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Europe’s most active volcano, Mount Etna, is sliding towards the sea.

欧洲最活跃的火山埃特纳火山正在向大?;?。

Scientists have established that the whole structure on the Italian island of Sicily is edging in the direction of the Mediterranean at a rate of 14mm per year.

科学家们已经确定,位于意大利西西里岛上的整个火山以每年14毫米的速度向地中海方向倾斜。

The UK-led team says the situation will need careful monitoring because it may lead to increased hazards at Etna in the future.

英国领导的团队表示,这种情况需要仔细监控,因为这可能会导致未来埃特纳火山的危害增加。

The group has published its findings in the Bulletin of Volcanology.

该小组在《火山学通报》中发表了其发现。

"I would say there is currently no cause for alarm, but it is something we need to keep an eye on, especially to see if there is an acceleration in this motion," lead author Dr John Murray told BBC News.

“我想说目前没有理由警惕,但这是我们需要密切关注的事情,尤其是看看这个趋势是否会加速,”主要作者约翰-默里博士告诉BBC新闻。

The Open University geologist has spent almost half a century studying Europe’s premier volcano.

这位来自开放大学的地质学家花费了近半个世纪的时间来研究这坐欧洲最重要的火山。

In that time, he has placed a network of high-precision GPS stations around the mountain to monitor its behaviour.

那时,他在山上放置了一个高精度GPS站点网络来监测它的行为。

This instrumentation is sensitive to millimetric changes in the shape of the volcanic cone; and with 11 years of data it is now obvious, he says, that the mountain is moving in an east-south-east direction, on a general track towards the coastal town of Giarre, which is about 15km away.

该仪器对火山锥体形状的毫米级变化敏感;根据11年的数据,现在很明显,他说,这座山正在向东南方向移动,沿着一条通往约15公里外沿海城市Giarre的一般轨道行进。

Essentially, Etna is sliding down a very gentle slope of 1-3 degrees. This is possible because it is sitting on an underlying platform of weak, pliable sediments.

本质上,埃特纳正在以非常平缓的斜坡滑落1-3度。这是可能的,因为它坐落在一个弱而柔软的沉积物平台上。

Dr Murray’s team has conducted lab experiments to illustrate how this works. The group believes it is the first time that basement sliding of an entire active volcano has been directly observed.

默里博士的团队进行了实验室实验来说明这是怎么发生的。该小组认为,这是第一次直接观察到整个活火山的地基滑动。

On the human scale, a movement of 14mm/yr - that is 1.4m over a hundred years - will seem very small, and it is. But geological investigations elsewhere in the world have shown that extinct volcanoes that display this kind of trend can suffer catastrophic failures on their leading flank as they drift downslope.

在人类尺度上,14毫米/年的运动,即在百年内为1.4米,这看起来非常小,而且的确是这样。但世界其他地方的地质调查显示,出现这种趋势的死火山可能会在它们向下倾斜时在前侧面发生灾难性的失败。

Stresses can build up that lead eventually to devastating landslides.

压力可能会最终导致毁灭性山体滑坡。

Dr Murray and colleagues stress such behaviour is very rare and can take many centuries, even thousands of years, to develop to a critical stage.

默里博士及其同事强调,这种行为非常罕见,可能需要几百年甚至几千年的时间才能发展到关键阶段。

Certainly, there is absolutely no evidence that this is about to happen at Etna. Local residents should not be alarmed, the Open University scientist said.

当然,绝对没有证据表明这即将发生在埃特纳??糯笱У目蒲Ъ宜?,当地居民不应该感到惊慌。