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Mount Etna

Mount Etna viewed from the side.
Elevation 3,328 m (10,919 ft) (varies)[1] Width of cone - 40km approx
Prominence 3,329.6 m
Listing Ultra
Mount Etna is located in Sicily
Mount Etna
Coordinates 37°45′18.24″N 14°59′42.9″E / 37.7550667°N 14.99525°E / 37.7550667; 14.99525Coordinates: 37°45′18.24″N 14°59′42.9″E / 37.7550667°N 14.99525°E / 37.7550667; 14.99525
Type Stratovolcano (composite type)
Age of rock 500,000 years
Last eruption 2008
Easiest route rock climb
Aerial view, 3D computer generated image

Mount Etna (Αἴτνη (Aítnē) in Classical Greek,[2] Aetna in Latin, also known as Muncibeḍḍu (beautiful mountain) in Sicilian and Mongibello in Italian (from the Latin mons and the Arabic gibel, both meaning mountain[3]) is an active stratovolcano on the east coast of Sicily, close to Messina and Catania. Its Arabic name was Jebel Utlamat (the Mountain of Fire). It is the largest active volcano in Europe, currently standing 3,329 metres (10,922 ft) high, though this varies with summit eruptions; the mountain is 21 m (69 ft) lower now than it was in 1981. It is the highest mountain in Italy south of the Alps. Etna covers an area of 1,190 km² (460 sq mi) with a basal circumference of 140 km. This makes it by far the largest of the three active volcanoes in Italy, being about two and a half times the height of the next largest, Mount Vesuvius. Only Mount Teide in Tenerife surpasses it in the whole of the European region (though geographically Tenerife is an island of Africa).[4] In Greek Mythology, the deadly monster Typhon was trapped under this mountain by Zeus, the god of the sky.

Mount Etna is one of the most active volcanoes in the world and is in an almost constant state of activity. The fertile volcanic soils support extensive agriculture, with vineyards and orchards spread across the lower slopes of the mountain and the broad Plain of Catania to the south. Due to its history of recent activity and nearby population, Mount Etna has been designated a Decade Volcano by the United Nations.[5]


Geological history

Volcanic activity first took place at Etna about half a million years ago, with eruptions occurring beneath the sea off the ancient coastline of Sicily.[6] 300,000 years ago, volcanism began occurring to the southwest of the present-day summit, before activity moved towards the present center 170,000 years ago. Eruptions at this time built up the first major volcanic edifice, forming a strato-volcano in alternating explosive and effusive eruptions. The growth of the mountain was occasionally interrupted by major eruptions leading to the collapse of the summit to form calderas.

Etna seen from Spot Satellite.

From about 35,000 to 15,000 years ago, Etna experienced some highly explosive eruptions, generating large pyroclastic flows which left extensive ignimbrite deposits. Ash from these eruptions has been found as far away as Rome, 800 km to the north.

A crater near the Torre del Filosofo, about 450 metres below Etna's summit.

Thousands of years ago, the eastern flank of the mountain experienced a catastrophic collapse, generating an enormous landslide in an event similar to that seen in the 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens. The landslide left a large depression in the side of the volcano, known as 'Valle del Bove' (Valley of the Ox). Research published in 2006 suggests that this occurred around 6000 BC, and caused a huge tsunami which left its mark in several places in the eastern Mediterranean. It may have been the reason that the settlement of Atlit Yam (Israel), now below sea level, was suddenly abandoned around that time.[7]

The steep walls of the Valley have suffered subsequent collapse on numerous occasions. The strata exposed in the valley walls provide an important and easily accessible record of Etna's eruptive history.

The most recent collapse event at the summit of Etna is thought to have occurred about 2,000 years ago, forming what is known as the Piano Caldera. This caldera has been almost entirely filled by subsequent lava eruptions, but is still visible as a distinct break in the slope of the mountain near the base of the present-day summit cone.

Historical eruptions

Eruptions of Etna are not all the same. Some occur at the summit, where there are currently (as of 2008) four distinct craters - the Northeast Crater, the Voragine, the Bocca Nuova, and the Southeast Crater. Other eruptions occur on the flanks, where there are more than 300 vents, ranging in size from small holes in the ground to large craters hundreds of metres across. Summit eruptions can be highly explosive and are extremely spectacular, but are rarely threatening for the inhabited areas around the volcano. On the contrary, flank eruptions can occur down to a few hundred metres altitude, close to or even well within the populated areas. Numerous villages and small towns lie around or on cones of past flank eruptions. Since the year 1600 A.D., there have been at least 60 flank eruptions and countless summit eruptions; nearly half of these have occurred since the start of the 20th century, and the 3rd millennium has seen five flank eruptions of Etna so far, in 2001, 2002–2003, 2004–2005, 2007 and 2008.

