THE VESUVIUS

 

vesuvio the great cone

Vesuvius is the most famous volcano on earth, one of the most studied and is also one of the most dangerous because the vast territory that extends to its slopes has seen the construction of houses up to 700 meters high. It is a typical example of a fence volcano consisting of an external trunk cone, Monte Somma (1133 meters), with a largely demolished crater wall within which there is a smaller cone represented by Vesuvius (1281 meters), separated by a depression called Valle del Gigante, part of the ancient caldera, where later, presumably during the eruption of 79 AD, the Great Cone or Vesuvius was formed. The Valle del Gigante is in turn divided into Atrio del Cavallo to the west and Valle dell'Inferno to the east. The enclosure of Somma is well preserved throughout its northern part, in fact it was in historical times less exposed to the devastating fury of the volcano, because sheltered from the height of the internal wall that prevented the flow of lava on its slopes. The slopes, variously degrading, are furrowed by deep radial valleys produced by the erosion of rainwater. Its walls from Monte Somma are part of the cone that are steep. The whole section is then strewn with spikes and hollows of dark volcanic rock. The old crater rim is a succession of peaks called cognoli. While the height of Somma and its profile have remained the same over the centuries, the height and profile of Vesuvius have undergone considerable variations, due to subsequent eruptions, with rises and falls. Vesuvius is a characteristic polygenic and mixed volcano,
All the areas on the slopes of the mountain are to be considered formed by land transported Monte Sommada mud lavas that descend from the steep slopes in the rainy seasons through deep and narrow valleys called alvei or more commonly lagni. The high banks are formed by heaps of lava slag, which precipitated in an incandescent state and spread towards the low slopes, are now revealed because of their fertile material, rich in silicon and potassium, precious for vegetation. On the coldest days the condensation of the vapors makes the fumaroles visible in numerous points of the inner wall of the crater visible. Continuing along the edge of the crater, looking towards the sea, we can see the entire extent of the southern part of the volcano and, on days with good visibility, all the Gulf of Naples from the Sorrento Peninsula and Capri to Capo Miseno, Procida and Ischia. It is also inevitable to note the reckless urban expansion that dates back to the slopes of the volcano.

EXHIBITLY SHOWS CREATOR VESEVO

 

creator vesevo

 

The project becomes reality and from October 29th 2005 the Vesuvius is an open-air museum not only for the beautiful landscape and for the historical, mythological references, but also because its hairpin bends host, in a permanent setting, the gigantic sculptures commissioned by the Municipality of Herculaneum and the artistic director, Jean-Noël Schifano, to ten big names, very appreciated on the international scene. An event of international importance, as was rightly highlighted by Schifano during the presentation of the initiative: «There is no other volcano in the world, no other mountain location for which such a thing has been thought, an intervention that combines natural beauties - that do not need words as much as Vesuvius is known, a world icon - with the genius of the artists who brought the breath of their art to the charm of the volcano ». But this permanent exhibition of Vesuvius volcanic lava is also a paradigm of the "wisdom of doing" since the creativity of the artists has found a perfect symbiosis, much more than a collaboration, in the Vesuvian stonemasons, stone-cutting artists and connoisseurs of energy interior that every piece of stone brings with it.

THE NATIONAL PARK OF VESUVIUS

 

crater

ENVIRONMENT

The Vesuvian and Sum territories differ in some environmental aspects and are common to others, in particular for the strong anthropization that characterizes the lower slopes of both reliefs. As far as the differences are concerned, it must be said that the former is more arid and sunny, with a typical spontaneous Mediterranean vegetation, artificial pine forests and holm oak woods, with the latter slowly recovering from the pines and therefore reforming the beautiful Mediterranean forest; the second is more humid with a woody vegetation reminiscent of the Apennine type, with mixed forests of chestnut, alder oaks, maples and oaks; among these we find, albeit rarely, the splendid birch, a truly unusual presence in a Mediterranean area. The colonization of lava soils, it begins shortly after cooling and is due to the lichen Stereocaulon vesuvianum, which has a coral-like, gray color and is the first living being to settle on the cooled lava preparing the soil for the engraftment of the plants. It completely covers the Vesuvian lavas and colors them gray, making the lava reflect silver on full moon nights. The floristic list includes 906 different species. Among these are to be highlighted presences of great interest, such as, for example, the Neapolitan Maple, the Neapolitan Alder, and Helicrhysum litoreum, particularly frequent on Vesuvius. Also noteworthy is the high number of orchid species, as many as 23, and the broom, also present in different species: Genista tinctoria, Genista aetnensis, the latter imported from

 

