Something is changing to south east! From the end of November, the explosive activity that has now characterized the summit of Mt. Etna for almost one year has intensified. It is now involving also the youngest of the five craters.

Or we should say four, as something is really going on up there.

In fact, between 29 November and 4 December 2020, an increase in gas and lava emissions involved  three craters. It was all in a single night, the one between 1 and 2 December.

etna new eruption2
the SEC

The National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology reports in its latest data: Etna’s eruptive activity has moved – compared to May 2020 – passing from the Voragine Crater to the South East Crater. This one has shown a new activity since July. In early December, in particular, the so-called Crater della Sella – formed between the South East (SEC) and the New South East (NSEC)- increased its explosive activity. This led to the collapse of the dividing wall and to the “reunification” of the two craters into a single large vent.

About the South East Crater and its changes

The South East crater was formed in 1971, three years after the so-called Bocca Nuova Crater and 60 years after the older brother North East . In 2007, an adventitious hole opened on the SEC’s flank and soon became higher than its twin. This was the NSEC. The Sella instead opened between the two just a few years ago, together with other fractures that are still very active.

In the evening of its maximum activity, the small recent crater that opened on the eastern edge of the SEC itself was active. Together with it, aslo the Bocca Nuova and the North East erupted. The eruptive activity, although between highs and lows, it is still in progress. It can be admired perfectly from the Piano del Vescovo location and from Nicolosi.

(photos by Grazia Musumeci)


Autore: Grazia Musumeci


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