In these pages you can find some information about the research that I carry out at ETH.
I received my MSc in Geology from the University of Pisa in 2005. In 2010 I completed my PhD as ECOSSE candidate, a joint program between the Heriot-Watt University and the University of Edinburgh. I moved to ETH in February 2013 after two years as Postdoc in Bonn. I look at fluid-driven seismicity and seismically-induced fluid flow in tectonically active systems and in volcanic environments. I use classical geological techniques, seismic and geoeloectrical methods and numerical simulations to look at the interaction between crustal deformation and fluid/magma mobilization.
I am interested in the mutual interaction between fluid flow and seismic activity that is modulated by the state of stress of the crust. Vertical migration of deep fluids can either reduce the effective differential stress acting on geological structures leading to fault slip and/or hydrofracturing or vice-versa be triggered by seismic activity itself. An increasing number of observations highlights the sporadic occurrence in the crust of extremely rapid (days to years) vertical fluid flow separated by periods dominated by slow fluid diffusion. The fast upwelling of deep fluids is accompanied by short-lived permeability enhancements that are therefore associated with intense seismic and micro-seismic activity. These dynamics are more frequent in regions characterized by fluid pressures close to lithostatic where external factors such as distant earthquakes can alter the physical state of the crust.
My research focuses in Iceland (Snaefellsness peninsula), Chile (Central-Southern Andes), Italy (Stromboli volcano and Nirano Mud Field), and Java (Lusi mud volcano). These natural laboratories are characterised by a strong coupling between tectonics, crustal deformation and fluid mobilization and are the field sites for my current work.