Italy's Volcanoes: The Cradle of Volcanology

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Photo Gallery, September-October 1999


Photos were taken by Boris Behncke unless otherwise noted

4 September 1999 4 September 1999 12 September 1999
The NW flank of the NE Crater strewn with meter-sized blocks and bombs ejected during the Voragine eruption of 4 September 1999. Photo was taken 24 days after that event
The reddish brown ribbon in the center of this photograph is a lava flow which was emplaced during the Voragine eruption of 4 September 1999 on the W side of that crater. The cone of the NE Crater is visible in the background. Photo taken on 1 October 1999
12 September 1999: spattering at a hornito building rapidly at a new eruptive fissure on the ESE base of the SE Crater cone. The same vent is emitting a lava flow. Photo by Giuseppe Scarpinati
12 September 1999 1 October 1999 12 October 1999
Another photo of the same scene, taken on 12 September 1999 at the ESE base of the SE Crater cone by Giuseppe Scarpinati
W rim of the Bocca Nuova, photographed on 1 October 1999, 16 days before lava began to overflow from this crater exactly in the point shown in the right foreground. Laver-covered crater floor lies about 30 m below the rim in this photo
Vigorous and continuous lava fountaining from a vent in the W part of the Bocca Nuova on the evening of 12 October 1999, seen from the W flank of the main summit cone, about 300 m from the rim
12 October 1999

Left photo: Ash plume rising from the NE Crater at sunset on 12 October 1999. Such explosions occurred at intervals of one or two minutes and were accompanied by ejections of incandescent bombs

Right photo: Simultaneous eruptive activity at the NE Crater (at left, producing an ash column) and the Bocca Nuova (right, with lava fountains) on the evening of 12 October 1999

12 October 1999
12 October 1999 19 October 1999 19 Octobr 1999
Lava flowing through a channel near the main effusive vent at the ESE base of the SE Crater on the evening of 12 October 1999. The channel walls showed a wealth of suggestive forms and patterns. That evening no spattering occurred at the effusive vents in this area
View across the central overflow channel on the W side of the Bocca Nuova towards a lava fountain in the W part of the crater, shortly after noon on 19 October 1999. The first overflow from the crater had occurred less than two days before. Photo by Giuseppe Scarpinati New lava flows spilling down the upper W flank of Etna and vigorous explosive activity at the Bocca Nuova on the evening of 19 October 1999. This photo, taken from the summit of Monte Ruvolo, lower on the W flank, was taken by Giuseppe Scarpinati
22 October 1999 29 October 1999 29 October 1999
Etna during the eruptive episode at the Bocca Nuova on 22 October 1999, seen from Ognina in Catania - about 25 km from the summit. From this point huge jets of incandescent lava were seen rising hundreds of meters above the summit. Marco Fulle was only about 1 km from the erupting crater and submitted spectacular photos to Stromboli On-line Two vents in eruption in the Bocca Nuova on 29 October 1999. Left (NW) vent is seen ejecting a lava fountain mixed with some ash about 300 m high, while a dark, ash-laden eruption column rises from the SE vent at right. Pinnacle in center of the image was formed by the pushing of lava from the interior of the crater on 25 October Forest burnt and buried by the longest lava flow of the Bocca Nuova eruptions of October-November 1999, immediately S of Monte Nunziata on the WNW flank of Etna. This flow, emplaced on 27 October 1999, also interrupted the forest guard road. Photo was taken two days after emplacement
29 October 1999
Panoramic view of the upper W flank of Etna, with numerous dark lava flows that were emplaced between 17 October and the day the photo was taken, 29 October 1999. The longest flows extend beyond the margin of the photo at lower left, while most other flows stopped at about 2000 m elevation, before reaching the forest limit. Row of cones visible half way up the slope at left are the uppermost part of the eruptive fissure of 1843. The slight bulge in the slope of the volcano at the skyline at upper left is part of the rim of the Ellittico caldera, a collapse depression formed possibly about 15000 years ago. Two eruptive plumes are seen rising from the Bocca Nuova at the summit, the light-colored one at left comes from the NW vent which mainly ejects lava fountains while the ash-laden plume at right rises from the SE vent. A streak of white gas on the slope immediately below the light-colored left plume marks a minor active lava flow descending a few hundred meters downslope. Photo was taken from about half way between Monte Nunziata and the Monte Palestra mountain hut, due W of the summit.
1 November 1999 1 November 1999 1 November 1999

Left and middle: Two photos of the Bocca Nuova in full eruption on the evening of 1 November 1999. Lava fountains are rising above the NW vent in the crater, and lava flows from a vent a few tens of meters below the W rim of the crater. The right photo shows people - volcanologists and photographers - in the foreground; the blurred effect comes from the gas that was emitted by the effusive vent.

Photo at right: One of the most beautiful shots ever made by Giuseppe Scarpinati: this shows one of the hornitos located on the ESE base of the SE Crater cone spattering vigorously at sunset on 1 November 1999. Lava is flowing through a breach on the side of the hornito. Another hornito, in a state of degassing, is visible in the right background. The activity near the SE Crater and at the Bocca Nuova on the evening of 1 November was the final grand show of the period of heightened activity in September-November 1999, although vigorous activity continued for a few days afterwards.


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

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