Photo Page 12.-14.2.2001
Jürg Alean, Thomas Brander, Mario Cipollini and Marco Fulle, on 12. February 2001 reached the lava flow which then was flowing since
a whole month from the northeast fissure on the SEC slope. The area was rather difficult to reach as it involved traversing the whole
southeastern base of SEC and negotiating fields of aa-lava only a few weeks old. A strong wind consistently blowing from the Northeast
blew away the gases emitted by the summit craters.
After a tentative approach on 13. February the group was able to reach the summit craters on 14. February 2001. The final ascent of
Bocca Nuova's west flank was not without some anxious moments, not so much because of the eruptive activity but ice which had previously
formed by re-freezing of meltwater. However, temperatures and wind speeds were rather moderate compared to what is possible on Etna in
winter, and we enjoyed views which were simply «out of this world».
Camera lens focal lengths are indicated, for example, as f=28mm. As usual all pictures link to larger photos (about 40 to 100 KB each).
Photos are copyright by Jürg Alean (JA), Thomas Brander (TB), Mario Cipollini (MC; external link), and Marco Fulle (MF). Abbreviations:
BN = Bocca Nuova; SEC = South East Crater; NEC = North East Crater. The photos presented below must not be regarded as an invitation to
approach Etna's summit craters, which must be considered active and dangerous.
f=28mm from SEC NE slopes. We are approaching the vent of the small lava flow which has been active since mid January 2001. The lava filled «tumulus» is silhouetted against the towering white NEC (MF).
f=20mm. Scrambling over loose aa-lava Jürg and Marco (right) reach the vantage point which allowed us to observe the source of a small lava flow on top of a well-developed «tumulus» (MC).
f=14mm. Fresh ropy lava was recently piled on the upper side of the tumulus. Now the direction of lava emission has changed towards the back. The snow-covered NEC in the backgound (JA).
f=135mm. Small, incandescent spatters have been ejected around the lava vent. Note how the intense heat of the lava causes «waves» in the air above it (MF).
f=300mm. A totally different perspective from BN SE rim of the SEC lava flow. The middle two photos on the right were taken from the same location. The pictures in the top row, on the other hand, were taken from almost exactly the opposite direction (MF).
f=50mm from BN SE rim. The SEC active lava flow and the chain of hornitos on the SEC fissure, with snow covered Valle del Bove and Monte Simone crater in the background (MF).
Fish-eye photo (diagonal 180°) from BN SE rim. In the background, the SEC active lava flow reaches Valle del Bove (center). Pizzi Deneri are on the left. The snow-covered SEC fissure on the right leads up to SEC's summit crater (MF).
f=14mm from BN S rim. Thomas Brander poses in front of SEC. In October 1998 we were looking down on SEC. Now it has grown so much that, from the same location, we are looking up to it. Some rhythmic degassing took place from its crater, but no magmatic activity was observed (JA).
f=14mm. A mostly transparent gas plume drifts from Etna's summit craters over Monte Frumento Supino (lower left). Ash emission did occur, but only temporarily, during our stay on Etna (JA).
f=14mm from BN SW rim. What a change! In 1997 BN was one single, huge pit. Now it is filled almost to the rim and only two big vents remain as major depressions within the crater (JA).
f=200mm from BN SW rim. After careful observation Jürg has approached the rim of BN's NW vent. Strombolian explosions occasionaly launched spatters as high as the rim but only rarely above it (MC).
f=50mm. Marco Fulle has joined Jürg and both manage to briefly glimpse, through the steam, three small, incadescent openings at the bottom of the pit. Note the ash deposits which were modelled into streamlined shapes by the wind (TB).
f=50mm. Most remarkable were the strong fumaroles on BN's eastern wall. The strong northwest wind drives the steam and gas out of BN (TB).
Fish-eye photo (diagonal 180°) from Voragine S rim. The completely silent Voragine now contains some snow fields - a rare sight indeed! NEC in the background (MF).
f=35mm. Etna from the plane after departing from Catania airport. An inversion layer keeping the clouds below 2200m.a.s.l. was the typical weather pattern we enjoyed throughout most of our stay on Etna (JA).
f=35mm. Crossing the Thyrrhenian Sea we say hello to Stromboli while its craters tend to their usual, mostly reliable activity. Ginostra village in front, San Bartolo top left (JA).
|Copyright: Thomas Brander, Mario Cipollini|