This change in the water chemistry is clearly referable to the overexploitation of the aquifers. This increasing trend needs to be inverted urgently; otherwise, it will cause a shortage of water in the near future, because the maximum admissible concentration of salinity for drinking water will be exceeded. PMID:20198508

  4. Volcanic and anthropogenic contribution to heavy metal content in lichens from Mt. Etna and Vulcano island (Sicily).

    PubMed

    Varrica, D; Aiuppa, A; Dongarrà, G

    2000-05-01

    Major and trace element concentrations were determined in two lichen species (Parmelia conspersa and Xanthoria calcicola) from the island of Vulcano and all around Mt. Etna. In both areas, the average concentrations of Al, Ca, Mg, Fe, Na, K, P and Ti are substantially greater than those of other elements. Several elements (Br, Pb, Sb, Au, Zn, Cu) resulted enriched with respect to the local substrates. The Br and Pb enrichment factors turned out to be the highest among those calculated in both areas. Data indicate that mixing between volcanic and automotive-produced particles clearly explains the range of Pb/Br shown by lichen samples. Sb is also enriched, revealing a geogenic origin at Vulcano and a prevailing anthropic origin at Mt. Etna. Distribution maps of the enrichment factors show a generalized enrichment of Au and Zn near Mt. Etna, whereas Cu appears to be enriched prevalently in the NE-SE area. The highest levels of Au and Cu at Vulcano occur E-SE from the craters, following the prevailing wind direction.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-06-01

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

  8. Differences in Kaposi sarcoma-associated herpesvirus-specific and herpesvirus-non-specific immune responses in classic Kaposi sarcoma cases and matched controls in Sicily.

    PubMed

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

    2011-10-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Orecchio, Santino; Gianguzza, Antonio; Culotta, Loredana

    2008-07-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-12-01

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

  14. Chemical composition and free radical scavenging activity of the essential oil of Achillea ligustica growing wild in Lipari (Aeolian Islands, Sicily).

    PubMed

    Rouis, Zyed; Maggio, Antonella; Venditti, Alessandro; Bruno, Maurizio; Senatore, Felice

    2013-11-01

    In the present study the chemical composition of the essential oils from aerial parts and flowers of Achillea ligustica All., collected in Lipari (Aeolian Islands) was evaluated by GC and GC-MS. (Z)-Chrysanthenyl acetate was the most abundant component of both oils (29.6% in A1 and 27.8% in F1), followed by viridiflorol (16.8% in A1 and 21.6% in F1), bornyl acetate (8.7% in A1 and 11.6% in F1) and 1,8-cineole (7.4% in A1 and 9.3% in F1). A comparison was made of the composition of the different populations studied so far. Futhermore, the free radical scavenging activity of the oil was determined by DPPH and ABTS methods.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pirrone, Concetta; Commodari, Elena

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-01

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

  19. 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.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1981-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-05-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  4. Are medical residents a "core group" for future improvement of influenza vaccination coverage in health-care workers? A study among medical residents at the University Hospital of Palermo (Sicily).

    PubMed

    Amodio, Emanuele; Tramuto, Fabio; Maringhini, Guido; Asciutto, Rosario; Firenze, Alberto; Vitale, Francesco; Costantino, Claudio; Calamusa, Giuseppe

    2011-10-19

    Despite international recommendations, vaccination coverage among European healthcare workers, including physicians, is widely recognized as unsatisfactory. In order to plan tailored vaccination campaigns and increase future coverage, we investigated reasons for refusing vaccination and determinants associated with influenza vaccine uptake among young health care workers. A survey was carried out during September and October 2010 on medical residents attending post-graduate Schools of the Medical Faculty at the University of Palermo (Italy). Each participant completed an anonymous web-based questionnaire including items on demographic and occupational characteristics, knowledge, attitudes and behaviours with regard to influenza and influenza vaccination, and main sources of information. A total of 202 (66.9%) out of 302 medical residents participated in the survey. During the 2009-2010 influenza vaccine campaign, 44 residents (21.8%) were vaccinated against seasonal influenza and 84 (41.6%) against pandemic influenza A (H1N1) 2009. For the impending 2010-2011 influenza season, 45 (22.3%) stated their intention to get vaccinated against seasonal influenza, 40 (19.8%) were uncertain and 117 (57.9%) were opposed. Considering themselves to be a high risk group for developing influenza was significantly associated with vaccination against both 2009-2010 seasonal (adj-OR=1.46; 95% CI=1.05-2.04) and pandemic A (H1N1) influenza (adj-OR 1.38; 95% CI=1.08-1.75). Intention to get vaccinated against 2010-2011 seasonal influenza was significantly more frequent in participants who had a high perception of efficacy/safety (adj-OR=1.49; 95% CI=1.05-2.12). After adjusting for confounding, vaccinations against seasonal 2009-2010 influenza, pandemic influenza A (H1N1) 2009 and seasonal 2010-2011 influenza were significantly more frequent in residents who were vaccinated against influenza at least once in the previous five influenza seasons. Influenza vaccination among medical residents appears to be habitual, with little comprehension of the rationale and logic for vaccination, including the need to be vaccinated to protect patients from nosocomial influenza infection. Our study suggests the importance of prioritizing residents for vaccination campaigns, as they represent "the future" and include a core group that habitually accepts vaccination.

  5. Millennial-scale phase relationships between ice-core and Mediterranean marine records: insights from high-precision 40Ar/39Ar dating of the Green Tuff of Pantelleria, Sicily Strait

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scaillet, S.; Vita-Scaillet, G.; Rotolo, S. G.

    2013-10-01

    With the advent of annually-resolved polar ice records extending back to 70 ka, marine and continental paleoclimate studies have now matured into a discipline where high-quality age control is essential for putting on an equal pace layer-counted timescale models and Late Quaternary sedimentary records. High-resolution U-Th dating of speleothem records and 40Ar/39Ar dating of globally recorded geomagnetic excursions have recently improved the time calibration of Quaternary archives, reflecting the cross-disciplinary effort made to synchronize the geologic record at the millennial scale. Yet, tie-points with such an absolute age control remain scarce for paleoclimatic time-series extending beyond the radiocarbon timescale, most notably in the marine record. Far-travelled tephra layers recorded both onland and offshore provide an alternative in such instance to synchronize continental and marine archives via high-resolution 40Ar/39Ar dating of the parent volcanic eruption. High-resolution 40Ar/39Ar data are reported herein for one such volcanic marker, the Green Tuff of Pantelleria and its Y-6 tephra equivalent recorded throughout the Central and Eastern Mediterranean. Published radiochronometric and δ18O orbitally-tied ages for this marker horizon scatter widely from about 41 ka up to 56 ka. Our new 40Ar/39Ar age at 45.7 ± 1.0 ka (2σ) reveals that previous estimates are biased by more than their reported errors would suggest, including recent orbital tuning of marine records hosting the tephra bed that are reevaluated in the context of this study. This improved estimate enables potential phase lags and leads to be studied between deep-sea and terrestrial archives with unrivaled (near-millennial) 40Ar/39Ar precision in the marine record.

  6. Leaving the city for the suburbs—The dominance of ‘ordinary’ decision making over volcanic risk perception in the production of volcanic risk on Mt Etna, Sicily

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dibben, Christopher J. L.

