Volcano Mount Vesuvius

3245 Words Mar 20th, 2000 13 Pages
Mount Vesuvius is a volcano located in southern Italy, near the bay of Naples and the city of Naples. It is the only active volcano on the European mainland. Vesuvius rises to a height of 1277 m (4190 ft). Vesuvio (Vesuvius) is probably the most famous volcano on earth, and is one of the most dangerous. Mount Vesuvius is a strato-volcano consisting of a volcanic cone (Gran Cono) that was built within a summit caldera (Mount Somma). The Somma-Vesuvius complex has formed over the last 25,000 years by means of a sequence of eruptions of variable explosiveness, ranging from the quiet lava outpourings that characterized much of the latest activity (for example from 1881 to 1899 and from 1926 to 1930) to the …show more content…
Lava flows from the summit crater or from the sub terminal vents extend beyond the cone's base. A somewhat particular kind of persistent activity is the slow release of large amounts of lava from sub terminal fractures to form thick piles of lava with little lateral extension, such as the lava cupola of Colle Umberto, formed in 1895-1899. (7)
Vesuvius lies over a subduction zone. The two plates are the African plate and the Eurasian plate. The African plate is moving northward at about one inch (2-3 cm) per year and is slowly closing the Mediterranean basin. As it moves to the north, the African plate is pushed beneath the Eurasian plate. The rocks at Vesuvius are called tephrite. A tephrite is basaltic in character and contains the following minerals: calcic plagioclase, augite, and nepheline or leucite. (8)
Eruptive activity of Vesuvio noticeably occurs in cycles that last several centuries and alternate with repose periods lasting several centuries. Each repose period ends with a major (Plinian) eruption, initiating an active cycle. One of the problems researchers of Vesuvio have to deal with is that the cycles do not always repeat the same patterns and phenomena. The cycle or cycles following the 79 A.D. eruption seem to have been different from the most recent one, lasting from 1631 until 1944. The most recent Plinian eruption of major magnitude was that of August 79 A.D. The 79 A.D. eruption of Vesuvius was the first volcanic eruption ever to
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