Saturday 1 December 2012

Eruptions on Stromboli.

Stromboli is an island volcano off the west coast of southern Italy, slightly over 200 km southeast of Naples. The volcano has been in more-or-less constant eruption since at least Roman times, and is thought to be about 5000 years old, though it is not generally considered dangerous if not approached closely; there are three settlements on the island, all less than three kilometres from the summit. Stromboli is noted for frequent small explosive eruptions, which through lava bombs, ash and incandescent rock fragments out of the crater, a type of eruption known by vulcanologists around the world as 'strombolian'. The summit rises 924 m above sea level.

A column of smoke emerging from Stromboli in November 2012. We Go Round the World.

The volcano has been fairly quiet since June this year (2012), but activity increased sharply in November. On the fifth five active vents were visible on the crater terrace, with one in the southwest crater producing lava fountains with durations in excess of a minute long and two craters in the central crater also producing lava fountains, with interludes of between five minutes and an hour. On 21 November activity resumed, with lava fountains from two vents on the northern and central parts of the terrace. 

An eruption of ash and lava bombs on the Sciara del Fuoco, a horseshoe shaped depression on the northern flank of the summit of Stromboli. Stromboli Online.

Southeastern Italy lies on the edge of the Eurasian Plate, close to its margin with Africa. The African Plate is being subducted beneath Italy on along a margin that cuts through the island of Sicily. The African plate is being subducted beneath Italy, and as it sinks is melted by the friction and heat of the Earth's interior. Some of the melted material then rises through the overlying plate fuelling the volcanoes of southern Italy.

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