Mount Etna 2012

South East Cone II

March 29th to April the 1rst 2012

R.Roscoe, Th.Boeckel, M.Rietze

in deutsch

Paroxysm on April the First


  Cinema 

Mount Etna April 2012, by Thorsten Boeckel


Vulcano Etna 1. April 2012 by T Boeckel     Vulcano Etna 1. April 2012 by T Boeckel     Vulcano Etna 1. April 2012 by T Boeckel

A snap decision to enter this paroxysm* lottery was finally rewarded. In June 2011 the rhythm of an eruption took  accurately six days, but lost itself in its regularity in autumn. It was nearly not possibly to attend to a paroxysm. It seemed this was probably only reserved for the local people. Many attempts of us failed. Even in June the Etna took erupted two hours directly after the flight reservation and let us desperately languish in Munich before the monitors: - ) In the summer 2011 only Martin was really lucky to get a day eruption. * (Paroxysm, - medically -> attack etc; designation of the very singular eruption form at the Etna with intervals of hours (anno 2000) up to several weeks (anno 2011/12))

  Vulcano Etna 1. April 2012 by Thorsten Boeckel     Vulcano Etna 1. April 2012 by Martin Rietzemr 

Vulcano Etna 1. April 2012 by Thorsten Boeckel      Vulcano Etna 1. April 2012 by Thorsten Boeckel      Vulcano Etna 1. April 2012 by Thorsten Boeckel

Beginning of the activity on 30.3.2012. During the day already small ash clouds were sighted. Mild ' Strombolian activity'.

Vulcano Etna 1. April 2012 by Martin Rietzemr     Vulcano Etna 1. April 2012 by Richard Roscoerr 

The first stronger activity in the morning of the 3.31.2012. Afterwards an eight-hour break followed and our tendency barometer achieved the absolute zero.

Vulcano Etna 1. April 2012 by T Boeckel      Vulcano Etna 1. April 2012 by T Boeckel      Vulcano Etna 1. April 2012 by T Boeckel

The Valle del Bove partial covered by ash points out the previous eruptions. Remarkably that the wind direction mostly blow the ash in Southeast direction. Somewhat unfavourably for the point of observation at Schiena Dell' Asino.

Vulcano Etna 1. April 2012 by T Boeckel      Vulcano Etna 1. April 2012 by T Boeckel      

Measuring instruments and webcams in the closer environment Right: No Yeti but a rather hackly fox. After the winter time this nibbling animal is so flared out  that thoughtlessly stored food is pulled out from the tent. Also Richards not good-tasting shoes were even corroded, and kidnapped. Well then, " Buon Appetito!"

Vulcano Etna 1. April 2012 by T Boeckel     Vulcano Etna 1. April 2012 by T Boeckel     Vulcano Etna 1. April 2012 by T Boeckel

Left: My home is my castle

At severe frost temperatures (-6°C), during the day a little over zero, we held out three nights at the ridge. Despite the strong wind, the weather situation was perfect . Only one important detail was missing, - the eruption. During our waiting period, also Boris Behncke turned the round. The joyful seeing after a long time gave sufficient material to talk about the ' Good old- and New times '. As far as the weather conditions enabled the view, Boris could observe the last 22 paroxysm nearly smoothly, - so Catania argue for the location. In the afternoon we heard again explosions from the SEC II. However without ash additive. Was it 'Strombolian Activity', or only gas explosions? Still 16 hours to the home flight, and the tremor invariably bobs up and down down at two ** (scroll down). Boris meant, everything could be possible. Let's hope so, by goodness!

Vulcano Etna 1. April 2012 by Martin Rietzemr  Vulcano Etna 1. April 2012 by Thorsten Boeckel     Vulcano Etna 1. April 2012 by Thorsten Boeckel

By viewing doubtful the slowly rising intensity, we could be conscious beeing in a time run. Now, the tremor diagram shows at 21:00 a slow rise to 3,5. At 0:00 clock it was actually crossing the scaling 6, and around 1:00 the 9. It seemed really, that an outbreak will occur : -)

Vulcano Etna 1. April 2012 by Thorsten Boeckel

Vulcano Etna 1. April 2012 by Thorsten Boeckel      Vulcano Etna 1. April 2012 by Thorsten Boeckel

The beginning of the eruption. Explosive activity in the main fissure. The intensive developement took nearly 4 hours. The ejecta is reaching now the crater slopes and outer area. Now there is no smaller break of the activity.

