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Sample records for sicily

  1. Smoke and Sediments in Sicily

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2002-01-01

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

  2. Geomorphological evolution of western Sicily, Italy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Di Maggio, Cipriano; Madonia, Giuliana; Vattano, Marco; Agnesi, Valerio; Monteleone, Salvatore

    2017-02-01

    This paper proposes a morphoevolutionary model for western Sicily. Sicily is a chain-foredeep-foreland system still being built, with tectonic activity involving uplift which tends to create new relief. To reconstruct the morphoevolutionary model, geological, and geomorphological studies were done on the basis of field survey and aerial photographic interpretation. The collected data show large areas characterized by specific geological, geomorphological, and topographical settings with rocks, landforms, and landscapes progressively older from south to north Sicily. The achieved results display: (1) gradual emersion of new areas due to uplift, its interaction with the Quaternary glacio-eustatic oscillations of the sea level, and the following production of a flight of stair-steps of uplifted marine terraces in southern Sicily, which migrates progressively upward and inwards; in response to the uplift (2) triggering of down-cutting processes that gradually dismantle the oldest terraces; (3) competition between uplift and down-cutting processes, which is responsible for the genesis of river valleys and isolated rounded hills in central Sicily; (4) continuous deepening over time that results in the exhumation of older and more resistant rocks in northern Sicily, where the higher heights of Sicily are realized and the older forms are retained; (5) extensional tectonic event in the northern end of Sicily, that produces the collapse of large blocks drowned in the Tyrrhenian Sea and sealed by coastal-marine deposits during the Calabrian stage; (6) trigger of uplift again in the previously subsiding blocks and its interaction with coastal processes and sea level fluctuations, which produce successions of marine terraces during the Middle-Upper Pleistocene stages.

  3. Coastal dynamics in western Sicily

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liguori, Vincenzo; Manno, Giorgio; Agate, Francesca

    2014-05-01

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

  4. Isonymy and the genetic structure of Sicily.

    PubMed

    Rodríguez-Larralde, A; Pavesi, A; Scapoli, C; Conterio, F; Siri, G; Barrai, I

    1994-01-01

    The genetic structure of Sicily was analysed through the distribution of surnames of 758,793 users registered in the Italian Telephone Company, corresponding to 371 communes of the island. Estimates of the coefficient of consanguinity due to random isonymy, of Fisher's a, an indicator of abundance of surnames, and of Karlin-McGregor's v, an indicator of immigration rates, were obtained for each commune. Four different estimates of genetic distance between all possible pairs of communes within each province were also obtained, and their relationship with geographic distance was studied. The logarithmic transformation of Lasker's coefficient of relationship showed correlations with the log of geographic distance which range between -0.78 and -0.40; the strongest, for the province of Catania, was attributed to the presence of Mount Etna, and the weakest, for Palermo, to the high population density of this province.

  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. Two new freshwater eutardigrade species from Sicily.

    PubMed

    Pilato, Giovanni; Sabella, Giorgio; Lisi, Oscar

    2015-02-11

    Two new species of freshwater Eutardigrada are described from Sicily: Isohypsibius rusticus sp. nov. and Isohypsibius zappalai sp. nov. The former species has eye spots, ornamented body surface with many, variously sized tubercles; bucco-pharyngeal apparatus of the Isohypsibius type; pharyngeal bulb with apophyses and two rod-shaped macroplacoids; microplacoid absent; claws, of the Isohypsibius type, well developed, with long and thin common basal portion; main branches of all claws without free accessory points; very thin lunules present; cuticular bars on the legs absent. Isohypsibius zappalai sp. nov. has eye spots; entire body surface with small tubercles rounded in shape, fairly uniformly sized and tending to form transverse lines; bucco-pharyngeal apparatus of the Isohypsibius type, pharyngeal bulb with apophyses and two macroplacoids; microplacoid absent; claws of the Isohypsibius type, well developed, with long common basal portion and both main and secondary branches with a wide proximal portion. Main branches of all claws with accessory points; small, flexible lunules present; cuticular bars on the legs absent.

  7. View of eastern coast of Sicily area

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1973-01-01

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

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Seasonal Variability of Transport Through Gibraltar, Sicily and Corsica Straits

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Béranger, K.; Mortier, L.; Crépon, M.

    We have investigated the transport variability through three major straits of the Mediterranean Sea (Gibraltar, Sicily, Corsica) with a very high resolution model of the Mediterranean Sea. A numerical simulation of the Mediterranean circulation has been done with a 1/16o horizontal grid mesh, 43 vertical z-level model. Initial hydrological conditions were provided by the Mediterranean MODB5 climatology. The model has been run eleven years. It has been forced in a yearly perpetual mode by the daily sea surface fluxes from European Centre for Medium-range Weather Forecasts analysis during the year March 1998 - February 1999. This study has been supported by the french MERCA- TOR project and SHOM. We grateful the PAM team of CERFACS (Toulouse, France). Analysis is focused on three major straits which play an important role in control- ling the circulation through mass transport exchanges. Model results are compared to recent observations and good agreement is obtained. It demonstrates advantages to improve resolution in numerical models. Gibraltar and Sicily strait transports are largely baroclinic. The transport through the Gibraltar Strait is forced by density difference between the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea. Atlantic water (AW) penetrates the Mediterranean Sea while Mediterranean Outflow Water flows into the Atlantic Ocean. This transport is hy- draulically maximal, with a semi-annual signal, and its seasonal variation is weak. The Sicily Strait transport is probably first forced by the AW coming from the West rather than the density gradient between the western and eastern mediterranean seas. AW inflow (i.e. Eastern Mediterranean Overflow Water outflow) is maximum in late Fall and minimum in late Winter. In opposite to previous straits, the northward Cor- sica Strait transport presents strong seasonal variability, and thus a strong barotropic component related to the wind stress curl.

  12. 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.

  13. Is a destructive earthquake imminent in southeastern Sicily?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mulargia, Francesco; Achilli, Vladimiro; Broccio, Franco; Baldi, Paolo

    1991-03-01

    Southeastern Sicily, which has frequently experienced ruinous earthquakes in historic times, has only been site of minor activity in the last two centuries. Two precision levelling surveys that we carried out in 1983 and 1989 detected high rates of crustal deformation. The usual hypothesis of tectonic stationarity applied to both the time series of historical earthquakes and deformation rates would favour the imminence of an I ⩾ IX event. On the other hand, the characteristic patterns of recent seismicity strongly oppose this conclusion, suggesting that the apparent contradiction is caused by a tectonic nonstationarity, an issue that seems also confirmed by palaeogeodetic data.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  18. 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

  19. 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..

  20. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-08-01

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

  2. 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

  3. A statistical analysis of eruptive activity on Mount Etna, Sicily

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smethurst, Lucy; James, Mike R.; Pinkerton, Harry; Tawn, Jonathan A.

    2009-10-01

    A rigorous analysis of the timing and location of flank eruptions of Mount Etna on Sicily is important for the creation of hazard maps of the densely populated area surrounding the volcano. In this paper, we analyse the temporal, volumetric and spatial data on eruptive activity on Etna. Our analyses are based on the two most recent and robust historical data catalogues of flank eruption activity on Etna, with one from 1669 to 2008 and the other from 1610 to 2008. We use standard statistical methodology and modelling techniques, though a number of features are new to the analysis of eruption data. Our temporal analysis reveals that flank eruptions on Mount Etna between 1610 and 2008 follow an inhomogeneous Poisson process, with intensity of eruptions increasing nearly linearly since the mid-1900s. Our temporal analysis reveals no evidence of cyclicity over this period. An analysis of volumetric lava flow rates shows a marked increase in activity since 1971. This increase, which coincides with the formation of the Southeast Crater (SEC), appears to be related to increased activity on and around the SEC. This has significant implications for hazard analysis on Etna.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

  5. [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.

  6. 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.

  7. The great heterogeneity of thalassemia molecular defects in Sicily.

    PubMed

    Giambona, A; Lo Gioco, P; Marino, M; Abate, I; Di Marzo, R; Renda, M; Di Trapani, F; Messana, F; Siciliano, S; Rigano, P

    1995-05-01

    This paper reports the results of 1428 beta-thalassemia chromosomes studied in Sicily during a hemoglobinopathy control program starting in 1983. Molecular screening was performed by direct restriction enzyme analysis, allele specific oligonucleotide (ASO) hybridization, reverse dot blot analysis (RDB) and, for the rare or new mutations, by direct sequencing of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) products. Using these approaches 1410 (98.7%) out of 1428 beta-globin gene defects were characterized, involving 22 different beta-thalassemia mutations. Three of these were present at high frequency (beta(0)39, IVS1, 110 and IVS1,6); the other beta-globin gene defects were found at lower frequency. In the latter, we found a smaller group of mutations at a frequency lower than 10% (IVS1, 1, IVS2, 745, beta S) and a larger one at a frequency lower than 2% [-87, IVS1,2, IVS2,1, fr 6, fr 8 (-AA), fr 44, fr 76, -101, IVS1, 116, IVS1, 3'end G-C, IVS1,5 G-A, IVS1,5 G-C, cod 30, Lepore, delta beta, beta C]. The possible origin of this very large number of mutations is discussed, taking into account the historical point of view. Moreover, this approach has made a first trimester prenatal diagnosis program possible in our region in practically all cases, with a great improvement in general thalassemia management.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. Evaluation of a seismic quiescence pattern in southeastern sicily

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mulargia, F.; Broccio, F.; Achilli, V.; Baldi, P.

    1985-07-01

    Southeastern Sicily experienced a very peculiar seismic activity in historic times, with a long series of ruinous earthquakes. A last large event, with magnitude probably in excess of 7.5, occurred on Jan., 11, 1693, totally destroying the city of Catania and killing 60,000 people. Only a few moderate events were reported since then, and a seismic gap issue has been proposed on this basis. A close scrutiny of the available data further shows that all significant seismic activity ceased after year 1850, suggesting one of the largest quiescence patterns ever encountered. This is examined together with the complex tectonic setting of the region, characterized by a wrenching mechanism with most significant seismicity located in its northern graben structure. An attempt to ascertain the imminence and the size of a future earthquake through commonly accepted empirical relations based on size and duration of the quiescence pattern did not provide any feasible result. A precision levelling survey which we recently completed yielded a relative subsidence of ~ 3 mm/yr, consistent with an aseismic slip on the northern graben structure at a rate of ~ 15 mm/yr. Comparing these results with sedimentological and tidal data suggests that the area is undergoing an accelerated deformation process; this issue is further supported by Rikitake's ultimate strain statistics. If the imminence of a damaging ( M = 5.4) event is strongly favoured by Weibull statistics applied to the time series of occurrence of large events, the accumulated strain does not appear sufficient for a large earthquake ( M ⪸ 7.0). Within the limits of reliability of present semi-empirical approaches we conclude that the available evidence is consistent with the occurrence of a moderate-to-large ( M ≅ 6.0) event in the near future. Several questions regarding the application of simple models to real (and complex) tectonic settings remain nevertheless unanswered.

  11. Knowledge Discovery and Digital Cartography for the ALS (Linguistic Atlas of Sicily) Project

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gentile, Antonio; Pirrone, Roberto; Russo, Giuseppe

    In this paper the latest developments of the ALS (Linguistic Atlas of Sicily) project are presented. The ALS project has the purpose to define methodologies and tools to allow researches in the socio-linguistic field. Different types of variables (both quantitative and qualitative) are involved.

  12. 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...

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. Crustal structure and seismotectonics of central Sicily (southern Italy): new constraints from instrumental seismicity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sgroi, Tiziana; de Nardis, Rita; Lavecchia, Giusy

    2012-06-01

    In this paper, we propose a new model of the crustal structure and seismotectonics for central Sicily (southern Italy) through the analysis of the depth distribution and kinematics of the instrumental seismicity, occurring during the period from 1983 to 2010, and its comparison with individual geological structures that may be active in the area. The analysed data set consists of 392 earthquakes with local magnitudes ranging from 1.0 to 4.7. We defined a new, detailed 1-D velocity model to relocate the earthquakes that occurred in central Sicily, and we calculated a Moho depth of 37 km and a mean VP/VS ratio of 1.73. The relocated seismic events are clustered mainly in the area north of Caltanissetta (e.g. Mainland Sicily) and in the northeastern sector (Madonie Mountains) of the study area; only minor and greatly dispersed seismicity is located in the western sector, near Belice, and along the southern coast, between Gela and Sciacca. The relocated hypocentral distribution depicts a bimodal pattern: 50 per cent of the events occur within the upper crust at depths less than ˜16 km, 40 per cent of the events occur within the middle and depth crust, at depths between 16 and 32 km, and the remaining 10 per cent occur at subcrustal depths. The energy release pattern shows a similar depth distribution. On the basis of the kinematic analysis of 38 newly computed focal plane solutions, two major geographically distinct seismotectonic domains are distinguished: the Madonie Mountain domain, with prevalent extensional and extensional-oblique kinematics associated with upper crust Late Pliocene-Quaternary faulting, and the Mainland Sicily domain, with prevalent compressional and compressional-oblique kinematics associated with thrust faulting, at mid to deep crust depth, along the north-dipping Sicilian Basal Thrust (SBT). The stress inversion of the Mainland Sicily focal solutions integrated with neighbouring mechanisms available in the literature highlights a regional

  17. Western Sicily (Italy), a key area for understanding geothermal system within carbonate reservoirs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Montanari, D.; Bertini, G.; Botteghi, S.; Catalano, R.; Contino, A.; Doveri, M.; Gennaro, C.; Gianelli, G.; Gola, G.; Manzella, A.; Minissale, A.; Montegrossi, G.; Monteleone, S.; Trumpy, E.

    2012-12-01

    Oil exploration in western Sicily started in the late 1950s when several exploration wells were drilled, and continued with the acquisition of many seismic reflection profiles and the drilling of new wells in the1980s. The geological interpretation of these data mainly provided new insights for the definition of geometric relationships between tectonic units and structural reconstruction at depth. Although it has not produced completely satisfactory results for oil industry, this hydrocarbon exploration provided a great amount of data, resulting very suitable for geothermal resource assessment. From a geothermal point of view western Sicily is, indeed, a very promising area, with the manifestation at surface of several thermal springs, localized areas of high heat flux and thick carbonates units uninterruptedly developing from surface up top great depths. These available data were often collected with the modalities and purposes typical of oil exploration, not always the finest for geothermal exploration as in the case of temperature measurements. The multidisciplinary and integrated review of these data, specifically corrected for geothermal purposes, and the integration with new data acquired in particular key areas such as the Mazara Del Vallo site in the southern part of western Sicily, allowed us to better understand this medium-enthalpy geothermal system, to reconstruct the modalities and peculiarities of fluids circulation, and to evaluate the geothermal potentialities of western Sicily. We suggest that western Sicily can be taken as a reference for the understanding of geothermal systems developed at a regional scale within carbonate rocks. This study was performed within the framework of the VIGOR project (http://www.vigor-geotermia.it).

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2008-12-01

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

  19. Lieutenant General Patton’s Seventh Army in Sicily 1943: The Maturation of an American Operational Artist

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2014-05-22

    study of his operational art in Sicily leads to two questions. How did Patton’s experience during the Sicilian Campaign influence his ability to...important evolutionary step in George S. Patton’s maturation as an operational artist. The study of his operational art in Sicily leads to two questions...he had it. ― Brigadier General Oscar W. Koch, G-2: Intelligence for Patton1 On 26 December 1944, the lead

  20. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-05-21

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

  2. Evidence of canine leptospirosis in kennels in Sicily, by PCR method.

    PubMed

    Vicari, Domenico; Percipalle, Maurizio; Concetta, Leone Maria; Li Vecchi, Luisa; Curro, Victoria; Vitale, María; Vicenzo, Ferrantelli

    2007-01-01

    Stray dogs in kennels in western Sicily were monitored for zoonotic diseases presence; considering life conditions before their capture they are particularly exposed to the environment and so they can give good epidemiological information on disease prevalence. Leptospira pathogen specific PCR had been used to identify potential reservoirs of pathogenic serovars and provide a preliminary picture of the prevalence of the disease among stray dogs.

  3. Paleogeography and structure of the central Mediterranean: Sicily and its offshore area

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Catalano, R.; Di Stefano, P.; Sulli, A.; Vitale, F. P.

    1996-08-01

    The geology of the mainland and offshore of Sicily is illustrated by a few geologic sections and seismic profiles across the late Cenozoic orogenic belt of central and western Sicily and across the Sardinia Channel and Sicily Straits. This belt is the result of several tectonic events. Deformation involved mainly the sedimentary cover of the old African continental margin characterized by a broad basinal domain, flanked along its external (southern) margin by a shallow-water carbonate platform attached to Africa in the Triassic. Compressional deformation started in the more internal basinal rock assemblages overlying a thinned crust. The most important structural characteristic of the early phase of thrusting is the duplex pile forming the bulk of the chain in Central Western Sicily. The structure consists of a basal allochthon, made up of Permian to Middle Triassic layers, an intermediate duplex wedge, composed of competent Mesozoic carbonates, and a roof complex, including Upper Mesozoic-Lower Tertiary less competent rocks. Large-scale clockwise rotation of the thrusts accompanied transpressional movements in the hinterland during the Pliocene. Right oblique reverse faults modified the previous tectonic contacts between the allochthons in the hinterland zones. Contemporaneous south-directed imbrications affected the southern external areas, progressively incorporating foreland and piggyback basins. Development of the Gela Thrust System appears to be linked to the transpressional event; its accretion is also related to contemporaneous underthrusting at deeper levels of Mesozoic carbonate substratum. The older buried thrust sheets were pushed up to the surface breaching the deformed Tertiary cover of the Gela TS. Northwards in the belt post-Messinian normal growth faults opened half graben whose sedimentary fill underwent structural inversion. Alternation of extension and compression tectonics characterizes the Sicilian continental margin in the last million years.

  4. 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.

  5. Patterns of tectonic stress in Sicily from borehole breakout observations and finite element modeling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ragg, Steffen; Grasso, Mario; Müller, Birgit

    1999-08-01

    The orientation of in situ tectonic stress was deduced from borehole breakout analysis of 22 wells from onshore Sicily. The results allow us to distinguish the stress field of different geological units: (1) A nearly NNW (148°) orientation is detected in the Hyblean Plateau. (2) A NNE SHmax direction characterizes the Gela area. To the north, within the thrust belt (around Mount Judica), the SHmax direction swings to NE. In the northeastern segment of the foredeep, the Catania Plain, the direction of SHmax is roughly parallel to the NE trending grabens that mark the northern margin of the Hyblean Plateau. (3) The southwestern segment of the foredeep has no preferential SHmax orientation and may act as a transition zone with isotropic horizontal stresses. (4) In western Sicily a SHmax orientation from N-S to NW-SE is observed. This fits well the kinematics of the SE migrating Egadi and Adventure thrust belts and the direction of shortening inferred from the modern seismicity of the area. A three-dimensional finite element modeling, including the most important tectonic features, was performed. Modeling results of the stress field indicate that the NNW trending SHmax is locally influenced by the variation of crustal thickness and local zones of weakness. In addition, the Pantelleria Rift causes a rotation of the regional NW-SE stress orientation to NNE along the northern rim of the rift system, including large on-shore areas in the adjacent central south Sicily.

  6. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Fornaciari, Antonio; Giuffra, Valentina

    2006-01-01

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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. Serologic and molecular characterization of Anaplasma species infection in farm animals and ticks from Sicily.

    PubMed

    de la Fuente, José; Torina, Alessandra; Caracappa, Santo; Tumino, Giovanni; Furlá, Roberto; Almazán, Consuelo; Kocan, Katherine M

    2005-11-05

    Although Anaplasma marginale was known to be endemic in Italy, the diversity of Anaplasma spp. from this area have not been characterized. In this study, the prevalence of Anaplasma spp. antibodies in randomly selected farm animals collected on the island of Sicily was determined by use of a MSP5 cELISA for Anaplasma spp. and an immunofluorescence test specific for Anaplasma phagocytophilum. Genetic variation among strains of Anaplasma spp. from animals and ticks was characterized using the A. marginale msp1alpha and the Anaplasma spp. msp4 genes. Eight species of ticks were collected and tested by PCR. Seropositivity for Anaplasma spp. and A. phagocytophilum was detected in bovine and ovine samples. All the donkeys were seropositive for A. phagocytophilum but not for Anaplasma spp. Four A. marginale genotypes were identified by msp4 sequences from bovine and tick samples. Two new genotypes of Anaplasma ovis were characterized in sheep. The sequences of A. phagocytophilum from three donkeys proved to be identical to the sequence of the MRK equine isolate from California. Six A. marginale genotypes were found in cattle and one tick using the A. marginale msp1alpha sequences. All genotypes had four repeated sequences in the N-terminal portion of the MSP1a, except for one that had five repeats. The Italian strains of A. marginale contained three repeat sequences that were not reported previously. Definition of the diversity of Anaplasma spp. in Sicily reported, herein is fundamental to development of control strategies for A. marginale, A. ovis and A. phagocytophilum in Sicily.

  11. 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).

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. Isolation and characterization of unusual Mycoplasma spp. from captive Eurasian Griffon (Gyps fulvus) in Sicily.

    PubMed

    Loria, G R; Ferrantelli, E; Giardina, G; Li Vecchi, L; Sparacino, L; Oliveri, F; McAuliffe, L; Nicholas, R A J

    2008-01-01

    Mycoplasmas have been isolated from birds of prey during clinical examinations, but their significance to the health of raptors is unclear. We report the isolation and characterization of four mycoplasmas found in the upper respiratory tract of four sick Eurasian Griffon (Gyps fulvus) that were housed in a Sicilian rehabilitation center at Ficuzza, near Palermo in Sicily, before reintroduction into the wild. These included Mycoplasma gallinarum, an unidentified mycoplasma highly similar to Mycoplasma glycophilum, and two unidentified mycoplasmas with similarities to Mycoplasma falconis and Mycoplasma gateae.

  16. 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.

  17. Polymerase chain reaction method for leptospirosis, analysis on samples from an autochthon swine population in Sicily, Italy.

    PubMed

    Vitale, Maria; Vitale, Fabrizio; Di Marco, Vincenzo; Curró, Vittoria; Vesco, Gesualdo; Caracappa, Santo

    2005-01-01

    We set a method targeting 16 rRNA gene consisting in a single polymerase chain reaction of 40 cycles which is specific for pathogenic leptospira. Negative polymerase chain reaction results were observed with nonpathogenic Leptospira (serovar patoc) and other bacteria species. By this method a survey on a population of autochthon swine herds had been conducted in Sicily particularly on kidney samples of slaughtered animals and on urine samples from live animals. The analysis showed that a prevalence of leptospira up to 40 % can be observed on these animals. Results on other bovine and ovine herds from the same province in Sicily showed a lower prevalence.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sammari, C.; Millot, C.; Taupier-Letage, I.; Stefani, A.; Brahim, M.

    1999-10-01

    Within the framework of the Tunisian - EC SALTO/AVICENNE project, four hydrological sections were performed between Tunisia, Sardinia and Sicily with a 10-20 km sampling interval in April-June 1995. To our knowledge, it is the first time that sections were repeated there at such a high frequency. These data significantly increase the number of observations available on the Tunisian side of the Channels of Sardinia and Sicily, and allow reliable specification of the hydrological characteristics of the area. For the first time, and as confirmed by infrared satellite images, these data sets show (i) the large mesoscale variability of the surface flow entering the study area, as expected from the characteristics of the Algerian Current upstream, (ii) the rapid changes it undergoes around northeastern Tunisia, as it shifts roughly from southward to eastward within less than a few weeks. These data also show a large heterogeneity at intermediate levels, clearly associated with waters of very different origins that follow converging routes and mix in both the study area and the southern Tyrrhenian Sea. They finally document the fundamental importance of bathymetric features of relatively small scale such as the Skerki passage.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Moretti, I.; Brosse, E.; Delahaye, S.; Roure, F. ); Mattavelli, L. )

    1990-05-01

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

  3. 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

    2016-12-01

    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.

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

    PubMed Central

    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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-10-01

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

  6. 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. [Acute poisoning with methomyl and other pesticides in the province of Ragusa, Sicily].

