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Report on Etna (Italy) — 12 April-18 April 2017

Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 12 April-18 April 2017
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 2017. Report on Etna (Italy). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 12 April-18 April 2017. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.

Volcano Profile |  Weekly Report (12 April-18 April 2017)



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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

INGV reported that the effusive eruption from a vent in the saddle between Etna's Southeast Crater (SEC) - New Southeast Crater (NSEC) cone complex ended during 8-9 April. During 10-11 April lava effused from a vent located at the S base of the SEC. The lava flow traveled SE and flowed several hundred meters down the W wall of the Valle del Bove. In the evening of 13 April short-lived explosive activity occurred at a vent at the S flank of the SEC cone at about 3,200 m elevation. That vent and another at 3,150 m elevation produced lava flows for a few hours. Lava also effused from the vent at the S base of SEC, 3,010 m elevation, during 13-14 April, traveling SE and down the W wall of the Valle del Bove on top of the flows from 10-11 April.

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.

Source: Sezione di Catania - Osservatorio Etneo (INGV)