Mt. Etna, located in Sicily, Italy (37°44’N, 15°00’E), is Europe's largest volcano.
It has a volume of at least 350 km3 and is one of the most active (i.e. productive in eruptions) volcanoes on Earth. Etna has an altitude of approximately 3330 metres, which varies by a few tens of metres according to its activity, and is surrounded by populated areas.
The city of Catania is situated south of the volcano. The lower part of this continental volcano has a base of about 60 x 40 km, an altitude of about 2900 m, and is a shield. The upper part is a strato volcano. The composition of Etna’s lava is similar to alkali basalt and trachybasalt. This means that the lava is basic, with low Si2O3 content. Volcanoes producing this kind of lava are not very explosive.
This exercise will concentrate on the eruption which occurred on 7 July 2001 and lasted until 9 August of the same year. It originated from 7 eruptive fissures located near the SE crater on the S and NE flanks, flowed down the south flank of Etna in the direction of the town of Nicolosi and destroyed the Rifugio Sapienza, the cable car and ski lifts, and the Valle del Leone in the NE flank. 30 million m3 of magma was deposited, consisting of about 25 million m3 of lava and 5-10 million m3 of pyroclastics. An area of 5.5km2 was covered by the lava. Ash was spread in the atmosphere by a volcanic plume, forcing the closure of the Catania Airport.
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Satellite image of Etna, July 2001
History of major eruptions:
|1669||S-flank: Monte Rossi|
|Mar – Apr 1910||S-flank: Lava 1km W of Nicolosi|
|Sep 1911||NE-flank: Threat to Linguaglossa|
|Nov 1928||ENE-flank: Mascali & railways destroyed|
|Nov 1950 – Dec 1951||ENE-flank: Valle del Bove, land damage|
|Apr – Jun 1971||SE-flank to Valle del Bove, threat to villages|
|May, Aug, Nov 1978||SE Crater, Valle del Bove, Valle del Leone|
|Mar 1981||NNW-flank: threat to Randazzo, railways|
|Mar - Aug 83, Mar - Jul 85||S-flank|
|Oct 1982 – Feb 1987||Valle del Bove, SE Crater|
|Jul – Aug 2001||SE Crater, S & NE-flank, threat to Nicolosi, ashfalls - Catania airport closed|
|Oct 2002 – Jan 2003||NE & S-flank, ashfalls - Catania airport closed|
|2004, 05, 06, 07, 08||SE Crater, Bocca Nuova|
Last update: 13 January 2014
| ||Change Detection and Hazard Assessment (http://www.esa.int/SPECIALS/Eduspace_Disasters_EN/SEMD4BMSNNG_0.html) |
| ||Monitoring of volcanic hot spots and plumes (http://www.esa.int/SPECIALS/Eduspace_Disasters_EN/SEMLKKMSNNG_0.html) |