Another supervolcano inflating: Significant uplift reported at Italy’s Campi Flegrei

January 7, 2013ITALY According to a recent report by INGV Naples, the ground deformation of the Campi Flegrei (Phlegraean Fields) near Naples has increased considerably lately. During the last 12 months, the ground in some places near the town of Pozzuoli was uplifted by about 8 cm. The largest uplift, recorded by GPS devices, occurred during the months of July-August 2012 and since December. The trend appears to be continuing at the moment. Such (sometimes dramatic, totaling up to several meters in a few years) ground uplift and subsidence have been known in the Phlegraean Fields since antiquity and are not a new phenomenon. They can usually be explained by normal pressure, temperature and density variations of the giant hydrothermal system of the Campi Flegrei caldera and may not necessarily indicate an imminent eruption. However, in addition to the detected ground deformation, scientists also measured increased numbers of micro earthquakes, a rise in temperature and in particular, an increase in the proportion of the gases of magmatic origin at fumaroles in the Solfatara crater. As the hydrothermal system is closely connected with the underlying complex magma chamber of the Phlegrean Fields, new magma movements could in fact be the culprit for the observed changes. Whether these, and if so when, will lead to a new volcanic eruption is currently uncertain. A much larger increase of such observed changes should probably be expected if in fact should new volcanic activity was to announce itself. The last volcanic eruption occurred after a rest period of about 3000 years in the year 1538 AD and built a new cinder cone, the Monte Nuovo (“New Mountain”) near Pozzuoli. Strong ground uplift, earthquakes and changes in springs and fumaroles preceded the eruption according to historical sources. Even though it was – geologically speaking – a rather small eruption, the effects of a similar event today would be devastating for the very densely populated area. It should be hoped that the residents and all involved are spared such a scenario, at least for the near future. –Volcano Discovery
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9 Responses to Another supervolcano inflating: Significant uplift reported at Italy’s Campi Flegrei

  1. Ian says:

    Couple of years ago it is reported scientists were planning to drill into this volcano, I don’t know if they did but such action is a worry, as however clever they are they still can get caught out by unknowns, with much more than just their own lives at stake.


  2. This comes as no surprise since there has been quite a surge in small quakes south of there, on northeastern Sicily, and given the fact tha Vesuvius is running behind in its next eruption as the earthquake triggers have already occured within the past few years. I think that the best thing anyone living in Naples could do is leave, but most probably won’t until one or the other (or both) of these volcanoes erupt. Given the increase in volcanic and seismic activity lately, I’m expecting an eruption.


  3. Irene C says:

    I was looking at the USGS site this morning and noticed something intresting. There has been a line of minor quakes, going from west to east: from CA, AZ, NM, CO, OK, and this morning TN. I’m not sure if it means anything, but it caught my attention. But at least Yellowstone and New Madrid have been quiet (so far).


    • Therese Denbeck says:

      That activity was prevalent prior to the Virginia Quake … I watched it ping back and forth etc. It is curious though. I think Yellowstone had an uptick within the last couple of days. There are a few interesting additions in activity since the Virginia quake so I sometimes wonder if there might be a wild card to look for. Prior to the Virginia quake the activity seemed to migrate from Baja areas and cut across Texas. The New Mexico/Colorado border busted pretty good before the Virginia event. Base of the Rockies and part of the Colorado Plateau area. I was fascinated by the symmetry (sp?) of seismic activity from the point of Japan EQ.. It seemed that Lake Tahoe and San Franciso had a sympathetic relationship just prior to Virginia as well. As I have said though as similar as this activity is there are a few Wild Cards and some missin markers (ie Texas and Baja migration). We will see.


  4. Bruce Wayne says:

    it would be ironic if after passing dec 21, 2012 and perhaps thinking everything was ok, that the environment suddenly goes into super change bringing upheavals around the globe


    • That would be ironic, Bruce! I was saying the very same thing in a blog post on the 20th of December – sometimes I hate it when I’m right!


    • Therese Denbeck says:

      Bruce I have had the exact same idea — however as 2012 passed without event I admonished a few to temperance. I continue to post that there is still time for certain things to happen. We will see. I personally am thinking that there is a bit more to come honestly.


  5. Irene C says:

    I noticed today, 1/9/13, that there was a lot of activity in Chili; a 5.0, 5.1, and a 4. something. It looks like the Pacific Rim is vibrating. (Only word I could think of.) Possibly related to the Alaska quake we had a couple of days ago? Hmmm, interesting…


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