Paroxysm on April the First
A snap decision to enter this paroxysm* lottery was
finally rewarded. In June 2011 the rhythm of an
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
before the monitors: - ) In the summer 2011 only
Martin was really lucky to get a day eruption.
* (Paroxysm, - medically -> attack etc;
of the very singular eruption form at the Etna with
intervals of hours (anno 2000) up to several weeks (anno
Beginning of the activity on
During the day already small ash clouds were sighted.
Mild ' Strombolian activity'.
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
The Valle del Bove
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.
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!"
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, -
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
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 : -)
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
powerful lateral ejections, reaching the upper Belvedere.
Thus, the observation in the upper regions without
like the old Torre Filosofo
can become quite dangerous.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
by M.Rietze vulkane.net
Eruption from June 2011
Oldies, but Goldies.
Mount Etna from 1999 to 2006