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Image Caption: STS084-702-033 Mt. Etna, Sicily, Italy May 1997
The snow capped, multi-cratered summit (white feature) of Mt. Etna, located near the east coast of Sicily is visible in the center of the image. Because of the close proximity of the numerous communities around the base of this still active volcano, Mt. Etna is one of the most studied and monitored volcanoes in the world. The coastal city of Catania, estimated population 350000, is barely discernible at the southern base of Mt. Etna. The radial drainage pattern off of the flanks of this shield volcano is accentuated by recent lava flows (variety of colors on the flanks) with the older flows covered with vegetation (darkest features). There are also areas of dense vegetation (darker features) on the low mountain range northwest of Mt. Etna. The small, isolated, dark feature west of the volcano is a reservoir that is located on one of the tributary streams of the Simeto River, which empties into the small Catania Gulf (south of Catania). Many short-flowing stream channels that drain northward from the mountainous terrain into the Tyrrhenian Sea are observed.