Mount Etna

Why did Etna form in that specific geographical position?

Italy is one of the countries with the highest number of volcanoes in the world, mainly because of its complex geological history. Starting from Tuscany, in different periods of activity a volcanic chain developed that ends with Vesuvius in the Italian peninsula and with the Aeolian Islands in the sea.
Etna is one of the most studied volcanoes in the world because of its geographic location, which from a geological point of view is rather strange. In fact, the Aeolian Islands, which are only 60 kilometres away, were formed by the subduction of the Ionian Sea plate under the Calabrian crust. The heating of the oceanic crust in subduction leads to the escape of fluids that cause partial fusion of the overlying lithosphere as they rise. The chemical compositions of these systems, defined as volcanic arc-trench, are always very similar across the world.
The magma of Etna, on the other hand, has a very different chemical composition from that of an arc-trench system, since it is much more similar, for example, to the Hawaiian magma.
Therefore, there are no certain answers to the question asked by this study, only different models and theories.
One of the most accredited theories states that the magma of Etna is able to rise through a tectonic window that is formed in the lateral part of the ionic ocean plate in subduction.

Etna, an ever-changing natural laboratory

Lachea Island and the Aci Trezza Stacks

The Etna viewpoint

The senses tell Valle del Leone

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

The senses tell Val Calanna

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

The “notches” of snow

The senses tell The Etna viewpoint

Valle del Leone and the Elliptical

Empedocles and his passion for Etna

Volcanic monitoring and eruption forecasting

The first Etnean volcanic events between Aci Castello and Aci Trezza

The 1669 eruption in Catania

Etna, wine terroir of excellence


An ever-evolving volcano

The senses tell Acireale

The Red Mountains and the destructive eruption of 1669

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

The Grand Tour in Sicily

A fauna context yet to be discovered

Etna: a marvellous group of microclimates and vegetation

Etna, the living mountain

The earthquake that changed the geography of eastern Sicily in 1693

The senses tell The Red Mountains

The Jaci river

Acireale and reconstruction after the 1693 earthquake

The continuous evolution of the Etna summit craters

The senses tell The Summit craters

The Elliptical, the first great volcano of Etna

The eruption of 1928 that destroyed the town of Mascali

The senses tell Acicastello and Acitrezza

Why did Etna form in that specific geographical position?

The fault system of the “Timpe” of Acireale

Acireale and its “timpe”

The different names of the “Muntagna”

The senses tell Torre del Filosofo

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

Summit crater activity between 2011 and 2019