Mt Etna case study for A2 Geography

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Mt Etna

Background information;

- Mt Etna is a composite stratovolcano, it usually erupts basaltic lava which has low viscocity which is able to travel significant distances.

- Although it has a main vent, fissures can open releasing lava (hornitos)

- Mt Etna is actually a strato volcano built on top of an ancient Shield volcano.

- Mt Etna as we know it formed around 35,000 years ago.

- In the past Etna has produced Pyroclastic flows, Ash falls, Mudflows and Gas Emission.

- Due to the viscocity of the Lava, it poses little threat to human life as the path of lava flow is often fairly predictable and evacuations are easily coordianted, however it does pose a threat to buildings, industry, and infrastructure.

Impact of volcanic events;

  • 77 Deaths in 2002, relatively few fatalies in recent years
  • 2002 eruption completely destroyed the tourist station at Piano Provenzana and part of the tourist station around the Rifugio Sapienza
  • 29th July 2002, Catania was forced to close its run-ways in order to clear them of Ash
  • Magma was thrown over 100m into the air and ran quickly down the hillside;
    • Residential areas such as Linguaglossa were evacuated due to


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