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Authors: Bertagnini, A.* 
Cioni, R.* 
Guidoboni, E.* 
Rosi, M.* 
Neri, A.* 
Boschi, E.* 
Title: Eruption early warning at Vesuvius: The A.D. 1631 lesson
Journal: Geophys. Res. Lett. 
Series/Report no.: /33 (2006)
Publisher: Agu
Issue Date: 2006
DOI: 10.1029/2006GL027297
Keywords: Vesuvius
A. D. 1631
Subject Classification04. Solid Earth::04.08. Volcanology::04.08.99. General or miscellaneous 
04. Solid Earth::04.08. Volcanology::04.08.06. Volcano monitoring 
04. Solid Earth::04.08. Volcanology::04.08.08. Volcanic risk 
Abstract: Knowledge of past precursor patterns is crucial for the correct interpretation of monitoring data and reliable volcano forecasting. In the case of Vesuvius, one of the world’s riskiest volcanoes, very little information is available about unrest signals following long periods of quiescence. The translation and analysis of three Latin treatises written from eye-witnesses immediately after the A.D. 1631 subplinian eruption allowed us to reconstruct the sequence of precursors. The progression in the signals was remarkably clear starting at least two to three weeks before the event. Widespread gas emission from the ground coupled with deformation was followed by an increase in seismic activity in the eight days before the eruption. Seismicity escalated both in frequency and intensity in the night before the eruption, heralding the opening of fissures on the volcanic cone. The details of phenomena occurring in the medium-term (months before the eruption) are difficult to evaluate, though it is worth noticing that no major tectonic earthquakes were felt in the area of the volcano. Civil protection preparedness plans should be organized in order to complete the evacuation of people in a time span significantly shorter than the duration of expected short-term precursors.
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