Active volcanoes / Aktive vulkaner:

Etna, Italy    

Saturday, January 7th, 2012

Lava spews from a crater of the giant Etna Volcano on the southern Italian island of Sicily on January 6, 2012.

Around 0630 on Janury 5th, activity started to diminish and ceased abruptly at 0730, but was followed by passive
ash emissions that lasted until 0830. (GVN) Some mixup on the date?.

Thursday, January 5th, 2012

From a BBC video this morning
It can be found here:

Mount Etna has released a column of ash up to 5,000 metres (over 16,000 feet) above sea level this morning.
Lava was also seen flowing from a new crater according to the Catania Institute of Geophysics and Vulcanology. Officials have held a crisis meeting at the nearby Catania airport but for the moment flights have not been halted.

Another source tells: The task-force present on the air station has decided the limitation of air traffic until 2:00pm
of today, when the unit will gather again.

The eruption started from the crater of the south-east in the late evening of January 4 and continued all night and until
about 9 today with explosions, lava fountains and lava flow that is directed as usual in the desert valley of Valle del Bove,
in a scenario made very impressive by the large amount of snow present on the flanks of the mountain.
Some discomfort Fontanarossa international airport of Catania, where flights have been limited in part because of the
huge cloud of volcanic ash that rose above the volcano for miles to go, because of the winds at high altitude, heading
south-southeast .
From the video by Turi Caggegi

Tuesday, November 15th, 2011

A ava flow already has reached the slope into Valle del Bove and lava fountains are seen from
the summit vent as well.

A new eruptive episode is in progress at the New SE crater of Etna today. Starting this morning, tremor has been rising
steeply and at the time of writing, the first strombolian explosions, or even small lava fountains, and perhaps already
a small lava flow can be seen emerging from the SE-trending fissure cutting through the cone

Pictures of temperatures along the eruptive area. Taken with 21 minutes apart, you can see the increasing activity.

42 minutes later

. All signs point towards that this is going to be the long-awaited 18th paroxysm of the New SE crater in 2011,
following the previous one on 23 Oct after 23 days, the longest-so-far interval since July.

Saturday, November 13th, 2004

Saturday at 16:36 local time. "As usual....."

Thursday, emisson of SO2 passed above the 5.000 tons/day leven, but was down again
yesterday to about the daily average around 2.800 t/d. No changes otherweise.

Thursday, November 11th, 2004

Front of an now inactive tap, coming from the mouth of 2620 m,
here approximately 10 m thick.

Both pictures from INGV

Tuesday, November 9th, 2004
Since last update not much has happened. The lavaflow coming down from the 2.620 vent
has not come down under 1.900 m asl, while the one from 2.310 m is down around the
1.700 m asl level.
Emission of SO2 is still relatively high, with 2.700 tonns/day.

Saturday, October 16th, 2004
Winter has come to Etna....
Etna continues undisturbed its eruption with lava from the two mouths mentioned previously,
with an average rate of 2 cubicmeters per second.
Volume of SO2 varies from day to day, with 2.500 tons yesterday, against 3.700 tons day before,
but with lower average the previous week.

Thursday, October 14th, 2004

Looks like the lavaflow has started a fire in the forest? Awaiting confirmation.

SO2 flow indicate an emission of approximately 3400 t/d, which is much above normal, and confirms the trend of increment of the flow that begun after October the 8th.

Tuesday, October 12th, 2004
With small changes, the lava continues to flow, but much of the way in tunnels,
and it cools off on the way downward the slopes, and does not seem to come further down.

Sunday, October 3rd, 2004

Another beautiful morning at Etna

A new channel of lava has developed from the old one coming from 2.620m asl. Then it has been
forming two new flows. The most advanced arms are now down at 1700 m asl. From the 2,310 m
mouth the flow has reached 1.800 m asl. . SO2 flow (sulfur dioxide) 1,800 tons/day on saturday.

Saturday, October 2nd, 2004
Saturday morning at 06:53 and 08:09
No change in activity, lava flowing as before. SO2 flow (sulfur dioxide) 2.700 tons/day on friday.

Tuesday, September 28th, 2004

  The flow from 2.620m has progressed down through Valle del Bove between Serra Giannicola
Grande and Monti Centenari, down to 1.700 m asl. A new arm has shown up north of the main flow, going towards Monti Centenari, and has come down to about 1.850 m asl.
The secoond mouth at 2.310 continues and the flow are now down at 1.900 m asl, and also
here there is a secondary flow that heads towards Monti Centenari.
The SO2 flow (sulfur dioxide) emitted from the craters was last day up as high as 4,000 tons/day.

