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Encyclopedia > Mount Etna
Mount Etna

Mount Etna viewed from the air
Elevation 3,329 meters (10,924 feet) (varies)[1] Width of cone - 40km approx
Location Sicily, Italy
Prominence 3,329.6 m
Coordinates 37°45.304′N, 14°59.715′E[1]
Type Stratovolcano (composite type)
Age of rock 500,000 years
Last eruption 2008
Easiest route rock climb

Mount Etna (also known as Muncibeddu in Sicilian and Mongibello in Italian, a combination of Latin mons and Arabic gibel, both meaning mountain[2], in Latin, Aetna) is an active volcano on the east coast of Sicily, close to Messina and Catania. Its Arabic name was Jebel Utlamat (the Mountain of Fire). It is the largest active volcano in Europe, currently standing 3,329 m (10,924 ft) high, though it should be noted that this varies with summit eruptions; the mountain is 21 m (69 ft) lower now than it was in 1981. It is the highest mountain in Italy south of the Alps. Etna covers an area of 1,190 km² (460 sq mi) with a basal circumference of 140 km. This makes it by far the largest of the three active volcanoes in Italy, being about two and a half times the height of the next largest, Mount Vesuvius. Mount Etna (or Ætna) ia an active volcano on the east coast of Sicily (Italian Sicilia), close to Messina and Catania. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (850x638, 104 KB) File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Mount Etna Metadata This file contains additional information, probably added from the digital camera or scanner used to... A topographical summit is a point on a surface which is higher in elevation than all points immediately adjacent to it. ... Sicily ( in Italian and Sicilian) is an autonomous region of Italy and the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, with an area of 25,708 km² (9,926 sq. ... In topography, prominence, also known as autonomous height, relative height or shoulder drop (in America) or prime factor (in Europe), is a concept used in the categorization of hills and mountains, also known as peaks. ... Map of Earth showing lines of latitude (horizontally) and longitude (vertically), Eckert VI projection; large version (pdf, 1. ... Mountains can be characterized in several ways. ... A cutaway diagram of a stratovolcano Mount St. ... Diagram of geological time scale. ... Cleveland Volcano in the Aleutian Islands of Alaska photographed from the International Space Station For other uses, see Volcano (disambiguation). ... 2008 (MMVIII) is the current year, a leap year that started on Tuesday of the Common Era (or Anno Domini), in accordance with the Gregorian calendar. ... Southern and northern Mount Everest climbing routes as seen from the International Space Station. ... Sicilian (, Italian: ) is a Romance language. ... For other uses, see Latins and Latin (disambiguation). ... Arabic can mean: From or related to Arabia From or related to the Arabs The Arabic language; see also Arabic grammar The Arabic alphabet, used for expressing the languages of Arabic, Persian, Malay ( Jawi), Kurdish, Panjabi, Pashto, Sindhi and Urdu, among others. ... Cleveland Volcano in the Aleutian Islands of Alaska photographed from the International Space Station For other uses, see Volcano (disambiguation). ... Sicily ( in Italian and Sicilian) is an autonomous region of Italy and the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, with an area of 25,708 km² (9,926 sq. ... Location within Italy Messina with a population of about 260,000 is the third largest city on the island of Sicily, Italy and the capital of the province of Messina. ... The Roman Odeon. ... For other uses, see Europe (disambiguation). ... AUGUST 25 1981 US Marine Sean Vance is Born on the 25th of August {ear nav|1981}} Year 1981 (MCMLXXXI) was a common year starting on Thursday (link displays the 1981 Gregorian calendar). ... Alp redirects here. ... Italy is one of the most volcanically active countries in mainland Europe, possessing the largest volcanoes on the continent, as well as the continents only active volcanoes. ... This article is about the mountain in Italy. ...


Mount Etna is one of the most active volcanoes in the world and is in an almost constant state of eruption. The fertile volcanic soils support extensive agriculture, with vineyards and orchards spread across the lower slopes of the mountain and the broad Plain of Catania to the south. Due to its history of recent activity and nearby population, Mount Etna has been designated a Decade Volcano by the United Nations. A common vineyard. ... A community apple orchard originally planted for productive use during the 1920s, in Westcliff on Sea (Essex, England) An orchard is an intentional planting of trees or shrubs maintained for food production. ... A map showing locations of the 16 Decade Volcanoes The Decade Volcanoes are 16 volcanoes identified by the International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earths Interior (IAVCEI) as being worthy of particular study in light of their history of large, destructive eruptions and proximity to populated areas. ... UN redirects here. ...

