Major explosion at Stromboli volcano, significant amount of pyroclastic material, Italy


A major explosion took place at Stromboli volcano, Italy at 14:17 UTC on October 6, 2021.

​The explosion ejected a significant amount of coarse pyroclastic material that surpassed the crater terrace, affecting the area of Pizzo Sopra la Fossa and Sciara del Fuoco, and rolling all the way to the coastline.1

The eruption produced a cloud of ash that rapidly dispersed in the NE direction. In addition, a small lava overflow was observed in the North crater area.

In conjunction with the major explosion, a seismic event far above average amplitude has been recorded.

The average tremor size increased rapidly and 14:17 UTC and reached high values.

No significant changes in soil deformation have been detected.

Images courtesy: INGV-OE

Geological summary

Spectacular incandescent nighttime explosions at this volcano have long attracted visitors to the "Lighthouse of the Mediterranean."

Stromboli, the NE-most of the Aeolian Islands, has lent its name to the frequent mild explosive activity that has characterized its eruptions throughout much of historical time.

The small, 924-m-high (3 031 feet) island is the emergent summit of a volcano that grew in two main eruptive cycles, the last of which formed the western portion of the island.

The Neostromboli eruptive period from about 13 000 to 5 000 years ago was followed by formation of the modern Stromboli edifice. The active summit vents are located at the head of the Sciara del Fuoco, a prominent horseshoe-shaped scarp formed about 5 000 years ago as a result of the most recent of a series of slope failures that extend to below sea level.

The modern volcano has been constructed within this scarp, which funnels pyroclastic ejecta and lava flows to the NW. Essentially continuous mild strombolian explosions, sometimes accompanied by lava flows, have been recorded for more than a millennium.2


1 Stromboli volcano update October 6, 2021 – INGV-OE

2 Stromboli – Geological Summary – GVP

Featured image credit: INGV-OE


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