Monday, September 27th, 2004
As of the 26th of September, it has been reported to SWVRC by the Istituto Nazionale di
Geofisicae Vulcanologia reported that lava flows continue at Mt. Etna volcano. The flow at
2620 m elevation, moved 200 m in 24 hours. The lava flow at 2350 m has reduced, and will meet
natural obstacles over the next day, which will slow its progress. There was an increase in
volcanic tremor yesterday, to a level double that of the previous day. A magnitude 2.4 earthquake
(Richter scale) was centred near the towns of Zafferana, Milo, and Santa Venerina.

Saturday, September 25th, 2004

The Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia reported that the effusive eruption from the
eastern flank of Mount Etna is still going on. Two lava flows are spreading on the western wall
of the Valle del Bove, between Serra Giannicola Piccola and Serra Giannicola Grande.
The two flows are less than 2 km long, and are pouring out from two vents, located respectively
at 2620 m and 2340 m a.s.l. The output rate is almost constant and very low, being between 2
and 4 m3/s for the upper vent, and less than 1 m3/s for the lower vent. The most advanced flow
fronts formed during the first few days of emplacement, and new flows are overlapping to the
previous lava flow field without causing further advance of the front regions. A complex system
of lava tubes and channels formed on the steep wall of the Valle del Bove.

Friday, September 24th, 2004
Friday evening:
Friday morning:
That's it - this morning about 08.00 local time in Italy.

Thursday, September 23rd, 2004

Latest: Thursday evening - Increasing activity:


Now, let's see what Etna is up to at this time....

New spectacular pictures from the eruption by Charles Riviére. Click here!
Everything else seems to be 'normal' today, which means the flows
continue down the slopes of Etna.

Wednesday, September 22nd. 2004
Both flows have moved about 250 m each last 24 hours.
There are now 7 web-cameras showing Etna on our web-cam page. Click here!
Once again, the weather condition is too bad today for visual inspection.
The Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia reported yesterday, that the two effusive
mouths of 2620m and 2250m are still active. Both lava flows, which run into the Valle del Bove,
continue with a constant flow, but slightly reduced compared to the flows of the first days.
The flow of lava below the effusive mouth of 2620m, moves more and more in a tunnel, the
phenomenon is more significant today. Since September 10, lava has traversed a length of
approximately 1700 meters. The front of lava is at an altitude of 1740m Tuesday.
Besides the main flow from this mouth are also now several smaller flows goint out from the
main flow, thus making the flow looking like a fan.

The same phenomenon of a lava tunnel is visible also under the second effusive mouth at 2250m
. In three places lava passes into a tunnel. The front of this flow is at altitude of 2100m, Tuesday
and has traversed 700 meters distance.

Tuesday, September 21st, 2004
No news available, weather conditions are rather poor.
Following links to marvellous pictures will be posted here for a short periode of time:

Monday, September 20th, 2004
Yesterday at 16:00 and today at 09:18 local Etna time

Sunday, September 19th, 2004

LATEST: At 15:47 What now??
Emission of SO2 flow (sulfur dioxide) has today reached 2.300 tonns, against only
about 900-1000 tons the previous 2-3 days.

A new fracture about 2 km north of the 2.800 m mouth, the first one to open, seems
to have developed during the past 24 hours. More to follow.

At 00:54, 01:26 and 10.:18 this morning.

At 15:14 local time this afternoon, note smoke at the bottom.

Friday, September 17th, 2004

The lavaflow from the mouth of 2620 m asl which goes both on the northern and southern side
of the central main channel, is now forming two secondary flows that go parallel in direction SE,
and they have at present reached a level of approximately 2070 m asl (that one to the south)
and 2120 m (that one to the north). Also the tap that takes origin from the mouth at 2340 m
asl has advanced to approximately 2030 m asl, as seen on the photo above..

A french tourist unfamiliar with the dangers of going around in the area, was yesterday
found dead.

Compare this temperature-chart to the photo above.

The SO2 flow (sulfur dioxide) emitted from craters gave during yesterday a value quite similar
to that of Wednesday. The effusive rate from the 2620 m mouth is about 4 m³/s, which is about
240 m³ per minute. How big is your diningroom?

