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The summit eruptions of July-August 2014 of Etna

After a few weeks of eruptive quiescence, Etna awoke on 5 July 2014, when weak explosive activity and lava emission started from two new vents located at 3020 m elevation on the lower east flank of the Northeast Crater cone. Over the following weeks, Strombolian activity at the two vents gradually intensified, and on 25 July, another vent opened a short distance upslope from the 5 July vents at 3080 m elevation, which displayed powerful and loud Strombolian explosions and also emitted minor lava flows (Fig. 1a).

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Figure 1 : a) Strombolian activity at the vent of 3080 m elevation located in the east slope of the NE Crater taken on 6 August 2014, photo by S. Branca. b) The New Southeast Crater in eruption on the evening of 12 August 2014, photo by B. Behncke.

A compound lava field with a maximum length of 2.4 km was formed on the northwestern slope of the Valle del Bove, before the activity ceased on 10-11 August (Fig. 2).

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Figure 2 : Sketck map of the lava flows emplaced during the summit eruptions of July-August 2014

While activity subsided at the vents near the Northeast Crater, on the evening of 9 August, small Strombolian explosions started at the New Southeast Crater (Fig. 1b), which had last erupted in mid-June. On the morning of 10 August, lava started issuing from a vent high on the east flank of the cone, and Strombolian activity became virtually continuous, feeding a dilute ash plume. The lava flows reached an altitude of about 2050 m close to Mt Simone within the Valle del Bove (Fig. 2). The activity continued in much the same manner until the morning of 15 August, and then rapidly subsided to cease altogether during the following night.

Contact : Boris Behncke, Stefano Branca, Emanuela De Beni – INGV-Osservatorio Etneo, Catania

Link : INGV Catania - Etna volcanological reports (Italian)

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Last update : 11-07-2016