Topography and structural heterogeneities in surface ground deformation: A simulation test for Somma-Vesuvius volcano

Umberto Tammaro, Umberto Riccardi, Vittorio Romano, Michele Meo, Paolo Capuano

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5 Citations (SciVal)


We simulate the deformation of Somma-Vesuvius volcano due to some overpressure sources by means of a finite element 3D code. The main goal of these simulations is to investigate the influence of topography and structural heterogeneity on ground deformation. In our model the sources of deformation are embedded in an elastic linear isotropic medium and located at various depths. Geometry (shape and lateral extension) of the sources is mainly constrained by the results coming from recent seismic tomography studies. The structural heterogeneity has been modelled in terms of dynamic elastic parameters (Young's modulus) retrieved from previous seismic tomography and gravity studies. A high-resolution digital terrain model is used for the topography of the volcano subaerial edifice. Evidences from our results suggest that real topography and structural heterogeneities are key factors governing the ground deformation, which often turns being one of the most relevant problems in volcano monitoring. A large deviation from the axially symmetrical model of the displacement field is the main result of our modelling. Such an asymmetry is routinely unaccounted for when Mogi's simplistic modelling in a homogeneous medium with simplified topography is used. Our study clearly demonstrate that a better knowledge of deformation patterns can significantly help in the location of monitoring sensors as well as in the design of an efficient geodetic network.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)145-152
Number of pages8
JournalAdvances in Geosciences
Publication statusPublished - 19 Mar 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science


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