Contents

Geological history

Volcanic activity at Etna began about half a million years ago, with eruptions occurring beneath the sea off the then coastline of Sicily. 300,000 years ago, volcanism began occurring to the southwest of the present-day summit, before activity moved towards the present centre 170,000 years ago. Eruptions at this time built up the first major volcanic edifice, forming a strato-volcano in alternating explosive and effusive eruptions. The growth of the mountain was occasionally interrupted by major eruptions leading to the collapse of the summit to form calderas. Satellite image of Santorini. ...

Etna seen from Spot Satellite.
Etna seen from Spot Satellite.

From about 35,000 to 15,000 years ago, Etna experienced some highly explosive eruptions, generating large pyroclastic flows which left extensive ignimbrite deposits. Ash from these eruptions has been found as far away as Rome, 800 km to the north. Pyroclastic flows sweep down the flanks of Mayon Volcano, Philippines, in 1984 A pyroclastic flow (also known as a pyroclastic density current) is a common and devastating result of some volcanic eruptions. ... Ignimbrite is a volcanic pyroclastic rock, often of dacitic or rhyolitic composition. ... For other uses, see Rome (disambiguation). ...

A crater near the Torre del Filosofo, about 450 metres below Etna's summit.
A crater near the Torre del Filosofo, about 450 metres below Etna's summit.

Thousands of years ago, the eastern flank of the mountain experienced a catastrophic collapse, generating an enormous landslide in an event similar to that seen in the 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens. The landslide left a large depression in the side of the volcano, known as 'Valle del Bove' (Valley of the Ox). Research published in 2006 suggests that this occurred around 6000 BC, and caused a huge tsunami which left its mark in several places in the eastern Mediterranean. It may have been the reason that the settlement of Atlit Yam (Israel), now below sea level, was suddenly abandoned around that time. (Pareschi et al., Geophys. Res. Lett., 33, doi:10.1029/2006GL027790) Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1024x768, 123 KB)Valle del Bove, Mount Etna Picture taken by Tim Bekaert, August 2003 This image has been (or is hereby) released into the public domain by its creator, Tbc2. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1024x768, 123 KB)Valle del Bove, Mount Etna Picture taken by Tim Bekaert, August 2003 This image has been (or is hereby) released into the public domain by its creator, Tbc2. ... The 1980 eruption of Mount St. ... (7th millennium BC – 6th millennium BC – 5th millennium BC – other millennia) Events c. ... For other uses, see Tsunami (disambiguation). ... Mediterranean redirects here. ... The final Pre-pottery Neolithic B site of Atlit Yam in Israel dates between 6900 and 6300 BC cal. ... Geophysical Research Letters is one of the scientific magazines dedicated to specialized aspects of geophysics, geology, climate science, and related disciplines. ... A digital object identifier (or DOI) is a standard for persistently identifying a piece of intellectual property on a digital network and associating it with related data, the metadata, in a structured extensible way. ...


The steep walls of the Valley have suffered subsequent collapse on numerous occasions. The strata exposed in the valley walls provide an important and easily accessible record of Etna's eruptive history. For other uses, see strata (novel) and strata title. ...


The most recent collapse event at the summit of Etna is thought to have occurred about 2,000 years ago, forming what is known as the Piano Caldera. This caldera has been almost entirely filled by subsequent lava eruptions, but is still visible as a distinct break in the slope of the mountain near the base of the present-day summit cone.


Historical eruptions

The first known record of an eruption at Etna is that of Diodorus Siculus. Diodorus Siculus (c. ...


The Roman poet Virgil gave what was probably a first-hand description of an eruption in the Aeneid: For other uses, see Virgil (disambiguation). ... Aeneas flees burning Troy, Federico Barocci, 1598 Galleria Borghese, Rome The Aeneid (IPA English pronunciation: ; in Latin Aeneis, pronounced — the title is Greek in form: genitive case Aeneidos) is a Latin epic written by Virgil in the 1st century BC (between 29 and 19 BC) that tells the legendary story...

Portus ab accessu ventorum immotus et ingens

ipse; sed horrificis iuxta tonat Aetna ruinis; interdumque atram prorumpit ad aethera nubem, turbine fumantem piceo et candente favilla, attollitque globos flammarum et sidera lambit; interdum scopulos avolsaque viscera montis erigit eructans, liquefactaque saxa sub auras cum gemitu glomerat, fundoque exaestuat imo. (3.39)

A spreading bay is there, impregnable

To all invading storms; and Aetna's throat With roar of frightful ruin thunders nigh. Now to the realm of light it lifts a cloud Of pitch-black, whirling smoke, and fiery dust, Shooting out globes of flame, with monster tongues That lick the stars; now huge crags of itself, Out of the bowels of the mountain torn, Its maw disgorges, while the molten rock Rolls screaming skyward; from the nether deep The fathomless abyss makes ebb and flow.

