Report on Etna (Italy) — 24 January-30 January 2001
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 24 January-30 January 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, 24 January-30 January 2001. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.
37.748°N, 14.999°E; summit elev. 3295 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
Sistema Poseidon reported that during 22-28 January, eruptive activity at Etna was dominated by modest, intermittent lava flows that were emitted from the radial fracture on the N flank of the Southeast Crater. The Bocca Nuova Crater mostly produced ash-and-gas emissions during the beginning of the report period, but they decreased near the end of the period. At night, weak Strombolian activity was observed inside the crater. Limited gas emissions were released from the Northeast and Voragine craters.
Geologic Background. Mount Etna, towering above Catania, Sicily's second largest city, has one of the world's longest documented records of historical 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 horseshoe-shaped 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.