asked questions about Etna
I have been asked this question or similar ones quite often by students who have to write papers on a selected volcano, and many have chosen Etna, only to find quite confusing information regarding the morphology of Etna. Among my answers were the following:
is difficult to classify Etna in terms of morphology. Etna has the morphological
characteristics of both shield and strato volcano, and furthermore it
has various calderas, the largest being Valle del Bove on the eastern
flank. The lower part of the mountain in some areas is clearly a shield
on top of which a stratovolcano has built, but I would best describe it
as a complex volcano. To complicate
the picture, Etna has some 250 cinder cones on its flanks some of which
would rank as volcanoes for themself in other areas. On Etna they are
merely lateral vents, products of Etna's flank eruptions. Maybe the most
precise answer to the question is: "Etna is a mixture of overlapping shield
and strato volcanoes partially destroyed by repeated caldera collapse
and partially buried by younger volcanic edifices"."
does not fit easily in these classification schemes. In part it is a shield,
in part a strato volcano, and then it is also a caldera volcano because
it actually consists of numerous volcanic edifices that grew on top of
each other, and each suffered major collapse at least once during its
lifetime. Etna is thus best described as a complex volcano...
Next Question: To what kind of tectonic environment is Etna related?
Copyright © Boris Behncke, "Italy's Volcanoes: The Cradle of Volcanology"
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