Etna 2002

Lateral Eruption 2002: The South Vent

On 26 October 2002, Etna started «the biggest explosive eruption in all Europe of the last hundreds years, much bigger than the Vesuvius' one of 1944» (R. Scandone). The most explosively active vent was the new South Vent, born at the center of a chain of four new vents at 2700 m.a.s.l., just east of Monte Frumento Supino. This page resumes the spectacular activity of this new crater, seen from the best perspective, and also in a wonderful winter landscape. All times are local (GMT + 1hr).

Lateral Eruption 2002: The South Vent
30 Oct, 17h. f=135mm from Cratere del Piano, on the jeep track coming from North. Tom is a mere point of light below the sustained ash column rising from the South Vent.
Lateral Eruption 2002: The South Vent
30 Oct, 17h. f=28 and 50mm from Cratere del Piano rim. Just east (left) of Monte Frumento Supino, the new vent 150m wide erupts a sustained ocra ash column 5 km high.
Lateral Eruption 2002: The South Vent
30 Oct, 17h. f=135mm from Cratere del Piano rim. Red fountains of molten lava are erupted at heights of 300m, partially masked by brown ash.
Lateral Eruption 2002: The South Vent
30 Oct, 18h. f=50mm from Cratere del Piano rim. As the Sun sets, the lava fountains play with the ash column in all their majesty of 700m heigth (scroll image to right).
Lateral Eruption 2002: The South Vent
30 Oct, 18h. f=16mm (fish-eye lens) from Cratere del Piano rim. The ash column from the South Vent disappears into the brighter ash erupted by Bocca Nuova, dragged by the winds to the South.
Lateral Eruption 2002: The South Vent
30 Oct, 19h. f=28mm from Cratere del Piano rim. The 1km high lava fountain disappears in ash dragged by the winds towards Catania (in the background). Mt. Frumento Supino on the right.
Lateral Eruption 2002: The South Vent
30 Oct, 22h. f=28mm from Torre del Filosofo. Dreaming «view from above» of the new crater in full activity. The Teapot and Milky Way Center in the sky over Mt. Frumento Supino.
Lateral Eruption 2002: The South Vent
31 Oct, 5h. f=16mm (fish-eye lens) from Torre del Filosofo. The giant ash column masks the fading moon. Right of the Moon in Leo, Jupiter over the Head of Hydra, Procyon, Syrius and Orion.
Lateral Eruption 2002: The South Vent
31 Oct, 6h. f=135mm from Torre del Filosofo. Stephane protects himself from the burning heat radiated by the lava fountains only 400m away, «true fingers of molten ash».
Lateral Eruption 2002: The South Vent
31 Oct, 7h. f=16mm (fish-eye lens) from Torre del Filosofo. A strong wind drags now all the erupted ash towards east, covering Zafferana with layers of several cm.
Lateral Eruption 2002: The South Vent
31 Oct, 7h. f=28mm from Torre del Filosofo. Bocca Nuova erupts dense ash clouds, being the axis of the Lateral Eruption 2002. The South East Cone (right) is absolutely dormant.
Lateral Eruption 2002: The South Vent
6 Nov, 13h. f=135mm from Piano del Lago. Red lava fountains continue to be erupted by the South Vent, here seen from South, from the still steaming lava flow erupted a week before.
Lateral Eruption 2002: The South Vent
6 Nov, 16h. f=16mm (fish-eye lens) from Mt. Frumento Supino. Winter has come on Etna, while the eruption continues. Cono del Lago (Lateral Eruption 2001) and Montagnola on the far right.
Lateral Eruption 2002: The South Vent
6 Nov, 17h. f=16mm (fish-eye lens) from Cratere del Piano rim. The most striking contrast between the snow-covered Mt. Frumento Supino and the new black vent and brown ash column.
Lateral Eruption 2002: The South Vent
6 Nov, 17h. f=28mm from Cratere del Piano rim. Stephane has just escaped many bombs fallen on the slopes of Mt. Frumento Supino (black dots on the white snow).
Lateral Eruption 2002: The South Vent
6 Nov, 18h. f=50mm from Cratere del Piano rim. Snow and Fire: red lava fountains appear in the dark ash column, really black compared to the snow. Cono del Lago in the background.
Copyright: M. Fulle.