Mount Vesuvius Facts

Mount Vesuvius Facts
Mount Vesuvius is a volcano located on Italy's west coast, most famous because of its eruption in A.D. 79 that wiped out the ancient city of Pompeii. Mount Vesuvius is considered to be one of the world's most dangerous volcanoes today, not only because its eruptions are usually explosive but because of its location - close to the heavily populated city of Naples. It is the only active volcano on Europe's main land, and its last major eruption occurred in 1944, forcing Allies to flee the region during World War II. With an approximate eruption cycle of 20 years, it is overdue. Mount Vesuvius is classified as a stratovolcano, and it is part of the Campanian volcanic arc.
Interesting Mount Vesuvius Facts:
When Mount Vesuvius erupted in 79 A.D. Pompeii and Herculaneum were buried under layers of mud and volcanic material. This eruption resulted in the deaths of thousands of people.
Mount Vesuvius is a stratovolcano, a type of volcano that is highly explosive and dangerous and has fast moving volcanic fluidized rock.
The eruption in 79 A.D. that destroyed Pompeii was a surprise to its people, but if they had known what to look for they would have known it was likely to erupt. There were serious earthquakes that shook the region for several years before Mount Vesuvius erupted.
When Mount Vesuvius erupted in 79 A.D. it lasted for over 24 hours, shooting 1.5 million tons of volcanic material into the atmosphere every second. This material included volcanic ash, molten rock and pumice.
A Roman poet named Pliny the Younger survived the eruption because he was 18 miles away in Misenum when it occurred, and he wrote letters describing it to a friend named Tacitus. In the 1500s these letters were discovered and this detailed account is the basis of much of the information about the eruption.
It is estimated that approximately 16,000 people died when Mount Vesuvius erupted in 79 A.D, a number that would be much larger today if another similar eruption occurred. There are approximately 2 million people living in the area that would be immediately affected by another eruption.
Much of Pompeii was actually preserved under the volcanic ash.
Other volcanoes included in the Campanian volcanic arc are Mount Etna, Campi Flegrei, Vulcano, and Stromboli.
The volcanoes in the Campanian volcanic arc are a result of the converging of African and Eurasian tectonic plates.
Although Mount Vesuvius erupted approximately every 100 years following 79 A.D.'s major eruption, it stopped in the 1st century. It erupted again in 1631, this time killing approximately 4,000 people.
Although it is expected that Mount Vesuvius will erupt again, scientists believe there will be fair warning.
The area surrounding Mount Vesuvius is a national park today. People are able to travel to within 660 feet of Mount Versuvius' summit by car, and then on foot on a spiral walkway that leads around the top up to the crater.
Italian scientists and the government have implemented new technology that should provide 14 to 20 days warning before the next eruption.


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