Once again I look back on an eruption of Mt Etna on .I took the photo in the evening of 18 July 2006. Watching the eruption of Southeast Crater at sunset was an unforgettable experience.

Once again, I look back at an interesting stay on Mt Etna on . On the afternoon of 01 August 2012, I climbed the summit craters, where strombolian explosions had been occurring in the Bocca Nuova since the beginning of July. I stayed until nightfall and was able to take great photos of the activity.

Today, once again a photo for :

It shows the 3432 m high Irazu in Costa Rica. It contains an acid lake and is considered one of the most dangerous volcanoes in the country. It is one of Costa Rica's "drive in volcanoes", as a well-built road leads up to its summit. I took the photo in March 2007.

It looks like there's a bit of a glow over Mt Etna's Bocca Nuova. Probably strombolian activity has started there today.

Photo by INGV Webcam in Piedimonte Etneo

Etna update, 30/12/2022:

During the past week, effusive activity continued at the northeastern base of the New Southeast Crater. Several partial flows poured over the fan-shaped lava field in a northeasterly direction, crossed the Valle del Leone and reached the edge of the Valle del Bove. There they moved as several tongues in an easterly direction down the steep slope and formed an ever-widening lava field. The fronts of the tongues stagnated at 2100 - 2300 m altitude in the area southwest of Monte Simone.
Furthermore, I could not observe any explosive activity in the area of the effusive vents or in the summit area of New Southeast Crater.
At Bocca Nuova, pulsating gas emission continued. No significant gas emission was visible at Voragine and Northeast Crater.

As INGV reports, the front of the lava flow reached 2150 m high terrain on 25 December. Using MODIS/VIIRS satellite data, the volume of lava released so far could be estimated at 1,200,000 - 2,400,000 m3. The data also show that the production rate has increased from about 20 December, rising from about 1 m3/s initially to about 2 - 2.5 m3/s [1].

Analysis of the data from the GPS stations showed no significant changes between 19 and 25 December [1].
The clinometric data showed no significant changes between 19 and 25 December [1].

Infrasound activity at the summit craters was low during the period from 19 to 25 December. The source of the activity was Bocca Nuova [1].

Sulphur dioxide emissions at the summit craters decreased in the period between 19 and 25 December and reached medium levels.
Ground carbon dioxide emissions (ETNAGAS station) remained at a medium level between 19 and 25 December.
The concentration of helium isotopes (3He/4He - ratio) in the Etna area, which was last determined on 15 December, was higher than in the last measurements with a value of 0.64. High levels have now been reached again [1].

The online seismograms of station ECNE continued to be overlaid by noise caused by the persistently elevated tremor last week [2].
The tremor decreased somewhat on 24 December, but continued to hover at medium levels [2].
The source of the tremor between 19 and 25 December was in the area between Southeast Crater and Bocca Nuova at an altitude between 2500 and 2800 m [1].

On 23.12. a quake with a magnitude of 1.6 occurred in the area southeast of Case del Vescovo (southeast flank). On 23.12. a quake with a magnitude of 1.8 was measured on Monte Scorsone (east flank). On 25.12., a quake of magnitude 1.6 occurred southeast of Fiumefreddo di Sicilia (eastern flank) [3].

1 - INGV-Sezione di Catania. 2022. Etna - BOLLETTINO SETTIMANALE - SETTIMANA DI RIFERIMENTO 19/12/2022 - 25/12/2022
2 - INGV-Sezione di Catania. 2022. Home. TREMORE VULCANICO. ECNE
3 - INGV. Osservatorio Etneo. Sorveglianza e Monitoraggio. DATABASE TERREMOTI. Localizzazioni di sala operativa. 2022.

Photo by INGV

And once again, my time travel on goes back to an eruption of Mt Etna. This one started in May 2008 and ended in July 2009. In June/July 2008 I was able to visit the eruption site several times. The photo was taken in the early morning of 01/07/2008 and shows the lava streams flowing into the large uninhabited valley Valle del Bove. In the background you can see the lights of some villages along the east coast of Sicily.

Etna update, 23.12.2022:

During the past 14 days, the eruption at the base of New Southeast Crater has continued. The lava flow has increased significantly in length over the last few days and is on its way to the Valle del Bove. The tremor remained elevated and gas emissions at the summit craters have also increased.

In the last two weeks, clouds often hindered the observation of Etna's summit area by webcams. At times, however, gaps in the clouds allowed a view of the eruptive activity. During the past 14 days, lava emission continued at the northeastern base of New Southeast Crater. The lava flow continued to move in a northeasterly to northerly direction and poured into the Valle del Leone. Its front continued to advance in a northerly direction. From 15 December onwards, it reached the bottom of the Valle del Leone at an altitude of about 2500 - 2600 metres. In the following days, it crossed the shallowly sloping valley floor and slowly approached the edge of the Valle del Bove. On 21 December, the lava began to flow down the steep slope of the Valle del Bove. By the evening of 23 December, the front had reached about 2200 m high terrain and was located southwest of Monte Simone.
In the meantime, below the effusive vent, a fan-shaped lava field developed consisting of several narrow flows that kept changing their position slightly.
Furthermore, I did not observe any explosive activity at the effusive vent or at the South East Crater complex. In the summit area of New Southeast Crater, only fumaroles continued to release gas.
Meanwhile, Bocca Nuova experienced vigorous and often pulsating gas emission. Hardly any gas emission was visible at Northeast Crater and Voragine.

