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Located on the west coast of Italy, Mount Vesuvius is an active volcano in Europe. This volcano has erupted more than 30 times but is best known for when it destroyed the cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum in A.D. 79.
See the fact file below for more information on Mount Vesuvius or alternatively, you can download our 24-page Mount Vesuvius worksheet pack to utilize within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
- Mount Vesuvius is considered one of the most dangerous volcanoes in the world because of its geographical location, near to the city of Naples and surrounding towns on its slopes.
- According to the U.S. Geological Survey, Mount Vesuvius is a complex stratovolcano because of its explosive eruptions with pyroclastic flows. It is one of the Italian volcanoes in the Campanian volcanic arc, along with Campi Flegrei and Stromboli. The arc sits on the tectonic boundary of the African plate beneath the Eurasian plate.
- According to experts, the small slab window in the African plate causes violent, explosive eruptions in the volcano.
- In 2013, Vesuvius was 4,203 feet tall. It has a semicircular ridge called Mount Somma, while the valley in between the cone and Mount Somma is called Valle del Gigante, or Giant’s Valley.
- Due to eruptions, the height of Mount Vesuvius is not constant. Its current structure is due to the breakdown of Mount Somma and is composed of minor and major volcano centers.
- During eruptions, the lava is about 1,200 degrees Celsius. It carries large rocks and smooth lava flow.
- According to scientists, the formation of the volcano started about 25,000 years ago, while the original Somma caldera was formed about 18,300 years ago.
- The exact number of times Mount Vesuvius has erupted is unknown, but modern-day research by scientists have been able to identify some of them. Among the best-known eruptions was the 25 hours of devastation on August 24, 79 A.D., when the city of Pompeii, south of Rome, was totally buried.
- The city of Pompeii was a strategic administrative city in Rome. Through Pompeii, all trade was carried in and out of Rome. The buried city remained undiscovered until survey engineer Rocco Gioacchino de Alcubierre came upon it in 1748.
- The city of Pompeii became the longest excavated archeological site in the world after its discovery. According to records, the only one who survived the 79 A.D. eruption was Pliny the Younger. He described the volcano as a lamp lit in a dark room.
- According to Seneca, an ancient historian, prior to the eruption, the city of Pompeii was reconstructing and recovering from a series of earthquakes in 62 A.D. But, since seismic activity was common in the area, people paid little attention.
- By midnight of August 24, 79 A.D., citizens of Herculaneum fled to Pompeii which, by early morning, was covered with dense clouds of volcanic gases, and debris, which had tumbled down the slopes. It’s believed that around 30,000 people were buried in the eruption.
- According to experts, most victims died instantly from inhaling superheated air.
- Bodies were quickly buried in ash, resulting in well preserved semi-curled forms.
- Prior to the 79 A.D. eruption, it’s believed Vesuvius had not erupted for 295 years.
- The latest eruption occurred on March 17, 1944, at the height of World War II. During the two-week-long eruption, soldiers and airmen of the 340th Bomber Group were stationed at the Pompeii Airfield.
- In order to protect themselves from hot ash and rocks raining down, guards wore leather jackets and steel pot helmets. On March 22, they evacuated Pompeii leaving 88 Allied aircraft, which were badly damaged upon their return. A total of five towns near the base of Mount Vesuvius were destroyed, 22 Italian civilians were killed, and more than 12,000 people were displaced.
- Since 1944, Mount Vesuvius has been quiet in terms of eruptions, but has unleashed a number of minor earthquakes. In October 1999, Naples was rocked by a magnitude 3.6 earthquake.
- In 2016, further excavations on the outskirts of Pompeii revealed more victims of the volcanic eruption.
- In the 18th century, Mount Vesuvius erupted six times, and eight times in the 19th century.
Other Volcanic Facts
- Despite the possible danger, more than 600,000 people live in the red zone area near Mount Vesuvius. On June 5, 1995, the area was declared a national park that over two million tourists visit
- Among the tourist spots in Pompeii are the marketplace, caverns, open-bath houses, amphitheater, ports, and gymnasiums.
- Before the 79 A.D. eruption, there was not a name for “volcano”. It was later derived from the Roman god of fire and forgery – Vulcan.
- Volcanoes are usually located where tectonic plates meet. Over 75% of the world’s volcanoes are located in the Pacific Ring of Fire.
- Magma is the hot liquid rock under the Earth’s surface. When it comes out at the surface, it is then called lava.
- Among the most famous volcanic eruptions of modern times include Mount Krakatoa in 1883, Novarupta in 1912, Mount St Helens in 1980, Mt Pinatubo in 1991, and Eyjafjallajökull in 2010.
- In Iceland, volcanoes can be found under the ice caps, while some volcanoes are found on the ocean floor.
- Volcanoes with regular activity are called active, those with recent historical activity but now quiet are classified as dormant, while others that are unlikely to erupt again are called extinct.
- According to some researchers, the most dangerous volcanoes include Italy’s Mount Vesuvius, Mexico’s Popo, Indonesia’s Merapi, Congo’s Nyiragongo, Colombia’s Nevado del Ruiz, and Japan’s Mount Fuji because of their proximity to densely populated areas.
- Land surrounding volcanoes are often very fertile and good for farming, which is why some people choose to live in the shadow of active or dormant volcanoes.
- A volcanic eruption can last days, weeks, or even years. The last eruption of Vesuvius took place in a series of activity from 1913 to 1944. As Vesuvius is considered an active volcano, it will erupt again.
Mount Vesuvius Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle that includes everything you need to know about Mount Vesuvius across 24 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Mount Vesuvius worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about Mount Vesuvius. Located on the west coast of Italy, Mount Vesuvius is an active volcano in Europe. This volcano has erupted more than thirty times but is best known for when it destroyed the cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum in A.D. 79.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Mount Vesuvius Facts
- Vesuvius and Pompeii
- Volcanic Structure
- Dangerously Majestic
- Vesuvius 101
- The City of Pompeii
- Volcanic Hunt
- World Monuments
- Vesuvius in WWII
- Start Digging!
- Cause and Effect
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Link will appear as Mount Vesuvius Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, September 6, 2018
Use With Any Curriculum
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