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Mount Etna Case study
Where: East Sicily
Height: 3,320m (Europe's highest)
Status: (Europe's most) Active Decade volcano
Type of volcano: Composite Stratovolcano
Plate boundaries: African Plate subducting
under the Eurasian plate.
Craters: 3. Central, Northeast and Southeast
Caldera: 510km horseshoeshaped Caldera
Valle del bove). It was created when the volcano experienced a catastrophic
collapse during an eruption generating an enormous landslide (estimated
Land Use: fertile volcanic soils support extensive agriculture, with vineyards
and orchards spread across the lower slopes of the mountain and the broad
Plain of Catania to the south.
Type of Lava: Basaltic with low viscosity can travel significant distances
Eruption type: various minor to major
Most recent Eruption: 30th July 2011
Deaths: only 77 confirmed deaths due to eruptions on Mount Etna (all known
In the last 20 years all deaths on Mount Etna have been from lightning strikes
Date of eruption: 199193
14th December 1991 lava began to pour from vents high on the eastern flank
of the volcano in the Valle del Bove, and to advance on the settlement of
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January 1992 an earth barrier 234 m long and 21 m high was constructed
aim to halt the lava flow, or at least slow its speed.
9th April 1992 The accumulated lava began to spill over this barrier and
down into the valley leading to Zafferana.
Small barriers erected across the valley were rapidly overwhelmed by the
advancing lava which destroyed orchards and a few small buildings
it was decided to cut off the flow by blocking the primary feeder channel.…read more
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Other Potential Hazards
Seismic Activity connecting with eruptive activity: potentially serious
damage caused to building and public infrastructure around the volcano
Gas plume, Volcanic dust and Ash falls: High magnitude explosive events at
summit craters can lead to the formation of eruptive columns of ash, the fallout
from which presents significant problems to settlements and agriculture, and
risks for road and air traffic.
Flanks collapse before or following.…read more