(edition of Theodore C. Williams, ca. 1908 [lines 569 - 579])

In 396 BC, an eruption of Etna is said to have thwarted the Carthaginians in their attempt to advance on Syracuse during the First Sicilian War. Centuries: 5th century BC - 4th century BC - 3rd century BC Decades: 440s BC 430s BC 420s BC 410s BC 400s BC - 390s BC - 380s BC 370s BC 360s BC 350s BC 340s BC Years: 401 BC 400 BC 399 BC 398 BC 397 BC - 396 BC - 395 BC 394 BC... This article is about the ancient city-state of Carthage in North Africa. ... Syracuse (Italian, Siracusa, ancient Syracusa - see also List of traditional Greek place names) is a city on the eastern coast of Sicily and the capital of the province of Syracuse, Italy. ... For other uses, see Carthage (disambiguation). ...


1669 eruption

Contemporary drawing showing the devastating effects of Etna's 1669 eruption.
Contemporary drawing showing the devastating effects of Etna's 1669 eruption.

Over the last 2000 years, activity at Etna has been generally effusive, with occasional explosive eruptions from the summit. Its most destructive eruption during this time occurred in March 1669, when an estimated 830,000,000 m³ of pyroclastic material was ejected. The eruption was preceded by two months of increasingly powerful earthquakes centered on the southern slopes of the mountain, which eventually encouraged most villagers there to abandon their homes. On 11 March, a 9 km-long fissure opened up on the southern flank of the mountain, stretching from an elevation of 2,800 m down to 1,200 m. Activity steadily migrated downslope, and the largest vent eventually opened near the town of Nicolosi. The cinder cone built up at the erupting vent became known as Monti Rossi (red hills), and is still a prominent landmark today. This article is about the natural seismic phenomenon. ... is the 70th day of the year (71st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Fissure (Latin fissura, Plural fissurae) is a groove, natural division, deep furrow, or cleft found in the brain, spinal cord, and liver; or a tear in the anus. ... Country Italy Region Sicily Province Province of Catania (CT) Mayor Elevation 700 m Area 42. ... For peaks named Cinder Cone, see list of peaks named Cinder Cone. ...


Nicolosi was quickly destroyed by lava flows, and two nearby small villages were also destroyed during the eruption's first day. The eruption was extremely voluminous, and a further four villages were destroyed in the following three days as the lava flowed south. In late March two larger towns were destroyed, and the lava reached the outskirts of Catania in early April. The Roman Odeon. ...


At first, lava piled up against the city walls, which were strong enough to withstand the pressure of the flow. However, while the city was temporarily protected, lava flowed into its harbour and filled it in. On 30 April, lava flowed over the top of the city walls, which then gave way. Catanians built walls across major roads to halt the flow of the lava, which were fairly effective but did not prevent the destruction of the western side of the city. A harbor (or harbour) or haven is a place where ships may shelter from the weather or are stored. ... is the 120th day of the year (121st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...


During the eruption, Catania residents also attempted to divert the flows much further upstream. According to a possibly apocryphal tale, their efforts were met with armed resistance from the citizens of a town which would have been threatened by the diverted flow [1]. Whether this event really occurred or not, a law was subsequently passed to forbid the artificial diversion of lava flows. This law was only repealed in 1983.


Recent eruptions

Etna's 2002 eruption, photographed from the ISS.
Etna's 2002 eruption, photographed from the ISS.
Same, seen in a wider field.
Same, seen in a wider field.
Etna's south east crater 2006 eruption, photographed from Torre del Filosofo.
Etna's south east crater 2006 eruption, photographed from Torre del Filosofo.

