Etna volcano (Italy), activity update: new lava flow, strong explosive activity at vent
Etna continues to surprise...: the new lava flow from the 3050 m vent that started on 5 Nov. had stopped yesterday (6 Nov). We visited the vent of the 2800 m lava flow and confirmed it is still well alimented as can be seen through an impressive skylight.
Starting at around noon until around 2pm, SE crater was emitting dense ash plumes and occasionally, bombs could be seen emitted by strombolian explosions at its top. This activity stopped after 2pm and resumed only very briefly with the onset of the explosive activity at the 3050 fissure (see below). We arrived below Bocca Nuova, near the the 3050 m vent at around 4:30pm to see that a new lava flow had just started from the same fissure vent as the flows here the previous days, probably at the same time as when the ash emissions from SE crater had ended, i.e. 2pm. The flow formed two prominent and several minor branches and was well alimented, but less so than the previous flows. Starting from around 4:30 pm, spattering started from a second vent about 30 m higher than the effusive vent on the same fissure. The spattering became gradually stronger, until discrete explosions were throwing bombs to up to 200 m height. This activity ended more or less abruptly at around 6:30 pm. At the time of our leaving, the new lava flow was still active.