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Large explosions at Stromboli volcano, Italy

stromboli volcano explosion on may 13, 2022

A series of strong explosions took place at Stromboli volcano, Italy on May 13, 2022.

The first event was a moderately strong explosion at 14:42 UTC, followed by a dozen other events over the next three minutes of which the most energetic was at 14:43 UTC.1

The explosions took place from various mouths of the central-southern area of the crater terrace.

The activity produced a significant release of pyroclastic material which covered the crater terrace and also reached Pizzo.

From the seismic point of view, this explosive sequence was not anticipated by significant variations in the amplitude of volcanic tremor and the amplitude and frequency of VLP events.

“Although the overall trend of activity had been declining at the volcano during the past weeks, today’s explosions, which would have been very dangerous for anyone near the summit area, illustrates that unusually large eruptions can occur at any time and with no warning,” Dr. Tom Pfeiffer of VolcanoDiscovery said.2

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.3

References:

1 Stromboli volcano updates – May 13, 2022 – INGV-OE

2 Stromboli volcano (Eolian Islands, Italy): sudden large explosion this afternoon – Volcano Discovery – May 13, 2022

3 Stromboli – Geological Summary – GVP

Featured image credit: INGV-OE

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