Another very large lava flow from an eruption in 1928 led to the first (and only) destruction of a town since the 1669 eruption. In this case, the town of Mascali was obliterated in just two days, with the lava destroying every building. The event was used by Mussolini's Fascist regime for propaganda purposes, with the evacuation, aid and rebuilding operations being presented as models of fascist planning. Mascali was rebuilt on a new site, and its church contains the Italian fascist symbol of the torch, placed above the statue of Christ. ImageMetadata File history File links Download high resolution version (1000x760, 182 KB) Etnas 2002 eruption, photographed from the International Space Station. ... ImageMetadata File history File links Download high resolution version (1000x760, 182 KB) Etnas 2002 eruption, photographed from the International Space Station. ... ISS redirects here. ... Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 800 × 529 pixelsFull resolution (3032 × 2004 pixel, file size: 716 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) File historyClick on a date/time to view the file as it appeared at that time. ... Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 800 × 529 pixelsFull resolution (3032 × 2004 pixel, file size: 716 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) File historyClick on a date/time to view the file as it appeared at that time. ... Country Italy Region Sicily Province Province of Catania (CT) Mayor Elevation 18 m Area 37. ... Benito Mussolini created a fascist state through the use of propaganda, total control of the media and disassembly of the working democratic government. ... Italian fascism (in Italian, fascismo) was the authoritarian political movement which ruled Italy from 1922 to 1943 under the leadership of Benito Mussolini. ... For other uses, see Propaganda (disambiguation). ... Icon of Christ in a Greek Orthodox church This page is about the title, office or what is known in Christian theology as the Divine Person. ...


Other major 20th-century eruptions occurred in 1949, 1971, 1981, 1983 and 1991-1993, as well as the 21st-century eruption in 2001. In 1971, lava buried the Etna Observatory (built in the late 19th century), destroyed the first generation of the Etna cable-car, and seriously threatened several small villages on Etna's east flank. In March 1981, the town of Randazzo on the northwestern flank of Etna narrowly escaped from destruction by unusually fast-moving lava flows. The 1992 eruption saw the town of Zafferana threatened by a lava flow, but successful diversion efforts saved the town with the loss of only one building a few hundred metres from the town's margin. Year 1949 (MCMXLIX) was a common year starting on Saturday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1971 (MCMLXXI) was a common year starting on Friday (link will display full calendar) of the 1971 Gregorian calendar. ... For the Jimi Hendrix song, see 1983. ... Zafferana is a town in Sicily. ...


In 2002-2003, the biggest series of eruptions for many years threw up a huge column of ash that could easily be seen from space and fell as far away as Libya, 600 km south across the Mediterranean Sea. Seismic activity in this eruption caused the eastern flanks of the volcano to slip by up to two metres, and many houses on the flanks of the volcano experienced structural damage. The eruption also completely destroyed the tourist station Piano Provenzana, on the northeastern flank of the volcano, and part of the tourist station around the Rifugio Sapienza on the south flank. Footage from the eruptions was recorded by Lucasfilm and integrated into the landscape of the planet Mustafar in the 2005 film Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. The Rifugio Sapienza is near the site of a cable car station which had previously been destroyed in the 1983 eruption; it has now been rebuilt. Also see: 2002 (number). ... Year 2003 (MMIII) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Mediterranean redirects here. ... Lucasfilm Ltd. ... Mustafar is a volcanic planet in the Star Wars universe. ... Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith is the third episode of the Star Wars film series (but the sixth film to be produced), to be released on Thursday, May 19, 2005. ... Tochal gondola lift carry tourists and skiers to Tochal mountain,Tehran, Iran. ...

Etna's Sept. 2007 eruption as seen from the southeast crater ridgeline.
Etna's Sept. 2007 eruption as seen from the southeast crater ridgeline.

Following a rather silent, slow and non-destructive lava outflow on the upper southeastern flank between September 2004 and March 2005, intense eruptions occurred at the Southeast Crater in July-December 2006. The most recent eruptions occurred in March-May 2007, again at the Southeast Crater, with four episodes of lava fountaining[citation needed], the latest being on 7 May 2007. Ash emissions and Strombolian explosions started from a vent on the eastern side of the Southeast Crater in mid-August 2007. Image File history File links Size of this preview: 800 × 534 pixelsFull resolution (1024 × 683 pixel, file size: 219 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) File historyClick on a date/time to view the file as it appeared at that time. ... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 800 × 534 pixelsFull resolution (1024 × 683 pixel, file size: 219 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) File historyClick on a date/time to view the file as it appeared at that time. ... is the 127th day of the year (128th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century. ...

House destroyed by lava on the slopes of Etna.
House destroyed by lava on the slopes of Etna.

