Location: NE Sicily, Italy
More than 25% of Sicily’s population live on Etna’s slopes, with Catania city at its base.
The Volcano: Active, composite (stratovolcano), formed by the Eurasian plate subducting beneath the African. 3350m in height and growing.
Key characteristics: Regular violent explosions and lava flows. Multiple active chambers, several craters, 300+ vents – Etna erupts from both summit & side vents.
Local Economy: Rich volcanic soils make the land fertile for olive groves, vineyards, citrus fruits and orchards. Piano Provenzano ski resort is on Etna.
July 2001... One of Etna’s largest recorded eruptions to date. Magma caused the volcano to bulge, resulting in earthquakes, followed by Strombolianstyle eruptions with ash, lava and volcanic bombs. Eruptions lasted for 24 days.
Impacts: Holiday villas, roads & buildings damaged (SOCIAL); Local vegetation & habitats destroyed (ENVIRONMENTAL); Catania airport closed due to ash; Orange groves & vineyards destroyed; farmland covered in ash; chairlift at ski resort damaged; ash fell in Catania (ECONOMIC). No deaths.
Response: Evacuation; US army dropped concrete to stop lava flow; cancelled holidays damaged the tourist industry; mass clean-up operation in Catania & surroundings; £5.6m aid from Italian government (SHORT TERM). Improved monitoring systems; better emergency planning; tourism used to boost economy; tax breaks given to locals to assist rebuilding; raised awareness of Sicily as a tourist destination (LONG TERM).
Post-2001: Etna has erupted annually but is well monitored and actively managed.
She is a Geography Specialist.
“As a Geographer teacher and an ad-hoc expedition leader, I’m a fervent believer in opening young people’s eyes to Geographical wonders closer to home, whether within the UK or across the Channel."
Sep. 2, 2016 Volcanoes are geology at its most exciting. They seem so fiery, dangerous and thrillingly explosive. That may be true, but most old and mature volcanoes are surprisingly stuck in their ways and even ... read more
Nov. 29, 2017 Researchers have studied the journey of magma, or molten rock, in one of Europe's largest and most active volcanoes, Mount Etna. They applied several techniques to create a more accurate picture ... read more
Jan. 23, 2018 They can be as small as a grain of salt, but tiny crystals that form deep in volcanoes may be the key for advance warnings before volcanic eruptions. Volcanologists have said the research provided ... read more
Mar. 9, 2017 Scientists made a surprising discovery on their mission to find better indicators for impending volcanic eruptions: it looks like tree rings may be able to predict eruptions, report ... read more
June 29, 2016 A study of how crystals moved in magma under the Mount St Helens volcano before the 1980 eruption may have signaled that an eruption was probable. Scientists say that similar measurements may ... read more
Nov. 28, 2017 With Mount Agung on eruption watch in Bali, a researcher notes that monitoring emissions from the volcano may aid volcanologists in determining whether or not an Agung eruption is ... read more
Clues from Past Volcanic Explosion Helps Research Team to Model Future Activity
Dec. 20, 2016 Researchers have developed a model that will help civil defense agencies better judge the impact of future volcanic eruptions – including those that threaten the UK ... read more
Simulating Path of 'Magma Mush' Inside an Active Volcano
Oct. 1, 2015 The first simulation of the individual crystals in volcanic mush, a mix of liquid magma and solid crystals, shows mixing to help understand the buildup of pressure deep inside a ... read more
June 15, 2017 Volcanologists are gaining a new understanding of what's going on inside the magma reservoir that lies below an active volcano and they're finding a colder, more solid place than previously ... read more
Aug. 7, 2015 Flood-basalt eruptions were enormous but not as explosive as eruptions like Pinatubo, which in 1991 propelled gases high into the stratosphere, causing a global cooling event. New simulations reveal ... read more