Mount Etna erupts on the island of Sicily • Earth.com

Mount Etna erupts on the island of Sicily

Today’s Image of the Day from the European Space Agency features Mount Etna as it erupted on November 13,2023. This image, captured by the Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission, was processed using shortwave-infrared bands to show the lava flow.

Mount Etna, located on the east coast of Sicily, Italy, is one of the world’s most famous and active volcanoes. 

Etna is a stratovolcano, which means it’s built up of multiple layers of hardened lava, tephra, pumice, and volcanic ash. Its frequent eruptions are due to the movement of the African Plate under the Eurasian Plate.

“Footage of the most recent event was shared on social media, showing huge plumes of molten rock and lava shot into the night sky. Despite the volcano’s activity and ash precipitation, Catania Airport has remained open,” said ESA.

“Mount Etna isn’t the sole volcano under surveillance in Europe. Iceland is also bracing itself for an impending volcanic eruption. Earthquake swarms have been recorded in the town of Grindavik as a magma tunnel forms beneath the region – prompting the evacuation of thousands of people.”

Mount Etna has a history of varied eruptive styles, including violent explosions and effusive lava flows. Its eruptions occur both at the summit, where there are several craters, and from fissures on the flanks.

The height of Mount Etna varies with eruptions, but it typically stands around 10,922 feet tall, making it the tallest volcano in Europe. It covers an area of about 459 square miles, with a base circumference of about 87 miles.

The diverse environments around Etna, from its barren summit to the rich agricultural lands below, support unique ecosystems. The volcano’s slopes are home to vineyards and orchards.

Image Credit: ESA 

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