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Report on Etna (Italy) — November 1984


Scientific Event Alert Network Bulletin, vol. 9, no. 11 (November 1984)
Managing Editor: Lindsay McClelland.

Etna (Italy) Occasional ash emission; flank seismicity continues

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 1984. Report on Etna (Italy) (McClelland, L., ed.). Scientific Event Alert Network Bulletin, 9:11. Smithsonian Institution. https://doi.org/10.5479/si.GVP.SEAN198411-211060



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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

No major eruptive activity has occurred since the Southeast Crater eruption ended in mid-October. From the Northeast Crater, emission of white vapor was more or less continuous and consistent. Sporadic expulsions of reddish ash were observed 27 November and 3 December. Ejection of mainly reddish ash observed at Bocca Nuova was particularly violent 22-24 November. Ash ejected 23 November was mainly dark in color, but on succeeding days was mostly reddish older material that had fallen into the conduit. Ash fell on the lower SE flank. Only weak emission of gas and vapor occurred from The Chasm.

Flank seismicity began as the Southeast Crater eruption ended in mid-October (09:10). Isolated tremors continued in November. Both felt and located events were mainly on the N and NE flanks. No additional damage was reported.

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: R. Romano, IIV.