A Burning Issue


Over 24 hours the city of Pompeii was turned to rubble when Mount Vesuvius erupted in 79AD. 2,000 people survived the first eruption, but after a second, more powerful eruption the following day, no one survived. 13, 000 people where killed in this fatal eruption. The town was buried under rock and ash, the city of Pompeii to be forgotten, until 1595, when the construction of an aqueduct, an underwater river system, revealed some parts of Pompeii, buried under rock and stone.

The people of Naples, Italy (the closest town to the only active volcano in Europe) still live in fear beside the active volcano, Mount Vesuvius, unsure when the next eruption will hit.


Parts of a Volcano

There are five main parts of a volcano:

The Crater: the hole at the top of the volcano where the magma/lava comes out.

The Cone: the outer layer of the volcano.

The Vent: an opening for fumes, air and smoke to be let out.

The Pipe: a long tube that leads from the vent of the volcano to the magma chamber.

The Magma Chamber: a large hole under the ground which carries the hot magma.


Fact: There is one difference between magma and lava, which is that when inside the volcano, the hot liquid is called magma and when it comes out of the volcano it is called lava.


Why Volcanoes Eruptions Occur

Some volcano eruptions are caused by two tectonic plates (the two sub-layers of the earth’s crust, that move, float, and sometimes collide, which can cause continental drift and some major disasters, like tsunamis, earthquakes and eruptions) that push together and because of the force, one of the plates will push above the other one, and if the tectonic plate is under a volcano’s magma chamber then it will cause the magma to rise and erupt.


I hope you have learnt a lot about volcanoes and how they react.

Picture 2-Mount Vesuvius eruption 1756, painting by Sir William Hamilton, vulcanologist (1730-1803)
Mount Vesuvius eruption 1756, painting by Sir William Hamilton, vulcanologist (1730-1803) Creative Commons

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