Report on Etna (Italy) — 30 November-6 December 2022
Smithsonian Institution / US Geological Survey
Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 30 November-6 December 2022
Managing Editor: Sally Sennert.
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2022. Report on Etna (Italy) (Sennert, S, ed.). Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 30 November-6 December 2022. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.
37.748°N, 14.999°E; summit elev. 3357 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
INGV reported that a new vent, at the NE base of Etna’s SE Crater around 2,800 m elevation, was first seen at about 1800 on 27 November when weather conditions allowed for direct visual observations. The vent produced a lava flow that traveled 300 m E towards the Valle del Leone. Inclement weather conditions from 1000 on 28 November until the end of the next day prevented confirmation of continuing activity, though incandescent flashes in the clouds suggested ongoing effusion. The weather conditions improved on 30 November, and a second vent was observed, located upslope from the first at about 2,900 m elevation. A lava flow from the second vent had traveled about 450 parallel to and N of the first flow, reaching about 2,700 m elevation.
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.