News of the WeekVOLCANOLOGY

Etna Eruption Puts Volcano Monitoring to the Test

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Science  03 Aug 2001:
Vol. 293, Issue 5531, pp. 774-775
DOI: 10.1126/science.293.5531.774

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MOUNT ETNA, SICILY-- Etna's latest eruptions, which began on 17 July, have attracted scores of volcanologists eager to use the latest technologies to study this awesome display. So far, Etna's pyrotechnics show no signs of abating. As Science went to press, the half-million-year-old volcano's activity posed little threat to surrounding villages or to individuals who stay off the mountain. Lava flows freely from its vents, as its magma is not as viscous as that in volcanoes such as Mount St. Helens that build lava domes and blow their tops in violent, explosive eruptions.