Eruption of Ferdinandea volcano, 1831

Eruption of Ferdinandea volcano, 1831

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Credit: PASQUALE SORRENTINO/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Eruption of Ferdinandea volcano, 1831, historical artwork. This volcano is in the Mediterranean Sea, around 30 kilometres off the coast of the Italian island of Sicily. It is part of the underwater volcanic complex of Empedocles. The peak of Ferdinandea is usually a few metres below the surface of the sea. Several times over the past 2000 years it has erupted and added new material to itself, emerging from the sea as seen here. This eruption in July 1831 was one of the most recent, and led to a territorial dispute between Sicily, France and England, until January 1832 when the island had been eroded away. Lightning is seen in the eruption column. Artwork by geologist Carlo Gemmellaro (1787-1866).

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