    2008-05-01

    The belief that perception plays a central role in the production of risk has tended to dominate research on 'natural' hazards. Critics have commented on its lack of explanatory power in situations where individuals are heavily constrained in their actions but less has been said about how it might also be a weak form of explanation in contexts where individuals have more choices, albeit ultimately bounded. On Etna (Italy), in the last fifty years, the expansion of towns to accommodate the city of Catania's population has taken place despite very obvious threats from volcanic activity and alternative, 'safer', sites for building being available. People are moving into these towns for the same reasons people across the world are moving out of cities, to improve their quality of life. Individuals living in one of these expanded towns, Trecastagni, appear to cognitively diminish their perceptions of volcanic threat within a context of social representations of low risk. This is especially true of those who have moved into the town. It is concluded that the production of risk within society on Etna is strongly related to the socio-economic nature of the region and wider European and global contexts that create opportunities and constraints across socio-physical space encouraging behaviour and forms of life that are higher risk. Risk perception appears to play little or no role in this process.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  8. Feeding Hungry Minds

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dolci, Danilo

    1976-01-01

    Describes Dolci's most recent project, an experimental school for children of the peasant community in Partinico, in western Sicily. In no other place in Italy is public education available to children on a full-time basis. (Author/AM)

  9. Active Deformation of Etna Volcano Combing IFSAR and GPS data

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lundgren, Paul

    1997-01-01

    The surface deformation of an active volcano is an important indicator of its eruptive state and its hazard potential. Mount Etna volcano in Sicily is a very active volcano with well documented eruption episodes.

  10. Italy: Mt. Etna

    Atmospheric Science Data Center

    2013-04-17

    article title:  Multi-angle Portrayals of Mt. Etna's Plume     View Larger Image ... (MISR) capture the energetic eruption of Sicily's Mount Etna volcano on October 29, 2002. Viewing Etna's eruptive activities at MISR's ...

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shcheglov, D. A.

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

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

    PubMed

    Ciappa, Achille; Costabile, Salvatore

    2014-07-15

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-05-15

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

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

    PubMed

    Mazzeo Rinaldi, Francesco

    2016-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Mazzeo Rinaldi, Francesco

    2016-06-01

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

  17. Eremobiotus ginevrae sp. nov. and Paramacrobiotus pius sp. nov., two new species of Eutardigrada.

    PubMed

    Lisi, Oscar; Binda, Maria Grazia; Pilato, Giovanni

    2016-01-01

    Two new eutardigrade species are described: Eremobiotus ginevrae sp. nov. and Paramacrobiotus pius sp. nov. The first is similar to Eremobiotus alicatai (Binda, 1969) but differs in the claw shape and dimensions. It has been found in Sicily, Israel and Russia. The second species, belonging to the richtersi group, is currently found exclusively in Sicily. It has a smooth cuticle, three macroplacoids and a microplacoid, eggs with reticulated trunco-conical processes with small terminal thorns; the egg-shell is areolated and the areolae are clearly sculptured. PMID:27394740

  18. The Astronomical Orientation of Ancient Greek Temples

    PubMed Central

    Salt, Alun M.

    2009-01-01

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

  19. Understanding Children from Other Cultures.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    DiMartino, Emily Comstock

    1989-01-01

    Presents personal observations of cultural differences regarding the family, time, sex role conventions, and the process of being and becoming among children and parents in Licodia Eubea, Sicily. Supports increased understanding of students' cultural heritages and differences on the part of American elementary school teachers in multicultural…

  20. The Maieutic Approach: the Plan of a New Educational Centre at Partinico

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dolci, Danilo

    1973-01-01

    The planning and development of a new education center at Particino in Sicily is described. Based upon a maieutic approach to education, the program emphasizes both theoretical and practical processes of collective exploration which takes as its starting point the experience and intuition of the individual student. (SM)

  1. Rules of Address in Secondary Schools in Catania: Linguistic Variation and Its Social/Cultural Value.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Consoli, Eleonora

    1987-01-01

    Reports on research investigating nonreciprocity of address to female teachers in secondary schools in Catania, Sicily, where male teachers were always addressed with their academic, professional titles (which have great, overt prestige in southern Italy) and women were frequently addressed as "signora" or "signorina" in the vocative form.…

  2. Feeding Hungry Minds

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dolci, Danilo

    1975-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2000-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2003-01-01

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

  5. Heredity and Environment in the Development of Intelligence

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Migliorino, Giuseppe

    1974-01-01

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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  7. Plato (428-347 BC)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Murdin, P.

    2000-11-01

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

  8. Schooling, Education and the Future.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Galtung, Johan

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Farolfi, Gregorio; Del Ventisette, Chiara

    2016-04-01

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

  10. Italy: Mt. Etna

    Atmospheric Science Data Center

    2013-04-17

    ... shook the eastern edge of Sicily and parts of mainland Italy during September and October. The eruption of Etna sent a thick blanket ... date:  Oct 27, 2002 Images:  Italy: Mt. Etna location:  Europe thumbnail:  ...

  11. Italy: Mt. Etna

    Atmospheric Science Data Center

    2013-04-17

    ... the eastern coast of Sicily, to the southwest of mainland Italy. Major eruptions have been issuing from both summit and flank vents. Fine ... volcanism. For more information on Etna, refer to  Italy's Volcanoes  and to the  Smithsonian Institution's Global Volcanism ...

  12. Earthquakes, March-April 1978

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Person, W.J.

    1978-01-01

    Earthquakes caused fatalities in Mexico and Sicily; injuries and damage were sustained in eastern Kazakh SSR and Yugoslavia. There were four major earthquakes; one south of Honshu, Japan, two in the Kuril Islands region, and one in the Soviet Union. The United States experienced a number of earthquakes, but only very minor damage was reported. 

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-04-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Zappaterra, E.

    1995-08-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-06-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1996-11-01

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

  1. Agrometeorology and models for the parasite cycle forecast.

    PubMed

    Pasotti, L; Maroli, M; Giannetto, S; Brianti, E

    2006-06-01

    Insects are strongly influenced by meteorological variables in their natural environment. In agriculture, mathematical models have been developed to understand and forecast the cycle of pests based on climate data. By this manner, with the goal of reduce and rationalize plant chemical treatments, agrometeorological models have been realized to estimate the length and starting times of parasites phenological phases. In Sicily a new network of 95 GSM meteorological stations and a specific mathematical model for Aonidiella aurantii are used by Sicilian Agrometeorological Information System (SIAS) for the integrated pest management program of citrus orchards in the Island. As the plants parasites, vector borne diseases are influenced by climate in their appearance and abundance. In lights of the benefits that could derive from a model for the control of Leishmania vectors, SIAS experiences in modelling were used to develop a deductive model for Phlebotomus perniciosus which represents the major vector of human and canine leishmaniasis in Sicily.