The first known record of an eruption at Etna is that of Diodorus Siculus.

The Roman poet Virgil gave what was probably a first-hand description of an eruption in the Aeneid:

A spreading bay is there, impregnable

To all invading storms; and Aetna's throat With roar of frightful ruin thunders nigh. Now to the realm of light it lifts a cloud Of pitch-black, whirling smoke, and fiery dust, Shooting out globes of flame, with monster tongues That lick the stars; now huge crags of itself, Out of the bowels of the mountain torn, Its maw disgorges, while the molten rock Rolls screaming skyward; from the nether deep The fathomless abyss makes ebb and flow.

(edition of Theodore C. Williams, ca. 1908 [lines 569 - 579])


In 396 BC, an eruption of Etna is said to have thwarted the Carthaginians in their attempt to advance on Syracuse during the First Sicilian War.

A particularly violent explosive (Plinian) summit eruption occurred in 122 BC, and caused heavy tephra falls to the southeast, including the town of Catania, where many roofs collapsed.[8] To help with reconstruction and dealing with the devastating effects of the eruption, the Roman government exempted the population of Catania from paying taxes for ten years.

Etna's most violent eruption was in 1669, during which lava flows destroyed villages around its base and submerged part of the town of Catania.[9]

Recent eruptions

Etna's 2002 eruption, photographed from the ISS.
Same, seen in a wider field.
Etna's south east crater 2006 eruption, photographed from Torre del Filosofo.

Another large lava flow from an eruption in 1928 led to the first (and only) destruction of a population centre since the 1669 eruption. The eruption started high on Etna's northeast flank on 2 November, then new eruptive fissures opened at ever lower elevation down the flank of the volcano. The third and most vigorous of these fissures opened late on 4 November at unusually low elevation (1200 m above the sea-level), in a zone known as Ripe della Naca. The village of Mascali, lying downslope of the Ripe della Naca, was obliterated in just two days, with the lava destroying nearly every building. Only a church and a few surrounding buildings survived in the north part of the village, called Sant'Antonino or "il quartiere". During the last days of the eruption, the flow interrupted the Messina-Catania railway line and destroyed the train station of Mascali. The event was used by Benito Mussolini's Fascist regime for propaganda purposes, with the evacuation, aid and rebuilding operations being presented as models of fascist planning. Mascali was rebuilt on a new site, and its church contains the Italian fascist symbol of the torch, placed above the statue of Jesus Christ. In early November 2008, the town of Mascali commemorated the 80th anniversary of the eruption and destruction of the village with a number of public manifestations and conferences, where, amongst others, still living eyewitnesses of the eruptions recalled their impressions of that experience.

Other major 20th-century eruptions occurred in 1949, 1971, 1981, 1983 and 1991-1993. In 1971, lava buried the Etna Observatory (built in the late 19th century), destroyed the first generation of the Etna cable-car, and seriously threatened several small villages on Etna's east flank. In March 1981, the town of Randazzo on the northwestern flank of Etna narrowly escaped from destruction by unusually fast-moving lava flows - that eruption was remarkably similar to the one of 1928 that destroyed Mascali. The 1991-1993 eruption saw the town of Zafferana threatened by a lava flow, but successful diversion efforts saved the town with the loss of only one building a few hundred metres from the town's margin. Initially, such efforts consisted of the construction of earth barriers built perpendicularly to the flow direction; it was hoped that the eruption would stop before the artificial basins created behind the barriers would be completely filled. Instead, the eruption continued, and lava surmounted the barriers, heading directly toward Zafferana. It was then decided to use explosives near the source of the lava flow, to disrupt a very efficient lava tube system through which the lava traveled for up to 7 km without essentially losing heat and fluidity. The main explosion on 23 May 1992 destroyed the lava tube and forced the lava into a new artificial channel, far from Zafferana, and it would have taken months to re-establish a long lava tube. Shortly after the blasting, the rate of lava emission dropped and during the remainder of the eruption (until 30 March 1993) the lava never advanced close to the town again.[10]

Following six years (1995–2001) of unusually intense activity at the four summit craters of Etna, the volcano produced its first flank eruption since 1991-1993 in July-August 2001. This eruption, which involved activity from seven distinct eruptive fissures mostly on the south slope of the volcano, was a mass-media eruption, because it occurred at the height of the tourist season and numerous reporters and journalists were already in Italy to cover the G8 summit in Genoa. It also occurred close to one of the tourist areas on the volcano, and thus was easily accessible. Part of the "Etna Sud" tourist area, including the arrival station of the Etna cable car, were damaged by this eruption, which otherwise was a rather modest-sized event for Etna standards.

