Illustrated Volcano Glossary
- Volcano: Etna volcano, SicilyEtna is Europe's largest and most active volcano. Etna is famous for its frequent spectacular lava eruptions, most of which, however, do not pose danger for the population.
On Sicily itself, Etna is also called "Mongibello".
Volcano type Complex stratovolcano erupting Location Italy Summit elevation Currently about 3329 m (changing due to eruptive activity and collapse of its crater rims) 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.Mount Etna, towering above Catania, Sicily's second largest city, has one of the world's longest documented records of historical volcanism, dating back to 1500 BC. Historical lava flows cover much of the surface of this massive volcano, which makes it the highest and most voluminous in Italy. Ever since ancient times, the volcano seems to have been in near-constant activity. It is considered, after Kilauea on Hawaii, the second most active, i.e. productive volcano on earth.
Two styles of eruptive activity typically occur at Etna: (1) persistent explosive eruptions, sometimes with minor lava emissions, from one or more of the 4 prominent summit craters, the Bocca Nova, Voragine (the former Central Crater), NE Crater, and SE Crater (the latter formed in 1978). (2) Flank eruptions, typically with higher effusion rates, are less frequent and originate from fissures that open on the volcano's flanks. Such flank eruptions, such as the spectacular recent ones in 2001 and 2002-03 commonly form cinder cones, that dot the volcano in their hundreds.