The Etna Summit Craters

The continuous evolution of the Etna summit craters

Without a doubt, this is the most beautiful and fascinating part of the “Muntagna”, where eruptions occur most often, especially since 2001. This area also has particular charm because it is the only active volcano summit area in the world to have 4-5 summit craters , that are clearly distinct from each other and behave independently. These characteristics have always intrigued scientists from all over the world, though they are all yet to agree on an explanation.
However, the summit crater area was not always configured in this way.
foto aerea crateri sommital
Until 1911, there was only one central crater in the Etna apex area. In 1911, the north-east crater was formed. Later, inside the central crater, the Voragine (1945) and the Bocca Nuova (1968) were formed. In 1971, the south-east crater formed on the south-east flank of the central crater and remained active until 2007. Two new cones joined it, which greatly increased its size.
Today, the north-east crater is the highest point of Etna (3324 metres above sea level, measured in December 2015 by the Italian National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology).

The 1669 eruption in Catania

The senses tell The summit craters

The 2001 eruption of Etna, when the Mountain seemed to be alive

The senses tell Acireale

The senses tell The Etna Viewpoint

The world’s first (almost successful) attempt to stop a lava flow: the eruption of 1991-93

The Grand Tour in Sicily

Acireale and reconstruction after the 1693 earthquake

The first volcanic structures of Etna, between Aci Castello and Aci Trezza

Why is Etna one of the most studied volcanoes in the world?

Etna, a natural laboratory where experiments can be carried out

Lachea Island and the Aci Trezza Stacks

The senses tell Acicastello and Acitrezza

A fauna yet to be discovered

The different names of the “Muntagna”

The fault system of the “Timpe” of Acireale

The eruption of 1928 that destroyed the town of Mascali

Acireale and its “timpe”

The Elliptical, the first great volcano of Etna

The continuous evolution of the Etna summit craters

The earthquake that changed the geography of eastern Sicily in 1693

Empedocles and his passion for Etna

The senses tell Valle del Leone

The senses tell Val Calanna

The Jaci river

The senses tell The Red Mountains

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

Summit crater activity between 2011 and 2019

Valle del Leone and the Elliptical

An ever-evolving volcano

Etna: a marvellous group of different types of flora

The living mountain

The Red Mountains and the destructive eruption of 1669

The Etna viewpoint

The senses tell Torre del Filosofo

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

The “notches” of snow


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