Active volcanoes / Aktive vulkaner:

Submarine activity near Panarea, Italy.   

Panarea November 4th, 2002, just NW of Lisca Bianca Island
(© I.N.G.V.)

Just north of Sicily lies the Aeolian Archipelago, consisting of 7 small and some more even smaller islands.
The northernmost is the island of Stromboli, where you find the always active volcano Stromboli, with eruptions
of a kind that has given name to all other eruptions of the same kind: strombolian eruptions. The, the southernmost
island is Volcano Island, also with a volcano, not that active. See maps below.

strombolic activity from the Arenal-volcano

The tiny yet charming island of Eunonimo (now Panarea) is most picturesque. Panarea, which covers about 9 km³ total, also encompasses the small islands of Basiluzzo, Dattilo and Lisca Bianca and several gorgeous islets (namely, Battaro, Lisca Nera, Panarelli and Le Formiche.)
All are considered parts of the same volcanic system of which Panarea was created. The highest peak of Panarea is called Pizzo del Corvo, which rises nearly 450 m asl. In general, the island is comprised of masses of andesites.

November 20th, 2002
No reports on further activity, but a lot of survey has been done since the emission of gases
at the beginning of November. The intensity of the gas-emissions observed during the inspection, suggests a release from 100 to 500 times the one measured during the previous surveys, corresponding to an emission of approximately 100.000 m³ gas per day.
(See picture on top of page.)

November 8th, 2002
Poisonous volcanic gasses killing thousands of fish. A gas-emission is developing under sea near the island of Panarea, just north of Etna on Sicily. It is yet unknown if this has any connection at
all with the ongoing eruption of Etna. The emission began on Sunday, November 3rd, while
boiling hot gas (water?) erupted from the bottom of the Mediterranean Sea. The fissures has opened following several minor earthquakes, according to the National Institute of Geophysic
and Volcanology in Palermo.

(© I.N.G.V.)

The smell of sulphur was strong in the area. The people on the nearby islands are afraid this might be the first signs of an submarine volcano-eruption, may be a new Surtsey is on its way? So far it
is all speculations, and we hope to be back soon with more exact news.

However, this phenomena of the nature has been known since the 18th century. Since that time is is not strange to feel the smell of suphur from time to time, so it might just be that the submarine deposit of gases are boiling a little too much while Etna is erupting.

November 4th, 2002
Near the island of Panarea ash-emission developed from 3 different points in the sea yesterday. The first point immediately west of Lisca Bianca in direction Dattilo. The zone is already known
for the active degassing from the bottom of the sea. The others two points of emission: the second is found west of Bottero; the third between Bottero and Lisca Nera. The temperature of the water measures around to 22°C. The Ph is around values of 5.6-5.7.

 Latest news always on top. Previous eruptions below.

Panarea is smallest of the larger Aeolian islands. It represents the emerging part of what remains
of one of the greatest and antique volcanoes. This area was already active approximately
600.000 years ago and its more recent eruptions are nearly 100,000 years away. The
archipelago is constituted from a conical structure at the depth of approximately 1.500 m
below sealevel, and from that the islands are what is left of one great volcano-island
(? - just like Surtsey?).

The islands rests on the old volcano-walls, or should we rather say on the edge of a very big crater. Fumaroles and hydrothermal activity may have taken place since long ago and in 1783 a student, Déodat de Dolomieu describes these late-vulcanic activities in his most famous
"Voyage aux îles Lipari" (Travel to the Lipari islands). At that time the inhabitants of the islands
had already taken advantage of the hydrothermal forces and tamed that for use in their building,
but no doubt they go back further in time.


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