A paroxysm is an eruptive event of short duration but high intensity, especially in terms of explosiveness. It can create a fountain of lava reaching over 1 km in height, capable of fragmenting the magma very efficiently and forming large columns of ash that fall onto air traffic of the nearby airport of Catania.
In recent decades, Etna’s eruptive activity has been marked by hundreds of paroxysms, such as those that occurred in 2011-2013 in the new south-east crater.
The most explosive events of Stromboli, such as those of 11 September 1930 and 3 July 2019, are also called paroxysms.