Mount Vesuvius

Topics: Volcano, Mount Vesuvius, Herculaneum Pages: 3 (1108 words) Published: October 23, 2008
On the 24th of August 79 A.D., Mount Vesuvius destroyed Pompeii, an ancient Italian city. The staggering display of eruptions lasted for approximately 19 hours, continuing into the morning of the 25th. Research has shown that all of the 20,000 citizens of Pompeii had the chance to escape this catastrophe; however with the lack of education and technology, no one had recognized the inherent danger of the mountain’s warnings. By the time Mount Vesuvius had finished its reign of terror, the affluent and flourishing city of Pompeii was silenced and completely buried by volcanic ash and debris. Sadly, Pompeii would never truly recover, and the “deafening silence” would last for 1700 years. By definition, a volcano is a hole in the Earth’s surface through which magma, hot gases, ash and rock fragments escape from deep inside the planet. They are found both on land and under the oceans, in which case they are called seamounts. Volcanoes were a very influential aspect of the creation of Earth’s atmosphere, oceans and continents. After the formation of Earth, the superheated gases within it poured out through the many volcanoes, and eventually formed Earth’s most important structures. Volcanoes’ classifications and names are based on their periods of activity. In the case of an eruption, a volcano is labeled active; if it has the potential to erupt in the future, it would be known as dormant. Finally, if the volcano has stopped erupting forever, it is called extinct. According to the theory of plate tectonics, Earth’s crust consists of various plates which move in response to pressures produces within the Earth. Volcanoes are formed on land near coastal areas when a continental plate and an oceanic plate converge. The oceanic plate submerges, due to its higher density, and is pushed deeper and deeper beneath the surface. The high temperature and pressures below melt the rock which creates hot, buoyant magma. Ultimately this magma rises towards the surface...
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