The purpose of this paper is to introduce, discuss, and analyze the topic of science in geology. Specifically it will discuss the geologic features of Mt. Vesuvius. Mt. Vesuvius may be the most noted volcano in the world. It is certainly one of the most studied. Almost everyone in the world knows the volcano erupted in early Roman history, burying the town of Pompeii and several other towns, which have become rich in geologic and archeological discovery. Mt. Vesuvius is still a model of volcanic study, and most scientists agree that it is not a question of if it will erupt again, but when. Many believe another century will not go by without an eruption of the infamous volcano.
Mt. Vesuvius is located in Italy on the Bay of Naples. In fact, the mountain is extremely close to the modern city of Naples, Italy. Vesuvius is actually located partially inside the collapsed caldera of a much older volcano, called Mount Somma, which existed over 17,000 years ago (Wood). Vesuvius is important for several reasons. First, the eruption in 79 A.D. that buried Pompeii and surrounding cities was the original volcanic eruption actually written about and studied. In addition, today Vesuvius looms over or could affect nearly 3 million people, making it potentially the most dangerous volcano in the world. At least it is the one that could do the most damage to communities and human life.
Vesuvius rose out of the remains of Mount Somma, an ancient volcano that collapsed about 17,000 years ago, when Vesuvius began to form. However, rock around Vesuvius has been dated to 300,000 years old; indicating this is an ancient site that only comparatively recently became volcanic (Wood). Vesuvius has a long history of eruptions, and the eruptions seem to move in cycles, known as eruptive cycles, which show little pattern for predicting future eruptive periods. The last eruption occurred in 1944, and dozens of others have been recorded through recent history, beginning with the eruption in 79 A.