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Craters of Stromboli, September 1996

Stromboli's craters, seen from Pizzo sopra la Fossa, 30 September 1996

Stromboli activity, September-October 1996

Photos taken by Matthias Hort, Geomar. Click on thumbnails to get large images

Explosion from Crater 1 Explosion from Crater 1

Beginning of an explosive bomb and ash emission from Crater 1, seen from Pizzo sopra la Fossa, on 30 September 1996.

Monte Somma

The steep caldera wall of Monte Somma, 18 May 1996
(Full picture JPEG: 54K) Remainder of ancient Vesuvio, the circular wall of Monte Somma looms up to 300 m above the present caldera floor. One of its high points, Cognoli di Ottaviano (1111 m) is visible in the upper left of the photo. The near-vertical wall shows the stratigraphy of the ancient volcano, and numerous dikes trending in numerous directions are testimony of that volcano's flank eruptions.

View to NW

Northwest view from Vesuvio, 18 May 1996
(Full picture JPEG: 58K) On clear days, the view from Vesuvio's summit is extraordinarily spectacular. This is looking towards the northwest towards Napoli (in the background). The western part of the Atrio del Cavallo with part of the Somma rim is visible in the right center, and the Colle Umberto shield prominently fills the center. Behind it, slightly to the left, there lies the Colle Salvatore on which the Osservatorio Vesuviano and several hotels and bars have been constructed. The 1944 lava flows and pyroclastic avalanches are still visible as gray areas largely free of vegetation.

View to South

View towards Sorrento peninsula, 18 May 1996
(Full picture JPEG: 33K) Looking south from the summit of Vesuvio, with the mountains of the Sorrento peninsula forming the skyline in the background. Densely populated southern flank of the volcano with Torre Annunziata, Boscotrecase and Castellamare di Stabia is visible in the center. Note well-vegetated lava flows in the foreground, including those of 1906. The eccentric cones of the 1760 fissure eruption are also visible. Some places are outlined in red.

Trail to crater

Tourists climbing to Vesuvio's crater, 17 May 1996
(Full picture JPEG: 63K) From the parking lot at 1000 m altitude, visitors have to walk the last 200 m (vertical distance) to the crater on feet. The trail is well maintained and quite easy to walk on. The climb to the crater of Vesuvio is thus nothing more than a family sunday walk. Monte Somma is in the background.

Vesuvio Crater

Crater of Vesuvio, 18 May 1996
(Full picture JPEG: 85K) Southwest part of the crater, showing 1913-1944 lava fill and 1944 pyroclastics on the crater rim. The sheeted 1913-1944 lava flows show a sharp contact against older pyroclastics with subordinate lava flows. This contact (visible in lower right part of image) is the wall of the crater formed in 1906. The 1944 eruption opened a new crater somewhat south of the 1906 crater, thus leading to this beautiful exposure. Green vegetation is visible on the high crater rim in the center.

Vegetation in crater

Young trees growing within crater, 18 May 1996
(Full picture JPEG: 91K) More than 50 years after the most recent eruption, vegetation is conquering the volcano. While vast areas on its slopes are already covered in lush green, patches of vegetation are even visible within the crater. Small trees are visible below the SW rim of the crater (right part of image), being no more than a few years old.


The ruins of Herculaneum, 18 May 1996
(Full picture JPEG: 138K) View over the ruins of Herculaneum towards the complex of Somma and Vesuvio, with the historically active cone to the right. The boat chambers, scenes of human tragedy during the AD 79 eruption, are visible in the lower part of the photo. This was the shoreline until pyroclastic flows of the AD 79 eruption displaced the coast about 400 m seaward.

Carbonized wood

Carbonized wood, evidence of pyroclastic flows of the AD 79 eruption
(Full picture JPEG: 91K) Major building in Herculaneum severely damaged during the AD 79 eruption. The column to the right is slightly displaced, and cracks are visible in the walls in the background. Carbonized wood is visible around the entrance in the center, evidence for high temperatures in the flows that buried the unfortunate city.

These two people were among the visitors of Vesuvio on 17 and 18 May 1996

Two visitors of Vesuvio

Page set up on 16 June 1996, last modified on 6 July 1996