the 59th tallest world mountain (this height varies with frequent summit eruptions), Mount Etna lies above the convergent plate margin between the African plate and the Eurasian plate. It is associated with the subduction of the African plate under the Eurasian plate. It is thus the tallest active volcano in Europe and the tallest in Italy south of the Alps with an area of 1,190 kilometers squared (459 square miles) and a basal circumference of 140 square kilometers (comfortably making it the largest of all the 3 active volcanoes in Italy – almost two and a half times larger than the next largest, Mount Vesuvius. In the whole of the European-North African region, only Mount Teide in Tenerife is larger) (Coltelli, Marsella, Proietti & Scifoni, 2012).
Eruptions of Mount Etna follow a variety of patterns with most occurring at the summit where there are currently five distinct craters (Northeast crater, the voragine, the Boca Nuova and the south east crater complex (2). The summit eruptions can be very dramatic and explosive but rarely threaten the inhabited areas around the volcano. Summit eruptions occurred in 2006, 2007-2008, January-April 2012 and July-October of the same year. Other eruptions take place at the flanks that have more than 300 vents which vary in size (from small holes in the ground to large craters hundreds of meters across). It is these flank eruptions that often encroach inhabited areas. Many villages and small towns lie around or on cones of past flank eruptions. Etna has had four flank eruptions since 200. These were in 2001, 2002-2003, 2004-2005 and 2008-2009. The lava type on Mount Etna is called pyroclastic flow which comprises broken fragments of rock, pumice, rocks and other materials (Coltelli, Marsella, Proietti & Scifoni, 2012).
Etna’s eruptions have been documented since 1500 BC when praetor-magmatic eruptions drove away residents of the eastern part of the island into the western end. Known eruptions on Mount Etna date far back