May 24, 2024

Etna is spitting rings – and it looks great

An episode rarely comes alone: ​​Etna is a current source of inspiration for volcanologists.Image: Cornerstone

April 7, 2024, at 11:06April 7, 2024 at 6:01 pm

Etna – the most active volcano in Europe and which sometimes seems quite dangerous – is making a big difference: the more than 3,300-metre-high mountain on the Italian island of Sicily in the Mediterranean is currently spewing curls of white smoke, which then rise far to the top. . Sky – unusually peaceful scenes. The so-called volcanic vortex rings come from a newly formed crater in the southeastern crater. They are caused by small explosions of gas bubbles in the narrow throat above the magma chamber.

Volcanic vortex rings appear from a new crater on the north side of the southeast crater of Etna volcano in Sicily, Italy, Friday, April 5, 2024. While the physical conditions that...

The rings can be seen from afar.Image: Cornerstone

This is not the first time we have seen such shapes over Etna: such rings were first mentioned 300 years ago, in 1724. However, this phenomenon occurs rarely, and when it does occur, it is not that frequent. Thousands of episodes have been observed since the new mouth was opened. Locals called Etna (Italian: Etna) “The Lord of the Rings” based on the novel “The Lord of the Rings” – in Italian, a female mountain (la montana).

Volcanic vortex rings appear from a new crater on the north side of the southeast crater of Etna volcano in Sicily, Italy, Friday, April 5, 2024. While the physical conditions that...

Vortex rings are a rare phenomenon.Image: Cornerstone

The term “volcanic vortex rings” was coined by the English physicist William Thomson (1824-1907). Such rings have also been observed on another well-known Italian volcano, Stromboli on the island of the same name in the Mediterranean. According to experts, it is completely harmless and shows no signs of an impending eruption. Mount Etna is the largest active volcano in Europe. The height of the mountain is about 3,350 metres. However, the exact elevation changes again and again due to eruptions and volcanic cones.

German volcanologist Boris Behnke – active on social networks as Etnaboris – wrote: “No volcano on Earth produces as many steam rings as Etna. It now appears to be breaking all records. The small crater opened on Tuesday. The expert from Since then, the mountain has produced thousands of rings, said the National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology in Catania. He added on the X program: “Maybe it's because we've had a lot of bad news recently. So Etna decided to do something simply beautiful.

A volcanic vortex ring appears from a new crater on the north side of the southeast crater of Etna volcano in Sicily, Italy, Friday, April 5, 2024. While the physical conditions that...

Etna has already produced thousands of these rings,Image: Cornerstone

The smoke signals above Etna also attracted many locals and tourists near the mountain. Despite temperatures around 25 degrees, it is still early in the season in Sicily. In past centuries there have been frequent spectacular eruptions on Etna. In 1669, in what is believed to be the worst disaster, more than 20,000 people died there, according to historical records. About a dozen towns were destroyed at that time. (DAP/EPA)

Etna Spit Loops – Multiple Speeds

Video: Twitter/Nexta

The largest volcanic eruptions in the last 20 years.

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The largest volcanic eruptions in the last 20 years.

volcano: Honga tonga
location: Tonga
Latest outbreak: January 14, 2022

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