A spectacular video has emerged showing Mount Etna firing hot lava and ash into the sky.Europe’s highest and most active volcano on the southern Italian island of Sicily erupted for the fifth time this year on Sunday.
Molten lava poured down Etna’s slopes on during the eruption, which lasted an-hour-and-a-half.Ash landed close to villages at the foot of the volcano but no damage was reported. The eruption did not cause any interruption to air traffic
Mount Etna is at it again and has been blasting flaming lava and ash into the air in its sixth eruption this year.
The eruption is the 24th in a series that began in January 2011.
Rock blew off the southeast side of the mountain, which is only 10 miles from the Zafferana Etnea village and 18 miles North of the town of Catania on the Italian island of Sicily.
No warnings of danger have so far been issued by authorities and Catania International Airport has remained open.
Eruptions from Etna, which reaches 11,000ft, have been caused by the African tectonic plate sliding below the Eurasian plate.
The Eurasian plate is melting as it moves downwards and hot magma is being forced up to the surface.
Etna's most powerful recorded eruption was in 1669 when the mountain top was destroyed and lava ran in to the Mediterranean Sea.
It is difficult to predict when the mountain will erupt next.
Edited by user 14 April 2012 20:36:03(UTC)
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Article in The Telegraph pointing to the increased signs of a potential eruption from the Katla caldera in Iceland.
There are signs of high activity beneath the Katla caldera in Iceland – a possible sign of an impending eruption. This should prompt extensive high-level contingency planning across Europe, as Katla has the potential to be much more damaging than Eyjafjallajökull was.
On average the volcano has erupted every 60 years, but the last eruption was in 1918.
Last July, a flood of water burst from beneath the ice cap on top of Katla, washing away a bridge. This indicates that an extra pulse of heat reached the base of the ice. Since then, there have been erratic movements of the surface of the volcano, measured by precise GPS instruments, and bursts of high earthquake activity beneath Katla’s caldera. These observations imply that magma has risen to shallower depths.
Katla’s eruption in 1918 produced five times as much ash as the 2010 Eyjafjallajökull one. A major eruption could result in large parts of Iceland being flooded as snow and ice melted; significant poisoning of Icelandic agriculture; destruction of property; and, of course, the grounding of aircraft across Europe.
If enough material is ejected it could even have a cooling effect on the global climate for a few years. A precedent for that would be the 1783-84 eruption from the fissure of Laki, which is part of the same volcanic system, Grímsvötn, that erupted last year. This was a very large eruption of 15 cubic kilometres (3.6 cubic miles), compared to the fraction of a cubic kilometre ejected in 2010, and had a huge impact on the northern hemisphere, reducing temperatures by up to 3 C. This had catastrophic effects far beyond the shores of Iceland (where at least a fifth of the population died), with thousands of recorded deaths in Britain due to poisoning and extreme cold, and record low rainfall in North Africa.
Large eruptions such as this occur only every few hundred years on Iceland, but the potential for danger is significant. Even if deaths from famine are less likely today, a recent study of the potential effects of the air pollution caused by such an eruption estimates that it could lead to between 52,000 and 228,000 fatalities throughout Europe.
Full article here
But Katla has its denialists too
However Mexico's Popocatepetl volcano, which lies some 50 miles (80 km) to the southeast of Mexico City has started showing signs of life.
The volcano's lava dome started to expand on Friday, suggesting fresh magma may be pushing upwards. It spewed red-hot fragments and lightly dusted cars and streets in some small towns in the state of Puebla.
Schools in at least five small towns near the volcano called off classes after Mexico's National Center for Disaster Prevention raised the alert level for the 5,450-meter (17,900-foot) Popocatepetl late on Monday.
A new risk map that reveals the hazards most likely to occur in the future on Popocatepetl, considered the planet's riskiest volcano -- has been developed by the University at Buffalo volcanologist Michael F. Sheridan, Ph.D., and colleagues at UB and the National University of Mexico (UNAM).
Who says riskiest? and measured by what criterion? e.g.
Yosemite - every 3/4 m years, but capable of wipng out life worldwide
Katla - every few hundred years, capable of causing starvation in Europe
Etna - every decade, could destroy a town or two in Sicily
and if, as I suspect, Popocatapetl is being nominated for 'most risky', it's probably on a combination of frequency, violence and closeness to inhabited areas, there are certainly other strong contenders in Indonesia such as Mount Merapi.
Anyway, here's a list of 10 to keep your eye on, with data and some nice photos:
Thanks for this
Sorry, Yellowstone caldera
I see that Popocatepetl has been rumbling and pumping out ash again today (from 60 openings apparently!)http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-17793797
Edit: It looks even more active today and more residents in the area are being evacuated. To me the data suggest a large eruption may be likely/imminent.
Edited by user 21 April 2012 12:54:43(UTC)
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Edited by user 13 May 2012 12:07:04(UTC)
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Popo becomes more active.
Katla looking rather unsettled this evening from a brief glance at the earthquake page: