stromboli_19416.jpg Typical strombolian eruption of Stromboli volcano

Stromboli village and the volcano

Typical strombolian eruption at Stromboli volcano

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Short activity updates

24 May 2005:

Updates on Stromboli volcano are now continued on VolcanoDiscovery's website at:

9 March 2004:

Apparently, the activity at Stromboli volcano has again increased significantly during the past weeks, with near continuous strong eruptions from all craters, which indicates an unusually high magma level inside the conduit, that in turn might well soon lead to another lava flow or even flank eruption. To get an impression, the colleagues from Stromboli On Line have compiled a beautiful collection of photos from the live cam maintained by the INGV Catania, who also released the following official report:

Explosive activity at the summit craters of Stromboli volcano resumed on early June 2003, before the end of the effusive eruption that finished between 21 and 22 July 2003. Eruptive activity at this volcano is continuously monitored by INGV-CT using two web cameras located at Il Pizzo Sopra la Fossa (920 m a.s.l.) and at 400 m elevation along the east margin of the Sciara del Fuoco, the depression on the north flank of the volcano that contains the summit craters. Additionally, a web thermal camera is also located at the 400 m elevation site, and a web infrared camera at Il Pizzo Sopra la Fossa. The thermal and video cameras at 400 m elevation give important insights when visibility of the summit is poor or craters are surrounded by clouds. The infrared video camera at Il Pizzo allows a continuous view of the activity at the summit craters, and a quantification of the energy released by the explosions at the three summit craters through an automated system
called VAMOS (Cristaldi et al., 2004).
Explosive activity at the three summit craters increased after 10 February 2004, leading to a significant growth of the cinder cones inside the three summit craters. Several powerful explosions, especially from crater 1 (the NE-crater) and crater 3 (the SW-crater) carried scoria 200 m above the craters. These powerful explosions led to fallout of fresh bombs and lapilli on Il Pizzo Sopra la Fossa in early March.  Samples of lapilli and scoria collected on Stromboli by local guides have been analysed with the scanning electron microprobe and microanalysis instruments of INGV-CT (Corsaro et al., 2004). Measurements of glass compositions evidence that products erupted until 25 February 2004 belong to the "black scoriaceous volcanics" normally erupted during Strombolian activity. No "golden basaltic pumices" were present in available samples. Emission of golden pumice at this volcano is generally associated with paroxysmal explosive events (Bertagnini et al., 1999) such as that of 5th April 2003. Analysis of components carried out on several ash samples allowed us to recognize sideromelane and tachylite as the main components, making up ~80% of the erupted ash (Andronico et al., 2004). The activity of this volcano at the time of writing (8 March 2004) can be described as Strombolian activity, with variations in the number and frequency of explosions within normally observed limits, and intensity of explosions at the higher limit of commonly observed activity.

- Andronico D., Caruso S., Cristaldi, A., and Del Carlo P. (2004) - Caratterizzazione delle ceneri emesse dallo Stromboli nel Gennaio-Febbraio 2004.  INGV-CT Internal Report, Prot. int. n°
UFVG2004/34, pp 2.
- Bertagnini, A., Coltelli, M., Landi, P., Pompilio, M., Rosi, M. (1999) - Violent explosions yield new insights into dynamics of Stromboli volcano. Eos, American Geophysical Union Transactions, 80, 52: 633-636.
- Corsaro R.A., Miraglia L., Zanon V. (2004) - Caratterizzazione dei vetri presenti nei prodotti emessi dallo Stromboli durante il mese di febbraio 2004. INGV-CT Internal Report, Prot. int. n° UFVG2004/33, pp 4.
- Cristaldi A., Coltelli M., Mangiagli S. (2004) - Rapporto settimanale sull'attivitą eruttiva dello Stromboli: 22 - 29 Febbraio 2004. INGV-CT Internal Report, Prot. int. n° UFVG2004/31, pp 2.

4 February 2004:

3 eruption videos from 7 December 2003 have been added to the photo section. See also the report below.

