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Authors: Andronico, D.* 
Corsaro, R. A.* 
Title: Lava fountains during the episodic eruption of South-East Crater (Mt. Etna), 2000: insights into magma-gas dynamics within the shallow volcano plumbing system
Issue Date: 2011
Series/Report no.: /73 (2011)
DOI: 10.1007/s00445-011-0467-y
Keywords: Mt. Etna
lava fountains
Subject Classification05. General::05.02. Data dissemination::05.02.03. Volcanic eruptions 
Abstract: Mt. Etna, in Sicily (Italy) is well known for frequent effusive and explosive eruptions from both its summit and flanks. South-East Crater (SE Crater), one of the four summit craters, has been the most active in the last 20 years and often produces episodic lava fountains over periods lasting from a few weeks to months. The most striking of such eruptive phases was in 2000. Sixty four lava fountains, separated by quiescent intervals and sometimes associated with lava overflows, occurred that year between January and June, a time period during which we consider the volcano to have been in episodic eruption. This paper presents mainly results of petrochemical inves- tigations carried out on both tephra and lavas collected during a number of the lava fountain episodes in 2000. The new data have been integrated with volcanological and seismic infor- mation in order to correlate the features of the eruptive activity with magma-gas dynamics in the plumbing system of SE Crater. The main findings allow us to characterise the 2000 episodic eruption in the framework of the recent SE Crater activity. In particular, we infer that the onset of the 2000 eruption was triggered by the ascent of new, more primitive and volatile-rich magma that progressively intruded into the SE Crater reservoir, where it mixed with the resident, more evolved magma. Furthermore, we argue that the 2000 SE Crater lava fountains largely resulted from the instability of a foam layer accumulated at the top of the underlying reservoir and rebuilt prior to each episode, in agreement with the collapsing foam model for lava fountains.
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