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Mount Vesuvius behind city of Naples, Italy

Detailed Description

Mount Vesuvius behind city of Naples. The modern cone of Vesuvius is flanked on the left by Monte Somma, the rim of a caldera that formed about 17,000 years ago. Eight major explosive eruptions have occurred since, including the 79 CE eruption that destroyed Pompeii and other towns. A period of frequent, long-duration eruptions began in 1631, and the most recent eruption of Vesuvius was in 1944.  USGS photo by Dan Dzurisin, 1983 (


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