World’s Most Active Volcano – Mount Etna
Italy is a volcanically active country, containing the only active volcanoes in mainland Europe. The country’s volcanism is due chiefly to the presence, a short distance to the south, of the boundary between the Eurasian Plate and the African Plate. The magma erupted by Italy’s volcanoes is thought to result from the upward forcing of rocks melted by the subduction of one plate below another.
Three of Italy’s volcanoes have erupted in the last hundred years:
- Mount Etna, on Sicily (continuous activity)
- Stromboli, one of the Aeolian Islands (continuous activity)
- Mount Vesuvius, near Naples (last erupted in 1944); the only active volcano in mainland Europe.
Facts About Mount Etna:
- Mount Etna is an active stratovolcano on the east coast of Sicily, Italy, approx. 3350 m (changing due to eruptive activity).
- Etna covers an area of 1,190 km2 (459 sq mi) with a basal circumference of 140 km
- It is active from last 3500 Years
- Mount Etna is one of the most active volcanoes in the world and is in an almost constant state of activity
- The fertile volcanic soils support extensive agriculture, with vineyards and orchards spread across the lower slopes of the mountain and the broad Plain of Catania to the south.
- Due to its history of recent activity and nearby population, Mount Etna has been designated a Decade Volcano by the United Nations
- Volcanic activity first took place at Etna about half a million years ago, with eruptions occurring beneath the sea off the ancient coastline of Sicily
- 2013 Eruptions
- Eruptions occurred at 3 craters at Mt Etna volcano in February 2013. Five paroxysms at new southeast crater over past week. On 27th February Strombolian eruptions and small lava fountains were observed at Bocca Nuova crater. Magmatic activity has occurred at Voragine for the first time since 1999
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