The 3rd July paroxysm at Stromboli volcano (Italy): is Stromboli playing by new rules?

Natural Environment Research Council: NE/T009292/1

PI: Chiara Petrone, NHM London; Co-I: Ralf Gertisser, Keele University


Stromboli eruption The project investigates the large volcanic explosion or “paroxysm” of Stromboli volcano in Southern Italy on 3 July 2019, which produced a ~ 4 km high ash column and caused one fatality.

Such paroxysms, which previously occurred in 2003 and 2007, infrequently interrupt the volcano’s persistent “normal” Strombolian activity which attracts large numbers of tourists to the island each year.

Stromboli’s paroxysms are often preceded by little to no warning signs, which makes them extremely dangerous. The eruptive behaviour in 2019 also appeared to be different from earlier paroxysms, as it was not preceded by lava effusion, previously interpreted to be a possible precursor sign to a large volcanic explosion.

An integrated, state-of-the-art petrological approach is used to yield new insights into the pre- and syn-eruptive magma plumbing system and the processes leading up to the 3 July 2019 paroxysm at Stromboli.

The project team includes Prof. Silvio Mollo (University Rome Sapienza, Italy), Dr Piergiorgio Scarlato (INGV, Italy) and Prof. Mark Reagan (University of Iowa, USA), alongside other colleagues in Italy and the UK.