The l'Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia has reported a lava flow on the northern flank of Stromboli, an island volcano off the west coast of southern Italy, slightly over 200 km southeast of Naples, on Friday 15 December 2017, apparently coming from the volcano's north-eastern crater, which has been producing fountains of lava since the beginning of the month. Access to the volcano's higher slopes have been shut off as a precaution.
Fountain of lava on Stromboli on 15 December 2017. Skyline Webcams.
Stromboli 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.
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.
Map showing the tectonic plates underlying Italy and southern Europe, and the location of the l'Aquila Earthquake. Napoli Unplugged.
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