Italy’s Mount Etna, famous for its furious and frequent eruptions, popped again over the last weekend. The volcano, which is located above the Mediterranean island of Sicily, has spewed lava 50 times already this year. The picture of the latest paroxysm was shared on Twitter by the European Commission’s office of the Director-General for Defence Industry and Space. European Sentinel 2 satellite captured the amazing aerial view showing the lava emitted during the eruption. The picture was taken on August 30.
According to space.com, Mount Etna has released so much lava since February 16 this year that around 30 meters have been added to the volcano’s southeast crater. The southeastern peak, one of the four summit craters of Mount Etna, now stands more than 3,357 metres high. It has replaced the northeastern crater (3,324 metres) which dominated the volcano for around 40 years.
Volcanologists have been fearing the furious outbursts of Mount Etna this year. Volcanologist Boris Behncke, from the National Institute for Geophysics and Volcanology (INGV), which monitors an observatory just below Mount Etna, said something was building up since late 2020.
“Etna was building up for something big (we feared an eruption from the flank) with intense seismic activity, ground deformation, and degassing. On 16 February the real series of paroxysms started, seismicity stopped, ground deformation reversed to deflation,” Behncke said on Twitter in response to the image shared by EU DG DEFIS.
To monitor Mount Etna during its volcanic activities, several satellites have been keeping an eye on the fuming giant. A study that revealed the unprecedented growth of the volcano used data from the Pleiades constellation operated by Airbus - a European aeroservice company.
The Sentinel satellites of the Copernicus Earth observation program and others have been monitoring the amount of lava escaping the volcano’s intestines.