Mount Vesuvius is a volcano East of Naples in Italy. It is the only volcano on the European mainland, that has erupted in the last hundred years, although at present it is not active. Only two other such volcanoes in Italy, (Etna and Stromboli) are located on islands.
The total height of the volcano is 1276 m, the depth of the crater is about 300 meters and its width is 600 meters.
Vesuvius was regarded by Greeks and Romans as the hero Hercules, and the town of Herculaneum, built at its base, was named in honor of him.
Up to the 1st century ad, the Romans maintained their inactive volcano Vesuvius.
Vesuvius is best known for its eruption on 24-25 August 79 AD, which led to the destruction of the 4 Roman cities -Pompeii, Herculaneum, Stabiae and Oplontia.
Pompeii with a distance of 9. 5 km from the crater of Vesuvius and 4. 5 km from the foot of the volcano , was bombarded with a layer of pumice and volcanic ash. A muddy rain fell then hardened and formed a layer of up to 6 m. Another city Herculaneum, with a distance of 7 km from the crater of the volcano and about 3 km from its foot, was covered with a layer of volcanic ash. The rain turned the volcanic ash into volcanic mud that hardened and gained great strength. On top of it everything was covered in lava. The total height of the volcanic layer in Herculaneum ranged from 12 to 23 m in thickness.
Residents of ruined cities left these dangerous places. But life went on, and in the fertile foothills of Mount Vesuvius people started returning. But the volcano has not died down, and in subsequent centuries erupted again and again. In the year 1631 eruption was so strong that some volcanic ash reached Istanbul in 1300 miles away from Mount Vesuvius. The disaster claimed 4000 lives.
The volcano has erupted more than 80 times, most recently in the year 1944 and destroyed the San Sebastiano.
Although Vesuvius is half the size of the largest volcano in Europe- Mount Etna, viscous lava makes it much more explosive. Sulfuric vapors constantly rise over the huge main crater, and the soil in the ground close to the top is so hot that you can fry eggs.
The land on the slopes of Vesuvius gradually becomes fertile after an eruption. The lower parts of the slopes are planted with orchards and vineyards. There are two crops a year. Volcanic material is commonly used in the construction of houses . Up to a height of about 800 m pine groves mostly grow. During eruptions plantations and settlements often fall victim to the elements. Strong eruptions of Vesuvius are usually alternated with periods of low activity.
Currently the volcano is home to more than 2 million people. In 1841 the world’s first volcanic laboratory (Observatory), was created it.
According to modern professionals, Vesuvius is the most monitored volcano in the world. Gas emission and vibration sensors are used and the volcano under them is constantly monitored by satellite around the Earth.