May 20 - 26, 2018: Issue 360


The island of Stromboli seen from a distance. Courtesy Wikipedia - Shot 2004 Sep 28 by Steven W. Dengler


By George Repin

The only active volcanoes in mainland Europe are in Italy, a volcanically active country.  Although there are several dormant volcanoes three  volcanoes have erupted in the last hundred years – Mount Etna on Sicily which is in continuous activity, Mount Vesuvius, near Naples (well  known because of the history of Pompeii) which last erupted in 1944 and the island of Stromboli, part of the Aeolian group of islands, also  in continuous activity.

The volcanic activity in Italy is chiefly due to the meeting, a short distance to the south, of the Eurasian Plate and the African Plate.  The subduction of one plate below the other is believed to result in the melting of rocks and the forcing up of the melted rocks as the magma which erupts from Italy’s volcanoes.

Diagram demonstrating the process of subduction. Courtesy Wikipedia

Stromboli is one of the eight Aeolian Islands which form a volcanic arc north of Sicily.  Its name is derived from the Greek name Strongūlewhich was given to it because of its round swelling form. Stromboli has erupted many times – the most recent major eruption in 2009 - and is constantly active with minor eruptions.  Because these are obvious and visible from the surrounding sea, particularly at night, they have given the island the nickname “Lighthouse of the Mediterranean”.

Old lava flows on the steep side of Stromboli.

Stromboli stands 3,034 ft.  (926 m.)  above sea level and over 6,860 ft.  (2,700 m). above the sea floor.  Because it rises steeply out of the water vessels can approach closely to its shore.  Small cruise ships such as Le Ponant  sometimes stop to allow passengers to bath in the water around the island which is warmed by the volcano.

Showing how close Le Ponant could approach the shore.

Facilities at the stern of Le Ponant for the safety of swimmers.

 Swimmers from Le Ponant

Eruptions occur from a series of craters on the summit.  These are typically in a few short, energetic bursts, ranging up to a few hundred meters in height containing ash, incandescent lava fragments and stone blocks.  Stromboli’s activity, for the large part, is explosive, although some lava flows do occur when volcanic activity is at a high level. Unlike Kilauea on the island of Hawaii it does not produce great lava flows. 

Views of eruptions occurring at night

There are three small villages on Stromboli which were inhabited in the early 1900s by a few thousand people - but by the mid-1950s the numbers had fallen to only a few hundred.

The conclusion of Jules Verne’s novel Journey to the Centre of the Earth (1864) is set on Stromboli.

Photographs included in this article were taken from Le Ponant in 2011

Previous Reflections by George Repin 

The Nineteen Thirties  Remembering Rowe Street  The Sydney Push  Saturday Night at the Movies  Shooting Through Like A Bondi Tram  A Stop On The Road To Canberra  City Department Stores - Gone and Mostly Forgotten  An Australian Icon - thanks to Billy Hughes  Crossing The Pacific in the 1930s  Hill End  The Paragon at Katoomba  Seafood In Sydney  How Far From Sydney?  Cockatoo Island Over The Years  The Seagull at the Melbourne Festival in 1991  Busby's Bore  The Trocadero In Sydney  Cahill's restaurants  Medical Pioneers in Australian Wine Making  Pedal Power and the Royal Flying Doctor Service  Pambula and the Charles Darwin Connection  Gloucester and the Barrington Tops  A Millenium Apart  Have You Stopped to Look?  Gulgong  Il Porcellino  Olympia  Durham Hall  Sargent's Tea Rooms Pie Shops and Street Photographers  The Ballet Russes and Their Friends in Australia  Hotels at Bondi  Alma Ata Conference - 1978 Keukenhof - 1954 The Lands Department Building and Yellowblock Sandstone  The Goroka Show - 1958  A Gem On The Quay  Staffa  The Matson Line and Keepsake Menus Kokeshi Dolls  The Coal Mine At Balmain  The Hyde Park Barracks  The Changing Faces Of Sydney From Pounds and Pence to Dollars and Cents Nell Tritton and Alexander Kerensky  Making A Difference In Ethiopia William Balmain  J C Bendrodt and Princes Restaurant Azzalin Orlando Romano and Romano's Restaurant  Waldheim  Alcohol in Restaurants Before 1955  King Island Kelp  The Mercury Theatre   Around Angkor - 1963   Angkor Wat 1963  Costumes From the Ballets Russe Clifton at Kirribilli  Chairman Mao's Personal Physician  The Toby Tavern The MoKa at Kings Cross  The Oceaographic  Museum  in Monaco  The Island of Elba  Russian Fairy Tale Plates  Meteora  Souda Bay War Cemetery Barrow, Alaska  Cloisonné  Tripitaka Koreana Minshuku The Third Man Photographs and Memories  Not A Chagall!   Did You Listen? Did You Ask?  Napier (Ahuriri, Maori) New Zealand  Borobudur  Ggantija Temples Plumes and Pearlshells   Murano  University of Padua Ancient Puebloe Peoples - The Anasazi   Pula  The Gondolas of Venice Cinque Terre  Visiting the Iban David The Living Desert Bryce Canyon National Park   Aphrodisias   The Divine Comedy  Caodaism   Sapa and local Hill People  A Few Children Cappadocia  Symi Jean-Marie Tjibaou Cultural Centre   Aboriginal Rock Art on Bigge Island    ANZAC Cove (Ari Burnu) 25 April, 1997  Hotere Garden Oputae  Children of the Trobriand Islands  Page Park Market - Rabaul  Rabual   Kotor, Montenegro   Galleries of Photographs I   Lascaux  Galleries of Photographs II   The Cathedral of St. James – Šibenik, Croatia  Ivan Meštrović  - Sculptor   Delphi   Gallery of Photographs III  The Handicrafts of Chiang Mai Raft Point  San Simeon - "Hearst Castle"  Floriade - The Netherlands - 1982  Russian New Year  Mycenae  "Flightseeing" Out Of Anchorage Alaska  The White Pass and Yukon Route  Totem Poles  Tivkin Cemetery  Krka National Park - Croatia    Tavistock Square and the BMA   Orthodox Easter  Wieliczka Salt Mine  A Walk on Santorini  Indonesian Snapshots Ephesus - The Library of Celsus  Ephesus - Some Places Of Interest  Waimea Canyon and the Kalalau Valley United Nations Headquarters 1958  A Miscellany of Flower Images  Gardens Bath St. David's In Wales   Zion National Park Nicholas Himona - Artist   Kraków   Lilianfels  Collonges-La-Rouge  Gingerbread Houses   Cape Sounion   Delos  Wroclaw  Colonial Williamsburg  Gruyères   Strasbourg  Coventry Cathedral  The Roman Theatre at Aspendos  Turkish Carpets The Duomo of Orvieto   Rovinj  The City Walls of Dubrovnik  Monaco - Snapshots   Bonifacio, Corsica  Autumn in New England USA  The Great Ocean Road   Pompeii  Didyma  Lawrence Hargrave 1850-1915 The Corinth Canal  Malta  Snapshots of Amsterdam Café Central - Vienna  The Forbidden City - Beijing, China  A Ride on the Jungfrau Railway - 1954   Snapshots in the Highlands of Scotland 1954  Must See Sights in Paris - 1954  Corfu Reflections On the Nineteen Thirties The Gold Souk in Dubai

Copyright George Repin 2018. All Rights Reserved.