The Italian National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology reported a significant eruption on Mount Stromboli, a volcanic island off the east coast of southern Italy, to the north of Sicily, on Wednesday 28 August 2019, the second large event on the island this summer. The volcano produced a plume of ash and several streams of lava which flowed down the flanks of the volcano, reaching the sea. Nobody was hurt by this event, but several tourists were forced to flee beaches in the paths of the lava and a number of small fires were started.
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.
The approximate location of Mount Stromboli. Google Maps.
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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