Stromboli Volcano | John Seach


Aeolian Islands, Italy

38.79 N, 15.21 E,
summit elevation 926 m

Stromboli is a small island located in the Tyrrhenian Sea, off the north coast of Sicily, Italy. It is one of the eight Aeolian Islands and is also known as the "Lighthouse of the Mediterranean" because of its frequent and spectacular explosive eruptions. The volcano is a stratovolcano and has been in near-constant activity for thousands of years. 

Stromboli's activity is characterized by frequent, small to moderate explosive eruptions, which are known as "Strombolian" eruptions. These eruptions involve the explosive fragmentation of gas-rich magma and the ejection of volcanic ash, bombs, and scoria. These eruptions occur at intervals of a few minutes to hours, and are often accompanied by incandescence from the vents at night. 

The volcano's activity has been closely monitored by scientists, using various techniques such as geophysical and geochemical measurements, gas monitoring and thermal imaging. This monitoring helps to understand the volcano's behavior and to predict potential hazards. Stromboli is a unique natural laboratory for the study of volcano dynamics and eruption processes. Its activity provides valuable insights into the behavior of explosive stratovolcanoes, and it is also a popular destination for tourists who can observe the volcano's activity up close with guided tours.

The active craters are located 100-150 m below Pizzo sopra la Fossa.
A collapse depression called Sciara del Fuoco is located below the active craters.

Stromboli volcano photos by John Seach

Stromboli volcano from the south

stromboli volcano
Stromboli volcano 2016

Eruption at Stromboli volcano, Italy

Strombolian eruption

strombolian eruption
Strombolian eruption

stromboli volcano
Stromboli volcano, Italy

stromboli volcano

stromboli summit
John Seach at summit of Stromboli volcano

House on Stromboli

stromboli volcano, italy
Group preparing to climb Stromboli volcano

2019 Eruption
A paroxysmal eruption occurred at Stromboli volcano on 3 July 2019. One climber was killed. The eruption sent ash 30,000 ft high.

2018 Eruptions
Eruptions at Stromboli volcano were at normal levels in March 2018. Eruptions occurred 3-8 times per hour.

2013 Eruptions
Eruptions continue at Stromboli volcano in January 2013, with Strombolian eruptions from multiple vents.

2011 Eruptions
During April 2011 activity at Stromboli volcano remained normal with low to medium eruptions occurring from several vents in the summit area. The vents were located at in the north and south of the crater terrace. The northern vent was the most active during the month, with eruptions producing ejecta up to 200 m high, 2-4 times per hour. Two southern vents produced eruptions 1-6 times per hour and ejected lava up to 120 m high.

2009 Eruptions
Eruptions continue at Stromboli volcano in October 2009.

2008 Eruptions
Strombolian eruptions continue in 2008. In June there were four active vents, producing eruptions about twenty times per hour.

2007 Flank eruption
A flank eruption started at Stromboli volcano on 27th February 2007 and continued to at least 15th March. Lava flowed in three branches from the flank of NE crater to the sea. A new vent opened at the eastern edge of Sciara del Fuoco at about 400 m elevation on the first day of the eruption. A large explosion occurred on 15th March 2007.

2002-2003 Flank eruption and Tsunami
On 28 December 2002 a lava flow started in the summit area, and continued until 22nd July 2003. On 30th December 2002 two landslides occurred at 1315 and 1322 hr along the Sciara del Fuoco. The large volume of rock crashing into the sea created two tsunamis, with wave heights of several metres. The tsunamis hit the villages of Stromboli and Ginostra, damaging buildings and boats and injuring several people. Six people were evacuated by helicopter to two hospitals on Sicily.

2002 Explosion
A large explosion occurred on 23rd January 2002 at 2054 hr. The explosion was heard from all villages on the island. A large fallout of debris covered an area near the summit frequented by tourists. This would may have resulted in injuries if tourists had been at the location.

Major explosion on 20th October 2001
A major explosion occurred at 0237 hr on 20th October 2001. Large blocks of lava landed at Pizzo sopra La Fossa (summit), with a maximum diameter of 40 cm. Ejecta hit a group of tourists a few hundred meters away from the vents, killing one person.

1989 Eruption
Tourists at Stromboli volcano were hit by ejecta on 26th March 1989. The large eruptions occurred without warning, and highlight the dangers of close approach to volcanic vents. One tourist broke an arm while fleeing in panic.

