9 July 2011: Fifth Paroxysm of 2011 at South East Crater
After one week of irregular and minor Strombolian activity, the New South East Cone erupted the most violent lava fountains of the first five paroxysms of 2011. Thanks to the help and experience of the alpine guides of Etna Sud and logistic support by Funivia dell'Etna, Marco Fulle and Tom Pfeiffer had the rare opportunity to observe the entire paroxysm at close range (distance of about 1km only). The lava fountains were so intensive that Marco could clearly feet their radiative heat despite the high temperature of a Sicilian summer day. The focal length of the lenses used is given (DSLR, 16x24mm sensor). All times are local (GMT +2hr).
f=300mm, 12h20pm. A small lava bubble bursts as the Strombolian activity increases.
f=85mm, 1h15pm. The lava flow at the onset of the paroxysm. RAI cameraman at lower right.
f=135mm, 3h45pm. The first lava fountains rise above the rim of the New South East Crater.
f=135mm, 3h45pm. Most lava is erupted in our direction, creating major impacts on the crater flanks.
f=85mm, 3h55pm. The lava jets directed towards Torre del Filosofo become more and more intense.
f=135mm, 4h10pm. Suddenly continuous fountains of liquid lava rise in the sky.
f=135mm, 4h20pm. Fountains of incandescent lava are ejected in all directions.
f=85mm, 4h20pm. A column of billowing ash and millions of bombs rise one km high!
f=24mm, 4h20pm. A core of liquid, incandescent lava is surrounded by thick black ash.
f=135mm, 4h25pm. Impacts come closer and closer to our position and many bombs crash on Sudestino.
f=135mm, 4h30pm. Millions of bombs fall from the sky and impact behind the cone of 1971 flank eruption.
f=135mm, 4h30pm. Glowing and grey bombs fly in a sky obscured by a colossal ash column.
f=135mm, 4h35pm. Sprays of liquid red lava continue to rise from the South East Crater.
f=70mm, 5h00pm. The last lava fountains during the rapid decline of the paroxysm.
Etna guides observing the spectacle.
Tom Pfeiffer of VolcanoDiscovery is impressed by the ash column and tephra fall.
|Copyright: M. Fulle.|