Vesuvius is one of the world’s best known and most dangerous volcanoes. This famous volcano began its activity about 25,000 years ago. As a result of countless eruptions of lavas, pumice and ash, the volcanic activity has built up a conical mountain that is 1281 m in height.

Explosive eruptions of Vesuvius are mainly of three types:
Small to medium-size strombolian to vulcanian eruptions, with production of lava flows, and fallout of ash and pumice on and near the volcano.
Sub-plinian eruptions, which are medium to large explosive volcanic events, and result in extensive fallout of pumice and ash around the volcano, accompanied by some pyroclastic flows and surges.
The diagram shows a chronological list of the main eruptions of Vesuvius, and gives an indication of their sizes. Just like the Richter earthquake scale, the eruption sizes are shown on a log scale. Every whole number increment of eruption size is actually an increase of a factor of ten!
Plinian eruptions, which are very violent and large explosive events, that produce wide-spread fallout of pumice and ash and extensive pyroclastic flows and surges. The 79 A.D. eruption is a prime example.

Go to the top of Vesuvius and look into the crater.