Vulcano Etna 1. April 2012 by Thorsten Boeckel      Vulcano Etna 1. April 2012 by Thorsten Boeckel

Vulcano Etna 1. April 2012 by Thorsten Boeckel      Vulcano Etna 1. April 2012 by Thorsten Boeckel

For our pleasure, the paroxysm is not to be stopped now. At the end the tremor will reach the intensity of 152 ** (scroll down). It was gushing ash and very puzzled we registered acoustically the impacts of larger flying objects in the direct environment. Hmm, so largely the Lapilli could not be...

Vulcano Etna 1. April 2012 by Thorsten Boeckel      Vulcano Etna 1. April 2012 by Thorsten Boeckel      Vulcano Etna 1. April 2012 by Thorsten Boeckel

 The wild SEC II with the typical ash column, the developing eruption in the main fissure. The height of the fontains mainly 300m-500m, sometimes higher.

  Vulcano Etna 1. April 2012 by Thorsten Boeckel

 However we had the ash cloud due to the bad wind direction nearly in our direction. Thus, estimations about the actual heights were hard to fix.

   Vulcano Etna 1. April 2012 by Thorsten Boeckel      Vulcano Etna 1. April 2012 by Thorsten Boeckel      Vulcano Etna 1. April 2012 by Thorsten Boeckel

Vulcano Etna 1. April 2012 by Martin Rietzemr    Vulcano Etna 1. April 2012 by Richard Roscoerr     Vulcano Etna 1. April 2012 by Martin Rietzemr

Despite of the ash cloud, sometimes we got a free view on the fiery lava/gas columns. On the left and on the right the point of view of Martin at the Monte Fontane close Fornazzo.

Vulcano Etna 1. April 2012 by Thorsten Boeckel

Vulcano Etna 1. April 2012 by Thorsten Boeckel     Vulcano Etna 1. April 2012 by Thorsten Boeckel     Vulcano Etna 1. April 2012 by Thorsten Boeckel

 Very powerful lateral ejections, reaching the upper Belvedere. Thus, the observation in the upper regions without protection like the old Torre Filosofo can become quite dangerous.

Vulcano Etna 1. April 2012 by Thorsten Boeckel     Vulcano Etna 1. April 2012 by Thorsten Boeckel

Vulcano Etna 1. April 2012 by Thorsten Boeckel     Vulcano Etna 1. April 2012 by Thorsten Boeckel

Down flowing lava eastward in the Val del Bove. Here the lava masses contacts the up to 3m thick snow layer and develops impressive water vapour clouds. Steam explosions and lahar tailing could not be observed at this time. According to the datas of Boris Behncke this phenomena occurred during the last eruptions. However small pyroclastic flows could be filmed by Etna Walk

Vulcano Etna 1. April 2012 by Richard Roscoerr   Vulcano Etna 1. April 2012 by Thorsten Boeckel

This observation point allowed not only the detailed view on the fontains, it presented also impressivly the lava flow into the Val del Bove with a lenght of apprx. 2-3 km and may 700 wide.

Vulcano Etna 1. April 2012 by Thorsten Boeckel          Vulcano Etna 1. April 2012 by Thorsten Boeckel

Vulcano Etna 1. April 2012 by Thorsten Boeckel

Vulcano Etna 1. April 2012 by Thorsten Boeckel     Vulcano Etna 1. April 2012 by Thorsten Boeckel     Vulcano Etna 1. April 2012 by Thorsten Boeckel

Surprisingly we were maltreated in distance of apprx. 3 km with lapilli large up to 10 cm. No acute danger of injury existed, but however an aerodynamically formed lapilli piece serves still the purpose of a tidy head nut.

Vulcano Etna 1. April 2012 by Thorsten Boeckel     Vulcano Etna 1. April 2012 by Thorsten Boeckel

Morning surprise

Pilferer of the worst grade screwed off all 'Four'. The further organization for the salvage was turbulent, whereby the very helpful mountain rescue team of the Refugio Sapienza supported us energetically.

Grazie Mille!

Anyhow it was a fascinating volcanic experience with parallels to the years 2000-2002. After 10 years you got the real Etna feeling again.

But this, you can't describe.....


  ** and here the tremor from April the first

Thanks to the and Boris Behncke for the informations.

 


 More at by R.Roscoe                ALPE by M.Rietze                 vulkane.net


Eruption from June 2011

Oldies, but Goldies. Mount Etna from 1999 to 2006


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© 2012, Photos and Text from Thorsten Böckel, also Richard Roscoe (rr) and Martin Rietze (mr), last modification 04/08/2012