Magnificent Mount Etna Volcano Roaring Lava [42 Photos]

August 19th, 2014 Permalink

Mount Etna, one of the 17 Decade Volcanoes and Europe’s tallest active volcano, has been putting on a great show. Adrenaline-seeking tourists have been getting up-close and personal for the rumbling and lava spewing spectacle in Italy. Even the astronauts aboard the ISS have taken note and grabbed some stunning shots. Here’s Mount Etna…[42 Photos]

Mount Etna lava fountain, August 2014

After rumbling for months, Mount Etna is spewing molten lava like in this lava fountain taken in August 2014. Photo #1 by Davide Nicotra

July 2014 Etna erupting

July 2014 Etna erupting, part of the volcanoes most recent activities. Photo #2 by Seby Calanzone


Etna Volcano Paroxysmal Eruption July 30 2011

There’s almost constant seismic activity at the 10,991 ft (3,350 m) high volcano, but Sicily Italy is witnessing a new phase of erupting from Etna. Here’s a look at some additional activity, such as the volcano paroxysmal eruption on July 30 2011. Photo #3 by gnuckx

Etna eruption seen from the ISS in 2002

Etna eruption seen from the International Space Station in 2002. It’s not too hard to see how Mount Etna made it onto the list of Decade Volcanoes. “A volcano may be designated a Decade Volcano if it exhibits more than one volcanic hazard (people living near the Decade Volcanoes may experience tephra fall, pyroclastic flows, lava flows, lahars, volcanic edifice instability and lava dome collapse); shows recent geological activity; is located in a populated area (eruptions at any of the Decade Volcanoes may threaten tens or hundreds of thousands of people, and therefore mitigating eruption hazards at these volcanoes is crucial).” Photo #4 by NASA

Mount Etna and Greek theater in November 2013

Mount Etna and Greek theater in November 2013. Back when the Greek theater was used, Etna put on a show for them as well since it is believed to have first become active about a half a million years ago. Photo #5 by jaroslavd

Etna in August 2014

Etna in August 2014. It’s believed the Roman poet Virgil gave the first first-hand description of an eruption in the Aeneid. The same story tells of the infamous Trojan horse…back when it had nothing to do with exploiting computers. Photo #6 by Davide Nicotra

2006 Mount Etna erupting

Sicily’s Mount Etna released a thick plume of volcanic ash on November 24, 2006.After Etna’s most destructive eruption in 122 BC, lava flows from eruptions in March 1669 “destroyed at least 10 villages on its southern flank before reaching the city walls of the town of Catania five weeks later.” Photo #7 by Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Rapid Response Team, Goddard Space Flight Center

Windy road to Etna in 2005

Windy road to Etna in 2005. The next time after 1669 when large lava flows destroyed populated areas was in 1928. Photo #8 by Beat Küng

Volcanic landscape of Etna on August 2012

Volcanic landscape of Etna on August 2012. “Other major 20th-century eruptions occurred in 1949, 1971, 1981, 1983 and 1991–1993. In 1971, lava buried the Etna Observatory (built in the late 19th century), destroyed the first generation of the Etna cable-car, and seriously threatened several small villages on Etna’s east flank. In March 1981, the town of Randazzo on the northwestern flank of Etna narrowly escaped destruction by unusually fast-moving lava flows.” Photo #9 by Christine Vaufrey

Alone on Etna, August 2012

Alone on Etna, August 2012. Photo #10 by Christine Vaufrey

Hiking on volcano, Etna in Oct 2009

Hiking on volcano, Etna in Oct 2009. Although this post is about Etna, it isn’t the only volcano erupting lately; also actively hazardous are Stomboli in Italy, Slamet in Indonesia and Kuchinoerabujima in Japan. Photo #11 by Luco Bruno

Kaboom, Etna in Oct 2013

Kaboom, Etna in Oct 2013. Photo #12 by gnuckx

Etna December 30 2013

Etna December 30 2013. “Following six years (1995–2001) of unusually intense activity at the four summit craters of Etna, the volcano produced its first flank eruption since 1991–1993 in July–August 2001.” Then “in 2002–2003, a much larger eruption threw up a huge column of ash that could easily be seen from space and fell as far away as Libya, 600 km (370 mi) south across the Mediterranean Sea.” Photo #13 by Ondablv

Eruption spectators, Etna at night on July 20, 2014

Eruption spectators, Etna at night on July 20, 2014. Visitors likely did the same thing when the volcano erupted in 2004 and 2005 before intense eruptions started about in 2006. There were four episodes of lava fountaining in 2007 before an even bigger eruption later that same year. Photo #14 by Giampiero Nadali

Mount Etna in June 2008

Mount Etna in June 2008. “An eruption on the morning of 13 May 2008, immediately to the east of Etna’s summit craters was accompanied by a swarm of more than 200 earthquakes and significant ground deformation in the summit area. The eruption continued at a slowly diminishing rate for 417 days, until 6 July 2009, making this the longest flank eruption of Etna since the 1991–1993 eruption that lasted 473 days. Previous eruptions, in 2001, 2002–2003, and 2004–2005 had lasted 3 weeks, 3 months, and 6 months, respectively.” Photo #15 by Ivan Iraci

