Mount Etna Gas Rings

June 07, 2024


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Photographer: Gianni Tumino
Summary Authors: Gianni Tumino: Jim Foster

Shown above are rings I observed during a minor eruption of Mount Etna, on April 5, 2024. I had never before seen this curious atmospheric effect. These rings form when gas accelerates in the vicinity of the mouth of a volcanic crater. After passing through the conduit leading to the crater vent, with different velocities between the center and the rim (slowed down by friction with the walls themselves), the gas assumes a swirling motion, which keeps it compressed in a ring formation until completely dissolving in the lower atmosphere. Note that the bottom photo (closeup) was taken just before sunset, hence the rings' golden colors.

Photo Details: Top Photo - Canon EOS R Mirrorless camera; Canon RF zoom 70-200 lens; 142 mm; f/10; 1/500 second exposure; ISO 100; Photoshop. Taken at 15:17 CEST. Bottom photo - CANON EOS R5 Mirrorless camera; Canon RF zoom 100-500 lens; 186 mm; f/16; 1/100 second exposure; ISO 400; Photoshop. Taken at 19:24 CEST.

Giarre, Sicily, Italy Coordinates: 37.7018, 15.1676

Related Links:
Gas Ring Emitted from Mt Etna
Anatomy of a Volcano
Gianni's Facebook Page