The Summit Craters

Summit crater activity between 2011 and 2019

Etna’s activity during the last 500 years has been very varied in terms of type of eruption, frequency and volume. The period of greatest activity in terms of volume and frequency of eruptions was the 17th century, when in less than one hundred years around 3 km3 of lava was emitted (in comparison to 1 km3 between 1689 and 1971).
After this period of intense activity, culminating in the 1669 eruption, there were no more events with large volumes until 1971, and their frequency also decreased. The only particular and noteworthy eruption in this period destroyed the town of Mascali in 1928.
After 1971 there was an increase in the frequency of eruptive events and volumes.
The major eruptions were in 1983, 1991-1993, until the eruptive cycle of the major eruptions in 2001, 2002-03, 2004-05, 2006 and 2008-10. These were characterised by explosive Strombolian activity accompanied by the emission of abundant lava flows, mostly in the Valle del Bove.
Since 2011, on the other hand, there has been an increase in paroxysmal Strombolian events, with the emission of large quantities of ash into the atmosphere, through the formation of lava fountains more than 1 km high.
This type of activity, through which the volcano is able to “dispose of” the magma from the earth’s mantle, has been preventing the formation of large lateral or sub-terminal eruptions since 2019.
Eruzione dicembre 2015

Why did Etna form in that specific geographical position?

Val Calanna, the first step towards a single large volcanic structure

The senses tell The Summit craters

The senses tell Torre del Filosofo

Acireale and reconstruction after the 1693 earthquake

Etna: a marvellous group of microclimates and vegetation

The senses tell Valle del Leone

Summit crater activity between 2011 and 2019

Lachea Island and the Aci Trezza Stacks

The fault system of the “Timpe” of Acireale

The Grand Tour in Sicily

The senses tell Acireale

Etna, an ever-changing natural laboratory

Torre del Filosofo: at the base of the summit craters (2950 metres)

The 2001 eruption of Mount Etna, where the approach to volcanoes changed

The senses tell The Etna viewpoint

The Red Mountains and the destructive eruption of 1669

Empedocles and his passion for Etna

Humankind and the volcano: how should we behave? Volcanic risk

The senses tell Acicastello and Acitrezza

The different names of the “Muntagna”

Acireale and its “timpe”

The “notches” of snow

The earthquake that changed the geography of eastern Sicily in 1693

The Etna viewpoint


The senses tell Val Calanna

An ever-evolving volcano

A fauna context yet to be discovered

The continuous evolution of the Etna summit craters

The eruption of 1928 that destroyed the town of Mascali

The Jaci river

The Elliptical, the first great volcano of Etna

Etna, wine terroir of excellence

Volcanic monitoring and eruption forecasting

Etna, the living mountain

The first Etnean volcanic events between Aci Castello and Aci Trezza

Valle del Leone and the Elliptical

The senses tell The Red Mountains

The 1669 eruption in Catania