Thursday, September 16th, 2004

A new sunny day at Etna, but snow still visible on the slopes....
The obtained rates from the two open mouths were as per yesterday afternoon, approximately
2-4 m³/s for the mouth situatedat quota 2620 m, and approximately 1 m³/s for the mouth
situated at 2350 m.
The SO2 flow (sulfur dioxide) emitted from craters gave during the day a value of 1200 tons,
remarkably more higher than the 500 tons measured the day before.

Wednesday, September 15th, 2004
Wednesday afternoon:
Not sure if Etna is trying to 'cool' down?

In the afternoon yesterday it has been executed an overflight with the helicopter of The National
Civil Protection in order to verify the state of the eruptive theatre. Both the effusive mouths
located on the western wall of Valle del Bove are feeding lavaflows.

The flow that leaves from the mouth of 2620 m has caught up the maximum length of 1450 m,
and the forehead has come down to Monte Centenari at about 1900 m asl.. The lavaflow is very structured, with multiple banks. The progressive cooling of the flow, has produced a series of tunnels, with small long flows
The inspection has allowed to get a better the location of the opened lower mouth,
which is found at approximately 2350 m asl, in the saddleback that separates Serra Giannicola Piccola and Serra Giannicola Grande, on the western wall of Valle del Bove. The flow that
leaves from this mouth expands towards east in direction of Monte Centenari. The more
advanced forehead of the tap had caught up, at approximately 16:30 yesterday, to
approximately 2000 m asl.

The lav effusion rate from both the mouths have been estimated to around 2-6 m3/s.

Tuesday, September 14th, 2004


Monday, September 13th, 2004

at 23:13 - no news available

21:.10 LATEST: ???????????????????????????

19:00 LATEST:

As per 19:00 it has moved about 100 meters, as the other two lavaflows toward the
deserted part of Valle del Bove.

© La Sicilia Online

Something's going on today....
Number 2 flow from the 2,650 meters mouth is still spewing out incandescent material that flows
through the deserted area of Valle del Bove, and have up till now found its way down to Monti
Centenari at 1,950 meters asl. The feeding is constant and the more advanced arm has covered
a little more than a kilometer. White gas emission continues from the SE-crater.
At 14:00 it looks like it is going to be cloudy in the area.

Sunday, September 12th, 2004

Photo from INGV
The new mouth that opened on September 10th is also only effusiv. It is located at 2620 m asl
in the western wall of Valle del Bove, immediately east of Serra Giannicola Piccola.
The lava flow heads towards ESE . Yesterday evening it was about 3-4 m wide
The other lavaflow turned out to be inactive at 18:00 yesterday.

Map from INGC
There has been carried out some measures of the effusive rate to the mouth, which is estimated
to 3 to 6 m³ per second.

Saturday, September 11th, 2004

The second fracture is still active, and from the first one lava has now crept 700 m down.
However, both mainfractions lie in a deserted area, and there are still no danger for
people living close to Etna.
Several experts are now trying to find out more, to be able to tell whether it is just before
another eruption like the one two years ago, or just some temporary release of energy.

Friday, September 10th, 2004
Latest Friday 16:00
Another fracture has opened at 2,650 m asl, near Serra Giannicola Piccola. From a
wide fracture, incandescent lava now flows down, like the on near Valle del Bove.

Latest Friday 08.00
The fracture is now 800 m long, and it seems that new fractures developes near Valle
de Bove. The temperature in the fractures is about 900°C. That the fractures now
develope tells us that fluent magma is coming up from down below, trying to get out.
However, the pressure is not still strong enough to force an explosion. We will follow
what happens during the day. See also the web-cams at

The Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia has reportet that the eruption of Mt Etna on
7th September was the first on the volcano proper in 22 months. It was not preceded by
seismic activity. The eruption began with a fissure opening up at the base of SE crater at an
elevation of 2983m. The fissures are 15-20 cm wide and 0.4m deep. At an elevation
of 2936m, there was a 180m long lava flow observed from one of the fissures on Tuesday.

The lava flowed towards the Valle del Bove at a rate of 0.5 m/sec. By 1700 hr, the lava flow
had reached 2850m elevation, with significant degassing along the flow. The summit craters do
not have any lava. By Wednesday evening, the lava flow had stopped at an elevation of 2850m,
after traveling 292m. The same afternoon seismic activty was being recorded at Mt Etna,
with increasing frequency and strength. These new developments at Mt Etna could signify the
start of a new period of eruptions.

