Contact | RSS | EN | DE | EL | ES | FR | IT | RU

Etna volcano update: Earthquakes rattle volcano's southern flank

Sat, 2 Jan 2021, 15:25
15:25 PM | BY: T
Earthquakes under Etna volcano during 31 Dec 2020-2Jan 2021
Earthquakes under Etna volcano during 31 Dec 2020-2Jan 2021
Steaming from the New SE crater (image: LAVE webcam)
Steaming from the New SE crater (image: LAVE webcam)
A series of earthquakes shook the flanks of Etna volcano during the past days. Since the afternoon of 31 Dec 2020 until this morning, a swarm of tremors has occurred at depths of 10-15 km mainly under the southern flank of the volcano.
A total of almost 40 quakes of magnitudes of up to 3.8 have been recorded, most of them on 31 Dec and early 1 Jan. The strongest quakes were widely felt by people living on the southern slopes of Etna.
There are no signs that that these quakes have affected the activity at the summit craters, which has been calming down gradually, and seems to consist only of sporadic (if any) weak strombolian activity and some ash emissions from the New SE crater and, to lesser extent, the Voragine central crater.
It is unclear whether the earthquakes were volcanic in origin, but they might well be so, possibly caused by deep magmatic intrusions that pressurize deep reservoirs and break up rocks in the mantle to create space, resulting in small earthquakes. Ultimately, they might but not necessarily need to be precursors of a new phase of activity, something that only Etna knows at the present.

Previous news

Mon, 28 Dec 2020, 20:40

Etna volcano update: Strombolian activity from New SE crater

Strombolian eruptions from Etna's New SE crater this evening (image: LAVE webcam from Schiena dell'Asino)
Although no paroxysm has occurred since the last one almost a week ago (on 22 Dec), Etna continues to erupt, mainly from the eastern summit vent of the New SE crater. Read all
Wed, 23 Dec 2020, 16:45

Etna volcano update: Mild strombolian activity and moderate ash emissions

Weak strombolian activity at the eastern vent (r) and dense steam-ash emissions from the central crater of Etna's New SE crater this evening (image: INGV webcam)
After the latest paroxysm from the New SE crater early yesterday morning, the volcano has continued to produce mild strombolian activity, mainly from the eastern summit vent of the SE crater complex. ... Read all
Show more
Etna volcano
Complex stratovolcano Currently about 3329 m (changing due to eruptive activity and collapse of its crater rims)
Sicily, Italy, 37.75°N / 14.99°E
Current status: erupting (4 out of 5) Etna volcano eruptions:
Near continuously active; some major historic eruptions include 122 BC (large Plinian outbursts that created the small caldera of the "Cratere del Piano"), 1669 AD (devastating flank eruption that destroyed 15 villages and part of Catania), 1787 (Subplinian eruption and one of the most spectacular summit eruptions on record - lava fountains reportedly up to 3000 m high).
Eruptions since 1950 (f: flank / s: summit activity): 1950 (s), 1950-51(f), 1955 (s), 1956 (s), 1956 (f), 1957 (s),1960 (s), 1961 (s), 1964 (f), 1964 (s), 1966 (s), 1966-1971(s), 1968 (f), 1971(f), 1972-1973 (s), 1974 (f), 1974-1975 (s), 1975-1977 (f), 1977-1978 (s), 1978 (f), 1979(s), 1979 (f), 1980 (s), 1981 (s), 1981 (f),1982-1983 (s), 1983(f), 1984(s), 1985(s), 1985(f), 1986(s), 1986-1987 (f), 1987(s), 1988(s), 1989(s), 1989(f), 1990 (s), 1991-93(f), 1995(s), 1996(s), 1997 (s), 1998 (s), 1999 (s), 2000 (s), 2001(s), 2001 (f), 2002(s), 2002-03(f), 2004-2005 (f), 2006 (s), 2007 (s), 2008-2009 (f), 2010(s), 2011-2013(s), 2014-18, 2018(f), 2019-ongoing (s)
Typical eruption style
Effusive (lava flows) and mildly explosive (strombolian) eruptions. Both summit and frequent flank eruptions, the latter seem to be occurring in clusters lasting few to a few tens of years.

Etna volcano tours

Naples, Eolian Islands, Etna (Italy)
Volcanoes of Italy - the Grand Tour
15-day study & walking tour to Italy's volcanoes from Vesuvius to Etna
15 days (14 nights) - Easy to Moderate
Price 3890 €
6-20 Oct 2023
Etna volcano (Italy)
Etna Volcano Special
volcano expedition to see Mt. Etna volcano' eruption
5 days (4 nights) - Moderate
Price 1590 €
Custom and group dates
11-15 Feb 2023
20-24 Feb 2023
Sicily and Eolian Islands (Italy)
From Stromboli to Etna
9-day walking & study tour to Stromboli, Lipari, Vulcano and Etna with our expert volcanologist
9 days / 8 nights - Easy to Moderate
Price 2950 €
6-14 May 2023
14-21 May 2023
30 Sep - 8 Oct 2023
Try our free app!
Volcanoes & Earthquakes - new app for Android
Android | iOS version

More on VolcanoDiscovery

Support us - Help us upgrade our services!

We truly love working to bring you the latest volcano and earthquake data from around the world. Maintaining our website and our free apps does require, however, considerable time and resources.
We need financing to increase hard- and software capacity as well as support our editor team. We're aiming to achieve uninterrupted service wherever an earthquake or volcano eruption unfolds, and your donations can make it happen! Every donation will be highly appreciated. If you find the information useful and would like to support our team in integrating further features, write great content, and in upgrading our soft- and hardware, please make a donation (PayPal or Online credit card payment).

Planned features:
  • Improved multilanguage support
  • Tsunami alerts
  • Faster responsiveness
Thanks to your past donations, these features have been added recently:
  • Design upgrade
  • Detailed quake stats
  • Additional seismic data sources
Download and Upgrade the Volcanoes & Earthquakes app to get one of the fastest seismic and volcano alerts online:
Android | IOS
Thank you!
Sources: VolcanoDiscovery / VolcanoAdventures and other sources as noted.
Use of material: Most text and images on our websites are owned by us. Re-use is generally not permitted without authorization. Contact us for licensing rights.
Volcanoes & Earthquakes
VolcanoDiscovery Home
Volcanoes | Earthquakes | Photos | Volcano News | App
Adventure & Study Travel
Tours to Volcanoes and Volcanic Areas: walking tours, photo tours, study tours
Tours & Dates | FAQ | About us
Get our newsletter!
Company info
Contact | Legal info | Terms & conditions
Follow us
Follow us on facebook Follow us on Instagram Follow us on Twitter Visit our Youtube channel
EN | DE | EL | ES | FR | IT | RU
VolcanoDiscovery GmbH, Germany, Reg. nr.: HRB 103744, EU Tax Id: DE 310 395 322 owned and created by
Dr. Tom Pfeiffer, volcanologist, volcano photographer, tour organizer member of
IAVCEI
Volcanological Society
Ecotourism Greece
Insured by R+V
VolcanoDiscovery © 2004- All Rights Reserved | Privacy - cookie settings