13 February 2015 - MOUNT VESUVIUS - ITALY


MOUNT VESUVIUS - ITALY

G'day folks,

Welcome to another wild landmark in the world.  It may have happened almost 2000 years ago, but the world still remembers Pompeii and its fate, when Mount Vesuvius buried it in ash. Mount Vesuvius is still an active volcano today. It is the volcano with the most violent past, a past filled with historical eruptions. Despite that fact, it is a great place to visit!



Vesuvius is the only active volcano in mainland Europe, and has produced some of the continent's largest volcanic eruptions. Located on Italy's west coast, it overlooks the Bay and City of Naples and sits in the crater of the ancient Somma volcano. Though the volcano's last eruption was in 1944, it still represents a great danger to the cities that surround it, especially the busy metropolis of Naples.



Mount Vesuvius: Plate Tectonic Setting

Vesuvius is part of the Campanian volcanic arc, a line of volcanoes that formed over a subduction zone created by the convergence of the African and Eurasian plates. This subduction zone stretches the length of the Italian peninsula, and is also the source of other volcanoes like Mount Etna, the Phlegraean Fields (Campi Flegrei), Vulcano, and Stromboli. Under Vesuvius, the lower part of the subducting slab has torn and detached from the upper part to form what is called a "slab window". This makes Vesuvius' rocks slightly different chemically from the rocks erupted from the other Campanian volcanoes.



Mount Vesuvius: Eruption History

Mount Vesuvius has experienced eight major eruptions in the last 17,000 years. The 79 AD eruption is one of the most well known ancient eruptions in the world, and may have killed more than 16,000 people. Ash, mud and rocks from this eruption buried the cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum. Pompeii is famous for the casts the hot ash formed around victims of the eruptions. The unfortunate people suffocated on ash in the air, which then covered them and preserved amazing details of their clothing and faces.

Starting in 1631, Vesuvius entered a period of steady volcanic activity, including lava flows and eruptions of ash and mud. Violent eruptions in the late 1700s, 1800s and early 1900s created more fissures, lava flows, and ash-and-gas explosions. These damaged or destroyed many towns around the volcano, and sometimes killed people; the eruption of 1906 had more than 100 casualties. 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.


 Now, here are some other shots of this amazing volcano.

































Clancy's comment: I have been to Pompeii and found it amazing. I also love this part of Italy. The view of the bay of Naples from the mountains is spectacular, the people are great and so is the food. It is a great place to spend some quality time.

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