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-09-01

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

  5. Helium isotopes and tectonics in southern Italy

    SciTech Connect

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

    1989-06-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-04-01

    The geodynamics of the central Mediterranean is characterized by the interaction between the European plate and the African one. In this setting Sicily is a sector of the Appenine-Maghrebide accretionary prism, which is located between two areas affected by extensional tectonics (Sicily Channel to the south and the Thyrrenian back arc basin to the north). In the present study we present the first dataset of helium isotopic composition measured in fluids released from the central-western Sicily. With the aim to constrain the transfer system of fluids in this area we relate the results of geochemical investigations with the stratigraphy and structural setting, derived from field geology, deep boreholes and new seismic reflection, gravimetry and magnetometry data. Significant mantle-derived helium (0.4Sicily. CH4-dominated gases are released from mud volcanoes and feed everlasting fires mainly located in the central region, where upper Oligocene-Miocene terrigenous cover Mesozoic carbonatic units. The abundance of CH4, usually linked to the presence of hydrocarbons- and/or organic matter-rich layers, is almost exclusively linked to the Messinian evaporitic and pre-evaporitic levels (containing diatomites). On the other hand, CO2 is mainly associated to the thermal groundwaters circulating mainly in Mesozoic limestone and dolomite, which here constitute the bulk of the deformed wedge of the Sicilian chain (up to 15 km thick). In thermal waters, we found a positive correlation between water temperature, ranging between 22.1°C and 59°C, and helium isotopic ratio. Taking into consideration that helium rises from the mantle coupled to CO2 and others components, we discussed CO2 and CH4 coupled to helium. Our samples did no show any correlation between C/3He vs. R/Ra and only samples of the Sciacca thermal basin show C/3He in the typical ranges of

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Selgeby, James H.

    1975-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  9. Prevalence and Genotypes of Anaplasma Species and Habitat Suitability for Ticks in a Mediterranean Ecosystem▿

    PubMed Central

    Torina, Alessandra; Alongi, Angelina; Naranjo, Victoria; Estrada-Peña, Agustín; Vicente, Joaquín; Scimeca, Salvatore; Marino, Anna M. F.; Salina, Felice; Caracappa, Santo; de la Fuente, José

    2008-01-01

    Anaplasma species are tick-transmitted pathogens that impact veterinary and human health. Sicily is one of the locations where these pathogens are endemic. Sicily represents a typical Mediterranean ecosystem to study Anaplasma infection and tick habitat suitability. The aims of this study were (i) to characterize by 16S rRNA and species-specific msp4 gene PCR the prevalence and genotypes of A. marginale, A. phagocytophilum, and A. ovis in the most abundant host species in Sicilian provinces and (ii) to correlate differences between hosts and between western and eastern Sicily with the habitat suitability for ticks in these regions. Differences were found in the prevalence of Anaplasma spp. between different hosts and between western and eastern provinces. The differences in Anaplasma prevalence between different hosts may be explained by pathogen host tropism. The differences between western and eastern provinces correlated with the tick habitat suitability in these regions. The analysis of Anaplasma genotypes suggested a higher host and regional specificity for A. phagocytophilum than for A. marginale and A. ovis strains, a finding probably associated with the broader host range of A. phagocytophilum. The presence of identical A. marginale genotypes in the two regions may reflect cattle movement. The results for A. ovis suggested the possibility of some genotypes being host specific. These results provide information potentially useful for the management of tick-borne diseases caused by Anaplasma spp. in Sicily and other Mediterranean regions and may contribute to the development of models to predict the risks for these tick-borne pathogens. PMID:18978093

  10. Nero d'Avola and Perricone cultivars: determination of polyphenols, flavonoids and anthocyanins in grapes and wines.

    PubMed

    Gervasi, Teresa; Oliveri, Francesca; Gottuso, Valentina; Squadrito, Margherita; Bartolomeo, Giovanni; Cicero, Nicola; Dugo, Giacomo

    2016-10-01

    In 2011 vintage, the evolution of monomer and total anthocyanins, as well as of total flavonoids and polyphenols of grapes and wine of Nero d'Avola and Perricone, varieties cultivated in Sicily, was studied. Anthocyanin profiles are commonly used for grapevine cultivar identification because it is currently accepted that this trait is closely related to their genetic characteristics. The concentration of Nero d'Avola and Perricone anthocyanins was determined by HPLC-DAD. PMID:27109122

  11. 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.

  12. A new Lampromyia Macquart from Europe (Diptera: Vermileonidae).

    PubMed

    Kehlmaier, Christian

    2014-01-01

    Lampromyia bellasiciliae sp. n. is described from Sicily, Italy. The new species belongs to the pallida subgroup and is differentiated from related taxa in a dichotomous identification key. DNA barcodes for eight of the currently recognised ten Palaearctic species of Lampromyia are provided, and the calculated genetic distances between the taxa and species groups/subgroups are discussed. New distributional data for additional species of Lampromyia are presented and the occurrence of the Palaearctic taxa is depicted in a distribution map. 

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-02-01

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

  14. Archaeometry of sicilian glazed pottery

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2008-08-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-12-01

    In the Central Mediterranean, the differential roll-back of the subducting Nubia Plate caused the Neogene-Quaternary extrusion of the Calabrian arc onto the oceanic Ionian slab, and the opening of the oceanic Tyrrhenian Basin, in the overriding Eurasia Plate. The differential motion at the edges of the arc was largely accommodated along transform faults that propagated across the orogenic belt. Since the Late Quaternary, the southern edge of the arc has been replaced by the roughly N-S oriented Siculo-Calabrian Rift Zone (SCRZ) that formed as the NNW-directed normal faults of NE Sicily, crossing the orogenic belt, have linked the NNE-oriented Tyrrhenian margin of southern Calabria with the NNW-trending Africa-Ionian boundary of southeastern Sicily. Our study focused on the Sicily shoulder of the SCRZ, where the transition zone between the extensional belt and the still active Nubia-Eurasia convergent margin is characterized by two distinct mobile crustal wedges, both lying on an upwarped Mantle, where a re-orientations of the σ1 is combined with volcanism (e.g. Etna, Aeolian islands) and a huge tectonic uplift. In southeastern Sicily, the Hyblean-Etnean region evolved, since about 0.85 Ma, as an indipendent crustal wedge, moving towards the NNW and pointing to the active Mt. Etna volcano. A local ENE crustal stretching accompanied the traslation of the block and pre-dated the ESE-oriented extension governing the propagation of the southernmost branch of the SCR, which started at about 330 ka B.P.. Similarly, the Peloritani-Aeolian region, flanked by the 125 ka-old NE-Sicily branch of the rift zone, represents a mostly submerged crustal wedge that migrates towards the NE, diverging from the rest of the Sicily collision zone and pointing to the Stromboli volcano. The Peloritani-Aeolian block is characterized by the occurrence of a wide central NE-oriented collapsed basin contoured by an actively uplifting region, whose tectonic boundaries are evidenced by a sharp

  17. Loess stratigraphy of the Lower Mississippi Valley

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1996-01-01

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

  18. Airborne EM for geothermal and hydrogeological mapping

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-12-01

    Within the "VIGOR" project, aimed at assessing the geothermal potential of four regions in southern Italy, Airborne EM data have been acquired, modeled and interpreted. The system deployed was SkyTEM, a time-domain helicopter electromagnetic system designed for hydrogeophysical, environmental and mineral investigations. The AEM data provide, after data acquisition, analysis, processing, and modeling, a distribution volume of electrical resistivity, spanning an investigation depth from ground surface of few hundred meters, depending on resistivity condition. Resistivity is an important physical parameter for geothermal investigation, since it proved to be very effective in mapping anomalies due to hydrothermal fluid circulation, which usually has high salt content and produces clayey alteration minerals. Since the project required, among other issues, to define geothermal resources at shallow level, it was decided to perform a test with an airborne electromagnetic geophysical survey, to verify the advantages offered by the system in covering large areas in a short time. The geophysical survey was carried out in Sicily, Italy, in late 2011, over two test sites named "Termini" and "Western Sicily". The two areas were chosen on different basis. "Termini" area is covered by extensive geological surveys, and was going to be investigated also by means of electrical tomography in its northern part. Since geological condition of Sicily, even at shallow depth, is very complex, this area provided a good place for defining the resistivity values of the main geological units outcropping in the region. "Termini" survey has been also an occasion to define relations between resistivity distribution, lithological units and thermal conductivity. The "Western Sicily" area cover the main thermal manifestations of western Sicily, and the research target was to establish whether they are characterized by common hydrogeological or tectonic features that could be mapped by resistivity

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2003-11-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-09-01

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

  2. Collision Versus Separation in Rollback: The Calabria Arc through the Apulia-Africa Narrow

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Seeber, L. P.; Reitz, M. S.; Nagel, T. P.; Steckler, M. S.

