Red Abyss

Stromboli from the 14th to 21rst of October 2005



mr    mr    tb

Overview of the crater terrace. Photographed from the Pizzo. Length diameter of the bowl, about 250 m.(On the right: A Stitch over two minutes)

For orientation click to the aerial map

By entering  the realm of Eoli for several times, we got really surprised which different views the volcano Stromboli offered us again. If you reach the summit stand point Pizzo you can enjoy a phantastic view to the volcanic events. If you shorten the distance to the first tube to the range of 20 meters by climbing on the rim of crater three (image up right)  you'll realise very fast that every known condition at this volcano gets rapitly amplified for the observer. Superiorly and detailled observations ( hydrogen flames or spiral rotating lava shreds) in this close distance to the gates of inner earth let this red abyss appears like a mystic court of volcanic oddities. But....

.... please read advice at the end !

mr  tb  mr

The seldom smoke and steam free crater gave us the possibility to get some special views into the hidden corners of Stromboli. In this position wide angle objectives from 16 to 18 mm did reach their limit of the visual field. But at this position you don't have the alternativ to step back. By exposing the left and middle image about one minute the crater three and one could be addidionaly banned at once. Right The ejecta of scoria reaching an altitude of 100 m was  photographed by Martin in a distance of 20 meters.

If you regard the five volcanic funnels from the front to the back in row, the first tube could came up with a spraying fountain up to 100m. The turning farther direction of the lava was the reason to take this position. The years before it was impossible to stay at the rim, because the radius of the strewing line of crater 3 was far behind us. In this distance lava bombs would have caused fatal injuries. The second pipe had a similar blow-out-behavior like the first.

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If you step on this volcanic fire road one pipe further (middle)  you recognise a bright orange shining hole in the crater bottom which diameter is apprx. 2-3 m. Ever since the first visit eleven years ago with Andreas Heidl I paid attention to this steam billowing hole, but never saw an eruption. So I asked Martin. "Did you ever recognised an outburst of this pipe?" At the push of a bottom a 70 meter high magma fontain was rising up just in front of us, - ???. The apprx. two meter sized liquid shreds were splashing inside the crater and a dense layer of  liquid lava was covering the bottom in a radius up to 25 meter. A very seldom activity of Stromboli and if you don't believe, wait until the video clips are ready.


Between funnel three and four a small pipe was forcing up gases in an intevall of 20 minutes, wheras the noise in this close range was so terrible loud and hard to stand against.


Tube four was building up candles in the height of 200m. The crashing noise was such as strong that our clothes began to flacke. It couldn't be better! The fifth and so called crater one did also blow up amass of scoria up to 250 meter over the eastern rim. Every tube had its own behavior of activity and addidional I counted a number of hidden pipes which opened inside the dark crater bottom under a loud hissing.


Here I have to remark, that all pictures above were made in the last 90 Minutes of our stay time on Stromboli island. After a starry ascend we reached the summit at 2.15 am. But after 20 minutes we stood in a dense haze. After sitting for one and a half  hour in the fog we decided to descend. Reaching the Q 600 the summit was clear again. So we decided at 4:30 to get up once more.( Very nice if you had a sleepness observation night before). Just arriving the top the weather turned again to fog. Being cheated totally we asked ourselves what we are doing here actually. But this phase tooks only ten minutes and after this meteorology mess the volcanic landscape appeared crystall clear. In a more or less hectical way we could just manage to get some nice shots in this small gap of time.



Martin had the best conditions in the first night. Crater three with big candles before the full moon at 5:00 o'clock in the morning are shown in the photos above.



If Eoli plays with the clouds. Two curios wind currents were producing nearly all the time fog  in the summit region. The reason therefore was, that the main weather came from Nothwest during the lower southern current brought warm and humid air to the volcano.

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Strong eruptions of crater one. During these event we made the experience that the digital photography  is more sensible for burning out in the bright center. In case of strong steam the photo results were useless for illustrating intensions.


Small ejectas over the edge of crater one photographed from the eastern ridge. Here the steam was not so strong illuminated.


From the Q 400 you also can get passable photographs


Piazza and church of St. Vincenzo


After long observations of the crater 3 we decided to take this position. In this time it was possible because the west crater fountain was ejecting away from us. The west crater and ALL other craters can erupt and throw out far behind this observation points. In this distance lava bombs can cause fatal injuries.


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©2005 photos &Text by T. Boeckel (TB), © 2005 photos by M.Rietze (MR) last modification 8.11.05

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