Stories tagged Mount Vesuvius

Mount Vesuvius and Naples
Mount Vesuvius and NaplesCourtesy Mark Wales
Residents of Naples had thoughts of Pompeii flashing through their minds yesterday when Italian F-16s flying nearby created sonic booms while flying to intercept a nearby unidentified aircraft. Residents jammed the phone lines to the city's eruption hotline.

Several million people live in areas that could be affected by Vesuvius, making it one of the most dangerous volcanoes in the world.

Geologists predict that at least 300,000 people would be killed should Vesuvius erupt without ample warning for evacuation. A recent computer simulation used to model an eruption shows that residents to the south of Vesuvius, in the direction of Pompeii and Herculaneum, will have little chance to survive a blast like the one that buried these towns in 79 AD.

Sep
11
2008

Thing of the past?: New studies show that the likelihood of a major eruption of Mount Vesuvius, like this computer image of the infamous blast of 79 A.D., are decreasing.
Thing of the past?: New studies show that the likelihood of a major eruption of Mount Vesuvius, like this computer image of the infamous blast of 79 A.D., are decreasing.Courtesy Wikipedia
About a year ago visitors at the Science Museum of Minnesota learned about the disaster that struck Pompeii, Italy, when Mount Vesuvius erupted, wiping out the city and a lot of its residents in the span of just about a day.

Today, about three million people are living within range of a Vesuvius eruption. But the good news from geologists is that they may be under lessened risk for a devastating eruption like the one that hit in 79 A.D.

A new study shows that the volcano’s magma reservoir has been rising up closer to the Earth’s surface over the past 20,000 years. At that higher level, the magma is likely to produce less violent eruptions.

That magma has actually moved quite a bit. Between the huge Pompeii-devastating eruption and another one in the year 472 A.D., the magma pool climbed about 2.5 miles toward Earth’s surface.

But that doesn’t mean people can sleep totally at peace in the volcano’s neighborhood, experts advise. Other factors also play into the severity of a volcano eruption, including tectonic plate shift and the deposit distribution of the magma, factors that weren’t part of this new study.