Mount Etna where is the, height, activity, type of volcano


2018-03-17 23:00:48




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Literally everyone knows the name of mount Etna. It is famous for being the largest in all of Europe active volcano and, one might say, the most unique. The exact height is not known due to continuous eruptions and in connection with the geological characteristics of the entire area.

Volcano in Sicily

In this article, you can learn about where mount Etna, what it represents and all of the terrain.

General information

Etna-the most active and the highest volcano in Europe. There are about 200 eruptions. Despite the fact that Etna is about every 150 years, completely destroying one of the surrounding villages nearby the volcano site is quite densely populated. This is due to the fact that the volcanic ash makes the soil fertility, which is very important for rural residents.

According to the latest research today, there is a risk of a large eruption of mount Etna, which due to their activity was chosen ‘Volcano of the decade” of the UN. In 1981 the regional government in Palermo created a national Park around mount Etna.

A Little history of the origin of the volcano

There is a huge natural formation in Italy. Mount Etna is located on the place where in ancient times (about 600 years ago) there was a Gulf. The volcanic activity began under water. In the process numerous eruptions from the bottom of the pond rose a huge cone of the volcano. Etna "built" quite a long time. The result is a complex geological formation, which is more like an asymmetric volcanic complex.


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In ancient times, the Greeks, the volcano was a kind of altar – here lived the local gods. When there was an eruption, the inhabitants of the surrounding villages threw the mouth jewelry and even Pets. Existing at the time the signs went like this: if the lava is all absorbed, then the outcome of the eruption will be good.

explosions in the volcano

On the Etna there are many legends linking the activity of the volcano crafts with the divine. Its name was changed several times during the whole time of existence. Among them the most famous are Maribelle and Etna. The first is also still used by many inhabitants of Sicily.


One of the most remarkable features – after each eruption, the height of mount Etna varies. For example, for today it is 21.6 meters lower than it was in 1865.

Local Sicilians are not afraid of the volcano, they love it. Periodic eruption is the reason that particularly large damage is not. For a strong and powerful manifestation of the activity it needs in itself to save power by many years, and by eruptions from time to time, the energy is gradually spent, not accumulating.

volcanic Eruption

Etna is always smoke rising, but most of it is white which is a sign of simple evaporation of gases and water. In the case of the Etna letting off black smoke – most of all, coming real powerful lava eruption.

The Feature of Etna lies in the fact that its lava moves very slowly, and it can even be run, of course, not be at the crater during the beginning of the activity. Usually upon the occurrence of a risk (if the lava does not stop) the settlement is fenced with ramparts of stones and earth, and all this without much casualties and fatalities.


It Is located near the cities of Catania and Messina. The eruption of mount Etna in Sicily – not such a rare phenomenon. Is an active stratovolcano. It can be called layered-type volcano with a conical shape and built of many layers of hardened volcanic ash and lava.

the neighbourhood of mount Etna

Its Height is equal to about 3 380 meters. In 1942 it was 3 269 meters, and in 2011 – 3 340. Thanks to the lateral eruptions of Etna in total there are 400 craters. The average frequency of eruption of lava – about once in three months. According to statistics, as noted above, once in 150 years he's destroying at least one town.

The area of the volcano occupies an area of 1 570 square kilometers (diameter 45 km). In the world it is the largest volcano in overall size and the highest on the European continent. The activity of the volcano Etna so frequent that during its history it has gathered a lot of victims, though relatively quiet like his.

Well it is visible in the morning and in the afternoon all covered with fog. North side of mount Etna a cold, but here the landscape is much prettier with lots of wild flowers and dense forests. South slope mostly covered with extinct lava after eruptions that occurred over the last ten years.

Vegetation of the surrounding area

Where is mount Etna, nature is characterized by the richness and diversity of the plant world. There are Mediterranean vegetation that grows at the foot, and endemic species located in the surrounding areas of the volcano. There are desert areas, and dense coniferous forests.

the Vegetation of the Etna

In 2013, the international Commission made a volcano in the UNESCO list. In spite of its great activity, thanks to the fertile volcanic soil around mount Etna is well developed agriculture. In these places grow a variety of crops: walnuts, oranges, lemons, pomegranates and more. In the lowlands are grown the grapes from which produce the famous local Sicilian wine.

The largest eruption

The Constant eruption of Etna since ancient times, made him the subject of considerable interest among the ancient Greeks. Therefore, there have been many legends and myths based on his activity and the consequences.

Famous in the history of mankind hundreds of eruptions, which destroyed homes and cities, carrying away many human lives. Some of them are of a protracted nature, among which the eruption occurred in the summer of 1614. The duration was about ten years old, and the volume of output of lava was about one billion cubic meters. An earlier eruption: 396 and 122 BC, 1030, 1669, 1949, 1971, 1981, 1983, 1991-1993.

Particular note is the 1928 eruption, when the lava flow destroyed a small ancient town of Mascali. He emptied 770 ha of agricultural land of the community. At this time, there was one wonderful miracle – hot lava stopped right in front of its passage of religious processions. In honor of this momentous event in 1950 this place was built a chapel. A similar miracle happened again 30 years later (1980) – came the solidification of the lava flow in front of the chapel.

Lava flows

And in the twenty-first century was significant eruption of mount Etna. In the incident in 2001 was destroyed cable car railway that runs along the southern slope, due to the emission of ash was banned from flying planes. On the opposite Northern slope of the release occurred in 2002. As a consequence – the destruction of many villages. In 2008, the duration of the eruption amounted to 419 days.

The Most recent incident – in December of 2015. Of the Central crater spewed lava fountain to a height of 1 km In this connection was closed the international airport in Catania.

Interesting fact

The Most surprising from the point of view of scientists – type of mount Etna does not apply to any of the existing ones. Among these volcanoes (for example, Kilauea), which are basically throw lava flows, and there are of the nature of the explosion (e.g., volcanoes ring of Fire Pacific ocean). The third type of volcanoes – from the crater of which emitted clouds of gas and volcanic ash (for example, mount St. Helens in the USA).

Etna combines 3 presented above. It may explode and spit lava, and throw away the ash and gas (volcanic bombs). Moreover, eruptions can occur either through the crater, located in the center, and through many of the craters scattered on the sides of the mountain.

Tourists on mount Etna

When a volcano is sleeping, wrapped in soft and fluffy clouds, breathtaking fabulous views, feeling all the charm of rest on the beautiful island of Sicily, is endless. That is why this region is very popular among tourists from all over the world. This is one of the paradises on the planet, which has no analogues anywhere.

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Alin Trodden - author of the article, editor
"Hi, I'm Alin Trodden. I write texts, read books, and look for impressions. And I'm not bad at telling you about it. I am always happy to participate in interesting projects."

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