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Mt Etna

Etna in eruption, Italy

Etna in eruption, Italy


Local name: Etna
Largest recorded eruption:
VEI 5 ~ 1,500 years ago
Last eruption:
November 2013

Mt Etna is a large basaltic composite volcano situated close to the eastern coast of Sicily, Italy. Volcanism in this area was initiated around 500,000 years ago. Erupted material is predominantly basaltic and it is thought that, over time, these lavas have undergone a progressive transition from a mantle-plume source to one that is related to the proximal Aeolian subduction zone1. Historical records of Etna’s volcanism date back to 1500 BC; since this time, the summit craters have displayed persistent activity and frequent effusive eruptions have produced lava flows from vents situated on the flanks of the volcano.

Related CRITMAG publications
Smithsonian webpage

[1] Schiano P, Clocchiatti R, Ottolini L, & Busà T (2001) Transition of Mount Etna lavas from a mantle-plume to an island-arc magmatic source. Nature, 412(6850), 900-904.