Mount Etna erupts

News Excerpt:

On the island of Sicily in Italy, the Mount Etna volcano started to erupt, spewing ash miles into the sky and down on Catania Airport.

About Mount Etna:

  • Mount Etna is Europe’s most active volcano and one of the largest in the world. 
  • Its recorded volcanic activity dates back to 1500 B.C. Since then, it has erupted more than 200 times.
  • It is the highest Mediterranean island mountain and the most active stratovolcano in the world.

Other volcanoes that have erupted for much longer than Etna:

  • Kilauea volcano in Hawaii: It started to erupt in 1983 and continued till 2018. In 2021, the eruption started again and is still ongoing.
  • Dukono in Indonesia: It started erupting in 1933 and is continuing. 
  • Santa Maria in Guatemala: It began erupting in 1922 and continues to this day.
  • Yasur in Vanuatu: It first rumbled to life in about 1270 (± 110 years) and as of June 9, 2023, was still erupting.

About Volcano:

  • Volcanoes are openings, or vents where lava, small rocks, and steam erupt onto the Earth’s surface. 
  • Volcanoes can be on land and in the ocean.
  • Mountain ranges like the Andes in South America and the Rockies in North America have been formed through the movement and collision of tectonic plates.
  • There are four main types of volcanoes: cinder cones, composite or stratovolcanoes, shield volcanoes, and lava domes. 
    • Their type is determined by how the lava from an eruption flows and how that flow affects the volcano, and, as a result, how it affects its surrounding environment.

How do volcanoes erupt?

  • It is magma, or the molten rock, below the surface of the Earth which rises up.
  • The magma finds its way to vents in the volcano and gets spewed across the land and into the atmosphere. When magma erupts from a volcano, it is called lava.

Can scientists predict volcanic eruptions?

  • Volcanic eruptions can be predicted by scientists hours, or even days, in advance.
    • Earthquakes, on the other hand, are far more unpredictable.
  • Seismographic data from earthquakes and other tremors is used by scientists because it can indicate when a volcanic eruption will occur.
  • They monitor the ground for signs of deformation, which may be caused by the movement of magma.
  • They also record variations in magnetic and gravitational fields, as well as releases of volcanic gas.

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