Report on Stromboli (Italy) — 19 February-25 February 2003
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 19 February-25 February 2003
Managing Editor: Gari Mayberry
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2003. Report on Stromboli (Italy). In: Mayberry, G (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 19 February-25 February 2003. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.
38.789°N, 15.213°E; summit elev. 924 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
INGV-CT reported that the effusive eruption that began at Stromboli on 28 December 2002, continued through 25 February 2003. Between 30 December 2002 and 15 February 2003 lava flowed from a main vent located at ~500 m elevation in the middle of the Sciara del Fuoco (a horseshoe-shaped scarp), within the scar left by the 30 December 2002 landslide. Another vent, located at ~600 m elevation at the NE base of Crater 1 (NE crater), had been active several times during the eruption, forming slow, short flows that lasted a few hours to a few days. On 15 February, after a gradual decrease in effusion rate, the vent at ~500 m elevation became inactive. This was accompanied by the opening of a new vent at ~600 m elevation, which emitted small lava flows on the upper Sciara del Fuoco. A small, complex flow field was formed with several lava tubes and ephemeral vents. This was the first time since the start of the eruption that activity at the ~500-m-elevation vent completely ceased, and the first time that the ~600-m-elevation vent remained active for over 10 days. Detailed daily reports of volcanic activity (in Italian) are available at the INGV-CT website.
Geologic Background. Spectacular incandescent nighttime explosions at this volcano have long attracted visitors to the "Lighthouse of the Mediterranean." Stromboli, the NE-most of the Aeolian Islands, has lent its name to the frequent mild explosive activity that has characterized its eruptions throughout much of historical time. The small island is the emergent summit of a volcano that grew in two main eruptive cycles, the last of which formed the western portion of the island. The Neostromboli eruptive period from about 13,000 to 5000 years ago was followed by formation of the modern edifice. The active summit vents are located at the head of the Sciara del Fuoco, a prominent horseshoe-shaped scarp formed about 5000 years ago as a result of the most recent of a series of slope failures that extend to below sea level. The modern volcano has been constructed within this scarp, which funnels pyroclastic ejecta and lava flows to the NW. Essentially continuous mild strombolian explosions, sometimes accompanied by lava flows, have been recorded for more than a millennium.