23/05 Fresh news!

Vents of eruptive fissure at 2800m (2009)In a warm spring is nice to have some fresh news.

Let’s begin from Oliver Beck who is falling in love for our wireless connection:

“Hello Davide,

having WiFi is fantastic. Now I can send E-Mails just around corner down to reception!
I have two photos of the eruption you can post on your website. First photo shows the vents of eruptive fissure at 2800 m that are now covered with sulfur and look very beautiful.
The second shows an ephemeral vent, located several hundred meters downslope. It emits hot lava slowely like toothpaste. The fissure is not easy to reach and access is dangerous, because ice is melting and is building caves where you can break in.
Ephemeral vent with toothpaste lava (2009)
Even if the vents are quiet there is always the possibility of an explosion! The ephemeral vent is nearly inaccessible, because you have to climb across a big field of rough and sharp-edged lava. So you have to be well prepared and well equipped.

See you…

Oliver Beck”

Thanks mr. Beck!

About another Etna hero, Charles Riviere e Luca just left hotel few minutes ago. No, they have not been our guest, we are happy to share wireless with them, too! Charles reached the top and he saw Bocca Nuova and Nord Est craters warm, active, steaming as locomotives and with audible sound of internal explosions.

He thinks situation is close that we had in 2001 so is there reason to believe another eruption is preparing?

Even sismographs are working more than usual in last times so… should we worry? 🙂



  • Very interesting contribution from Oliver Beck. By way of orientation, what’s the cone in the background of the picture of the fissure? I think it must be the SE Crater but am not 100% sure.

    I live in Weston-super-Mare near Bristol in the UK. I am hoping to persuade a local school or college to take a geography (or geology) field trip to Etna. I know the current eruption is very difficult to reach, but maybe it would be possible to lead a party up to the central craters. Charles Riviere reports increased and very noisy gas emission – and temperature. So even if access to the eruption were ruled out this would still make a very powerful impression.

    An active volcano seems almost to be alive, with a highly temperamental mind of its own – in contast to so much of modern life which is so tame, domesticated and over-controlled. Witnessing raw volcanic activity (even if only fumaroles) would itself be a useful lesson – a little like coming face-to-face with a tiger, perhaps! And not just the activity itself of course – the background scenery is also awe-inspiring. This of course comes before all the geoscience which could be learned.

    Does anyone know of any other school party trips to Etna? Any comment welcome.

    Incidentally I think the Corsaro’s WiFi could come in very handy, especially if it were capable of sending pictures and video clips back to the school in England. I do know though that would need a lot of bandwidth, perhaps Davide or one of his colleagues could comment?

    Finally I see that Charles Riviere forecasts a possible increase in eruptive activity, based on his observations on 21/5 (see his website) and 23/5 (reported here). Whilst of course personal safety would be paramount for a school party, a more accessible eruption would be an unforgettable experience! I got to within 400m (with an ‘Etna Sud’ guide) of the ash eruption on 11th November 2002 in complete safety. I never at any point felt in any danger, although we did make a strategic repeat when the explosions became more powerful. I will alwasy say that as long as you stay alert and don’t do anything completely crazy you’re probably in no more danger on a volcano than ski-ing or rock-climbing for instance.

  • Oliver Beck says:

    Yes Humphrey this cone is SEC.