The shape of Vesuvius before the 79 A.D. eruption according to a new finding from a Pompei fresco and Vesuvius central cone history in the last 2000 years

A. Nazzaro

Abstract


The history of Vesuvius and its central cone or Great Cone (Gran Cono) is important because it enables us to improve our understanding of the structural evolution of Somma-Vesuvius. Apart from geological and stratigraphic studies, investigations of the literary and artistic testimonies can also help to clarify some unresolved problems. Recently a detailed study of the consequences of the 1631 eruption on the volcano morphology as well as that of the following volcanic activity has shown that the present central cone was formed in the last few centuries after that eruption. With regard to the history of the central cone prior to the 1631 eruption, rare writings and iconographic records help clarify this question. In this short communication we announce the discovery of a new image representing Vesuvius before the 79 A.D. eruption identified in a fresco from Pompei excavations. This fresco could confirm the interpretation of a well-known Strabo quotation according to which there already existed a large caldera prior to the 79 A.D. eruption.

Keywords


Vesuvius paleomorphology;Vesuvius 79 a.d. shape;Pompei archaeology;history of geology

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References


DOI: https://doi.org/10.4401/ag-3751
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Published by INGV, Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia - ISSN: 2037-416X