Stromboli Volcano 3D Animation & Infographics

Are you fascinated by volcanoes? Have you ever wondered what it’s like to see an eruption up close? Better yet, what if you had x-ray vision and could see inside of an erupting volcano? Our 3D animation shows what it’s like to watch the Stromboli volcano erupt, and then envision cutting away the mountain to reveal the magma chamber beneath. Read on to see our volcano infographics, and to learn more about volcanoes and specifically the Stromboli composite volcano.

This volcano animation was created © Christoph Kuehne, SayoStudio—based on geologists’ 3D models of the Stromboli volcano magma chamber

Volcano Science, Geology Graphics

volcanic regions of the world map by Ari Gea
Illustrated volcanic regions of the world map by Ari Gea

We all know the science behind volcanoes… or at least what we learn as kids in science fairs, right? Put some mentos in diet soda and with a little shaking you get a plume of soda erupting from a bottle. It’s a fun way to get hands-on with the science behind volcanology; but what exactly are volcanoes?

Volcanoes form all over the world, where molten rock, or magma, forces its way upward from deep beneath our feet. They typically erupt between the plate boundaries that make up our Earth’s crust. Hot gases and magma find their way through weak spots in the crust, and the resulting lava, cinders, and ash build mountains. The bigger the subduction zone (or gap between plates) the more dangerous and destructive the volcano can be.

Volcanoe Types Graphic

Volcanoes come in a variety of forms; from cinder cones, lava domes, composite, and shield volcanoes

Types of volcanoes infographic by Ari Gea
Types of volcanoes infographic by Ari Gea
  • Cinder Cones: The classic volcano shape, the cinder cone, blows lava high into the air. As it cools, it solidifies into rocks, cinders and ash, creating a short but steep mountain.
  • Lava Domes: Viscous lava slowly piles near the vent to form a low mound, often on the sides of large composite volcanoes.
  • Composite Volcanoes: Composite volcanoes, or stratovolcanoes, are large, tall volcanoes. They are formed by layers of flowing lava and layers of cinders and ash. The Stromboli volcano in our animation is a classic example.
  • Shield Volcanoes: Exemplified by Hawaiin volcanoes like Mauna Loa, Mauna Kea, and Kilauea, shield volcanoes are wide, large, gently sloping landforms. Their fluid lava has built the Hawaiin islands.

Learn More About Stromboli Volcano

stromboli volcano infographic by Ari Gea SayoStudio
Stromboli volcano cross-section infographic © Ari Gea, SayoStudio

The Stromboli volcano, shown in our animation, is part of the eight Aeolian Islands north of Sicily. It sits near the subduction zone of the African and Eurasian tectonic plates. Being a composite or stratovolcano, it was built over time with many different layers of strata—or hardened lava and ash. During an eruption, lava flows and spews from the vent and slides down the northwest side of the mountain in an area called Sciara del Fuoco, or the Stream of Fire.

Its inner structure is around 1 km deep, meaning it doesn’t have a large retention of lava stored inside. Stromboli is almost constantly erupting. Despite this ‘shortage’ of lava supply compared to other volcanoes, it turns out Stromboli has been continuously erupting for thousands of years. It was given the moniker “Lighthouse of the Mediterranean” from its often dazzling nighttime display. It has remained active for over 2 million years, producing small amounts of lava and gaseous emissions. These consistent, mild eruptions are called “Strombolian eruptions” by volcanologists. The explosive eruption in our animation is actually quite atypical for Stromboli on the whole.

While Stromboli may not be the most ‘dangerous’ volcano out there, it remains deadly if you are in the wrong place at the wrong time. Visits to Stromboli slowed after a hiker was killed in 2019, but tourism remains a massive draw to the small island. Nearly 200,000 tourists visit the Aeolian islands each year. Italy constantly monitors the activity inside Stromboli. These warnings are vital to alerting both tourists and local residents of dangerous conditions. One of its most recent and destructive eruptions happened in October 2021, with pyroclastic material running down the side into the coast of the Tyrrhenian Sea.

Thank you to geologist Dana Vukajlovich for her initial review of the Stromboli volcano 3d sculpt!

Our full, volcano science infographic by © Ari Gea

Volcano References:

Stromboli Volcano information:

Basic information:

Magma Chamber structure:

Geologic Density:

More on Volcanoes:

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Volcanic frequency:

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