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Image Caption: ISS002-728C-79 Mt. Etna, Sicily
Two distinct airborne plumes are being generated from different source areas in this near vertical image of Mt. Etna. Notice that the lighter colored smoke plume is coming from the summit craters, while the darker colored and higher (in elevation) plume is an ash plume that is exiting the volcano through an eruptive fissure on the south flank of the volcano. Recent major lava flows that occurred during July and August of 2001 followed a path primarily along the south flank of the volcano, extending as far as 8 kilometers (5 miles) from the main eruptive fissure. Many older cinder cones are visible on the flanks of the volcano. Past lava flows are identified as color changes in the radial drainage pattern around the volcano. Much of the fertile land around the base of Mt. Etna is used for agriculture. Mt. Etna, a combination of shield and composite volcano, is located near the east coast of Sicily adjacent to the Ionian Sea.