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Stromboli volcano, Aeolian Islands (Isole Eolie), Sicily, Italy --Eruptive history (1985-1995)

1992-93: the first lava flows since 1986

Stromboli had three major eruptive events in 1993, departing from its usual persistent small-scale activity. The first one of these was a powerful explosion on 10 February that caused tephra falls in Ginostra village. The second significant event was a period of unusually intense activity in April-May 1993 that culminated in two brief episodes of lava flow emission; the third, early on 16 October 1993, was a powerful explosion that deposited large bombs on Pizzo sopra la Fossa. The latter event, had it occurred during the high season, with tens of tourists camping on the summit, could have had serious consequences.

Lava fountain erupting from a shield-like vent in the center of Crater 1 in early May 1993, during a phase of dramatically increased activity. This photo was taken by Stephen O'Meara of Sky And Telescope. The large version of this image is available at Volcano World, click on the image to get connected.

When visited in early May 1993, Stromboli was more vigorously active than it had been for many years. Small lava flows within Crater 1 were witnessed during the night of 2-3 May 1993, but larger flows flowed out of that crater onto the N part of Sciara del Fuoco on 15 and 18 May 1993.

I did not see the summit of Stromboli in 1992 and 1993. This photo of Jon Dehn shows the crater and the N slope of Sciara del Fuoco abount one month after the brief effusive episodes of mid-May 1993. The new flow lobes show clearly on the slope below Crater 1, reaching a length of max 150 m. Nine months later, during my first summit visit since August 1991, the flows were completely buried under material ejected by the violent October 1993 explosions. Note the filling of Crater 1 with small cones.

Early morning explosion from central vent in Crater 1, June 1993. The large version of this photo shows large glowing bombs within and beyond the ash column. Ash eruptions from Crater 1 are much less common than those from Crater 3. This notable photograph was taken by Jon Dehn.

Powerful bomb and ash explosion from the same vent, later that same morning. Numerous bombs are rising high above the ash column. Photo by Jon Dehn.

Activity continued at a "normal" scale through mid-October 1993. On the early morning of 16 October 1993, residents of the island were awakened by powerful detonations. At daybreak, a light ash deposit was discovered to have covered Stromboli village. Investigation of the summit area the day after revealed that large fluid ("cowdung") bombs had fallen onto the outlook platform of Pizzo sopra la Fossa, some having diameters of >30 cm. Impressive photos are available on the Stromboli homepage of Jürg Alean and Roberto Carniel.

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