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Simulation Of Lava Flow Hazards In Mount Etna

Mount Etna is an active volcano built up with ashes and lava on the east coast of Sicily. Lava flow in Mt. Etna has been among the new highlights quite a few times. The March eruption in Mt Etna spews magma into the air while injuring ten people in this act. According to the researchers, these eruptions are evident to the viewers from away. For those living in the mountains or up for hiking, this is a reminder that the volcano is quite active.

Detailed hazard maps have been prepared by the researchers while examining the lava flow in Mt. Etna. Half of Etna’s eruptions noted in history have been a hazard to human property. The human property is at stake because of the flow of lava invasion. The human property suffering the most is the cultivated lands. On a number of occasions, the buildings have suffered too. Population centers have been less affected by the lava flow in Mt. Etna in the past. No evident reports about the partial or complete destruction of the population centers have been recorded. In the course of forty years, the destruction of population centers has only occurred three times. This was found in the years 1651-1653, 1669, and 1928.

From coastal areas to Etna’s summit, the risk of lava flow hazards has increased. Since the researchers in 2005 have keenly observed these areas, they were able to find out that the places had high-risk rates. In the densely populated area on the southeast flank of Etna, there is a high risk for the flow of invasion. This also includes the area of Trecastagni. This hazard zone is not enough for planners of land use and the people associated with civil defense. The boundaries of the hazard zone are still found to be vague. No indication of morphological changes has been made by the researchers on a scale of meters. The simulation of lava flow hazards in Mt. Etna has also been studied in recent years. In years 2009 and 2010 it was revealed that which areas will be the ones t get affected first. In this attempt, computer simulation was widely used. After the involvement of tons of computer simulations, the researchers have been figuring out a hazard map for Etna indicating the areas most affected and least affected by the Mt. Etna lava flow. In this hazard map, the most affected areas are Pedara, Trecastagni, Mascalucia, Tremestieri, and a few more.

Due to the high intensity of Mt. Etna’s lava flow, there is a high chance that the lava flow will bring social and economic damage to the nearby area. Fast-moving lava flows, and eruptions extend every bit with the passage of time. The local economy is recorded to suffer serious damages due to the destruction of cultivated lands and other useful buildings. The potential impacts of the future eruptions involved in this lava flow of Mt. Etna are increasing with the passage of time. The potential impacts are due to the extended area of the simulation of the lava flow. The regional economy, health, and safety of the native people are at high risk. Exposure to the large population is increasing in the surrounding area of Mt. Etna, which is making people observe the lava flow even from a large distance. Flank eruptions will cause a higher risk for the inhabitants due to their increasing intensity. Long-term hazards of the lava flow in Mt. Etna include the future opening of the eruptive vents and the lesser distance between the populated area and the volcano summit.

Simulation of lava flow hazards in Mt. Etna has long and short-term effects. The increased intensity of the potential lava has made the researcher highlight certain areas that will be most affected by the lava flow. Destruction of cultivated lands and useful buildings has been evident from the past lava flow. The future hazards of the lava flow are observed in the possible openings for the volcano vents and in the enhanced population around the volcano summit. Due to the expected opening of volcano vents, the health and safety of the people in the surrounding area will be highly affected as well.


 SHIFF, B. (2017). Lava flows out of Mount Etna in Sicily. [online] ABC News. Available at: [Accessed 23 Mar. 2018].

Negro, C., Cappello, A., Neri, M., Bilotta, G., Hérault, A. and Ganci, G. (2013). Lava flow hazards at Mount Etna: constraints imposed by eruptive history and numerical simulations. Scientific Reports, [online] 3(1). Available at:

 Klemetti, E. and Behncke., D. (2017). Etna Week (Part 3) – Etna’s Volcanic Hazards. [online] Big Think. Available at: [Accessed 23 Mar. 2018].



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