    PubMed

    Miceli, G; Ravalli, P; Settimi, L; Ballard, T J; Bascherini, S

    2001-01-01

    In 1995-96, the Occupational Medicine Service of the province of Ragusa, Sicily, examined all cases of pesticide poisonings among persons seen in two local emergency departments, identifying 86 cases due to unintentional pesticide exposure. Methomyl, a highly toxic carbamate, was indicated for 51% of all cases. The most frequently reported symptoms included nausea and vomiting (48%), excessive perspiration (33%), and dyspnea (16%). Fifty-nine cases (69%) were hospitalized, 5 in intensive care. The methomyl cases occurred more frequently during summer months while the cases from all other pesticides showed no seasonal patterns. These observations point out the relevance of identifying acute pesticide poisonings in the province of Ragusa and suggest that ongoing registration of these events should be a public health priority.

  8. Integrated three-dimensional models for noninvasive monitoring and valorization of the Morgantina silver treasure (Sicily)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alberghina, Maria Francesca; Alberghina, Filippo; Allegra, Dario; Di Paola, Francesco; Maniscalco, Laura; Milazzo, Giuseppe; Milotta, Filippo L. M.; Pellegrino, Lorella; Schiavone, Salvatore; Stanco, Filippo

    2017-01-01

    The Morgantina silver treasure belonging to the Archaeological Museum of Aidone (Sicily) was involved in a three-dimensional (3-D) survey and diagnostics campaign for monitoring the collection over time in anticipation of their temporary transfer to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York for a period of 4 years. Using a multidisciplinary approach, a scientific and methodological protocol based on noninvasive techniques to achieve a complete and integrated knowledge of the precious items and their conservation state, as well as to increase their valorization, has been developed. All acquired data, i.e., 3-D models, ultraviolet fluorescence, x-ray images, and chemical information, will be made available, in an integrated way, within a web-oriented platform, which will present an in-progress tool to deepen existing archaeological knowledge and production technologies and to obtain referenced information of the conservation state before and after moving of the collection from its exposure site.

  9. Geomagnetic secular variation in Sicily and revised ages of historic lavas from Mount Etna

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tanguy, J. C.; Bucur, I.; Thompson, J. F. C.

    1985-12-01

    The variation of geomagnetic field direction in Sicily during the past 700 yr has tentatively been determined using lavas of known date from Mount Etna1. Additional palaeomagnetic studies on several hundred volcanic samples, combined with archaeomagnetic investigations carried out on Norman buildings, have improved the previous results and permit a reconstruction of the geomagnetic variation curve to about AD 1000. This curve agrees well with those obtained for other European countries2-6 and may be used as a reference for checking the ages attributed to archaeological structures as well as volcanic products in southern Italy during the past 1,000 yr. The present results cast serious doubts on the true ages of numerous historically dated lavas from Mount Etna, most of which are at least several centuries older than previously believed. The conclusions have implications for the succession of eruptions, effusion rates, magmatic evolution, and so on, and demonstrate the inconsistency of eruptive models based on historical records alone.

  10. 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.

  11. About the presence of Phlebotomus sergenti Parrot, 1917 (Diptera: Psychodidae) in Eastern Sicily, Italy.

    PubMed

    D'Urso, V; Ruta, F; Khoury, C; Bianchi, R; Depaquit, J; Maroli, M

    2004-09-01

    The note reports the data of a three-year sand fly investigation (1997-99) carried out in Eastern Sicily (Italy) with the aim to study the distribution of Phlebotomus sergenti. The survey involved a densely inhabited area at the foot of Mount Etna and the area of Iblei mounts. A total of 9,095 sand flies, of which 63.4% males, were captured. Five species belonging to the genus Phlebotomus (P. perniciosus, P. perfiliewi, P. neglectus, P. sergenti and P. papatasi) and one to the genus Sergentomyia (S. minuta) were identified. Both the prevalence and distribution of the species were different within the two areas studied. In Mount Etna area, P. perniciosus (77.7%) was the prevalent species followed by S. minuta (19.8%), P. sergenti (2.0%), P. neglectus (0.3%) and P. papatasi (0.2%). While in Iblei mounts region S. minuta (84.5%) showed the highest prevalence, followed by P. perniciosus (14.4%), P. perfiliewi (0.9%) and P. neglectus (0.1%). Here, P. sergenti was a very rare species (< 0.02). P. sergenti was mostly associated to domestic habitats of peri-urban and urban zones located between two and 750 m a.s.l. The density values of P. sergenti, expressed as number of specimens/m2 of sticky trap, were between 0.3 and 5.5 with the highest value in the hilly collecting sites. The low observed abundance of P. sergenti does not allow to draw any prediction on the role that the species could play in the transmission of leishmaniasis in Sicily.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  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. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Active geodynamics of the central Mediterranean Sea: Tensional tectonic evidences in western Sicily from mantle-derived helium

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Caracausi, A.; Favara, R.; Italiano, F.; Nuccio, P. M.; Paonita, A.; Rizzo, A.

    2005-02-01

    We report results on the measured high 3He/4He isotope ratio in western Sicily, interpreted together with the heat data. The study of this sector of the Europe-Africa interaction is crucial to a better understanding of the tectonics and the geodynamical evolution of the central Mediterranean area. The estimated mantle-derived helium fluxes in the investigated areas are up to 2-3 orders of magnitude greater than those of a stable continental area. The highest flux, found in the southernmost area near the Sicily Channel, where recent eruptions of the Ferdinandea Island occurred 20 miles out to sea off Sciacca, has been associated with a clear excess of heat flow. Our results indicate that there is an accumulation of magma below the continental crust of western Sicily that is possibly intruding and out-gassing through roughly N-S trending deep fault systems linked to the mantle, that have an extensional component. Although the identification of these faults is not sufficiently constrained by our data, they could possibly be linked to the pre-existing faults that originated during the Mesozoic extensional-transtensional tectonic phases.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-08-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-03-01

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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Parisi, L.; Calo, M.

    2013-12-01

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

  6. 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

  7. Diversity of rhizobia nodulating wild shrubs of Sicily and some neighbouring islands.

    PubMed

    Cardinale, Massimiliano; Lanza, Angela; Bonnì, Maria Laura; Marsala, Salvatore; Puglia, Anna Maria; Quatrini, Paola

    2008-10-01

    Legume shrubs have great potential for rehabilitation of semi-arid degraded soils in Mediterranean ecosystems as they establish mutualistic symbiosis with N-fixing rhizobia. Eighty-eight symbiotic rhizobia were isolated from seven wild legume shrubs native of Sicily (Southern Italy) and grouped in operational taxonomic units (OTU) by analysis of the ribosomal internal transcribed spacer (ITS) polymorphism. Partial sequencing of 16S rRNA gene of representative isolates of each OTU revealed that most Genisteae symbionts are related to Bradyrhizobium canariense, B. japonicum and B. elkanii. Teline monspessulana was the only Genistea nodulated by Mesorhizobium strains, and Anagyris foetida (Thermopsideae) was promiscuosly nodulated by Rhizobium, Mesorhizobium, Agrobacterium and Bradyrhizobium strains. Analysis of the nodulation gene nodA assigned most Mediterranean Genisteae bradyrhizobia to clade II but also to clades IV, I and III, which included, so far, sequences of (sub)tropical and Australian isolates. The high diversity and low host specificity observed in most wild legumes isolates suggest that preferential associations may establish in the field depending on differences in the benefits conferred to the host and on competition ability. Once identified, these beneficial symbiosis can be exploited for rehabilitation of arid, low productive and human-impacted soils of the Mediterranean countries.

  8. Common buzzards (Buteo buteo) bio-indicators of heavy metals pollution in Sicily (Italy).

    PubMed

    Naccari, C; Cristani, M; Cimino, F; Arcoraci, T; Trombetta, D

    2009-04-01

    The aim of this study was to evaluate the accumulation of toxic (As, Cd and Pb) and essential (Cu, Mn and Zn) metals in samples (feathers, liver, kidney, lung, intestine and muscle) of common buzzards (Buteo buteo) from Sicily, used as bio-indicators for monitoring environmental metals pollution. All samples of buzzards were collected at the "Recovery Center of Wild Fauna" of Palermo, through the Zooprophilactic Institute. The quantitative determinations of metals were carried out using an atomic absorbtion spectrophotometer (AAS). The results obtained showed the presence of metals in all samples analyzed. For toxic metals the highest levels of Pb and As were found in liver and those of Cd in kidney; for essential metals Zn levels were higher than Cu and Mn in all tissues analyzed. Significant differences are observed in metal levels between female and male and juvenile and adult bird samples. Highest metal levels found in liver, kidney and muscle can be considered indicative of chronic exposure to metals while the presence of metals in feathers can be consequential to storing and elimination processes. The results obtained suggest that common buzzards (Buteo buteo) may be very useful as bio-indicators for monitoring environmental pollution.

  9. 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.

  10. Morphologic Variability of two Adjacent Mass-Transport Deposits: Twin Slides, Gela Basin (Sicily Channel).

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Minisini, D.; Trincardi, F.; Asioli, A.; Canu, M.; Foglini, F.

    2006-12-01

    Integrating geophysical, sedimentological, structural and paleontological data, we reconstruct the age, size and internal geometry of two adjacent and recent mass-transport deposits (Twin Slides) exposed on the seafloor of Gela Basin (Sicily Channel). Twin Slides are coeval (late-Holocene), and were likely triggered by an earthquake. Twin Slides originated from the mobilization of Pleistocene slope units, are only 6 km apart from each other, have their headscarps in similar water depth (230 m), and have a comparable run out distance (ca. 10 km). Both slides suggest a multistage evolution, but differ in internal organization and morphological expression. The northern slide shows a deposit characterised by pressure ridges in the toe region suggesting a component of plastic deformation, while the southern slide is characterised by large blocks and a reduced thickness of displaced masses. We ascribe the difference in deformation style and resulting morphology to the stratigraphic architecture of the Pleistocene progradational units involved in failure. In the case of the blocky southern slide the units affected by failure are slightly older (Eemian or pre-Emian) and more consolidated; furthermore, in the area where the headscarp is located these units appear affected by shallow faulting likely resulting in the definition of large blocks. The northern slide, instead, affects progradational units of the Last Glacial Maximum in an area where these units are more than 100 m thick and, possibly, underconsolidated.

  11. Frequent failure of the continental slope: The Gela Basin (Sicily Channel)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Minisini, D.; Trincardi, F.

    2009-09-01

    Evaluating the recurrence of sediment failure on continental margins is important to better understand the evolution of margins and to assess the geologic risk of slope failure and, possibly, tsunami hazard. This paper proposes an integrated morphological and stratigraphic reconstruction of slope failures to evaluate their timing, frequency, and responsible mechanisms. Data from seismic stratigraphy, sediment cores, and seafloor geomorphology document multiple slide scars as well as buried and exposed mass transport deposits that originated during the Quaternary period on the continental slope of the Gela Basin in the Sicily Channel (central Mediterranean). The very high resolution data provide clues to recognize (1) successive phases of failure that have impacted on the same location, (2) main geological factors conducive to recurrent sediment failure in the area, including, in particular, specific stratigraphic surfaces acting as glide planes and high pore pressure gradients likely generated by high sediment accumulation rates atop mass transport complexes, and (3) a set of failed sediments that have been deposited since the Last Glacial Maximum defining a return interval on the order of 3-4 ka.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  16. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-01-01

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

  18. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Conte, F; Passantino, A

    2008-07-01

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

  20. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-04-01

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

  2. 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.

  3. Spirocerca lupi isolated from gastric lesions in foxes (Vulpes vulpes) in Sicily (Italy).

    PubMed

    Ferrantelli, V; Riili, S; Vicari, D; Percipalle, M; Chetta, M; Monteverde, V; Gaglio, G; Giardina, G; Usai, F; Poglayen, G

    2010-01-01

    Spirocerca lupi (Rudolphi 1809) is a cosmopolitan nematode of dogs and wild carnivores. In the past it has been reported in Italy, mainly in southern regions and in Sicily, where the parasite was observed in foxes in 2005. The parasite typically produces nodular masses in the oesophagus and thoracic aorta. During the 2003-2004 hunting season, the authors investigated a total of 55 foxes (Vulpes vulpes) hunted or killed by car accidents in the provinces of Palermo and Agrigento. All the foxes were subjected to necropsy and 6 (9.16%) had S. lupi nodules located exclusively in the gastric wall. The nature of the nodules was determined by opening them and detecting the nematodes inside, which were identified as S. lupi. Some of the nodules were characterized anatomopathologically and histopathologically. The formation of the parasitic nodule in the stomach only suggests a deviation from the route commonly followed by the nematode to reach the oesophagus, the elective anatomical site for completion of its lifecycle. This survey gives a contribution to the epidemiology of this parasite which is severely outdated in Italy and highlights some distinctive features of the life cycle and parasite migration.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    Three multichannel seismic reflection profiles across the North Sicily continental mar- gin have been reprocessed and interpreted. Data consist of an unpublished high pene- tration seismic profile (deep crust Italian CROP Project) and a high-resolution seismic line. These lines run in the NNE-SSW direction, from the Sicilian continental shelf to the Tyrrhenian abyssal plain (Marsili area), and are tied by a third, high penetration seismic line MS104 crossing the Sisifo High. The North Sicily continental margin represents the inner sector of the Sicilian-Maghrebian chain that is collapsed as con- sequence of extensional tectonics. The chain is formed by a tectonic wedge (12-15 km thick. It includes basinal Meso-Cenozoic carbonate units overthrusting carbonate platform rock units (Catalano et al., 2000). Presently, main culmination (e.g. Monte Solunto) and a number of tectonic depressions (e.g. Cefalù basin), filled by >1000 m thick Plio-Pleistocene sedimentary wedge, are observed along the investigated tran- sect. Seismic attributes and reflector pattern depicts a complex crustal structure. Be- tween the coast and the M. Solunto high, a transparent to diffractive band (assigned to the upper crust) is recognised above low frequency reflective layers (occurring be- tween 9 and 11 s/TWT) that dips towards the North. Their bottom can be correlated to the seismological (African?) Moho discontinuity which is (26 km deep in the Sicilian shelf (Scarascia et al., 1994). Beneath the Monte Solunto ridge, strongly deformed re- flectors occurring between 8 to 9.5 s/TWT (European lower crust?) overly the African (?) lower crust. The resulting geometry suggests underplating of the African crust respect to the European crust (?). The already deformed crustal edifice is dissected by a number of N-dipping normal faults that open extensional basins and are associ- ated with crustal thinning. The Plio-Pleistocene fill of the Cefalù basin can be subdi- vided into three subunits by

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-05-01

    permanent displacement potentially induced by an seismic scenario. Such methodologies found on the consideration that the conditions of seismic stability and the post-seismic functionality of engineering structures are tightly related to the entity of the permanent deformations that an earthquake can induce. Regarding the existing simplified procedures among slope stability models, Newmark's model is often used to derive indications about slope instabilities due to earthquakes. In this way, we have evaluated the seismically-induced landslides hazard in Sicily (Central Mediterranean) using the Newmark-like model. In order to determine the map distribution of the seismic ground-acceleration from an earthquake scenario, the attenuation-law of Sabetta & Pugliese has been used, analyzing some seismic recordings occurred in Italy. Also, by evaluating permanent displacements, the correlation of Ambraseys & Menu has been assumed. The seismic shaking slope vulnerability map of Sicily has been carried out using GIS application, also considering max seismic ground-acceleration peak distribution (in terms of exceedance probability for fixed time), slope acclivity, cohesion/angle of internal friction of outcropping rocks, allowing the zoning of the unstable slopes under seismic forces.

  10. 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

  11. Gela submarine slide: A major basin-wide event in the plio-quaternary foredeep of Sicily

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Trincardi, F.; Argnani, A.

    1990-03-01

    The 1,500-km2 Gela slide and associated debris flow deposits cover most of the Gela foredeep basin (Sicily channel). The head of the slide follows the tip of the arcuate Gela nappe. A basin-wide detachment surface extends from the extensional slide head to a distal, contractional zone. The slide may be the result of a gravitational collapse which affected the sediments overlaying a remarkable decollement horizon. Mass movement processes resulted in the mobilization of a sedimentary sequence already deposited within the foredeep basin.

  12. 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.

  13. Timing and magnitude of rotations in the frontal thrust systems of southwestern Sicily

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Speranza, F.; Maniscalco, R.; Mattei, M.; di Stefano, A.; Butler, R. W. H.; Funiciello, R.

    1999-12-01

    We report new paleomagnetic and anisotropy of magnetic susceptibility (AMS) results from upper Tortonian to middle Pleistocene sediments which were deposited upon and adjacent to active thrust structures in southwestern Sicily. The data show that the Plio-Pleistocene sediments from the Belice and Menfi basins (covering the Saccense shelf limestones) underwent any internal shortening after the early Pleistocene (Santernian), as well as any net rotation. Sediments around this area (which overlie basinal Meso-Cenozoic successions) record systematic rotations: one upper Tortonian site to the west is ˜30° counterclockwise rotated, while to the east, lower Pliocene to middle lower Pleistocene sites within the Gela Nappe domain show 25° to 56° clockwise (CW) rotations. These data show that the ductile basinal sediments were bent and rotated around the rigid Saccense carbonates during the thin-skinned southward propagation of the orogenic front. We document here that the coastal sediments from the southwestern Gela Nappe underwent both a post middle early Pleistocene ˜30°CW rotation and a post middle Pleistocene E-W to ESE-WNW flattening (revealed by AMS). Our data then constrain to the late Pleistocene-Holocene the age of the last shortening episode occurring in the southwestern Gela Nappe front. Pleistocene rotations of similar amount also characterize the Sicanian domain, implying that it was incorporated in the Gela Nappe wedge during the recentmost episodes of deformation. This evidence allows us to better understand the very large (up to 114°) post Mesozoic rotations reported by Channell et al. [1980, 1990] for the Sicanian limestones, as related to both Miocene (or older?) deformational episodes and the Plio-Pleistocene evolution of the Gela Nappe.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-05-01

    Microbially formed authigenic carbonates accompanied by native sulphur are present in the 'Calcare Solfifero' below a thick succession of gypsum deposited during the Messinian salinity crisis in Sicily. We sampled these carbonates and associated sulphur in five former sulphur mines to subject them to a detailed petrographic and geochemical study in order to explore their different modes of formation. Native sulphur formed in conjunction with microbial sulphate reduction, which is reflected in its depletion in 34S ( δ34S values as low as - 2‰ vs. V-CDT) and an enrichment of 34S in the residual sulphate ( δ34S values as high as + 61‰). The oxidation of organic matter by sulphate reduction increased alkalinity, inducing precipitation of secondary carbonate minerals. A set of authigenic limestones lacking sulphate minerals, but characterized by pseudomorphs after gypsum and high δ18O values (as high as + 9‰ vs. V-PDB) reflects syngenetic mineral formation within evaporitic settings. Low δ13C values (as low as - 52‰ vs. V-PDB) reveal that these carbonate phases were formed by microbial sulphate reduction coupled to the oxidation of biogenic methane. Another set of authigenic carbonates that replaced sulphate minerals is typified by low δ18O values (as low as - 4‰). These carbonates formed epigenetically during later diagenesis following compaction. Dissolution of gypsum or anhydrite by meteoric waters delivered the sulphate for microbial sulphate reduction. Low carbon isotope values of these carbonates (- 29 to - 5‰) indicate that carbonate was derived from the oxidation of crude oil and possibly minor methane, partly involving different degrees of admixture of dissolved carbonate from other sources. Although the studied rocks with their vast amounts of secondary carbonate minerals and sulphur seem to indicate a similar genesis at first glance - having formed by biogeochemical transformations of sulphate and hydrocarbons - this study reveals that these

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Climate change effects on hydropower potential of the Alcantara river basin in Sicily (Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tito Aronica, Giuseppe; Bonaccorso, Brunella

    2013-04-01

    In recent years an increasing attention has been paid to hydropower generation, since it is a renewable, efficient, and reliable source of energy, as well as an effective tool to reduce the atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases resulting from human activities. At the same time, however, hydropower is high vulnerable to global warming, because water resources are closely linked to climate changes. Indeed, the effects of climate change on water availability are expected to affect hydropower generation with special reference to Southern countries which are supposed to face dryer conditions in the next decades. The aim of this paper is to assess the impact of future climate change on the hydrological regime of the Alcantara river basin, Eastern Sicily (Italy), based on Monte Carlo simulations. Synthetic series of daily rainfall and temperature are generated, based on observed data, through a first order Markov chain and an ARMA model respectively, for the current scenario and two future scenarios at 2025. In particular, the mean and standard deviation values of daily rainfall and temperature at 2025, calculated using simulations of the Hadley Centre Ocean-Atmosphere General Circulation Model (HadCM3), are adopted to generate future scenarios of precipitation and temperature. Synthetic series for the two climatic scenarios are, then, introduced as input into the IHACRES model to simulate the hydrological response of the basin. The effects of climate change are, then, investigated by analysing potential modification of the resulting flow duration curves and utilisation curves, which allow to estimate a site's energy potential for the design of run-of-river hydropower plants.

  1. 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.

  2. Sicily 2002 Balloon Flight Campaign: A Test of the HASI Instrument

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bettanini, C.

    A mock up of the probe descending in the Titan atmosphere for the Huygens Cassini Mission has been successfully launched with stratospheric balloon from Italian Space Agency Base "Luigi Broglio" in Sicily and recovered on May 30 th 2002. The probe has been lifted at 32 km altitude and then released to perform a 45 minutes descent decelerated by parachute, to simulate Huygens mission at Titan. Preliminary aerodynamics study of the probe has focused on the achievement of a descent velocity profile and a spin rate profile, satisfying the Huygens mission to Titan requirements. The descent velocity and spin rate have been calculated by solving a system of ODE describing the translational and rotational motion of the probe trough the earth 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. The probe is hosting spares of HASI instruments, housekeeping sensors and other dedicated sensors, Beagle II UV Sensors and Huygens Tilt Sensor, for a total of 77 acquired sensor channels, sampled during ascent, drift and descent phase. Main goals are to verify sensor performance and perform a realistic functional test in dynamical and environmental conditions similar to those during the descent in Titan atmosphere and furthermore to investigate impact at ground to check the impact detection sequence of HASI accelerometer and HASI in the surface phase. An integrated data acquisition and instrument control system has been developed, based on PC architecture and soft -real-time application. Sensors channels have been sampled at the nominal HASI data rates, with a max rate of 1 kHz. Software has been developed for data acquisition, onboard storage and telemetry transmission satisfying all requests for real-time monitoring, diagnostic and redundancy.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-03-01

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

  4. 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

  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. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-05-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-05-01

    that have led to landslides in the past are determined and quantitative predictions are made for areas currently free of landslides. In these methods the use of complex statistics requires the collection of large amounts of data to produce reliable results. Instead, deterministic landslide hazard maps normally provide the most detailed results, expressing the hazard in absolute values in the form of safety factors, or the probability of failure given a set of boundary conditions for groundwater levels and seismic acceleration. A methodology for landslide susceptibility mapping of the Sicily using a GIS technology is presented, based on a weighted approach. The degree of susceptibility was weighted considering the extrinsic variable of rainfall and the prevalence of the condition of geology, elevation, slope and land cover. Finally, an overlay analysis is carried out by evaluating the layers obtained according to their weight, and the landslide susceptibility map is produced. The study area was classified into five classes of relative landslide susceptibility, namely, very low, low, moderate, high and very high.

