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night eruption Welcome to the first volcanology WWW server in Germany (and its mirrors at MTU, USA and VOL, Italy)!

You have chosen to visit (for this time, at least virtually) one of the most beautiful and famous volcanic areas in the world. The volcanoes of Italy have inspired science, arts, religion and society for more than 2000 years. An Italian volcano, Vesuvio (Vesuvius), has stimulated the earliest eyewitness account of an eruption (by Pliny the Younger) in recorded history while another, Etna, has the largest number of recorded historical eruptions. The word "volcano" itself derives from an Italian volcano, Vulcano. One of the few volcanoes on Earth that is in continuous eruption is Stromboli. And it is again Vesuvio that has the fame of being Earth's most famous and most dangerous volcano. It is for these and many other reasons that Italy may be regarded "the cradle of volcanology", an acknowledgement made in Tom Simkin's and Lee Siebert's phenomenal "Volcanoes of the World" (1994).

On these pages you will have the chance to visit Stromboli, some of its neighboring islands (Isole Eolie, or Aeolian Islands), the two Italian Decade Volcanoes, Vesuvio and Etna, some less-known Italian volcanoes, and a few volcanoes in other parts of the world. For personal reasons, the 1973 eruption on the Icelandic island of Heimaey is presented here in detail.

lava flow Since their first appearance on the WWW, these pages have gone through a notable evolution. Starting with one single page accessible via ftp which had some (much too large) black and white photos on it, this site has now become a small world on its own, living with many contributions from numerous persons and becoming reasonably representative of Italian volcanism. Maybe the most impressive growth has occurred in the Vesuvio section that started as an offspring of the Stromboli pages; now I am glad to see it become much more than only one of Boris' volcano pages. Contributions from various Vesuvio experts including the Osservatorio Vesuviano proper have made it the product of a more representative group of people than only myself who has never done any real fieldwork on Vesuvio.

Equally flattering, this is one of the few volcanological sites that are mirrored on two continents, thanks to the collaboration with Mike Dolan of MTU. It has thus become very easily accessible - an unbelievable vision when I launched it on its somewhat hidden position on GEOMAR's slow ftp server in May 1995. On the first birthday of this site, a third mirror has been set up in Italy - finally; after all it's Italian volcanoes that are the subject of this site.

The latest developments are the use of Java scripts to create new special effects and a completely new layout for the title page. This allows you to control more effectively where to move from one place to another. Escape doorways are always present, if you don't like that layout and want to see the pages in full screen versions.

With this WWW site, I intend to present a vision of Italian volcanism as complete as possible, but I also wish to present these volcanoes in a broader context and give some information about the most prominent Italian volcanic areas and central volcanoes. A special emphasis is put on volcanic hazard issues that are of particular relevance at Vesuvio, Vulcano and Etna. At this stage, this information is necessarily incomplete, but it will be more accurate and detailed with time. Just for the record, and for the pleasure of all the volcanophiles around, I occasionally present images of recent or ongoing eruptions that are not available elsewhere on the WWW at that moment. I am proud to say that it has been this site that first had images of the 1995 eruptions of Fogo, Metis Shoal, Kuju, and Cerro Negro, even if they were within days superseded by much more brilliant images on other WWW sites.

NOTE that the data presented on these pages DO NOT form part of the research programs of GEOMAR except where clearly expressed. Thus, I am the only responsible for the contents of these pages with the exception of the sections produced by persons named in the proper places (mostly on the Vesuvio pages). Credits should nonetheless be given to GEOMAR for making the maintenance of the German mirror of this site possible. The same naturally applies for Michigan Technological University and the mirror there. Any suggestions and/or comments about these pages, their contents and their mode of presentation are highly welcome and shall contribute to the quality of this site.


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