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Location: 37,73°N  15,00°E   Italy

Altitude: 3352 m

Form: Compound-Volcano

Petrography basaltic

Volcanic Activity: effusiv, explosiv

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 Etna in Sicily - Europe's most powerful volcano

Mount Etna is Europe's most powerful volcano. Reaching a height of 3352 meters, it dominates visible from Sicily's east coast. For eons, the eruptions of Mount Etna have driven the destiny of the people into its sphere of influence. It is not surprising that the volcano was considered the residence of various gods in the ancient world. 600,000 years ago, the primal- Mount Etna emerged and the Cyclops Rocks on the coast near Aci Trezza were formed.

The formation of the present day Mount Etna began about 100,000 years ago. Even then the volcano fostered trachybasalts and trachyandesite. Since then, the eruptive center has moved further and further west.

Lava flow at Etna

opening of a fractur on SE-Crater

Strombolian eruption at New South East Crater

One of the most violent eruptions in historical times manifested its self in 1669 when a fissure vent system opened at the level of the village of Nicolosi and seven cinder cones formed. Streams of lava destroyed the village of Malpasso and cut a path through Catania before it flowed into the sea.

Mount Etna has produced several large flank eruptions virtually every century. In the 20th century the eruptions of 1928, 1950, 1971, 1981, 1983 and 1991 were the topic of conversation.

In the years 2001, 2002 and 2003 there were large flank eruptions, where several homes were destroyed and two large crater cones emerged near the central complex.

The most recent eruption cycle began in January 2011. Within a year there were 19 paroxysmal eruptions in which the "New Southeast Crater cone" emerged. This formed east of the existing south-east crater. Paroxysms refer to volcanic eruptions that slowly begin and after a short interlude quickly increase to a sharp eruption and often end abruptly after less than an hour.

I was able to photograph one of the last paroxysms in November 2013. Since 26th November 2013 it is relative quite at Mount Etna. There were some strombolian eruptions and small lava flows from the New Southeast-Crater during first month of 2014. The most spectacular event was an unusual pyroclastic flow in February 2014.

created by: Marc Szeglat • Duelmener Str. 11 • D-46117 Oberhausen •
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