Wednesday, September 8th, 2004
Etna has woken up once more. A fracture opened yesterday about 13.00 on the southern side
of the volcano. Etna guides and soldiers climbed to a heigth of 2950m to verify the
phenomenon, which took place in the SE crater between the cones formed in the 1999 and
2001 eruptions. Fluoriescent lava flowed down about 250-300 m towards Valle del Leone.
There were no earthquakes ahead of the eruption, and so far there have been no casualties or damage.

There are currently no danger, and that the non-gaseous nature of the lava was not the result
of an explosion.

According to the INGV of Catania the new activity of the Etna "has not been anticipated,
like it usually happens, neither from seismic activity or increase of the amplitude of the inner
tremor of the volcano. For the experts it is still soon to be able to speak about a new resumption
of eruptive activity in great style.

Wednesday, December 18th, 2002

Lava has now crossed the road through the center

The effusive mouth at 2700m near the foot of the cone of 2750m feeds a channel of lava, it is divided then into two arms reaching an altitude of 2300m asl, they run in parallel. The flow which passes along Montagnola (Is) cut the provincial road "92" yesterday night. It also
destroyed on its passage of Central Servizi, the bar Exagonal, and other buildings and equipmentis. Then it passed the road and reached approximately a 150 meters further on.. The front of lava is not at an altitude of 1800m asl and has, at least temporary, stopped.

The second arm of lava (Western) which moves towards the starting station of the cable car is
also divided him into three small arms.

On the slope South of the cone at 2750m, a new effusive mouth opened today. Of this mouth a well fed lava flow moves towards the direction of Monte Nero, but for the moment this flow is still too high up on the slopes to tell the direction which it will take.

More on the explosion of yesterday:
The outbreak has been most violent, according to reports from witnesses. The air movement
has been remarkable, lots of things have fallen down or been wide spread. Parts have been found up to 800 m away. Glowing lava-fragments have been thrown up in the air, and fallen down on the large square of Sapienza setting several cars on fire. There were records of panic; some persons fell just while they ran, and thereby got wounded..

© La Sicilia

Tuesday, December 17th, 2002
Lava flowing down one side of Sicily's Mount Etna caused a large explosion which
injured at least 15 people, none seriously, firefighters and volunteers and, of course, some curious tourists..The lavaflow continues within the Sapienza ski-resort center.
It was about 23:30 yesterday evening the lava hit a water cistern near to the buildings, projecting pieces of lava to be thrown around and wounding people being near.

Abouth 3:30 this morning, the flow engulfed in an opening in the wall of protection destroying the bar the "Exagonal ", and the small memorial-houses on its road. Firefighters said the cause of the explosion was still unclear. The late-night explosion was heard in nearby towns, at first raising
fears that a new fissure had opened on the volcano's northeastern flank.

Lava flow near the center of Sapienza on December 16th.

The more advanced forehead of the flow to the West of Montagnola,was at a distance of approximately 20 m from road SP 92.

The figures speaks for itself in Catania: Hundreds of cancelled hotel reservations, national conferences suspended and other activites damages the economy of the city. Catania is now
almost desolated after the decision of the Italian airlines to abandon Fontanarossa for emergency reasons.

Tuesday December 3rd, 2002
The weather conditions have limited the observations from the customary overflight in helicopter. However, from the observations carried out directly on the land, it has been possible to verify
that the eruptive activity continues along the fracture located on the southern slope of the volcano. The activity of the fountains remains from the mouth located North of the crater, at least 3-400 m up in the air. The explosive activity from this mouth has constructed a slag cone that is gradually expanding itself until Torre del Filosofo, by now in great part buried by slags and ash. The eruptive cloud expanded in ESE direction, up to a height of 4,700 meters above sea level (asl), causing ashfall on the Southeastern flank of the volcano.

The tap that moves in SSW direction is practically firm. Only small landslides in the zone of the front. In the late afternoon (around 16:00) it has been possible to carry out an overflight by helicopter. The lavaflow is cooling, even if numerous small ephemeral mouths have been formed. One small long tap of 200 m has expanded on previous lavaflow.
Translated automatically from Italian - INGV

Saturday, November 30th, 2002
With the most violent roars the eruptions continues, the fountains rise four hundred meters and
the emissions of gas and ash is climbing to 4.500 m asl. More lavaflows are coming down the flanks of Etna - see map below and compare with earlier maps further down the page.

