Multiscale fracture, physical and mechanical properties of stromboli volcano (Italy) edifice

T. Alcock, S. Vinciguerra, P.M. Benson, D. Bullen

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The physical, mechanical and fracture properties at Stromboli volcano have been integrated at multiple scales to understand whether the interplay between a presumed NE/SW rift zone and the Sciara del Fuoco (SDF) depression has resulted in a zone of weakness able to promote fracturing prone to flank instability. Multiscale fracture quantification by imaging via FracPaQ toolbox both fractures and sample scale fractures has been integrated with rock physics and rock mechanics experiments on cm-scale samples belonging to the Paleostromboli, Vancori, Neostromboli, Pizzo and Present Deposit volcanic cycles that have been taken from within and outside the rift zone. The structural changes to the edifice have been quantitively assessed by mapping at different scale fracture properties such density and orientation within and outside the rift zone allowing to identify the potential damaged zones that could reduce the edifice strength.

Results indicate that basalt textures, microfracture density, porosity, chemical zoning and preferential alignments, despite lithologically dependent, can be related to the NE/SW zone of weakness at the regional scale and to collapsed volumes that have been subject to continuous intrusive activity. Numerical inversion models have been performed to cross correlate fracture density in the basalts at multiple scales.

A link between microfracture density and seismic velocities has been also established via numerical modelling, allowing to interpret in terms of degree of fracturing the results of seismic tomographies at the field scale, providing a novel method to image crack damage evolution within the inner structure of the volcano edifice.
Original languageEnglish
Article number105155
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Structural Geology
Early online date10 May 2024
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2024


  • Deformation mechanisms
  • Structural geology
  • Rock rheology
  • Tectonics
  • 3D virtual outcrop
  • Geo-models
  • Microtectonics

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