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Post Info TOPIC: Phlegrean Fields


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Phlegraean Fields
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The geological clock of volcanoes

In Naples, which lies in the shadow of the Vesuvius' volcano, a new project is hoping to uncover the clock-work-like mechanics behind an eruption.
The bay of Naples is potentially one of the most dangerous areas in the world. The densely-inhabited city lies in the middle of a volcanic system made up of the Phlegraean Fields, the island of Ischia and Vesuvius, which German writer Goethe once called "a peak of hell rising in the midst of paradise". It's the perfect case study for researchers from the Chronos project.

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Campi Flegrei volcano
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Volcano near Naples showing signs of reawakening

The slumbering Campi Flegrei volcano under the Italian city of Naples shows signs of reawakening and may be nearing a critical pressure point, according to a new study.
Italian and French scientists have for the first time identified a threshold beyond which rising magma under the Earth's surface could trigger the release of fluids and gases at a 10-fold increased rate.

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Tunnels at Baiae
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The Unsolved Mystery of the Tunnels at Baiae

The existence of the Sibylline Books certainly suggests that Rome took the legend of the Cumćan sibyl seriously, and indeed the geographer Strabo, writing at about the time of Christ, clearly states that there actually was "an Oracle of the Dead" somewhere in the Phlegrćan Fields. So it is scarcely surprising that archaeologists and scholars of romantic bent have from time to time gone in search of a cave or tunnel that might be identified as the real home of a real sibyl - nor that some have hoped that they would discover an entrance, if not to Hades, then at least to some spectacular subterranean caverns.
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"Super volcano", global danger, lurks near Pompeii

The boiling mud and sulphurous steam holes of the area west of Naples known as the Campi Flegrei or Phlegraean Fields, from the Greek word for burning, are a major tourist attraction.
Scientists plan to drill 3.5 km below the surface to monitor the huge chamber of molten rock near Pompeii and give early warning of any eruption from a 13-km-wide collapsed volcanic caldera.
The Campi Flegrei are similar to the Yellowstone caldera in the U.S. state of Wyoming but of more concern because they are in an area populated by around 3 million people in the Naples hinterland.

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RE: Phlegrean Fields
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Ancient Super-Eruption Larger Than Thought

A super-eruption of an Italian volcano that may have played a major role in the Neanderthals' fate was apparently even larger than thought, new research suggests.
For the new study, scientists investigated the Campi Flegrei caldera volcano in southern Italy. About 39,000 years ago, it experienced the largest volcanic eruption that Europe has seen in the last 200,000 years. This super-eruption may have played a part in wiping out or driving away Neanderthal and modern human populations in the eastern Mediterranean.

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Ancient Supervolcano's Eruption Spewed Ash Over Europe, Asia

An ash dispersion model of an ancient eruption of the Campi Flegrei supervolcano in Italy shows southern Europe taking the brunt of the ash and reaching deep into Asia. Credit: A. Costa et al.



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The supervolcano that threatens all life in Europe

The Campi Flegrei caldera is a supervolcano. Although there's no picture-postcard volcanic cone, hidden beneath the seemingly placid landscape lies a volcano of immense power. While a new eruption here would be more likely to result in the creation of another Vesuvius-like cone, the worst-case scenario could see it obliterating much of life in Europe.
In this eventuality the Earth's surface would swell and crack and a series of small eruptions would cause the four-mile-wide caldera floor to collapse into the larger magma reservoir, which would in turn push more magma to the surface.
The last time the ground gave way like this, 39,000 years ago when the caldera was formed, it created the cliffs that the postcard town of Sorrento stands on now - volcanic deposits over 300ft deep. If the same kind of eruption happened today, this part of Italy could cease to exist, and the ash clouds would blot out the Sun and lower the Earth's temperature.

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Satellite images acquired by ESA’s Envisat satellite have revealed the volcanic region of the Phlegrean Fields, located in southern Italy near the city of Naples, has entered a new uplift phase.

Using Differential SAR Interferometry (DInSAR), scientists at the Institute for the Electromagnetic Sensing of the Environment (IREA) of the Italian National Research Council (CNR) mapped the changes in the caldera – a ring-shaped region which includes several volcanoes – and discovered the area has uplifted about 2.8 centimetres from 2005 to 2006.
DInSAR, a sophisticated version of 'spot the difference', involves mathematically combining different satellite radar images, acquired from as near as possible to the same point in space at different times, to create digital elevation models and reveal otherwise undetectable changes occurring between image acquisitions.
With a diameter of 13 kilometres, the Phlegrean Fields caldera had its last eruption back in 1538 but has exhibited signs of unrest (bradyseismic activity) in recent years. Its underlying magma system remains active, leading to rapid periods of ground uplift followed by longer-term subsidence. The most recent uplift event occurred between March and August 2000.

The satellite images used to detect the newest uplift phase of the Phlegrean Fields, known in Italy as Campi Flegrei, were acquired from January 2005 to April 2006 and show an area of maximum deformation localised in the centre of the town of Pozzuoli, which lies near the caldera’s centre, with the deformation extending westward to the area surrounding Monte Nuovo. By using the data, scientists were also able to determine the uplift trend started in June 2005.


Source

Phlegrean Fields
Expand (92kb, 800 x 536)

Latitude 40.827043°N Longitude 14.120943°E

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