Who we are

The National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology (INGV), a Public Research Body, established by Legislative Decree no. 381 of 20.09.1999, became operational in January 2001, with the purpose of service and research in the seismic, volcanological and environmental fields. It is supervised by the Ministry of Education, University and Research (MIUR), and carries out its activities in close contact with the Department of Civil Protection and with all the authorities responsible for managing emergencies, both on a national scale and at local and regional level.

The creation of the new body takes place with the aim of bringing together in a single pole the main national scientific realities in the fields of geophysics and volcanology, through the confluence of research bodies already operating in these sectors. INGV is entrusted with seismic and volcanic surveillance, through the installation and management of technologically advanced monitoring networks for the control of the entire national territory and the Mediterranean basin.

The current Palermo Section was born from the confluence in the INGV of the Institute of Geochemistry of Fluids (I.G.F.) of the National Research Council (CNR), whose activities were based on the following lines of research:

  • Geochemistry of fluids in volcanic areas;
  • Geochemistry of fluids in seismic areas;
  • Geochemical research in the field of geothermal energy;
  • Methodological studies of geochemical monitoring of fluids for research related to the knowledge and protection of the environment.

The INGV Section of Palermo today:

  • Promotes and carries out research activities in the field of fluid geochemistry on topics ranging from volcanic systems, atmospheric chemistry, hydrological systems, degassing in non-volcanic areas, experimental petrology. Most of the research lines concern the volcanic systems active on the national territory. Some of the ongoing research concerns the magmatic degassing processes in relation to the different solubility of gases in magmas, their composition and the depth of dissolution. Great interest is paid to the peripheral manifestations of volcanic systems, active or extinct, to the processes that modify the original composition of magmatic fluids during the ascent to the surface, to hydrothermal systems, to gas emissions from the ground, to the development of new measurement methods, to volcanic lakes. Particular attention is also paid to the study of volcanic plume gases and to the relationships between variations in the relationships between acid species and magmatic dynamics.
  • Carries out research activities aimed at identifying hydrothermal emissions in submarine and coastal environments and their interaction with the marine environment and the biosphere. The campaigns at sea involve the collection and chemical and isotopic analysis of samples of thermal waters and gases aimed at the genetic and evolutionary characterization of the fluids emitted and a better understanding of the impact of these emissions on the marine ecosystem.
  • Participates in both international and national research projects, collaborating with Italian and foreign institutions, through the stipulation of agreements and conventions.
  • Contributes to a careful dissemination of scientific culture through publications, development of teaching programs and dissemination of geosciences and training activities in collaboration with universities, for the development of degree theses, masters and PhDs.