Ätna: Dampfringe vom Neuen Südostkrater

After the violent paroxysm during 10-11 Nov 2013, the New SE crater continued to produce regular explosions, and, to our great surprise, we could observe during the afternoon of 11 Nov, that it often made fantastic vortex rings (steam rings or "smoke rings") that were blown eastward by strong Ponente.
Most likely, the eruption had changed the morphology of the vent into a way (into a particularly well circularly shaped form?) that allowed it to produce this rare phenomenon. And being Etna, she exaggerates: not only one ring every now and then, but she made dozens if not hundreds during a few hours, often in a row.
The next afternoon (12 Nov), the upper slopes of Etna are all white with snow. The main phase of the paroxysm is over, but explosions every minute or so continue at the NSEC. Interestingly, many of them produce steam rings, often in a row. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
The next afternoon (12 Nov), the upper slopes of Etna are all white with snow. The main phase of the... [info]
(3856 Treffer)
Strong Ponente wind pushes a thick cloud over the western part of the volcano, but leaves the Valle del Bove clear. A steam ring drifts in the sky. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Strong Ponente wind pushes a thick cloud over the western part of the volcano, but leaves the Valle ... [info]
(2907 Treffer)
A perfectly circular steam ring vortex detaches from the steam plume of the explosion that created it. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
A perfectly circular steam ring vortex detaches from the steam plume of the explosion that created i... [info]
(3365 Treffer)
Zoom onto the rotating steam ring. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Zoom onto the rotating steam ring. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
(4725 Treffer)
Another perfect ring in the sky. Its diameter is probably about 100 meters. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Another perfect ring in the sky. Its diameter is probably about 100 meters. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
(7738 Treffer)
A freshly "born" steam ring (right) drifts ahead of another one in the making (left). (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
A freshly "born" steam ring (right) drifts ahead of another one in the making (left). (Photo: Tom Pf... [info]
(3660 Treffer)
The rotation of the vortex can be seen in this picture in the sideways perspective of another steam ring. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
The rotation of the vortex can be seen in this picture in the sideways perspective of another steam ... [info]
(3091 Treffer)
Not all rings are perfectly flat. This one is more irregular. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Not all rings are perfectly flat. This one is more irregular. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
(2972 Treffer)
"Failed attempt" (right) and successful blow-out plume from two explosions. See the result in the next picture. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
"Failed attempt" (right) and successful blow-out plume from two explosions. See the result in the ne... [info]
(2749 Treffer)
The "successful plume" has the right motion and geometry to produce a vortex that detaches and keeps stable, despite the strong wind that disperses the other steam plumes quickly. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
The "successful plume" has the right motion and geometry to produce a vortex that detaches and keeps... [info]
(2518 Treffer)
Very narrow and irregular vortext ring. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Very narrow and irregular vortext ring. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
(2545 Treffer)
The New SE crater itself is only rarely visible. Here, it just had produced two explosions, each creating rings. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
The New SE crater itself is only rarely visible. Here, it just had produced two explosions, each cre... [info]
(2412 Treffer)
Sometimes, several rings (each from a small explosion) drift eastwards over the Valle del Bove in a row. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Sometimes, several rings (each from a small explosion) drift eastwards over the Valle del Bove in a ... [info]
(2281 Treffer)
A "smaller" (but still tens of meters wide) ring in the sky. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
A "smaller" (but still tens of meters wide) ring in the sky. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
(3008 Treffer)
Two steam rings. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Two steam rings. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
(1906 Treffer)
A large steam ring at night with the erupting New SE crater and the starry sky above Valle del Bove. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
A large steam ring at night with the erupting New SE crater and the starry sky above Valle del Bove.... [info]
(4243 Treffer)
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