In 2002-2003, a much larger eruption threw up a huge column of ash that could easily be seen from space and fell as far away as Libya, 600 km south across the Mediterranean Sea. Seismic activity in this eruption caused the eastern flanks of the volcano to slip by up to two metres, and many houses on the flanks of the volcano experienced structural damage. The eruption also completely destroyed the tourist station Piano De Lagoon, on the northeastern flank of the volcano, and part of the tourist station "Etna Sud" around the Rifugio Sapienza on the south flank. Footage from the eruptions was recorded by Lucasfilm and integrated into the landscape of the planet Mustafar in the 2005 film Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith.[11] The Rifugio Sapienza is near the site of a cable car station which had previously been destroyed in the 1983 eruption; it has now been rebuilt.

Etna's Sept. 2007 eruption as seen from the southeast crater ridgeline.

Following a rather silent, slow and non-destructive lava outflow on the upper southeastern flank between September 2004 and March 2005, intense eruptions occurred at the Southeast Crater in July-December 2006. These were followed by four episodes of lava fountaining, again at the Southeast Crater, on 29 March, 11 April, 29 April and 7 May 2007. Ash emissions and Strombolian explosions started from a vent on the eastern side of the Southeast Crater in mid-August 2007.

House destroyed by lava on the slopes of Etna.

On 4 September 2007 Etna violently erupted at around 8:00 p.m. local time, spewing lava up to 400 m into the air along with strong winds that sent ash and smoke into the underlying towns. This Southeast Crater eruption was visible far into the plains of Sicily, ending the following morning between the hours of 5 to 7 am local time. Catania-Fontanarossa Airport shut down operations during the night for safety precautions. A similar paroxysm occurred during the night of 23–24 November 2007, lasting for 6 hours and causing ash and lapilli falls to the north of the volcano. Again, the source of the activity was the Southeast Crater. Following several months of rather minor activity from the Southeast Crater and flurries of seismic activity especially in the eastern sector of the mountain, a new powerful eruptive paroxysm occurred on the late afternoon of 10 May 2008. Due to bad weather, it was not possible to see much of the activity at the vent, but several branches of lava traveled down the eastern flank of the volcano, into the Valle del Bove depression. This latest paroxysm lasted about 4 hours, ending on the evening of 10 May 2008.

A new eruption started on the morning of 13 May 2008 immediately to the east of Etna's summit craters, accompanied by a swarm of more than 200 earthquakes and significant ground deformation in the summit area. On the afternoon of the same day, a new eruptive fissure opened at about 2800 m above sea-level, with a number of vents displaying Strombolian activity and emission of lava flows toward the Valle del Bove. During the following 24 hours the lava traveled approximately 6 km to the east, but thereafter its advance slowed and stopped, the most distant lava fronts stagnating about 3 km from the nearest village, Milo. Ash emissions became more frequent between 16 and 18 May and produced small but spectacular clouds, whereas the rate of lava emission showed a gradual diminution. During late May and the first week of June, the activity continued at low levels, with lava flows advancing only a few hundred metrers from the vents as of 4 June. Four days later, on 8 June, there was a considerable increase in the vigor of Strombolian activity and lava output rate. During the following week, lava flows advanced up to 5 km from the source vents. In June and July, the eruption continued with mild Strombolian activity from two vents at about 2800 m elevation, and lava advancing up to 4 km eastward, remaining confined to the Valle del Bove collapse depression.[12] Activity in mid-July produced loud detonations that were well audible in numerous population centres around the volcano. In late-July, explosive activity waned, but lava emission continued at a fairly low rate, feeding short lava flows that advanced little more than 1 km.

On 13 November 2008, six months after its onset, the 2008 flank eruption of Etna was continuing, at a relatively low rate, and it thus became the longest of the four flank eruptions of Etna so far in the 3rd millennium. Previous eruptions, in 2001, 2002–2003, and 2004-2005 had lasted 3 weeks, 3 months, and 6 months, respectively. It is also the most active volcano in Europe.

