4th paroxysm of Voratine in progress
At the time of updating, this activity is still increasing.
Lava fountain and ash plume from Voragine
Thermal image showing the lava fountain
INGV webcam from Montagnola
Current tremor signal (ESLN station / INGV Catania)
Continuing strong activity at Voragine - Catania airport remains closed
Explosion at Etna's Voragine this morning
Current tremor signal (ESLN station / INGV Catania)
The EBCN seismic station (at the foot of Bocca Nuova) is no longer sending data - probably it was hit by bombs during the first paroxysm on 3 Dec
Tremor remains high, suggesting that the current phase is in fact not over (and more paroxysm could occur). Small incandescent ejections and ash emissions also take place from the small new pit crater on the upper eastern flank of the New SE crater.
The airport of Catania remains closed today, with most flights diverted to Palermo or Comiso.
Video of this night's activity:
Third paroxysm from Voragine
Lava fountain from Etna, around 1 km tall, this evening
Lava fountain half an hour ago
Current tremor signal (ESLN station, INGV Catania)
Lava fountain seen from western side
Activity from the Voragine (and minor activity from New SE crater) had in fact not ceased at all after the peak of the paroxysm this morning, but remained with intense strombolian explosions and ash emissions. Tremor had remained elevated.
Starting around 21:10 local time, this activity once more began to increase strongly and produced tall lava fountains (probably near or even more than 1000 m high) around 21:40. Activity started to decrease again after 21:55 local time, but until now remains rather intense.
What is next in store at Etna will be very interesting to see...
Due to the ash plume, the airport of Catania has been closed. Most flights were canceled, a few diverted to Comiso. Whether it can be reopened tomorrow morning will depend on Etna's activity and the winds.
Incandescent ejections from New SE crater
Below a superb photo showing the ash plume from this morning's paroxysm. Photo credit: Testa Veronica (EtnaLive / facebook>
View of Etna's ash plume this morning (image: Testa Veronica)
The plume seen from space (MODIS / NASA)
Etna's ash plume seen from the north (image: Gruppo Guide Etna Nord)
Second paroxysm from Voragine crater
Lava fountain from Etna's Voragine today
The large ash plume from Etna's paroxysm today (image: Antonio di Caudo / https://www.facebook.com/etna365)
Following yesterday's eruption, strombolian activity had been continuing throughout the day and last night.
This morning, in particular after 08:40 (local time), tremor started to rise steeply again and activity quickly intensified. Lava fountaining produced an ash column that rose to 9-11 km altitude and spread eastwards. The intense phase of lava fountains decreased rapidly after 11:15, but strombolian activity has been continuing and tremor at the moment is still elevated.
Intermittently, ash emissions have also taken place from the new pit crater on the New SE crater cone.
Violent paroxysm at Voragine summit crater, lava fountains over 1 km height
Thermal image of Voragine's lava fountain last night
Thermal image of the lava fountain at its peak
The climax of the paroxysm occurred between 03:20 and 04:10 local time (GMT+1) when a sustained lava fountains reached heights of over 1km; some jets of hot material reached the height of 3 km above the summit of the volcano.
During the peak of the eruption, incandescent bombs were ejected to more than 3 km height.
The cloud of pyroclastic material was carried by the wind to the northeast, causing fallout of ash on villages as Linguaglossa, Francavilla di Sicilia, Milazzo, Messina and Reggio Calabria. At dawn, the eruptive activity had almost ceased, although some weak ash emissions occurred both from Voragine, the Northeast crater, and from the new small pit crater on the upper flank of the New Southeast Crater.
The paroxysmal event last night was among the most violent eruptive episodes of Etna during the past two decades; Voragine had two particularly intense paroxysms previously on 22 July 1998 and 4 Sep 1999, similar to the one last night.
Both had produced tall lava fountains, - in the case of the 4 September 1999 paroxysm surpassed 2000 m in height. The eruptive columns during the 22 July 1998 event reached a height of 12 km above sea level. Abundant pyroclastic material fell in the southern sector of the volcano during the first event (1998) and in the eastern one during the paroxysm of 1999.
Earlier on even, Voragine had been the site of exceptionally violent paroxysms, as in February 1947, July-August 1960 to August 1989.
