15 APR | UPSC Current Affairs | GS 1: Demystifying Volcanic Vortex Rings

Volcano Vortex Rings

News: Mount Etna, one of the most active volcanoes in the world, is known for Volcanic (Volcano) Vortex Rings.

Mount Etna:

  • Mount Etna is an active volcano on the east coast of Sicily.
  • Mount Etna is the highest active volcano in Europe.
  • Mount Etna is the highest Mediterranean island mountain and the most active stratovolcano in the world.
      • Stratovolcano is a volcanic landform characterized by a conical shape formed by layers of volcanic material deposited during successive volcanic eruptions.
  • Mount Etna is a World Heritage Site.

Volcano Vortex Rings:

  • Vortex rings are generated when gas (water vapour), is released rapidly through a vent in the crater.
      • A crater is a bowl-shaped depression, or hollowed-out area, produced by the impact of a meteorite, volcanic activity, or an explosion.

Volcano Vortex Rings

  • The vent that has opened up in Etna’s crater is almost perfectly circular, so the rings that have been seen above the mountain are also circular.
  • This phenomenon was first observed at Etna & Vesuvius in Italy in 1724.
  • The rings can remain in the air for up to 10 minutes, but tend to disintegrate quickly if conditions are windy and turbulent.
  • Volcanic smoke rings are produced in the same way as dolphins blow bubble rings.
      • Dolphins compress the water in their mouths, and using their tongue they push it out of their mouths and create such a pressure that it forms a ring.
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