Mount Vesuvius

Mount Vesuvius is a name we hear quite often in geology class, especially since we are now on the topic of volcanoes. But even before this class started, I’m sure that most if not all of us have already heard or read about Mt. Vesuvius. It is among the most famous volcanoe known to man. It has rightly earned that because of it’s past history.

Mount Vesuvius is located on the west coast of Italy. It is the only active volcano on Europe’s mainland! It lays between the Bay and the City of Naples. Another city once layed near the volcano, but unfortunately it destroyed. This is how Mount Vesuvius became feared more than your average volcano.  “Vesuvius is most famous for the 79 AD eruption which destroyed the Roman cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum.”  Not only did it demolish two cities but it killed an estimated amount of 16,00o people! Not many people, animals, or plants were left remaining after this disasterous event. There is a famous picture of a couple of bodies that were well preserved under the tons of ash that fell upon the city of Pompeii. The look like casts or mold of people who had fallen or were already on the floor of a house.It includes women, men, and children!

But Mount Vesuvious has erupted afterwards, although not destroying any more cities. It continues to remain a threat to all surrounding cities.The volcano has been shown volcanic activity for a long time. Dating back to 1631, Mount Vesuvius has been leaking out lava, producing mud and ash clouds. There were terrible eruption all throughout the 1700s, 1800s, and 1900s, that have created more fissures, lava flows, eruptions of ash, and gas explosions. Theses events have caused the deaths of many people in the surrounding area. There was an eruption in 1906 that claimed over 100 peoples lives. “The most recent eruption was in 1944 during World War II. It caused major problems for the newly-arrived Allied forces in Italy when ash and rocks from the eruption destroyed planes and forced evacuations at a nearby airbase.” Mount Vesuvius is like a “ticking time bomb,” it goes off when it pleases creating massive amounts of damage. The people who live near need to be really careful and cautious so hoepfully they will not fall victim to this furious volcano.

Mount Vesuvius rose from the caldera of the Mount Somma volcano, which erupted last almost 17,000 years ago. These are the facts about the rock that make up this huge volcano that stands almost 4,000 ft high.”Most rocks erupted from Vesuvius are andesite, an intermediate volcanic rock (about 53-63% silica). Andesite lava creates explosive eruptions on a variety of scales, which makes Vesuvius an especially dangerous and unpredictable volcano. Strombolian eruptions (explosions of magma from a pool in the volcano’s conduit) and lava flows from the summit and flank fissures are relatively small. Plinian eruptions (huge explosions that create columns of gas, ash and rock which can rise dozens of kilometers into the atmosphere) have a much greater reach, and have destroyed entire ancient cities near Vesuvius with huge ash falls and pyroclastic flows. Vesuvius is currently quiet, with only minor seismic (earthquake) activity and outgassing from fumaroles in its summit crater, but more violent activity could resume in the future.”

Hopefully, Mount Vesuvius will stay dormit so that the people surrounding the area can live peacefully. If it does decide to erupt, hopefully there will be warning signs (unlike the volcanoes that were in the movie, “Magma,” that we watched for lab)so that people can go to safety.

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2 Responses to Mount Vesuvius

  1. austinmichalke1 says:

    I had always heard of Mount Vesuvius but I never know how it was formed or any more information about. I found this very interesting, especially the part about Vesuvius rising from the caldera of another volcano.

  2. drew alderman says:

    I cant believe that one eruption killed 16,000 people. for this many people to have been killed by one eruption the population density of Pompeii and Herculaneum must have been very high.

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