JEREMY BISHOP / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JEREMY BISHOP / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Ash column eruption. Clouds of billowing ash expelled into the sky during the eruption of Mount Etna in October 2002. The ash comprised shards of volcanic glass (obsidian) that were less than a millimetre in diameter. Volcanic ash is carried on the wind, until it 'rains' out. In some areas it fell at the rate of several centimetres per hour. Mount Etna, on the island of Sicily off the Italian coast, is the largest active volcano in Europe. It stands 3323 metres tall.
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