This 3D model has an aerial extent of about 230 x 20m and shows an area within Mt Etna’s NE rift, on the northern flank of the volcano. Here, it is possible to observe a swarm of NE-SW extension fractures with centimetric dilation (up to about 70 cm) and several piercing points, which can be clearly observed along fracture walls. The two main fractures, with the greatest amount of opening, gradually transition to normal faults, dipping towards each other. The faults can be clearly recognized on the flank of the pyroclastic cone of historical age (Branca et al., 2011), where the trail is located. Looking at the trail, the main fracture located on the right is next to a short normal fault dipping to the left. By following the trace of such fault where it reaches the highest point on the flank, it is possible to notice its splitting into two faults, that dip towards each other and form a graben structure.

Credits: UAV survey and 3D model by Fabio L. Bonali; model description by Alessandro Tibaldi.


  • Branca, S., Coltelli, M., Groppelli, G., & Lentini, F. (2011). Geological map of Etna volcano, 1: 50,000 scale. Italian Journal of Geosciences, 130(3), 265-291.