On November 3rd 2002, a violent gas eruption occurred E of Panarea Island, on top of a shallow rise of the seafloor surrounded by the islets of Panarelli, Lisca Bianca, Bottaro, Lisca Nera and Dattilo. A 5.6 M earthquake about 30 km offshore Palermo on September 6th and the onset of the strong Etna eruption on October 27th preceded the gas emissions, while they were followed by the paroxysmal eruption at Stromboli that started on December 28th. The gas eruption at Panarea coincided with a low magnitude (< 1.8 M) seismicity occurred November 2nd. On November 3rd fishermen reported intense sulphurous smell, dead fishes and seawater boiling between the islets. Three main vents displaying m-sized bubbles could be seen on the sea surface due to sulfur flocculate and suspended sediments. Concern for the degassing induced the DPC and INGV to start a monitoring program aimed to the forecasting of hazard scenarios for Panarea and the islets. The project focused on the study of the still poorly known structure and volcanology of the submarine area near the islets along with a review and implementation of the stratigraphy relative to the recent explosive activity. Particular interest was dedicated to provide more information on the evolution from the submarine to the subaerial explosive activity of Panarea dome and on its collapse structure. The research followed a multidisciplinary approach merging new data and data from the literature in a coherent model by means of field work and laboratory analyses together with a high-resolution DTM that allowed the 3D spatial analysis of the volcanic complex, in order to give new insights on the volcanic evolution of the PVC together with their implication on hazard scenarios.
Cimarelli, C. (2007). New geo-volcanological data on the evolution of Panarea Volcanic Complex (Aeolian Islands) and their implication on volcanic hazard. PLINIUS, 31, 83-90.