Report on Etna (Italy) — 6 June-12 June 2001
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 6 June-12 June 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, 6 June-12 June 2001. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.
37.748°N, 14.999°E; summit elev. 3320 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
According the Italy's Volcanoes website, Etna's Southeast Crater was inactive on 6 June, but the following day volcanic activity commenced with lava flowing from the NNE side of the Southeast Crater cone and Strombolian bursts from the crater's summit vent. By 8 June volcanic activity decreased. A new eruptive episode began at Southeast Crater on 9 June that consisted of lava flows and Hawaiian-style lava fountaining from the NNE flank vent, and Strombolian bursts from the summit vent. Volcanic activity decreased until 11 June when Southeast Crater erupted again with more intense Strombolian activity at the summit vent than in the previous episode, and mild Strombolian activity at the NNE flank vent. A dark, tephra-laden cloud was observed rising from the summit vent, while lava fountains rose ~150 m above the NNE flank vent. The Toulouse VAAC reported that weak volcanic activity was visible on Etna WebCam imagery during 0445-0515. By 12 June no volcanic activity was observed at Southeast Crater.
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.