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Etna volcano update: Another paroxysm with lava fountains

Tue, 22 Dec 2020, 10:27
10:27 AM | BY: T
Lava fountain from Etna's New SE crater early this morning (image: LAVE webcam)
Lava fountain from Etna's New SE crater early this morning (image: LAVE webcam)
Activity of Etna after the end of the eruption showing the two lava flows (image: Boris Behncke / INGV Catania)
Activity of Etna after the end of the eruption showing the two lava flows (image: Boris Behncke / INGV Catania)
A third paroxysm occurred at the volcano in the early morning hours today, following the previous one after almost exactly 24 hours.
After around 2 am local time, the New SE crater showed increasing strombolian activity from its main vent (the so-called saddle vent), as well as, to lesser degree, from the eastern summit vent. This activity continued to increase until a phase of lava fountaining set in around 5 am that lasted approx. one hour.
As during the previous paroxysm, a lava flow was issued from the fracture beneath the vent during the height of activity. It branched into two flows, one directed SW towards the 2002 and Monte Frumento Supino cones, overlapping the previously emplaced flows, the other SE into the Valle del Bove, visible in this video:

As lava flows traveled over snow, occasional phreatomagmatic explosionsdue to rapid evaporation of trapped snow pockets occurred from time to time.
It seems very likely that this is the start of a new series of paroxysm. The next one might occur in the near future, but only Etna knows exactly...

Previous news

Mon, 21 Dec 2020, 12:24
The eruption column of Etna volcano this morning (image: Andrea Pulvirenti / facebook)
Another lava-fountaining episode (paroxysm) occurred this morning at the volcano. ... Read all
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