- Impressions from Etna's new flank eruption in July/August 2001 -

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23 July: first impressions - arrival at Catania's closed airport




Left: Etna with the dark ash cloud from the 2500m vent that was drifting over Catania, forcing its airport to be closed (right) (Aspromonte on Calabria in background).

The new fissure vent at 2100m below the Montagnola. 

24 July: lava fountains from the 2500m vent

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The 2500m vent near the Montagnola summit (300m away from the mountain station of the cable car) continues to emit heavy loads of ash raining down over Etna's SE flank. Bulldozers are building levees to protect to cable car station.
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Fissure vent at 2100 m. The (now cooling) lava flow from the 2100 vent seen at daylight from near its source. 2500m vent phreatomagmatic lava fountains in daylight.


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View into the lava fountain. A small, convectional heat-driven tornado-like vertical vortex can be seen at the right of the fountain. A huge, 150m wide crater has formed upon the 2500m eruptive fissure near the summit of the Montagnola. Intermittent 100-400 m high lava fountains and huge billowing ash clouds are being ejected throughout the day. Colors change as it gets darker, but the activity shows no signs of weakening.

25 July: Nicolosi flow front



The 10m high and 200-300m wide flow front of the lava flow that reached 4 km away from Nicolosi has slowed down. It is still moving at <1m/hr, but its massiveness remains impressive.

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25 July: Magmatic activity at 2500m vent, bursting lava bubbles



The new crater at 2500m continues to grow fast, almost visibly. In short succession it is ejecting 50-100m high jets and fountains of lava.
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Occasionally, fascinating giant magma bubbles up to 100m diameter explode within the crater, thus indicating the presence of a high-level lava lake within the crater.

Bubble (1): 2 different, but very similar bubbles with ca. 50m diameter.
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Bubble (2): 3 pictures within 2 seconds.
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Bubble (3): 2 pictures within 1 second.

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Meter-sized bombs are thrown out of the crater; most of them fall back onto its rim, thus contributing to its rapid growth.

25 July: Cono del Lago vent at night

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100-200m fountains at night.

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Bubbles at night.

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Strombolian explosions at Cono del Lago at night. Catania and villages nearby in the background.

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- L.: Long-time exposure of the summit craters (Bocca Nuova on the left, SE crater cone on the right). The (cold) lava in the foreground is illuminated by the fountaining at the 2500m vent behind the observer (see pictures above). Glow from the lavaflows and the parabola of spatter from the hornitos and fissure between SEC and Torre del Filosofo (small building in front of SEC) is seen in the lower right. - R: Stars and strange night light above the new vent at 2700m near Belvedere.