Phenomena

Etna’s Eruption

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After some rumblings in recent weeks, Italy’s Mt. Etna erupted overnight on February 19th, sending fountains of lava shooting into the dark. This impressive video from Klaus Dorschfeldt, a videographer for Italy’s National Institute for Geophysics and Vulcanology, shows the nighttime eruption, including the dark, turbulent outline of a pyroclastic flow of rock and hot gases escaping down the mountainside. Such flows can be devastating in their effect as they rush and spread down the mountain, flattening, burning, or engulfing everything in their path. When Mt. Vesuvius erupted in 79 A.D., it was the pyroclastic flow that buried the towns of Pompeii and Herculaneum. (Video credit: Klaus Dorschfeldt; via io9)

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