Friday, November 29th at 13:00

Thursday, November 28th, 2002
In last the two days the overflights by helicopter and the expeditions directed over land in order
to verify the eruption have been impossible because of the adverse atmospheric conditions.
But in the afternoon yesterday, around 17:00, it was been possible to observe the forehead
of the south-eastern lavaflow.

This forehead was found at quota 1820 m asl, in a zone between Monte Scavo and Monte
Denza, which is just West of the Rifugio Sapienza,. The expansion of this flow is causing
fires to the surrounding forest.

The explosive activity from the summit at 2750 m asl continues, with fountains and an ash column that rises approximately 2.000 m above the summit. The strong wind pushes the ash cloud
towards ESE.

The forehead located in proximity of Piazzale della Funivia remains firm.

Wednesday, November 27th, 2002

© Copyright 2002 La Sicilia Multimedia

The sweat of emergency workers were credited yesterday for halting a river of lava only yards from a complex of buildings on Mount Etna. Experts admitted that the Rifugio Sapienza,
high up on the southern flank of Etna in Sicily, had been saved "against all the odds" by earth barriers which workers threw up in a desperate attempt to divert the lava.

Yesterday the lava's advancing front had acquired the awesome height of a 10-storey block
of flats and was threatening to overrun the complex and roll on down further. Finally the lava veered off course after touching the first buildings. It then skimmed alongside the ski village
before halting a few yards further on.

"The eruption hasn't stopped, but only shifted its course," said Salvatore Moscetto, mayor of Nicolosi, a village of 6,000 people further down Etna's slopes.
(Extract from 'Bruce Johnston on Mount Etna',

The tongue of lava flow of 6m height and 50m broad stopped in the middle of the road at Sapienza. Another rougeoyant arm of 20m width advances very slowly in direction of the
Silvestri craters. The activity at the top 2750m is characterized by fountains of lava 600m up
into the air, and 300m up from the new mouth. Bad weatherconditions have prevented further observations.

The conclusion from the authorities in Sicily yesterday, was that the eruption could last for long, and there still is a lot of energy inside, which Etna shows by its many earthquakes.

Tuesday, November 26th, 2002
Rifugio Sapienza and the lavaflow mapped at 09:00 yesterday
Left: © Right: © I.N.G.V.

At 2,800 m asl a new opening has occured and now formed a new flow of lava, in addition to giving life to spectacular fountains and smoke- and ashcolumns into the air

The night passed calm, with the tap of the easternmost flow slowing down and not yet to cross provincial road 92, it has made a sigh of relief to the operating workers at Rifugio Sapienza.
But it most probably will give them just a few hours.

The Etna system still has not been become stabilized and the fountains, lavaflows and tremors demonstrate that the inner energy of the volcano is still high.

It has to be noted that access to the theater of the eruption is SEVERELY RESTRICTED, only persons possessing a special authorisation released by the Prefecture of Catania and local volcanologists are permitted to enter the restricted
area. Nonwithstanding the access restrictions numerous people during the past few
days have ventured into the eruption area and some did risk their lives when staying
on the steep slope before the advancing lava flow and blocks detaching from the flow front began rolling toward them. It is presently useless to plan excursions to the
eruption area, since non-authorized persons are inevitably blocked and sent back
by rescue forces and police.

Piano Provenzana
photo early in October by ©Guy Ollivier, Tournon, France - Photo on 19 November 2002 by ©Peter Hahn

Read the sad story about Piano Provenzana from Oct. 27th, at the beginning of the current eruption, from Boris Behncke at

Monday, November 25th, 2002

The lava has already engulfed some ski-lifts above the hostel,
located at an altitude of 2,100 metres (6,800 ft)

Relief workers have used bulldozers to build a high wall of earth to protect the hostel...
Above 2 pictures from BBC

Several strong earthquakes hit the Etna-area during th weekend. Panic forced several hundres of inhabitants of the nearby villalges and town to flee their homes. The strongest hit 3,7 on Richter's Scale, and some buildings are damaged. Others are left with only things that fell on the floor.
Compared to the map from the 20th, see below, the easternmost flow has advanced
rapidly, and are now threatening the ski-resorts.
Nov.25th at 09:00

The situation becomes catastrophic for the station of Sapienza, where lava has overflowed the
top of the protectionswalls since Saturday. It is Sunday evening within 5 meters of the starting station of the cable car (1920m). And most dangerous is the significant mass of magma which descends the slope. Its progression in the afternoon accelerated at the exit of the effusive mouth between 5-10 m³/sec.

