Etna volcano - eruption update

New paroxysm Saturday evening - lava fountains light up Sicily's sky

Update Sat 12 Jun 2021 22:06
Lava fountain during Saturday night's paroxysm at Etna volcano (image: INGV thermal webcam)
Lava fountain during Saturday night's paroxysm at Etna volcano (image: INGV thermal webcam)
Current tremor signal (image: INGV Catania)
Current tremor signal (image: INGV Catania)
A powerful paroxysm - or lava fountaining episode - is in progress at the volcano now at the SE crater. After a week of activity fluctuating between moderate and high levels, Etna decided again to escalate into a short-lived phase of intense lava fountains.
This episode comes about a week since the last one on 4 June. In the time between, the volcano had not calmed down as usual during intervals, but remained active with weak to moderate strombolian activity from the crater, and moderate to high tremor levels, indicating that the magma column had not subsided a lot since.
The newest episode this evening began to produce lava fountains from around 21:45 pm local time and lasted until about midnight. This time, the activity was noticeable stronger than during the previous shorter episodes observed in late May and more similar to typical paroxysms such as those in February and March earlier this year.
The lava flow from the southern flank of the crater was well alimented and continued to travel towards the SW. Another lava flow emerged during the paroxysm from the east side of the cone and reached the western headwall of the Valle del Bove.

Increasing activity and small lava flow from New SE crater

Update Sat 12 Jun 2021 16:55
Current tremor signal at Etna volcano (image: INGV Catania)
Current tremor signal at Etna volcano (image: INGV Catania)
Things remain very dynamic at Europe's most active volcano: Since yesterday morning, strombolian activity at the New SE crater began to increase, followed by the appearance of a lava overflow issued from a vent on the southern flank of the cone, which traveled towards the southwest.
The mean amplitude of the volcanic tremor continued to grow reaching high values and its source was found to be at shallow depths beneath the crater - all pointing towards a possible new paroxysm.
This trend reversed itself again temporarily, and then recovered and seems to be on the increase again now: it looks as if the New SE crater is undecided whether or not to go for a paroxysm or not...

Volcano becoming restless, strombolian activity at SE crater increases

Update Wed 09 Jun 2021 20:06
Ash emission from Etna's New SE crater this morning (image: LAVE webcam)
Ash emission from Etna's New SE crater this morning (image: LAVE webcam)
Glow from the New SE crater early this morning (image: LAVE webcam)
Glow from the New SE crater early this morning (image: LAVE webcam)
Current tremor signal (image: INGV Catania)
Current tremor signal (image: INGV Catania)
The volcano's New SE crater has become more and more active over the past few days, and started to show weak strombolian activity of varying intensity since yesterday morning. This activity produces occasional ash emissions which are rapidly dispersed in the summit area.
Over the past days, volcanic tremor amplitude has been showing continuous oscillations, with an overall gradually increasing trend, reaching high values during the past 24 hours. According to the volcano observatory, the source of the tremor - corresponding to the area of magma movement - is located under the SE Crater area at an elevation of 2800-2900 m above sea level, or 300-400 m below the crater rims.
No significant variations of ground deformation have been observed.
Although it has not (yet) produced another paroxysm since the last one past Friday, it might be heading towards one, or otherwise maybe shift towards a longer phase of moderate, persistent activity.

New paroxysm Friday evening

Update Sat 05 Jun 2021 05:52
Lava fountain during last night's paroxysm at Etna (image: INGVvulcani / facebook)
Lava fountain during last night's paroxysm at Etna (image: INGVvulcani / facebook)
Current tremor signal (image: INGV Catania)
Current tremor signal (image: INGV Catania)
Two and a half days after the previous one, the New SE crater produced yet another phase of lava fountaining (paroxysm) yesterday evening 4 June 2021.
It was preceded by a relatively long phase of weak to moderate, but intermittent strombolian activity and fluctuating tremor levels - contrary to most other episodes, the activity had not dropped to low levels after the previous paroxysm, but remained moderate.
The activity increased rapidly after 18:00 local time, then passed to lava fountaining at around 18:20, which generated an ash plume that rose to approx. 6500 meters above sea level and drifted SE.
Like during the previous paroxysms, a lava flow traveled from the rim of the saddle vent area of the New SE crater towards the SW.
The lava fountain ended around 19:30 and activity dropped again sharply. However, the lava flow remained weakly alimented for several hours. By midnight, it had reached an elevation of 2800 m below the Torre del Filosofo area.

New paroxysm this morning with lava fountains up to 400 m tall

Update Wed 02 Jun 2021 16:10
Lava fountain during Etna's paroxysm this morning (image: INGV Catania webcam)
Lava fountain during Etna's paroxysm this morning (image: INGV Catania webcam)
Current tremor signal
Current tremor signal
The volcano produced yet another lava-fountaining episode or paroxysm from the New SE crater this morning. 3 days since the previous one, it followed the by now "usual pattern":
Volcanic tremor began to increase from around 8 am, followed by the onset of weak strombolian explosions at the New SE crater's saddle vent from around 9:45. This activity increased slowly first, then very quickly reached the phase of lava fountains at 10:30 local time, generating an eruptive column that rose several kilometers and drifted east-southeast.
Ash and small lapilli (up to 1.0-1.5 cm) was falling in the northern part of Zafferana Etnea and in Santa Venerina town.
The activity also produced a modest overflow of lava, which traveled southwest. During the phase of maximum intensity, the lava fountains reached heights of 300-400 m. Two vents were periodically active in the "saddle" area, as already observed during the eruptive episodes on 28 and 30 May 2021.
The lava fountain activity lasted until about 12:40 local time, after when the explosive activity quickly decreased and mostly finished at 12:50.

The magnitude of the volcanic tremor showed the usual, rather sudden increase at the beginning of the episode, and a rapid collapse at the end; during the paroxysm, its source was located under the Southeast Crater. The infrasonic signals also came from the same crater; small variations in tilt were recorded, as usual during the eruptive episodes at the Southeast Crater.

Source: adapted from INGVvulcani / facebook

Paroxysm on the morning of 30 May 2021

Update Tue 01 Jun 2021 13:46
View of Etna's paroxysm in the morning of 30 May 2021 (image: LAVE webcam)
View of Etna's paroxysm in the morning of 30 May 2021 (image: LAVE webcam)
Since the latest lava fountaining phase at the New SE crater early on Sunday 30 May 2021, the volcano has remained more or less calm.
The so-far latest paroxysm began to announce itself 03:10 local time, when volcanic tremor began to rise, followed by the onset of strombolian activity at around 05:45. This activity rapidly increased and turned into lava fountaining by 06:30 which lasted about an hour and produced an ash plume that rose to estimated 6500 m altitude.
By 07:45, it had ceased. Similar as during the previous episodes, a the lava fountaining produced a lava overflow from the rim of the crater towards the SW.
Due to bad weather conditions, the event was not very well observed visually.
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