28 January: photos and a report from Dec. 2003

Thanks to the cooperation with the partner-site "From Etna to Stromboli" by Thorsten Boeckel, an interesting report of a small group of visitors to Stromboli in December 2003 has become available. It illustrates the present situation and policy concerning the current ufficial restrictions to the summit area. An abbreviated and slightly modified version is presented here:

"...it is still difficult and forbidden by law to ascend the summit of Stromboli. Further restless  phases of the volcano were registered to the turn of the year 03/04. Nevertheless, R. Schulz and friends succeeded at the 7 of December in staying at a position where it was possible to get an exiting view into the new crater and making some interesting photos from the eruptive ejections and the changing summit region.
When we reached the altitude of 400 m (helicopter landing place and live camera), we were loudly called. A policeman (in civil clothes, but with an ID document), a mountain
guide and a further person came up. They explained us that we were already too far (above 290m which is permitted). After long discussions they said that we could remain on the altitude of 400m, if we would ascend neither still further high nor would stay overnight. They descended then with the beginning of the dawn.
...At night it rained and it was strongly cloudy on the next morning...In the afternoon we ascended again and the wind turned to north. This was our luck, because the whole clouds were blown away to the south and the summit was free. This time crater 1 was full active, partly in a minute interval."

A. Fisher and his friends managed to take spectacular photos that document the strong activity of Stromboli' s NE crater, which lasted this way until the beginning of January 2004, before returning to the present lower levels:

Stromboli's NE crater in activity during late evening of 7 Dec. 2003.
(photo copyrights A. Fisher / photos@decadevolcano.net)


21 January: New photos posted

A few photos showing fairly low-level activity on Stromboli have been posted here.

18 January 2004: Update - decreasing levels of activity

As judged from direct observation and other reports, the summit activity has decreased significantly and/ or is characterized by strong fluctuations on the temporal order of several days or even weeks. During a visit on 11 January, only weak explosive activity was present from 3 of 5 active vents. NE crater erupted approximately every 30-40 minutes throwing bombs no higher than about 100m with few material landing outside the crater. The central crater was observed as a glowing pit that emitted weak jets of gas and occasionally some spatter. NW crater continued to erupt mainly brown ash mixed with few incandescent material.
The activity can sometimes be followed from the new livecam at Pizzo, re-installed by INGV. Some nice impressions from archived photos have been carefully collected by the team of the partner site Stromboli OnLine and can be seen here.

9 January 2004: Update - continuing intense strombolian activity

According to various (unconfirmed) reports from local guides and climbers, strombolian activity at the summit craters of Stromboli has been continuing at a high level throughout the past months and is essentially unchanged since Tom and a group of decadevolcano.net last visited the summit area in September 2003 (photos).

Apparently, 5 active vents are present, 3 of which are forming a cluster belonging to the re-growing NE crater (towards Stromboli village) and are erupting frequently, at times as near-continuous spattering. Occasionally, very strong explosions occur, throwing bombs to 3-400 m above the crater. At the site of the former central crater, a glowing vent is present that erupts with loud hissing noises about every 10 (?) minutes, but ejects mostly gas and relatively little incandescent material in a narrow jet. The NW crater (towards Ginostra) continues to eject mainly brown ash with little fresh glowing scoria, forming distinct small mushroom plumes.

Restrictions to the summit area:
Note that the ufficial restrictions for all non-authorized persons to climb over 400 m are still fully in place, although it appears that at the present time it is not always being inforced. According to rumors, the ufficial state of emergency (or "the volcanic crisis" etc., being the legal justification for the massive presence of Civil Protection forces) and the resulting strict regulations to access the summit area are scheduled to be (or have been) prolongued for a second year. This is a subject of a highly controversial debate on Stromboli itself (that is not discussed further here). However, with the beginning of the tourist season, another larger employment of Civil Protection forces in cooperation with volcanologist is likely.  


Archived updates: [2003]