The Possible Influences of the 2012 Modena Earthquakes on the Fluorescence Spectra of Bottled Mineral Water


Fidani C, Balderer W and Leuenberger F

Two moderate earthquakes with magnitudes of 6.0 and 5.8 occurred in active tectonic crustal structures of the Po Plain in the area of Modena City in Northern Italy. These events generated temporary and/or permanent environmental changes with much damage, leading to 27 deaths. These quakes occurred on May 20, 2012, at 02:03 UTC, and on May 29, 2012, at 07:00 UTC, at depths of 5.5 and 10.1 km, respectively. In order to investigate for effects from the earthquakes on the fluorescence spectra and ion composition of groundwater within the affected area, available mineral water bottled prior to and post the two shocks were collected. Specifically, the regular production lines at the bottling plants of the brands Lieta, Ventasso, Cerelia and Monte Cimone situated in the nearest Appennine chain, contributed to this study. These bottled waters where analyzed for their fluorescence spectra using the synchronous scanning method. Variations of fluorescence intensity a month before the first earthquake of May 20, 2012, appeared to be significant only at Monte Cimone spring, where high density water samples were available. Likewise, variations in ion compositions evidenced peaks at a month before the first earthquake and a month after the second one. pH and conductivity levels of only some springs also shown significant variations at a month before the first earthquake. These findings suggest that a realization of continuous measurement networks in areas prone to incidences by strong earthquakes could be useful for investigating any possible influence of earthquakes on water geochemistry.




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