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Report on Etna (Italy) — 1 August-7 August 2001

Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 1 August-7 August 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, 1 August-7 August 2001. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.

Volcano Profile |  Weekly Report (1 August-7 August 2001)


Etna

Italy

37.748°N, 14.999°E; summit elev. 3295 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


News articles stated that around 1 August lava stopped advancing towards the Rifugio Sapienza tourist area, although lava in other parts of the volcano slowly continued to advance. According to the Toulouse VAAC, narrow ash clouds that rose to below 5.5 km a.s.l. were occasionally visible in satellite imagery and on Sistema Poseidon's web cam. The international Fontanarossa airport in Catania was closed, for the fourth time since the eruptive period began, during 2-5 August due to ash clouds in the area. The amount of ash emitted from the volcano decreased on 5 August and only steam with small amounts of ash located close to the ground was visible on the web cam.

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.

Sources: Sezione di Catania - Osservatorio Etneo (INGV), Toulouse Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC), Etna Volcan Sicilien (Charles Rivière), Associated Press