Unusual characteristics

In the 1970s Etna erupted smoke rings, one of the first captured events of this type, which is extremely rare.[citation needed] This happened again in 2000.[13]

See also


  1. ^ a b The elevation varies with volcanic activity. It is frequently given as 3,350 m, but many sources that support this concede that it is approximate. The coordinates given, which are consistent with SRTM data, are from a 2005 GPS survey. The elevation data are based on a LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) survey carried out in June 2007 (Neri et al., "The changing face of Mount Etna's summit area documented with Lidar technology", Geophysical Research Letters, vol. 35, L09305, doi:10.1029/2008GL033740
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ (Italian)) Note di toponomastica
  4. ^ "Italy volcanoes and Volcanics". USGS. 
  5. ^ "Decade Volcanoes". United States Geological Survey. 
  6. ^ Martin-Schutz, Alicia. "Mt. Etna". 
  7. ^ Pareschi. Geophysical Research Letters. p. 33. 
  8. ^ Coltelli, M., Del Carlo, P. and Vezzoli, L. (1998) Discovery of a Plinian basaltic eruption of Roman age at Etna Volcano, Italy. Geology, vol. 26, p. 1095-1098
  9. ^ "Mount Etna (volcano, Italy)". Encyclopædia Britannica.
  10. ^ Barberi, F., Carapezza, M.L., Valenza, M., Villari, L. (1993) The control of lava flow during the 1991–1992 eruption of Mt. Etna. Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, vol. 56, p. 1-34
  11. ^
  12. ^ Etna: Attività in corso Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia, Sezione di Catania
  13. ^ "Etna hoops it up". BBC News. 2000-03-31. Retrieved 2008-10-09. 


External links


Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel


Etna is a small town of 780 people roughly twenty five miles to the west of Yreka on Highway 3 in Siskiyou County in Northern California. It's situated at about 3500 feet in altitude in the verdant Scott Valley. In addition to more natural beauty than is healthy, Etna also features a gas station, grocery store, hardware store, second hand store, a bar, a theater (stage), a public swimming pool, and seven churches. Etna was formerly a gold mining and timber town. Timber production has slowed in recent years, which many locals blame on "environmentalists". Farming is another common occupation in the area.

  • By Air The nearest airport is in Medford, Oregon. From the airport, travel south on the I-5 for roughly 45 minutes until reaching the exit for CA-3 in Yreka. Travel west on CA-3 (following the sign for Etna & Fort Jones) for roughly 25 miles. You'll pass through Fort Jones after about twelve miles and Greenview after eighteen.
  • By Car From the I-5 exit at CA-3 in Yreka. Travel west on CA-3 (following the sign for Etna & Fort Jones) for roughly 25 miles. You'll pass through Fort Jones after about twelve miles and Greenview after eighteen.
  • By Foot From the Pacific Crest Trail, hike to Etna Summit. At the top of Etna Summit there is some radio gear, a small parking lot, and a road. Follow the road down the mountain. It will lead you directly to downtown Etna.
  • By Bus The nearest Greyhound stop is in Yreka. The Greyhound drops off in Yreka, but it doesn't pick up in Yreka.
  • By Train The nearest train station is in Dunsmuir. From Dunsmuir travel north on the I-5 for roughly 45 minutes until reaching the exit for CA-3 in Yreka. Travel west on CA-3 (following the sign for Etna & Fort Jones) for roughly 25 miles. You'll pass through Fort Jones after about twelve miles and Greenview after eighteen.

Get around

Etna itself is small enough to be walkable. To go anywhere else it's easiest to have an automobile. Hitch-hiking is not difficult and fairly well accepted in the area.


The Scott Valley is a place of amazing natural beauty.


There's plenty of hiking and camping around.

  • Go camping-- Etna is surrounded by national wilderness. Inquire at the Forestry Service building in Greenview about getting a map.
  • Hike to Johnson's Waterfall-- From the public pool, cross the street and walk past the baseball field & scrap metal. From there follow the path going towards the right (when facing the mountains). You'll want to have crossed the small creek before having climbed too far. Once you've crossed the creek at it's low, shady crossing, simply follow the path up. After roughly thirty minutes, you should reach Johnson's Waterfall, which is surrounded by granite outcroppings and offers a view of Etna from the mountain. It's a place of great beauty, and there's room enough to pitch a tent or spread a picnic blanket near the waterfall.
  • Hike the Pacific Crest Trail-- The easiest way to get to the PCT is to take Sawyer's Bar Road to Etna Summit. From there it's possible to hook up with the PCT.


  • Scott Valley Bluegrass Festival, [1]-- It happens on a weekend in early July in a park near the high school. Great music, good food, and booths from local vendors. It is necessary to pay for admission, but the cost is very reasonable.
  • Concert in the Park-- Beginning in 2004, Campus California TG has been putting on a free concert in late August. It's located on Collier Way on the way into town from CA-3. In the past the concert has featured the excellent music of several local artists (including local music hero Johnny Callahan) across a wide range of genres. You can also count on music from the folks at CCTG, who tend to be some really creative folks hailing from all over the world. Past performances have included songs & dances from the Zimbabwean liberation struggle, punk rock junk band adaptations of songs from The Threepenny Opera, pop adaptations of Japanese folks songs, and more. There's also international food and entertainment for kids.


