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Vesuvius volcano (Italy): no eruption imminent

Wednesday Mar 08, 2006 16:07 PM | BY: TOM PFEIFFER

These days, Vesuvius is in the news AGAIN, with headlines such as: "Vesuvius Due for Giant Eruption -The next eruption of Europe's biggest volcano could come as early as next year and could be a doozie. ..."


It has been known for quite a while now that Vesuvius in its past has had a number of even more violent eruptions than the one that destroyed Pompeii in 79 AD, including the one now in the media, a Plinian eruption about 3800 years ago, destroying Bronz-Age settlements. But quite like the volcano Vesuvius has its cycles of activity (it's now in a dormant phase), there seems to be a cyclic process in the media that once every so long, Vesuvius must be portrayed as the killer volcano that might blow tomorrow.


The truth is that there is NO indication whatsoever that another big bang is likely to occur in any near future at Vesuvius these days. No reason to panick, no reason to address it with exaggerated headlines.


At present, Vesuvius is very calm and the most likely scenario, based on what is known about the volcano, is that it is going to continue its rest, probably for even another few centuries before coming to life again in a violent eruption. Would it be to erupt in the span of years or decades from now, the most likely scenario would probably be a sub-Plinian eruption,- a much smaller type of eruption than the one that occurred 3800 years ago, but still, desastrous enough to worry about, since the slopes of Vesuvius are more densly inhabited than ever, and even a minor eruption is bound to do considerable damage to life and property. 


Of course, it is also true that a more or less sudden, extremely large Plinian eruption cannot be completely excluded. As is true that for any case of larger eruption, be it a sub-Plinian or even a Plinian type event, there is an urgent need to prepare better. It is right, when media cite our colleagues from the Naples observatory, that this has been greatly neglected in the area around Vesuvius.
..more on Vesuvius

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Saturday, Mar 04, 2006

We hare glad to announce that we can now offer an additional date for the tour on Nisyros island, Greece, this autumn: 6-15 October 2006. Details to the tour are found here

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Friday, Feb 24, 2006

The dates for the new expedition to Nyiragongo volcano are now set to 19-27 July, 2006. 3 spaces are still available. Details here.

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Tuesday, Feb 07, 2006

Tom and Marco are just back home from our pilot tour to Nyiragongo volcano, which was very successful, so we plan to repeat the tour in July this year already. In the near future, we will post photos from the tour as well as details about the tour. Stay tuned!

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Friday, Dec 23, 2005

2005 is soon over, and it's a good time to take a break and think about important things in life. The VolcanoDiscovery team wishes you a future without wars and tsunamis. Merry Christmas!

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Stromboli volcano in eruption (11 Oct. 2005)
Friday, Oct 21, 2005
A series of new photos, taken by Marco Fulle during the Stromboli to Etna tour (8-16 Oct.) are now online! [more]

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