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Mount Etna Tsunami
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Title: Lost tsunami
Authors: Maria Teresa Pareschi, Enzo Boschi, Massimiliano Favalli

Numerical simulations support the occurrence of a catastrophic tsunami impacting all of the eastern Mediterranean in early Holocene. The tsunami was triggered by a debris avalanche from Mt. Etna (Sicily, Italy) which entered the Ionian Sea in the order of minutes. Simulations show that the resulting tsunami waves were able to destabilize soft marine sediments across the Ionian Sea floor. This generated the well-known, sporadically located, “homogenite” deposits of the Ionian Sea, and the widespread megaturbidite deposits of the Ionian and Sirte Abyssal Plains. It is possible that, ∼8 ka B.P., the Neolithic village of Atlit-Yam (Israel) was abandoned because of impact by the same Etna tsunami. Two other Pleistocenic megaturbidite deposits of the Ionian Sea can be explained by previous sector collapses from the Etna area.

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A volcano avalanche in Sicily 8,000 years ago triggered a devastating tsunami taller than a 10-story building that spread across the entire Mediterranean Sea, slamming into the shores of three continents in only a few hours.
A new computer simulation of the ancient event reveals for the first time the enormity of the catastrophe and its far-reaching effects.
The Mt. Etna avalanche sent 6 cubic miles of rock and sediment tumbling into the water—enough material to cover the entire island of Manhattan in a layer of debris thicker than the Empire State Building is tall.

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RE: Mount Etna
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Imagine a volcano avalanche generated tsunami 10 stories high containing enough sediment and rock to cover the entire island of Manhattan with a layer of debris thicker than the height of Empire State Building.
According to a computer simulation, that's what happened 8,000 years ago in Sicily when Mt. Etna erupted and produced an avalanche that hurled six cubic miles of dirt and rock into the water, creating a tsunami that spread across the entire Mediterranean Sea and onto the shore of three continents in only a few hours.
The mountain of rubble swept into the sea at more than 200 mph, pulverised the sea bed and changed thick layers of soft marine sediment into jelly. It also started an underwater mudslide that flowed for hundreds of miles.
Researchers at the National Institute of Geology and Volcanology in Italy have also linked the tsunami with the mysterious abandonment of Atlit-Yam, a Neolithic village located along the coast of present-day Israel.
When archaeologists discovered the village about 20 years ago, they found evidence of a sudden evacuation, including a pile of fish that had been gutted and sorted but then left to rot.

"A tsunami was not suspected before" - Maria Pareschi, lead researcher.

Enatsunami
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To create their computer simulation, researchers used sonar-equipped boats to survey seafloor sediment displaced by the Mt. Etna avalanche.
Their recreation suggests the tsunami's waves reached heights of up to 130 feet and maximum speeds of up to 450 mph, making it more powerful than the Indonesian tsunami that killed more than 180,000 people in 2004.
According to Pareschi, if the same tsunami struck today, Southern Italy would be covered with water within the first 15 minutes. An hour later the waves would reach Greece's western coasts. After an hour and a half, the city of Benghazi in Northern Africa would be hit. At the three and a half hour mark, the waves would have traversed the entire Mediterranean to reach the coasts of Israel, Lebanon and Syria.

"Should the Neolithic Etna tsunami have occurred today, the impact is tremendous because the Eastern Mediterranean coasts are very inhabited ones" - Maria Pareschi.

Avalanches and minor eruptions still occur on Mt. Etna today, but so far, nothing approaching the magnitude of the ancient event.

Source Xinhuanet

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Sicily’s Mount Etna released a thick plume of volcanic ash on November 24, 2006. The volcanic activity forced an overnight closure of the Fontanarossa Airport, the main airport in eastern Sicily.

etna241106
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Credit NASA

NASA’s Aqua satellite took this picture on November 24. In this image, a dark reddish-brown plume blows away from the volcano’s summit toward the southeast.

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Mount Etna is currently undergoing one of its most vigorous eruptions in years.
You can look to it with 3 live web cams:

etna1

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-- Edited by Blobrana at 03:33, 2006-11-16

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Experts swooped on Mount Etna on Thursday after the volcano sprang back into life .
The volcanologists examined a fresh lava flow on the south side of the volcano, coming out of a fissure that opened up at the weekend at a height of 2,000 metres .
Lava is now flowing from three craters on the mountain accompanied by blasts, black smoke and ash .
The new craters, however, are far from any inhabited areas.

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Volcanic music
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The low-frequency, seismic rumblings of volcanoes are being transformed into delicate musical scores in an effort to predict when they will erupt.

Researchers in Italy have already created a concerto from the underground movements of Mount Etna on Sicily.
They are now creating melodies from Ecuador's recently erupted Tungurahua.
By correlating the music with precise stages of volcanic activity on both volcanoes the team hope to learn the signature tune of an imminent eruption.

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RE: Mount Etna
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This image of Sicily’s Mount Etna was taken by the International space station crew was taken on August 2, 2006, with a Kodak 760C digital camera and 800 mm lens.

etna020806
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Credit NASA

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On July 21, 2006, the Terra satellite captured this image as Sicily’s Mount Etna Volcano emitting a faint plume of volcanic ash that blew away from the summit, toward the southwest.
etna210706
Credit NASA

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"The explosions are coming from two holes near to the top of the volcano, creating a lava field more than a mile long which is flowing at a rate faster than 90 cubic feet a minute. Even though the eruption has continued for three days, scientists said it had lost little of its force."

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Mount Etna spews lava on the southern Italian island of Sicily on July 16, 2006.

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