  • Swimming at the local pool-- The pool is open from Memorial Day to Labor Day and costs less than $2 to swim in. It's across the street from the high school.
  • Take a swim in Etna Creek-- From Collier Way turn right onto Main Street in downtown. Main Street turns into Sawyer's Bar Road. Travel down Sawyer's Bar for a couple miles and you'll see places to pull over. The creek runs parallel to Sawyer's Bar Road. Ask a local for thoughts on the best places to swim. Watch out, it's cold.


Etna also has a Drug Store which sells delicious old fashioned ice cream and root beer floats. This historic building used to house the old high school.

  • Bob's Ranch House serves classic "American" food for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Decorated in the western style, Bob's has been serving the valley for years and has become a trademark of the town.
  • Dotty's is the local burger joint. It also has inexpensive frosties and milkshakes of many flavors. Inside, the walls and tables are covered with historical pictures.
  • The Trailhead, Main Street. Serves large portions of mixed styles of food for lunch and dinner.

If you want fresh beer and a nice meal, Etna Brewing is an excellent choice. You can either eat outside on the garden patio or inside overlooking the brewery itself. The Brewery serves all ages.

  • Corrigans is located on Main Street. Beer is inexpensive and people are friendly. It features pool, darts, and live music.
  • Etna Brewing Company, 131 Callahan Street, 530-467-5277 (Fax: 530-467-3083), [2]. A microbrewery making both beer and what's said to be really good root beer. W-Sa 10AM-6PM.
  • Legends Saloon in Fort Jones is twelve miles down the road on CA-3. It's probably the rowdiest bar around. It also manages to attract some rocking bands.

There is also a local coffee shop, Wildwood Crossing Coffeehouse. It has been locally owned for the past 10 years. They serve excellent espresso drinks, salads and sandwiches. Located on the corner of Collier Way and Main Street.

The coffee shop is now the local library. The library doesn't serve coffee.

  • There is a small motel on Collier Way.
  • Pacific Crest Trail hikers wanting to shower, do laundry, eat a nice dinner, and sleep in a bed are welcome at CCTG, which is also on Collier Way and easily identifiable by the red & white checkboard thing sticking out.
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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

There is more than one meaning of Etna discussed in the 1911 Encyclopedia. We are planning to let all links go to the correct meaning directly, but for now you will have to search it out from the list below by yourself. If you want to change the link that led you here yourself, it would be appreciated.


Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary



Alternative spellings

  • Ætna
Wikipedia has an article on:


Wikipedia has an article on:


Proper noun




  1. Mount Etna, volcanic mountain in Italy
  2. (mythology) Greek goddess of the volcano
  3. A female given name anglicized from Irish Eithne.
  4. a town in Maine
  5. a river in Norway




Up to date as of February 01, 2010

From Wikia Gaming, your source for walkthroughs, games, guides, and more!


Game Series Disgaea series
1st Appearance Disgaea: Hour of Darkness
Alter Ego:
Japanese Name:
Position: Vassal/Beauty Queen
Species Demon
Gender: Female
Blood Type:
Fighting Style:
Special Skill(s):
Voice Actor(s):

Etna is one of the main protagonists in Disgaea: Hour of Darkness and Disgaea 2: Cursed Memories, and a bonus character in Disgaea 3: Absence of Justice.

In Hour of Darkness, she is a sworn vassal of Prince Laharl, and of King Krichevskoy before him.

Between Hour of Darkness and Cursed Memories, there was a falling out between her and Laharl, and she quit being a vassal to try to become an overlord. She views the title of "Beauty Queen" to be an important step in that direction.

In Cursed Memories, she becomes a member of the party when a failed summoning reduces her to level 1.

This article is a stub. You can help by adding to it.

Stubs are articles that writers have begun work on, but are not yet complete enough to be considered finished articles.

Disgaea series
Disgaea: Hour of Darkness | Disgaea 2: Cursed Memories | Disgaea 3: Absence of Justice
Related titles
La Pucelle | Phantom Brave | Makai Kingdom: Chronicles of the Sacred Tome | Soul Nomad and the World Eaters | Cross Edge | Prinny: Can I Really Be the Hero? | Prinny 2: Dawn of the Great Pantsu War
Main characters
Laharl | Etna

This article uses material from the "Etna" article on the Gaming wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.


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