Report on Etna (Italy) — 1 May-7 May 2019
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 1 May-7 May 2019
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2019. Report on Etna (Italy). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 1 May-7 May 2019. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.
37.748°N, 14.999°E; summit elev. 3295 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
INGV reported that during 22-28 April ash emissions rose from Etna’s Bocca Nuova Crater, Northeast Crater (NEC), and from the E vent in New Southeast Crater (NSEC). Pulsating incandescence from NSEC’s E vent was recorded at night by webcams. A new vent on the inner wall of Voragine Crater was noted on 30 April.
Strombolian activity from the BN-1 crater deep within the Bocca Nuova Crater was visible on 28 April and continued through 5 May; field inspections on 30 April revealed that two vents in BN-1 were active and producing explosions at a rate of one every 2-3 seconds. Bombs and lapilli were ejected above the crater rim but deposits remained mostly within the confines of the crater or near the rim.
Strombolian activity was visible at NSEC during 29 April-5 May. On 2 May, beginning at 0131, discontinuous explosions at the E vent produced emissions of fine tephra that rose as high as 1 km above the crater rim and quickly dissipated. During 5-6 May the frequency of explosions increased for brief periods in conjunction with a slight increases in volcanic tremor amplitude.
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.