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Report on Etna (Italy) — 16 June-22 June 2021


Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report,
16 June-22 June 2021
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 2021. Report on Etna (Italy). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 16 June-22 June 2021. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.

Weekly Report (16 June-22 June 2021)



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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

INGV reported that there were several episodes of lava fountaining at Etna’s Southeast Crater (SEC) during 14-23 June, and additional periods of Strombolian activity and ash emissions. The lava fountaining episodes were recorded during 1332-1450 on 16 June, 2220 on 18 June to 0210 on 19 June, 2040-2215 on 19 June, 1131 on 20 June to 0214 on 21 June, overnight during 21-22 June, and in the early hours of 22 and 23 June. Each episode began with Strombolian activity which was followed by lava fountaining and crater overflows sending lava down the flanks. Ash plumes that rose as high as 4.7 km above the summit and sometimes caused ashfall in areas downwind. Lava flows on 16 June descended the SW and SE flanks, and those produced on 21 June traveled about 1 km SW, towards Monte Frumento Supino, and stopped at 2,900 m elevation. The lava fountains on 21 June were notably tall.

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)