Layers of Etna Eruptions

May 17, 2023


Photographer: Rosario Cantania
Summary Author: Rosario Cantania 

The layering shown above gives a glimpse into the history of Mt. Etna's many eruptions. Here, a quarry edge lays bare various stratifications of both ancient and recent flows.

Notice the red coloring of the 'ghiara', red earth (also known as rena rossa, agliara, agghiara), a material with a sandy appearance, sometimes mixed with lapilli, unctuous to the touch. These are sediments upon which lava flows have settled, baking them. In this geological sandwich, starting from the top we can see layers of slag, basalt, ghiara, basalt and ghiara at the bottom.

Photo above is 180° panorama taken with a drone above the built-up area of Nicolosi, (Sicily) Italy on January 21, 2023.


Nicolosi (Sicily), Coordinates: 37.6175, 15.0241

Related Links:

Eastern Flank of Mt. Etna

Rosario’s Website