Italy's Volcanoes: The Cradle of Volcanology

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The 1971-1973 summit activity

All photos on this page were taken by Giuseppe Scarpinati

About six months after the end of the April-June 1971 eruption, vigorous explosive activity resumed in the Voragine. This photo, taken on 17 December 1971, shows dense ash plumes being emitted from the crater. The view is from south.

December 1971
December 1971

Two successive views of an episode of ash emission from the Voragine on 18 December 1971, seen from the upper southern flank. Height of plume in right image is about 800-1000 m.

December 1971

Explosive activity at the Voragine causing ash emissions continues into early 1972. The main summit cone is seen in this photo taken on 5 January 1972, with a dense plume of ash rising from the Voragine, and the scoria cones formed during the first stage of the 1971 eruption are visible at the base of the main summit cone.

January 1972
January 1972

Etna is seen here emitting an ash plume about 1500-2000 m high in January 1972. This photo is a panoramic view from the area of Mascalucia, a town located at 300-400 m elevation on the S flank of the volcano. The conspicuous twin-peaked cone at left is Monti Rossi, the main crater of the 1669 flank eruption, source of a voluminous lava flow that reached the sea south of Catania and destroyed part of the city.

A suggestive night view of eruptive activity from two vents within the Voragine in August 1973. Activity showed a remarkable increase in that period and led to the rapid filling of the crater, so that its depth was only about 100 m at the time this photo was taken. In the nearby Bocca Nuova, the crater floor had risen even higher. During the same period, intense seismic activity occurred at the "Timpe" fault system on the eastern flank, causing heightened apprehension, but the seismicity was probably unrelated to the volcanic activity at the summit. The eruptive activity underwent a further increase in early November 1973, when vigorous lava fountains occurred at the Voragine, and the crater rim was buried under several meters of agglutinate.

Bocca Nuova, August 1973

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