In December 2000, during the 24th annual meeting of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee, which took place in Cairns in Australia (from 27 November to 2 December 2000), a new site was created: the “Aeolian Islands ” (located in the Mediterranean Sea, Messina).The site was listed on the basis of criterion (VIII) relating to natural sites.

The islands’ volcanic landforms represent classic features in the continuing study of volcanology world-wide. With their scientific study from at least the 18th Century, the islands have provided two of the types of eruptions (Vulcanian and Strombolian) to vulcanology and geology textbooks and so have featured prominently in the education of all geoscientists for over 200 years. They continue to provide a rich field for volcanological studies of on-going geological processes in the development of landforms.

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