Mount Vesuvius and Pompeii: Vesuvius Rebuilds

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

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

Over the centuries, eruptions of Vesuvius have rebuilt the cone. The new volcano has buried the caldera rim on the south and west, and the most prominent part of the rim is Monte Somma, a semicircular ridge around the north and east sides. In 1631, Vesuuvius ended a quiet period of more than a century with a very large eruption, and from then until 1944 had very frequent activity. A plume of smoke drifted almost continuously from the summit. In 1944 there was a large eruption and a lave flow traveled down the north side of the volcano into the outskirts of Naples. There have been no eruptions since 1944, a much longer quiet period than there ever was between 1631 and 1944, and it may be that Vesuvius is entering another long quiet interval.

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Created 10 July 2009, Last Update 15 January 2020