  15. 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

  16. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-05-01

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

  18. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Active thrusting as a possible seismogenic source in Sicily (Southern Italy): Some insights from integrated structural kinematic and seismological data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lavecchia, Giusy; Ferrarini, Federica; de Nardis, Rita; Visini, Francesco; Barbano, Maria Serafina

    2007-12-01

    This paper proposes a new seismogenic interpretation of mainland and central-southern Sicily, based on an integrated structural-kinematic-seismological approach. Through analysis of available structural and geophysical data, the tectonic setting, the major kinematic units and the crust geometry of the Sicilian southward-verging fold-and-thrust belt system are schematized in sections and in map form. The depth-contour lines of the outermost basal thrust plane, which dates back to Plio-Pleistocene times with some evidence of Holocene activity, are reconstructed. This plane, here named Sicilian Basal Thrust (SBT), emerges along the southward convex Sciacca-Gela-Catania front and reaches the base of the crust at a depth of about 30 km beneath northern Sicily. Additionally, an important regional upper crust splay, with the same arched shape, has been identified some kilometres northward. In order to detect any possible indication of seismogenic activity linked to ongoing deformation of the SBT and its splay, we analyzed the distribution and kinematics of the instrumental seismicity in the period between 1981 and 2006. Particular attention was given to the background seismicity (Ml up to 4.6) located beneath the sedimentary cover at Mt. Etna, as it allows individuating a northward deepening seismogenic volume undergoing an average N-S compression, which corresponds well with the SBT geometry in section view. A merged dataset of all the known major historical and instrumental events (moment magnitude ≥ 4.5) that occurred above the SBT 0-to-30 km depth-contour lines from 217 B.C. to 2006 was compiled and analyzed. Based on information from instrumental data and/or on speculations on the shape and extent of the historical earthquake macroseismic fields, two major ranges of hypocentral depths have been schematically identified within the merged dataset: an upper crust range (in average < ~ 10 km) and a mid-to-lower crust range. Focal mechanisms available in the literature

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  5. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    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

  7. 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.

  8. Statistical Analysis of Mineral Concentration for the Geographic Identification of Garlic Samples from Sicily (Italy), Tunisia and Spain

    PubMed Central

    Vadalà, Rossella; Mottese, Antonio F.; Bua, Giuseppe D.; Salvo, Andrea; Mallamace, Domenico; Corsaro, Carmelo; Vasi, Sebastiano; Giofrè, Salvatore V.; Alfa, Maria; Cicero, Nicola; Dugo, Giacomo

    2016-01-01

    We performed a statistical analysis of the concentration of mineral elements, by means of inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS), in different varieties of garlic from Spain, Tunisia, and Italy. Nubia Red Garlic (Sicily) is one of the most known Italian varieties that belongs to traditional Italian food products (P.A.T.) of the Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Forestry. The obtained results suggest that the concentrations of the considered elements may serve as geographical indicators for the discrimination of the origin of the different samples. In particular, we found a relatively high content of Selenium in the garlic variety known as Nubia red garlic, and, indeed, it could be used as an anticarcinogenic agent. PMID:28231115

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-04-01

    The Marsala area (western Sicily) is characterized by the presence of a Lower Pleistocene (Calabrian) calcarenite succession (Marsala Calcarenite Fm). It can be divided into three lithofacies that show the regressive evolution of the depositional system: a) coarse to fine yellow bio- and lithoclastic calcarenites, b) sands, and c) gray sandy clays. At least 80 m-thick, this succession gently dips (5-10°) towards the south and the south-west. Locally, the Marsala Calcarenite may be covered by Middle and Upper Pleistocene marine terraced deposits. The town of Marsala presents several historical quarries for the extraction of this building material. Many of them were excavated underground, at depth ranging from a few meters to about 25 m, and are arranged in one or two levels, following the galleries and pillars excavation technique. With time, the underground quarries have been progressively abandoned due to the high costs of extraction, as well as to the dangers and difficulties encountered in working underground. Since the 1960's the quarries, as a matter of fact, have been affected by several instability processes for the decay of the physical and mechanical properties of the calcarenite rock mass and the interaction with the groundwater. Such instability processes are represented by collapses and deformations of vaults and pillars. These phenomena often propagate upward reaching the topographic surface and forming sinkholes which may likely affect and severely damage the built-up areas above. In particular, two case studies of sinkholes related to different underground quarries have been already described by the Authors in a previous contribution at EGU 2012, also integrated by a two-dimensional numerical study. The aim of the present work is to develop a three-dimensional numerical analysis aimed at describing the most significant processes and factors responsible of the instability processes, as well as to investigate the three-dimensional features of the same

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-05-01

    Five years ago we started a coring campaign with the purpose to identify evidence for tsunami inundations along the coastal areas of eastern Sicily, that were affected in historical times by devastating tsunamis, generated both by local earthquakes, such as the 1169, 1693 and 1908 events, and by distant seismic sources, such as those belonging to the Aegean subduction zone (e.g. the A.D. 365 Crete earthquake). Following a multi-theme approach, we used the available historical information to address geomorphological study of the coastal landscape: aerial-photographs analysis, satellite images interpretation and field surveys allowed us to select areas likely invaded by tsunami waves in the past, representing potential trap-site for high energy deposits sedimentation and preservation. Given the variability in the nature of tsunami deposit characteristics, they are not uniquely identifiable, and other kinds of high energy deposits may share some of their features. Despite the abundant literature regarding diagnostic criteria for tsunami deposits, their distinction from storm and hurricane deposits remains a debated issue. We present the geological evidence of a tsunami inundation that left continuous onshore sandy deposit inside the Pantano Morghella along the south-eastern Sicilian coast. Pantano Morghella an almost flat area, about 1.3 km long and 0.8 km wide, surrounded by Upper Cretaceous lavas and volcanoclastic deposits, Late Cretaceous limestone calciruditi, calcarenites and marls. To the east Quaternary deposits, beach sands and 3 m high, partially cemented, dunal system (Holocene and Late Pleistocene) separate the Pantano from the sea forming the intertidal pond with a little channel from which sea water can rush into. The site was partially used as salt-pans in the recent past. In this site, we dug 33 cores down to a maximum depth of 5.80 m, from 200 m up to 1200 m from the coastline. The sedimentological core analysis reveals a fine stratigraphic sequence

  16. [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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Effects of prophylaxis with iodised salt in an area of endemic goitre in north-eastern Sicily.

    PubMed

    Regalbuto, C; Scollo, G; Pandini, G; Ferrigno, R; Pezzino, V

    2010-05-01

    In developed countries, the use of iodised salt represents the best prophylaxis of endemic goitre in areas exposed to iodine deficiency. In the present study we re-evaluated goitre prevalence and iodine intake 10 years after the introduction of iodised salt in an area of goitre endemia in north-eastern Sicily (Italy), and we compared these results with those obtained in previous surveys. Three centres with known moderate goitre endemia (Bronte, Nicosia, and Gagliano) and three other smaller ones with severe goitre endemia (Sperlinga, Villadoro, and Maniace) were studied. We surveyed 697 schoolchildren. Goitre prevalence was assessed by thyroid palpation and by a thyroid ultrasound scan. Iodine urinary excretion was also measured. Iodised salt consumption was 44% of total salt consumption. Goitre prevalence assessed by thyroid palpation was significantly decreased in all towns studied compared to previous surveys. However, the persistence of a mild goitre endemia was observed in some small rural centres (5.8% in Sperlinga/Villadoro, and 11.4% in Maniace). Goitre prevalence evaluated by thyroid ultrasound scan was greater than 5% in all centres of the endemic area and was always greater than that assessed by thyroid palpation. Iodine urinary excretion was above 100 microg/l in all localities studied. In conclusion, our studies indicate a progressive reduction in goitre prevalence over a period of about 30 years in schoolchildren in a well-characterised endemic area in northeastern Sicily. The decrease in goitre prevalence was associated with a significant increase in urinary iodine excretion. However, it may be speculated that iodine deficiency is the pre-eminent, but not the exclusive cause of goitre endemia in this area.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bressan, Lidia; Tinti, Stefano; Pagnoni, Gianluca

    2014-05-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

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

  2. Neotectonic deformations in SE Sicily: The Ispica fault, evidence of late miocene-pleistocene decoupled wrenching within the central mediterranean stress regime

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grasso, Mario; Reuther, Claus-Dieter; Tortorici, Luigi

    1992-10-01

    The Ispica fault is a NE-SW trending dextral transpression zone on the Hyblean Plateau in SE Sicily. Drag folds in Late Miocene to Pleistocene sediments within a narrow bend along the fault indicate neotectonic activity. The Ispica fault is part of a continental transform zone connecting the recent Pantelleria Rift system between Sicily and Tunisia with the eastern Sicilian active thrust belt (Gela Nappe). On the Hyblean foreland, regional fold- and thrust-planes in Upper Miocene-Pleistocene strata are parallel to the Ispica fault and reflect SE-NW directed maximum horizontal compression corresponding to the central Mediterranean stress regime. The contemporaneity of parallel strike-slip movements along the Ispica fault and the formation of regional parallel folds suggests decoupled wrenching for the Ispica fault.

  3. Mercury levels in sediments of central Mediterranean Sea: a 150+ year record from box-cores recovered in the Strait of Sicily.

    PubMed

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

    2006-12-01

    To evaluate the degree of anthropogenic mercury pollution, Hg contents have been measured for box-core sediments sampled along three nearshore-offshore transects in the Strait of Sicily and well constrained for their mineralogy, bulk geochemistry and TOC%. Hg values are generally low (from 15 to 70 microg kg(-1)); however, depth profiles clearly display upcore rising concentrations (up to 202 microg kg(-1) near the SE Sicily coast) that are attributed to anthropogenic load. Based on (210)Pb chronology, these trends are more dramatic across the last 20-30 years. Geogenic influence is thought to explain some anomalies related to volcanic emission and geothermal activity. Combined effects due to eastward flowing of the Modified Atlantic Water (MAW) and sea bottom morphology drove major anthropogenic accumulation.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Earthquake-triggered landslides along the Hyblean-Malta Escarpment (off Augusta, eastern Sicily, Italy) - assessment of the related tsunamigenic potential

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2017-02-01

    Eastern Sicily is affected by earthquakes and tsunamis of local and remote origin, which is known through numerous historical chronicles. Recent studies have put emphasis on the role of submarine landslides as the direct cause of the main local tsunamis, envisaging that earthquakes (in 1693 and 1908) did produce a tsunami, but also that they triggered mass failures that were able to generate an even larger tsunami. The debate is still open, and though no general consensus has been found among scientists so far, this research had the merit to attract attention on possible generation of tsunamis by landslides off Sicily. In this paper we investigate the tsunami potential of mass failures along one sector of the Hyblean-Malta Escarpment (HME). facing Augusta. The HME is the main offshore geological structure of the region running almost parallel to the coast, off eastern Sicily. Here, bottom morphology and slope steepness favour soil failures. In our work we study slope stability under seismic load along a number of HME transects by using the Minimun Lithostatic Deviation (MLD) method, which is based on the limit-equilibrium theory. The main goal is to identify sectors of the HME that could be unstable under the effect of realistic earthquakes. We estimate the possible landslide volume and use it as input for numerical codes to simulate the landslide motion and the consequent tsunami. This is an important step for the assessment of the tsunami hazard in eastern Sicily and for local tsunami mitigation policies. It is also important in view of tsunami warning system since it can help to identify the minimum earthquake magnitude capable of triggering destructive tsunamis induced by landslides, and therefore to set up appropriate knowledge-based criteria to launch alert to the population.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-12-01

    Submarine slides occur at all sediment bearing margins worldwide (Camerlenghi et al., 2009; Masson et al., 2006). Although numerous studies have dealt with mapping and monitoring of submarine landslide as well as investigations of trigger mechanisms and sediment failure processes, many open questions persist why a given slope fails whereas adjacent remains stable. Besides large slide events, smaller scaled mid-size slides became recently of particular importance because especially these local slides enable investigation of physical and kinematical processes during failure and to test a wide range of different trigger mechanisms. Hence, during the research expedition MSM15/3 we drilled two distinct landslides in the Gela Basin offshore south of Sicily (Italy) utilizing the MARUM sea floor drill rig (MeBo). These so-called ‘Twin Slides’ have previously been identified in water depth between 200 - 800m on the basis of side-scan sonar, Chirp seismics, swath bathymetry and shallow core data. Besides, these landslides are described as multiple failures likely controlled by specific stratigraphic surfaces acting as glide planes (Minisini et al., 2007; Minisini and Trincardi, 2009). Nevertheless, failure planes are located in depth inaccessible by conventional coring and we therefore lack groundtruthing of the geophysical data. Therefore, MeBo was deployed to drill e.g. critical subsurface intervals. A systematic MeBo drilling transect from the undisturbed slope apron to the depositional area of these landslide masses recovers up to 55 meter long cores, including the failure planes and stacked mass transport deposits in the proximal and distal areas, respectively. Sedimentological, geochemical, geophysical and geotechnical analysis of these core materials will enable (1) an age dating and estimation of the recurrence rate of mid-sized slide events and (2) a sediment physical characterization to gain a deeper insight into kinematics and physical processes during failure

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. Fault Geometry Inferred From High Precision Relative Locations of Microearthquake Clusters - An Example of Southeastern Sicily, Italy.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scarfi, L.; Langer, H.; Gresta, S.

    Between of November 1999 and January 2000, two microearthquake swarms consist- ing of 16 and 41 events, respectively, occurred close to the site Ramacca, Southeastern Sicily (Italy). The hypocenters are located in the depth range 17-25 km, some kilome- tres northward from the border of the foredeep, below the thrust zone of the Sicily mountain chain (the Appennine - Maghrebide chain). The distribution of the hypocen- ters shows two distinct clusters, and the comparison of the waveforms revealed clearly that the two swarms form two distinct families of multiplet events. The strong simi- larities of the waveforms in the families has led us to carry out a precise relocation relative to the two master events of the families, in order to analyse the geometrical structure of the earthquake clusters and their relation to important tectonic structures of the zone. We applied the cross-correlation method to obtain precise readings of the wave onsets. SH-wave onsets were used instead P-waves, as they showed clear onsets and a good signal-to-noise ratio. The residuals of the relative locations show small val- ues, no more than several meters on average. The extension of the clusters was found to be 400 m and 250 m with respect to focal depth, and 200 m with respect to the hor- izontal extension. In particular the hypocenters of the first cluster delineate clearly a NNE striking plane with almost vertical dip, which matches the focal mechanism ob- tained as a composite solution of all events of the cluster. As the standard location for the Ramacca sequence showed considerable gap angles, indicating an unfavourable station geometry with respect to this events, we examined the stability of our results carrying out a Monte Carlo experiment. Varying the onset times randomly in the range of +/- 5 ms we found variation of the locations in longitude being less than 10 m, and no more than 50 m both in latitude and depth. Nevertheless, the overall geometrical characteristics of the

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cronin, Kelly; Reiner, Tom; Whyte, Catherine

    2008-07-01

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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. Linking spatial distribution and feeding behavior of Atlantic horse mackerel (Trachurus trachurus) in the Strait of Sicily (Central Mediterranean Sea)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rumolo, Paola; Basilone, Gualtiero; Fanelli, Emanuela; Barra, Marco; Calabrò, Monica; Genovese, Simona; Gherardi, Serena; Ferreri, Rosalia; Mazzola, Salvatore; Bonanno, Angelo

    2017-03-01

    The Atlantic horse mackerel (Trachurus trachurus) is a semi-pelagic fish species with a wide geographical distribution and commonly found on the continental shelf. In recent years, the species has received some attention due to its ecological role in pelagic food webs. Stable isotope of nitrogen and carbon (δ15N and δ13C) and Stomach Content Analysis (SCA) of T. trachurus were adopted as tools to provide necessary knowledge on its feeding habits in the Strait of Sicily. The strong correlation found between δ15N and δ13C values with body length, together with significant ontogenetic shift evidenced by SCA, could be associated to changes in food availability, which in turn is triggered by environmental conditions. Spatial distribution of T. trachurus in the study area, mainly for small and medium size specimens, is linked to lower temperature, salinity and Photosynthetically Active Radiation (PARsat) values with higher aggregations on the Adventure Bank (i.e., an area characterized by periodic upwelling events). Larger size specimens mostly inhabited shallower waters characterized by higher temperature, salinity and PAR values, typical of the central-eastern part of the study area. Our results support the hypothesis that feeding behavior of T. trachurus is strictly linked to environmental factors (i.e. chiefly oceanographic conditions of the water column and day duration) that in turn influences the distribution of its prey. Findings can supply knowledge needed for improving fish stock management and promoting plans able to take into account also local ecosystem analysis.

  16. 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.

  17. 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).

  18. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-04-01

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

  20. Biodiversity of indigenous Saccharomyces populations from old wineries of south-eastern Sicily (Italy): preservation and economic potential.

    PubMed

    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.

  1. A polyphasic approach to the identification of ochratoxin A-producing black Aspergillus isolates from vineyards in Sicily.

    PubMed

    Oliveri, C; Torta, L; Catara, V

    2008-09-30

    Aspergillus strains belonging to section Nigri isolated during a two year survey in eight Sicilian vineyards located on the slopes of Mount Etna (Sicily, Italy) were analysed analyzed in order to characterize species responsible for ochratoxin A (OTA) contamination of grapes. The polyphasic approach permitted analysis of biodiversity of Aspergillus isolates in relation to their morphology, ochratoxigenicity and genetic variability. We assessed OTA production by A. carbonarius, A. niger, A. tubingensis and A. japonicus using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. A. carbonarius isolates were the strongest OTA producers. A subset of 66 representative strains was selected for further DNA-based characterization. PCR assays using species-specific primers discriminated between A. niger, A. carbonarius and A. japonicus on the basis of the target sequences for each species. The PCR-based methods matched morphological characterization in identifying all the black aspergilli (BA) isolates tested, whereas RFLP analysis with RsaI of isolates positive to PCRs with A. niger specific primers identified three A. tubingensis isolates. The identification of thirteen isolates was further confirmed by ITS analysis. By this method, each of the isolates was identified and assigned to an Aspergillus species. The fAFLP analysis of 40 isolates highlighted the power of this technique to discriminate different species and single strains, to verify the presence of mixed populations in the same vineyard, through homogeneous species clusters. No correlation was observed between the clusters and OTA production level or origin.

  2. 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.

  3. Quality assessment of freshwater and coastal seawater in the Ionian area of N.E. Sicily, Italy.

    PubMed

    Cimino, G; Puleio, M C; Toscano, G

    2002-07-01

    This work was conducted to analyse pressing and competing demands of water in Northeast Sicily, Italy. In this area, looking at the Ionian Sea, freshwaters and coastal seawaters have been studied on the quality and on the transport processes of pollutants. Attention has been focused on chemical and microbial parameters proposed by European Directives for drinking freshwaters and bathing seawaters. The findings show that the ground freshwaters are of good quality but the surface ones, particularly torrents and correlated under-river aquifers, are clearly polluted. The characteristics of the coastal seawaters are according with those of the closely bound up estuarine waters. Contamination is due essentially to discharge of raw sewage in the watercourses by public and private pipes. The impact is usually less evident during the wet season because rain and seastorms dilute the polluting load, but in dry periods this pollution causes loss of habitat and deleterious effects on environment. A database has been developed to provide a graphic and mapping display interface of the area studied and to assist the management of the studied fluvial basins.

  4. Gully erosion susceptibility assessment by means of GIS-based logistic regression: A case of Sicily (Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Conoscenti, Christian; Angileri, Silvia; Cappadonia, Chiara; Rotigliano, Edoardo; Agnesi, Valerio; Märker, Michael

    2014-01-01

    This research aims at characterizing susceptibility conditions to gully erosion by means of GIS and multivariate statistical analysis. The study area is a 9.5 km2 river catchment in central-northern Sicily, where agriculture activities are limited by intense erosion. By means of field surveys and interpretation of aerial images, we prepared a digital map of the spatial distribution of 260 gullies in the study area. In addition, from available thematic maps, a 5 m cell size digital elevation model and field checks, we derived 27 environmental attributes that describe the variability of lithology, land use, topography and road position. These attributes were selected for their potential influence on erosion processes, while the dependent variable was given by presence or absence of gullies within two different types of mapping units: 5 m grid cells and slope units (average size = 2.66 ha). The functional relationships between gully occurrence and the controlling factors were obtained from forward stepwise logistic regression to calculate the probability to host a gully for each mapping unit. In order to train and test the predictive models, three calibration and three validation subsets, of both grid cells and slope units, were randomly selected. Results of validation, based on ROC (receiving operating characteristic) curves, attest for acceptable to excellent accuracies of the models, showing better predictive skill and more stable performance of the susceptibility model based on grid cells.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. The effects of anthropogenic particulate emissions on roadway dust and Nerium oleander leaves in Messina (Sicily, Italy).

    PubMed

    Dongarrà, Gaetano; Sabatino, Giuseppe; Triscari, Maurizio; Varrica, Daniela

    2003-10-01

    Complementary studies on the inorganic chemical composition of Nerium oleander leaves collected in the town of Messina (Sicily, Italy) and seven grain-size fractions of local roadway dust have been carried out. Data and maps are presented to show that the particulate matter present in the air of Messina contains trace elements significantly in excess with respect to the average continental earth crust. The anomalies follow the outline of the urban area, the highest concentrations of trace elements being observed where traffic density is highest. Chemical and isotopic analyses of both road dust and Nerium oleander leaves indicate that Pb contamination still characterizes roads with heavy traffic. In addition to Pb, other metals such as Pt, Pd, Sb, Au, Br, Zn, Cu, Mo, and Cd are significantly enriched in roadway dust, indicating their common anthropogenic origin, especially from traffic. SEM/EDS study of some roadway dust particles has shown the presence of gypsum probably of secondary origin, mixed particles formed by coagulation or gas-to-particle conversion, and porous spherical particles apparently emanating from combustion processes.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guest, John E.; Stofan, Ellen R.

    2005-04-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. Health-related quality of life in Parkinson's disease patients in northeastern Sicily, Italy: (An ecological perspective).

    PubMed

    Spadaro, Letteria; Bonanno, Lilla; Di Lorenzo, Giuseppe; Bramanti, Placido; Marino, Silvia

    2013-06-15

    Parkinson's disease has a negative impact on health-related quality of life in Parkinson's disease patients. Depression, cognitive impairment, coping strategies, dyskinesia, gait disorders and complications of dopaminergic drugs are the variables that most affect health-related quality of life. The ecological model of human development focuses attention on both individual and social environmental factors as targets for health interventions. From this perspective, the aim of this cross-sectional survey was to evaluate the influence of gender, family size and perceived autonomy on health-related quality of life in Parkinson's disease patients in northeastern Sicily, Italy. Ninety Parkinson's disease patients, attending the Movement Disorders Clinic at IRCCS Centro Neurolesi "Bonino-Pulejo" (Messina), were consecutively enrolled. The Unified Parkinson Disease Rating Scale motor subscale (UPDRS-III) scores, the Parkinson Disease Questionnaire-39 Item scores (as a disease-specific measure of health-related quality of life), scores on the Short Form (36) Health Survey Questionnaire (as a generic measure), and answers to a brief checklist were recorded. A total of 85 Parkinson's disease patients (49% males and 51% females; mean age 70.8 ± 8.6 years; mean UPDRS-III 24.15 ± 6.55; mean disease duration 5.52 ± 4.65 years) completed the booklet of questionnaires. In the multivariate regression analysis, we included clinical and social variables as independent predictors of health-related quality of life. Our results suggest a potential compounding effect of ecological intrapersonal and interpersonal levels on health-related quality of life outcomes. Gender, self-evaluated autonomy and family size significantly impacted health-related quality of life. If quality of life is used as an indicator of treatment outcomes, an ecological perspective of the case history will be important to disclose relevant prognostic information and trigger personalized health care interventions.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-11-01

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

  14. Chemical and Isotopic Composition of Waters and Dissolved Gases in Some Thermal Springs of Sicily and Adjacent Volcanic Islands, Italy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grassa, Fausto; Capasso, Giorgio; Favara, Rocco; Inguaggiato, Salvatore

    2006-04-01

    Hydrochemical (major and some minor constituents), stable isotope ([InlineMediaObject not available: see fulltext.] and [InlineMediaObject not available: see fulltext.], δ13CTDIC total dissolved inorganic carbon) and dissolved gas composition have been determined on 33 thermal discharges located throughout Sicily (Italy) and its adjacent islands. On the basis of major ion contents, four main water types have been distinguished: (1) a Na-Cl type; (2) a Ca-Mg > Na-SO4-Cl type; (3) a Ca-Mg-HCO3 type and (4) a Na-HCO3 type water. Most waters are meteoric in origin or resulting from mixing between meteoric water and heavy-isotope end members. In some samples, δ 18O values reflect the effects of equilibrium processes between thermal waters and rocks (positive 18O-shift) or thermal waters and CO2 (negative 18O-shift). Dissolved gas composition indicates the occurrence of gas/water interaction processes in thermal aquifers. N2/O2 ratios higher than air-saturated water (ASW), suggest the presence of geochemical processes responsible for dissolved oxygen consumption. High CO2 contents (more than 3000 cc/litre STP) dissolved in the thermal waters indicate the presence of an external source of carbon dioxide-rich gas. TDIC content and δ 13C TDIC show very large ranges from 4.6 to 145.3 mmol/Kg and from 10.0‰ and 2.8‰, respectively. Calculated values indicate the significant contribution from a deep source of carbon dioxide inorganic in origin. Interaction with Mediterranean magmatic CO2 characterized by heavier carbon isotope ratios ([InlineMediaObject not available: see fulltext.] value from -3 to 0‰ vs V-PDB (CAPASSO et al., 1997, GIAMMANCO et al., 1998; INGUAGGIATO et al., 2000) with respect to MORB value and/or input of CO2-derived from thermal decomposition of marine carbonates have been inferred.

