Etna volcano - eruption update

Two more lava fountains at clockwork rhythm

Update Mon 21 Jun 2021 07:20
Lava fountain from this morning's paroxysm at Etna's New SE crater (image: LAVE webcam)
Lava fountain from this morning's paroxysm at Etna's New SE crater (image: LAVE webcam)
Lava fountain from Satuday evening's paroxysm at Etna's New SE crater (image: LAVE webcam)
Lava fountain from Satuday evening's paroxysm at Etna's New SE crater (image: LAVE webcam)
Current tremor signal showing the two peaks of the recent paroxysms (image: INGV Catania)
Current tremor signal showing the two peaks of the recent paroxysms (image: INGV Catania)
The volcano is again in a phase with very regular rhythmic eruptive behavior, as short, but violent lava fountaining episodes (paroxysms) continue to occur from the New SE crater at intervals of approx. 36-48 hours, with little to no activity in the times between.
The latest ones happened Saturday evening (19 June 2021) between 20:45-21:30 local time and this night between around midnight to 1:45 am this morning.
In both cases, strombolian activity started to reappear about an hour before the lava fountaining phase, then quickly intensified to merge into fountains, which abruptly ceased after reaching their peak phase with heights of several hundred meters.
New lava flows were erupted in both cases from the southern part of the cone towards the SW into the Torre del Filosofo area, which is becoming a thick shield of overlapping recent lava flows.
This behavior is well reflected by the sharp spikes in volcanic tremor that separate quiet, recharging phases during the intervals.

New paroxysm 36 hours after previous one

Update Fri 18 Jun 2021 21:46
Lava fountain from Etna last night (image: LAVE webcam)
Lava fountain from Etna last night (image: LAVE webcam)
Only about a day and a half since the paroxysm in the early afternoon of 16 June, another one occurred early on 18 June from the New SE crater:
After a quiet interval of approx. 30 hours, weak strombolian activity started again to appear at the New SE crater after midnight 17-18 June, then quickly intensified and produced sustained lava fountains several hundred meters tall between 1.20 - 2.10 am (local time). Another lava flow traveled from the southern crater rim towards the SW.
The similarity of the latest events and their quite regular occurrence at similar but decreasing trend suggest that the volcano again is in a phase of rhythmic behavior of short-lived, but violent lava fountaining episodes following each other at similar intervals of currently around 36-40 hours. A next event like this might well occur during the afternoon of Sat, 19 June, if the pattern continues to repeat.

New SE crater has paroxysm in less than 2 days

Update Wed 16 Jun 2021 16:12
Eruption column from today's paroxysm at Etna (image: INGVvulcani / facebook)
Eruption column from today's paroxysm at Etna (image: INGVvulcani / facebook)
Yet another short-lived lava fountaining episode, or paroxysm, occurred today at the New SE crater only about 40 hours since the previous one.
Accompanied by a steeply rising volcanic tremor signal, strombolian activity began to appear at the crater in the early afternoon and increased quickly from 13:30 local time, reaching lava fountains by 14:08. These lasted until 14:50, making it one of the shorter episodes.
Just as during the previous ones, a lava overflow traveled from the southern crater rim area to the SW during the event.

Another powerful lava fountaining episode over night

Update Tue 15 Jun 2021 15:00
Lava fountain during last night's paroxysm at Etna's New SE crater (image: Roberto Viglianisi / facebook)
Lava fountain during last night's paroxysm at Etna's New SE crater (image: Roberto Viglianisi / facebook)
Current tremor signal (image: INGV Catania)
Current tremor signal (image: INGV Catania)
Thermal image showing the lava fountain (image: INGV Catania)
Thermal image showing the lava fountain (image: INGV Catania)
Just two days since the preceding one, another paroxysm occurred at the New SE crater over last night 14-15 June 2021. As the intervals had been longer and the beginning of the most recent paroxysms was generally a longer period of fluctuating and overall increasing activity, it came a bit as a surprise.
Very weak and intermittent strombolian activity restarted at the crater probably during the afternoon or early evening yesterday. At around 22:56, this activity began to increase quickly, along with a sharp increase of volcanic tremor to high values. By 23:45 had reached the stage of continuous, tall lava fountains rising several hundred meters. The eruption column produced an ash plume that rose to approx. 6000 m above sea level. The peak phase occurred around midnight and lasted until about 00:20, when activity - as usual - dropped sharply and more or less ceased.
As during the previous paroxysms, some of the lava formed a flow issued from the southern part of the crater and traveling to the SW.
Link: Video of the eruption (Roberto Viglianisi / facebook)

New paroxysm Saturday evening - lava fountains light up Sicily's sky

Update Sat 12 Jun 2021 22:06
Lava fountain during Saturday night's paroxysm at Etna volcano (image: INGV thermal webcam)
Lava fountain during Saturday night's paroxysm at Etna volcano (image: INGV thermal webcam)
Current tremor signal (image: INGV Catania)
Current tremor signal (image: INGV Catania)
A powerful paroxysm - or lava fountaining episode - is in progress at the volcano now at the SE crater. After a week of activity fluctuating between moderate and high levels, Etna decided again to escalate into a short-lived phase of intense lava fountains.
This episode comes about a week since the last one on 4 June. In the time between, the volcano had not calmed down as usual during intervals, but remained active with weak to moderate strombolian activity from the crater, and moderate to high tremor levels, indicating that the magma column had not subsided a lot since.
The newest episode this evening began to produce lava fountains from around 21:45 pm local time and lasted until about midnight. This time, the activity was noticeable stronger than during the previous shorter episodes observed in late May and more similar to typical paroxysms such as those in February and March earlier this year.
The lava flow from the southern flank of the crater was well alimented and continued to travel towards the SW. Another lava flow emerged during the paroxysm from the east side of the cone and reached the western headwall of the Valle del Bove.

Increasing activity and small lava flow from New SE crater

Update Sat 12 Jun 2021 16:55
Current tremor signal at Etna volcano (image: INGV Catania)
Current tremor signal at Etna volcano (image: INGV Catania)
Things remain very dynamic at Europe's most active volcano: Since yesterday morning, strombolian activity at the New SE crater began to increase, followed by the appearance of a lava overflow issued from a vent on the southern flank of the cone, which traveled towards the southwest.
The mean amplitude of the volcanic tremor continued to grow reaching high values and its source was found to be at shallow depths beneath the crater - all pointing towards a possible new paroxysm.
This trend reversed itself again temporarily, and then recovered and seems to be on the increase again now: it looks as if the New SE crater is undecided whether or not to go for a paroxysm or not...
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