Report on Etna (Italy) — 1 February-7 February 2023
Smithsonian Institution / US Geological Survey
Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 1 February-7 February 2023
Managing Editor: Sally Sennert.
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2023. Report on Etna (Italy) (Sennert, S, ed.). Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 1 February-7 February 2023. 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 the vents at the NE base of Etna’s SE Crater, in the Valle del Leone at about 2,800 m elevation, continued to feed lava flows during 30 January-5 February. The flow rate was highly variable with an increase on 1 February, a gradual decrease overnight during 1-2 February, and a complete cessation on the morning of 2 February. Later, during the afternoon of 2 February, lava again effused from the vent and traveled over pre-existing flows. The effusion rate started to decrease in the afternoon of 4 February and progressively decreased overnight into 5 February. By the afternoon of 5 February, the flows appeared to be cooling.
Intense gas emissions rose from Bocca Nuova Crater while gas emissions at Northeast Crater (NEC) and Voragine were minimal. Activity at Southeast Crater was characterized by fumarolic activity localized along the crater rim and from the May-June 2022 eruptive vent which also occasionally produced flashes of incandescence at night. Occasional diffuse ash emissions were also visible and rapidly dispersed with the wind.
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.