Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 1

Geophysical survey around the Venere lake: a contribution towards the geological and

environmental knowledge of the Pantelleria Island


EMMA S., INGLESE G., CIMINO A., OIENI A.* ANDABBATE R.
() Collaboratore esterno; () Dipartimento di Fisica e Tecnologie Relative, Universit di Palermo, Viale delle Scienze, Edificio 18, 90128 Palermo; (*) Dipartimento di Geologia e Geodesia, Universit di Palermo, Via Archirafi 22, 90123 Palermo
e-mail: cimino@unipa.it
TE THYS TO ME DI TE RRANE AN: a j o u r n e y o f g e o l o g i c a l d i s c o v e r y
Meeting in memory of Angelo Di Grande and Mario Grasso
rd th
3 - 5 JUNE 2008
CATANIA
ABSTRACT
The Pantelleria Island represents a natural laboratory, which collects different peculiarities. Volcanic rocks and suggestive landscapes intertwine in
precious environmental frames, as testified by the increasing touristy vocation and by the notable attention of the scientific world. In the outcropping part of
this very complex structure, mainly formed by acid volcanismrocks, the most remarkable element is constituted by the Specchio di Venere Lake: this caldera
depression is characterized by salty thermal springs, with 35to 55Ctemperature.
In this context, besides a preliminary environmental and geomorphologic setting, Authors summarize the essential hydrogeological features, generally
conditioned by the high evapotranspiration as well as by the elevate permeability of terrains. In a successive step, geophysical surveys have been performed
around the lake during the summers of 2000 and 2001. In detail, this part of the Island was interested by apparent resistivity measurements; as a matter of
fact, groups of Vertical Electric Soundings were executed using the Schlumberger array, with 400 m maximum inter-electrode length. As generally
acknowledged, V.E.S.' represent a suitable non-invasive tool to investigate the subsoil, especially in condition of strong resistivity contrast among the
searched layers: this is very likely the case of the Specchio di Venere area, where the resistivity of the buried formations is strongly influenced by
groundwater occurrence and by its temperature and salt content.
THE V.E.S.' INTERPRETATIONS
Here Authors show a group of N. 4 V.E.S.' curves, selecting them among the most typical representations of the apparent resistivity
trends, also furnishing the following quantitative outcomes.
V.E.S. n. 2 bis, executed according to a West-East direction in Contrada Costa del Bagno, in the southern sector of the lacustrine
littoral, is located at short distance from the drilling-hole excavated in the 1968 by CNR, so that it was possible to utilize its stratigraphic
records for the calibration of the more shallow electro-strata. The pertinent geoelectrical interpretation has given a geological sequence
which individuate, on the top, wet fluvial-lacustrine formations, mixed with pumices, with a minimum thickness of 20 m and resistivity
between 4 and 6 ohm.m; below, there are rhyolite and ignimbrite lavas, with less than 3 ohm.m resistivity, intensely fractured and imbibed
with salt water up to a maximum depth of 100 m; finally, a basement of less altered and drier ignimbrites closes the geoelectric
interpretation.
V.E.S. n. 4, located in Contrada Kartibucale 140 mfar fromthe sea coastline, finds for all the interpreted sequence elevated resistivity
values, generally pertinent to ignimbrites, more or less imbibed with fresh and salt water. Resistivity is spread in a large range, from 1600
ohm.mdown to about 10ohm.m, with the transition zone - according to the forecast geological model - deep 25-30mbelowthe ground.
V.E.S. n. 6, close to the northern lacustrine edge, reveals a stratigraphic succession similar to the V.E.S. n. 2 bis, consisting in fluvial-
lacustrine deposits, mixed with pumices and followed by ignimbrite lavas very likely imbibed with salt water up to the investigation depth
relevant to the array length, that is about 50 m: differently than the V.E.S. n. 2 bis, resistivity values are included in a more limited range
(fewohm.mto less the unit).