(translated from original preliminary report on www.ct.ingv.it/it/)
Etna - Parossismo Voragine (3/12/2015)
Io penso che una nottata del genere gli appassionati dell'Etna non la dimenticheranno mai. Mi ero addormentato da poco più di un ora, il telefono ha squillato e una voce agitata mi ha detto una frase che aspettavo di sentire da tanti anni: "Antonio, c'è un parossismo fortissimo alla Voragine!". Ho alzato la serranda del balcone con una velocità che quasi mi facevo male alle mani, mi sono affacciato ancora in pigiama e ho visto una fontana di lava immensa, forse come mai ne avevo viste. Sono convinto che i getti più alti arrivassero, e probabilmente superassero di un bel pò il chilometro di altezza, una fontana di lava alta almeno un terzo dell'Etna. E poi quei fulmini in mezzo all'enorme nube di cenere che si allargava a fungo, dimostrazione dell'enorme potenza dell'evento parossistico.Ho preso l'attrezzatura rovesciando tutto quello che c'era nell'armadio, non riuscivo a montare il treppiedi perchè mi tremavano le mani. Si, per un appassionato un evento del genere, è un'assoluta rarità, pertanto l'emozione prende il sopravvento ed è per questo che ho voluto lasciare l'audio originale, anche con qualche mio commento dato dall'emozione del momento.L'ultimo parossismo vulcanico della Voragine degno di questo nome aveva avuto luogo il 4 settembre 1999, e non mi era stato possibile vederlo a causa della copertura nuvolosa. Stavolta l'Etna è stato benevolo, ha concesso ma solo a pochi, visto l'orario. Sarà interessante vedere cosa farà il vulcano dopo questo evento, sempre più convinto che nella tua imprevedibilità racchiudi il tuo fascino.Posted by Passione Etna on Mittwoch, 2. Dezember 2015
Increased strombolian activity at the Voragine crater
Strombolian activity at the Voragine crater seen from the East(comune Giarre - DPC)
Due to poor visibility the glow from Voragine was incorrectly attributed to the New SE crater earlier. The New SE crater however did show some weak ash emissions this afternoon.
Increased activity at Voragine
View from Montagnola towards Etna's summit craters
Current tremor signal (EBCN station / INGV Catania)
Visibility is not very good, but bright glow and rising tremor suggest that a new eruptive phase is in progress.
A new pit crater had been observed on the upper eastern flank of the New SE cone, which had been degassing strongly. In the meanwhile, the strombolian activity inside Voragine had also continued during the past days, occasionally even strong enough to project bombs higher than the rim of the crater.
Weak strombolian activity at the New SE Crater
Weak strombolian activity continues also from the vent inside the Voragine crater.
Tremor remains low at the moment.
Thermal anomaly on the eastern side of the New SE crater (INGV Monte Cagliato thermal webcam)
Weak ash emissions from the New SE crater (Montagnola webcam, INGV Catania)
Degassing from summit craters, mild strombolian activity in Voragine
Mild strombolian explosions seem to continue from Voragine, as suggested by small puffs of ash visible. Strong degassing and perhaps dilute ash emissions are also originating from the NE crater where deep-seated explosive activity occurs and can be heard when on its rim.
Weak ash emisson from Etna's central crater (INGV webcam)
Steaming/degassing from Etna's New SE crater (l) and from the NE crater (r)
Intense degassing from New SE crater
Etna's steaming New SE crater this mornning
Tremor amplitude (ESLN station, INGV Catania)
Over the past two weeks, 5 episodes of increased tremor and increased degassing occurred from the crater, but so far all ended without an eruption - one could call them "failed attempts" to produce the otherwise typical paroxysms. Another such episode might be about to start at the time of this update (check the webcams).
In the meantime, weak strombolian activity continues at the vent inside the Voragine crater.
Tremor dropped - no eruption
Etna's current tremor signal (EBCN station, INGV Catania)
urrently, this consists of mild strombolian explosions inside the Voragine summit crater.
Rising tremor - possible sign of a new paroxysm?
Rising tremor signal from Etna volcano (EBCN station, INGV)
Thermal image of the New SE crater
So far, no significant activity is visible from the New SE crater (NSEC), although a hot spot is present on thermal webcam images.
If you like to follow this activity in real-time, visit the webcams...
Unstable tremor, continuing strombolian activity in Voragine
The New SE crater has been restless, too: a small explosion occurred over night.
Another change noted when Emanuela climbed the summit crater was that the wall dividing the two vents inside Bocca Nuova has collapsed, probably a week ago when a seismic-volcanic event occurred at the volcano.
Etna's summit area this morning
Tremor amplitude (EBCN station / INGV)
Ash emission from NSEC last night
The Bocca Nuova before last week and now - there is now only a single pit