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Report on Etna (Italy) — 11 April-17 April 2007


Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report,
11 April-17 April 2007
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 2007. Report on Etna (Italy). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 11 April-17 April 2007. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.

Weekly Report (11 April-17 April 2007)



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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

A summit eruption that occurred at Etna on 11 April began with an increase in volcanic tremor and was followed by lava fountaining. A resultant ash plume drifted E; ashfall was reported as far as Zafferana, about 10 km to the E. Two lava flows were observed at the summit of Etna, one towards the E within the Valle del Bove, and the second to the S. The E lava flow stopped 3 km away at the base of the Serra Giannicola Grande, within the W Valle del Bove. The second flow stopped near Mt. Frumento Supino (less than 1 km S of the summit). The INGV-CT monitoring web cameras showed that the eruption lasted about 5 hours.

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: Sezione di Catania - Osservatorio Etneo (INGV)