Etna photo gallery

Italy's Volcanoes: The Cradle of Volcanology

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SE Crater explosion

Explosion from the vent of a small intracrater cone at the Southeast Crater on 25 July 1997.
This crater, one of the four summit craters of Etna, has changed beyond recognition since then.
The point from which the photo was taken now lies buried under about 100 m of lava
and pyroclastics erupted from the Southeast Crater in 1998-2001

Photo galleries of Mount Etna

During the nearly fifteen years since my first visit to Mount Etna (in September 1989), I have taken thousands of photographs of the volcano and its eruptions, many of which have appeared on this site during the years through 2000. Most of those photographs were not of extremely high quality, especially when it came to scans from slides, and slides represent by far the majority of my photographs. The low-quality scans are now gradually being replaced by high-quality scans, which will show you the splendor of the Etna world, the landscapes of this fascinating and beautiful mountain, and, of course, of its eruptions. This photographic record is the result of hundreds of excursions to the summit and flanks of the volcano, most of them made since I moved permanently to Catania in early 1997. Most importantly, I have now the equipment that allows the posting of new photographs nearly in real-time, which was not possible for a long period between 2000 and 2003.

You will thus be able to follow my long voyage of discovery at Etna, which lasted through the early years of my life in Sicily, and continues, in a somewhat modified manner, at present. Discovery has been replaced by in-depth study, but the magic is still there. Etna is much more than a volcano. It is an enormous mountain with a wealth of microenvironments and landscapes, which differ considerably from each other as a visitor displaces himself from the lower to the upper parts of the mountain, and from one of its flanks to another. Eruptions bring rapid changes, which are well documented in this photograph collection in the cases of the summit eruptions between 1995 and 2001, and the flank eruptions of 2001 and 2002-2003. When scanning the photographs of this collection, I noted also that lighting changes in a surprising manner, rendering completely different impressions of the same places during different visits.

This photo gallery is growing. As of early 2004, I have scanned through the years from 1989 to mid-1999, and the 1989 to early 1998 photos are on-line, plus those of 2001 and 2002, and of June-July 2003. A further section has photos of the peculiar mud volcanoes (called "Salinelle") that lie near the town of Paternò on the southern base of Etna, and an introductory page that will guide you to many of the more than 300 flank cones of Etna is available as well. My photos of those cones are already scanned but the pages containing them are still in construction. With time permitting (and Etna's current quiet lasting...), this work will gradually continue.


First visit to Etna, September 1989

Second visit to Etna, April 1990

Glimpses of Etna, August 1991
to March 1993

Etna's reawakening, October 1995

Etna cold and hot,
May and September 1996

Life on Etna, 1997

Etna gains force, 1998
(through April 1998)

Etna makes the news, 2001

Before the mountain moved, 2002
(January-October 2002)

Etna on the move, 2002
(October-December 2002)

Return to Etna, 2003

Reconstruction and yet
another eruption, 2004

Mamma Etna's countless children
(More than 300 flank cones and craters)

The "Salinelle" of Paternò
(The poorly known mud volcanoes of Etna)

to appear soon:

Etna's unrivalled beauty, 1999

Etna in full force, 2000


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

Page set up on 29 May 1998, last modified on 17 September 2004

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