Report on Etna (Italy) — 27 November-3 December 2013
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 27 November-3 December 2013
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2013. Report on Etna (Italy). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 27 November-3 December 2013. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.
37.748°N, 14.999°E; summit elev. 3295 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
INGV reported on the 18th paroxysm occurred from Etna’s New Southeast Crater (NSEC) late in the afternoon on 28 November. Weather clouds prevented observations of the event. Vigorous Strombolian activity on 2 December produced a plume comprised mostly of gas drifting N. The activity intensified during the evening and evolved into a paroxysmal event that finished by 2330. The event was characterized by tall lava fountains, lava flows, and a plume laden with pyroclastic material that drifted NNW and deposited ash and lapilli in that area. The lava flows traveled SSE, SE, NE, and S. The next day sporadic explosions continued, inclement weather however prevented visual observations.
Geologic Background. Mount Etna, towering above Catania, Sicily's second largest city, has one of the world's longest documented records of historical volcanism, dating back to 1500 BCE. Historical lava flows of basaltic composition cover much of the surface of this massive volcano, whose edifice is the highest and most voluminous in Italy. The Mongibello stratovolcano, truncated by several small calderas, was constructed during the late Pleistocene and Holocene over an older shield volcano. The most prominent morphological feature of Etna is the Valle del Bove, a 5 x 10 km horseshoe-shaped caldera open to the east. Two styles of eruptive activity typically occur, sometimes simultaneously. Persistent explosive eruptions, sometimes with minor lava emissions, take place from one or more summit craters. Flank vents, typically with higher effusion rates, are less frequently active and originate from fissures that open progressively downward from near the summit (usually accompanied by Strombolian eruptions at the upper end). Cinder cones are commonly constructed over the vents of lower-flank lava flows. Lava flows extend to the foot of the volcano on all sides and have reached the sea over a broad area on the SE flank.