    2008-12-01

    The late Miocene-Quaternary southeastward flight of Calabria onto the African plate was driven by arc rollback. Mesozoic lithosphere subducted to the NW as Tyrrhenian lithosphere was generated by back-arc extension. During this retreat, the arc was confined between the E-W continental margin of Africa (Sicily) to the south and the NW-SE margin of the Apulian promontory to the NE. As these margins get closer together toward the SE, the arc became shorter by oblique collision and progressive emplacement of the forearc on both margins. The morphology of the current subducting slab as revealed by seismicity and by receiver functions suggests that the rollback hinge has reached beyond the narrowest gap between Sicily and Apulia and is now abutting the N-S margin of eastern Sicily. If so, the subduction front is now widening and continued subduction and southeastward rollback requires separation of the subducting plate from the African margin. This separation is akin to starting new subduction, a notoriously difficult geodynamic process. We propose that the breaching of the narrow is the common cause for a series of major changes affecting Calabria tectonics in the late Quaternary. They include: 1. The drastic slow-down of Calabrian rollback; 2. The clockwise rotation of Calabria, after it became pinned at the corner of the African margin; 3. The development of the Etna mega-volcano as a manifestation of incipient asthenospheric upwelling associated with the tear; 4. The longitudinal extension by boudinage of the forearc above the slab which is distributed over a progressively wider subducting plate; 5. Regional uplift because of flexural response to longitudinal stretching of the forearc and unloading of the lower plate. The onset of these phenomena is approximately timed to the mid Pleistocene, which is inferred to mark the breaching of the Africa-Apulia narrow.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-04-01

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

  4. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Vargovitsh, Robert S; Buşmachiu, Galina

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-01

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

  7. Micro-spectroscopic techniques applied to characterization of varnished archeological findings

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barone, G.; Ioppolo, S.; Majolino, D.; Migliardo, P.; Ponterio, R.

    2000-04-01

    This work reports an analysis on terracotta varnished finding recovered in east Sicily area (Messina). We have performed FTIR micro-spectroscopy and electronic microscopy (SEM)measurements in order to recognize the elemental constituents of the varnished surfaces. Furthermore, for all the samples, a study on the bulk has been performed by Fourier Transform Infrared Absorption. The analyzed samples consist of a number of pottery fragments belonging to archaic and classical ages, varnished in black and red colors. The obtained data furnished useful information about composition of decorated surfaces and bulk matrixes, about baking temperature, manufacture techniques and alteration mechanisms of findings due to the long burial.

  8. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Vargovitsh, Robert S; Buşmachiu, Galina

    2015-01-01

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

  10. Productivity improvement by frontier horizontal drilling in Italy

    SciTech Connect

    Schenato, A.

    1995-12-31

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-08-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Portarena, S; Baldacchini, C; Brugnoli, E

    2017-01-15

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-01

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

  15. The Myth of Icarus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2004-01-01

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

  16. [Nephrological paradox].

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-02-01

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

  18. The Tectonic Evolution of Kinematic Blocks Along Major Plate Boundaries: the Case History of the Hyblean Region (Central Mediterranean)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2008-12-01

    The Hyblean Region (SE Sicily) in the Central Mediterranean represents a crustal block, which is entrapped at the junction between two major plate boundaries. The former consists of the E-W oriented Nubia-Eurasia boundary and the latter is represented by an incipient, roughly N-S trending, divergent margin, which has propagated from the Italian Peninsula through the African continental domains of Sicily. Usually interpreted as part of the stable African platform, the Hyblean region, during the Quaternary, has actually played the role of an independent crustal block, if framed in the larger scale plate motion. Since about 1.5 Ma, the Hyblean Block, in fact, was isolated from the rest of the Africa margin, as consequence of the propagation of the divergent margin through the SE Sicily. Since the Middle Pleistocene (≤0.8Ma), the Hyblean Block was accreted to the Nubia-Eurasia boundary, as the result of a sudden east-ward jumping of the divergent margin, to its present location. The Quaternary evolution of the Hyblean Block has emphasized some peculiar tectonic, kinematic and dynamic features that, being potentially diagnostic also for the identification of microplates, can be summarised as follow: 1. Occurrence of main regional Quaternary (<1.5 Ma) tectonics that are incongruent with the stress-in-situ measurements, focal mechanisms and geodetic data; 2. Evidence of very recent positive tectonic inversion of the Early Quaternary structures, coupled with sudden change in the displacement rate, not accompanied by variation in the larger scale plate motion; 3. Distribution of high- magnitude seismicity (6≤M≤7) along the tectonic boundaries of the crustal block; 4. Distribution of low- magnitude seismicity within the block, mostly independent from the geometry of the major Quaternary tectonics. The recognition of the Hyblean Block represents a key constraint in modelling the large scale deformation of the Central Mediterranean region. The correction of the GPS

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-03-01

    This paper examines the interrelationship between the natural and human history of Sicily over the last 2000 years. It presents a close comparison of the data from the key multi-proxy site of Lago di Pergusa - located inland in the eastern part of Sicily - with the existing archaeological and textual evidence on the socio-economic processes. The article also includes a review of the available natural proxy archives from the Central Mediterranean. On the basis of the isotope and pollen data from the Lago di Pergusa core PRG2, we identified two humid periods (ca. 450-750 AD and ca. 1400-1800 AD) as well as a dry one (ca. 1100-1350 AD); our evidence corresponds closely with other environmental palaeoclimate proxies from the Mediterranean region. In our synthesis of the environmental, historical and archaeological evidence from southern Italy, we argue that during both periods of increased humidity - that is during the late antique-Byzantine times and during the late medieval and early modern periods - intense agricultural use of the Sicilian landscape developed on an unprecedented scale. This in turn contributed to the impressive demographic and economic expansion visible during these periods. A sudden period of aridity followed the first of these eras of humidity-related agricultural growth. This climatic shift, dated to around 750 AD, corresponds to a decrease in synanthropic taxa and a recovery of arboreal vegetation. We argue that in this case a climatic change contributed to socio-economic decline. Moreover, as this change occurred prior to the Arab invasion of Sicily in AD 827, the environmental processes may help to explain the collapse of Byzantine society on Sicily which, in turn made the Muslim conquest possible. After this event, there occurred a longer period of agricultural decline, lasting until around 1000 AD, after which we see the first signs of a slow recovery. Ongoing research in nearby archaeological sites will help defining if it was a local

  20. Two new species of Milnesium (Tardigrada: Milnesiidae).

    PubMed

    Pilato, Giovanni; Sabella, Giorgio; Lisi, Oscar

    2016-07-01

    Two new species of Milnesium are described: Milnesium vorax sp. nov from Sicily and Milnesium tumanovi sp. nov. from Crimea. Milnesium vorax sp. nov. is uncoloured, with eye spots, smooth cuticle, wide buccal tube, stylet supports inserted on the buccal tube at almost 62 % of its length; claws with configuration [2-3]-[3-2]; accessory points present on the main branches. Milnesium tumanovi sp. nov. is also uncoloured, has eye spots, smooth cuticle, and wide buccal tube, but it has the stylet supports inserted on the buccal tube at about 52 % of its length, and claws with configuration [3-3]-[3-3]; the accessory points are present on the main branches.

