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Report on Etna (Italy) — October 1991


Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network, vol. 16, no. 10 (October 1991)
Managing Editor: Lindsay McClelland.

Etna (Italy) Minor Strombolian activity from several summit-area vents; little deformation

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 1991. Report on Etna (Italy) (McClelland, L., ed.). Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network, 16:10. Smithsonian Institution. https://doi.org/10.5479/si.GVP.BGVN199110-211060



37.748°N, 14.999°E; summit elev. 3357 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

An 8-19 October resurvey of a 46-line EDM network on the upper S flank showed little movement since July, with maximum line-length changes of ~0.0015%. Activity at the summit craters was more energetic than in July but had the same general characteristics. Continued Strombolian activity in the NE sector of Southeast Crater periodically increased in strength, with large incandescent blebs of lava rising tens of meters above the crater rim. The open vent in Northeast Crater was degassing strongly and incandescent at night, while the two vents on the floor of Bocca Nuova had mild to strong Strombolian activity. E of Bocca Nuova, a single vent on the floor of La Voragine displayed weak Strombolian activity and daylight incandescence.

Further Reference. McGuire, W., Murray, J., Pullen, A., and Saunders, S., 1991, Ground deformation monitoring at Mt. Etna: evidence for dyke emplacement and slope instability: Journal of the Geological Society, London, v. 148, p. 577-583.

Geological Summary. Mount Etna, towering above Catania on the island of Sicily, has one of the world's longest documented records of 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 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.

Information Contacts: S. Saunders, West London Institute; W. McGuire, Cheltenham and Gloucester College of Higher Education.