The first edifice started forming ~180,000 years ago and is built up of a large number of pyroclastics and lavas. The last 14,000 years of edifice formation is referred to as the Recent Mongibello, which is also the name of the current summit crater (Mongibello).
Etna is characterised by smaller explosive eruptions such as Hawaiian and Strombolian activity accompanied by lava flows which occur both from the summit craters and eccentrically (on the flanks of the volcano). More rarely Etna has seen basaltic plinian eruptions in 122 B.C. and 44 B.C. Baslatic plinian eruptions are rare themselves.The lavas which are generated at Etna tend to be either ʻaʻā or pahoehoe in nature. Pahoehoe is the lava which is commonly seen on Hawaii, it is runny and less viscous. ʻAʻā is more viscous and is generally characterised by a more blocky morphology. Etna experiences regular outbursts of activity the most recent occuring within recent months.
Gillot, P.Y et al. 1994. The evolution of Mount Etna in the light of potassium-argon dating. Acta Vulcanol. 5, pp. 81-87
Guest, J.E et al. 1984. The valle del bove, Mount Etna: Its origin and relation to the stratigraphy and structure of the volcano. Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research 21 (1-2), pp. 1-23
Monaco, C et al. 2005. Tectonic control on the eruptive dynamics at Mt. Etna Volcano (Sicily) during the 2001 and 2002-2003 eruptions. Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research 144, pp. 211-233