Etna volcano updates and eruption news:
Over the past night, a new effusive vent opened and started to erupt a new, well-alimentated lava flow. This comes after a pause in eruptive activity over the past daysw. The new vent is located in the Valle del Bove headwall, at ca. 2800 m east of SE crater and near the location of the vent that had been activive during the past two months. The onset of activity was accompanied by an augmentation of tremor level as well weak ash emissions from the SE crater itself.
As its predecessor, the new lava flow is moving into the Valle del Bove and does not pose any threat for inhabited areas.
The pit crater on the upper eastern flank of the SE crater continues to produce relatively mild strombolian activity originating from two vents.
Photographs published by INGV Catania (within their frequent updates) show an important enlargement of that pit crater, first observed on 19 Nov. It is interesting to note the large morphologic changes on the SE-E flank of the SE crater cone in the area where rockfalls and slides debris avalanches cut out a deep trench on 16 Nov, but which is now largely filled again by debris and recent flows.
The new fissure at the eastern foot of the SE crater at 3100 m elevation, first observed late on 30 Nov., is still active and produces near continuous spattering and at times sustained lava fountains up to several tens of meters high. The lava flow emitted from here has travelled a few 100 of meters, but as of noon on 3 Dec. not yet reached the area of the 2800 m vent.
The latter has little news to report, but continues to feed beautifully braided flows down the wall into Valle del Bove.
A new eruptive episode of Etna's SE crater occurred on 1 December, characterized by weak strombolian activity and ash production from a vent near the summit of SE crater and a new effusive fissure vent at its base:
A moderately dense pulsating ash column, reaching about 4000 m a.s.l. was emitted by weak strombolian activity at the collapse pit high on the eastern flank of the cone, located near the upper end of the collapse scar from 16 November and observed since 19 November.
A new eruptive eastern trending fissure feeding small fountains and a lava flow had opened at the eastern base of the cone at ca. 3100m elevation late on 30 November. Its flows were well alimentated and rapidly approached the area of the 2800 m vent. The latter continues to emit a number branching flows whose most advanced fronts are spreading, at a rate of approximately 100m per day, in the area of the Monte Centinari at the bottom of the Valle del Bove.
A new episode of strong ash production, probably accompanied with strombolian activity from the SE crater took place in the morning of 29 November. Today (30 Nov.), no ash is visible. The lava flow in Valle del Bove from the 2800 m vent continues to flow. During the night, a number of breakouts and open channels are clearly visible....màs
Etna's SE crater continued to spew ash plumes travelling SE and forcing the closure of Catania's airport for the 4th consecutive day. Reopening is scheduled for Tuesday 28 Nov.
After the strong eruption on 24 Nov, that forced the temporary shutdown of Catania's airport because of ash, Etna calmed down again on 25 Nov. Following its apparent two-days rhythm, another (but weaker) episode of strong stombolian activity took place at the SE crater on the afternoon of 26 Nov.
A new powerful eruptive episode took place this morning at Etna volcano, where the SE crater started lava fountaining and ash emissions accompanied by new lava flows from the fracture on the upper southern slope of SE crater as well as from the 3050 m vent on the flank of Bocca Nuova.
The ash plume reached a height of 5 km and travelled to the SE.
In the late morning of 21 Nov, strong explosive activity resumed at SE crater, culminating in the so far strongest episode. Bad visibility inhibited direct observations of the lava fountains, but a significant ash plume was generated that caused ash fall in a broad sector east of the volcano. As INGV reports, more than 50 grams of ash per square meter were deposited in the town of Giarre.
A detailed report about the fall out is found at INVG Catania's website (www.ct.ingv.it).
Another strong eruptive phase ("paroxysm") occurred at SE crater today (19 Nov 2006), characterized by a strong increase of lava output and corresponding activation of different vents, probably belonging to one and the same feeding system:
During the morning, the crater was seen and hear emitting dense ash from a vent in the collapse pit on the E side accompanied by loud detinations. Scientist from INGV on location observed mild, near-continuous strombolian activity ejecting bombs outside of the crater. Since the morning, a lava flow emerged from the vent inside the collapse pit and is overflowing the area SE of the crater still covered by the debris flow of the partial collapse from 16 Nov.
Also during the morning, the 3050 vent W of SE crater became active again and was feeding new flows.
At around noon, the 2800 m vent in Valle del Bove started spattering again.
As INGV Catania reports, the 2800 m effusive vent is again in a phase of intense spattering and numerous breakouts from the lava tunnel feed several flow branches visible on webcams.