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Random pictures

Build-up and start of the eruption

For about 10 days preceding the eruption, the New SE crater had shown sporadic strombolian activity at fluctuating levels. Tremor had been fluctuating with a slightly increasing tendency in accordance.
The onset of the eruption was in the late afternoon of 8 Feb, when strombolian bursts became more frequent, and the tremor signal started to rise gradually.
Evolution of the paroxysm during 8-9 February
Strombolian explosions were continuous since about 17h00 local time, and gradually merged into increasing lava fountains, accompanied by a slowly rising volcanic tremor signal. The eruption was fed by several vents along the fissure cutting through the cone. Low but sustained lava fountaining seems to have started sometime between 21 and 23 h local time. At about 21h00, a lava flow started to be visible issuing ESE direction from the SE notch of the crater. By 22h30, the lava flow had reached the slope break at the western rim of the Valle del Bove and started to descend there, split into at least 2, probably more branches.
At about 23 h local time, taller lava fountains were visible from the webcam. The peak phase of the eruption lasted much longer than previous episodes. It began around 01 am and lasted for about 5 hours until around 6 am near dawn. It produced tall lava fountains reaching an estimated 500 m or more judging from the webcam pictures, and a tall plume of steam and ash rising several kilometers and drifting SW.
 

New SE crater paroxysm on 8-9 February (nr 20)

