Sunday, March 26, 2017

Video: Volcanologists study recent eruptions on Mount Etna



Volcanologists from Italy's National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology are using drones, thermal imaging cameras and GPS devices to study the changes on Sicily's Mount Etna following a series of violent eruptions. The volcano, one of the most active in the world, has been largely dormant for the last two years, but it sprung to life on February 28 with repeated explosive eruptions that sent orange plumes of lava into the air. A few weeks later, on March 16, ten people were injured in a volcanic explosion that sent stones and rocks flying into the air. The explosion was the result of a so-called phreatomagmatic eruption, caused by magma hitting water - in this case snow.

Researchers are now seeking to track the causes of the latest eruptions and map their effects on the summit. The results and new imagery will also be used for a 3D construction of the Etna and added to a database of information used to monitor and study volcanic activity, volcanologist Emanuela De Beni said. Etna, at 3,330 meters (10,926 feet), is the highest volcano in mainland Europe and can burst into action several times a year. The last major eruption was in 1992.

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