Volcanoes in the Mediterranean region

Here we find some of the world's better known and most often visited active volcanoes, several of which have been studied since antiquity. At the eastern end of the Mediterranean Sea, Turkey has Nemrut Dagi which erupted in historical times, while Greece has Methana, Nisyros, and the famous Santorini, the site of a cataclysmic eruption that may have destroyed the Minoan civilization.

Italy has a rich collection of active volcanoes including Vesuvius, probably the world's most often photographed and painted volcano. North of Vesuvius is Campi Flegrei (the "Flaming Fields") considered to be potentially even more dangerous than Vesuvius. Between the mainland and Sicily are the volcanic Aeolian Islands which include Stromboli, Lipari, and Vulcano, all very appealing destinations. Sicily has the mighty Mt. Etna, Europe's largest volcano and a very active one (Fig. 1.13). Those who want to go further afield can head for the island of Pantelleria just north of Africa's coast; this volcanic island was last active in 1891.

Volcano The Mediterranean Sea

Fig. 1.13. Mount Etna in Sicily is Europe's largest volcano. Its frequent eruptions often delight visitors, but they can be dangerous. Whether in activity or repose, Etna is one of the world's best volcanoes to visit. This view, taken by the author in March 1981, shows the upper slopes covered with snow. Etna is a popular skiing destination in winter, though eruptions have wrecked havoc with the tourist facilitites. (Photograph by the author.)

Fig. 1.13. Mount Etna in Sicily is Europe's largest volcano. Its frequent eruptions often delight visitors, but they can be dangerous. Whether in activity or repose, Etna is one of the world's best volcanoes to visit. This view, taken by the author in March 1981, shows the upper slopes covered with snow. Etna is a popular skiing destination in winter, though eruptions have wrecked havoc with the tourist facilitites. (Photograph by the author.)

The Mediterranean volcanoes offer excellent facilities for visitors, the only drawback being that they are often too popular - it's best to avoid the summer months. Visiting these volcanoes is a lesson in history as well as in geology. It is here that the interaction between volcanoes and people has been documented since antiquity. It was by observing Mediterranean volcanoes that ancient philosophers first started to strive to understand volcanic eruptions. We have the benefit of not only early theories but also records spanning many centuries, an invaluable scientific tool in the search for the truth about how volcanoes work.

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  • justiina
    How many volcanoes in the mediterranean?
    1 year ago

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