V.E.S. n. 7, located near the north-western border of the basin, shows also lowvalues of apparent resistivity, assigned to the same rocks,
but with a significant part of detrital deposits. The interpretation gives - also in this case - the heavy, simultaneous influence of
temperature and salinity - relevant to water imbibing the geological units - on the resistivity, in general with values hardly superior to the
unity. The geoelectric basement is relatively less conductive. The resistivity variations are due to the strong anisotropy of permeability in
the fissure networks of the volcanic units.
S.E.V. 4
1
10
100
1000
1 10 100 1000
AB/2 (m)
a
p
p
a
r.
re
s
is
t.
(o
h
m
.m
)
S.E.V. 4
S.E.V. 6
S.E.V. 7
S.E.V. 2 bis
SELECTED REFERENCES
AIUPPA A., D'ALESSANDRO W., GUERRIERI S., MADONIA P. & PARELLO F. (2007). Hydrologic and geochemical survey of the lake Specchio di Venere (Pantelleria island, Southern Italy).
Environ. Geol., DOI 10.1007/s00254-007-0702-1.
BATTAGLIA M., CIMINO A., DONGARR G., GOTTINI V., HAUSER S., INGRASCIOTTA M.V., RIZZO S. & SACCO G. (1991). Indagini geochimiche e geofisiche su un lago endoreico della Sicilia:
Pergusa. Boll. Soc. Geol. It., 110, 1, 53-63.
BOCCHI G., GABBIANELLI G., LANZAFAMEG., LUCCHINI F., RABBI E. &ROSSI P.L. (1988). Relazione sui rilievi eseguiti sul Lago di Venere, Pantelleria. Boll. GNV., IV, 63-73.
CIVETTAL., GILLOTP.Y. &ORSI G. (1985). The island of Pantelleria. Excursion Guidebook, Scientific Assembly Potassic Volcanism, Giardini-Naxos, Sept. 16-21, 1985, 155-169.
CIVETTAL., CORNETTEY., GILLOTP.Y. &ORSI G. (1988). The eruptive history of Pantelleria (Sicily Channel) in the last 50Ka. Bull. Volcanol., 50, 47-57.
GANTARC., MORELLI C., SEGREA.G. &ZAMPIERI L. (1961). Studio gravimetrico e considerazioni geologiche sull'isola di Pantelleria. Parte 1a: Geofisica. Boll. Geof. Teor. Appl., III, 12, 1-21.
ORELLANAE. and MOONEYH.M. (1966). Master tables and curves for vertical electrical sounding over layered structures. Interciencia, Madrid, Spain.
ORSI G., RUVOL. &SCARPATI C. (1991). The recent explosive volcanismat Pantelleria. Geologische Rundschau 80/1, 187-200.
ORSI, G. (2003). Geology and Volcanism of Pantelleria. Annual Workshop of the Working Group of the European Seismological Commission, Seismic Phenomena Associated with Volcanic Activity,
Field Trip, 23-28Sept. 2003, Pantelleria (Sicily).
RITTMANNA. (1967). Studio geovulcanologico e magmatico dell'Isola di Pantelleria. Riv. Min. Sic., 106-108, 147-182.
VILLARI L. (1970). Studio petrologico di alcuni campioni dei pozzi Bagno dell'Acqua e Gadir (Isola di Pantelleria). Rend. S.I.M.P., 26, 352-376.
VILLARI L. (1974). The island of Pantelleria. Boll. Volcanol., 38-3, 640-724.
VITTORINI S. (1973). Il bilancio idrico secondo Thornthwaite nelle isole di Stromboli, Ustica, Pantelleria e Lampedusa. Lav. Soc. Ital. Biogeogr., n. s., 3, 13-20.
Acknowledgements
Authors acknowledge the help given during the geoelectric fields by Danilo Colomela e Maria Letizia Boscia. Moreover, Authors are grateful to dr. Orazio Sarno for some photos of this poster.
Di agramma Cl imati co del la Stazi one di Pantell eria 1979 - 1994
Pantell eria, 230 m, s.l .m. 18,4C 468,4 mm
0
5
10
15
20
25
30
35
40
45
Gen. Feb. Mar. Apr. Mag. Giu. Lug. Ago. Set. Ott. Nov. Dic.
