Mount Vesuvius and Pompeii: Before the Eruption

Steven Dutch, Professor Emeritus, Natural and Applied Sciences, University of Wisconsin - Green Bay

Location: 40o 49' 16" N, 014o 25' 33" W.

Before 79 A.D., the shore near Mount Vesuvius was a popular place for vacation homes for wealthy Romans. The mountain was probably much taller than today, possibly 8,000 feet or so, or roughly twice its present height. Archeological studies have shown that the area suffered from a number of volcanic disasters in the centuries before 79 A.D., but the mountain had been quiet for some time. A severe earthquake in 62 A.D. caused major damage, but nobody realized a worse disaster was coming.

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Created 09 July 2009, Last Update 15 January 2020