View Full Version : Eruption in southern Italy feared as magma accumulates under Campi Flegrei

Roger E. Moore
2018-Nov-15, 07:32 PM
See southern Italy while it is still there.


This Italian Supervolcano Looks to Have Restarted Its Deadly Cycle of Fire

It's been almost 500 years since Italy's Campi Flegrei let loose its fiery wrath, but new evidence reveals the ancient supervolcano the home of Vulcan, the Roman god of fire may be stirring from its long sleep. For the 1.5 million residents of the Naple region who live in the shadow of the giant caldera system, there's no immediate danger of an eruption. But the findings nonetheless suggest Campi Flegrei may have embarked upon a new magma cycle that poses ultimately hellish and devastating consequences. "We propose that the subvolcanic plumbing system at Campi Flegrei is currently entering a new build-up phase, potentially culminating, at some undetermined point in the future, in a large volume eruption," a team of researchers explain in a new paper.

QUOTE: Home to more than 1.5 million people, the Campi Flegrei caldera (Southern Italy) represents one of the most hazardous regions on Earth, and its magmatic history has been the focus of a number of studies. Notably, two large-volume caldera-forming eruptions [Campanian Ignimbrite (CI), ~39 thousand years (ka) ago and Neapolitan Yellow Tuff (NYT), ~15 ka ago] and a vast number of smaller volcanic events occurred at Campi Flegrei in the past 60 ka. Since the last historical eruption (Monte Nuovo, 1538 AD), the caldera has gone through recurrent episodes of unrest, suggesting that the magmatic system is active and potentially prone to erupt again in the future.


Original Paper: http://advances.sciencemag.org/content/4/11/eaat9401

Long-term magmatic evolution reveals the beginning of a new caldera cycle at Campi Flegrei

Francesca Forni, Wim Degruyter, Olivier Bachmann, Gianfilippo De Astis and Silvio Mollo
Science Advances 14 Nov 2018: Vol. 4, no. 11, eaat9401 DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aat9401

Located in one of the most populated regions on Earth, Camp Flegrei is an active and restless volcano that has produced two cataclysmic caldera-forming eruptions and numerous smaller eruptive events over the past 60,000 years. Here, we combine the results of an extensive petrological survey with a thermomechanical model to investigate how the magmatic system shifts from frequent, small eruptions to large caldera-forming events. Our data reveal that the most recent eruption of Monte Nuovo is characterized by highly differentiated magmas akin to those that fed the pre-caldera activity and the initial phases of the caldera-forming eruptions. We suggest that this eruption is an expression of a state shift in magma storage conditions, whereby substantial amounts of volatiles start to exsolve in the shallow reservoir. The presence of an exsolved gas phase has fundamental consequences for the physical properties of the reservoir and may indicate that a large magma body is currently accumulating underneath Campi Flegrei.

2018-Nov-16, 07:26 PM
Similar predictions came out last year (2017) in Nature Communications:
Campi Flegrei volcano eruption possibly closer than thought (https://phys.org/news/2017-05-campi-flegrei-volcano-eruption-possibly.html)

Roger E. Moore
2018-Nov-17, 02:24 AM
No need to run now, it seems, but eventually Everything Must Go.


The Eruptions of an Italian Supervolcano Seem to Follow a Pattern
And a new study suggests that Campi Flegrei could be entering a new phase of activity, though a major eruption in the near future is unlikely

By Brigit Katz, smithsonian.com, November 15, 2018

Over the past 40,000 years, three major eruptions have burst forth from Italy’s Campi Flegrei volcano. Two of said eruptions carved massive calderas, or craters, in the landscape, and the third, which happened in 1538, created a new mountain in the region. Since then, the volcano has been relatively quiet; today, in fact, some 1.5 million people live within one of the calderas.

As Robin George Andrews reports for the New York Times, a new study tracing the geologic history of Campi Flegrei has revealed that the volcano’s major eruptions seem to follow a pattern. What’s more, the researchers behind the study posit that the volcano could be entering into a new phase of activity; though a massive eruption, if it happens at all, is not likely to happen during our lifetime.