Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Volcanoes of Italy
Italy is one of the most volcanically active countries in Europe, possessing the largest volcanoes on the continent, as well as the European mainland's only active volcanoes. Three of its volcanoes have erupted in the last 100 years:
- Mount Etna, on Sicily (continuous activity)
- Stromboli, one of the Aeolian Islands (continuous activity)
- Mount Vesuvius, near Naples (last erupted in 1944)
At least nine other volcanic centres have seen eruptions in historic times, including some submarine volcanoes (seamounts). In order of most recent eruption they are:
- Pantelleria, off the coast of Tunisia, probably last erupted around 1000 BC. There was a submarine eruption a few kilometres north-east of the island in 1891, which was probably related to the main volcano.
- Vulcano, another of the Aeolian Islands, last erupted in 1888-1890.
- The short-lived Isola Ferdinandea erupted a few kilometres north-west of Pantelleria in 1831 and rose to a maximum height of 63 metres, but was eroded back down to sea level by 1835 and the summit is now a few metres below the surface. A swarm of small earthquakes centred on the seamount in 2002 was thought to indicate that magma was moving beneath the volcano, but no eruption occurred.
- Vulcanello is a small volcano connected by an isthmus to the island of Vulcano, which erupted out of the sea in 183 BC and showed occasional activity thereafter until the 16th century.
- Monte Nuovo , in the Campi Flegrei caldera a few kilometres north of Naples, erupted in 1538.
- Ischia, an island 20 kilometres west of Naples, last erupted in 1302.
- Larderello, in southern Tuscany, last erupted in 1282
- Lipari, an island a couple of kilometres from Vulcano, has a volcano which last erupted in 729.
- Vulsini , at the northern end of the Roman magnetic province , last erupted in 104BC .
An ambiguous eye-witness account exists which may describe an eruption in 114 BC of Monte Albano near Rome, although geological evidence does not support this claim, indicating instead that the last eruption occurred 22000 years ago.
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