On 4 September 2007 Etna violently erupted at around 8:00 p.m. local time, spewing lava up to 400 m into the air along with strong winds that sent ash and smoke into the underlying towns. This Southeast Crater eruption was visible far into the plains of Sicily, ending the following morning between the hours of 5 to 7 am local time. Catania-Fontanarossa Airport shut down operations during the night for safety precautions. A similar paroxysm occurred during the night of 23-24 November 2007, lasting for 6 hours and causing ash and lapilli falls to the north of the volcano. Again, the source of the activity was the Southeast Crater. Following several months of rather minor activity from the Southeast Crater and flurries of seismic activity especially on all sides of the mountain, a new powerful eruptive paroxysm occurred on the late afternoon of 10 May 2008. Due to bad weather, it was not possible to see much of the activity at the vent, but several branches of lava traveled down the eastern flank of the volcano, into the Valle del Bove depression. This latest paroxysm lasted about 4 hours, ending on the evening of 10 May 2008. Image File history File links Destroyed house near Mount Etna, Sicily (From German Wikipedia - http://de. ... Image File history File links Destroyed house near Mount Etna, Sicily (From German Wikipedia - http://de. ... is the 247th day of the year (248th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century. ... Catania-Fontanarossa Airport (Italian: Aeroporto di Catania-Fontanarossa) (IATA: CTA, ICAO: LICC) is located in the south of Catania, the second largest city on the Italian island of Sicily. ...


A new eruption started on the morning of 13 May 2008 immediately to the east of Etna's summit craters, accompanied by a swarm of more than 200 earthquakes and significant ground deformation in the summit area. On the afternoon of the same day, a new eruptive fissure opened at about 2800 m above sea-level, with a number of vents displaying Strombolian activity and emission of lava flows toward the Valle del Bove. During the following 24 hours the lava traveled approximately 6 km to the east, but thereafter its advance slowed and stopped, the most distant lava fronts stagnating about 3 km from the nearest village, Milo. Ash emissions became more frequent between 16 and 18 May and produced small but spectacular clouds, whereas the rate of lava emission showed a gradual diminution. As of 19 May, the eruption is continuing, although at much reduced vigor.[3]


Dikes have been built on several occasions to stem and redirect the flows of molten lava.[4] Dyke (normal International spelling) or Dike (normal American spelling) can mean several things: A dyke / dike is a long wall built to keep out the sea or enclose land. ...


Unusual Characteristics

In the 1970's Etna erupted smoke rings, one of the first captured events of this type, which are extremely rare. The ring of toxic gas had killed birds and sea life around the Mediterranean.[citation needed]


See also

The Volcanic Seven Summits on an Elevation World Map. ... An open crevasse. ...

Footnotes

  1. ^ a b The elevation varies with volcanic activity. It is frequently given as 3,350 m, but many sources that support this concede that it is approximate. The coordinates given here, which are consistent with SRTM data, are from a 2005 GPS survey. The elevation data are based on a [LIDAR ([Light Detection and Ranging)] survey carried out in June 2007 (Neri et al., "The changing face of Mount Etna's summit area documented with Lidar technology", Geophysical Research Letters, vol. 35, L09305, doi:10.1029/2008GL033740
  2. ^ (Italian) Note di toponomastica
  3. ^ Etna: Attività in corso Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia, Sezione di Catania
  4. ^ Recent dike-induced large-scale block movement at Mount Etna and potential slope failure Nature, 25 January 1990

The Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) is a research effort that obtained elevation data on a near-global scale to generate the most complete high-resolution digital topographic database of Earth to date. ... Nature is a prominent scientific journal, first published on 4 November 1869. ...

References

  • Smithsonian Institution Global Volcanism Program: Mount Etna
  • Chester, D. K.; Duncan, A. M., Guest, J. E., and Kilburn, C. R. J. (1985). Mount Etna: The Anatomy of a Volcano. Stanford University Press, 412 pp. ISBN 0-8047-1308-1. 

The Stanford University Press is a publishing house, a division of Stanford University, that is highly respected in academic publishing. ...

External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to:
Etna

  Results from FactBites:
 
Mount Etna - Best of Sicily (596 words)
To the ancient Greeks, Mount Etna was the realm of Vulcan, god of fire, and the home of the one-eyed monster known as the Cyclops.
Etna offers skiing in the Winter months and breathtaking hikes in the woods during the Summer.
Since Etna is a strato volcano, with relatively cool lava temperatures and numerous openings (vents), nobody ever knows precisely where on its vast surface the next eruption will be.
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COMMENTARY     

Courtney
10th June 2010
I think you should put on here the VEI scale of the mount etna eruptions because i cant find them anywhere and i need it for my project and it would be really helpful
There are 1 more (non-authoritative) comments on this page

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