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Report on Etna (Italy) — 13 June-19 June 2001


Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report,
13 June-19 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, 13 June-19 June 2001. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.

Weekly Report (13 June-19 June 2001)



37.748°N, 14.999°E; summit elev. 3357 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

The Italy's Volcanoes website reported that on 13 June, after ~44 hours of low activity, the fourth eruptive episode within in a week began at Southeast Crater. The episode lasted longer and was more intense than the previous three episodes. Lava flowed from a vent on the NNE flank of Southeast Crater cone. During the most intense phase of the eruption lava fountains rose 150-200 m above the NNE flank vent. Strombolian bursts occurred so frequently that they eventually blended into one continuous pulsating fountain that rose up to 400 m. Also bursts periodically sent bombs up to 500 m above the crater rim. A small amount of ash was emitted with many of the stronger bursts. On 15 June another eruptive episode occurred with activity similar to the 13 June episode.

Geological Summary. Mount Etna, towering above Catania on the island of Sicily, has one of the world's longest documented records of 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 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: Italy's Volcanoes