Stromboli volcano (Italy): sudden large explosion this morning

Sun, 19 Jul 2020, 12:04
12:04 PM | BY: T
View of the crater area about one minute after the eruption this morning (image: LBZ webcam from Punta Labronzo)
View of the crater area about one minute after the eruption this morning (image: LBZ webcam from Punta Labronzo)
Glowing rockfalls from the explosion (image: LBZ webcam from Punta Labronzo)
Glowing rockfalls from the explosion (image: LBZ webcam from Punta Labronzo)
Ash plume from the eruption at night (image: Francesca Utano)
Ash plume from the eruption at night (image: Francesca Utano)
A sudden, very strong explosion occurred at the volcano this morning. It came without warning even though the volcano had been in a rather low state of activity levels during the recent weeks.
Our local friend Francesca Utano alerted us via message that she was waken up by the deep rumbling of an unusually long-lasting double eruption from the craters.When she looked up, a tall ash plume could be seen rising into the night sky.
According to geophysical data, this morning's explosion was about 10 times stronger than the average size of explosions at the volcano and comparable to the large eruption on 15 March 2017, but still about one order of magnitude smaller than the two paroxysms last year on 3 July and 28 August 2019.
Instruments detected significant ground deformation (as a larger gas bubble rose towards the surface inside the magma-filled conduit) during the 4 minutes before the eruption. The explosion occurred from a vent in the central/SW crater area and caused a pressure wave of 250 Pa were detected at 450 m distance, and showered the entire crater terrace and beyond with incandescent lava bombs.
Much of the ejected material slid down along the Sciara del Fuoco as glowing rock falls reaching the sea. It seems that no pyroclastic flows were generated, however.
The height of the ash plume is unknown and was not reported as it occurred during the night and probably dissipated quickly, but from available imagery seems to be in the order of 2-3 km above the summit.

Previous news

Wed, 15 Apr 2020, 09:29
The lava flow on Stromboli's Sciara del Fuoco and dust clouds whipped up from blocks rolling down the slope (image: LBZ webcam)
A new lava flow has started to descend on the Sciara del Fuoco since this morning, INGV Catania reported: ... Read all
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