Nature 16/10/19 PixabayКампи Flegrei: the worst volcano in Europe
southern Italy – a zone of high volcanic activity. All known erupting periodically the Sicilian Etna and Vesuvius that destroyed the Roman cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum. But few know that 10 kilometers from the densely populated Naples are the Phlegraean fields is a unique natural object. In Italian this volcanic area called the Campi Flegrei, and, as scientists believe, it is a volcano eruption which can destroy Europe. Recently it became known that Campi Flegrei “waking from hibernation”.
the History of the volcano
the Name “Phlegraean fields” (“scorched earth”) is taken from ancient mythology, was a place where the gods, led by Zeus, defeated the giants – the giants born of Gaia.
From a geological point of view, the Campi Flegrei is a volcanic Caldera — a vast cascabraga basin of volcanic origin with an area of about 100 square kilometers. Basically it is under water and has 24 crater and volcanic uplift. One of them is the volcano Solfatara near the town of Pozzuoli, which appeared about 4 thousand years ago — periodically throws out underground gases (according to the myths of the ancient Greeks, in Solfatara lived the God of fire Volcano).
the heart of the Phlegraean fields Magma comes very close to the earth’s surface. 40 thousand years ago in this area occurred megaspirea, a layer of ash which covered 1.1 million square kilometers in Europe. The air temperature because of the high sulfur content then decreased by 5-10 degrees, and the number of animals in the affected part of the world has declined. According to one version, this “volcanic winter” that are comparable with the effects of nuclear bombing, was the cause of the extinction of the Neanderthals, which no one was hunting.
12-15 thousand years ago occurred one eruption of Campi Flegrei already smaller.
After that, the volcano from time to time reminded of itself only a small eruptions. In 1538, when it was recorded last activity here was formed the volcanic cone of Monte Nuovo is an event described by many witnesses, was a milestone in Volcanology.
Although the attendance of visitors in the heart of the Phlegraean fields is not prohibited, they remain a very dangerous place for human beings. For example, in 2017 the three Italians – 11-year-old boy and his parents died here,falling into a deep pit.
the Risk of new megasurge
There is every reason to fear that Campi Flegrei sooner or later will Wake up, and the consequences would be disastrous for humanity.
the First alarm bells rang in 1970 and 1983, the years when the houses of residents of the Central part of the Pozzuoli suddenly with relief, rose up, and then began to fall. By underground magmatic processes. However, in addition to the evacuation and displacement of residents, other unpleasant events, contrary to expectations of experts, was not followed.
As reported by Italian newspaper Il Messagero, citing fresh research of the volcanologist Francesco Forni and his colleagues, Campi Flegrei “may be on the threshold of a new major eruption”. The volcano, in their opinion, has entered a new cycle of activity, and in its depths there is a “recharge” of the magma. These conclusions are based on analysis of rock samples. In particular, it turned out that magma, which consists of the Monte Nuovo, its composition is very close to the rocks, framed in the initial stages of ancient superiority. It is characterized by high differentiation, a large number of bubbles of water and carbon dioxide. The current state of rest, as scientists believe, lies the accumulation of magma and the increase in gas pressure.
When will the new eruption and how it can be massive, experts can not yet predict. Inprobably, we are talking about several millennia. However, if this event happened right now it would be destroyed 1.5-million Naples, and the air in Europe would be filled with particles of sulfur poisoning all life.
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