Mt. Etna, Summit eruption at South East Crater (11th - 16th September 2006) 

A. Heidl, Th. Boeckel sowie S&W Braunsdorf, Norbert Fischer

 

in deutsch

 

Cinema

Mount Etna volcano 2006, eruption south east cone     


The tour

     

Finally, after a long break at the active Etna we were allowed to enjoy at first a heavy rain battle at the beginning of this tour. The weather conditions at the Etna region and complete Sicilia were extreme moderate. The reason was probably our presence....  Luckily we had the confirmation that the Southeast crater was still active at least. A reassuring sound at the Monte Zoccolaro was given, when we heard the volcanic rumbling through the dense cloud layers. In the second night half we patiently watched out for a free view at the Faghetta (Monte Monaco) with our telephoto lenses. The rarely clear view to the summit was combined with violent detonation noises which came from a distance of apprx. six kilometers. They had been so strong that our front shield of the car vibrated lightly .

The Southeast crater at the 12th of September 06

Mount Etna volcano 2006, eruption south east cone, boeckel    Mount Etna volcano 2006, eruption south east cone, boeckeltb

Up to 250 meters high lava fontains over the conus vent.

Mount Etna volcano 2006, eruption south east cone, heidl    Mount Etna volcano 2006, eruption south east cone, A. Heidlah

Between the cloud gaps an impressive sight was offered to us which we could freeze by using the 500 mm telelenses during the first night. Definitely the weather tightened and an ascent in the next days seemed perfectly senseless. Strongly grumbling we asked ourselves whether it was possible at all to visit the summit during our residence time. And if, is the activity still going on? After all the eruption began at the 30th of August and persisted now already 12 days. The June activities did show us, that the SE-cone can stop the activities within one hour. A thrilling situation was predominating.

Mount Etna volcano 2006, eruption south east cone, boeckeltb  Mount Etna volcano 2006, eruption south east cone, boeckeltb  ah

 

nr  Mount Etna volcano 2006, eruption south east cone, a. heidlah  nr

Lava ejecta at the top of  the vent


Before the third night we tried to reach the summit to stay overnight near the SE-crater areal. Actually the weathter teared up at 3000m and a real crystal clear view was offering the fiery beauty to us. Our position below the lava stream was not completely harmless, because due to its "low'' temperature of apprx. 900°C (datas of the english volcano team) the lava stream was of an debris consistence. At the entire east slope the lava was rolling down in big bullets. The speedy hot balls with a diameter up to four meters disintegrated by their own centrifugal force or cracked under their own weight with a intensive red glowing. Appreciating our safe position nobody believed that such an egg will pass the front pit and afterwards the old lava stream from July 2006. Howsoever it came different ....

Der ultimative lava bullet report from S&W Braunsdorf

s&w

Afterwards you'll quite understand why the two are dreaming continiously from large red balls!

nr s&w


Also Norbert Fischer will remember sometimes at this moment. Here the last photo when the bullet stopped shortly before him. More in the report of  S&W Braunsdorf.

swnr tb


Mount Etna volcano 2006, eruption south east cone    Mount Etna volcano 2006, eruption south east cone    Mount Etna volcano 2006, eruption south east coneah

The Southeast crater at the 14th of September 06

Mount Etna volcano 2006, eruption south east cone, boeckeltb Mount Etna volcano 2006, eruption south east cone, boeckeltb ah

After our position was clouded increasingly with volcanic gases we changed again to the ash-covered Torre del Filosofo and adored the earth fire, moon and stars at the same time. From this side the cone had the salient and fissured edge which with was constantly maltreated by lava bombs.

    

       

Morning hours at the summit. Measurments at the summit by the english volcanologists.

 Mount Etna volcano 2006, eruption south east cone, boeckel    Mount Etna volcano 2006, eruption south east cone, boeckel    Mount Etna volcano 2006, Th. Boeckel    Mount Etna volcano 2006, A. Heidltb   

CO2 TDF

Andre, a local mountain leader told us that he was digging with a mini excavator at the southwest side of the TDF building again up. The advantage is, you can protect yourself from the strong storm under the cantilevered roof at least. This can turn out in winter as a very useful facillity. The disadvantages: Smells like a city central staition toilet while the wind strength is still hard. A view inside the building let me understand. Since the outbreak of  December 2002 the permanent meter-high lapilli layer let the ceiling get one of the most collapse-endangered building part.

A further hazardous reason was notified to us: Because of the inside CO2 discharge it is very dangerous to enter the  interior of the building. Due to the measured hot temperature (80°C) in the rooms, you'll decide very fast by your own, to  locate the oxygen supplyment outside the building. The reason for the hot temperature is, that the TDF is situated exactly on the southeast fracture line of the Mt. Etna.

Mount Etna volcano 2006, eruption south east cone, boeckel  Mount Etna volcano 2006, eruption south east cone, boeckeltb

Mount Etna volcano 2006, eruption south east cone  Mount Etna volcano 2006, eruption south east conetb

The Southeast crater in the evening of the 12th of September 06

 Mount Etna volcano 2006, eruption south east cone  Mount Etna volcano 2006, eruption south east coneah

In the second night the observations were still possible up to 10 pm, but than the bad weather stopped our intentions completely. Nevertheless it was partly possible to observe the activity which was decreasing constantly in the second half of the night. At 4 o'clock in the morning Andreas could only recognize a weak shine at the edge. Is the activity ending ?

Mount Etna volcano 2006, eruption south east cone

Andreas and me before the Southeast crater. Illuminated by head lights this photo was exposed one minute.

The end of activity was confirmed already in the morning, when no seismic event inside the cone could be determined by the english volcano scientists. But their prognosis was correct that the cone would become again active. So it happened at the 21rst of September with the same vehement ongoings.

   

The silent Etna and fishermen at the beach of Giarre


Further reports

             

24.-27. November 2006                   1.-11. November 2006           


Actual Etna update by Charles Rivière , Hotel Corsaro Etna

VOLCANODISCOVERY   and  Stromboli online  swisseduc.ch

Actual images by

Elder web cam shots

   

 

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 ©  2006 photos videos and text by Th. Boeckel (tb), A. Heidl (ah), S&W Braunsdorf (sw), Norbert Fischer (nr)

©  2006 last modification 19.10.2006

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