Mesi
T
em
peratu
re
C
0
10
20
30
40
50
60
70
80
90
Prec
ip
itaz
ion
i
(m
m
)
CONCLUSIONS
This paper has presented a very particular case of geoelectric prospecting executed in a volcanic area interested by thermal waters. As
a first step, the occurrence of hot springs and of a bore-hole, drilled in the sixties by CNR, has addressed the research towards the
selection of the applied geophysical method as well as of the specific sectors to survey. Further contributions have been also given by the
geological hypotheses on the volcanic structure constitution, together with the detailed stratigraphic information on the hydrostructural
sequences interested by anomalous temperatures and salinity, which have received a confirmation by the interpretation of the geophysical
measurements.
As expected, the apparent resistivity parameter seemed to be closely conditioned by thermal features and by the saline concentrations
of lacustrine and ground waters. In particular, the sea intrusion phenomenon has been investigated through a group of resistivity
measurements carried out between the sea coastline and the northern edge of the Specchio di Venere lake. The V.E.S.' outcomes, here
shown by the classical apparent resistivity curves versus the electrode spacing, furnish typical values of this geophysical parameter
relevant to the formations present all around the basin, that is detritus, fluvial-marine deposits, pumices, ignimbrites. Among the most
interesting results of the geoelectric V.E.S. prospecting, Authors mention the resistivity variations caused, in certain buried volcanic
layers, by the presence of salt waters, coming fromthe sea and/or fromthe subsoil as a consequence of thermal geodynamic processes. Goal
of this research is the building of a geo-hydrostructural model of the Specchio di Venere lake, to which hydrological studies - covering the
long period of fifteen years - are integrating the set of data available over the whole drainage basin, pertinent to the catchment area
collecting rainfalls. As a matter of fact, the first results of these integrated studies evidence wholly low infiltration values, in a complex
contest done by underground water networks, belonging to the fissured volcanic rocks and irregularly supplied by runoff waters.
As a result of the interpretation of the carried out geophysical measurements, the effect of temperature and salinity of groundwater
were estimated in this area. Finally, Authors propose a reliable contribution to the hydrogeological knowledge of this corner of Pantelleria,
essentially based on the geophysical investigations.
S.E.V. 2 bis
0,1
1
10
100
1000
1 10 100 1000
AB/2 (m)
a
p
p
a
r.
re
s
is
t.
(o
h
m
.m
)
S.E.V. 7
0,10
1,00
10,00
100,00
1 10 100 1000
AB/2 (m)
a
p
p
a
r.
re
s
is
t.
(o
h
m
.m
)
S.E.V. 6
0,1
1
10
100
1 10 100 1000
AB/2 (m)
a
p
p
a
r.
re
s
is
t.
(o
h
m
.m
)
Pantelleria Island
Specchio di Venere area
Specchio di Venere area
350 m
In the Pantelleria island, the climate diagram temperature - precipitations (1979 - 1994 average)
exhibits a relatively long dry period (from April to the end of September). Therefore, in these fifteen
years maximum average temperature values of 26 C were registered, between the months of July and
August. The estimated evapotranspiration in the 83% of the total precipitations, corresponding to more
than 4.900.000 m3. This is a very elevated value, which permits to conveniently classify the Pantelleria
climate. As a matter of fact, the island is included in a transition environment between the north Africa
coasts and the southern Sicilian ones, allowing to assign its climate to the xero-termomediterranean type
(Bagnouls &Gaussen, 1957).
Precipi tazi oni ( 1979 - 1994)
0
100
200
300
400
500
600
700
800
1978 1980 1982 1984 1986 1988 1990 1992 1994 1996
Anni
Precipita
zio
ni
(
m
m
)
The precipitation trend in Pantelleria island, relevant to the
considered period (1979-1994), demonstrates that - in spite of
generally low yearly values - we are in presence of an annual average
value of 468,40 mm, testifying a potential recharge to the
hydrological Specchio di Venere basin - extended over 12,634 km2 -
of 1.014.030 m3, considering the contribution given by runoff and
infiltration rates and taking, as hydrological base level, the bed of the
lacustrine basin.
