Although there is no evidence that a catastrophic collapse will occur in the near future.
For thousands of years the main danger of the active volcano of Europe were of the eruption. In the future, Etna threatened the inhabitants of the Mediterranean tsunami.
This risk arose because mount Etna, on the Italian island of Sicily, slowly and inexorably slipping into the Mediterranean sea, writes the online edition of the Chronicle.info with reference to nv.ua.
“The whole slope is in motion due to gravity. It is therefore possible that it could have a catastrophic collapse that can cause a tsunami in the Mediterranean,” explains geophysicist Heidrun Kopp from the Center and geomorphological studies of Helmholtz in Germany.
Although the exact cause of slow slip of Etna at an average speed of 14 mm per year are not fully explained, scientists previously believed that the shift may be caused by a pressure buildup of magma inside the volcano.
But a new study shows that the slow slide of a volcano in the Mediterranean sea, sporadic and mostly due to instability due to gravitational forces and not by the dynamics of the magma.
“In the case of mount Etna, our analysis of deformation of the coastline involves a great danger to the destruction of the slope than previously thought, since the deep gravitational sliding can potentially lead to catastrophic destruction,” the authors write in their paper.
Although there is no evidence that a catastrophic collapse will occur in the near future, there is no way to tell when this might happen. That is, a disaster can happen at any time.
Height of Etna is about three thousand meters. In addition, it is located in a densely populated area. The fall and resulting tsunamis can cause thousands of casualties.