Update of November 24, 2002 at 12:00
Friday evening the lava flow covered the refuge "Kappa" which little before earlier in the day was protected by covering it with sand and ashes so that the lava could pass over without destroying it.

The front of lava has a height of 4m and advances steadily. The explosive activity continues
on the cone at 2750m with a variable intensity, and explosions are accompanied by plumes by black ashes.

November 22nd, 2002
A report in the local newspaper "La Sicilia" states that the new flow advanced about 1 km
and is heading toward the area of the Rifugio Sapienza and the surrounding tourist facilities,
which were seriously threatened and partially damaged during the 2001 eruption.
(More about this if you follow the history of latest eruptions in our norwegian pages.)

November 21st, 2002

In the late morning today, delayed because of the adverse meteorological conditions, observers found the presence of a new lava flow that originates from a new effusive mouth opened at the base of the cone at 2750 m asl.. It is a little bit further east compared to the other flows, but is heading in the same direction, southwards. Se maps on Nov. 20th below. At 14:30 the lava forehead was positioned around 2450 m asl. The explosive activity in the crater of 2750 m asl
has clearly advanced compared to that observed during yesterday.

20.november 2002
  We are following the lavaflow - here on November 17th. and 21st.
Note the new easternmost flow which began on the 21st,
and how close the old one has come to Casa Santa Barbara.

Most of the activity last night was 'indoor' activity, outdoor it seemed to be rather calm.
Past 22:00 yesterday evening there were a 4 times higher seismic activity inside Etna
and it continued that way till about 4 - 5 this morning, whereafter it declined to twice
the intensity before 22:00 last night. Outside was quiet this morning as the picture shows:

Etna November 20th at 08:16 local time in the morning.

November 19th, 2002
The effusive activity on the southern flank of the volcano from the cone at 2750 m, forms one lava flow. This flow expands in direction south-south-west for a total of approximately 4000 meters from the emission point. In the last the 15 hours the tap has exceeded Monte Nero and Monte Nero degli Zappini, and has covered approximately 100 m more than yesterday.

At 9:00 this morning the forehead of the tap had come down to 1770 m asl, and at a distance of approximately 300 m from Casa Santa Barbara.

In the afternoon of yesterday, observers have been able to state that the more advanced lava-tongue has proceeded with a speed of approximately 30 meters an hour. At 17:30 it had
reached down to 1780m asl, just about 400 m from Casa Santa Barbara.
Bad weather yesterday prevented further observations.
The web-cam has been out of order during the last two days.

November 15th, 2002
On November 13th, the change in tremor amplitude was accompanied by a change in the
activity from the 2750 m vent, where fire fountaining has been substituted by strombolian
activity. This change marked an increase in the magma level within the conduit, and at
16:00 on 13th November a lava flow formed. This lava flow came out from the south base
of the upper cinder cone that formed around the 2750 m vent. The lava flow spread south,
filled up the intermediate and lower cinder cones along the same eruptive fissure,
and expanded SW towards Monte Nero, running parallel to the lava flow that had stopped
on October 31st.

At 0930 (local time) of November 14th, the lava flow front reached 1200 m in length and the elevation of 2450 m a.s.l., and expands with a velocity of about 2-3 m per minute. Strombolian activity again was substituted by fire fountaining and formation of an ash plume spreading
north and east and reaching about 3500 m a.s.l.. SO2 emission from the volcano is still
very high and fluctuating, being about 20,000 tons per day.

A nice clear morning - on half of the island....

November 13th, 2002
Ash-emission and lavafountains have decreased during yesterday, but at the same time, volcanic tremors have increased twice compared to the previous day. The total volume of estimated material today is comprised between 20 and 50 million cubic meters. Yesterday as much as
3,2 kg per squaremeter has fallen in the city of Catania, at least in places were the direction of
the wind was suitable for that. (What do they do with all that ash?)

November 12th, 2002
According to forecasted winds for the aviation-trafic, significant ash cloud will be drifted
ESE-ward, most probably extending from the summit of Etna to 36 44'N 18 24'E, (almost south
of Greece), and 15 to 25NM wide. It seems to be more diffused after 100NM.

