Paroxysm (nr 24) at the New SE Crater on 12 April
Strombolian activity had started on the evening of 10 April, and intensified during the night 11-12 April and on the morning of 12 April, with explosions from the summit vent of the cone becoming more and more energetic and regular.
At 14:17 local time, a vent was reactivated on a segment further upslope on the eruptive fissure on the southeast side of the NSEC and began issuing a slow lava flow.
Ten minutes later, the same vent initiated weak spattering. Almost simultaneously the strombolian activity, which had remained fairly stable during the previous hour, began to gradually increase. During this phase, the formation of at least 3 gas rings were observed, which rose several hundred meters above the crater and then dissipated.
At about 15:15 the first weak and intermittent lava fountains started from the summit vent of the cone. The activity of spattering from the eruptive fissure had gradually intensified producing real strombolian explosions that, around 16:00, became very intense, throwing volcanic bombs size of meter size until the base of the cone.
At around 16:10 another lava flow was observed to be erupted from the gap formed after the collapse of the northeastern portion of the cinder cone on 1 April, but it was not possible to assess whether it was produced by the reactivation of the fissure opened during that activity, or whether it was generated by an overflow due to an increase in lava discharge rate from the other vents.
Between 16:20 and 16:30 the activity suddenly intensitied and formed sustained lava fountains, first from the summit vent, then later from several other vents aligned along the eruptive fissure on the southeastern flank. The largest of these lava fountains produced spectacular sprays directed towards the Valle del Bove.
The fountaining generated a column of gas and tephra that has rose a few km above the volcano and was then bent by the winds to the east.
The activity remained almost constant for about half an hour, when, at around 17:00, the vent at the top of the cone stopped fountaining and started to produce impressive ash emissions. The activity decreased sharply around 17:15. During this phase, the lava flows travelling into the Valle del Bove in contact with snow generated huge lahars that produced large clouds of steam that rose some hundreds of feet above the valley floor.
The ash emission stopped at around 17h40 and all activity stopped a few tens of minutes later. The most advanced lava flow fronts reached at 1950 meters above sea level in the Valle del Bove.
A second lava flow was erupted from the fissure on the north side of the cone, and reached some 100 m length.
Update Thu 12 Apr 17:44The eruption is more or less over. Some sporadic ash emissions and the still active lava flow descending into Valle del Bove are all what is left of one of the probably most violent recent paroxysms of Etna.
Correspondingly, the tremor signal has dropped sharply back down.
Update Thu 12 Apr 17:29
Last ash emissions from the NSEC
Update Thu 12 Apr 17:18
Tall eruption column seen from Catania
Update Thu 12 Apr 17:15
Update Thu 12 Apr 17:09
Lava flow into Valle del Bove generating small pyroclastic flow
The lava flow descending into Valle del Bove meets snow layers, and occasionally, the violent mixing generates small pyroclastic flows such as this one captured on Etna Trekking's Schiena dell'Asino webcam.
Update Thu 12 Apr 16:59
Update Thu 12 Apr 16:50
The eruption at its peak
Update Thu 12 Apr 16:44Several lava fountains are visible, even on the webcams, from vents located on the NW-SE fissure cutting through the New SE crater (NSEC). The ash column is several km tall drifting to the east.
Update Thu 12 Apr 16:39
Update Thu 12 Apr 16:36The eruption near its peak?
Update Thu 12 Apr 16:31
Lava fountains from the summit crater of the NSEC
The view from Schiena dell'Asino
Update Thu 12 Apr 16:28
The eruption column starting to rise (Etna Trekking webcam from Schiena dell'Asino)
Update Thu 12 Apr 16:12
Update Thu 12 Apr 15:47You can watch the activity live at webcams.volcanodiscovery.com/Etna!
Update Thu 12 Apr 15:38The tremor signal has increased fast during the past minutes and is now at about 60. It seems low lava fountains might be starting.
Update Thu 12 Apr 15:14Activity continues to increase by the minute now.
lava flow has started
Update Thu 12 Apr 14:54A lava flow can now be seen emerging from the SE gap of the cone.
Update Thu 12 Apr 14:09Gradually, explosions are becoming more violent, but the build-up this time is slow.
Update Thu 12 Apr 13:03It looks almost certain now we are heading towards a new paroxysm. Strombolian activity is now visible in daylight and near continuous from the NSEC.
New paroxysm under way?
Update Thu 12 Apr 10:35During the night and the morning, sporadic strombolian activity, sometimes strong enough to eject bombs to the outer flank of the cone, continued at the New SE crater.
A short time ago, the tremor signal again started to rise sharply, possibly announcing the next paroxysm to occur within the next hours, unless it is another "failed attempt" such as yesterday...
Update Wed 11 Apr 15:26This time, it was a false alarm. After an unusual steep rise, tremor has fallen back down again.
Update Wed 11 Apr 11:27A new paroxysm could be in the making! The tremor signal is showing its typical steep increase, visible observations are difficult at the moment.
Update Wed 11 Apr 09:24Strombolian activity has resumed at the New SE crater of Etna and was first observed last night (11 April) at around 20h00 local time. Until midnight, explosions were weak and infrequent, but increased in size for a while at around 1 am. Some of them threw incandescent lava until the base of the cone.
At the moment, bad weather is preventing visual observations. The tremor signal is still at low levels (although a rise that could mean a temporary peak is visible right now).
Judging from the past events, a new paroxysm is likely to occur during the next days.
Source: Etna Walk
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Update Fri 06 Apr 17:19