Italy's Volcanoes: The Cradle of Volcanology

Etna index

Geology Geological history Cones and craters
Eruptive characteristics Eruptions before 1971 Eruptions since 1971
Etna and Man References Web sites
Weather forecasts FAQ Latest news


Frequently asked questions about Etna


Mount Etna is the subject of widespread interest, and at the same time, of abundant, though at times erroneous and misleading information. During the six years that I live near Etna, and especially during the 2001 and 2002-2003 eruptions, I have received scores of e-mails as well as questions from journalists, the most relevant of which are discussed in this section. It is understandable that the most frequently asked question will be answered first:

When will Etna erupt again?

Another question that has been stimulated by recent publications and contorted reporting on these in the mass media is:

Is Etna changing its behavior?

And that's a selection of other frequently asked questions.

Can the next flank eruption be forecast or predicted?
Can lava flows at Etna be diverted?
How many people have been killed by eruptions of Etna?
Is it safe to climb to Etna's summit?
Is Etna a stratovolcano or a shield volcano?
To what kind of tectonic environment is Etna related?
How fast do Etna's lavas move?
How do the people living near Etna feel about "their" mountain?
What is the relationship between Etna and the earthquakes of the region?
When was Catania last affected by an eruption of Etna?
Is there a risk that Etna might blow its top, like Mount St. Helens?
Are my relatives living near Etna in danger?

Is being a volcanologist a dangerous job?

Copyright © Boris Behncke, "Italy's Volcanoes: The Cradle of Volcanology"

Page set up on 24 February 1998, last modified on 6 August 2003
Hosted by VolcanoDiscovery