Can you make smoke rings? I can’t!
But when volcanoes erupt, they sometimes create rare smoke rings that even the Marlboro Cowboy would gulp at.
Volcanic smoke rings are rare and only form under special conditions:
- A particular geolometric configuration of the circular vent exit
- Expulsion of gas in individual puffs with just the right velocity to create these giant puff rings.
Similar to how smokers make smoke rings with their mouths – the volcano has a deep crater pit with circular vertical walls like a chimney. Because the air in the centre of the ring is forced out faster, a circular vortex is formed which keeps the rounded shaper of the smoke ring.
Also known as toroidal vortices, this volcanic sky phenomenon have been witnessed at several volcanoes, including Stromboli, Etna and Eyjafjallajokull in Iceland.
Volcanologists reported Mount Etna releasing hundreds of smoke rings each day, in rapid succession during several months in 2000.
The smoke rings featured in this video were filmed by Geoff Mackley on 8th June 2000 during an eruption of Mt Etna in Sicily, Italy.