Eastern Sicily testbed

Hosting Institution:

Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia (INGV), Italy


The Eastern Sicily testbed is composed of two main infrastructures:

  1. The ETNA VOLCANO OBSERVATORY (INGV branch in Catania) supports research, monitoring and surveillance at the Sicilian volcanoes. Multiparametric networks (seismic, infrasound, geodetic, geochemical, video-cameras, etc...) equipped with state-of-the-art instrumentations are continuously running providing geophysical and geochemical observations for volcano monitoring and hazard assessment. Data (WP2) and products (WP3) from in-land stations and satellite platforms are accessible through the EPOS data portal and the volcano gateway (http://vo-tcs.ct.ingv.it/). A Pool of mobile instruments is available to conduct in depth studies on the volcano. Laboratories for rock sample analysis allow investigation of magma composition for characterizing and studying magmatic processes in the volcano plumbing system.
  2. The joint WIS EMSO and INFN-LNS facility is based on a marine infrastructure built on an underwater electro-optical cable on the seafloor in front of Catania, that splits into two branches, one of which hosts geophysical and oceanographic stations, the other one hosting the acoustic stations (Onde till 2006, SMO till 2022) and other test observatories used for the KM3NeT ESFRI Project. Also, the FOCUS-ERC experiment is connected to the facility fiber network, providing relative strain measurements of optical fibers based on Brillouin Optical Time Domain Reflectometry. During the project, access to the infrastructure will benefit of connections to fibers of the 28 km telecommunication cable equipped with seismometers and oceanographic sensors.

Services currently offered by the infrastructure:

The infrastructure offers the following services:

  1. Physical access to a laboratory for the analysis of sedimentology samples collected during fieldwork;
  2. A pool of mobile instruments (LIDAR, SO2 field equipment, FTIR-MIDAC, CO2 equipment, radon sensor, radiometer, magnetometer, gravimeter, GPS, multi-parametric stations) to carry out multidisciplinary research activities;
  3. Remote access to the lithotheque for the provision of Etna eruptions samples;
  4. Physical access to the Pizzi Deneri Observatory, a unique volcanological facility for field observations and data recording next to the summit craters, and to the 1.5 km fiber optic cable in Piano delle Concazze for performing DAS measurements;
  5. Access to a 28 km submarine electro-optical cable.

The Etna Volcano Observatory has long-standing experience in TA activities within the ENVRIPlus H2020 (https://envri.eu/3rdenvriplustnacallopen/) and EUROVOLC (http://eurovolc.eu) projects, where cross-disciplinary studies involving geophysics, atmospheric science, and climatology have been successfully developed. The integration of cross-disciplinary data and products from the VAs (WP2, WP3) will help push efforts towards high-impact research resulting from TA applications. The testbed has also attracted EU frontier research (e.g., VOLUME, MED-SUV, EUROVOLC), ITN (NEMOH, IMPROVE), and ERC projects (FOCUS, PRE-COLLAPSE). Open access to the data acquired in the TA activities will be provided. Data will be transferred to WP2 according to standardized metadata and formats.

Modality of access:

Following the above numbering, the unit of the physical access to the services (1,2,4,5) is “1 working day”. The duration of the physical access varies from 5 to 15 working days per call for a maximum of 3 users per project. The access to (3) is offered according to the remote mode and the unit access is “1 sample”. The remote access TAs will offer a maximum of 10 samples for each project.


The access includes training, field support and experiment set up. The Laboratory of Sedimentology provides supervision for preparing samples/use of instruments, training activities on the use of the equipment, and safety briefings. The pool of mobile instruments, access to fiber optic cables, and the use of DAS interrogators will be supported by the supervision of highly specialized personnel. The Pizzi Deneri Observatory offers technical support, including personnel for the management of experiments/fieldwork. For the lithotheque, the support includes the dispatching of the sample(s) and output of data analysis, respectively. The INFN installation offers technical support for the experimental setup, and the storage of the acquired data (for a maximum of 30 TB and 30 days), including a protected endpoint for data retrieval.