MOUNT ETNA (or ETNA; /ˈɛtnə/ ; Italian : Etna or Mongibello ,
Sicilian : Mungibeddu or â Muntagna, Latin : Aetna) is an active
stratovolcano on the east coast of
* 1 Etymology
* 2 History of volcanic eruptions
* 2.1 Geological history
* 2.2 Eruptions
* 2.2.1 Historical eruptions
* 2.2.2 Recent eruptions
* 126.96.36.199 Volcanic explosivity index of recent eruptions
* 2.2.3 Smoke rings
* 3 Geopolitical oddity * 4 Facilities * 5 See also * 6 Notes * 7 References * 8 External links
Adrian Room ’s book Place-names of the World, the name
"Etna" originated from the Phoenician word attuna meaning "furnace" or
"chimney". He dismisses the hypothesis that Etna is from the Greek
αἴθω (aithō), meaning "I burn", through an iotacist
pronunciation . In
Classical Greek , it is called Αἴτνη
(Aítnē), a name given also to
It is also known as Mungibeddu in Sicilian and Mongibello or Montebello in Italian (The Italian word literally meaning Monte mountain and Bello meaning beautiful, but the Sicilian word is actually thought to be from the Latin mons and the Arabic جبل jabal, both meaning mountain, producing a tautological place name , "mountain mountain"). The term is not in common use today, although some older people still call it this. According to another hypothesis the term Mongibello comes from the Latin Mulciber (qui ignem mulcet, who placates the fire), one of the Latin names of the Roman god Vulcan .
The people of the Etna sometimes use the jargon term 'a muntagna, simply "the mountain" par excellence.
Nowadays, the term Mongibello indicates the mountain's top area of the two central craters encompassing also the craters in the southeast and the northeast of the volcanic cone .
HISTORY OF VOLCANIC ERUPTIONS
Volcanic activity first took place at Etna about 500,000 years ago, with eruptions occurring beneath the sea off the ancient coastline of Sicily. About 300,000 years ago, volcanism began occurring to the southwest of the summit (centre top of volcano) then, before activity moved towards the present centre 170,000 years ago. Eruptions at this time built up the first major volcanic edifice, forming a stratovolcano 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 .
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 south of
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
suggested this occurred around 8000 years ago, and caused a huge
tsunami , which left its mark in several places in the eastern
Mediterranean . It may have been the reason the settlement of Atlit
The steep walls of the valley have suffered subsequent collapses on numerous occasions. The strata exposed in the valley walls provide an important and easily accessible record of Etna's eruptive history.
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.
Eruptions of Etna follow a variety of patterns. Most occur at the
summit, where there are currently (as of 2008) five distinct craters
— the Northeast Crater, the Voragine, the Bocca Nuova, and the
Southeast Crater Complex (2). Other eruptions occur on the flanks,
which have more than 300 vents ranging in size from small holes in the
ground to large craters hundreds of metres across.
The first known record of eruption at Etna is that of Diodorus Siculus . An artist's impression of 1766 eruption
In 396 BC, an eruption of Etna reportedly thwarted the Carthaginians in their attempt to advance on Syracuse during the Second Sicilian War .
A particularly violent explosive (Plinian ) summit eruption occurred
in 122 BC, and caused heavy tephra falls to the southeast, including
the town of
During the first 1500 years AD, many eruptions have gone unreported (or records have been lost); among the more significant are: (1) an eruption in about 1030 AD near Monte Ilice on the lower southeast flank, which produced a lava flow that travelled about 10 km, reaching the sea north of Acireale; the villages of Santa Tecla and Stazzo are built on the broad delta built by this lava flow into the sea; (2) an eruption in about 1160 (or 1224), from a fissure at only 350–450 m (1,148–1,476 ft) elevation on the south-southeast flank near the village of Mascalucia, whose lava flow reached the sea just to the north of Catania, in the area now occupied by the portion of the city named Ognina.
Etna's most destructive eruption since 122 BC started on 11 March
1669 and produced lava flows that destroyed at least 10 villages on
its southern flank before reaching the city walls of the town of
Play media Footage of Etna's November 2013 eruption.
A large lava flow from an eruption in 1928 led to the destruction of
a population centre for the first time since the 1669 eruption. The
eruption started high on Etna's northeast flank on 2 November. Then
new eruptive fissures opened at decreasing elevations down the flank
of the volcano. The third and most vigorous of these fissures opened
late on 4 November at an unusually low elevation, approximately 1,200
m (3,937 ft) above sea-level, in a zone known as Ripe della Naca. The
Mascali , lying down-slope of the Ripe della Naca, was
almost completely destroyed in two days. Only a church and a few
surrounding buildings survived in the north part of the village,
called Sant'Antonino or "il quartiere". During the last days of the
eruption, the flow interrupted the Messina-
Other major 20th-century eruptions occurred in 1949, 1971, 1979, 1981, 1983 and 1991–1993. 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 destruction by unusually fast-moving lava flows. That eruption was remarkably similar to one in 1928 that destroyed Mascali. The 1991–1993 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. Initially, such efforts consisted of the construction of earth barriers built perpendicularly to the flow direction; it was hoped that the eruption would stop before the artificial basins created behind the barriers would be completely filled. Instead, the eruption continued, and lava surmounted the barriers, heading directly toward Zafferana. Engineers then decided to use explosives near the source of the lava flow, to disrupt a very efficient lava tube system through which the lava travelled for up to 7 km (4 mi) without essentially losing heat and fluidity. The main explosion on 23 May 1992 destroyed the tube and forced the lava into a new artificial channel, far from Zafferana, and it would have taken months to re-establish a long lava tube. Shortly after the blasting, the rate of lava emission dropped, and during the remainder of the eruption (until 30 March 1993) the lava never advanced close to the town again. A lateral crater of the 2002-2003 eruption near the Torre del Filosofo, about 450 m (1,480 ft) below Etna's summit. House destroyed by lava on the slopes of Etna.