  1. Astronomical kaleidoscope

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gaina, Alex

    2005-10-01

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

  2. Discrimination of almonds (Prunus dulcis) geographical origin by minerals and fatty acids profiling.

    PubMed

    Amorello, Diana; Orecchio, Santino; Pace, Andrea; Barreca, Salvatore

    2016-09-01

    Twenty-one almond samples from three different geographical origins (Sicily, Spain and California) were investigated by determining minerals and fatty acids compositions. Data were used to discriminate by chemometry almond origin by linear discriminant analysis. With respect to previous PCA profiling studies, this work provides a simpler analytical protocol for the identification of almonds geographical origin. Classification by using mineral contents data only was correct in 77% of the samples, while, by using fatty acid profiles, the percentages of samples correctly classified reached 82%. The coupling of mineral contents and fatty acid profiles lead to an increased efficiency of the classification with 87% of samples correctly classified.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

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

  4. From NEMO to KM3NeT-Italy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nicolau, Carlo A.

    2014-04-01

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

  5. Stratospheric electric field measurements with transmediterranean balloons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de La Morena, B. A.; Alberca, L. F.; Curto, J. J.; Holzworth, R. H.

    1993-01-01

    The horizontal component of the stratospheric electric field was measured using a balloon in the ODISEA Campaign of Transmediterranean Balloon Program. The balloon flew between Trapani (Sicily) and El Arenosillo (Huelva, Spain) along the 39 deg N parallel at a height between 34 and 24 km. The high values found for the field on fair-weather and its quasi-turbulent variation, both in amplitude and direction, are difficult to explain with the classical electric field source. A new source, first described by Holzworth (1989), is considered as possibly causing them.

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scollo, Simona; Azzopardi, Francelle; Boselli, Antonella; Coltelli, Mauro; Ellul, Raymond; Leto, Giuseppe; Pisani, Gianluca; Prestifilippo, Michele; Saliba, Martin; Schiavone, Joseph; Spata, Gaetano; Spinelli, Nicola; Wang, Xuan; Zanmar Sanchez, Ricardo

    2013-04-01

    Mt. Etna, in Italy, is one of the most active volcanoes in the world and during its frequent explosive episodes, eruption columns rise to several kilometers and fine ash is dispersed hundreds kilometers away from the vent reaching the neighboring countries. The Maltese Islands, for example, are situated at the center of the Mediterranean, only 100 km south of Sicily and, due to the close proximity, have been already affected by the past Etna volcanic activity. A reliable monitoring and forecasting system of Etna volcanic ash has to include all areas that could be reached by volcanic ash. For this reason, a new research project named VAMOS SEGURO, has been recently funded by Programma di Cooperazione Transfrontaliera Italia-Malta 2007-2013, with the aim to reduce the impact that Etna's explosive activity has in the area between Sicily and Malta. This project is developed within a cooperation between the Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica, Osservatorio Etneo, the Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica (INAF), Comune of Montedoro, in Caltanissetta, the University of Malta, and Consorzio Interuniversitario per le Scienze Fisiche della Materia (CNISM). In this project, several instruments (e.g. aerosol optical depth analyzer, microbalance, laser cascade instrument, meteorological stations, aethelometer) have been installed at Giordan lighthouse at Xewkija, in Gozo, managed by the University of Malta. Furthermore, an innovative Lidar system with scanning capability, has been designed and realized by CNISM and is able to indentify the area affected by volcanic ash in Sicily and quantify the ash concentration in atmosphere. The Lidar may be transported and installed in the INAF astronomical observatories of Noto and Serra La Nave, only 7 km away from the Etna summits, and in Montedoro. Finally, an automatic forecasting system produces dispersal maps for the region between Sicily and Malta and for a typical Etna scenario. Results of simulations are daily visible at www

  8. First description of the male of Philometra filiformis (Nematoda: Philometridae), a gonad-infecting parasite of the marine fish Pagellus erythrinus (Sparidae) in Mediterranean.

    PubMed

    Gaglio, Gabriella; Giannetto, Salvatore; Panebianco, Antonio; Moravec, Frantisek

    2009-12-01

    The male of the gonad-infecting nematode Philometra filiformis (Stossich, 1896) (Philometridae) is for the first time described, based on specimens from the ovary of the marine fish Pagellus erythrinus (Linnaeus) from the Tyrrhenian Sea off Sicily, Italy. It is mainly characterized by the testis extending anteriorly nearly to the anterior end of body, the oesophagus without a usual anterior inflation, the absence of a dorsal barb or distinct transverse lamellae on the tip of the gubernaculum, the measurements of the spicules and the gubernaculum, and a fairly long body. PMID:20128245

  9. Nuclear transport erupts on the slopes of Mount Etna.

    PubMed

    Powers, Maureen A; Dasso, Mary

    2004-02-01

    Nuclear pore complexes (NPCs) mediate the active transport of large substrates and allow the passive diffusion of small molecules into the nucleus of eukaryotic cells. The EMBO Workshop on the Mechanisms of Nuclear Transport focused on NPCs and on the soluble nucleocytoplasmic transport machinery. This meeting, organized by Valérie Doye (Institut Curie, Paris) and Ed Hurt (University of Heidelberg), was held within view of Mount Etna at Taormina, Sicily (November 1-5, 2003). Presentations emphasized the dynamic properties of the nuclear trafficking machinery, and demonstrated the continuity of nuclear transport with processes in the nucleus and cytoplasm.

  10. Leptospira interrogans survey by PCR in wild rodents coming from different urban areas of Palermo, Italy.

    PubMed

    Vitale, Maria; Di Bella, Carobelo; Agnello, Stefano; Curro, Victoria; Vicari, Domenico; Vitale, Fabrizio

    2007-01-01

    DNA extracted from the kidneys of rodents captured in different urban areas of Palermo, Italy, had been analysed for the presence of pathogenic L. interrogans sensu latu DNA. PCR analysis had shown that in rodents captured close to green areas and small river up to 40 % animals give positive PCR results. Not many cases of human leptospirosis are reported in Sicilian island in which hot season is usually dry. But considering climate change toward subtropical aspect in Sicily, with hot humid summer and sudden thunderstorm, screening for L. interrogans sensu latu prevalence can be useful for leptospirosis risk analysis on human population.

  11. Modelling tsunamis in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea. Application to the Minoan Santorini tsunami sequence as a potential scenario for the biblical Exodus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Periáñez, R.; Abril, J. M.

