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Etna volcano, Sicily, Italy

The 1974 eruption, its cones and lava flows

Images of a visit to the 1974 eruption site, 12 May 1996

1974 cones
Geological map of Etna's summit and western flank
(Full picture JPEG: 250K) Geological map of Etna's summit area and part of its western flank, including the 1974 eruption area, scanned from the "Naturalistic and touristic map" of Etna edited by Romolo Romano and published by the Club Alpino Italiano (1991).

1974 cones
View of Monte de Fiore I (January-February 1974)
(Full picture JPEG: 43K) The upper of the two cones formed during the 1974 eruptive sequence, Monte di Fiore I. This cone formed between 30 January and 17 February 1974. In spite of its apparent simple structure when viewed from below, its crater is highly complex, and lava issued from numerous boccas on the base of the cone. Thie view is from the WSW, from the S flank of the lower 1974 cone. Some lava erupted late during the evolution of Monte di Fiore I is visible in the foreground.

1974 cones
View of Monte de Fiore II (March 1974)
(Full picture JPEG: 30K) The younger and smaller (and more simple) cone Monte di Fiore II seen from the summit of Monte di Fiore I. The cone formed during March 1974, following a 3 week period or inactivity. The crater is open to the west where a small lava flow moved downslope. Several pre-historic cones are visible in the background.

1974 cones
Part of the crater of Monte di Fiore I
(Full picture JPEG: 57K) View into the central part of the highly complex crater of Monte di Fiore I. There are the traces of numerous boccas that were alternatingly active. View is to the north. Note black scoria layer on upper crater rim, deposited during the last gasp of this eruptive center. The gray unvegetated lava flows in the background are from a 1763 eruption which occurred in the same general area.

1974 cones
Crater of Monte di Fiore I and 1763 cone
(Full picture JPEG: 43K) Southern part of the crater of Monte di Fiore I seen from southern summit. The beautifully regular cone in the background is Monte Nuovo, formed during an eruption in 1763 (there were two major Etna eruptions in that year). That eruption also occurred from two eruptive centers successively of which Monte Nuovo is the lower and latter. The 1763 cones and lava flows are still poorly vegetated.

1974 cones
Crater and lava flow of Monte di Fiore II
(Full picture JPEG: 53K) The crater of Monte di Fiore II is a rather simple horseshoe-shaped depression. The crater walls show neat stratification. Lava from this cone issued from a bocca on the western rim of the crater, thus preventing the building of a high rim on that side. The lava flow from Monte di Fiore II is visible in the background. Older, mostly prehistoric, cones are visible in the background.

Thanks to Felicia and Carmelo Monaco who carried me to this marvellous spot.

Page set up on 18 June 1996, last modified on 18 June 1996