The Etna Observatory (Catania Section)




The Catania Section, now formally renamed "Osservatorio Etneo" (Etna Observatory), is a public scientific institution belonging to the Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia (National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology, I.N.G.V.), which carries out research, monitoring and surveillance in the fields of geophysics and volcanology. This section of the I.N.G.V. was born from the fusion of the former Istituto Internazionale per la Vulcanologia (International Institute of Volcanology, founded in 1969) and the more recent "Sistema Poseidon", following the Legislative Decree no. 381 of 29 September 1999, which declares the I.N.G.V. the reference institution for seismic and volcano monitoring and surveillance in Italy.

The Istituto Internazionale di Vulcanologia of the CNR (Italian Research Council) had significantly contributed to the monitoring of Etna and the Aeolian Islands, favoring international scientific collaboration, and aveva dato un importante contributo al monitoraggio dell’Etna e delle isole Eolie, favorendo lo scambio con ricercatori stranieri ed attivando un primo nucleo di sorveglianza geofisica e vulcanologica. Il "Sistema Poseidon", nato dall'intesa tra il Governo nazionale e quello regionale siciliano, aveva compiti di monitoraggio e sorveglianza sismica e vulcanica in Sicilia orientale.

Nel corso del 2000 le funzioni del "Sistema Poseidon" sono assorbite dalla Sezione di Catania dell'Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia.

The service of seismic and volcano monitoring and surveillance in the Sicilian territory, carried out to support the Italian Department of Civil Defense, therefore is of prime importance among the normal activities of the Catania section.

Many years after its foundation, the INGV has notably increased and extended its scientific competences, which today range from seismology to volcanology, from geomagnetism to aeronomy, from environmental geophysics to oceanograpy and dynamic climatology. In several of these areas, research carried out at the INGV has had a major impact both on the national and international level.

Apart from the Italian Ministry of Instruction, Universities and Research (MIUR), the most important support comes from the national Department of Civil Defense, with which the INGV maintains a close cooperation relationship. Since many years, the institute guarantees a continuous service of seismic and volcano surveillance, informing the Civil Defense Department in real time of every seismic event in Italy and possibly felt by the population, and of any significant variation in the activity of the Italian volcanoes.

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