Location: 37.734° N, 15.004° E
Elevation: 3.350 m
Mount Etna has one of the world's longest documented records of historical volcanism, dating back to 1500 BC. Historical lava flows of basaltic composition cover much of the surface of this massive volcano. The Mongibello stratovolcano, truncated by several small calderas, was constructed during the late Pleistocene and Holocene over an older shield volcano. The most prominent morphological feature of Etna is the Valle del Bove, a 5 x 10 km horseshoe-shaped caldera open to the east. Two styles of eruptive activity typically occur at Etna. Persistent explosive eruptions, sometimes with minor lava emissions, take place from one or more of the three prominent summit craters, the Central Crater, NE Crater, and SE Crater (the latter formed in 1978). Flank vents, typically with higher effusion rates, are less frequently active and originate from fissures that open progressively downward from near the summit. Cinder cones are commonly constructed over the vents of lower-flank lava flows.
Photos: Rolf Cosar Oktober 1991