THE FAUNA

The fauna of the Park is particularly rich and interesting. Among the mammals stand out the presence of the green mouse, which became rare in other parts of Italy, of the Moscardino, of the Faina, of the Fox, of the wild Rabbit and of the Hare. More than a hundred species of birds among residents, migratory, wintering and summer nesting. Of note are the nesting areas of Poiana, Gheppio, Sparviere, Pellegrino, Hoopoe, Tortora Colombaccio, Great spotted woodpecker, Codirossone, Solitary sparrow, Long-tailed tit, Nuthatch, Imperial crow, Blackberry. In winter they frequent the Park among others the Beccaccia, the Codirosso chimney-sweep, the Torcicollo, the Tordo bottaccio, the Lucherino. During the migratory period, Beccafichi, Sterpazzoline, Black Balie, Codirossi Monachelle, Luì verde, Rigoli and Gruccione, Succiacapre and many other species many of which come from the southern Saharan winter quarters. Among the reptiles, the colorful Ramarro, the harmless snake Biacco and the warty Emidattilo are to be mentioned. Interesting is the presence, among the amphibians, of the emerald green Toad. Among the invertebrates, the very colorful diurnal and nocturnal butterflies must be mentioned, which in large numbers frequent the blooms of the Vesuvian Mediterranean flora.

 

VESUVIAN OBSERVATORY

Founded in 1841 by Ferdinand II of Bourbon, the Observatory was the first structure in the world used for the observation and study of volcanism. Its original site, an elegant neoclassical building designed by the architect G. Fazzini, is located on Mount Vesuvius, on the Colle del Salvatore, between Ercolano and Torre del Greco, at an altitude of 608 meters. The chosen place was particularly suitable, as it was sufficiently distant from the crater not to be reached by lapilli and large projectiles, and quite high on the original ground level, so as not to be interested by the lava flows that were erupted after its construction. In 1863 the world's first seismograph was installed.

In 1911 Giuseppe Mercalli, appointed director, gave great impetus to earthquake studies; its the scale of measurement of their intensity, still in use today. The Vesuvius Observatory explores both the volcanological research and the geophysical and geodynamic surveillance of the territory. The volcanological research makes hypotheses on the future behavior of the volcano based on its eruptive history; geophysical and geodynamic surveillance detects the variations and changes caused by the displacements of magmatic masses towards the surface. The results of the simulations revealed an area at risk of about 700 km², divided into the red zone (20 km² - almost total destruction is expected, with pyroclastic flows, of mud, blocks, bombs and lapilli) and yellow zone (500 km² - fall of ash, lapilli and loads of 200 kg per ml. Complex detection networks control not only Vesuvius, but the entire Neapolitan volcanic area which also includes the Phlegraean Fields and the island of Ischia. In the 1980s in the Campi Flegrei area, and in particular in Pozzuoli, there were numerous bradyseisms that caused the raising of the ground by 1.8 rn and the evacuation of about 30,000 people. Today everything seems to have returned to tranquility: the only evident activities are small fumaroles inside and outside the crater of Vesuvius, in the area of ​​the Phlegraean Fields and on the island of Ischia. there have been numerous bradyseisms that have caused the ground to rise by 1.8 rn and the evacuation of about 30,000 people. Today everything seems to have returned to tranquility: the only evident activities are small fumaroles inside and outside the crater of Vesuvius, in the area of ​​the Phlegraean Fields and on the island of Ischia. there have been numerous bradyseisms that have caused the ground to rise by 1.8 rn and the evacuation of about 30,000 people. Today everything seems to have returned to tranquility: the only evident activities are small fumaroles inside and outside the crater of Vesuvius, in the area of ​​the Phlegraean Fields and on the island of Ischia.
Currently the historic headquarters of the Observatory is also a museum of volcanology. Scientific instruments of considerable historical value are collected, used by scientists and researchers over the centuries. In addition there are preserved precious collections of minerals and rocks, and a valuable collection of 19th century sculptures and paintings. The museum's historical library contains texts on volcanology, seismology and meteorology, and a collection of books from the 16th and 17th centuries. Since April 2000 the museum has hosted the "Vesuvio 2000 years of observations" exhibition, organized and realized by the Vesuvius Observatory in collaboration with the Civil Protection Department. The exhibition is visited by over 10,000 people a year, of which over 90% are middle and high school students. The exhibition takes the visitor through a journey into the world of volcanoes and Vesuvius. In particular: it illustrates the various types of eruptions and the related dangers; describes how to reconstruct the history of a volcano; allows you to observe seismic data in real time. The exhibition uses exhibition instruments such as panels, films, illustrations, monitors with seismic signals in real time, historical instruments, books on archaeological finds. Visits to the exhibition are accompanied by specialized personnel. monitors with seismic signals in real time, historical instruments, archaeological finds books. Visits to the exhibition are accompanied by specialized personnel. monitors with seismic signals in real time, historical instruments, archaeological finds books. Visits to the exhibition are accompanied by specialized personnel.