Logo link to homepage

Report on Etna (Italy) — 15 November-21 November 2023


Smithsonian Institution / US Geological Survey
Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 15 November-21 November 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 November-21 November 2023. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.

Weekly Report (15 November-21 November 2023)



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

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

INGV reported that Strombolian activity resumed at Etna’s SE Crater (SEC) on 22 October and became more continuous and intense through early November. An increase in the frequency of explosions occurred on 4 November, with one occurring about every three minutes. A small new cone formed on the NW flank, near the saddle, that effused lava for a few hours and produced two lava flows that traveled a maximum of 10 m. Strombolian activity at SEC was recorded during 10-12 November, and at 1000 on the 12th a small lava flow was produced. The activity intensified during the afternoon and lava fountaining commenced at around 1730, though weather clouds hindered views. Two main explosive vents were discernable and produced an ash plume that rose almost 1.2 km above the summit and drifted ESE. Ash and lapilli fell in areas from Milo to Zafferana and from Torre Archirafi to Pozzillo. Starting at around 2040 several pyroclastic flows descended the SSE flank and reached the W part of the Valle del Bove. Eruptive activity decreased at around 2100. Minor Strombolian activity continued, and several lava flows traveled S, SE, SSW, and SW.

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: Sezione di Catania - Osservatorio Etneo (INGV)