  15. Structural styles and regional tectonic setting of the ``Gela Nappe'' and frontal part of the Maghrebian thrust belt in Sicily

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lickorish, W. Henry; Grasso, Mario; Butler, Robert W. H.; Argnani, Andrea; Maniscalco, Rosanna

    1999-08-01

    The Gela Nappe of south central Sicily provides an example of a curved segment of an orogenic front that can be examined both onshore and offshore for deformational style and amount of shortening. Synorogenic sediments allow the deformation to be dated. Two distinct structural styles are observed in the Gela Nappe: The central salient part of the nappe (Caltanissetta basin) consists of a single thrust sheet containing a train of continuously tightening folds and the reentrant margins of the nappe (Sciacca and Monte Judica) consist of a stack of several thrust sheets. These different structural styles correspond to the pretectonic Mesozoic stratigraphy of the foreland plate. Carbonate platforms exist on the Adventure bank and Hyblean Plateau ahead of Sciacca and Monte Judica, respectively, while the Caltanissetta basin region appears to have accumulated basinal clay facies. Where the resistant carbonate stratigraphy provides a buttress to the propagation of the thrust front, deformation is taken up by imbrication on-steep ramps through the carbonates generating a relatively thick orogenic wedge. In the basinal setting, where no strong rheology exists, the low angle of friction on the clay detachment levels requires the growing thrust wedge to be much thinner with a very low foreland dip. Hence the thrust front propagates much farther forward into the basin than it does in the adjacent platformal areas, producing a nonlinear thrust front. In the basinal region, accretion of foreland material to the nappe by imbrication was only prominent during the Messinian when subaerial exposure prevented low-friction transport of the nappe across the highest levels of the stratigraphy. A steady thickening of the nappe by internal folding suggests an increase in friction along the basal detachment, possibly due to progressive compaction of the clays.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. Spatial variability of soft-bottom macrobenthic communities in northern Sicily (Western Mediterranean): Contrasting trawled vs. untrawled areas.

    PubMed

    Romano, C; Fanelli, E; D'Anna, G; Pipitone, C; Vizzini, S; Mazzola, A; Badalamenti, F

    2016-12-01

    This study examines the impact of bottom trawl fishing on the macrobenthic communities inhabiting the coastal terrigenous mud off the northern coast of Sicily (Western Mediterranean). Two intensely trawled gulfs were compared with two gulfs from which trawling has been excluded for 15 years. The results show a significant effect of trawling on the faunal assemblage and when comparing the mean biomass and the whole isotopic composition of the benthic communities. A similar pattern, although not significant, was found for total abundance, biomass, production/biomass ratio and diversity. Higher abundance and lower biomass were found in the untrawled areas, attributable to the presence of more numerous yet smaller individuals, possibly a consequence of more abundant larger predators that are not removed by trawling, and consequent higher predatory pressure on the benthic macrofauna. The SIMPER analysis evidenced a dominance of burrowing deposit feeding worms (Paraonidae and Cossuridae) in trawled areas, as a result of increased mechanical alteration and hence more organic matter available as food. In contrast, the response to trawling as drawn by the use of trophic markers (i.e., stable isotopes) was less clear. While δ(15)N of benthic taxa did not vary significantly between untrawled and trawled areas, δ(13)C was higher in trawled areas possibly due to high sediment resuspension and consequent intense microbial activity. Mixing models confirmed higher reliance to a detritus-based food web for benthic organisms in the trawled areas. Standard Ellipse Areas (SEAc) as a measure of community niche width were slightly larger in trawled areas, likely due to higher generalism triggered by alteration/removal of the original benthic community.

  19. 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.

  20. Health-related quality of life in Parkinson’s disease patients in northeastern Sicily, Italy: (An ecological perspective)

    PubMed Central

    Spadaro, Letteria; Bonanno, Lilla; Lorenzo, Giuseppe Di; Bramanti, Placido; Marino, Silvia

    2013-01-01

    Parkinson's disease has a negative impact on health-related quality of life in Parkinson's disease patients. Depression, cognitive impairment, coping strategies, dyskinesia, gait disorders and complications of dopaminergic drugs are the variables that most affect health-related quality of life. The ecological model of human development focuses attention on both individual and social environmental factors as targets for health interventions. From this perspective, the aim of this cross-sectional survey was to evaluate the influence of gender, family size and perceived autonomy on health-related quality of life in Parkinson's disease patients in northeastern Sicily, Italy. Ninety Parkinson's disease patients, attending the Movement Disorders Clinic at IRCCS Centro Neurolesi “Bonino-Pulejo” (Messina), were consecutively enrolled. The Unified Parkinson Disease Rating Scale motor subscale (UPDRS-III) scores, the Parkinson Disease Questionnaire-39 Item scores (as a disease-specific measure of health-related quality of life), scores on the Short Form (36) Health Survey Questionnaire (as a generic measure), and answers to a brief checklist were recorded. A total of 85 Parkinson's disease patients (49% males and 51% females; mean age 70.8 ± 8.6 years; mean UPDRS-III 24.15 ± 6.55; mean disease duration 5.52 ± 4.65 years) completed the booklet of questionnaires. In the multivariate regression analysis, we included clinical and social variables as independent predictors of health-related quality of life. Our results suggest a potential compounding effect of ecological intrapersonal and interpersonal levels on health-related quality of life outcomes. Gender, self-evaluated autonomy and family size significantly impacted health-related quality of life. If quality of life is used as an indicator of treatment outcomes, an ecological perspective of the case history will be important to disclose relevant prognostic information and trigger personalized health care

  1. 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

  2. Transthyretin-Related Familial Amyloid Polyneuropathy (TTR-FAP): A Single-Center Experience in Sicily, an Italian Endemic Area

    PubMed Central

    Mazzeo, Anna; Russo, Massimo; Di Bella, Gianluca; Minutoli, Fabio; Stancanelli, Claudia; Gentile, Luca; Baldari, Sergio; Carerj, Scipione; Toscano, Antonio; Vita, Giuseppe

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Background: Familial amyloid polyneuropathy related to transthyretin gene (TTR-FAP) is a life-threatening disease transmitted as an autosomal dominant trait. Val30Met mutation accounts for the majority of the patients with large endemic foci especially in Portugal, Sweden and Japan. However, more than one hundred other mutations have been described worldwide. A great phenotypic variability among patients with late- and early-onset has been reported. Objective: To present a detailed report of TTR-FAP patients diagnosed in our tertiary neuromuscular center, in a 20-year period. Methods: Clinical informations were gathered through the database of our center. Results: The study involved 76 individuals carrying a TTR-FAP mutation. Three phenotypes were identified, each corresponding to a different TTR variant, homogeneous within and heterogeneous between each other: i) Glu89Gln mutation, characterised by 5th – 6th decade onset, neuropathy as presenting symptoms, early heart dysfunction, cardiomyopathy as major cause of mortality followed by dysautonomia and cachexia; ii) Phe64Leu mutation, marked by familiarity reported in one-half of cases, late onset, severe peripheral neuropathy, moderate dysautonomia and mild cardiomyopathy, death for wasting syndrome; iii) Thr49Ala mutation, distinguished by onset in the 5th decade, autonomic disturbances as inaugural symptoms which may remain isolated for many years, moderate polyneuropathy, cachexia as major cause of mortality followed by cardiomyopathy. Conclusions: This survey highlighted a prevalence of 8.8/1,000,000 in Sicily Island. Good knowledge of the natural history of the disease according to different TTR mutations allow clinicians to optimise multiprofessional care for patients and to offer carriers a personalized follow-up to reveal first signs of the disease. PMID:27858761

  3. Shallow landslides and debris flows triggering and rainfall thresholds using a quasi-dynamic wetness index: a case study in Sicily

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tarolli, P.; Aronica, G. T.; Penna, D.; Borga, M.; Brigandı, G.

    2012-04-01

    This work aims analyze the geomorphic impact of the flash flood event which affected the area of Giampilieri (Sicily, Italy) on October 1, 2009. The event was caused by a deep cyclone developed in the Southern part of the Mediterranean basin producing an intense rainstorm over the Ionic sea coast of Sicily. The analysis of the event suggested that more than 220 mm of rain fell in less than 4 hours with a peak of about 110 mm/hr in 5 minutes. Its probability was estimated as the equivalent of a 1 in 100 year return period. The shallow landslides triggered by the precipitation were analyzed by using a model for the prediction of both topographic and climatic control on shallow landslide initiation processes. The model uses a 'quasi-dynamic' wetness index to predict the spatial distribution of soil saturation in response to a rainfall of specified duration. The model is coupled with a simple scaling GEV model for the assessment of the relationship between rainfall amount and corresponding exceedance probability. This allows to characterize the rainfall predicted to cause instability in each topographic element by duration and frequency of occurrence. The application of the model to the study area provides a way to identify the relative potential for shallow landsliding as well as to evaluate rainfall thresholds for debris flow triggering.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. New contributions to the debate on the cause of the January 11th, 1693 tsunami in eastern Sicily (Italy): earthquake or offshore landslide source (or may be both)?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Armigliato, A.; Tinti, S.; Zaniboni, F.; Pagnoni, G.; Argnani, A.

    2007-12-01

    Eastern Sicily is among the most exposed regions in Italy and in the whole Mediterranean to tsunami hazard and risk. The historical tsunamis recorded here were generally associated to moderate-to-large magnitude earthquakes. The largest tsunami documented in the area occurred on January 11th, 1693. It followed the highest-magnitude earthquake (7.4) of the Italian seismic history. The tsunami, whose first significant motion was a retreat along the entire eastern Sicily coastline, produced the most devastating effects at Augusta (15 meters run-up) and Catania, being relevant at Siracusa and Messina too. A lively debate exists on whether the earthquake was the only source of the tsunami, or other causes (such as submarine landslides, possibly triggered by the earthquake) contributed to the tsunami generation. In the framework of the EC funded project TRANSFER, we investigate both hypotheses, starting from suitable onshore and offshore faults as well as from offshore landslide bodies, and hence simulating numerically the ensuing tsunami and comparing the results with the available historical information. We base on the results obtained during recent offshore surveys, in particular the multichannel seismic survey MESC2001, carried out in year 2001 on board the R/V Urania of the Italian National Council of Researches (CNR), which mapped both active normal faults and a number of possible landslide bodies along the Hyblaean-Malta escarpment, the most prominent tectonic structure found just few kilometres offshore eastern Sicily. From the modelling point of view, the initial condition for the earthquake- generated tsunamis coincides with the vertical coseismic deformation of the seafloor. Instead, the landslide motion is simulated through the Lagrangian block model UBO-BLOCK2, developed at the University of Bologna. Finally, the finite-element code UBO-TSUFE, implemented by the same research team, is used to simulate the tsunami generation and propagation. The main

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anfuso, G.; Martínez Del Pozo, J. A.

    2005-08-01

    A geomorphologic approach, combined with GIS spatial analysis, was used to investigate a 90-km long coastal sector in Southern Sicily, Italy, affected by important erosive processes. Applied methodology allowed the creation of a database involving a range of coastal characteristics thereby providing helpful information on coastal processes and general sediment circulation patterns. Coastal erosion, mainly linked to the construction of ports and harbours, has been locally mitigated by the construction of solid structures which themselves generate significant environmental stress in downdrift areas. In recent times, several nourishment projects have been planned to solve existing erosive problems, yet there is still a lack of a general erosion management plan based on the installation of port and harbour by-passing systems and including the phasing out of current beach cleaning and port maintenance procedures that produce a great quantity of sediments.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2010-04-15

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

  13. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-05-01

    meteorological, responsible for this singular accumulation. We computed the minimum wave height, of storm and tsunami, required to start the movement of each boulder from its initial position. Moreover, we calculated the maximum penetration of the waves for the two major storm waves estimated at Vendicari and for the 1693 and 1908 tsunami waves. Finally we compared the computed values with the boulder distribution. The results show that the strongest storms were probably responsible for the current distribution of many boulders but about the 30% of them need of stronger waves, likely tsunami waves, than the maximum assumed storms to be moved and transported in their final place. Radiocarbon dating, performed on three probably tsunami boulders, having weight of about 15 t and sited at a distance >40 m from the shoreline, suggests that two of them were probably deposited by the 1693 tsunami, and one by a tsunami occurred after 650-930 AD that could be an unknown event or one of the historical tsunamis occurred in the Ionian coast of Sicily. Absolute age dating, such as optical stimulated luminescence, should be necessary to gather a correct imprint of the paleotsunami event.

  15. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-04-01

    Calabria and Sicily's Coast, particularly in the Messina Strait, is one of the most seismically active areas of the Southern Italy. Since 1783, there have been seven earthquakes with magnitude ranging between 6.0 and 7.2 These earthquakes have produced wide damages on the MCS Intensities scale of X or greater. The high rate of seismic activity in the region is related to the complex geologic setting resulting in a number of different sources of potentially damaging earthquakes. All these earthquake induced numerous and spectacular coseismic environmental effects overall along the coast where the impact was particularly catastrophic. These earthquakes caused several changes in elevation, due to tectonic deformations, landslides and settlements (i.e along both sides of the Messina Straits, 1908 event), relevant landslides (the February6, 1783 event triggered in Scilla, along the cliff of the M. Pacì a huge rock avalanche estimate of 5 Mm3 in the areal zone and 3 Mm3 in the submarine zone (Bozzano et al 2006), that fell into the sea generating a disastrous tsunamis), ground fractures (in the Capo Vaticano promontory area, 1905 event; in Messina Reggio C., Villa S. Giovanni, 1908 event); liquefaction phenomena (in the area of Messina, Ganzirri and Reggio Calabria, 1908 event), and catastrophic tsunamis (five induced by the 1783 Calabrian seismic sequence, other two by 1905 and 1908 events, Graziani et al 2006). The run-up observed ranging from few cm to tens of m: the highest tsunami wave was about 16 m in Scilla (Feb. 6, 1783 tsunami), 13 m in Pellaro (1908 event) and 1,30 m along the Calabrian coast (1905 tsunami) . Portion of the coast were lost, most of them eroded by the tsunamis with a coastline retreat and flooded the shore for several hundred meters inland depositing a large amount of silt and fish, and in some case killing people (i.e 1500 in Scilla and 28 in Messina during the February 6, 1783 tsunami, Barbano 2008; Porfido et al.,2008). Finally, it is

  17. Fish Distribution and Habitat Complexity on Banks of the Strait of Sicily (Central Mediterranean Sea) from Remotely-Operated Vehicle (ROV) Explorations

    PubMed Central

    Esposito, Valentina; Battaglia, Pietro; Altobelli, Chiara; Perzia, Patrizia; Romeo, Teresa; Canese, Simonepietro; Andaloro, Franco

    2016-01-01

    The Strait of Sicily was recognized internationally as an “Ecologically or Biologically Significant Area” by the Contracting Parties of the Convention on Biological Diversity in 2014. However, basic aspects of its fish diversity are still unknown and most of the information comes from traditional trawl surveys. This paper provides the first detailed description, using a Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV), of the composition and depth distribution of the demersal fish assemblages found on banks of the Strait of Sicily and the related habitat complexity from 35 to 240 m depth. A total of 24 families and 52 fish species were recorded and depth was consistently associated with a significant proportion of the variation of the fish assemblage. The highest species richness was observed at the shallowest depth layer (0–50 m) and significantly decreased, remaining almost constant, in deeper layers. Similarly the highest abundance was recorded at 0–50 m, where C. julis represented the most abundant species, and decreased progressively throughout the whole depth gradient. Although the factor habitat complexity explained only a small proportion of the fish assemblage variation, significant differences among different degrees of habitat complexity were observed, together with a general positive trend for species richness and abundance with increasing habitat complexity. The ROV also allowed us to observe some rare or poorly known fish species such as Scorpaenodes arenai, Hyporthodus haifensis, Myliobatis aquila, Gadella maraldi, Epinephelus caninus and Lappanella fasciata. These findings show that banks serve as reservoirs for fish abundance and biodiversity and that immediate environmental conservation and management actions represent a priority not only for Italy but also for other countries which share the same area. PMID:27936221

  18. Prevalence of Deafness-Associated Connexin-26 (GJB2) and Connexin-30 (GJB6) Pathogenic Alleles in a Large Patient Cohort from Eastern Sicily.

    PubMed

    Amorini, Maria; Romeo, Petronilla; Bruno, Rocco; Galletti, Francesco; Di Bella, Chiara; Longo, Patrizia; Briuglia, Silvana; Salpietro, Carmelo; Rigoli, Luciana

    2015-06-19

    Mutations in the gene encoding the gap junction protein connexin 26 (GJB2) and connexin 30 (GJB6) have been shown to be a major contributor to prelingual, sensorineural, nonsyndromic deafness. The aim of this study was to characterize and establish the prevalence of GJB2 and GJB6 gene alterations in 196 patients affected by sensorineural, nonsyndromic hearing loss, from Eastern Sicily. We performed sequence analysis of GJB2 and identified sequence variants in 68 out of 196 patients (34.7%); (28 homozygous for c.35delG, 22 compound heterozygous and 11 with only one variant allele). We found 12 different allelic variants, the most prevalent being c.35delG, which was found on 89 chromosomes (65.5%), followed by other alleles with different frequencies (p.E47X, c.-23+1G>A, p.L90P, p.R184W, p.M34T, c.167delT, p.R127H, p.M163V, p.V153I, p.W24X, and p.T8M). Importantly, for the first time we present the frequency and spectrum of GJB2 mutations in NSHL patients from Eastern Sicily. No alterations were found in the GJB6 gene, confirming that alterations in this gene are uncommon in our geographic area. Note that 65.3% and 23.5% of our patients, respectively were found to be negative or carriers by GJB2 molecular screening. This emphasizes the need to broaden the genetic analysis to other genes involved in hearing loss.

  19. 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

  20. Comparative analysis of different techniques for spatial interpolation of rainfall data to create a serially complete monthly time series of precipitation for Sicily, Italy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Di Piazza, A.; Conti, F. Lo; Noto, L. V.; Viola, F.; La Loggia, G.

    2011-06-01

    The availability of good and reliable rainfall data is fundamental for most hydrological analyses and for the design and management of water resources systems. However, in practice, precipitation records often suffer from missing data values mainly due to malfunctioning of raingauge for specific time periods. This is an important issue in practical hydrology because it affects the continuity of rainfall data and ultimately influences the results of hydrologic studies which use rainfall as input. Many methods to estimate missing rainfall data have been proposed in literature and, among these, most are based on spatial interpolation algorithms. In this paper different spatial interpolation algorithms have been evaluated to produce a reasonably good continuous dataset bridging the gaps in the historical series. The algorithms used are deterministic methods such as inverse distance weighting, simple linear regression, multiple regression, geographically weighted regression and artificial neural networks, and geostatistical models such as ordinary kriging and residual ordinary kriging. In some of these methods, the elevation information, provided by a Digital Elevation Model, has been added to improve estimation of missing data. These algorithms have been applied to the mean annual and monthly rainfall data of Sicily (Italy), measured at 247 raingauges. Optimization of different settings of the various interpolation methods has been carried out using a subset of the available rainfall dataset (modeling set) while the remaining subset (validation set) has been used to compare the results obtained by the different algorithms. Validation results indicate that the univariate methods, neglecting the information of elevation, are characterized by the largest errors, which decrease when the elevation is taken into account. The ordinary kriging of residuals from linear regression between precipitation and elevation, which has provided the best performance at annual and monthly

  1. 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.

  2. Distribution of trace metals, aliphatic hydrocarbons and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in sediment cores from the Sicily Channel and the gulf of Tunis (south-western Mediterranean Sea).

    PubMed

    Mzoughi, Nadia; Chouba, Lassaad

    2011-01-01

    Under the framework of the IAEA's Technical Co-operation project RAF7/004, international research cruises were carried out in 2004 to assess the distribution of radionuclides and micropollutants in the south-western Mediterranean Sea. Sediments samples had variable concentrations of total aliphatic hydrocarbons and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons ranging from 0.2 to 1.8 microg g(-1) and 26.9 to 364.4 ng g(-1), respectively, in the Sicily Channel and from 0.7 to 2.8 microg g(-1) and 14.7 to 618.1 ng g(-1), respectively, in the open sea of the Gulf of Tunis. Hydrocarbon concentrations changed with depth and were relatively high at 3 cm and 10 cm depths. The use of 'fingerprint' ratios of certain isomeric pairs of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) and the proportion of 2-3 ring and 4-5 ring PAH concentrations showed that the main origins are characteristic of petroleum sources. The ranges of trace metal concentrations, expressed in microgg(-1), in the Sicily Channel and in the Gulf of Tunis, respectively, were: Hg 0.009-0.2 and 0.02-0.1; Pb 9.9-26.1 and 21.2-32.5; Cd 0.06-0.1 and 0.07-0.33; Fe 23.7-28.1 and 29.9-36.2p; Zn 83-99.5 and 83-104; Mn 309.2-752.5 and 651-814; Cu 17.1-18.5 and 33.5-51.3. Sediment metal abundances were in the order: Mn > Zn > Fe > Cu > Pb > Cd > Hg. The results showed significant differences (p < 0.001) for trace metal and hydrocarbon mean concentrations between the two cores. These concentrations are generally similar to the background levels from the Mediterranean Sea and could be affected by physico-chemical conditions and sedimentation rate as well as biodegradation.

  3. 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.

  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. 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

  7. 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

  8. Exploitation of the Intermittent SBAS (ISBAS) algorithm with COSMO-SkyMed data for landslide inventory mapping in north-western Sicily, Italy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Novellino, A.; Cigna, F.; Sowter, A.; Ramondini, M.; Calcaterra, D.

    2017-03-01

    A large scale study of landslide processes was undertaken by coupling conventional geomorphological field surveys with aerial photographs along with an advanced Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR) analysis of ground instability in north-western Sicily. COSMO-SkyMed satellite images for the period between 2008 and 2011 were processed using the Intermittent Small BAseline Subset (ISBAS) technique, recently developed at the Department of Civil Engineering of the University of Nottingham. The use of ISBAS allowed the derivation of ground surface displacements across non-urbanized areas, thus overcoming one of the main limitations of conventional interferometric techniques. ISBAS provides ground motion information not only for urban but also for rural, woodland, grassland and agricultural terrains, which cover > 60% of north-western Sicily, thereby improving by 40 times in some cases, the slope instability investigation capabilities of InSAR methods. ISBAS ground motion data enabled the updating of the landslide inventory for the areas of Piana degli Albanesi and Marineo (over 130 km2), which encompass a number of active, dormant and inactive landslides according to the pre-existing landslide inventory maps produced through aerial photo-interpretation and local field checks. An average of ∼ 7000 ISBAS pixels km- 2 allowed the detection of small displacements in regions difficult to access. In particular, 226 landslides - mainly slides, flows and creep and four badlands were identified, comprising a total area of 25.3 km2. When compared to the previous landslide inventory maps, 84 phenomena were confirmed, 67 new events were detected and 79 previously mapped events were re-assessed, modifying their typology, boundary and/or state of activity. Because the InSAR method used here is designed to measure slow rates of velocity and therefore may not detect fast-moving, events such as falls and topples, the results for Piana degli Albanesi and Marineo demonstrate

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-04-01

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

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  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

    2016-04-13

    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. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-01-01

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

  17. 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.

  18. 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).

  19. 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.

