- flank eruption on both Etna's N and S side in 2002: the vent on the S side -


30 October: sustained explosive activity on Etna's S side

On the S side of Etna, a second fracture had opened just below the Torre del Filosofo at ca. 2700m elevation, shortly after the opening of the fracture on the N side. A series of craters was created here, too, but after a short initial phase with lava fountains and a minor lava flow, all activity concentrated on one of the craters turned predominantly explosive,- an extremely rare event on Etna. Uninterruptedly for more than 2 weeks, the so far unnamed new crater had been producing a 2-4 km high ash plume, which drifted all over Sicily, often enough towards Catania, where in total about 5cm ash have fallen (as on 15 Nov).  


Photos below: Seen from below the Bocca Nuova, the 3-4 km high, towering ash-plume from the fiery S vent in its majesty, on the day of its peak intensity during the whole eruption. Note how it penetrates the lighter steam and ash clouds above from Bocca Nuova.

As the sunlight gets weaker, the plume changes color in the red sunlight and some glow from the fountain becomes visible. View from 500m N,  Monte Frumento Supino (r of crater), Como del Lago and Montagnola in the background.

Photo series above: the short twilight phase creates particular light conditions where the sky and the red lava have about the same intensity. At times, the fountain of glowing ash and bombs reaches 500-700m. 


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The fountain penetrates the ash cloud from Bocca Nuova ca. 1 km above it. Middle photo: View into the heart of the fountain.

After sunset, the fountain and the dark billowing as cloud drifting towards Catania become even more spectacular.






The pulsating fountain >500m high with Monte Frumento Supino in the right foreground and lights of Catania in the background.

31 October: night and sunrise

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Views of the lava fountain from the Torre del Filosofo. 
Lights of Catania in the background. 

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With dawn arriving, an unforgettable night on Etna comes to an end.

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31 October: morning

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As it gets lighter, the ash is deep black against the dawn sky and the red color of the fountain becomes weaker.

The wind has turned to W: now the ash is drifting towards Giarre.

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There it is the sun! A veil of ash turns softens it.

What about the summit craters? - Bocca Nuova (l) making ash and SE crater relaxing (until now...)

The dark ash ejected in violent jets draws bizarre shapes against the morning sky.

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Stephane taking photos from in front of the TdF. Sometimes, the red fountain is still visible.