Mount Etna Case Study

Case study of mount etna.

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  • Created on: 08-01-10 09:33
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Mount Etna
Mount Etna is Europe's most active volcano. Etna
is one of the largest continental volcanoes.
The structure of Mt Etna consists of a series of
nested composite volcanoes, characterised by
summit calderas, the most important one being
the Ellittico Caldera, which formed about
14,000-15,000 years ago.
The volcano has been classified as a "decade
volcano". They are named Decade Volcanoes
because of a project initiated during the United
Nations-sponsored International Decade for
Natural Disaster Reduction.
A volcano may be designated a "Decade Volcano" if it exhibits more than one volcanic hazard
(people living near the Decade Volcanoes may experience, pyroclastic flows, lava flows,
lahars and lava dome collapse)
Etna supports agriculture because of the fertile soil, which is left from ash in previous
Etna Hazards
The volcano has a wide range of eruptions
Is composite therefore has Basaltic lava, which is low in viscosity, meaning the flow can
spread further
1) Seismic activity connected to eruptive activity , could destroy buildings
2) Gas Plume emission, volcanic dust and ash falls, Explosions of gas and dust and ash
will cause road and traffic problems also may smother any agriculture
3) Flank collapse before or following, the volcanoes flanks could collapse leading to an
avalanche of debris.
4) Phreatic Eruptions, Stem generated explosions when water is heated by the magma
and then an eruption of stem water ahs and lava bombs occurs
Examples of Etna Activity

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Lava flows engulfed a village
1928- Lava flow destroyed town of Mascali in two days
1992- Eruption led to lava flowing towards Zafferena
Etna Eruption 2002
The 2002 eruption is one of the largest Etna eruptions for many years the eruption threw
up a huge column of ash, which deposited material as far away as Libya 600km to the
The eruption led to seismic activity causing the eastern flank to slip by 2 metres. This
caused damage to many houses.…read more

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Mitigation Methods
Damming or diverting flows (Needs dense material Needs wide base)
EG Zafferena, however the barriers where overtaken by lava
Water cooling
Slows advance of lava flow front
Water must be sprayed onto front & flank
1973 - Iceland (Island of Heimay)
Interception near vent
Reduces force to flow front
Break levee of existing channel
Divert flow into artificial channel
Block original flow by dropping material
into channel (while breaking levee)
The volcano has been monitored for 20 years by the Catania…read more


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