  20. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    1983-01-01

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

  6. The relationships between soft-sediment deformation structures and synsedimentary extensional tectonics in Upper Triassic deep-water carbonate succession (Southern Tethyan rifted continental margin - Central Sicily)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-10-01

    We describe soft-sediment deformation structures into the Upper Triassic cherty limestone outcropping in the Pizzo Lupo section (Central Sicily, Italy), pertaining to the deep-water palaeodomain of the Southern Tethyan margin. In the study section, mainly consisting of thin-bedded mudstone/marl alternations with bedded chert intercalations, some lithofacies have been separated on the basis of the abundance of the calcium carbonate/clay content and the overall textural features. The deformational structures, displaying different deformational styles as folded and faulted beds, disturbed layers, clastic dikes, and slumps occur mainly in the deformed horizons that involve marl-dominated lithofacies. Small-scale water-escape structures involve beds with nodular fabric. Synsedimentary faults affect the mud-limestone dominated lithofacies, which are characterized by fault-rotating blocks producing lateral thinning. These bodies appear to have moved coherently along an overall planar surface. We relate these soft-sediment deformations to slump sheets, associated with down-slope sliding of sedimentary masses. The deformation mechanism and driving force for these soft-sediment deformations are due essentially to gravitational instability and dewatering. Detailing, rotational (slump) and translational (glide) slides and water-escape are the main processes causing the distinguished deformational styles. The synsedimentary extensional tectonics that affected the Upper Triassic pelagic deposits was the triggering process responsible for the instability of the seafloor inducing loss of coherence of the unconsolidated sediments on the sea bottom, developing a large number of gravity-driven slides. The analysis of both of these SSDSs and their relationships with the structural scenario allow us to hypothesise that they are seismically-induced.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Papa, M. A.; Tardo, V.

    2011-09-01

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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  11. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-10-01

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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-05-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. High-resolution 40Ar/ 39Ar chronostratigraphy of the post-caldera (<20 ka) volcanic activity at Pantelleria, Sicily Strait

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-09-01

    The island of Pantelleria (Sicily Strait), the type locality for pantellerite, has been the locus of major caldera-forming eruptions that culminated, ca. 50 ka ago, in the formation of the Cinque Denti caldera produced by the Green Tuff eruption. The post-caldera silicic activity since that time has been mostly confined inside the caldera and consists of smaller-energy eruptions represented by more than twenty coalescing pantelleritic centers structurally controlled by resurgence and trapdoor faulting of the caldera floor. A high-resolution 40Ar/ 39Ar study was conducted on key units spanning the recent (post-20 ka) intracaldera activity to better characterize the present-day status (and forecast the short-term behavior of) the system based on the temporal evolution of the latest eruptions. The new 40Ar/ 39Ar data capture a long-term (> 15 ka) decline in eruption frequency with a shift in eruptive pace from 3.5 ka -1 to 0.8 ka -1 associated with a prominent paleosol horizon marking the only recognizable volcanic stasis around 12-14 ka. This shift in extraction frequency occurs without major changes in eruptive style, and is paralleled by a subtle trend of decreasing melt differentiation index. We speculate that this decline probably occurred (i) without short-term variations in melt production/differentiation rate in a steady-state compositionally-zoned silicic reservoir progressively tapped deeper through the sequence, and (ii) that it was possibly modulated by outboard eustatic forcing due to the 140 m sea level rise over the past 21 ka. The intracaldera system is experiencing a protracted stasis since 7 ka. Coupled with recent geodetic evidence of deflation and subsidence of the caldera floor, the system appears today to be on a wane with no temporal evidence for a short-term silicic eruption.

  19. Assessment of susceptibility to earth-flow landslide using logistic regression and multivariate adaptive regression splines: A case of the Belice River basin (western Sicily, Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Conoscenti, Christian; Ciaccio, Marilena; Caraballo-Arias, Nathalie Almaru; Gómez-Gutiérrez, Álvaro; Rotigliano, Edoardo; Agnesi, Valerio

    2015-08-01

    In this paper, terrain susceptibility to earth-flow occurrence was evaluated by using geographic information systems (GIS) and two statistical methods: Logistic regression (LR) and multivariate adaptive regression splines (MARS). LR has been already demonstrated to provide reliable predictions of earth-flow occurrence, whereas MARS, as far as we know, has never been used to generate earth-flow susceptibility models. The experiment was carried out in a basin of western Sicily (Italy), which extends for 51 km2 and is severely affected by earth-flows. In total, we mapped 1376 earth-flows, covering an area of 4.59 km2. To explore the effect of pre-failure topography on earth-flow spatial distribution, we performed a reconstruction of topography before the landslide occurrence. This was achieved by preparing a digital terrain model (DTM) where altitude of areas hosting landslides was interpolated from the adjacent undisturbed land surface by using the algorithm topo-to-raster. This DTM was exploited to extract 15 morphological and hydrological variables that, in addition to outcropping lithology, were employed as explanatory variables of earth-flow spatial distribution. The predictive skill of the earth-flow susceptibility models and the robustness of the procedure were tested by preparing five datasets, each including a different subset of landslides and stable areas. The accuracy of the predictive models was evaluated by drawing receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves and by calculating the area under the ROC curve (AUC). The results demonstrate that the overall accuracy of LR and MARS earth-flow susceptibility models is from excellent to outstanding. However, AUC values of the validation datasets attest to a higher predictive power of MARS-models (AUC between 0.881 and 0.912) with respect to LR-models (AUC between 0.823 and 0.870). The adopted procedure proved to be resistant to overfitting and stable when changes of the learning and validation samples are

  20. Accidental contamination during hydrocarbon exploitation and the rapid transfer of heavy-mineral fines through an overlying highly karstified aquifer (Paradiso Spring, SE Sicily)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ruggieri, Rosario; Forti, Paolo; Antoci, Maria Lucia; De Waele, Jo

    2017-03-01

    The area around Ragusa in Sicily is well known for the exploration of petroleum deposits hosted in Mesozoic carbonate rocks. These reservoirs are overlain by less permeable rocks, whereas the surface geology is characterized by outcrops of Oligo-Miocene carbonate units hosting important aquifers. Some of the karst springs of the area are used as drinking water supplies, and therefore these vulnerable aquifers should be monitored and protected adequately. In the early afternoon (14:00) of 27 May until the late evening (19:30) of 28 May 2011, during the construction of an exploitation borehole (Tresauro 2), more than 1000 m3 of drilling fluids were lost in an unknown karst void. Two days later, from 06:30 on 30 May, water flowing from Paradiso Spring, lying some 13.7 km SW of the borehole and 378 m lower, normally used as a domestic water supply, was so intensely coloured that it was unfit for drinking. Bulk chemical analyses carried out on the water have shown a composition that is very similar to that of the drilling fluids lost at the Tresauro borehole, confirming a hydrological connection. Estimations indicate that the first signs of the drilling fluids took about 59 h to flow from their injection point to the spring, corresponding to a mean velocity of ∼230 m/h. That Paradiso Spring is recharged by a well-developed underground drainage system is also confirmed by the marked flow rate changes measured at the spring, ranging from a base flow of around 10-15 l/s to flood peaks of 2-3 m3/s. Reflecting the source and nature of the initial contamination, the pollution lasted for just a few days, and the water returned to acceptable drinking-water standards relatively quickly. However, pollution related to heavy-mineral fines continues to be registered during flooding of the spring, when the aqueducts are normally shut down because of the high turbidity values. This pollution event offers an instructive example of how hydrocarbon exploitation in intensely karstified

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-07-01

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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  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. A multidisciplinary approach to detect active pathways for magma migration and eruption at Mt. Etna (Sicily, Italy) before the 2001 and 2002-2003 eruptions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alparone, S.; Andronico, D.; Giammanco, S.; Lodato, L.

    2004-08-01

    lines affecting eastern Sicily; they would be important pathways for magma uprise to the surface that will keep on feeding the eruptive activity of Etna in the near future. This study also pointed out the high instability of the southern slope of Etna, a sector where the potential hazard by lava flow invasion will remain high also in the near future.

  8. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aronica, Giuseppe T.; Brigandi', Giuseppina

    2010-05-01

    Flash floods are phenomena in which the important hydrologic processes are occurring on the same spatial and temporal scales as the intense precipitation. Most of the catchments of the Messina area in the North-East part of Sicily (Italy), are prone to flash flood formation. They are, in fact, small, with a steep slope, and characterised by short concentration times. Moreover, those catchments are predominantly rural in the upper mountainous part, while the areas next to the outlet are highly urbanized with areas that cover not only the floodplain but also the river bed itself as the main roads were previously part of the torrent. This situation involve an high risk of economic losses and human life in case of flash flood in these areas. In the last years the area around Messina has been interested by severe flash floods and debris flow. The events occurred on 25th October 2007 in the Mastroguglielmo torrent and 1st October 2009 on Racinazzi and Gianpilieri torrents are an example of flash floods and debris flow events that caused not only significant economic damages to property, buildings, roads and bridges but also, for this that concern the 1st October 2009 flash flood, loss of human life. The main focus of this work is, basing on the post event analysis of the 2009 flash flood event, to try to understand which could be the better preventive measures and mitigation strategies that can be provided for a better risk management in these areas too many times affected by devastating events. Flood management can be controlled by either structural or non-structural measures. Adoption of a certain measure depends critically on the hydrological and hydraulic characteristics of the river system and the region. Flash flood management includes a number of phases that should be included in any management strategy like prevention, mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery. Forecasting based on hydrological precursors based on the soil moisture condition at the

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

    (CIRCEE-HR - Calabrian arc Ionian sea Research and Catastrophic historical EarthquakE s in southern italy - a High Resolution seismic survey) We report on a recent marine geophysical and geological survey conducted onboard the R/V Le Suroit from 2-24 October in the Ionian Sea, offshore Eastern Sicily. The primary aim of the CIRCEE-HR cruise proposal was to conduct a neo-tectonic study of the Calabrian subduction zone offshore Southern Italy, a region struck repeatedly by the most destructive earthquakes in European history. The CIRCEE-HR survey targeted the region struck by the 1693 Catania earthquake (60,000 killed) and the 1908 Messina earthquakes, which produced intensity X-XI shaking and tsunamis. The 1908 (normal faulting mechanism) earthquake triggered a turbidite flow that ruptured submarine cables. The source of some strong historical earthquakes (1169, 1542, 1693) remains unknown. Several crustal scale structures have been proposed as being seismogenic: the Malta escarpment, a lithospheric tear fault (STEP), the subduction fault plane and other related faults. The main objectives of the cruise were therefore to seek evidence of active faults associated with these structures, and to characterize the degree of activity of the Calabria accretionary wedge (sedimentary deformation, dewatering processes) in order to better assess its seismogenic potential. Another major objective is to try to determine the typical recurrence interval for large earthquakes in the region (by coring and dating of turbidites triggered by great earthquakes). The Augias mega-turbidite dated either 3.5 ka (Cita et al., 1996) or 365 AD (Polonia et al., 2013) covers the entire floor of the Ionian abyssal plain with a thickness of 10-15m representing a volume of > 100km3. This layer serves as a stratigraphic marker to identify recent deformation in the abyssal domain. The methods applied were 72-channel high-resolution seismic profiles and sub-bottom profiling (chirp) (with 1200km of

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. The Advancement of Intraplate Tectonic Motion Detection by the Use of Atmospherically Corrected InSAR Time-series and its Decomposition into a 3D Field Vector in South-East Sicily, Italy.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vollrath, A.; Bekaert, D. P.; Bonforte, A.; Guglielmino, F.; Hooper, A. J.; Stramondo, S.; Zucca, F.

    2014-12-01

    This study provides insights into the advancements gained by applying a tropospheric correction to a time-series InSAR small baseline network processed using the StaMPS software for the Hyblean Plateau in south-east Sicily, Italy. The contribution of the atmosphere is one of the major error sources in repeat-pass InSAR in general. For time-series analysis spatial and temporal "filtering" of the interferometric phase can be used to address atmospheric signals. This however might be at the cost of smoothing and removal of the "tectonic deformation". We applied a tropospheric correction to each interferogram based on estimates of the ERA-Interim weather model, provided by the European Center for Medium-Range Weather Forecast (ECMWF). This approach is part of the InSAR Atmospheric Correction Toolbox (Bekaert et al, in prep) and converts the tropospheric water vapor content into the phase-delay of the radar line-of-sight. For the analysis we used 49 descending and 58 ascending Envisat SAR images, which cover the time period from 2003 until 2010. In addition, we have processed 30 SAR images of RADARSAT-2 for the period between 2010-2012. Furthermore, we used the different viewing geometries and the integration of GPS data to decompose the single line-of-sight velocities into a 3-dimensional field vector by applying the SISTEM approach (Guglielmino et al. 2011). First results reveal that the atmospherically corrected data retain the deformation signal along geological structures like the Scicli-Ragusa fault whilst the standard filtering approach is canceling out these very slow deformation patterns. Simultaneously, the variability of the signal in space is diminished and thus gives more confidence on the deformation patterns observed by the SAR. Consequently, the decomposition of the line-of-sight velocities and the integration with the GPS data allows us to retrieve a more realistic deformation field.

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. Sicily - Analysis of Combined Operations in Battle

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1984-03-01

    toward biessina. The goal was to re- lieve German pressure on the Eighth Army and allow the British further maneuver space around Mount Etna . (3:92...It is likely, that the concentrated firepower of both armies could have overwhelmed the formidable Axis defenses in the Catania plain near Mount ... Etna (see figure 6). By constant attack and coordinated maneuver the two armies in mass could have trapped and destroyed the enemy, instead of allowing

  1. 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.

  2. 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

    2006-06-02

    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.

  3. 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. 

  4. Autochthonous clams monitoring of Ganzirri Lake (Sicily).

    PubMed

    Di Bella, Giuseppa; Cavallaro, Novella; Lo Turco, Vincenzo; Furci, Patrizia; Rando, Rossana; La Pera, Lara; Dugo, Giacomo

    2010-12-01

    Two autochthonous clams, Venerupis aurea laeta and Cerastoderma edule/glaucum, collected for a period of 1 year, from May 2007 to January 2008, were studied in the Cape Peloro lagoon. On the samples, it was evaluated the presence of pathogenic microorganisms and proteins, lipids and yield edible part were determined. It was evaluated the concentration of mineral elements (Cd, Cu, Mn, Se, Pb, Zn) and organic contaminants (∑DDT and PCBs). Salmonella is never present in any sample. Total and faecal coliform values have always been under law limits for alive bivalves mussels production and sale. Zn, Cu, Cd and Pb levels were found in clams where they are slightly lower too. Both species do not show significant changes for Mn and Se. DDT and PCBs traces were discovered in Ganzirri Lake' samples, but in all observed cases, they were below law limits. As a result of all these observations, it is clear that, in recent years, the bivalve's use of Ganzirri Lake does not denote toxicological risk to human health.

  5. 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.

  6. 82D Airborne Division in Sicily and Italy

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1945-11-01

    of Mount Vesuvius to *tho cast, bypassing the city, while 504 ren turned west, captured Castollamare. Tho 504th entered Naples- on October 1st...assembly area, D Corpany:. mounted British tanks and the bal- ance of the battalion moved out on foot at 1450 hour. The’ battalion continued the march

  7. Invading Sicily: A Tale of Branches and Sequels

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2002-01-01

    Enna Nicosia Troina San Fratello Santo Stefano Reggio di Calabria Corleone Trapani MOUNT ETNA C A R O N I E M O U N T A I N S VizziniNiscemi Ragusa...British gliders landed near their objectives. At 0600 hours on July 11, General Alfredo Guzzoni, who commanded Sixth Italian Army, mounted a counterattack

  8. 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.

  9. 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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mahood, G.A.; Hildreth, W.

    1986-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-12-01

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

  12. Outbreak of Salmonella enteritis bongori 48:z35:- in Sicily.

    PubMed

    Nastasi, A; Mammina, C; Salsa, L

    1999-09-01

    Salmonella bongori 48:z 35 :- was first isolated from a lizard in Chad in 1966 and was classified as a biochemically atypical strain of the subgenus I of Kauffmann. Successively, some additional strains with different antigenic formulas but similar bioche

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mahood, Gail A.; Hildreth, Wes

    1986-06-01

    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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Antibacterial and antifungal activities of Otanthus maritimus (L.) Hoffmanns. & Link essential oil from Sicily.

    PubMed

    Basile, Adriana; Rigano, Daniela; Sorbo, Sergio; Conte, Barbara; Rosselli, Sergio; Bruno, Maurizio; Senatore, Felice

    2013-01-01

    The chemical composition of the essential oil obtained from the flowers of Otanthus maritimus L., a perennial plant growing wild in maritime sands in the Mediterranean region, was investigated by GC and GC-MS analyses. Totally 66 were identified. The oil was dominated by the high content of monoterpene compounds, especially oxygenated monoterpenes which accounted for 73.1%. The most abundant components were yomogi alcohol (20.8%), camphor (15.8%), artemisyl acetate (15.3%) and artemisia alcohol (13.7%). The oil was tested against two Gram (+) and six Gram (-) bacterial strains, both American Type Culture Collection standard strains and clinically isolated (CI), one potentially pathogenic yeast (Candida albicans CI) and two filamentous phytopathogenic fungi (Botrytis cinerea and Rhizoctonia solani). The results show that the oil from O. maritimus exerts strong antibacterial and antifungal activities.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Increasing incidence of childhood celiac disease in Sicily: results of a multicenter study.

    PubMed

    Magazzú, G; Bottaro, G; Cataldo, F; Iacono, G; Di Donato, F; Patane, R; Cavataio, F; Maltese, I; Romano, C; Arco, A

    1994-10-01

    By screening the patient list of four Sicilian centers of gastroenterology and those with gluten-free product consumption, 1074 patients (607 females and 467 males) with celiac disease, diagnosed between 1975 and 1989, were identified. A maximum cumulative incidence rate by birth cohort was reached in 1986 (1.65/1000). When the incidence rate was adjusted for the years of follow-up, the actual standardized rate was 3 cases per 1000 live births. Growth failure and chronic diarrhea were the most common symptoms, but a diminishing trend for chronic diarrhea was observed when symptoms were distributed by year of diagnosis. Even though 61.1% of all cases were diagnosed within six months from the onset of symptoms, mean age at diagnosis showed an increasing trend, from less than two years to approximately four years of age. The results of our study showed an increasing incidence of celiac disease due to diagnosis of less typical cases at an older age and also to a steady increase in the rate of diagnosis of cases with a classic clinical picture.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1985-01-01

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

  3. Seasonal variability of phytoplankton fluorescence in relation to the Straits of Messina (Sicily) tidal upwelling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Azzaro, F.; Decembrini, F.; Raffa, F.; Crisafi, E.

    2007-10-01

    In the Straits of Messina, large gradients of tidal displacements, as well as the topographic constrictions, determine the upwelling of deeper waters in the surface layer. This work describes the seasonal variability in the surface distribution of phytoplankton biomass depending on the upwelling phenomena. Temperature, salinity, nitrates and phytoplankton fluorescence were measured in 1994 and 1995 by continuous underway surface real-time measurements onboard dedicated research boats. Each survey was performed following the dynamic phases of flooding and ebbing tides. Tidal currents are essentially southward during high tide and northward during low tide. During the low water slack tide, large spatial gradients of physical-chemical and biological parameters were found, while at the high water slack tide, a diffused phytoplankton fluorescence was observed only in autumn due to a seasonal thermocline. Salinity, nitrate and chlorophyll-a fluorescence data revealed a significant positive intercorrelation, whereas they were inversely correlated with temperature. Generally, the upwelling distribution was limited to narrow zones during winter, while in summer it was found in the middle of the Straits and in the southern zones. During spring in the southern zone of the Straits, the maximum chlorophyll-a fluorescence was detected (May 1995, 0.32 μg-Chla l-1); in summer, when back and forth tidal movements between the Tyrrhenian and the Ionian seas intensify, decreased values were observed throughout the study area. The data set obtained through continuous and repeatable samplings has allowed the study of different time-space scales in the Straits of Messina, a very strong and dynamic environment. The Straits system could be compared to an "intermittent pump" which, during the different seasons, initially enriches itself and subsequently provides nutrients to the surrounding basins.

  4. Seasonal variability of phytoplankton fluorescence in relation to the Straits of Messina (Sicily) tidal upwelling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Azzaro, F.; Decembrini, F.; Raffa, F.; Crisafi, E.

    2007-05-01

    In the Straits of Messina the large gradients of tidal displacements as well as the topographic constrictions determine the upwelling of deeper waters in the surface layer. This work describes the seasonal variability of surface distribution of phytoplankton biomass depending on upwelling phenomena. Temperature, salinity, nitrates and phytoplankton fluorescence were measured in 1994 and 1995 by continuous underway surface real-time measurements on board dedicated research boats. Each survey was performed following the dynamic phases of flooding and ebbing tides. Tidal currents are essentially southward during the high tide and northward during the low tide. During the low water slack, large spatial gradients of physical-chemical and biological parameters were mainly found, while in the high water slack a diffused phytoplankton fluorescence was observed only in autumn, in coincidence of a seasonal thermocline. Salinity, nitrate and chlorophyll-a fluorescence data revealed a significant positive intercorrelation, whereas they are inversely correlated with temperature. Generally, during winter, the upwelling distribution was limited to narrow zones, while in summer it involved the middle of the Straits and southern zones. During spring in the southern zone of the Straits, maximum of chlorophyll-a fluorescence was detected (May 1995, 0.32 µg-Chla l-1); in summer, when back and forth tidal movements become intense between the Tyrrhenian and the Ionian seas, values was everywhere lower. The data set from continuous and repeatable acquisition has allowed the study of different time-space scales in the Straits of Messina, a very strong dynamic environment. The Straits system can be compared to an "intermittent pump" which, during the different seasons, before enriched itself and then it provides nutrients to the surrounding basins.

  5. 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...

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scandura, D.; Montalto, P.; Brancato, A.; Cannavo, F.; Coltelli, M.; Mattia, M.; Patanè, D.; Proietti, C.

    2014-12-01

    The frequent flank eruptions occurrence at Mt. Etna lead to a high volcanic hazard that, linked to a population of nearly one million people dwell on its flanks, poses a high volcanic risk. In the framework of the project PON SIGMA (Integrated Cloud-Sensor System for Advanced Multirisk Management), we developed a near real-time computer-assisted analysis and probabilistic evaluations that provide the identification of the areas prone to the highest vent opening hazard. The use of a code such BET_EF (Bayesian Event Tree_Eruption Forecasting) provide us a long-term hazard map mainly based on the past behaviour of the Etna volcano. The near real-time additional seismic and ground deformation data allow the long-term hazard map switches into a short-term future vent opening one. The short-term hazard map was computed starting from the evaluation of deformation field over Etna surface. Analytical inversion of deformation and seismic data is performed to find the parameters of a magmatic source in an elastic, isotropic and homogeneous half-space and forward model is performed to computed the displacement field over Etna surface. We modelled the final intrusion of the Mount Etna May 2008 eruption that was accompanied by a violent seismic swarm and marked by ground deformation recorded at GPS stations. Results suggest a good accordance between the higher probability area and the real vent occurrence.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-04-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  9. Small angle neutron scattering as fingerprinting of ancient potteries from Sicily (Southern Italy)

    SciTech Connect

    Barone, G.; Mazzoleni, P.; Crupi, V.; Majolino, D.; Venuti, V.; Teixeira, J.

    2009-09-01

    Small angle neutron scattering measurements have been carried out in order to investigate, in microdestructive way, the mesoscopic structure of a variety of potteries of relevance to cultural heritage coming from different Sicilian (Southern Italy) archeological sites belonging to the 'Strait of Messina' area and dated back to 7th-3rd century B.C. Data have been compared with the mesoscopic parameters extracted for two series of clayey sediments typical of the Strait of Messina area and fired under controlled conditions. The observed agreement between the features of reference and archeological samples allowed us to estimate the maximum firing temperature of the latter. Information on the pore sizes was obtained by the use of the concept of fractal surface, and compared with porosimetry results.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Bianco, Alessia; Candela, Michele; Fonti, Roberta

    2008-07-08

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

  11. 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.

  12. [Evaluation of mercury exposure in populations living near the industrial Augusta Bay (Sicily Region, Southern Italy)].

