Mt Vesuvius is a stratovolcano situated in Campania, Italy, on the Gulf of Naples, about 9 km east of Naples and a short distance from the sea.
While Vesuvius is Europe’s only erupting volcano, its eruptions have been responsible for some of the largest on the continent. The crater of the ancient Somma volcano overlooks Naples and the Bay of Naples and is located on Italy’s west coast. The 79 AD eruption of Vesuvius is best known for destroying Pompeii and Herculaneum, two important Roman cities. It is still a great danger to the surrounding cities, especially the busy metropolis of Naples, even though the volcano’s last eruption was in 1944.
Located in the Campanian volcanic arc, which was formed by the convergence of the African and Eurasian plates, Vesuvius is one of the most active volcanoes in the world. Volcanoes like Mount Etna, the Phlegraean Fields (Campi Flegrei), the Vulcano, and Stromboli originate from this subduction zone, which runs the length of the Italian peninsula. A “slab window” has formed beneath Vesuvius after the lower portion of the slab subducting was torn and detached from the upper portion. Because of this, the rocks ejected from Vesuvius differ chemically from those of the other Campanian volcanoes.