The Volcano Adventure Guide: Excellent information and background for anyone wishing to visit active volcanoes safely and enjoyably. The book presents guidelines to visiting 42 different volcanoes around the world.
Mt Etna on Sicily, locally called "Mongibello", is Europe's largest and most active volcano. Its frequent eruptions are often accompanied by large lava flows, but rarely pose danger to inhabited areas. Etna is one of the volcanoes with the longest historic records of eruptions, going back more than 2000 years.
Complex stratovolcano Currently about 3329 m (changing due to eruptive activity and collapse of its crater rims) Sicily, Italy, 37.75°N / 14.99°E Current status: erupting (4 out of 5) Etna webcams / live data Etna volcano videos Etna volcano books | Tours Etna volcano eruptions: Near continuously active; some major historic eruptions include 122 BC (large Plinian outbursts that created the small caldera of the "Cratere del Piano"), 1669 AD (devastating flank eruption that destroyed 15 villages and part of Catania), 1787 (Subplinian eruption and one of the most spectacular summit eruptions on record - lava fountains reportedly up to 3000 m high). Eruptions since 1950 (f: flank / s: summit activity): 1950 (s), 1950-51(f), 1955 (s), 1956 (s), 1956 (f), 1957 (s),1960 (s), 1961 (s), 1964 (f), 1964 (s), 1966 (s), 1966-1971(s), 1968 (f), 1971(f), 1972-1973 (s), 1974 (f), 1974-1975 (s), 1975-1977 (f), 1977-1978 (s), 1978 (f), 1979(s), 1979 (f), 1980 (s), 1981 (s), 1981 (f),1982-1983 (s), 1983(f), 1984(s), 1985(s), 1985(f), 1986(s), 1986-1987 (f), 1987(s), 1988(s), 1989(s), 1989(f), 1990 (s), 1991-93(f), 1995(s), 1996(s), 1997 (s), 1998 (s), 1999 (s), 2000 (s), 2001(s), 2001 (f), 2002(s), 2002-03(f), 2004-2005 (f), 2006 (s), 2007 (s), 2008-2009 (f), 2010(s), 2011-2013(s), 2014-ongoing(f)
Typical eruption style: Effusive (lava flows) and mildly explosive (strombolian) eruptions. Both summit and frequent flank eruptions, the latter seem to be occurring in clusters lasting few to a few tens of years.
Last earthquakes nearby
Since last Monday the SE crater is showing small signs of activity again. During last nights weak sporadic glowes were seen from the depression on the eastern slope of the crater and starting this morning small ash emissions are occurring intermittently from the top of the crater. ...more
Several seismic swarms have been recorded below the southwest slope of Mount Etna since last month. The last swarm occurred on September 18th, close to Mt. Intraleo on the western slope of the volcano. 45 eartquakes were recorded from 04:06 (UTC) to 08:31 (UTC) with magnitudes ranging between M1.0 and M3.3. The strongest earthquake, magnitude M 3.3, took place at 07:21 (UTC) at a depth of 5.5 km. Researchers think this suggests a new phase of deep magmatic recharge is taking place. Furthermore on August 24 a new eruptive phase began at Salinelle dei Cappuccini with a mud flow that partly invaded the road around the Paternò stadium. The Salinelle dei Cappuccini is one of three mud volcano fields located between the villages of Paternò and Belpasso characterized by persistent emission of mud and gases. It is possible that the recent seismic activity may have modified their level of activity. [less]
Steam ring blown from Etna's Voragine crater this morning (image:Radiostudio7 webcam)
The volcano remains restless although no one knows what will come next. After a few weeks of "total silence", tiny ash emissions started again to occur from the SE crater since 9 July, volcanologist Dr Boris Behncke total reported on facebook. This activity, which could represent small but deep-seated explosive activity inside the SE crater's conduits, has been continuing over the past days, with a slight increase yesterday (see video below). ...more
Ash puff from Etna's SE crater this morning (image: RadioStudio7)
After a period of calm during the past weeks, the SE crater started again to show signs of unrest. Since yesterday morning, small to moderate ash emissions have been occurring intermittently from the summit vent of the SE crater complex. ...more
Thermal imagery indicates that the ashes are relatively cold, suggesting that the magma column at the moment resides still low in the conduit. Whether the observed ash puffs are caused by deep-seated explosive activity (=degassing of magma) or by internal collapses is difficult to say.