    PubMed

    Bonsignore, Maria; Andolfi, Nunzia; Quinci, Enza Maria; Madeddu, Anselmo; Tisano, Francesco; Ingallinella, Vincenzo; Castorina, Maria; Sprovieri, Mario

    2016-01-01

    OBIETTIVI: valutare e quantificare l'esposizione umana al mercurio (Hg) ed esplorare i fattori chiave che influenzano la contaminazione nelle popolazioni residenti in prossimità della Rada di Augusta, un'area a elevato rischio ambientale a causa degli effetti degli sversamenti incontrollati di Hg da parte di uno dei più grandi impianti cloro-soda d'Europa. DISEGNO: un campione di residenti nei comuni di Augusta, Priolo e Melilli (Sicilia orientale) è stato selezionato per lo studio di biomonitoraggio umano. Un questionario dettagliato è stato somministrato a ogni partecipante per raccogliere informazioni anagrafiche sulle abitudini di vita e alimentari. I livelli di Hg in sangue e capelli, usati come traccianti di esposizione a metilmercurio, sono stati messi in relazione al consumo di pesce locale. Il contenuto di Hg nelle urine è stato utilizzato per esplorare eventuali esposizioni atmosferiche a Hg inorganico. Una regressione lineare multivariata è stata applicata con l'obiettivo di esplorare i fattori che influenzano l'esposizione umana al Hg. L'approccio tossicocinetico è stato impiegato al fine di calcolare la dose settimanale provvisoria tollerabile ( provisional tolerable weekly intake, PTWI) e di predire le concentrazioni di Hg attese nel sangue degli individui con una dieta alimentare basata esclusivamente su pesce locale.

  13. Rare earth elements distribution in grapevine varieties grown on volcanic soils: an example from Mount Etna (Sicily, Italy).

    PubMed

    D'Antone, Carmelisa; Punturo, Rosalda; Vaccaro, Carmela

    2017-04-01

    A geochemical and statistical approach has allowed identifying in rare earth elements (REEs) absorption a good fingerprinting mark for determining the territoriality and the provenance of Vitis vinifera L. in the district of Mount Etna (southern Italy). Our aim is to define the REEs distribution in different parts of the plants which grow in the same volcanic soil and under the same climate conditions, and therefore to assess whether REEs distribution may reflect the composition of the provenance soil or if plants can selectively absorb REEs in order to recognize the fingerprint in the Etna Volcano soils as well as the REEs pattern characteristic of each cultivar of V. vinifera L. The characteristic pattern of REEs has been determined by ICP-MS analyses in the soils and in the selected grapevine varieties for all the following parts: leaves, seeds, juice, skin, and berries. These geochemical criteria, together with the multivariate statistical analysis of the principal component analysis (PCA) and of the linear discriminant analysis (LDA) that can be summarized with the box plot, suggest that leaves mostly absorb REEs than the other parts of the plant. This work investigates the various parts of the plant in order to verify if each grape variety presents a characteristic geochemical pattern in the absorption of REEs in relationship with the geochemical features of the soil so to highlight the individual compositional fingerprint. Based on REE patterns, our study is a useful tool that allows characterizing the differences among the grape varieties and lays the foundation for the use of REEs in the geographic origin of the Mount Etna wine district.

  14. Soil CO2 degassing on Mt Etna (Sicily) during the period 1989 1993: discrimination between climatic and volcanic influences

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Giammanco, Salvatore; Gurrieri, Sergio; Valenza, Mariano

    1995-03-01

    Wide variations were measured in the diffuse CO2 flux through the soils in three selected areas of Mt Etna between August 1989 and March 1993. Degassing of CO2 from the area of Zafferana Etnea-S. Venerina, on the eastern slope of the volcano, has been determined to be more strongly influenced by meteorological parameters than the other areas. The seasonal component found in the data from this area has been excluded using a filtering algorithm based on the best fitting equation calculated from the correlation between CO2 flux values and those of air temperature. The filtered data appear to have variations temporally coincident with those from the other areas, thus suggesting a common and probably deep source of gas. The highest fluxes measured in the two most peripheral areas may correlate well with other geophysical and volcanological anomalous signals that preceded the strong eruption of 1991 1993 and that were interpreted as deep pressure increases. Anomalous decreases in CO2 fluxes accompanied the onset and the evolution of that eruption and have been interpreted as a sign of upward migration of the gas source. The variations of CO2 flux at the 1989 SE fracture have also given interesting information on the timing of the magmatic intrusion that has then fed the 1991 1993 eruption.

  15. Detection of haemoparasites in cattle by reverse line blot hybridisation with a note on the distribution of ticks in Sicily.

    PubMed

    Georges, K; Loria, G R; Riili, S; Greco, A; Caracappa, S; Jongejan, F; Sparagano, O

    2001-08-31

    A reverse line blot hybridisation (RLB) of 21 oligonucleotides with polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplified regions of 16S rRNA (Ehrlichia/Anaplasma group) or 18S rRNA (Babesia/Theileria group) genes of haemoparasites detected Theileria annulata, T. buffeli/orientalis, Babesia bovis, B. bigemina, B. divergens, Ehrlichia bovis, Anaplasma marginale, A. centrale and unknown species within the Rickettsia tribe.A very high prevalence of mixed infections was detected, which indicated that animals infected with Babesia spp. were also infected with Theileria spp. and/or Anaplasma spp. The tick distribution appeared to be seasonal with Hyalomma marginatum as the most frequently observed tick and Boophilus annulatus and Ixodes ricinus as the least frequently observed ticks. Other species identified in the 818 ticks collected during the five sampling periods between April 1998 and November 1999 included H. lusitanicum, Rhipicephalus sanguineus group, R. bursa, Dermacentor marginatus, Haemaphysalis punctata, B. annulatus and I. ricinus.

  16. Pathogenic microorganisms carried by migratory birds passing through the territory of the island of Ustica, Sicily (Italy).

    PubMed

    Foti, Maria; Rinaldo, Donatella; Guercio, Annalisa; Giacopello, Cristina; Aleo, Aurora; De Leo, Filomena; Fisichella, Vittorio; Mammina, Caterina

    2011-08-01

    Several studies have shown that migratory birds play an important role in the ecology, circulation and dissemination of pathogenic organisms. In October 2006, a health status evaluation was performed on a large population of migratory birds passing through the territory of Ustica (Italy), an island located on the migration route of many species of birds to Africa, and various laboratory tests were conducted. In total, 218 faecal swabs and the internal organs of 21 subjects found dead in nets were collected for bacteriological and virological examination, including avian influenza and Newcastle disease. In addition, 19 pooled fresh faecal samples were collected for mycological examination. The bacteriological analysis produced 183 strains belonging to 28 different species of the Enterobacteriaceae family. In particular, Salmonella bongori, Yersinia enterocolitica and Klebsiella pneumonia strains were isolated. Almost all of the isolates were susceptible to sulphamethoxazole/trimethoprime (99.4%), cefotaxime (98.9%), nalidixic acid (96.7%), chloramphenicol (95.6%), and tetracycline (93.4%). Alternatively, many strains were resistant to ampicillin (42.6%), amoxicillin-clavulanic acid (42.6%), and streptomycin (43.7%). According to reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction analysis, all of the samples were negative for the M gene of avian influenza virus. Moreover, isolation tests conducted on specific pathogen free eggs were negative for avian influenza and Newcastle disease. Several hyphomycetes and yeasts belonging to different genera were present in the specimens, and Cryptococcus neoformans was observed in a pooled faecal sample. Antibiotic resistance in wildlife can be monitored to evaluate the impact of anthropic pressure. Furthermore, migratory birds are potential reservoirs of pathogenic agents; thus, they can be regarded as sentinel species and used as environmental health indicators.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cannata, Andrea; Alparone, Salvatore; Ursino, Andrea

    2014-05-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Manno, Emanuela; Varrica, Daniela; Dongarrà, Gaetano

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-04-01

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

  20. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-10-17

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

  2. 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

  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.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Aiuppa, A.; Allard, P.; D'Alessandro, W.; Michel, A.; Parello, F.; Treuil, M.; Valenza, M.

    2000-06-01

    The concentrations and fluxes of major, minor and trace metals were determined in 53 samples of groundwaters from around Mt. Etna, in order to evaluate the conditions and extent of alkali basalt weathering by waters enriched in magma-derived CO{sub 2} and the contribution of aqueous transport to the overall metal discharge of the volcano. The authors show that gaseous input of magmatic volatile metals into the Etnean aquifer is small or negligible, being limited by cooling of the rising fluids. Basalt leaching by weakly acidic, CO{sub 2}-charged water is the overwhelming source of metals and appears to be more extensive in two sectors of the S-SW (Paterno) and E (Zafferana) volcano flanks, where out flowing groundwaters are the richest in metals and bicarbonate of magmatic origin. Thermodynamic modeling of the results allows evaluation of the relative mobility and chemical speciation of various elements during their partitioning between solid and liquid phases through the weathering process. At Mt. Etna, poorly mobile elements (Al, Th, Fe) are preferentially retained in the solid residue of weathering, while alkalis, alkaline earth and oxo-anion-forming elements (As, Se, Sb, Mo) are more mobile and released to the aqueous system. Transition metals display an intermediate behavior and are strongly dependent on either the redox conditions (Mn, Cr, V) or solid surface-related processes (V, Zn, Cu).

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  6. Tectono-sedimentary constraints to the Oligocene-to-Miocene evolution of the Peloritani thrust belt (NE Sicily)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Giunta, G.; Nigro, F.

    1999-12-01

    The Peloritani thrust belt belongs to the southern sector of the Calabrian Arc and is formed by a set of south-verging tectonic units, including crystalline basement and sedimentary cover (from the top: Aspromonte U.; Mela U.; Mandanici U.; Fondachelli U.; Longi-Taormina U.), piled up starting from Late Oligocene. At least two main terrigenous clastic formations lie with complicated relationships on top of the previous units: the Frazzanò Fm (Oligocene) and the Stilo-Capo d'Orlando Fm (Late Oligocene?-Early Miocene), as syn-to-post-tectonic deposits. These clastic deposits have different characteristics, in space and time, representing or flysch-like sequences involved in several thrust events (Frazzanò Fm) or molassic-like sequences (Stilo-Capo d'Orlando Fm), which unconformably overlie the tectonic units. In the present paper we describe a kinematic model of the progressive foreland migration of the Peloritani thrust belt, starting from Oligocene, carrying piggy-back basins and incorporating foredeep deposits, recognised in the Frazzanò-Stilo-Capo d'Orlando terrigenous successions. In general, the facies and structural observations on the overall Oligo-Miocene clastic sequences, outcropping in the Western Peloritani Mts, indicate: (a) the distal character of the Frazzanò Fm; (b) a complex group of terrigenous facies of the Stilo-Capo d'Orlando Fm, with lateral-to-vertical organisation, characterised by a distal-to-proximal-to-distal facies trend; (c) facies analogies of the basal portions of the Stilo-Capo d'Orlando Fm with the Frazzanò Fm; (d) the involvement of the Frazzanò Fm in lowermost and more external thrusting, and of the basal (Late Oligocene?) distal Stilo-Capo d'Orlando facies in the higher and inner thrusting during the early stages of deformation; (e) the involvement of the proximal Stilo-Capo d'Orlando facies in the tectonic edifice during the Early Miocene deformation; (f) the generally unconformable stratigraphical contacts of the higher proximal-to-distal (Early Miocene) Stilo-Capo d'Orlando facies on the constructing mobile belt; and (g) the presence of various thrust-faults, distinguished in a sequential order. The collected data allow us to hypothesise that the Oligo-Miocene tectono-sedimentary history was characterised by a foredeep with a deforming internal flank, probably lying in onlap on the constructing tectonic edifice (Frazzanò-lower Stilo-Capo d'Orlando Fms), and then deformed and covered by a piggy-back like sequence (middle-upper Stilo-Capo d'Orlando Fm), which was subsequently also deformed. The tectono-sedimentary evolution of the Peloritani belt has been probably developed through a progressive migration towards the foreland of a foredeep-compressional front couple and the chain body. The thrust stack progressively incorporates terrigenous foredeep deposits and in turn carried piggy-back basins.

  7. 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

  8. In-Situ Cosmogenic 36Cl Production Rate Calibration from Basaltic Flows of Mount Etna (Sicily, 38° N)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schimmelpfennig, I.; Benedetti, L.; Pik, R.; Burnard, P.; Blard, P. H.; Bourles, D.

    2007-12-01

    One of the CRONUS-EU goals is to provide high quality calibration sites from independently dated surfaces. Several previous studies have been conducted on 36Cl production rate calibration (e.g. Stone et al. 1996, Phillips et al. 2001), which, however, used different protocols and yielded 36Cl production rates with up to 40% discrepancies. The objectives of this study are 1- to understand the source of these discrepancies and 2- to calibrate 36Cl production rates from its target elements Ca and K. As a first step we focused on testing the chemical protocol by performing a sequential 36Cl extraction experiment on whole rock grains and Ca-rich plagioclase from the same sample. The sample was collected at Mt. Etna on a pahoehoe flow, which has a K-Ar fossil exposure time of (10±3) kyr. Cosmogenic 3He was also precisely measured within cogenetic olivine phenocrysts of this sample (Blard et al. 2005) and yields an exposure time of (10.4±1.5) kyr. Both, total Cl and 36Cl concentrations from the first dissolution steps are high, 5800 ppm (whole rock) and 450 ppm (plagioclase) Cl, and 107 - 106 atoms 36Cl/g of rock dissolved. After about 20% dissolution of the plagioclase sample, Cl is almost completely removed (1-3ppm) and 36Cl concentrations reach a plateau value of 2*105 atoms/g of rock. Using the Stone et al. (1996) and Evans et al. (1997) 36Cl production rates for the target elements Ca and K, respectively, this plateau concentration yields an exposure age which is in excellent agreement with K-Ar dating and cosmogenic 3He ages. On the contrary, in the whole rock sample total Cl concentrations remain high (>330ppm) resulting in a considerable 36Cl production from capture of low-energy neutrons by 35Cl, an additional and still not well-constrained 36Cl production mechanism. The resulting exposure ages from the whole rock are 35-45% higher than the independent 3He ages. For 36Cl production rate calibration from Ca, we will use separated Ca-rich plagioclase from various Mt. Etna lava flows of different elevation and independently determined ages between 400 yr and 41 kyr. To better constrain the 36Cl production rate from K, separated sanidine (K-rich feldspar) from a 15 kyr old lava flow of volcano Payun-Matru (Argentina, 36° S) will be used. Stone J.O., et al. (1996), Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta 60 679-692; Phillips F.M., et al. (2001), Chem. Geol. 175 689-701; Blard P.H., et al. (2005), EPSL 236 613-631; Evans J.M. et al. (1997), Nucl. Instr. and Meth. in Phys. Res. B 123 334-340

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-04-01

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

  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. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Risk factors in multiple sclerosis: a population-based case-control study in Sicily. Background and methods.

    PubMed

    Nicoletti, Alessandra; Messina, Silvia; Bruno, Elisa; Mostile, Giovanni; Quattrocchi, Graziella; Raciti, Loredana; Dibilio, Valeria; Cappellani, Roberto; D'Amico, Emanuele; Sciacca, Giorgia; Lo Fermo, Salvatore; Paradisi, Vincenza; Patti, Francesco; Zappia, Mario

    2016-12-01

    Incidence of multiple sclerosis (MS) has steeply increased over time during the last 30 years in the city of Catania. We carried out a population-based case-control study to evaluate the possible role of both environmental and genetic factors. From 1975 to 2004 in Catania, 367 MS patients diagnosed according to the Poser's criteria had the onset of disease. A sample of MS patients was randomly selected from this incident cohort. Three controls matched by age and sex were randomly selected from the rosters of 14 GPs. Controls were proportionally selected according to the distribution by municipality of the target population using a multistage sampling methods. All cases and controls underwent a face-to-face interview to record information concerning environmental factors and a blood sample was taken for serological and genetic analysis. 164 MS patients (64 % women; mean age of 46.4 ± 10.7) and 481 controls (69 % women; mean age of 47.7 ± 14.8) were enrolled in the study. The distribution of the whole population and the selected controls by municipalities was similar. A blood sample was taken from 150 MS cases and from 337 controls. At the end of the enrolment, we obtained a representative sample of the MS cases and population controls avoiding possible selection bias. Participation rate was very high also concerning the collection of biological specimens.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barreca, Giovanni; Bonforte, Alessandro; Neri, Marco

    2013-02-01

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

  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. The Great Escape: An Analysis of Allied Actions Leading to the Axis Evacuation of Sicily in World War II

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2006-05-31

    airdropping a few miles east of Gela to secure key high ground in the Piano Lupo area, which commanded a road junction strong point consisting of sixteen...Regiments towards the Seventh Army airborne assault areas near Piano Lupo (east of Gela). Despite navigational trouble caused by the high winds aloft...objective, the important high ground of Piano Lupo . This didn’t mean they were not effective, though, as small bands of paratroopers roamed through

  17. 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).

  18. Pneumococcal Colonization in the Familial Context and Implications for Anti-Pneumococcal Immunization in Adults: Results from the BINOCOLO Project in Sicily

    PubMed Central

    Tramuto, Fabio; Amodio, Emanuele; Calamusa, Giuseppe; Restivo, Vincenzo; Costantino, Claudio; Vitale, Francesco

    2017-01-01

    The spread of Streptococcus pneumoniae within families has been scarcely investigated so far. This feasibility study aimed to estimate the prevalence of pneumococcal carriage in school-aged children and co-habiting relatives and to explore the potential link between the family environment and the sharing of pneumococcal serotypes covered by the vaccine. Oropharyngeal samples of 146 subjects belonging to 36 different family groups were molecularly tested for pneumococcal detection and serotyping. The overall prevalence of pneumococcal carriage was 65.8% (n = 96/146), whereas it was higher among schoolchildren (77.8%, n = 28/36); subjects of seven years of age had the highest odds of being colonized (odds ratio, OR = 5.176; p = 0.145). Pneumococcal serotypes included in the 13-valent conjugate vaccine formulation were largely detected in the study population and multiple serotypes colonization was considerable. Factors relating to a close proximity among people at the family level were statistically associated with pneumococcal carriage (OR = 2.121; p = 0.049), as well as active smoking habit with a clear dose-response effect (ORs = 1.017–3.326). About half of family clusters evidenced similar patterns of carried pneumococcal serotypes and the odds of sustaining a high level of intrafamilial sharing increased with household size (ORs = 1.083–5.000). This study highlighted the potential role played by the family environment in sustaining both the circulation and horizontal transmission of pneumococcus. PMID:28067813

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-06-01

    Sedimentary biogeochemical data from the Gulf of Palermo, which borders one of the major urban and industrial areas of the central Mediterranean, provide a decennial-centennial-scale record of the effects of human activity on this coastal environment. In this study we report trace elements (TE), Corg/Ntot ratios, δ13Corg, and δ15Ntot from dated (210Pb) sediments collected in two coastal stations variably influenced by urban/fluvial loadings and illegal dumping and we compare them with published data for offshore sediments, in order to investigate at a large spatial scale the influence of on-land activities on sedimentary marine system. TE were generally low except for Hg and Pb, which exhibited moderate enrichments. Low TE enrichment factors with respect to Corg indicate that trace elements were mainly trapped by sedimentary organic matter. Corg/Ntot, δ13Corg, and δ15Ntot depth profiles showed that sediments received organic matter derived from marine sources mixed with organic matter from the erosion of terrestrial material as well as unregulated sewage discharges. Superimposed on these patterns, repeated shifts in δ13Corg towards values higher than those typical of offshore Palermo sediments were concomitant with higher Corg/Ntot. These shifts observed in the core portions covering the last 40 years reflect enhanced eutrophication as result of elevated nutrient input into marine waters. The results of this study have traced the origin and extent of the organic enrichment and emphasized the importance of utilizing a complete range of chemical and isotopic analyses from sedimentary records to reconstruct the environmental history of coastal ecosystems impacted by urbanization processes.

  20. 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…

  1. Chemical composition, antimicrobial and antioxidant activity of the essential oils from Pimpinellatragium Vill. subsp. glauca (C. Presl.) C. Brullo & Brullo (Apiaceae) growing wild in Sicily.

    PubMed

    Maggio, Antonella; Bruno, Maurizio; Spadaro, Vivienne; Scialaba, Anna; Senatore, Felice; Oliviero, Filomena

    2013-01-01

    The essential oils from flowers, leaves and stems hydrodistilled from Pimpinella tragium Vill, subsp. glauca were characterised by GC and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry analysis. The C-12 nor-sesquiterpenes are the principal class of metabolites (56.6-70.6%) among which geijerene (28.9÷49.3%) and pregeijerene (10÷19.1%) predominate. Antimicrobial and antioxidant activities were evaluated. The minimum inhibitory concentration values indicate that oil obtained from the stems is the most active for antimicrobial activities and the sample with the biggest antioxidant capacity is the flower oil.

  2. 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.

  3. Organochlorine pesticides, PCBs and heavy metals in tissues of the mullet Liza aurata in lake Ganzirri and Straits of Messina (Sicily, Italy).

    PubMed

    Licata, Patrizia; Bella, Giuseppa Di; Dugo, Giacomo; Naccari, Francesco

    2003-07-01

    The aim of this research was to investigate the presence of organochlorine pesticides, PCBs and heavy metals (Cd, Cr, Cu, Ni, Pb and Zn) in fish living in lake Ganzirri and the Straits of Messina, using the mullet Liza aurata as a "biological indicator". Different tissues of Liza aurata, which include the muscle, gill and vertebral column, were taken for analyses. Quantitative determination of the organochlorine compounds was performed by GC-ECD and confirmed with GC-MS. The concentrations of "essential" and "toxic" heavy metals were determined by Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometry. For the mullets of lake Ganzirri, the study showed DDE in three samples of gills and one of muscle, at concentrations below the MRL; no appreciable residues of PCBs (Aroclor 1232 series) were found. The concentrations of Zn and Cu were much higher than those of the "toxic" metals. No traces of organochlorine pesticides and PCBs were found in the individuals from the Straits of Messina. Therefore, these results indicate that these two environments are not at toxicological risk.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. A measles outbreak in Catania, Sicily: the importance of high vaccination coverage and early notification of cases for health and economic reasons.

    PubMed

    Celesia, Benedetto Maurizio; Fontana, Rossella; Pinzone, Marilia Rita; Cuccia, Mario; Bellissimo, Francesco; Rapisarda, Liliana; Rinnone, Sebastiano; Rapisarda, Venerando; Pavone, Piero; Cacopardo, Bruno; Nunnari, Giuseppe

    2014-09-01

    Measles is a paediatric exanthematous disease. Even though vaccination has dramatically reduced measles morbidity and mortality, outbreaks still occur due to insufficient vaccination coverage and importation of the virus from endemic regions. Although child vaccination coverage in Italy has been broadened (from 74% in 2000 to 90.1% in 2011), outbreaks are still observed at a regional level. We describe epidemiological and clinical characteristics of cases reported from January 2009 to May 2010 to the Epidemiology Service of the Provincial Health Authority of Catania. We obtained demographic data and vaccination status from the database of the Epidemiology Service and clinical features and laboratory data from medical records. In all, 522 cases were notified: 286 males (54%), median age 12 years (interquartile range (IQR) 4-18); 401 cases (77%) were notified by the hospital, and 121 (23%) by general practitioners. Only one patient had been previously vaccinated. 52 cases were hospitalized, median age 18 years (IQR 17-23). We observed hypertransaminasaemia in 20 patients (38%), thrombocytopenia in 22 patients (42%) and a creatine phosphokinase increase in 16 (30%). Complications (pneumonia, haemorrhagic cystitis, acute hepatitis) occurred in 10 patients (19%), all older than 18. Recent outbreaks show that immunization practices are still insufficient. Most cases were recorded in adolescents and young adults; even if the vaccine has limited virus circulation in childhood, it did not prevent the infection of other age groups. The number of notifications also suggests that the phenomenon is underestimated. In order to monitor the disease we need early notification of cases and increased vaccination coverage.

  8. 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.

  9. Heavy metals content by ICP-OES in Sarda sarda, Sardinella aurita and Lepidopus caudatus from the Strait of Messina (Sicily, Italy).