Tall lava fountains during the New SE crater's 20th paroxysm on 8-9 Feb, captured on the etnaweb.net webcam from the east
Tall lava fountains during the New SE crater's 20th paroxysm on 8-9 Feb, captured on the etnaweb.net webcam from the east
The paroxysm at around 2am seen from the Mareneve road (photo: Etna-Walk, www.etnawalk.it/Gallery/Show/208/parossismo-9-febbraio-2012)
The paroxysm at around 2am seen from the Mareneve road (photo: Etna-Walk, www.etnawalk.it/Gallery/Show/208/parossismo-9-febbraio-2012)
Another spectacular paroxysmal eruption occurred from Etna's New SE crater during the night of 8-9 February, marking the 20th such episode since 2011 or the second in 2012. The eruption followed an approximate 10 day period of intermittend strombolian activity which increased during the afternoon of 8 February and reached its peak with tall lava fountains after midnight, and large lava flows into the Valle del Bove.
The eruption produced a tall plume of ash which drifted to the SW and forced the cancellation of most early flights in and out Catania airport. Later in the morning, after the end of the eruption and the ash plume had dissipated, the operations resumed back to normal.
The eruption was one of the most intense and longest in the series.
The following is a preliminary interpretation of the temporal evolution of the eruption, based on regular snapshots (see pictures below) taken from various webcams (notably, the radiostudio7, etnaweb and INGV webcams, in comparison with the volcanic tremor signal).
around 07h30 local time: eruption ends
The eruption has ended, somewhere around 07h30, following a steep decrease of lava emission corresponding to the steeply decreasing tremor signal.
Broad (= long duration) tremor peak of the eruption
Broad (= long duration) tremor peak of the eruption
06h35 local time: eruption decreases, but still lava fountains 2-300 m high
Volcanic tremor is sharly dropping now, but lava fountains are still impressive. Probably, the eruption will still continue for a while and end, abruptly or with a long tail, we cannot say right now. We end our "webcam reporting" at this point.
Volcanic tremor in rapid decrease, now at 70
Volcanic tremor in rapid decrease, now at 70
Still tall lava fountains at dawn
Still tall lava fountains at dawn
Lava fountains decrease
Lava fountains decrease
View from Catania (INGV headquarter), view from S
View from Catania (INGV headquarter), view from S
06h20 local time
Volcanic tremor at 83
Volcanic tremor at 83
Lava fountains at dawn
Lava fountains at dawn
Eruption plume
Eruption plume
Decreasing lava fountains seen from the Belvedere
Decreasing lava fountains seen from the Belvedere
06h10 local time: eruption still going on, very tall lava fountains
Volcanic tremor at 85
Volcanic tremor at 85
Lava fountains and the flow into Valle del Bove seen from the east
Lava fountains and the flow into Valle del Bove seen from the east
Eruption plume
Eruption plume
Lava fountains seen from the south
Lava fountains seen from the south
06h00 local time: eruption still strong, but continues to decrease slowly
It appears that the peak of the eruption is over at this time, as the visible fountains and their intensity have decreased a bit, along with the tremor curve which now has started to descend.
In most other paroxysms, the end was a very shap drop in activity, which could happen now as well. On the other hand, given the very slow build-up and long duration of the main phase, it might be a slow decrease this time.
Tremor at 90, seems to have started to fall
Tremor at 90, seems to have started to fall
Lava fountains and the lava flow seen from the east
Lava fountains and the lava flow seen from the east
The eruption plume from the south
The eruption plume from the south
Weaker lava fountains appear from the Montagnola thermal webcam
Weaker lava fountains appear from the Montagnola thermal webcam
05h40 local time: eruption still strong, but seems to start decreasing
Tremor at 95, slightly less now
Tremor at 95, slightly less now
Etna views from the EtnaWeb.net webcam in Mascali (view from the East)
Etna views from the EtnaWeb.net webcam in Mascali (view from the East)
Eruption plume
Eruption plume
Lava fountains still 4-500 m tall
Lava fountains still 4-500 m tall
05h25 local time: eruption at full force
Tremor at 97
Tremor at 97
Lava flow descending into Valle del Bove
Lava flow descending into Valle del Bove
Eruption plume
Eruption plume
Lava fountains
Lava fountains
05h05 local time: eruption still growing
Tremor at 97
Tremor at 97
Lava flow descending into Valle del Bove
Lava flow descending into Valle del Bove
Eruption plume
Eruption plume
Lava fountains
Lava fountains
04h45 local time: eruption increases more
The eruption picked up again and is still getting stronger it seems. Lava fountains are probably higher than 500 m now.
Tremor at 92
Tremor at 92
The lava flow and fountains
The lava flow and fountains
Tall ash plume on the Nicolosi thermal cam
Tall ash plume on the Nicolosi thermal cam
Tall lava fountains seen on the Montagnola infrared cam
Tall lava fountains seen on the Montagnola infrared cam
04h20 local time: eruption stays very vigorous
Tremor at 88
Tremor at 88
Lava flow down into Valle del Bove
Lava flow down into Valle del Bove
Eruption plume
Eruption plume
Lava fountains up to 4-500 m
Lava fountains up to 4-500 m
03h50 local time: eruption still going on strong, but slight decrease
Tremor at 88
Tremor at 88
Lava fountains still strong
Lava fountains still strong