Following six years (1995–2001) of unusually intense activity at
the four summit craters of Etna, the volcano produced its first flank
eruption since 1991–1993 in July–August 2001. This eruption, which
involved activity from seven distinct eruptive fissures mostly on the
south slope of the volcano, was a mass-media eruption, because it
occurred at the height of the tourist season and numerous reporters
and journalists were already in
In 2002–2003, a much larger eruption threw up a huge column of ash
that could easily be seen from space and fell as far away as
On 4 September 2007 a spectacular episode of lava fountaining occurred from the new vent on the east side of the Southeast Crater, also producing a plume of ash and scoriae which fell over the east flank of the volcano. A lava flow travelled about 4.5 km (2.8 mi) into the uninhabited Valle del Bove. This eruption was visible far into the plains of Sicily, ending the following morning between the hours of 5 to 7 a.m. local time. Catania-Fontanarossa Airport shut down operations during the night for safety precautions.
An eruption on the morning of 13 May 2008, immediately to the east of Etna's summit craters was accompanied by a swarm of more than 200 earthquakes and significant ground deformation in the summit area. The eruption continued at a slowly diminishing rate for 417 days, until 6 July 2009, making this the longest flank eruption of Etna since the 1991–1993 eruption that lasted 473 days. Previous eruptions, in 2001, 2002–2003, and 2004–2005 had lasted 3 weeks, 3 months, and 6 months, respectively. Lava flows advanced 6.5 km during the first few days of this eruption but thereafter stagnated at much minor distances from the vents; during the last months of the eruption lava rarely advanced more than 1 km downslope. Southern flank of Mount Etna showing lateral cones and flow from eruption of 2001.
Through January 2011 to February 2012, the summit craters of Etna
were the site of intense activity. Frequent eruptions and ash columns
forced the authorities to shut down the
On 3 December 2015, an eruption occurred which climaxed between 03:20
and 04:10 local time. The Voragine crater exhibited a lava fountain
which reached 1 km (3,300 ft) in height, with an ash plume which
reached 3 km (9,800 ft) in height. The activity continued on the
following days, with an ash plume that reached 7 km (23,000 ft) in
height that forced
An eruption on 16 March 2017 injured 10 people, including a BBC News television crew, after magma exploded upon contact with snow.
Volcanic Explosivity Index Of Recent Eruptions
The Global Volcanism Program has assigned a volcanic explosivity index (VEI) to all of Mount Etna's eruptions since January 1955.
Volcanic explosivity index for Mount Etna's eruptions since January 1955 VEI NUMBER OF ERUPTIONS (TOTAL=49)
VEI 0 1
VEI 1 17
VEI 2 24
VEI 3 7
In the 1970s Etna erupted smoke rings , one of the first captured events of this type, which are extremely rare. This happened again in 2000. Video footage of 8 June 2000 event was captured by naturalist filmmaker Geoff Mackley. Another event occurred on 11 April 2013.
Map of municipalities in the province of Catania.
The borders of ten municipalities (
Bronte (from two sides),
Castiglione di Sicilia ,
Randazzo , Sant\'Alfio ,
Zafferana Etnea ) meet on the summit of Mount
Etna, making this point one of elevenfold complexity, and thus
evidently the most complicated geopolitical multi-point anywhere north
Etna is one of Sicily's main tourist attractions, with thousands of visitors every year. The most common route is through the road leading to Sapienza Refuge ski area, lying at the south of the crater at elevation of 1910 m. From the Refuge, a cableway runs uphill to an elevation of 2500 m, from where the crater area at 2920 m is accessible.
Ferrovia Circumetnea – Round-Etna railway – is a narrow-gauge
railway constructed between 1889 and 1895. It runs around the volcano
in a 110-km long semi-circle starting in
There are two ski resorts on Etna: one at the Sapienza Refuge, with a chairlift and three ski lifts, and a smaller one on the north, at Piano Provenzana near Linguaglossa , with three lifts and a chairlift.
Sapienza Refuge was the finish of Stage 9 of the 2011 Giro d\'Italia and Stage 4 of the 2017 Giro .
* ^ A B The elevation varies with volcanic activity. The volcano
last erupted on 16 March 2017. It is frequently given as 3,350 m
(10,990 ft), but many sources that support this concede that this is
approximate. The coordinates given, which are consistent with SRTM
data, are from a 2005 GPS survey. The elevation data are based on a
* ^ "Note di toponomastica" (PDF) (in Italian). Archived from the
original (PDF) on 27 March 2009. Retrieved 20 August 2011.
* ^ Martin-Schutz, Alicia. "Mt. Etna".
* ^ Pareschi, M. T.; Boschi, E. & Favalli, M. (2007), "Holocene
* ^ "
Global Volcanism Program .
Wikimedia Commons has media related to ETNA .