    PubMed

    Lo Turco, Vincenzo; Di Bella, Giuseppa; Furci, Patrizia; Cicero, Nicola; Pollicino, Gianmichele; Dugo, Giacomo

    2013-01-01

    In this study copper, nickel, lead, cadmium, arsenic, chromium and vanadium content was measured in the muscles and gills of 24 fishes (Sarda sarda, Sardinella aurita and Lepidopus caudatus) caught in the Strait of Messina, by inductively coupled plasma-optical emission spectroscopy with microwave digestion techniques. In general, it was found that arsenic was higher than other analytes in all fish species, particularly its content was much higher in S. aurita than in the other two exemplary species. Lead and cadmium were always detected with values below the legal limits (CE no. 1881/2006 and subsequent modification CE no. 629/2008).

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Environmental Assessment for Selected Regions in the Mediterranean Sea

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1992-01-01

    Iti extends north to Sicily, Italy, and Greece, connecting the Adriatic Sea by the Strait of Otranto ; east to a line from Akra Kios south to 340N... Otranto into this basin.I. 2.3 Straits of Sicily and Sardinia I The Strait of Sicily separates the western Mediterranean basins from those of the

  14. 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.

  15. Assessing the link between mantle source and sub-volcanic plumbing in the petrology of basalts from the 2001 and 2002/2003 eruptions of Mount Etna, Sicily: Evidence from geochemical and helium isotope data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Coulson, Ian M.; Stuart, Finlay M.; MacLean, Natalie J.

    2011-04-01

    The 2001 and 2002-2003 flank eruptions of Mt. Etna consisted of near continuous explosive activity and sporadic lava flows. Previous studies have suggested that distinct magmas were simultaneously tapped by fissures in different parts of the volcano, indicating a complex plumbing system. From textural and chemical data it has been suggested that "eccentric" eruptions on the south flank were fed by a deep-seated reservoir that is not related to the central conduit. In contrast, materials erupted above 2600 m and from the northeast flank represent partially degassed, more fractionated magma, typical of that residing within the central vents. A concern is that Etna has entered a new phase of activity, with magma supply from a deep reservoir that is capable of generating recurrent flank eruptions posing significant hazard to populated areas and air travel. We have investigated materials that erupted from different vents during both the 2001 and 2002/3 eruptive episodes by means of petrology, whole-rock chemistry and helium isotopic methods. Here we show from trace element chemistry and the 3He/ 4He isotope record of melt inclusions in olivine that the mantle source for both magma batches is identical. Furthermore, this magmatic source has not changed over the past 0.5 Ma. As such, our data support the premise that the petrological variability exhibited by products that erupted from different parts of the volcano reflects storage, fractionation and degassing at different levels within the crust.

  16. Has the Strategic Value of Greece Changed both in a Regional and Global Context

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1990-03-01

    Sicily-Tunis, Otranto and Turkey as well as the Suez Canal, still remain the vulnerable points in the - terranean. e. The strategic importance of the...sensitive Mediterranean positions (i.e. the Straits in Sicily-Tunis, Otranto and Turkey and the Suez Canal)- this influence is increased as far as the...afforded before vulnerable and sensitive areas to NAT3 in- terests i.e. Straits of Sicily-Italy, straits of Otranto , straits of Elispontos, and the Suez

  17. 76 FR 3012 - Extension of Import Restrictions Imposed on Archaeological Material Originating in Italy and...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-01-19

    .... (eds.), Historia Numorum: Italy (London, 2001). Others appear in G.F. Hill Coins of Ancient Sicily... coins (Aes Grave)--Cast bronze coins of Rome, Etruscan, and Italian cities from the 4th century B.C....

  18. 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 ...

  19. 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.

  20. About Face

    MedlinePlus

    ... Jeff Goodrich US Army 1984 - 2006 Afghanistan, Canada, Germany, Iraq, Macedonia, USA Tap for Video Vince Bryant ... M. Perna US Army 1942 - 1945 Belgium, France, Germany, North Africa, Omaha Beach, Sicily Tap for Video ...

  1. Severe Weather Guide Mediterranean Ports 29. Palermo

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1989-06-01

    to 24 hours. Scirocco conditions crossing Sicily produce strong and gusty foehn -type winds on the north and east sides of the island. It has been...system over North Africa or winds within the warm sector of a low pressure system. Due to a foehn effect, a Scirocco will result in high temperatures...Brody and Nestor, 1980). Scirocco conditions crossing Sicily produce strong and gusty foehn -type winds on the north and east sides of the island. High

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Eremobiotus ginevrae sp. nov. and Paramacrobiotus pius sp. nov., two new species of Eutardigrada.

    PubMed

    Lisi, Oscar; Binda, Maria Grazia; Pilato, Giovanni

    2016-04-14

    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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. The astronomical orientation of ancient Greek temples.

    PubMed

    Salt, Alun M

    2009-11-19

    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.

  8. 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...

  9. 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. ...

  10. 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...

  11. Mosquito and Fly Control Research by the USDA-ARS Center for Medical, Agriculture, and Veterinary Entomology (CMAVE) in the Deployed War-Fighter Protection (DWFP) Program

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2007-02-01

    plans for delousing were put into effect in Sicily , where it has been credited with preventing an epidemic of typhus. In the 1960s, the lab developed DEET...in humid tropical habitat Development of portable devices for detection and quantification of insecticides, repellents and inhibitors Electrostatic and

  12. Mosquito and Fly Control Research by the USDA-ARS Center for Medical, Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology (CMAVE) in the Deployed War-Fighter Protection (DWFP) Program

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2007-05-01

    epidemic typhus and fleas that transmit plague. The earliest plans for delousing were put into effect in Sicily , where it has been credited with...inhibitors, and barrier treatments in humid tropical habitat Development of portable devices for detection and quantification of insecticides, repellents

  13. Air Force Journal of Logistics. Volume 30, Number 2, Summer 2006

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2006-01-01

    France to Sicily and the Balkans much faster than the British could. So for the British in Greece and the Middle East to Greece in November 1940, there...and they get lost when they open the crate. Everything is supposed to be proofed against this damp tropical weather and proofed against the salt spray

  14. Can You Hear Me Now? We Control the High Ground USASMDC/ARSTRAT and Satellite Communications

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2011-01-01

    cables did not extend to Southeast Asia and radio communications were unreliable in the tropical atmosphere and high frequencies were easily jammed...Tunisia before joint the assault landings of the Sicily campaign and moving up the Italian peninsula. At the end of the war, the 53rd was inactivated

  15. 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. 

  16. Smooth Particle Hydrodynamics for Surf Zone Waves

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2009-01-01

    2010.) The GPU-SPHysics code, initiated by Dr. Alexis Hérault at the Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia in Sicily, has been applied to...Geofisica e Vulcanologia , sezione di Catania, for the development of GPU-SPHysics. Drs. Hérault and Bilotta were in residence at JHU during January of

  17. Remotely Sensed Density Measurements of Volcanic Sulfur Dioxide Plumes Using a Spectral Long Wave Infrared Imager

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2002-09-01

    sulfur dioxide flux from volcanoes: A case study from Mount Etna , Sicily, July 29, 1986,” Journal of Geophysical Research, vol. 99, no. B1, pp. 481-488......may be best. This presentation will focus on the ground mobile technique. Using the ground mobile technique, COSPEC is typically mounted in a

  18. POLAR-ORBITING ENVIRONMENTAL SATELLITES: Status, Plans, and Future Data Management Challenges

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2007-11-02

    resulting from the eruption of Mount Etna in 2001. Figure 7 shows the location of icebergs near Antarctica in February 2002. Figure 4: DMSP Image of the West...Source: NOAA. Page 9 GAO-02-684T Figure 6: POES Image of Volcanic Ash Cloud from Mt. Etna , Sicily, in 2001 Source: NOAA. Page 10 GAO-02-684T Figure 7

  19. Italy: Mt. Etna

    Atmospheric Science Data Center

    2013-04-17

    ... coast of Sicily, to the southwest of mainland Italy. Major eruptions have been issuing from both summit and flank vents. Fine ash falling ... repeated caldera collapse, and partially buried by younger volcanic structures. Eruptions are related to a complex tectonic situation, ...

  20. 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.

  1. 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.…

  2. How America Saved Italy and the World

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2015-05-21

    wrote about Naples post-Allied liberation. There, mobs of men, women and children beat each other over candy Allied soldiers threw their way, and boys...Sicily and Italy. For further reading see Gene Santoro’s Mafia Allies: The True Story of America’s Secret Alliance with the Mob in World War II. 73

  3. Press release. "Stem Cell Implants to Treat Spinal Cord Injury: No Scientific Evidence, Beware of Hope Thieves".

    PubMed

    Carannante, Giuseppe

    2010-04-01

    A new alarm launched by Prof. Giuseppe Carannante, distinguished Turin surgeon and spokesman for SOMIPAR, the Italian medical association for paraplegia, during the association's XIV national congress underway in Palermo, Sicily since Thursday 18(th) March until Saturday 20(th) March.

  4. An improved real-time seismic network in the Central Mediterranean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-05-01

    The Central Mediterranean is a region of active tectonics characterised by the interaction of a number of varied and sometimes poorly understood processes. Superimposed on the convergent scenario of the African plate pushing northwestward, a NE-SW directed extensional regime is active in the Sicily Channel, expressed in the form of a seismically active east-west trending system of strike-slip lineaments and a series of pull-apart grabens. The offshore seismicity of the Sicily channel, generally limited to magnitudes below 4.5, is normally difficult to quantify precisely, due to poor station coverage, yet it is believed that its analysis will considerably improve our understanding of the processes affecting the region. We present recent improvements to real and virtual seismic networking in the Central Mediterranean, based at the Seismic Monitoring and Research Unit (SMRU), University of Malta. Within the project SIMIT (B1-2.19/11) funded by the Italia-Malta Operational Programme 2007-2013, earthquake monitoring on the Maltese Islands is being upgraded through the installation of a further two broadband stations, one of which will be on the smaller island of Gozo. A new network, ML (Malta Seismic Network), has been internationally registered with the FDSN. At the same time, the installation and implementation of SeisComP3 has enabled the setting up of a virtual, real-time Central Mediterranean network, made up of 18 stations in Southern Italy (including Sicily, Lampedusa and Pantelleria) belonging to the Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia, 3 stations in Tunisia (National Institute of Meteorology of Tunisia) and the 3 stations on the Maltese Islands. This will allow us to rapidly perform more accurate hypocentral locations in the region. The virtual network, which also incorporates a number of more distant stations, has been tuned to issue SMS alerts for potentially felt events in the Sicily Channel detected by the network, and for strong earthquakes

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. Tuberculosis epidemiology in islands: insularity, hosts and trade.

    PubMed

    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.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. Slab-rollback induced upper mantle upwelling near lateral slab edges: A new mechanism for generating intra-plate magmatism in the central Mediterranean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schellart, W. P.

    2010-12-01

    Most volcanism on Earth is associated with plate boundaries and can thus be explained in a plate tectonic framework. Intra-plate volcanism, however, cannot directly be explained with plate tectonic theory. Intraplate volcanism is frequently explained with the plume model, in which a relatively fixed buoyant plume rises from the lower mantle to the surface and, as the overlying plate moves with respect to the plume source, produces a linear hotspot track along which the age of volcanoes progressively changes. This model has been applied to linear volcanic chains such as the Hawaii-Emperor Ridge in the Pacific and the Walvis Ridge in the Atlantic Ocean. Other intra-plate volcanism that does not occur in linear chains and does not show a preferred age progression in a specific geographical direction is more difficult to explain with the plume model, and might require an alternative explanation. There are several examples of intraplate volcanism on Earth located close to lateral slab edges, suggesting that they might be genetically related to these slab edges. One example of such volcanism is located in Sicily in the Mediterranean, which took place at ~7.0-1.1 Ma on the Iblean plateau and at 0.5 Ma to Present to form Mount Etna. The volcanics are located in close proximity but are laterally offset with respect to the Eolian magmatic arc and the Calabrian subduction zone, where Ionian oceanic lithosphere is subducting west-northwestward below Calabria. The volcanics in Sicily can therefore not be interpreted as arc volcanism. Previous work, primarily based on the geochemistry and petrology of the volcanics, suggests that the volcanism resulted from a plume. The volcanics in Sicily and surrounding seas, however, do not align along a linear chain and show no lateral age progression. Here it is proposed that Mount Etna and the Iblean volcanics are related to decompression melting of upper mantle material that is flowing around the southern Ionian slab edge to accommodate

  12. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-07-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. On the Effectiveness of Military Institutions: Historical Case Studies from World War I, The Interwar Period, and World War II. Volume 3. World War II

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1986-04-01

    complementary demand to create pipelines since the truck fleet rapidly exhausted the very gas It was supposed to be carrying to stalled armored divisions...look for 3 3 295. the enemy west of Sardinia . On bon th occasions the attackers got away virtually untouched, and neither fiasco taught the Comando...who demanded Inmediate deploymen regazdlesi. of consequences. I Even In Ztaly, Sicily, and Sardinia , the Air Force’s ground organization and Industrial

  16. Mediterranean Security Into the Coming Millennium

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1999-01-01

    Spain, Syria, Tunisia; 35 * two states at risk of failing ( Algeria and Russia), and ten having experienced various degrees of failure (Albania, Bosnia...of organized crime control/ connection (Corsica, Cyprus, Sardinia , and Sicily); * two major (Morocco and Russia) and two minor drug producers (Lebanon...FRY, FYROM, Turkey, Iran, Iraq, Russia) or by political/religious motivations 36 (Morocco, Algeria , Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Israel, Iran, Iraq

  17. A Computer Model for Determining Operational Centers of Gravity

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2002-05-31

    rest of joint and service doctrine by equating centers of gravity with critical vulnerabilities. Despite this convergence, the preconception persists...Leyte, Malaya, Okinawa, Panama, Philippines, Sicily, and Somalia . Among these USAWC studies, the US invasion of Okinawa (1945) and Operation Just...leaving only “conclusions” that represent the end points of the various lines of reasoning. A graphical notation was used to record the task reduction

  18. Kidney dysfunction, from the Arabic to the Byzantine world in 11th and 12th century southern Italy.

    PubMed

    Touwaide, Alain

    2009-01-01

    Greek classical medicine was not transmitted directly from classical antiquity to the Western Middle Ages by a continuous tradition, but passed through the Arabic world, where it had been preserved thanks to translations from Syriac and/or Greek into Arabic. From the Arabic world, Greek medicine arrived to the West, through the Greek- or the Latin-speaking communities in Sicily and the mainland, respectively. Remarkably enough, the scientific content of the text was scrupulously respected.

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

    PubMed

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

    2003-07-01

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

  20. Genesis of the Coupling of Internal Wave Modes in the Strait of Messina

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2009-01-01

    can be encountered. It separates the Italian Peninsula from the island of Sicily and is a natural connection between the Tyrrhenian Sea in the north...water masses are encountered in the strait: the Tyrrhenian surface water and the colder and saltier Levantine Intermediate Water from the Ionian Sea ...southwards direction (w0.10 m s ’ time-averaged velocity) and a bottom current is flowing in the opposite direction towards the Tyrrhenian Sea (~0.13 m

  1. Major Convoy Operation to Malta, 10-15 August 1942 (Operation PEDESTAL)

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2010-01-01

    submarines in the vicinity of Sicily to prevent the Italian surface forces based in the Tyrrhenian Sea from attacking the convoy during its last leg of...ous articles in various professional journals. He published his most recent book, Operational Warfare at Sea : The- ory and Practice, in December 2008...effort to send additional supplies by sea to North Africa. The Allies were also preparing to go on the offensive in the fall of 1942. Among the most

  2. Genesis of the Coupling of Internal Wave Modes in the Strait of Messina

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2009-01-01

    Tyrrhenian Sea (≈0.13 m s−1 time-averaged velocity). The Ionian water coming from the south is saltier and heavier, the relative density difference is of...strait with the tides of the adjacent seas . During maximum tidal flow from the Tyrrhenian Sea to the Ionian Sea (rema scendente) and inversely (rema...many ocean features can be encountered. It separates the Italian Peninsula from the island of Sicily and is a natural connection between the Tyrrhenian

  3. An Original Method for Characterizing Internal Waves

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2010-01-01

    Peninsula from the is- land of Sicily. It is a natural connection between the Tyrrhenian Sea in the north and the Ionian Sea in the south. Consequently...maximum tidal flow from the Tyrrhenian Sea to the Ionian Sea (rema scen- dente) and inversely (rema montante), only one type of water is present...generates a south- wards and a northwards propagating bore. The northwards travelling bore keeps propagating in the Tyrrhenian Sea whereas the

  4. Terminal Forecast Reference Notebook for Hellenikon AB, Greece.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1981-05-14

    picture is that of a cyclonic vortex over the Tyrrhenian Sea and another vortex over the far eastern Mediterranean seperated by a proAounced ridge over...better able to forecast the movement and development of the vortices. Prior to the devel- opment of the deep vortex over the Tyrrhenian Sea , there is...of the newly formed cyclone. Consequently, the cyclone moves southeastward into the Tyrrhenian Sea and tends to stagnate near Sicily. By this time

  5. The Twelfth US Air Force. Tactical and Operational Innovations in the Mediterranean Theater of Operations, 1943-1944

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2007-02-01

    AND THE INVASION OF SICILY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 4 OPERATION AVALANCHE AND THE INVASION OF...three groups of P-38s, one P-40 group, and two groups of British Wellingtons .41 The XII ASC assigned to NATAF consisted of two B-25 groups; three groups...Eisenhower Report, 177. 82. Craven and Cate, Torch to Pointblank August 1942 to December 1943, 486. 33 Chapter 4 Operation Avalanche and the Invasion of

  6. Two new species of Herina (Diptera: Ulidiidae) from the Mediterranean region, with key to species groups.

    PubMed

    Morgulis, E; Freidberg, A; Kameneva, E P

    2013-01-01

    Herina dimorphica n. sp. (type locality Israel) and H. sicula n. sp. (type locality Sicily, Italy) are described and illustrated, and a new species group (the Herina dimorphica species group) is established for both species. H. dimorphica is characterized by a sexually-dimorphic wing pattern and venation. H. sicula is similar albeit not sexually-dimorphic. Almost all known Herina species are assigned to one of nine species groups, which are keyed.

  7. Defense Energy Support Center Fact Book FY 2007

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2008-03-21

    3 M 21 years Fort Monmouth, NJ Lighting Upgrade, HVAC Renovation , UESC Implementation, GHP, Cogeneration System Site Preparation/Feasibility Ameresco...behalf of Navy Installations in the Sicily, Sardinia and Campania regions of Italy . Awards were made to two companies, ENEL Energia and Energia y...funded $333 million for SRM projects to maintain and renovate military Services owned fuels facilities worldwide . This amount was nearly double the

  8. Great Warriors: Hannibal Barca and Publius Cornelius Scipio Africanus

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1984-04-01

    4;rrovides’ the student of military history--the basis for comparing the importance of strategy and tactics~ * DD IAN31473 EDITION OF INOV 65 15...Although Hannibal returned to his camp that night, he decided to move, according to Livy because of food shortages and pending desertion by the...with the exception of his campaign to Sicily and 74 Africa, Scipio was provided citizen conscripts and large supplies of food and arms to field his

  9. A new Lampromyia Macquart from Europe (Diptera: Vermileonidae).

    PubMed

    Kehlmaier, Christian

    2014-11-26

    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. 

  10. William W. Momyer: A Biography of an Airpower Mind

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2013-06-01

    the Mediterranean. Eisenhower did not initially agree to either arrangement and continued to search for his preferred solution .34 After a short...capture of the airfield on Pantelleria could provide room for another fighter group to move within sixty miles of Sicily. A volcanic island with...sought to develop student facility in the solution of military problems and their presentation by studying and promulgating solutions to current

  11. 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

    2016-07-14

    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.

  12. Africom at 5 years: The Maturation of a New U.S. Combatant Command

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2013-08-01

    is less than 70 miles from Sicily, and only the Strait of Gibraltar sepa- rates Spain from Morocco . . . . [The] Gulf of Guinea [in West Africa is] a...rather than solely on counterterrorism. This program includes 10 African countries: Algeria, Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco , Niger...be destined for the U.S., with tankers loading from offshore platforms and sailing directly across the Atlantic to terminals on the U.S eastern sea

  13. Thucydides on Policy, Strategy, and War Termination

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2013-01-01

    thirty year Peace. academic realists have often admired thucydides for stressing sparta’s fear of athens’ growth, but a genuine realist, paying...thucydides, in retro- spect, demurs. the full- scale war that followed six years later was not a separate war but a continuation of the second Peloponnesian...relations with the people of athens (7.42, 7.48). among other things, Nicias’s procrastination in sicily gave the spartans opportunity to catch the

  14. Erupting Volcano Mount Etna

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2001-01-01

    An Expedition Two crewmember aboard the International Space Station (ISS) captured this overhead look at the smoke and ash regurgitated from the erupting volcano Mt. Etna on the island of Sicily, Italy. At an elevation of 10,990 feet (3,350 m), the summit of the Mt. Etna volcano, one of the most active and most studied volcanoes in the world, has been active for a half-million years and has erupted hundreds of times in recorded history.

  15. Screening of some rare endemic Italian plants for inhibitory activity on 5-lipoxygenase.

    PubMed

    Prieto, José-María; Bader, Ammar; Martini, Francesca; Ríos, José-Luis; Morelli, Ivano

    2005-12-01

    The extracts of four rare plants found on the islands of Sicily, Vulcano and Marettimo, Southern Italy, were screened for their inhibitory effect on the production of leukotriene B4 by 5-lipoxygenase in intact cells. The methanol extracts of pods of Cytisus aeolicus and aerial parts of Thymus richardii were the most active extracts, inhibiting almost completely the leukotriene B4 production at 200 and 50 microg/ml, respectively.

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

    PubMed Central

    Riedel, Matthias; Diller, Erich; Schwarz, Martin

    2015-01-01

    Abstract New distributional records on 55 ichneumonids (Hymenoptera, Ichneumonidae) from Italy are provided. Of these, 47 species are new for Italy, including representatives of the subfamily Diacritinae and of the tribes Zimmeriini (Ichneumoninae) and Pseudorhyssini (Poemeniinae); six species are new for Sardinia, one for Sicily and one for the Italian mainland. The hitherto unknown female of Baranisobas hibericus Heinrich, 1972 (Ichneumoninae) is described. PMID:26175609

  17. The Grand Strategy of the Soviet Union

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1982-03-25

    Latium around their city, and then all Italy and then the entire Mediterranean world, and then more? Was it for silver that Athens built a navy of...strategic intent; but that is merely ordinary procedure for an empire of rising power. So it was for the Romans, who had to conquer Latium to secure...Rome itself, then Italian lands north and south to secure the Latium , then Gallia Cisalpina and Sicily to secure the Italian core, then Gaul and

  18. Prevalence and genotypes of Anaplasma species and habitat suitability for ticks in a Mediterranean ecosystem.

    PubMed

    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

    2008-12-01

    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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. Agricultural land abandonment in Mediterranean environment provides ecosystem services via soil carbon sequestration.

    PubMed

    Novara, Agata; Gristina, Luciano; Sala, Giovanna; Galati, Antonino; Crescimanno, Maria; Cerdà, Artemi; Badalamenti, Emilio; La Mantia, Tommaso

    2017-01-15

    Abandonment of agricultural land leads to several consequences for ecosystem functions. Agricultural abandonment may be a significant and low cost strategy for carbon sequestration and mitigation of anthropogenic CO2 emissions due to the vegetation recovery and increase in soil organic matter. The aim of this study was to: (i) estimate the influence of different Soil Regions (areas characterized by a typical climate and parent material association) and Bioclimates (zones with homogeneous climatic regions and thermotype indices) on soil organic carbon (SOC) dynamics after agricultural land abandonment; and (ii) to analyse the efficiency of the agri-environment policy (agri-environment measures) suggested by the European Commission in relation to potential SOC stock ability in the Sicilian Region (Italy). In order to quantify the effects of agricultural abandonment on SOC, a dataset with original data that was sampled in Sicily and existing data from the literature were analysed according to the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) methodology. Results showed that abandonment of cropland soils increased SOC stock by 9.03MgCha(-1) on average, ranging from 5.4MgCha(-1) to 26.7MgCha(-1) in relation to the Soil Region and Bioclimate. The estimation of SOC change after agricultural use permitted calculation of the payments for ecosystem service (PES) of C sequestration after agricultural land abandonment in relation to environmental benefits, increasing in this way the efficiency of PES. Considering the 14,337ha of abandoned lands in Sicily, the CO2 emission as a whole was reduced by 887,745Mg CO2. Therefore, it could be concluded that abandoned agricultural fields represents a valid opportunity to mitigate agriculture sector emissions in Sicily.

