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Etna volcano (Italy), activity update: strombolian activity, effusion of lava from collapsing SE crater

di, 12 sep 2006, 14:53

Strombolian activity at the SE crater and lava emission from vents inside the crater continue at Etna volcano. Parts of the cone are collapsing, permitting viscous lava to flow out from the center.
The following in a detailed report published by the INGV Catania:

<<After the end of the short eruptive phase of July 14-24, 2006, and the renewal of explosive activity at the North-East Crater at the end of  July, on early morning of 31 August strombolian activity resumed also at the summit of the South-East Crater (SEC). This activity was mild, with fallout of lapilli and bombs mainly within the crater.<br>The ejecta eventually filled the crater, and between 19:00 and 20:00 
(local time) of 5 September an overflow occurred from the summit of the SEC. The overflow formed spectacular lava falls along the breached east side of the crater, and lava was accumulating within the depression that cuts the middle-eastern flank of the SEC. This large depression formed after the end of the 2004-05 eruption.
The overflow from the summit continued to spread within the depression until 7 September when, at about 6:45 am (local time), it overflowed the eastern rim and started to spread on the outer east flank of the SEC, and from here towards the Valle del Bove rim. The flow was extremely viscous, slow, thin and cold, mainly propagating through collapses and breaching of the a'a' flow front. Explosive activity continued at the summit of the SEC with discontinuous intensity, height up to about 50 m, and with lava blocks falling up to the base of the cone.
Late in the evening of 10 September a new rock fall occurred from the wall dividing the SEC summit crater from the middle-eastern depression. As a result, an ash plume rose from the summit of the crater, transported westward by the wind. No significant ash fallout has been observed on the ground, and the lava flow spreading on the east flank is still slowly moving towards the Valle del Bove rim. Both lava flow effusion and explosive -strombolian- activity are still going on today, 11 September.

Updated reports of the activity (in Italian) are available at the 
INGV-CT web page

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