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Stromboli volcano (Italy), activity update: strong activity continues

do, 6 jul 2006, 07:19
07:19 AM | DOOR: TOM PFEIFFER
Smoke ring emitted from the NE cone on 28 June 2006
Smoke ring emitted from the NE cone on 28 June 2006
The crater terrace on 4 July with the collapsed NE cone crater erupting violently.
The crater terrace on 4 July with the collapsed NE cone crater erupting violently.

Exceptionally strong activity continues at Strombli volcano:


There are about 10 active vents, 5-7 of which are constantly glowing. Constant spattering is frequently observed from at least one or sometimes several vents in the central area. The vent in the former NW crater has now built up a steep cinder cone that produces very tall lava fountains, sometimes up to 400m height. The vent in the NE corner of the central area (the "NE-cone") that had had the shape of a steep, pronounced chimmney-like cone has now collapsed a few days ago; it is now a broad flat ring-shaped crater. The NE vents are having a more usual, lesser activity with small to moderate sized strombolian explosions every 20-40 minutes.
Gas jets: The characteristic, fountain like eruptions that interest the vents in the central and western area of the crater are usually starting with a jet of incandescent, greenish to bluish gas (methane?), and then evolving into true lava fountains lasting 10-20 seconds.
Smoke-rings: Just before its collapse, probably on 28 or 29 June, it went through a phase early on 28 June where it was producing many steam rings at intervals of few seconds. Also some of the other vents are sometimes observed producing smoke rings.


Detonating noises: Some of the explosions, particularly the ones from the NW crater vent are accompanied by extremely loud detonating noise, that can often be heard clearly all over the village of Stromboli.


We conclude that the magma column inside the conduits is very high and near the rim, while the output rate of magma has clearly increased. This can be seen by that the whole crater terrace is obviously filling up with new material at a considerable rate. Should the crater walls towards the Sciara del Fuoco give way, a new lateral, effusive eruption such as in late 2002 could be expected.

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