Probably nothing - but when it comes to volcanoes - you never truly know for sure. Many times, it fizzles out. And then there are times, when it does lead to an eruption. We saw this in Iceland with Fagradalsfjall, and we saw it with Cumbre Vieja on LaPalma, Canares.

I gathered a few photos from the web, which show the larger than normal rise of fumes over Vulcano other people have made around 1-2 Oct 2021. The second photo does show that the fumes are much larger, and going higher than I have ever seen in nay photo made of Vulcano. Usually the fumes (mostly water vapor mixed with sulfur), are more visible when there is higher humanity, and less visible when the humidity is low.

But the three photos below, show clearly that there is much more degassing going on.

I find it difficult to acquire actual information about Vulcano, though. I may have to ask Sal for help with the italian language... to find the spot where such information is available.

Photo taken on 1 Oct 2021

Photo taken on 1 Oct 2021

The photo, taken on 29 September 2021, shows the crater of the Fossa di Vulcano with the volutes of gas released by the fumaroles. Photograph by Marco Anzidei


Italian INGV writes

During the summer, and in particular since September, INGV monitoring systems have highlighted the variation of some geophysical and geochemical signals recorded at Vulcano (Aeolian Islands), especially those related to the activity of the hydrothermal system that feeds the fumaroles of the Fossa crater.

In particular, the temperature of the gases emitted by the fumaroles on the crater rim has increased and the composition of the gases shows an increase in CO2 and SO2 (carbon dioxide and sulphur dioxide). Local microseismicity related to the dynamics of the fumarole system has also shown an increase in recent weeks.

All the information related to the surveillance and monitoring that INGV carries out on the island of Vulcano are promptly transmitted by the Etnean Observatory and the Palermo Section to the Civil Protection Department and all the competent authorities, according to agreed procedures, for the appropriate evaluations. The INGV is providing for the strengthening of the existing monitoring and surveillance networks to better follow the evolution of this situation.

In the last few days, the Osservatorio Etneo has installed new seismic stations to integrate the existing ones on the island, and is also setting up a thermal camera to frame the fumarolic area of the crater. In addition, about two months ago the Palermo section of INGV activated four new stations in the town of Vulcano Porto to measure the flow of CO2 from the ground and the concentration of CO2 in the air.

Further surveys and measurement campaigns are planned for the coming weeks. In particular, in mid-October the annual GPS measurement campaign will be carried out between the islands of Vulcano and Lipari, with particular detail in the area of the cone of the Fossa, which will allow a better assessment of the dynamics in action.

On the basis of the changes described above, the Civil Protection Department has decided to change the alert level from Green to Yellow for the island of Vulcano.



Italian Cicil Protection writes

Change to YELLOW alert Vulcano


The Civil Protection Department has issued a "yellow" alert for the island of Vulcano.

In agreement with the structure of the civil protection of the Sicilian Region and with the concurring opinion of the Commission for the prediction and prevention of major risks, the Department has assessed that the significant changes in several parameters of volcanic monitoring, detected in recent weeks by the National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology-INGV and the Institute for Electromagnetic Sensing of the Environment CNR-IREA, require some additional measures and initiatives for risk management on the island.

In particular, the alert level "yellow" determines, among other things, the strengthening of monitoring activities and volcanic surveillance (even with the possible involvement of other centres of competence in addition to INGV and CNR-IREA that ordinarily deal with it), a constant information link between the scientific community and other components and operational structures of the National Service of Civil Protection, the updating of civil protection plans, a widespread information to the population living on the island and tourists, with specific reference to the increased level of risk. The civil protection structures of the Sicilian Regional Government and the Municipality of Lipari have already been activated in this regard to take all necessary initiatives.

"Thanks to the efficient integration of the scientific community in the civil protection system, today we can count on volcanic monitoring and surveillance systems that allow us to closely follow the evolution of the activity of our active volcanoes," says Fabrizio Curcio, Head of the Civil Protection Department. "And this is what we are doing at Vulcano. With the alert level "yellow" (which can be followed by orange and red or the return to the ordinary level "green") it is very important that there is a full awareness of the risk, without alarmism, but with great responsibility."

The island of Vulcano already ordinarily presents a diffuse situation of risk to the population connected above all to the fumaroles rich in gas and with high temperatures, but at this stage it must be remembered that they can intensify and extend over larger areas and therefore the danger is greater.

Any further significant changes in the situation will be promptly communicated.

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