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Report on Etna (Italy) — 14 February-20 February 2001


Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report,
14 February-20 February 2001
Managing Editor: Gari Mayberry

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 2001. Report on Etna (Italy). In: Mayberry, G (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 14 February-20 February 2001. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.

Weekly Report (14 February-20 February 2001)



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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

According to the Stromboli On-Line website, on 12 February a Stromboli On-Line research group observed lava flowing from the Southeast Crater's NE fissure as it has since late January. Lava and gas were emitted from a small tumulus in strong pulses and flowed several hundred meters into Valle Leone. On 14 February Voragine and Northeast craters were observed emitting steam and Strombolian activity occurred at both of Bocca Nuova Crater's vents. The Strombolian activity at the Bocca Nuova's NW vent was irregular and occasionally reached at least the height of the crater rim. Strombolian activity at the Bocca Nuova's SE vent was more vigorous with eruptions every few seconds. The explosions were directed roughly vertically and volcanic bombs reached up to several hundred meters above the crater rim.

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.

Source: Stromboli On-Line