1986 Eruption
A lava flow began at Stromboli volcano on 6th December 1986. At 08:15, a small nuée ardente descended the NW flank of Sciara del Fuoco and reached the sea. Lava flowed into the sea, forming a small peninsula at the NE end of the Sciara del Fuoco. A tourist was killed at the summit on 24th July 1986. The victim was 15 m from the crater rim and hit by a falling block.

1975 Eruption
A new lava flow began at Stromboli volcano on 5th November 1975. Lava reached the north coast of the island. The lava flow was fed by a subterminal vent, which opened on Sciara at about 700 m altitude. Strong explosions occurred at the crater terrace ejecting bombs to a height of 800 m.

1971 Eruption
Lava flowed to the sea down the Sciara del Fuoco on 3rd April 1971.

1955 Eruption
A submarine eruption occurred 50 m from the coast of Stromboli in February and March 1955.

1954 Eruptions
Glowing clouds were produced at Stromboli volcano in February and March 1954. A tsunami was generated along with moderate explosions and a lava flow.

1952 Eruptions
A lava flow began at Stromboli volcano on 6th June 1952 without any precursory explosions. Inhabitants of San Vincenzo were not aware of the flow until alerted by a tourist, arriving by ship, who saw it flowing down the Sciara del Fuoco. The lava flow continued for several days.

1944 Eruptions
On 20th August 1944 strong eruptions at Stromboli volcano produced pine-shaped cloud 2000 m high. A glowing avalanche extended toward the eastern side of the
island. A tsunami was generated. Lava flow down the Sciara del Fuoco lasted until the end of October.

1936 Eruptions
Eruptions from Stromboli volcano on 31st January 1936 caused ashfall on Catania in eastern Sicily.

1930 Eruptions
Two strong explosions occurred at Stromboli volcano on 11th September 1930 during a few second interval. The explosions were heard 60 km from the volcano. An ash cloud rose to a height of 2500 m. Thirty ton blocks fell on Ginostra. Scoria fell on Scari for 40 minutes. A glowing avalanche approached S. Bartolo church. Another avalanche reached the sea down the Sciara del Fuoco. Three people were killed by the avalanche and a fourth by the boiling water. A tsunami was generated.

1919 Eruptions
On 22nd May 1919 strong explosions at Stromboli ejected 30-60 ton blocks onto houses in San Vincenzo and Ginostra. Four people were killed and 20 injured. A tsunami was generated.

1916 Eruptions
On 20th June 1916 a volcanic earthquake at Stromboli was followed by strong explosions and a lava flow. On 4th July during a 15 minute period ejecta were thrown to a height of 1000 m.

1912 Eruptions
Eruptions caused lapilli to fall on all of Stromboli on 25th August 1912. Ash fell on Calabria and Sicily.

1907 Eruptions
A strong explosion with ashfall and a short lava flow occurred at Stromboli on 11th January 1907. An explosion and short lava flow occurred on 31st January. On 13th April two strong explosions set fire to vegetation. A plinian explosion occurred on 27th April. On 14th May strong explosions caused ashfall in Messina on the northeast coast of Sicily.

1903 Eruption
Lava flows were recorded at Stromboli in January, March, June and November 1903.

1891 Eruptions
On 24th June 1891 there were two strong explosions at the summit of Stromboli within 30 seconds. A landslide occurred between Labronzo and S. Bartolo.

1882 Eruption
An earthquake preceded the opening of five vents on the Sciara del Fuoco, 100 m below the crater. During this activity there were no eruptions at the summit craters, which resumed when the lower vents stopped erupting.

Further reading
Salvatore, V., Silleni, A., Corneli, D., Taddeucci, J., Palladino, D.M., Sottili, G., Bernini, D., Andronico, D. and Cristaldi, A., 2018. Parameterizing multi-vent activity at Stromboli Volcano (Aeolian Islands, Italy). Bulletin of Volcanology80(7), p.64.

Lucchi, F., Peccerillo, A., Keller, J., Tranne, C.A. and Rossi, P.L. eds., 2013, December. The Aeolian Islands Volcanoes. Geological Society of London.

Stromboli Volcano Eruptions

350 BC to 2020 continuing