  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. Virtual anastylosis of Greek sculpture as museum policy for public outreach and cognitive accessibility

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stanco, Filippo; Tanasi, Davide; Allegra, Dario; Milotta, Filippo Luigi Maria; Lamagna, Gioconda; Monterosso, Giuseppina

    2017-01-01

    This paper deals with a virtual anastylosis of a Greek Archaic statue from ancient Sicily and the development of a public outreach protocol for those with visual impairment or cognitive disabilities through the application of three-dimensional (3-D) printing and haptic technology. The case study consists of the marble head from Leontinoi in southeastern Sicily, acquired in the 18th century and later kept in the collection of the Museum of Castello Ursino in Catania, and a marble torso, retrieved in 1904 and since then displayed in the Archaeological Museum of Siracusa. Due to similar stylistic features, the two pieces can be dated to the end of the sixth century BC. Their association has been an open problem, largely debated by scholars, who have based their hypotheses on comparisons between pictures, but the reassembly of the two artifacts was never attempted. As a result the importance of such an artifact, which could be the only intact Archaic statue of a kouros ever found in Greek Sicily, has not fully been grasped by the public. Consequently, the curatorial dissemination of the knowledge related with such artifacts is purely based on photographic material. As a response to this scenario, the two objects have been 3-D scanned and virtually reassembled. The result has been shared digitally with the public via a web platform and, in order to include increased accessibility for the public with physical or cognitive disabilities, copies of the reassembled statue have been 3-D printed and an interactive test with the 3-D model has been carried out with a haptic device.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  7. 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

  8. Active tectonics of the Calabrian subduction revealed by new multi-beam bathymetric data and high-resolution seismic profiles in the Ionian Sea (Central Mediterranean)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gutscher, Marc-André; Kopp, Heidrun; Krastel, Sebastian; Bohrmann, Gerhard; Garlan, Thierry; Zaragosi, Sebastien; Klaucke, Ingo; Wintersteller, Paul; Loubrieu, Benoit; Le Faou, Yann; San Pedro, Laurine; Dominguez, Stephane; Rovere, Marzia; Mercier de Lepinay, Bernard; Ranero, Cesar; Sallares, Valenti

    2017-03-01

    The detailed morphology and internal structure of the Calabrian accretionary wedge and adjacent Eastern Sicily margin are imaged in unprecedented detail by a combined dataset of multi-beam bathymetry and high-resolution seismic profiles. The bathymetric data represent the results of 6 recent marine geophysical surveys since 2010 as well as a compilation of earlier surveys presented as a 2 arc-sec (60 m) grid. Several distinct morpho-tectonic provinces are identified including: the deeply incised Malta-Hyblean Escarpment, numerous submarine canyons, broad regions of relatively flat seafloor dominated by fields of sediment waves, the gently undulating anticlinal fold-and-thrust belts of the external Calabrian accretionary wedge and the adjacent portion of the Western Mediterranean Ridge. The Calabrian arc can be divided into 4 domains (from SE to NW): 1) the undeformed Ionian abyssal plain, 2) the external evaporitic wedge, 3) the internal clastic wedge, 4) the Calabrian backstop (Variscan crystalline basement). The Calabrian accretionary wedge can also be divided laterally into two major lobes, the NE- and the SW lobes, and two minor lobes. The kinematics of the limit between the two major lobes is investigated and shown to be sinistral in the external (evaporitic) wedge. A network of radial slip lines within the southernmost external wedge unequivocally demonstrate ongoing dextral displacement of a rigid indenter (representing the corner of the clastic wedge) into the evaporitic wedge thereby confirming the geodynamic model of an active lateral slab tear fault here off eastern Sicily. The slab tear produces a series of major sub-parallel dextral strike-slip faults offshore Mt. Etna and south of the Straits of Messina consistent with the relative motions between Calabria and the Peloritan domain (NE Sicily). Abundant strike-slip faulting, and wide-spread folding and thrusting observed throughout the entire accretionary wedge, indicate regional shortening between the

  9. Evidence for non-uniform uplift rates in southern Italy on glacial-cycle timescales

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Antonioli, F.; Ferranti, L.; Lambeck, K.; Verrubbi, V.

    2003-04-01

    Many studies of sea level change, with accurate positional measurements and precise datings have been published for Italy in the past decade. The use of markers whose formation positions are closely linked to mean sea level allows precise estimates to be made of local sea-level change. If the data is from tectonically active zones then these observations must be corrected for tectonic vertical movements. Examples include the records from Huon Penisula, Barbados and Tahiti. Often the corrections are based on a long term rates estimated from Quaternary data and in the best cases the last integlacial (~125 ka BP) shoreline is used as reference level. Uncertainties in these tectonic corrections may in some instances exceed the accuracy of the age-height measurements of the more recent shorelines. In the Mediterranean tectonically active coastlines occur in many locations, including Crete (Pirazzoli et al., 1982), southwest coast of Greece (Dia et al.,1997, Kershaw et al.,2002) and southern Italy (Miyauchi et al.,1994). Other coastal areas such as south eastern Spain (Zazo et al., 2001), Sardinia (Antonioli et al.,1999) and southern Latium (Hearty and Dai Prà, 1986) appear to be stable on the glacial timescales. We have obtained new Holocenic uplift rate for eastern Sicily and southern Calabria using Holocene and earlier interglacial observational data from Sicily (Taormina and St. Alessio Cape, Stewart et al., 1997, Antonioli et al., in print 2003) and Calabria (Scilla, Antonioli et al., submitted 2002, and Ioppolo, unpublished data) together with new models for the eustatic and glacio-hydro-isostatic contributions to Holocene sea level change where the latter have been calibrated against data from 30 sites in Italy (Lambeck et al.,submitted).For both regions of eastern Sicily and southern Calabria the Holocene uplift rates are greater than the long term average rates based on the position of the last (MIS 5.5) and earlier interglacial shorelines.

  10. Monitoring of neonicotinoid pesticides in beekeeping.

    PubMed

    Cicero, Nicola; Naccari, Clara; Cammilleri, Gaetano; Giangrosso, Giuseppe; Cicero, Antonello; Gervasi, Teresa; Tropea, Alessia; Albergamo, Ambrogina; Ferrantelli, Vincenzo

    2017-06-01

    The decline of pollinating species is correlated to the extensive use of neonicotinoids against pest insects for crop protection. In this study, the concentrations of neonicotinoid insecticides were determined in honeybees, honeycomb and honey samples, collected in Spring 2015 (blooming period) from different areas in Sicily (IT), to carry out an evaluation of bees products' safety and an overview of neonicotinoid contamination in beekeeping. The results obtained showed only the presence of clothianidin in bee samples and these concentrations don't represent a risk for bees' vitality and safety. The absence of residue in all honey samples, instead, showed the quality of bee products.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. Timing calibration of the optical sensors for undersea neutrino telescopes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ruppi, M.

    2006-11-01

    This paper describes the timing calibration system for the NEMO underwater neutrino telescope. The NEMO Project aims at the construction of a km3 detector, equipped with a large number of photomultipliers, in the Mediterranean Sea. We foresee a redundant system to perform the time calibration of our apparatus. Such a system can be extended to work for a very large apparatus, even for complex arrangements of widely spaced sensors. The NEMO prototyping activities ongoing at a test site off the coast of Sicily will allow the system described in this work to be operated and tested in situ next year.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  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. Constraining the ship contribution to the aerosol of the central Mediterranean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Becagli, Silvia; Anello, Fabrizio; Bommarito, Carlo; Cassola, Federico; Calzolai, Giulia; Di Iorio, Tatiana; di Sarra, Alcide; Gómez-Amo, José-Luis; Lucarelli, Franco; Marconi, Miriam; Meloni, Daniela; Monteleone, Francesco; Nava, Silvia; Pace, Giandomenico; Severi, Mirko; Massimiliano Sferlazzo, Damiano; Traversi, Rita; Udisti, Roberto

    2017-02-01

    Particulate matter with aerodynamic diameters lower than 10 µm, (PM10) aerosol samples were collected during summer 2013 within the framework of the Chemistry and Aerosol Mediterranean Experiment (ChArMEx) at two sites located north (Capo Granitola) and south (Lampedusa Island), respectively, of the main Mediterranean shipping route in the Straight of Sicily. The PM10 samples were collected with 12 h time resolutions at both sites. Selected metals, main anions, cations and elemental and organic carbon were determined. The evolution of soluble V and Ni concentrations (typical markers of heavy fuel oil combustion) was related to meteorology and ship traffic intensity in the Straight of Sicily, using a high-resolution regional model for calculation of back trajectories. Elevated concentration of V and Ni at Capo Granitola and Lampedusa are found to correspond with air masses from the Straight of Sicily and coincidences between trajectories and positions of large ships; the vertical structure of the planetary boundary layer also appears to play a role, with high V values associated with strong inversions and a stable boundary layer. The V concentration was generally lower at Lampedusa than at Capo Granitola V, where it reached a peak value of 40 ng m-3. Concentrations of rare earth elements (REEs), La and Ce in particular, were used to identify possible contributions from refineries, whose emissions are also characterized by elevated V and Ni amounts; refinery emissions are expected to display high La / Ce and La / V ratios due to the use of La in the fluid catalytic converter systems. In general, low La / Ce and La / V ratios were observed in the PM samples. The combination of the analyses based on chemical markers, air mass trajectories and ship routes allows us to unambiguously identify the large role of the ship source in the Straight of Sicily. Based on the sampled aerosols, ratios of the main aerosol species arising from ship emission with respect to V were

  3. 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.

  4. Description of Phloeosinus laricionis sp. n. (Coleoptera: Curculionidae, Scolytinae), a new bark beetle species from southern Europe.

    PubMed

    Faccoli, Massimo; Sidoti, Agatino

    2013-01-01

    We describe a new species of pine bark beetle, Phloeosinus laricionis, associated with a pine decline recently affecting young plantations of Pinus nigra ssp. laricio Poiret growing on the Etna volcano, Sicily (South Italy). The new species is morphologically close to the group species of P. cedri Brisout, P. acatayi Schedl, and P. pfefferi Knížek, having all odd interstriae on the declivity of elytra bearing small, individual, sparse, more or less sharply pointed tubercles in males, or with smaller sparse blunt, nippled tubercles in females. While the other species of the same group live on cedars, the new species is the only Palaearctic Phloeosinus known from pine.

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

    PubMed

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

    2001-06-01

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

  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. Circulation in the Algerian Basin during June 1986

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1990-02-15

    here. Most closely related are the measure- Deep Water (WMDW), created by deep winter convection ments of the front between Almeria and Oran IArnone...shallow as 100 m and that the eastward surface Sea. It forms the AC after passing south of the Almeria -Oran flow is not deeper than that value [Andrie...through an intense density front in the eastern Alborna Sea: The Almeria - the Strait of Sicily. D~eep Sea Res.. 35. 10)21-1035, 1988. Oran Front. J. PitYs

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. Signals Intelligence Support to U.S. Military Commanders: Past and Present

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1991-04-10

    Campaigns 33-38 Invasion of Sicily 39-41 Invasion of the Italian Mainland 41-45 European Theater of Operations 45 Northern Europe 45-55 Pacific Theater...for example, permitted 1,560,000 per- mutations for each encrypted character. Additional security was provided by daily-changing keys and a plugboard...bombe and one operator c~n be seen in Figure 7. BRITISH AND U.S. SIGINT COOPERATION The U.S. Army contijigent in Europe , known as a Special

  12. Horatio Nelson and the 1798 Mediterranean Campaign

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2006-01-01

    briefly as possible. Captain Troubridge joined me on the 7th of June. From calms it was the 12th before I got round Cape Corse; (I must here state...28th ultimo , and found lying there one Turkish Ship of the Line, four Frigates, about twelve other Turkish vessels in the old Port, and about fifty Sail...became distressed for the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies, and having gone a round of 600 leagues at this season of the year (with a single Ship [or; "with

  13. 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.

  14. The tectonic setting of Mount Vesuvius and the correlation between its eruptions and the earthquakes of the Southern Apennines

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marzocchi, Warner; Scandone, Roberto; Mulargia, Francesco

    1993-11-01

    Mount Vesuvius is emplaced on a regional NE-SW-trending fault that accommodates the stretching of the lithosphere caused by a backward retreat of the Calabrian arc. The dynamics of the Calabrian arc controls the temporal occurrence of earthquakes in the Southern Apennines and in Sicily. By means of a detailed statistical approach, we identified a significant correlation between seismic events occurring in different subsets of this geodynamic domain: seismicity changes in the Southern Apennines follow those in the Calabrian arc after 18-21 years, while seismicity changes in Sicily follow those in the Calabrian arc after 8-10 years. The seismicity changes in these three areas appear also to have affected the eruptive activity of Vesuvius in the period 1631-1944. The major effusive-explosive eruptions of this period followed the seismicity changes in the Southern Apennines after 6-13 years and those in the Calabrian arc after 36-39 years. From a tectonic point of view, this indicates a direct link between the eruptive activity of Vesuvius and the dynamics of the Calabrian arc. The backward retreat of the arc produces strain pulses propagating to adjacent areas. From a volcanological point of view, we speculate that the arrival of an extension strain pulse in the area of Vesuvius may trigger the fast movement of magma-filled cracks that stay in unstable equilibrium in the roots of the volcano.

  15. Characterization of Theileria species by PCR using specific target sequences.

    PubMed

    Maxia, L; Reale, S; Loria, G R; Greco, A; Vitale, F; Glorioso, N S; Sparagano, O

    1999-09-01

    Theileriosis is an infectious disease in tropical countries and in the Mediterranean area. It is caused by Theileria, a haemoprotozoan, transmitted by vectors belonging to the Ixodidae. In Southern Italy and in Sicily the infection is due mainly to T. annulata, but in some cases other species are involved in the disease. The authors describe a method to identify theileriosis in cattle blood samples, using PCR and hybridization techniques. Different primer sets were used to amplify different DNA target sequences, both genus and species specific. Blood samples from cattle were collected in Sicily. The DNA extracted from blood samples was employed first to detect the presence of the 18S ribosomal subunit gene specific for Theileria genus. Successively the positive samples were analysed to identify the species, T. annulata or T. buffeli/orientalis, using as target sequences for amplification respectively a fragment of the TAMS-1 and p33/34 antigens gene. Here the authors describe for the first time the presence of T. buffeli/orientalis infection in Sicilian herds. In fact 66% of positive blood samples were T. buffeli/orientalis infected.

  16. 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.

  17. Multi-Temporal Evaluation of Landslide Movements and Impacts on Buildings in San Fratello (Italy) By Means of C-Band and X-Band PSI Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bianchini, Silvia; Ciampalini, Andrea; Raspini, Federico; Bardi, Federica; Di Traglia, Federico; Moretti, Sandro; Casagli, Nicola

    2015-11-01

    This work provides a multi-temporal and spatial investigation of landslide effects in the San Fratello area (Messina province within the Sicily region, Italy), by means of C-band and X-band Persistent Scatterer Interferometry (PSI) data, integrated with in situ field checks and a crack pattern survey. The Sicily region is extensively affected by hydrogeological hazards since several landslides regularly involved local areas across time. In particular, intense and catastrophic landslide phenomena have recently occurred in the San Fratello area; the last event took place in February 2010, causing large economic damage. Thus, the need for an accurate ground motions and impacts mapping and monitoring turns out to be significantly effective, in order to better identify active unstable areas and to help proper risk-mitigation measures planning. The combined use of historical and recent C-band satellites and current X-band Synthetic Aperture Radar sensors of a new generation permits spatially and temporally detection of landslide-induced motions on a local scale and to properly provide a complete multi-temporal evaluation of their effects on the area of interest. PSI ground motion rates are cross-compared with local failures and damage of involved buildings, recently recognized by in situ observations. As a result, the analysis of landslide-induced movements over almost 20 years and the validation of radar data with manufactured crack patterns, permits one to finally achieve a complete and reliable assessment in the San Fratello test site.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

    Industrialized societies which continue to use fossil fuel energy sources are considering adoption of Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) technology to meet carbon emission reduction targets. Deep geological storage of CO2 onshore faces opposition regarding potential health effects of CO2 leakage from storage sites. There is no experience of commercial scale CCS with which to verify predicted risks of engineered storage failure. Studying risk from natural CO2 seeps can guide assessment of potential health risks from leaking onshore CO2 stores. Italy and Sicily are regions of intense natural CO2 degassing from surface seeps. These seeps exhibit a variety of expressions, characteristics (e.g., temperature/flux), and location environments. Here we quantify historical fatalities from CO2 poisoning using a database of 286 natural CO2 seeps in Italy and Sicily. We find that risk of human death is strongly influenced by seep surface expression, local conditions (e.g., topography and wind speed), CO2 flux, and human behavior. Risk of accidental human death from these CO2 seeps is calculated to be 10-8 year-1 to the exposed population. This value is significantly lower than that of many socially accepted risks. Seepage from future storage sites is modeled to be less that Italian natural flux rates. With appropriate hazard management, health risks from unplanned seepage at onshore storage sites can be adequately minimized. PMID:21911398

  19. Antioxidant Properties of Berberis aetnensis C. Presl (Berberidaceae) Roots Extract and Protective Effects on Astroglial Cell Cultures

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  20. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2001-08-30

    Mount Etna lies near the boundary between two regions that exhibit significantly different types of volcanism. To the north, volcanism in the Aeolian island arc is thought to be related to subduction of the Ionian lithosphere. On Sicily itself, however, no chemical or seismological evidence of subduction-related volcanism exists, and so it is thought that the volcanism-including that on Mount Etna itself-stems from the upwelling of mantle material, associated with various surface tectonic processes. But the paucity of geological evidence regarding the primary composition of magma from Mount Etna means that its source characteristics remain controversial. Here we characterize the trace-element composition of a series of lavas emitted by Mount Etna over the past 500 kyr and preserved as melt inclusions inside olivine phenocrysts. We show that the compositional change in primary magmas from Mount Etna reflects a progressive transition from a predominantly mantle-plume source to one with a greater contribution from island-arc (subduction-related) basalts. We suggest that this is associated with southward migration of the Ionian slab, which is becoming juxtaposed with a mantle plume beneath Sicily. This implies that the volcanism of Mount Etna has become more calc-alkaline, and hence more explosive, during its evolution.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    Crude oil is one of the most important natural assets for humankind, yet it is a major environmental pollutant, notably in marine environments. One of the largest crude oil polluted areas in the word is the semi‐enclosed Mediterranean Sea, in which the metabolic potential of indigenous microbial populations towards the large‐scale chronic pollution is yet to be defined, particularly in anaerobic and micro‐aerophilic sites. Here, we provide an insight into the microbial metabolism in sediments from three chronically polluted marine sites along the coastline of Italy: the Priolo oil terminal/refinery site (near Siracuse, Sicily), harbour of Messina (Sicily) and shipwreck of MT Haven (near Genoa). Using shotgun metaproteomics and community metabolomics approaches, the presence of 651 microbial proteins and 4776 metabolite mass features have been detected in these three environments, revealing a high metabolic heterogeneity between the investigated sites. The proteomes displayed the prevalence of anaerobic metabolisms that were not directly related with petroleum biodegradation, indicating that in the absence of oxygen, biodegradation is significantly suppressed. This suppression was also suggested by examining the metabolome patterns. The proteome analysis further highlighted the metabolic coupling between methylotrophs and sulphate reducers in oxygen‐depleted petroleum‐polluted sediments. PMID:26201687

  3. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-07

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

  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. 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.

  7. Evidence for Tunisian-Like Pestiviruses Presence in Small Ruminants in Italy Since 2007.

    PubMed

    Ciulli, S; Purpari, G; Agnello, S; Di Marco, P; Di Bella, S; Volpe, E; Mira, F; de Aguiar Saldanha Pinheiro, A C; Vullo, S; Guercio, A

    2016-04-03

    The genus Pestivirus, which belongs to the Flaviviridae family, includes ssRNA+ viruses responsible for infectious diseases in pigs, cattle, sheep, goats and other domestic and wild ruminants. Like most of the RNA viruses, pestivirus has high genome variability with practical consequences on disease epidemiology, diagnosis and control. In addition to the officially recognized species in the genus Pestivirus, such as BVDV-1, BVDV-2, BDV and CSFV, other pestiviruses have been detected. Furthermore, most of the ruminant pestiviruses show low or absent species specificity observed in serological tests and are able to infect multiple species. Particularly, small ruminants are receptive hosts of the most heterogeneous group of pestiviruses. The aim of this study was to carry out the molecular characterization of pestiviruses isolated from sheep and goats in Sicily, Italy. Phylogenetic analysis of two viral genomic regions (a fragment of 5'-UTR and the whole N(pro) regions) revealed the presence of different pestivirus genotypes in the analysed goat and sheep herds. Two of five viral isolates were clustered with BVDV-1d viruses, a strain widespread in Italy, but never reported in Sicily. The other three isolates formed a distinct cluster with high similarity to Tunisian isolates, recently proposed as a new pestivirus species. This represents the first evidence for Tunisian-like pestivirus presence in small ruminants in Italy. Furthermore, one of the isolates was collected from a goat, representing the first isolation of Tunisian-like pestivirus from this species.

  8. Progressive migration of slab break-off along the southern Tyrrhenian plate boundary: Constraints for the present day kinematics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chiarabba, Claudio; Palano, Mimmo

    2017-04-01

    The Ionian subduction in the central Mediterranean, just 200 km wide, is one of the narrowest in the world. Its evolution has involved a progressive disruption of the subducting slab, contemporaneous to the retreat and step-wise opening of back-arc basins. In this study, we analyse velocity anomalies of the upper mantle, together with the most comprehensive set of earthquake locations and kinematic indicators available for Italy, to reconstruct the geodynamics and tectonic evolution of the Ionian subduction system. Along the Sicilian boundary, we identify an eastward migration of the slab edge with detachment of the Ionian oceanic lithosphere. We hypothesize that the progressive detachment of the slab took place along lithospheric transform faults of the Neo-Tethys Ocean. Among the main active kinematic elements of the Ionian accretionary wedge, we suggest that a ∼400-km-long and highly segmented shear zone formed by the Aeolian-Tindari-Letojanni fault system and the Ionian fault represents the surface expression of such a lithospheric tearing. The present day convergence between the Eurasian and African plates is accommodated both at the frontal thrust of the flexed Hyblean margin in southern Sicily and offshore along the Tyrrhenian Sea. Lithospheric bending favors the wedging of the mantle underneath northern Sicily, while magmatic fluids are channeled along slab tears.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mir, Tariq Ahmad; Ausloos, Marcel; Cerqueti, Roy

    2014-11-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  11. Description of the Earth in the Works of Arabic Geographers from IX to XII Century

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cvijanovic, I.

    2012-12-01

    The works of Arabic writers provide data about shape, position and size of the Earth, planets and zodiac signs. They include preserved maps of Ibn Haukal, Al-Masudi and Al-Idrisi. Al-Masudi (871-956/7) made a map of the world and wrote that the Earth is round, before the Christians in Europe were ready to accept that idea. The famous geographer and cartographer Al-Idrisi (IX/X., died in 903/913.) has lived on the court of Norman king Roger II of Sicily, and after his death on the court of his son William I on Sicily, where he obtained the data from European and Arabic geographers. On the basis of this data he wrote a work known entitled Roger's book. Besides this important work he made a celestial globe and a map of the world in the shape of a silver disk. The lines that marked the borders of seven regions of the inhabited world were engraved on this disk. The Arabs had excellent knowledge of Greek astronomy and accepted their division of the world in seven climatic zones.

  12. 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.

  13. 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 enhanc