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Busy Week at Italy's Stromboli with Lava Flows, Explosions

Rocky Planet iconRocky Planet
By Erik Klemetti
Jan 14, 2013 9:56 PMNov 20, 2019 4:39 AM


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Thermal webcam capture of Stromboli on January 14, 2013. Lava flows have overrun the edge of the crater platform (bright colors) periodically for the last month. Image: INGV Catania Most of our attention in Italy tends to go to either Etna on Sicily or the duo of Vesuvius and Campi Flegrei. However, it you really want to look at the most constant performer for Italian volcanoes, Stromboli is the place to turn. The volcano has been on almost continuous eruption since 1934, with small explosions from the summit and Sciara del Fuoco craters along with the occasional lava flow. In fact, this type of volcanic behavior, with small explosions of lava caused by large bubbles "popping" as they rise through the volcanic conduit is called "strombolian" activity. For the past week or so, Stromboli has actually been behaving a little off script. In addition to the usual strombolian explosions at Sciara del Fuoco, the volcano has been overflowing the terrace where the crater sits, producing small lava flows that rolled down the steep sides of Stromboli. According to reports from the Osservatorio Etneo, most of the lava flows have been small and cool enough to become blocky flows not too far from the crater area, but on at least three occasions since December 23, major lava flows have been produced. There have also been brief highly-explosive interludes during the past month of activity as well. You can watch the activity at Stromboli on the webcams run by INGV, including multiple visible light and infrared cameras watching the action. The IR camera can be especially fascinating as the lava flows and hot blocks show up in striking contrast to the cooler surroundings (see above).

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