Etna eruption 2006-2007

Eruzione Etna 2007

In 2006, eruptive activity occurred in two different periods: from July 14 to 25 and from September 4 to December 15.

First phase of eruptive activity. From July 14 to 25, 2006, eruptive activity primarily affected the summit areas of the volcano, stemming from the volcano's southeast crater or from vents and fractures that opened in close proximity.

During the eruption, there were consecutive phases of effusive and explosive activity. The explosive activity alternated between Strombolian activity, ash emissions, and a major explosion, possibly phreatomagmatic, that occurred on November 16 from the southeast crater.

Ash emissions and air traffic. Ash emissions related to the explosive activity were consistent and created significant disruptions to air traffic and management of Catania Fontanarossa Airport. During this phase, the Civil Protection Department supported the bodies in charge of air traffic management at Catania Fontanarossa Airport. In particular, maps were developed to forecast the fall of volcanic ash to the ground.

The emissions were substantial but did not reach the 2002-2003 eruption levels and did not cause severe situations for the inhabited foothill centers.

In April and May 2007, Strombolian-type explosive activity was observed at the southeast crater. Pieces of magma were thrown up to 150m high. At the same time, a lava flow also developed towards the Valle del Bove, reaching an altitude of 2,000m above sea level. During this time, the Civil Protection Department inspected the volcano's summit area to assess the phenomena and determine the necessary actions to be taken.

Second phase of eruptive activity. In late September 2007, an increase in volcanic tremors was observed, along with the start of new eruptive activity on the eastern side of the southeast crater. Persistent lava fountains were formed, reaching heights of about 300m. Additionally, an ash cloud driven by westerly winds affected population centers in the volcano's eastern sector, such as Milo, Giarre, and Fornazzo. As a result, on November 24, 2007, the decision was made to close the Reggio Calabria airport.

Inspections conducted in the volcano's summit area in November revealed a lava flow from the base of the southeast crater, heading towards Valle del Bove but stopping around 1950m above sea level.

In December 2007, the eruptive activity was over.

Photo: Paroxysm at Etna's southeast crater on the night of September 4-5, 2007 / Bdsklo, CC BY-SA 3.0, via