GEOPHYSICAL INVESTIGATIONS
In the lacustrine area of Specchio di Venere, a set of Vertical Electrical Soundings (V.E.S.') has
been carried out utilizing the symmetrical Schlumberger array. The initial geophysical model was
identified in a horizontal layered succession of the alluvial and volcanic deposits occurring all around
the lake, even if - in certain limited cases curves appeared relatively far fromthis simple condition.
The investigations have been executed in two successive periods, precisely in the summers of 2000
and 2001. Taking into account the forecast small electric potential signals, the apparent resistivity
measurements were acquired by means of two different equipments. Firstly, a digital georesistivity
meter was used with automatic compensation of spontaneous potentials (S.P.) and a noise reduction
system by stacking techniques and average values readings of the measures. The field was also
conducted with a georesistivity meter instrument with analogical readings and manual compensation
of S.P.: this choice was justified by the need to immediately appreciate the levels and the eventual
sudden variations of noise, typical of S.P. in a such studied area: as a matter of fact, the buried
formations were strongly affected by notable geoelectrical anomalies, likely due to the high thermal
and saline features of terrains and waters (the shallow and the deep ones). The used geoelectric
supply equipments allow us to execute relatively simple Schlumberger arrays with 400 m maximum
lengths, so intercepting the more or less wet lithological sequences and recognizing eventual sea
intrusion phenomena.
A preliminary field interpretation of the acquired measurements was done with the graphical
auxiliary point Ebert method, using two-layers sets of theoretical master curves. Successively, a
semi-automatic resistivity inversion programwas used, opportunely implementing the input data with
resistivity and thickness values of the geoelectrical units deduced by field test. The results have
been elaborated by the classical electro-structural sections and by the a = f (AB/2) diagrams.
Apparent resistivity maps were also performed for convenient punctual or average values of the
ABelectrode spacings.
These outcomes generally indicate the close relations between the apparent resistivity
distribution in the terrain and specific hydrogeological characteristics, as the probable influence of
marine intrusion through the coastal northern ignimbrites and the mixing of fresh/salt water in the
thermal spring sector. In detail, the features surveyed by geophysics were the influence of thermal
spring occurrence and the hydrogeological recharge through the complex underground fissure
network. These geoelectrical studies, as expected, were strongly conditioned by thermal and salty
occurrence in groundwater, locally recognized around the lake, allowing on the whole to delineate
certain relations and exchanges phenomena among fresh, thermal and sea waters.
HYDROGEOLOGICAL SCHEME
Hydrogeology of Pantelleria Island, as other volcanic islands with similar climatic features, is closely conditioned
by underground circuits: they appear very complicated and irregularly supplied by the scarce runoff waters. Moreover,
the elevated evapotranspiration does not permit to the rare precipitations to sufficiently recharge the volcanic
aquifers, here represented by tuffs and ignimbrites. In the Specchio di Venere area, object of this study, these
formations can showa certain humidity or water imbibition at fewmeter of depth too, own to water exchanges between
the lacustrine basin and the circulating waters in the complex underground environment, also including the deep and
salt endogenous waters as well as the ones coming from the sea encroachments, as forecast by hydrogeophysical
models.
The buvire (fromthe Arabic buvir, that means fountain) historically constitute the sole supply for the island from
groundwater. They are shallow wells manually excavated near the coast, which intercept the waters running from
slopes towards the sea and infiltrating into the ground. Therefore, they occur along the whole littoral belt of
Pantelleria: some of these are present few hundreds of meters far from the lake. One of the most representative
buvire is located in Contrada Gadir, exactly in Cala Cottone, 3.5 kmEast fromthe Venere's lake, among the reefs of the
homonymous beach. The buvire utilize the high permeability of the volcanic aquifer formed by acidic rocks, essentially
the ignimbrites, which receive both fresh and salty waters. So, the water-bearing stratumcontains fresh waters in its
upper part, and marine water in the lower one, according to their specific weights. Indeed, it is believed that the
Specchio di Venere itself could also be supplied by the sea at its bottom, in a fair agreement with likely hydrogeological
schemes. This hypothesis has received a partial confirmation by geophysics.