Mount Etna: Plate Tectonic Setting

download print

About this sample

About this sample


Words: 1082 |

Pages: 2|

6 min read

Published: Feb 12, 2019

Words: 1082|Pages: 2|6 min read

Published: Feb 12, 2019

Mount Etna is Europe's highest and most active volcano. More than 25% of Sicily's population lives on Etna's slopes, and its the main source of income for the island, both from agriculture, and also its rich volcanic soil and tourism. A volcano is a mountain that opens downward to a pool of molten rock below the surface of the earth. When pressure builds up, eruptions occur. In an eruption, gases and rock shoot up through the opening and spill over or fill the air with lava fragments. Mount etna grow because of repeated eruptions. There are three main kinds, of shapes, of volcanoes, like Mount Etna, based on the type of materials they erupt.

'Why Violent Video Games Shouldn't Be Banned'?

Mount Etna on the east coast of Sicily. Nearby Volcanoes: Stromboli, Vesuvius. Located on the Italian island of Sicily, Mount Etna is one of the most famous volcanoes in the world the facts that its frequently erupts and has a large number of eruption styles. Mount Etna has the longest documented eruption history of any volcano in the universe. Mount Etna is one of the largest volcanoes in Europe and one of the most active in the world. It dominates the landscape of north eastern Sicily. Extensive lava flows during February to May 2017 new summit crater emerges. Italy's Mount Etna on the island of Sicily has had historically recorded eruptions for the past 3,500 years. Mount Etna, on the Italian island of Sicily, is not only the highest active volcano in Europe at 10,810 feet(aka 3,295 meters)but its one of the most active in the world. Mount Etna has the longest documented eruption history of any volcano in the world. The dark blue words, with the yellow dot is where Mount Etna is.

Mount Etna is associated with the subduction of the African plate under the Eurasian plate, which is also produced at Vesuvius and Campi Flegrei, but it's part of a different volcanic arc, the Calabrian rather than Campanian. Scientists are still debating which best fits the data they collected or researched, and are using a variety of methods to build a better image of the Earth's crust below the volcano.

Etna has also produced pyroclastic flows, ash falls and mudflows, but the lava flows are the most immediately hazardous type of any activity, especially to the city/towns of Catania. While the flows themselves usually do not move as fast as humans, enough to threaten humans, they can cover large areas and destroy crops and buildings. In the event of a large flank eruption, evacuating the inhabitants of towns and the cities near the volcanoes would be a big, huge challenges. The volcano's slope(s)currently host several large calderas which formed when the roofs of magma chambers collapsed inward, including the east facing, horseshoe shaped Valle del Bove.

Etna's eruptions have been documented since 1,500 B.C, when phreatomagmatic eruptions drove people living in the eastern part of the island to migrate to its western’s end. The volcano has experienced 200+ eruptions since then, although most are moderately tiny and small. Etna's most powerful recorded eruption was in the year 1669,when explosions destroyed part of the summit and lava flows from a fissure on the volcano's flank to reaching the sea and the town/city of Catania, more than 10+ miles away. Etna's longest eruption began in the year,1979 and went on for 13 years, its latest eruption began in March 2007,and its still ongoing till this day.

Measuring the size/strength of natural events has always been a challenge for any natural scientists. These scales are super valuable for comparing different kinds of events and for understanding the amount of the damage that events of different sizes can cause. Volcanic eruptions produce different types of products, have different deritions and develop in every different way. There is also a little problem, there are some eruptions that are huge explosives.

Chris Newhall of the United States Geological Survey and Stephen Self of the University of Hawaii developed the Volcanic Explosivity Index in 1982.The primary eruption characteristic used to be determine the volcanic explosivity index(AKA V.E.I) is the volume of pyroclastic material ejected by the big volcano.

As with most natural events, small volcanic eruptions are very common, and large eruptions are very rare. The data at left from the United States Geological Survey summarizes the relative frequency of eruptions of various VEI ratings. It clearly shows the rarity of high VEI eruptions but demonstrates that they are possible events.

The VEI scale begins at zero for eruptions that produce less than 0.001 cubic kilometer of eject. Most of these eruptions are very small in size. With each of these steps in the scale representing an explosivity increase of 10X, a VEI 5 is roughly ten times more explosive than a VEI 4.Two steps of the scale is an increase of 100X in explosivity. For example, a VEI 6 is roughly hundred times more explosive than a VEI 4.A VEI 8 is one million times more explosive than a VEI 2.All of this is based above eject a volume.

The most common type of volcanic eruption occurs when magma, the term for lava when it is below the Earth's surface, is released from a volcanic event. Eruptions can be effusive, where lava flows like a thick, orangish black, sticky liquid, or explosive. Where fragmented lava explodes out of a vent. Volcanologists classify eruptions into many different types. Some are named for particular volcanoes where the types of eruptions are usually very common. However, others concern the resulting shapes of the eruptive products or the place where the eruptions occur.

Get a custom paper now from our expert writers.

In a Hawaiian eruption, fluid basaltic lava is thrown into the air in jets from a vent or line of vents, a fissure, at the summit or on the flank of a volcano. The jets can last for hours or even days, a phenomenon known as fire fountaining. The spatter created by bits of hot lava falling out of the fountain can melt together in one and form lava flows, or build hills called spatter cones( my personal favorite word ^-^). Hawaiian eruptions get their names from the Kilauea volcano on the Big Island of Hawaii, which is extremely famous for producing spectacular fire fountains. Two excellent examples of these are the 1969 to 1974 Mauna Ulu eruption on the volcano's flank, and the 1959 eruption of the Kilauea Iki Crater at the summit of Kilauea.

Image of Dr. Oliver Johnson
This essay was reviewed by
Dr. Oliver Johnson

Cite this Essay

Mount Etna: Plate Tectonic Setting. (2019, February 11). GradesFixer. Retrieved February 21, 2024, from
“Mount Etna: Plate Tectonic Setting.” GradesFixer, 11 Feb. 2019,
Mount Etna: Plate Tectonic Setting. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 21 Feb. 2024].
Mount Etna: Plate Tectonic Setting [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2019 Feb 11 [cited 2024 Feb 21]. Available from:
Keep in mind: This sample was shared by another student.
  • 450+ experts on 30 subjects ready to help
  • Custom essay delivered in as few as 3 hours
Write my essay

Still can’t find what you need?

Browse our vast selection of original essay samples, each expertly formatted and styled


Where do you want us to send this sample?

    By clicking “Continue”, you agree to our terms of service and privacy policy.


    Be careful. This essay is not unique

    This essay was donated by a student and is likely to have been used and submitted before

    Download this Sample

    Free samples may contain mistakes and not unique parts


    Sorry, we could not paraphrase this essay. Our professional writers can rewrite it and get you a unique paper.



    Please check your inbox.

    We can write you a custom essay that will follow your exact instructions and meet the deadlines. Let's fix your grades together!


    Get Your
    Personalized Essay in 3 Hours or Less!

    We can help you get a better grade and deliver your task on time!
    • Instructions Followed To The Letter
    • Deadlines Met At Every Stage
    • Unique And Plagiarism Free
    Order your paper now