    2014-11-01

    A numerical model which simulates the propagation of tsunamis in the Eastern Mediterranean has been developed. Several tsunami sources have been considered: earthquakes associated to geological faults, submarine landslides, entry of pyroclastic flows into the sea and the collapse of a volcano caldera. The model has been applied to different past events for which historic data or previous simulations exist, to test its performance. Then it has been applied to simulate tsunamis triggered by the explosion of Santorini volcano (17th century BC) in the Aegean Sea. While the model accounts for run-ups in the Aegean coasts, it fails to explain the isochronous tsunamigenic deposits reported in eastern Sicily and the levantine coasts. A scenario of a sequence of intense tectonics strain release triggering a series of tsunamis could better fit the whole dataset. Thus, a submarine landslide at the Gulf of Sirte may explain the Augias megaturbidite and the sedimentary deposits reported in Augusta Bay (Sicily). Similarly, a sequential tsunami in the eastern Nile Delta may explain the tsunamigenic deposits found in Israel and Gaza. Considering the former coastline at 3500 years BP, it could also provide a plausible scenario for the biblical sea crossing related in the Exodus.

  12. Patterns of spatial genetic structuring in the endangered limpet Patella ferruginea: implications for the conservation of a Mediterranean endemic.

    PubMed

    Casu, Marco; Rivera-Ingraham, Georgina A; Cossu, Piero; Lai, Tiziana; Sanna, Daria; Dedola, Gian Luca; Sussarellu, Rossana; Sella, Gabriella; Cristo, Benedetto; Curini-Galletti, Marco; García-Gómez, José Carlos; Espinosa, Free

    2011-10-01

    Patella ferruginea Gmelin, 1791 is an endangered marine gastropod endemic to the Western Mediterranean. Its range is restricted to the Sardinian-Corsican region (SCR), North Africa, a few scattered sites in Southern Spain, and Sicily. Inter-simple sequence repeat (ISSR) markers and three different mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) regions, Cytochrome c Oxidase subunit I, 12S (small-subunit ribosomal RNA gene) and 16S (large-subunit ribosomal RNA gene), were used to investigate the presence of genetic population structuring. The mtDNA sequences showed very low levels of genetic differentiation. Conversely, ISSRs showed the presence of two main genetic groups, corresponding to Spain, North Africa and Sicily and the SCR. The SCR was further split into two subgroups. The ISSR results suggest that, on a regional scale, the genetic structure of P. ferruginea is mainly determined by the restriction of gene flow by dispersal barriers. On a more local scale human harvesting may play a crucial role in population structuring by increasing the effect of genetic drift.

  13. Assessing the health risks of natural CO2 seeps in Italy

    SciTech Connect

    Roberts, J.J.; Wood, R.A.; Haszeldine, R.S.

    2011-10-04

    Industrialized societies which continue to use fossil fuel energy sources are considering adoption of Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) technology to meet carbon emission reduction targets. Deep geological storage of CO2 onshore faces opposition regarding potential health effects of CO2 leakage from storage sites. There is no experience of commercial scale CCS with which to verify predicted risks of engineered storage failure. Studying risk from natural CO2 seeps can guide assessment of potential health risks from leaking onshore CO2 stores. Italy and Sicily are regions of intense natural CO2 degassing from surface seeps. These seeps exhibit a variety of expressions, characteristics (e.g., temperature/ flux), and location environments. Here we quantify historical fatalities from CO2 poisoning using a database of 286 natural CO2 seeps in Italy and Sicily. We find that risk of human death is strongly influenced by seep surface expression, local conditions (e.g., topography and wind speed), CO2 flux, and human behavior. Risk of accidental human death from these CO2 seeps is calculated to be 10-8 year-1 to the exposed population. This value is significantly lower than that of many socially accepted risks. Seepage from future storage sites is modeled to be less than Italian natural flux rates. With appropriate hazard management, health risks from unplanned seepage at onshore storage sites can be adequately minimized.

  14. Burkholderia cepacia complex infection in Italian patients with cystic fibrosis: prevalence, epidemiology, and genomovar status.

    PubMed

    Agodi, A; Mahenthiralingam, E; Barchitta, M; Gianninò, V; Sciacca, A; Stefani, S

    2001-08-01

    The prevalence, epidemiology, and genomovar status of Burkholderia cepacia complex strains recovered from Italian cystic fibrosis (CF) patients were investigated using genetic typing and species identification methods. Four CF treatment centers were examined: two in Sicily, one in central Italy, and one in northern Italy. B. cepacia complex bacteria were isolated from 59 out of 683 CF patients attending these centers (8.6%). For the two geographically related treatment centers in Sicily, there was a high incidence of infection caused by a single epidemic clone possessing the cblA gene and belonging to B. cepacia genomovar III, recA group III-A, closely related to the major North America-United Kingdom clone, ET12; instability of the cblA sequence was also demonstrated for clonal isolates. In summary, of all the strains of B. cepacia encountered in the Italian CF population, the genomovar III, recA group III-A strains were the most prevalent and transmissible. However, patient-to-patient spread was also observed with several other genomovars, including strains of novel taxonomic status within the B. cepacia complex. A combination of genetic identification and molecular typing analysis is recommended to fully define specific risks posed by the genomovar status of strains within the B. cepacia complex. PMID:11474009

  15. Metals in molluscs and algae: a north-south Tyrrhenian Sea baseline.

    PubMed

    Conti, Marcelo Enrique; Finoia, Maria Grazia

    2010-09-15

    We develop a 800 km long relative baseline of metal pollution for the Tyrrhenian Sea, from the north of Naples to south of Sicily (Italy), based on spatio-temporal (1997-2004) concentrations of trace metals in marine organisms and on the bioaccumulative properties of those organisms. The study concerns sites in the gulf of Gaeta-Formia, near Naples, and three islands north, west, and south of Sicily: Ustica, Favignana and Linosa. The five metals are: cadmium, chromium, copper, lead, and zinc; the species include: Monodonta turbinata (n=161), Patella caerulea (n=244) and the algae Padina pavonica (n=84). We use Johnson's (1949) [15] probabilistic method to determine the type of distribution that accounts for our data. It is a system of frequency curves that represents the transformation of the standard normal curves. We find an N-S pollution gradient in molluscs considered: the lowest metal pollution occurs around the Sicilian islands. Our method can accurately characterize marine pollution by contributing to: policy-making, coastal resources management, the assessments of environmental damages from marine accidents and other events. The method here presented is a useful tool for pollution comparisons purposes among ecosystems (i.e., risk monitoring) and it is an ideal starting point for its application on a global scale.

  16. Metaproteomics and metabolomics analyses of chronically petroleum‐polluted sites reveal the importance of general anaerobic processes uncoupled with degradation

    PubMed Central

    Bargiela, Rafael; Herbst, Florian‐Alexander; Martínez‐Martínez, Mónica; Seifert, Jana; Rojo, David; Cappello, Simone; Genovese, María; Crisafi, Francesca; Denaro, Renata; Chernikova, Tatyana N.; Barbas, Coral; von Bergen, Martin; Yakimov, Michail M.; Golyshin, Peter N.