Eye of Sauron above the Etna eruption in Jan 2011

Brian Barret, on Gizmodo, noted the Eye of Sauron above the eruption in an article titled, “Mordor Is Real, and It’s In Sicily.” Photo #16 by Ivan Iraci

Mount Etna's fury in Oct 2013

Mount Etna’s fury in Oct 2013. “Through January 2011 to February 2012, the summit craters of Etna were the site of intense activity. Frequent eruptions and ash columns forced the authorities to shut down the Catania airport on several occasions. The July 2011 episode also endangered the Sapienza Refuge, the main tourist hub on the volcano, but the lava flow was successfully diverted. In 2014, a flank eruption started involving lava flows and strombolian eruptions.” Photo #17 by Alessandro Rossi

Mt Etna, with Catania in the foreground

Mt Etna, with Catania in the foreground. Less than two weeks ago, Etna entered a new stage of intensified activity. Photo #18 by BenAveling

Catania, Sicily, Italy and Etna in March 2012

Catania, Sicily, Italy and Etna in March 2012. Despite the new activity, there are new access rules that allow visitors to go to the summit for a first-hand experience with an actively angry volcano. Photo #19 by andrea

Dawn Mount Etna Volcano Dawn at Paternò Sicilia Italy in July 2010

Dawn Mount Etna Volcano Dawn at Paternò Sicilia Italy in July 2010. This volcano draws big tourist crowds in Sicily. Photo #20 by gnuckx

Etna Dec 2013, Small changes after the weak paroxysm

Etna Dec 2013, small changes after the weak paroxysm. Recently, even ISS astronauts are snapping shots of Etna during the day and at night. Photo #21 by Pietro

Activity at Mt. Etna in April 2011

Activity at Mt. Etna in April 2011. Photo #22 by NASA Earth Observatory

April 2013 Mount Etna pictured from the International Space Station

April 2013 Mount Etna pictured from the International Space Station. Photo #23 by Chris Hadfield

Mt Etna in 2005

Mt Etna in 2005. In the past, Italian authorities used explosives, concrete dams, and ditches to divert lava flows away from populated areas. Photo #24 by Beat Küng

Etna as seen from a plane in July 2011

View from a plane in July 2011 of Europe’s tallest and most active volcano. Photo #25 by Katerina Athanasaki

Smoke of Etna volcano seen from the International Space Station 2002

Smoke of Etna volcano seen from the International Space Station 2002. Photo #26 by NASA, ISS Expedition 5 crew member

Mount Etna in December 2013

Mount Etna in December 2013. In 122 BC, the Roman government exempted the population of Catania from paying taxes for ten years to encourage reconstruction after the violent eruption devastated the area. Photo #27 by jaroslavd

Traveling up the mountain, Etna

The Sylvester Craters of Mount Etna in Sicily, Italy, in August 2013. Photo #28 by

Etna in Sept 2007

Etna in Sept 2007. Photo #29 by puffodrax

Fantastic Etna, December 2013

Fantastic Etna, December 2013. Did you know?…There are two ski resorts on Etna. Photo #30 by Marilena Marchese

View of East Side from Piano della Concazza on August 5 2014

View of East Side from Piano della Concazza on August 5, 2014. Photo #31 by Davide Nicotra

Secondary Nord-Est Crater Erupting, Etna in August 2014

Secondary Nord-Est Crater Erupting, Etna in August 2014. Photo #32 by Davide Nicotra

Etna erupting in January 2009

Etna erupting in January 2009. Photo #34 by desmoheart78

Jan 2009 Etna erupting

Jan 2009 Etna erupting. Photo #35 by CyboRoZ

September 2012 Etna Volcano paroxysmal eruption

September 2012 Etna Volcano paroxysmal eruption. Photo #36 by gnuckx

July 2011 Etna Volcano paroxysmal eruption

July 2011 Etna Volcano paroxysmal eruption. Photo #37 by gnuckx

Etna Volcano Eruption January 12th 2011 View from the East side

Etna Volcano Eruption January 12th, 2011; View from the East side. Photo #38 by gnuckx

Volcano erupting, Etna in Sicily Dec 29 2013

Volcano erupting, Etna on Dec 29, 2013. Photo #39 by Andolfo Antonio

July 2014 The two new little craters on North-eastern side of Mount Etna

July 2014: The two new little craters on North-eastern side of Mount Etna. Photo #40 by Giampiero Nadali

Sunset in Sicily October 2011

Sunset in Sicily October 2011. On August 17, Volcano Discovery announced, “Effusive / explosive activity from the New SE crater gradually declined and ceased over the weekend. The latest eruptive episode is now over.” Photo #41 by Toby Charlton-Taylor

Mount Etna lava from space at night

Mount Etna lava from space at night. It’s a gorgeous sight, especially from the safety of your computer chair. ;-) Photo #41 by NASA / ISS via Stuart Rankin

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