Report on Stromboli (Italy) — 3 July-9 July 2019
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report,
3 July-9 July 2019
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2019. Report on Stromboli (Italy). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 3 July-9 July 2019. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.
38.789°N, 15.213°E; summit elev. 924 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
An intense paroxysmal explosive sequence at Stromboli on 3 July resulted in injuries to tourists climbing the volcano and one death. INGV surveillance cameras recorded intensification of Strombolian activity at the N1 and N2 vents in Area N (north crater area, NCA) and vent S2 in Area C-S (South Central crater area), and spattering at S1 and C in Area C-S. An explosion from Area C-S at 1459 was followed by lava effusion and a flow that traveled into the upper part of Sciara del Fuoco. At different times during 1543-1545 lava overflowed from all vents and a strong explosion occurred at N1 at 1545. The paroxysmal phase began at 1546; two lateral blasts presumably from Area C-S were recorded at 1546:10 and 1546:20, just 10 seconds apart from each other. The main paroxysmal explosion, at 1546:40 ejected incandescent material that fell onto the flanks and generated an ash plume rose 4 km above the summit that drifted SW. Material from the lateral explosions and eruption column collapse generated two highly turbulent pyroclastic flows that reached the sea. Hot material set fire to vegetation on the W side of the island. Strombolian activity resumed at 1559, though the explosions were more intense than normal. Spattering from Area C-S continued on 4 July, feeding lava flows that continued to enter the ocean.
Geological Summary. Spectacular incandescent nighttime explosions at Stromboli have long attracted visitors to the "Lighthouse of the Mediterranean" in the NE Aeolian Islands. This volcano 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 scarp that formed about 5,000 years ago due to a series of slope failures which extends 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.