On 21 May 2023, a hidden eruption occurred at the Southeast Crater (SEC) of Etna (Italy); indeed, bad weather prevented its direct and remote observation. Tephra fell toward the southwest, and two lava flows propagated along the SEC’s southern and eastern flanks. The monitoring system of the Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia testified to its occurrence. We analyzed the seismic and infrasound signals to constrain the temporal evolution of the fountain, which lasted about 5 h. We finally reached Etna’s summit two weeks later and found an unexpected pyroclastic density current (PDC) deposit covering the southern lava flow at its middle portion. We performed unoccupied aerial system and field surveys to reconstruct in 3D the SEC, lava flows, and PDC deposits and to collect some samples. The data allowed for detailed mapping, quantification, and characterization of the products. The resulting lava flows and PDC deposit volumes were (1.54 ± 0.47) × 106 m3 and (1.30 ± 0.26) × 105 m3, respectively. We also analyzed ground-radar and satellite data to evaluate that the plume height ranges between 10 and 15 km. This work is a comprehensive analysis of the fieldwork, UAS, volcanic tremor, infrasound, radar, and satellite data. Our results increase awareness of the volcanic activity and potential dangers for visitors to Etna’s summit area.

A Hidden Eruption: The 21 May 2023 Paroxysm of the Etna Volcano (Italy)

Luigi Mereu;Francesco Romeo;Laura Pioli;
2024-01-01

Abstract

On 21 May 2023, a hidden eruption occurred at the Southeast Crater (SEC) of Etna (Italy); indeed, bad weather prevented its direct and remote observation. Tephra fell toward the southwest, and two lava flows propagated along the SEC’s southern and eastern flanks. The monitoring system of the Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia testified to its occurrence. We analyzed the seismic and infrasound signals to constrain the temporal evolution of the fountain, which lasted about 5 h. We finally reached Etna’s summit two weeks later and found an unexpected pyroclastic density current (PDC) deposit covering the southern lava flow at its middle portion. We performed unoccupied aerial system and field surveys to reconstruct in 3D the SEC, lava flows, and PDC deposits and to collect some samples. The data allowed for detailed mapping, quantification, and characterization of the products. The resulting lava flows and PDC deposit volumes were (1.54 ± 0.47) × 106 m3 and (1.30 ± 0.26) × 105 m3, respectively. We also analyzed ground-radar and satellite data to evaluate that the plume height ranges between 10 and 15 km. This work is a comprehensive analysis of the fieldwork, UAS, volcanic tremor, infrasound, radar, and satellite data. Our results increase awareness of the volcanic activity and potential dangers for visitors to Etna’s summit area.
2024
Remote sensing monitoring system; Etna paroxysm; Pyroclastic density current; UAS survey; Fieldwork; Volcanic tremor; Infrasound
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11584/397083
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