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Campi Flegrei: A Dangerous Supervolcano Showing Signs Of Possible Eruption

First Posted: May 16, 2017 04:10 AM EDT
Campi Flegrei Supervolcano Eruption Prediction: Scientists See Signs Of Potential Explosion
The supervolcano, Campi Flegrei, in Italy is now experiencing unrest and has signs of potential eruption.
(Photo : News Watch/YouTube screenshot)

A new research suggests that Campi Flegrei in southern Italy is showing signs of possible eruption. The researchers said that the possible eruption may be closer than previously thought.

The findings of the research were published in Nature Communications on May 15, 2017. The study was led by researchers from UCL and the Vesuvius Observatory in Naples. The team utilized a new model of volcano fracturing to examine whether the supervolcano Campi Flegrei may again erupt, according to EurekAlert.

Dr. Christopher Kilburn, the Director of the UCL Hazard Center, said that by examining how the ground is moving and cracking at Campi Flegrei, they think it could approach a critical stage where further unrest will heighten the possibility of an eruption. It is important that the authorities are prepared for this, he added.

Dr. Kilburn further said that they do not know when or if this long-term unrest could lead to an eruption. On the other hand, Campi Flegrei is following a trend they have seen when testing their model on other volcanoes such as Rabaul in Papua New Guinea, El Hiero in the Canary Islands and Soufriere on Montserrat in the Caribbean. The researchers have been predicting eruptions at volcanoes that have been quiet for generations, as noted by Phys.org.

Campi Flegrei volcano is also known as the Phlegraean Fields, which is a massive caldera that is located to the west of Naples in Italy. Its caldera comprises of 24 craters and volcanic edifices. It is reported that the volcano has been restless for 67 years. It also has two-year periods of unrest in the 1950s, 1970s and 1980s. These triggered small earthquakes and ground uplift. This unrest was likened over 500 years ago.

The unrest of Campi Flegrei has also caused intense social upheaval in the volcanic area. In 1979 and 1983 unrests, about tens of thousands of people evacuated from Pozzuoli itself. The unrest today signifies possible eruption, yet it is difficult to predict when would the eruption be. A possible eruption now could affect 360,000 people living across the caldera and the Naples' population of almost 1 million. Experts advise to be ready and to prepare for adaptations of emergency that will lead to the eruption.

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