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Etna volcano, Italy
Mount Etna is Europe's highest volcano, towering 3350 m above the city of Taormina on its NE flank.
Etna claims one of the world's longest documented historical records, dating back to the 2nd millenium BC.
Historical lava flows cover much of the surface of this massive, 60 x 40 km wide basaltic stratovolcano, and extend to the sea.
Eruptions occur both from persistently active summit craters and intermittently from flank fissures and cones.
Mount Etna, towering above Catania, Sicily's second largest city, has one of the world's longest documented records of historical volcanism, dating back to 1500 BC.
Historical lava flows of basaltic composition cover much of the surface of this massive volcano, whose edifice is the highest and most voluminous in Italy.
The Mongibello stratovolcano, truncated by several small calderas, was constructed during the late Pleistocene and Holocene over an older shield volcano.
The most prominent morphological feature of Etna is the Valle del Bove, a 5 x 10 km horseshoe-shaped caldera open to the east.
Two styles of eruptive activity typically occur at Etna.
Persistent explosive eruptions, sometimes with minor lava emissions, take place from one or more of the three prominent summit craters, the Central Crater, NE Crater, and SE Crater (the latter formed in 1978).
Flank vents, typically with higher effusion rates, are less frequently active and originate from fissures that open progressively downward from near the summit (usually accompanied by strombolian eruptions at the upper end).
Cinder cones are commonly constructed over the vents of lower-flank lava flows.
Lava flows extend to the foot of the volcano on all sides and have reached the sea over a broad area on the SE flank.
PHOTO SOURCE: Jean-Claude Tanguy, 1991 (University of Paris), courtesy of the Global Volcanism Program, Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, used with permission.
NOTE: The information regarding Volcano on this page is re-published from other sources. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Volcano information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Volcano photos should be addressed to the copyright owner noted below the photo.
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This page was last modified 23-FEB-10
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