03h25 local time: eruption at its peak
Tremor at 86
Tremor at 86
Lava flow down into Valle del Bove
Lava flow down into Valle del Bove
Eruption plume
Eruption plume
Lava fountains, slightly decreasing
Lava fountains, slightly decreasing
02h45 local time: eruption continues and even increases
Tremor at 90
Tremor at 90
View from Belvedere
View from Belvedere
Eruption plume
Eruption plume
Lava fountains around 500 m tall
Lava fountains around 500 m tall
02h15 local time
Tremor at 77
Tremor at 77
Lava fountains about 400 m high
Lava fountains about 400 m high
01h50 local time: eruption increases to near peak intensity
The lava fountains are now probably 300-500 m tall. Steam generated from the lava flow melting snow downslope in Valle del Bove begins to drift through the view to the lava fountains from the Belvedere webcam.
Tremor at 70
Tremor at 70
The lava fountains from the etnaweb webcam (view from the east)
The lava fountains from the etnaweb webcam (view from the east)
The tall (several km high) eruption plume seen from INGV's thermal camera from Nicolosi
The tall (several km high) eruption plume seen from INGV's thermal camera from Nicolosi
Thermal image of the 3-400 m tall lava fountains (INGV Montagnola webcam)
Thermal image of the 3-400 m tall lava fountains (INGV Montagnola webcam)
01h18-01h35 local time: 300 m lava fountains
Tremor at 46
Tremor at 46
Lava fountains on the Belvedere webcam of radiostudio7.it
Lava fountains on the Belvedere webcam of radiostudio7.it
Eruption plume 01h27
Eruption plume 01h27
About 300 m lava fountains 01h27
About 300 m lava fountains 01h27
Eruption plume 01h18
Eruption plume 01h18
Tall lava fountain at 01h18
Tall lava fountain at 01h18
00h55 local time: eruption gains strength again
Tremor back at 40
Tremor back at 40
Tall lava fountains
Tall lava fountains
Eruption plume
Eruption plume
Lava fountains from the thermal Montagnola webcam
Lava fountains from the thermal Montagnola webcam
00h40 local time: eruption briefly decreases
Tremor back at 33
Tremor back at 33
Lower lava fountains and the large lava flow into Valle del Bove
Lower lava fountains and the large lava flow into Valle del Bove
Eruption plume from the thermal webcam at Nicolosi
Eruption plume from the thermal webcam at Nicolosi
Decreasing lava fountains from the thermal Montagnola webcam
Decreasing lava fountains from the thermal Montagnola webcam
00:10 local time: fountaining starts
The eruption seems to have entered its peak phase, although the tremor amplitude is still low compared to previous paroxysms. Judging from the webcam images, lava fountains are probably 200-300 m high.
Tremor at 35 (stagnating)
Tremor at 35 (stagnating)
Webcam of the lava fountains and lava flow
Webcam of the lava fountains and lava flow
Plume rising (thermal camera from Nicolosi)
Plume rising (thermal camera from Nicolosi)
Lava fountains seem on the thermal webcam image from Montagnola
Lava fountains seem on the thermal webcam image from Montagnola
23h35 local time: eruption increases
In the last half an hour, the eruption has increased significantly in strength. Several vents can be located from the webcam images, and lava fountains are probably reaching roughly 200 m already.
Tremor now at 40
Tremor now at 40
Webcam showing the advancing lava flow
Webcam showing the advancing lava flow
Tall eruption plume (thermal camera from Nicolosi)
Tall eruption plume (thermal camera from Nicolosi)
Thermal image from Montagnola showing 100-200 m fountains
Thermal image from Montagnola showing 100-200 m fountains
23h05 local time: lava fountains start rising
Tremor (at 26)
Tremor (at 26)
Starting lava fountains and the branched lava flow (radiostudio7.it webcam)
Starting lava fountains and the branched lava flow (radiostudio7.it webcam)
Wide-angle webcam view showing the advance of the lava flow into the Valle del Bove (radiostudio7.it webcam)
Wide-angle webcam view showing the advance of the lava flow into the Valle del Bove (radiostudio7.it webcam)
Thermal image from Nicolosi showing the already tall plume generated rising and drifting to the W-SW (INGV webcam)
Thermal image from Nicolosi showing the already tall plume generated rising and drifting to the W-SW (INGV webcam)
22h55 local time
Volcanic tremor (at 23)
Volcanic tremor (at 23)
Webcam showing taller explosions
Webcam showing taller explosions
22h30 local time
Volcanic tremor still at 19
Volcanic tremor still at 19
The lava flow has reached the edge of the image frame, near the rim of the Valle del Bove
The lava flow has reached the edge of the image frame, near the rim of the Valle del Bove
22h05 local time: continuous explosions
Volcanic tremor rising sharply
Volcanic tremor rising sharply
The advancing lava flow and vigorous explosions / low lava fountains probably from several vents
The advancing lava flow and vigorous explosions / low lava fountains probably from several vents
21h50 local time
Volcanic tremor (INGV)
Volcanic tremor (INGV)
Webcam shot at the same time, a lava flow is flowing from the SE fissure, and quickly advancing.
Webcam shot at the same time, a lava flow is flowing from the SE fissure, and quickly advancing.
17h10 - 21h13 local time
Tremor signal (INGV)
Tremor signal (INGV)
Webcam image 20h08
Webcam image 20h08
Webcam image 21h13
Webcam image 21h13
During the 3 hours between 17h00 and 20h00, the tremor doubled from about 4 (left picture) to 8, and strombolian activity had become vigorous and continuous (right picture).
 

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