Awesome Lava Fountains at Etna!

EtnaFountain2-23-annMt Etna, an active stratovolcano on the east coast of  Sicily, is one of the most active volcanoes in the world and in an almost constant state of activity.  It’s the tallest volcano in Europe and the largest of the three active Italian volcanoes.

Etna has been periodically quite active over the last year or so, particularly over the last month, with eruptions from several different points.  The impressive lava fountaining in the following video is from the early morning of March 6, 2013.  The lava is fountaining over a half a mile into the sky – over twice the height of the Empire State Building.

It’s amazing to see how long the “sparks” from the fountain take to drop and to realize that those “sparks” are actually large pieces of lava falling onto the slope of the developing cone, falling faster and faster (speed rising by ~32 feet per second for every second of free fall) – they aren’t falling in slow motion, though it may seem that way.

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