November 9th, 2002
at 13.00 GMT today
The explosive activity from the summit on 2700 m asl continues, but no more lava has flowed
for a while. The fountains blows its volcanic pieces up to 200 - 300 m above the summit,
and a dark ash column raises to apprx. 4000 - 4500 m asl. The ash falls back on the flanks,
and so do the blocks and rocks.

Between Milo, Saint Venerina, Acireale and Zafferana there are 1711 buildings unfit for use. The civil Protection has executed 4065 inspections on 5346 demands. So far 40% of all the buildings are damaged more or less owing to the earthquakes last week. It remains constant the vulcanic tremors and the continuously Etna launches material that the most annoying in forms.

Submarine gas-emission near the island of Panarea north of Sicily
Click here

November 8th, 2002
Following has been received about Etna:The 2002 eruption of Etna is one of the most explosive eruptions of the in recent times. About half of the total volume of erupted products are
pyroclastics, contrasting with most recent eruptions of Etna which produced mainly lava.
The 2002 eruption was actually two eruptions in one, with two different types of magma being erupted on the southern and northeastern flanks.

The fissures on the Northeast Rift produced the common Etna magma that has been
produced by all eruptions in the past few centuries, while the vents on the southern flank
produced a magma rich in amphibole, a water-bearing mineral that has been relatively rare in recent products of Etna until the 2001 eruption.

The 2002 eruption is a repetition of the events of July-August 2001, when the same two
magma types were erupted simultaneously from the different systems of eruptive fissures.
The invasion of Piano Provenzana and the "Ragabo" forest by lava flows marks the end of a long, quiet period in that area; no lava flows had occurred in these places in historic time. The most recent major eruption on the Northeast Rift, in 1923, had occurred a few hundred meters further west on the rift, so that the lava flows traveled along-rift, in the direction of Linguaglossa,
while in 2002 most of the lava took a more easterly course.

Etna has grown progressively more active during the past 50 years. Flank eruptions are
expected to occur at intervals ranging from 1-3 years, and some of them might be much more voluminous and potentially hazardous than the latest two eruptions. The 2002 eruption is the second in the new series, and it is well possible that the third one is not too distant in the future.
(From Dr. Boris Behncke and the Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia via SWVRC)

Measures of the lavaflow at 1130 m asl and 1520 m asl, show that it is richer in gas in the high part. Temperature recorded shows 400° C at 30 centimetres depth, on the edge of the tongue the temperature is 304° C.

On the Southern slope the explosive activity continues on the fracture at 2700m. It is
accompanied by significant plumes of black ashes which leave in South-Eastern direction.
The cone continues to change day by day, it reaches the same height now as Monte Frumento.
Snow has fallen lately, which gives the eruption-column a strange appearance.

©Charles Rivière,

short summary in english for the eruption October-November 2002

Volcanic and seismic activity continued at Etna during 29 October to 4 November after a new eruption commenced on 27 October. The eruption consisted of fissures opening on the
volcano's S and N flanks, lava emission from these fissures, and fire fountains rising several hundreds of meters. Significant ash emissions led to the closure of Fontanarossa airport and produced ash clouds that drifted as far as Libya. According to an INGV-CT report, two
major lava flows were emitted from the lower end of the northern fissure and spread toward the NE and E. The NE flow stopped on 31 October after traveling 2 km, when a decline in effusion rate was observed.

As of 1 November the E flow had slowed down, but it was still moving and crusting over in the middle portion of the flow field. A few sectors of solid crust were detected during a survey
with the helicopter of the Civil Protection using a thermal camera. This suggests that a lava
tube is forming on this lava flow. The lava flow from the S fissure started about 12 hours after
the N one, spread SW, and split in two branches around Monte Nero, following the same path
as one of the 2001 eruption's lava branches. The S flows stopped on 31 October, reaching
a total length of about 1 km. Fire fountains and phreatomagmatic activity decreased in intensity
with time at both the N and S fissures. As of 1 November the effusion rate from the N fissure
was declining, which increased the possibility of lava-tube formation along the E flow.

According to the Toulouse VAAC, ash was emitted from Etna during the report period and was occasionally visible on satellite imagery rising to 6.1 km a.s.l. On 1 November ash was visible on satellite imagery extending ENE from Etna's summit, reaching the coast of Greece. On several occasions meteorological clouds in the vicinity of Etna prohibited satellite views, but the Etna
web video camera located in Catania showed continuous ash emission on 4 November.
from Smithsonian/USGS

Pictures and links to more about Etna (partly in norwegian) at
  From Etnino - more about Etna volcano

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