    2015-01-01

    Crude oil is one of the most important natural assets for humankind, yet it is a major environmental pollutant, notably in marine environments. One of the largest crude oil polluted areas in the word is the semi‐enclosed Mediterranean Sea, in which the metabolic potential of indigenous microbial populations towards the large‐scale chronic pollution is yet to be defined, particularly in anaerobic and micro‐aerophilic sites. Here, we provide an insight into the microbial metabolism in sediments from three chronically polluted marine sites along the coastline of Italy: the Priolo oil terminal/refinery site (near Siracuse, Sicily), harbour of Messina (Sicily) and shipwreck of MT Haven (near Genoa). Using shotgun metaproteomics and community metabolomics approaches, the presence of 651 microbial proteins and 4776 metabolite mass features have been detected in these three environments, revealing a high metabolic heterogeneity between the investigated sites. The proteomes displayed the prevalence of anaerobic metabolisms that were not directly related with petroleum biodegradation, indicating that in the absence of oxygen, biodegradation is significantly suppressed. This suppression was also suggested by examining the metabolome patterns. The proteome analysis further highlighted the metabolic coupling between methylotrophs and sulphate reducers in oxygen‐depleted petroleum‐polluted sediments. PMID:26201687

  17. Mediterranean circulation perturbations over the last five centuries: Relevance to past Eastern Mediterranean Transient-type events.

    PubMed

    Incarbona, Alessandro; Martrat, Belen; Mortyn, P Graham; Sprovieri, Mario; Ziveri, Patrizia; Gogou, Alexandra; Jordà, Gabriel; Xoplaki, Elena; Luterbacher, Juerg; Langone, Leonardo; Marino, Gianluca; Rodríguez-Sanz, Laura; Triantaphyllou, Maria; Di Stefano, Enrico; Grimalt, Joan O; Tranchida, Giorgio; Sprovieri, Rodolfo; Mazzola, Salvatore

    2016-07-14

    The Eastern Mediterranean Transient (EMT) occurred in the Aegean Sea from 1988 to 1995 and is the most significant intermediate-to-deep Mediterranean overturning perturbation reported by instrumental records. The EMT was likely caused by accumulation of high salinity waters in the Levantine and enhanced heat loss in the Aegean Sea, coupled with surface water freshening in the Sicily Channel. It is still unknown whether similar transients occurred in the past and, if so, what their forcing processes were. In this study, sediments from the Sicily Channel document surface water freshening (SCFR) at 1910 ± 12, 1812 ± 18, 1725 ± 25 and 1580 ± 30 CE. A regional ocean hindcast links SCFR to enhanced deep-water production and in turn to strengthened Mediterranean thermohaline circulation. Independent evidence collected in the Aegean Sea supports this reconstruction, showing that enhanced bottom water ventilation in the Eastern Mediterranean was associated with each SCFR event. Comparison between the records and multi-decadal atmospheric circulation patterns and climatic external forcings indicates that Mediterranean circulation destabilisation occurs during positive North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) and negative Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO) phases, reduced solar activity and strong tropical volcanic eruptions. They may have recurrently produced favourable deep-water formation conditions, both increasing salinity and reducing temperature on multi-decadal time scales.

  18. The Cathedral of S. Giorgio in Ragusa Ibla (Italy): characterization of construction materials and their chromatic alteration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barone, Germana; La Russa, Mauro Francesco; Lo Giudice, Antonino; Mazzoleni, Paolo; Pezzino, Antonino

    2008-08-01

    The Cathedral of St. Giorgio in Ragusa Ibla (Sicily) is one of the most important Baroque monuments of eastern Sicily. The restoration of the monument underway has put forward notable questions regarding the stone materials used and their state of degradation. The façade appears to be made mainly of a creamy white calcarenite, and of mortars and plasters. However, detailed analysis has highlighted a more complex use of the raw material. The mortar and plaster have a different composition in regards to their architectural use while the natural stone material is distinguished not only by a creamy-white calcarenite but also by a dark coloured bituminous calcarenite (pitch rock), which now appears whiter because of superficial chromatic alterations. This process was reproduced in the laboratory using an accelerated aging technique on samples of bituminous calcarenite, which allowed the cause of the alternation to be identified as photo-oxidation of the asphaltenes. Following this process of photo-oxidation, other forms of chromatic alterations affected the façade (brown orange-coloured patinas). FTIR, Scanning Electron Microscope and thin section microscopic observation allowed the characterization of also the products of this process to be carried out, highlighting the complex mechanism which the processes underwent.

  19. Mediterranean circulation perturbations over the last five centuries: Relevance to past Eastern Mediterranean Transient-type events

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Incarbona, Alessandro; Martrat, Belen; Mortyn, P. Graham; Sprovieri, Mario; Ziveri, Patrizia; Gogou, Alexandra; Jordà, Gabriel; Xoplaki, Elena; Luterbacher, Juerg; Langone, Leonardo; Marino, Gianluca; Rodríguez-Sanz, Laura; Triantaphyllou, Maria; di Stefano, Enrico; Grimalt, Joan O.; Tranchida, Giorgio; Sprovieri, Rodolfo; Mazzola, Salvatore

    2016-07-01

    The Eastern Mediterranean Transient (EMT) occurred in the Aegean Sea from 1988 to 1995 and is the most significant intermediate-to-deep Mediterranean overturning perturbation reported by instrumental records. The EMT was likely caused by accumulation of high salinity waters in the Levantine and enhanced heat loss in the Aegean Sea, coupled with surface water freshening in the Sicily Channel. It is still unknown whether similar transients occurred in the past and, if so, what their forcing processes were. In this study, sediments from the Sicily Channel document surface water freshening (SCFR) at 1910 ± 12, 1812 ± 18, 1725 ± 25 and 1580 ± 30 CE. A regional ocean hindcast links SCFR to enhanced deep-water production and in turn to strengthened Mediterranean thermohaline circulation. Independent evidence collected in the Aegean Sea supports this reconstruction, showing that enhanced bottom water ventilation in the Eastern Mediterranean was associated with each SCFR event. Comparison between the records and multi-decadal atmospheric circulation patterns and climatic external forcings indicates that Mediterranean circulation destabilisation occurs during positive North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) and negative Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO) phases, reduced solar activity and strong tropical volcanic eruptions. They may have recurrently produced favourable deep-water formation conditions, both increasing salinity and reducing temperature on multi-decadal time scales.

  20. Is it dangerous asteroids?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vidmachenko, A. P.; Vidmachenko, H. A.

    2007-01-01

    At 1 January 1801 director of the observatory in Palermo (Sicily Island) Giuseppe Piazzi discovered a previously unknown celestial object seventh magnitude. Later it turned out that it is a small planet. It revolves around the Sun in almost circular orbit, located between Mars and Jupiter. According to the tradition that existed then, a new celestial body was called by the names of mythological gods. G. Piatstsi planet called the Ceres, after the goddess - patroness of the island Sicily. German amateur astronomy G. Olbers from January 1802 began the systematic observation of this new object of Solar system. And on March 28 near the Ceres was opened another similar object approximately ninth magnitude. It was called Pallas. The orbit of the new object is also located between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. Furthermore, it was located very close to the orbit of Ceres. Based on these facts H. Olbers suggested that these planets are small fragments of the same planet that was once existed in the solar system. But for some reason it later collapsed into pieces. So Olbers began purposeful search of new celestial bodies that would have the same orbit. And in 1807 he discovered another planet - Vesta.

