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Transcript of Mt. Vesuvius
4 October 2012 In ancient times, Herculaneum was a dream town. Overlooking the Bay of Naples, it was the aristocratic dwelling of a wealthy elite, a cluster of fabulous villas and gardens.
http://dsc.discovery.com/tv/pompeii/history-02.html Mt. Vesuvius
Herculaneum and Pompeii, Italy
August 24, 79 A.D. Herculaneum & Pompeii
Before Eruption At the time Mount Vesuvius erupted, this was a wealthy Roman trading town, famous for its fish sauce and grand villas. Indeed, it was international and cosmopolitan.
In addition to Greeks and Etruscans, the population included residents from Africa. Of Pompeii's 20,000 inhabitants, half were children. The average Pompeian woman was 4 1/2 feet tall and lived to the age of 39. The average man was a few inches taller and could expect to live to the age of 41.
Pompeians poured their savings into their houses. Wealthy people enriched their homes with elegant courtyard gardens decorated with frescoes of plants and flowers and an abundance of modern conveniences. Each room was heated by hot air running through cavity walls and spaces under the floors, while sophisticated hydraulic pumps provided running water.
The entire city had an excellent system for the control and distribution of water. From a great reservoir, water flowed invisibly through underground pipelines into drainage systems and into aqueducts supported by arches. It reappeared in the city's houses, public buildings and fountains.
"The ancient Romans achieved their power because they had a deep knowledge of technology and science, not to mention that they understood many aspects of nature," Paolo Galluzzi, director of Florence's Institute and Museum of the History of Science, said. Works Cited and Researched
http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20070529231621AACIvvU Herculaneum & Pompeii
Weathering Caused by Eruption The volcano eroded much volcanic debris, but it weathered most living organisms in the area by burying them in extremely hot ash and boiling mud. Organisms died instantly and were permanently preserved as rock. By studying bone fractures and the position of the remains, anthropologist Paolo Petrone and volcanologist Giuseppe Mastrolorenzo established beyond a doubt that the fugitives were wrapped in a 900-degree Fahrenheit cloud. They died instantly of thermal shock, not from slow suffocation as scientists long assumed.
http://dsc.discovery.com/tv/pompeii/history-03.html Herculaneum & Pompeii - Erosion Caused by Eruption Mt. Vesuvius eroded much volcanic debris. When the eruption of the 24th of August began, it looked like a pine tree in the sky, according to Pliny, spewing noxious fumes, ash, smoke, mud, stones, and flames. The cloud reached almost 19 miles into the sky, and torrents of lava poured down Vesuvius.
http://dsc.discovery.com/tv/pompeii/history-03.html The Destruction of an Italian Coast Herculaneum & Pompeii
Ecosystem Recovery Over time, the ecosystem has recovered, but been destroyed by the multiple eruptions and earthquakes in the area. Currently there are many species that have recovered in the area, especially human activity.
Because of its fertile ground, this Italian coast's crop yield is higher than the average yield of the rest of the Italian peninsula.
VEGETATIONThe Vesuvius side has a characteristic Mediterranean-type vegetation. Colonisation of the lava by vegetation happens thanks to a greyish-silver lichen called Stereocaulon vesuvianum, which prepares the ground for settlement by other pioneering species, and eventually maquis or scrub is formed. The Somma side instead is damper and is covered by mesophyll forest vegetation, with a prevalence of mixed woodlands of Chestnut, Oak, Alder, Maple and Ilex trees.
The fauna is interesting too: Some of the mammals that can be found are the Wood mouse, the Stone marten, the Fox, the wild Rabbit and the Hare. The most commonlyfound vertebrates are birds, with about 140 species, among which the Sparrow hawk, the Peregrine falcon, the Buzzard, the Redstart, the Wood Pigeon and the Imperial crow. As far as amphibians are concerned there is a considerable Emerald toad population, while there are eight species of reptiles, among which the Rat snake and the Aesculapius coluber. There is also a large community of invertebrates, including 44 different species of butterflies.
CLIMATE CHANGEPerhaps, like Pinatubo, Vesuvius put enough aerosol material into the stratosphere to perturb the Earth's temperature, but that would have been a world-wide change rather than a change local to Vesuvius. Probably during the eruption itself there were dramatic effects such as heavy ash-laden rains, lightning, and thunder, but these are short-lived weather changes, not climate changes.
All the loose ash on the slopes and the denuded vegetation probably also made for many mudflows in the years following the eruption, but you wouldn't really call these climate changes.
HUMAN ACTIVITYSince ancient times man has settled at the foot of Mt. Vesuvius, because its fertile volcanic soil and temperate climate have favoured the emergence of thriving agriculture there. The extensive oak woods have slowly been replaced by vineyards and orchards, which are still the main crops farmed in the area today. Among the best-known produce are: apricots, in a wide range of varieties, cherries, which are mostly grown at the foot of Mt. Somma, the famous pomodorini da serbo, cherry tomatoes that are kept all year long, hanging from the walls or ceilings in characteristic piennoli, and the giant cauliflower among the vegetable species. Vesuvius however, is above all a wine-growing area; one of its most renowned wines is the Piedirosso, which together with Falanghina, is the Vesuvian red and rosé wine with a Controlled Denomination of Origin, while the white wine with the same denomination comes from the Coda di Volpe vineyard, which has ancient origins. The Falangina, Piedirosso and Coda di Volpe grapes are used to produce the famous Lacryma Christi wine.
http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20070529231621AACIvvU Mt. Vesuvius