We have several free spaces for (hiking) tours to the summit area of Etna in small groups (max 8 persons) on 16 and 17 June. The excursions are accompanied by a certified mountain guide and a volcanologist from our team (Dr. Tom Pfeiffer) and will aim to approach volcanic activity if present and the most interesting volcanic features. ...more
Strombolian activity at the SE crater's saddle vent and the peaks of tremor accompanying each short-lived episode (image: Boris Behncke / INGV Catania)
Since 11 May, Etna has been in an unusual state of activity. At remarkably regular intervals of approx. 8 hours, the "saddle vent", located between Etna's old and new Southeast Crater, has been producing more than 20 brief episodes of mild strombolian activity, each accompanied by a short-lived increase in volcanic tremor amplitude. The episodes are further characterized by the absence of strong degassing. ...more
What causes this unusual and certainly transient behavior is not exactly known. Researcher Dr Marco Neri tries to give an explanation in an article on La Gazzetta Siracusana(loosely translated): [less]
Etna's new lava flow from the SE cone seen on the thermal webcam of INGV Catania on Montagnola
After a pause of 4 days, a new (mainly effusive) eruptive episode started this morning around 11:30 local time. Accompanied by mild strombolian activity from the summit vent of the SE crater cone, a new lava flow began to descend on the southern flank of the SE crater complex. ...more
It follows and partially overlaps the previous lava flows from 10-11 and 13-15 April in direction of the western rim of the Valle del Bove. [less]
Etna's lava flow this morning (Radiostudio 7 webcam from Montagnola)
After 48 hours of pause since the previous, short-lived eruptive episode, a new effusive eruptive phase began last evening, involving 3 vents. ...more
Tremor started to rise from 20:00 local time; strong glow started to appear at the summit vent of the new SE cone on top of the crater complex shortly after 22:00 local time, suggesting the time when new magma arrived near the surface. A phase of weak strombolian-type explosions followed from this vent. Starting at 22:27, lava flows started to appear: probably first from the summit vent, but immediately followed by the opening and stronger lava effusion from the from the vent at the southern base of the crater complex (which had been the site of the previous eruptions in March and early April).
Strombolian activity at the summit vent of the SE cone
Beginning of lava effusion from both the summit vent and the opening vent at the southern base shortly after
Etna's lava flow on 7 April 2017 (photo: Emanuela / VolcanoDiscovery Italy)
The lava flow effusion seems to have decreased strongly or stopped over night. Dough and Emanuela who climbed the area of the vent yesterday afternoon were lucky to still see beautiful activity with lava flowing inside the main channel near the vent. [link to photos] ...more
In its upper portion below the effusive vent at about 2900 m elevation at the southern base of the SE crater complex, the lava flow was entirely underground inside a tube, but exited at a so-called ephemeral vent a few 100 m downslope into an open channel feeding an active 'a'a-type lava flow. Further downslope, small lava fronts high on Etna's southwestern flank have also been seen by other observers. However, it seems that for now, Etna's most recent eruptive phase might have ended; for how long Etna will remain calm is a matter of guessing. [less]
As long as the current effusive eruption at Etna volcano continues and its spectacular lava flows remain reasonably accessible, we offer you the chance to come and see it with us in a private tour for individuals or small groups! ...more
Etna's lava flow on 30 March 2017 (photo: Emanuela / VolcanoDiscovery Italy)
The effusive eruption from the new fissure vent at the southern base of the SE crater complex continues into its 3rd week of activity with little changes since it started early on 16 March. ...more
The lava flow remains active, but at low effusion rate. It has formed a wide channel of 'a'a lava that passes between the Monte Supino and the 2002 craters (Monti Barbagallo), where it forms several overlapping branches. From 2800 m elevation, it has roofed itself over into a tube, but reappears at the surface further downslope. Its most advanced front is now at around 2300 m elevation on the SW flank. Link: Photos from the lava flow on 30 Mar 2017 [less]
