Pompeii pressure: Vesuvius may be easing up

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.

Your Comments, Thoughts, Questions, Ideas

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

i am really sad when i heard the news about pompeii and then i started to panic because i thought that new zealand might get buried under ash

posted on Thu, 09/18/2008 - 8:10pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

i have heard so much about this but it still shocks me to know what they went through

posted on Sun, 10/05/2008 - 12:19pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

umm, why are the people all preserved and what not?

posted on Mon, 02/02/2009 - 12:21pm
Thor's picture
Thor says:

The people of Pompeii weren't preserved – their shapes were. The ash from the volcano blast buried many people and eventually hardened into rock. The people inside decomposed but their shapes were left behind. Scientists have re-created the shapes of the people by pouring plaster into these vacant cavities in the rock and then whacking away the outer rock.

posted on Mon, 02/02/2009 - 1:00pm
Jackie Rabideau's picture
Jackie Rabideau says:

Hopefully the Scientists will be watching this volcano closely, so the 3 million people living there will be warned to get out of the way in case of another eruption!

posted on Tue, 02/03/2009 - 12:32pm

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