  1. Assessing the health risks of natural CO2 seeps in Italy.

    PubMed

    Roberts, Jennifer J; Wood, Rachel A; Haszeldine, R Stuart

    2011-10-01

    Industrialized societies which continue to use fossil fuel energy sources are considering adoption of Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) technology to meet carbon emission reduction targets. Deep geological storage of CO(2) onshore faces opposition regarding potential health effects of CO(2) leakage from storage sites. There is no experience of commercial scale CCS with which to verify predicted risks of engineered storage failure. Studying risk from natural CO(2) seeps can guide assessment of potential health risks from leaking onshore CO(2) stores. Italy and Sicily are regions of intense natural CO(2) degassing from surface seeps. These seeps exhibit a variety of expressions, characteristics (e.g., temperature/flux), and location environments. Here we quantify historical fatalities from CO(2) poisoning using a database of 286 natural CO(2) seeps in Italy and Sicily. We find that risk of human death is strongly influenced by seep surface expression, local conditions (e.g., topography and wind speed), CO(2) flux, and human behavior. Risk of accidental human death from these CO(2) seeps is calculated to be 10-8 year-1 to the exposed population. This value is significantly lower than that of many socially accepted risks. Seepage from future storage sites is modeled to be less that Italian natural flux rates. With appropriate hazard management, health risks from unplanned seepage at onshore storage sites can be adequately minimized. PMID:21911398

  2. Mediterranean circulation perturbations over the last five centuries: Relevance to past Eastern Mediterranean Transient-type events

    PubMed Central

    Incarbona, Alessandro; Martrat, Belen; Mortyn, P. Graham; Sprovieri, Mario; Ziveri, Patrizia; Gogou, Alexandra; Jordà, Gabriel; Xoplaki, Elena; Luterbacher, Juerg; Langone, Leonardo; Marino, Gianluca; Rodríguez-Sanz, Laura; Triantaphyllou, Maria; Di Stefano, Enrico; Grimalt, Joan O.; Tranchida, Giorgio; Sprovieri, Rodolfo; Mazzola, Salvatore

    2016-01-01

    The Eastern Mediterranean Transient (EMT) occurred in the Aegean Sea from 1988 to 1995 and is the most significant intermediate-to-deep Mediterranean overturning perturbation reported by instrumental records. The EMT was likely caused by accumulation of high salinity waters in the Levantine and enhanced heat loss in the Aegean Sea, coupled with surface water freshening in the Sicily Channel. It is still unknown whether similar transients occurred in the past and, if so, what their forcing processes were. In this study, sediments from the Sicily Channel document surface water freshening (SCFR) at 1910 ± 12, 1812 ± 18, 1725 ± 25 and 1580 ± 30 CE. A regional ocean hindcast links SCFR to enhanced deep-water production and in turn to strengthened Mediterranean thermohaline circulation. Independent evidence collected in the Aegean Sea supports this reconstruction, showing that enhanced bottom water ventilation in the Eastern Mediterranean was associated with each SCFR event. Comparison between the records and multi-decadal atmospheric circulation patterns and climatic external forcings indicates that Mediterranean circulation destabilisation occurs during positive North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) and negative Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO) phases, reduced solar activity and strong tropical volcanic eruptions. They may have recurrently produced favourable deep-water formation conditions, both increasing salinity and reducing temperature on multi-decadal time scales. PMID:27412622

  3. Antioxidant properties of Berberis aetnensis C. Presl (Berberidaceae) roots extract and protective effects on astroglial cell cultures.

    PubMed

    Campisi, Agata; Acquaviva, Rosaria; Bonfanti, Roberta; Raciti, Giuseppina; Amodeo, Andrea; Mastrojeni, Silvana; Ragusa, Salvatore; Iauk, Liliana

    2014-01-01

    Berberis aetnensis C. Presl (Berberidaceae) is a bushy-spiny shrub common on Mount Etna (Sicily). We demonstrated that the alkaloid extract of roots of B. aetnensis C. Presl contains prevalently berberine and berbamine, possesses antimicrobial properties, and was able to counteract the upregulation evoked by glutamate of tissue transglutaminase in primary rat astroglial cell cultures. Until now, there are no reports regarding antioxidant properties of B. aetnensis C. Presl collected in Sicily. Air-dried, powdered roots of B. aetnensis C. Presl were extracted, identified, and quantified by HPLC. We assessed in cellular free system its effect on superoxide anion, radicals scavenging activity of antioxidants against free radicals like the 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl radical, and the inhibition of xanthine oxidase activity. In primary rat astroglial cell cultures, exposed to glutamate, we evaluated the effect of the extract on glutathione levels and on intracellular production of reactive oxygen species generated by glutamate. The alkaloid extract of B. aetnensis C. Presl inhibited superoxide anion, restored to control values, the decrease of GSH levels, and the production of reactive oxygen species. Potent antioxidant activities of the alkaloid extract of roots of B. aetnensis C. Presl may be one of the mechanisms by which the extract is effective against health disorders associated to oxidative stress.

  4. Assessing the health risks of natural CO2 seeps in Italy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roberts, Jennifer J.; Wood, Rachel A.; Haszeldine, R. Stuart

    2011-10-01

    Industrialized societies which continue to use fossil fuel energy sources are considering adoption of Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) technology to meet carbon emission reduction targets. Deep geological storage of 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.

  5. Genetic considerations on the introduction of farmed fish in marine protected areas: The case of study of white seabream restocking in the Gulf of Castellammare (Southern Tyrrhenian Sea)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    González-Wangüemert, Mercedes; Fernández, Tomás Vega; Pérez-Ruzafa, Angel; Giacalone, Maximiliano; D'Anna, Giovanni; Badalamenti, Fabio

    2012-02-01

    Human exploitation has drastically reduced the abundance and distribution of several marine fish and invertebrate populations through overfishing and habitat destruction. Restocking can potentially mitigate these impacts and help to reconstitute depleted stocks but genetic repercussions must be considered. In the present study, the degree of genetic similarity between white seabream (Diplodus sargus Linnaeus 1758) individuals reared for restocking purposes and the receiving population in the Gulf of Castellammare fishery reserve (Sicily, Italy) was assessed using microsatellites. We also inferred the spatial pattern of the genetic structure of D. sargus and connectivity along Sicilian coasts. The farmed population showed significant heterozygosity deficiency in 6 loci and an important reduction in the number of alleles, which could indicate an incipient inbreeding. Both the farmed population and the target one for restocking (Castellammare fishery reserve), showed high and significant values of genetic differentiation due to different allele frequencies, number of privative alleles and total number of alleles. These findings indicate a low degree of genetic similarity between both populations, therefore this restocking initiative is not advisable. The genetic connectivity pattern, highly consistent with oceanographic currents, identified two distinct metapopulations of white seabream around Sicily. Thus it is recommended to utilize broods from the same metapopulation for restocking purposes to provide a better genetic match to the wild populations.

  6. Italian populations during the Copper Age: assessment of biological affinities through morphological dental traits.

    PubMed

    Vargiu, Rita; Cucina, Andrea; Coppa, Alfredo

    2009-08-01

    The Copper Age (3rd millennium BC) was characterized by considerable socioeconomic transformations and coincided with the discovery of metallurgy. In this study we reconstruct the peopling of Italy during this period on the basis of dental morphology traits. Dental remains from 41 sites throughout Italy were analyzed; only three of the sites (Laterza and two from Sicily) span from the late Copper Age to the early Bronze