Report on Etna (Italy) — 15 February-21 February 2023
Smithsonian Institution / US Geological Survey
Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 15 February-21 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, 15 February-21 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 lava effusion had ended on 6 February from the vents at the NE base of Etna’s SE Crater, in the Valle del Leone at about 2,800 m elevation. The total area covered by the lava flows was an estimated 0.96 square kilometers and the estimated volume was 4,800,000-6,100,000 cubic meters. In a Volcano Observatory Notices for Aviation (VONA) posted on 7 February, the Aviation Color Code was lowered to Yellow (the second lowest level om a four-color scale) and INGV noted that although effusion had stopped unrest was ongoing. In a second VONA, posted on 14 February, the Aviation Color Code was lowered to Green as activity had decreased to background levels.
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.