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.

The senses tell The Etna viewpoint

Etna, the living mountain

The earthquake that changed the geography of eastern Sicily in 1693

Etna: a marvellous group of microclimates and vegetation

The senses tell Acireale

The senses tell The Summit craters

The Grand Tour in Sicily

The Elliptical, the first great volcano of Etna

The eruption of 1928 that destroyed the town of Mascali

The Etna viewpoint

The 1669 eruption in Catania

Valle del Leone and the Elliptical

The senses tell Acicastello and Acitrezza

The Jaci river

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

Volcanic monitoring and eruption forecasting

The first Etnean volcanic events between Aci Castello and Aci Trezza

The senses tell The Red Mountains

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

A fauna context yet to be discovered

Acireale and its “timpe”

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

The continuous evolution of the Etna summit craters

The “notches” of snow

Empedocles and his passion for Etna

Acireale and reconstruction after the 1693 earthquake

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

Etna, wine terroir of excellence

The different names of the “Muntagna”

Lachea Island and the Aci Trezza Stacks

The senses tell Val Calanna

The Red Mountains and the destructive eruption of 1669

Etna, an ever-changing natural laboratory

Summit crater activity between 2011 and 2019

The senses tell Torre del Filosofo

The fault system of the “Timpe” of Acireale

An ever-evolving volcano


Why did Etna form in that specific geographical position?

The senses tell Valle del Leone