Report on Stromboli (Italy) — 9 January-15 January 2013
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 9 January-15 January 2013
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2013. Report on Stromboli (Italy). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 9 January-15 January 2013. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.
38.789°N, 15.213°E; summit elev. 924 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
On 10 January Sezione di Catania - Osservatorio Etneo reported that since the morning of 23 December 2012 overflowing lava from vents lying just below the rim of the northernmost explosive vent on Stromboli's crater terrace generated small lava flows that traveled down the N and NW sectors of the Sciara del Fuoco. In addition, the rapid accumulation of spatter during intense explosive activity often generated small flows that were accompanied by numerous landslides. Major lava flows occurred on 23 December (traveling N), during 25-27 December (traveling NW), and on 7 January (traveling NW).
During the intervals between the main effusive episodes, lava was extruded at extremely low rates from the vents, resulting numerous incandescent blocks descending the Sciara del Fuoco. Sometimes small lava flows advanced for a few tens of meters before disintegrating into blocks, such as on the morning of 10 January 2013. In all cases, the effusion of lava was preceded, and often accompanied, by intense explosive activity on the crater terrace.
A report on 15 January noted that intermittent emissions of small lava flows from the crater terrace continued, sometimes accompanied by landslides caused by the sliding and rolling of loose rock material on the steep slope of the Sciara del Fuoco.
Geologic Background. Spectacular incandescent nighttime explosions at this volcano have long attracted visitors to the "Lighthouse of the Mediterranean." Stromboli, the NE-most of the Aeolian Islands, has lent its name to the frequent mild explosive activity that has characterized its eruptions throughout much of historical time. The small island is the emergent summit of a volcano that grew in two main eruptive cycles, the last of which formed the western portion of the island. The Neostromboli eruptive period took place between about 13,000 and 5,000 years ago. The active summit vents are located at the head of the Sciara del Fuoco, a prominent horseshoe-shaped scarp formed about 5,000 years ago due to a series of slope failures that extend to below sea level. The modern volcano has been constructed within this scarp, which funnels pyroclastic ejecta and lava flows to the NW. Essentially continuous mild Strombolian explosions, sometimes accompanied by lava flows, have been recorded for more than a millennium.