As the INGV reports, hornitos have developed above the effusive vents. At times, there is also weak explosive activity there associated with the ejection of incandescent lava fragments. Within the lava field, some temporary vents have formed, feeding narrow lava flows. Using MODIS/VIIRS satellite data, the volume of lava released so far has been estimated at 500,000 - 1,000,000 m3 [1].

The evaluation of the data from the GPS stations showed further inflation of the volcano structure in the last 7 days, which was recorded in particular by the stations on the central western flank. In contrast, the stations in the summit region did not record any significant changes [1].
The clinometric data did not show any significant changes regarding the slope on the mountain flanks during the past week [1].

Infrasound activity at the summit craters was weak to moderate in the period from 07 to 18 December. Most of the events were registered on 18 December, although the measurements were disturbed by strong winds on some days. The source of the activity was Bocca Nuova [1].

Sulphur dioxide emissions from the summit craters continued to increase between 6 and 18 December. The daily emission rates reached high levels.
Ground carbon dioxide emissions (ETNAGAS station) remained at a medium level between 06 and 18 December [1].

The online seismograms of station ECNE were overlaid by noise during the past week, which was caused by the persistently increased tremor [2].
The tremor has been at a medium level for the last 14 days, with only slight fluctuations. Most recently, there was a slight upward trend [2].
The source of the tremor was in the area between the southeast crater and Bocca Nuova at an altitude of between 2000 and 2800 m. In addition, a narrow tremor track in a westerly to southwesterly direction was observed, leading up to an altitude of about 2500 m - 2750 m and ending in the region above the Galvarina area [1].

On 18.12. a quake of magnitude 1.8 was registered west of Monte Parmentelli (southwest flank). On 18.12. two quakes occurred west of Moio Alcantara (north flank), the strongest having a magnitude of 1.6. On 19.12. an earthquake of magnitude 2.3 was recorded at Monte Zoccolaro (southeast flank). On 21.12. a quake with a magnitude of 1.6 occurred north of Monte Centenari (eastern flank) [3].

My interpretation of the data and speculations about the further development:
Interesting in the tremor data is a track that leads from the depth of the mountain in a southwesterly to westerly direction and ends at an altitude of approx. 2500 - 2750 m. It almost looks as if magma rose in this area, but then did not make it to the earth's surface. Unfortunately, the INGV does not refer to this measurement data in the report, so it remains unclear what really happened there. Otherwise, the second week of December showed a further increase in sulphur dioxide emissions at the summit craters, which indicates that more magma was degassing than in the weeks before. Certainly, only part of the rising magma is being released by the current eruption, as the inflation of the volcanic edifice has also continued to increase. Thus, a continuation of the effusive activity at the New Southeast Crater can be expected in the next days to weeks.

1 - INGV-Sezione di Catania. 2022. Etna - BOLLETTINO SETTIMANALE - SETTIMANA DI RIFERIMENTO 12/12/2022 - 18/12/2022
2 - INGV-Sezione di Catania. 2022. Home. TREMORE VULCANICO. ECNE
3 - INGV. Osservatorio Etneo. Sorveglianza e Monitoraggio. DATABASE TERREMOTI. Localizzazioni di sala operativa. 2022.

Photo by INGV

Today, on my time travel goes back to an eruption of Mt Etna. I was lucky enough to be present during its start.
The photo shows two vents below Northeast Crater and was taken on 07 July 2014. A spiky cone of welded lava has formed around one vent, which not only ejects some glowing lava fragments but also releases a lava flow. The other vent has not yet formed a cone and generates loud detonations from time to time, ejecting larger lava fragments. The white chunks lying between the vents are interesting. These are blocks of ice that where apparently ejected when the vents had opened. This eruption generated several cinder cones that are still visible today. It ended on 09.08.2014.

Etna update, 16.12.2022:

During the past week, clouds have often hampered webcam observations of Mount Etna's summit area. At times, however, gaps in the clouds also allowed a view of the eruptive events.

During the past 7 days, lava emission has continued at the northeast base of the New Southeast Crater. The lava flow continued to move in a northeasterly to northerly direction and poured into the Valle del Leone. The front advanced a little further in a northerly direction. From December 15th it reached the valley floor of the Valle del Leone at an altitude of approx. 2500 - 2600 m. Meanwhile, below the effusive vent, a fan-shaped lava field has developed. Several narrow streams moving in this field and keep changing their position slightly.
Furthermore, I could not observe explosive activity either at the effusive vent or at the Southeast Crater complex. In the summit area of ​​the New South East crater only fumaroles continuously released gas.

Meanwhile, in the Bocca Nuova there was strong and often pulse-like increased gas emission. Only weak gas emission was visvile at NE Crater and Voragine.

During the last 7 days the tremor was at an average level and showed only minor fluctuations [1].

[1] INGV-Sezione di Catania. 2022. Home. TREMORE VULCANICO. ECNE

Crystals of sulphur, gypsum and various sulphates at a fumarole on the crater Fossa Grande on the island of Vulcano (Italy).

Today, I look back to 15 July 2006, the day when a new eruption of Mt Etna startet after almost two years of quiescence. And it was just on this day that I arrived for a short holiday on the mountain and was able to observe an eruption at close range for the first time. The lava. The smell. The sound. Oh, what a day!

Here is a photo that I took on 07.07.2021 showing a short but very violent eruption (paroxysm) of Mt Etna's South East Crater.

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