Volcano Near Naples City Showing Signs Of Reawakening

Posted: Dec 21 2016, 1:22am CST | by , Updated: Dec 21 2016, 1:29am CST, in News | Latest Science News

 

Volcano Near Naples City Showing Signs of Reawakening
The Campi Flegrei caldera in 2013. Credit: Carmine Minopoli
 

New observations seem to suggest that Campi Flegrei volcano near Italian city of Naples may be nearing a critical pressure point

Two thousand years ago Mount Vesuvius destroyed the ancient city of Pompeii. Today, an even bigger volcano just close to Naples city is showing the signs of unrest. If erupts, the volcano could lead to more widespread devastation than Mount Vesuvius.

New observations from Italian and French geochemists seem to indicate that Campi Flegrei volcano has almost reached to a tipping point where gas pressure under the Earth’s surface could drive an eruption. And the excessive release of fluids and gases could threaten the lives of half a million people living near the volcano. 

"Hydrothermal rocks, if heated, can ultimately lose their mechanical resistance, causing acceleration towards critical conditions.” Lead author Giovanni Chiodini, a researcher at Italy's National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology in Bologna said in a statement

Campi Flegrei is amongst the most dangerous volcanoes on Earth. Since 2005, an increased geological instability has been observed in the area, prompting Italian authorities to raise the alert level in 2012 from green to yellow. The volcano has been actively monitored by the scientists ever since. 

Two other active volcanoes - Rabaul in Papua New Guinea, and Sierra Negra in the Galapago – also showed ground ‘uplift’ before eruption similar to that observed at Campi Flegrei. So the accelerated ground deformation combined with low seismic activity could be an indicative of an explosive eruption. 

Researchers cannot pinpoint any exact date or time of this eruption. However, they suggest that the volcano is overdue for an explosion, which could pose danger for the people living inside and around the region.

Campi Flegrei is located in the west of Italian city of Naples – a city resided by a million of people. Its caldera was formed 39,000 years ago as a result of a fiery blast that ejected lava, rock and debris miles into the air.

Campi Flegrei last erupted in 1538, though it was on a much smaller scale than current estimates.

 

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Hira Bashir covers daily affairs around the world.

 

 

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