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Info-pedia / 16 Apr 2024

Info - Pedia : Volcanic Vortex Rings



Europe’s largest and one of the most active volcanoes, Mount Etna, is known for its production of rare smoke rings referred to as volcanic vortex rings. These circular formations of gas, predominantly water vapor, emanate from a recently formed pit crater located on the volcano's northern flank.

Formation of Volcanic Vortex Rings

  • The genesis of volcanic vortex rings occurs when gas rapidly escapes through an almost circular vent, leading to the formation of impeccably circular rings.
  • First observed at Mount Etna in 1724, volcanic vortex rings have since been meticulously documented at various volcanoes across the globe.
  • These distinctive rings can linger suspended in the air for up to 10 minutes, although they may swiftly disintegrate in the presence of windy conditions.

About Mount Etna

  • Mount Etna, situated on the eastern shores of Sicily, Italy, stands as Europe's tallest active volcano, reaching a height of 3,329 meters (11,014 feet).
  • It surpasses Mount Vesuvius in stature, doubling its height. Recognized as the largest among Italy's trio of active volcanoes, Mount Etna boasts a history of volcanic activity dating back to 1500 BCE.
  • Its significance is underscored by its designation as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.