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Authors: Rosi, M.* 
Bertagnini, A.* 
Harris, A. J. L.* 
Pioli, L.* 
Pistolesi, M.* 
Ripepe, M.* 
Title: A case history of paroxysmal explosion at Stromboli: Timing and dynamics of the April 5, 2003 event
Journal: Earth Planet. Sci. Lett. 
Series/Report no.: 3-4/243(2006)
Publisher: Elsevier
Issue Date: 2006
DOI: 10.1016/j.epsl.2006.01.035
Keywords: stromboli
Thermal monitoring; paroxysm
explosive dynamics
ballistic ejecta
Subject Classification04. Solid Earth::04.08. Volcanology::04.08.05. Volcanic rocks 
04. Solid Earth::04.08. Volcanology::04.08.08. Volcanic risk 
05. General::05.02. Data dissemination::05.02.03. Volcanic eruptions 
Abstract: On April 5, 2003, Stromboli volcano (Italy) produced the most violent explosion of the past 50 years. The event was exceptionally well documented thanks to the presence on the island of several scientists and a large number of instruments deployed over the preceding months to monitor the effusive eruption that began in December 2002. Integration of visual documentation, deposit features and geophysical data allowed an accurate reconstruction of the explosive event and its dynamics. The eruption consisted of a 8-min long explosive event which evolved through four phases whose timing was precisely recorded by an infrared thermometer located about 450 m from the summit crater. Phases 2 and 3 lasted 39 and 42 s, respectively. Both had an impulsive character, were responsible for ejecting almost the entire mass of the pyroclastic products. Phases 1 and 4 represented, respectively, a short-lived precursory event and a waning tale. During Phase 2, meter-sized ballistic blocks were launched with velocities of 170 m/s to altitudes of up to 1400 m above the craters. These fell on the volcano flanks and on the village of Ginostra, about 2 km distant from the vent. A vertical jet rose above the craters which developed to feed a convective plume that reached a height of up to 4 km. The calculated mass of the Phase 2 fallout deposit and mass discharge rate were 1.1–1.4×108 kg and 2.8– 3.6×106 kg/s, respectively. During Phase 3 a scoria flow deposit, with an estimated volume of 0.9–1.1×104 m3, was erupted from the same vent that fed the ongoing sustained lava flow. The average mass discharge rate for this phase was 2.5–3.1×105 kg/s. Products emitted during Phases 2 and 3 consisted of lithic and fresh magmatic material in similar proportions. The juvenile fraction consisted of a deep-originated, almost aphyric, highly vesicular pumice mingled with a shallow-derived, crystal-rich, moderately vesicular scoria. Similarities with the eruption dynamics of other historical paroxysms at Stromboli makes the April 5, 2003 explosion representative of these highly energetic events that constitute the most hazardous volcanic phenomena at Stromboli volcano.
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