Towards the end of the second eruption of Etna in 2017 (15-20 March), an unusual phenomenon occurred: the lower lava flow, originating from the 2900 m fissure vent at the base of the SE crater and descending into the Valle del Bove from its western rim at 2500 m elevation, produced a series of small to moderate pyroclastic flows, associated with dense ash plumes. ...more
These gravity-driven turbulent currents of ash, larger fragments, air and hot gasses were caused when parts of the flow front collapsed on the steep, unstable terrain in combination probably with interaction between patches of snow still present. Emanuela and Roland visited the volcano on 18 March and sent us the following series of photos: [less]
Etna's lava flows descending into Valle del Bove; strombolian activity from the New SE cone (c) and strong glow from Voragine summit crater (r) (image: Osservatorio Meteorologico Nunziata webcam, view from E)
The explosive-effusive eruption continues strongly. Several well-alimented lava flows are descending into the Valle del Bove from elevations between 2500-2700 m at the rim. ...more
At the New SE cone, strombolian explosions or low, pulsating lava fountaining continue. The latter strombolian-type activity returned to be the dominant activity at the cone shortly before 23:00 local time on Thurday (16 Mar), abruptly replacing the previously intense ash emissions from the same vent. What caused the rapid change in eruption style at this vent is unclear.
Current tremor amplitude (ESLN station / INGV Catania)
Strombolian activity at the New SE cone and the new lava flow from the fissure at its base (Radiostudio 7 webcam from Montagnola, view from S)
Strombolian activity and lava flow at dawn (image: Boris Behncke / Flickr)
The strong strombolian activity from the SE crater continued all day yesterday and today. The lava flow from the summit vent has flowed on top of the lava flow from about 15 days ago and yesterday it had reached an altitude of 2800m. ...more
Yesterday late in the evening a new lava flow started from a vent that has opened at the southern base of the SE crater. This lava flow descended slowly toward the southeast reaching the Belvedere at an elevation of 2700m. [less]
Strombolian activity and lava flow view from Montagnola (Radiostudio7 webcam)
The weak strombolian activity started a few days ago has slowly increased until this morning when suddenly the tremor steeply rose. This signaled the arrival of more and stronger explosions at the new vent located between the "old" and "new" SE crater. ...more
The pyroclastic material ejected over the vent has generated a rheomorphic lava flow that has reached the base of the cone. The current pattern is very similar to the last episode which occurred about 15 days ago.
Thermal image of the eruption ( INGV Montagnola thermal webcam)
Ash emission on the 3rd of March from the SE crater (image: Boris Behncke / Twitter)
After only a few hours since the last eruption stopped, some sporadic weak ash emissions resumed from the new vent of the SE crater. ...more
Today bad weather prevented detailed observations but during brief moments of visibility it was possible to observe that the weak strombolian activity is still ongoing. Seismic tremor remains low. [less]
Ash plume from Etna this evening (image: etna-guide webcam)
The first significant eruption of Etna in 2017 ended during last night. What could be called a "subdued" paroxysm from the New SE crater consisted of near-continuous strong strombolian bursts from the saddle vent at the SE crater complex with the effusion of a lava flow that spread at the southern feet of the cone. ...more
After having lasted approx. 48 hours, the intense explosive-effusive activity began to weaken quickly after 22:00 local time yesterday evening and ceased at around 23:30. During the activity, a new cinder cone has grown significantly at the vent located between the "old" and "New" SE crater.
Current tremor amplitude (SMNR station / INGV Catania)
Current activity of Bardarbunga volcano, Iceland: An intense seismic crisis started at Bárdarbunga volcano on 16 August 2014 and is continuing at the time of writing (23 Aug). It may or may not lead to a volcanic eruption, possibly under the Vatnajökull ice cap.
Follow updates as news come in!
Volcano Calendar 2017: We're proud to present our 2017 volcano calendar: 13 different and attractive images of volcanoes, volcanic landscapes and phenomena taken during volcano tours over the past few years.
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