Campi Flegrei caldera (Italy): new geysir-like fumarole vent observed, ongoing slow inflation
Wed, 6 Feb 2013, 15:3515:35 PM | BY: T
A new fumarole vent has been detected recently in the Campi Flegrei in the hydrothermal field of Pisciarelli. The new vent was seen ejecting hot gas as well as geyser-like fountains of water reaching 4-5 meters of height. This will inevitably trigger headlines in the press about the possibility of a volcanic eruption in the area, however, it should be looked at in a context that such phenomena are a normal part of the behavior of (very) active hydrothermal systems such as the Campi Flegrei have.
Inflation of the ground by about 10 cm since 1 Jan 2012 (OV / INGV)
Since 2006, the maximum temperatures at the Pisciarelli fumaroles have climbed to peak in July 2012, and then oscillated at values near water boiling point.
Judging from temperature readings, the Vesuvius Observatory believes that the new vent opened on 23 Jan, when gas temperatures from nearby fumaroles suddenly climbed to values of 98 deg C and then steeply dropped to values oscillating between 75-80°C was recorded.
The heavy rainfalls that day might have caused a stream of water blocking one fumarole vent and triggering the opening of the new one. A sudden addition of cold water into the system would also explain the temperature drop, but further studies will be necessary to conclude better what is happening.
Scientists warn about the possibility of some weak phreatic explosions that could be the result of accumulating overheated water at shallow depth.
In the meanwhile, the slow inflation of the ground near Pozzuoli continued at a rate of about 1 cm peer month, and seismic activity has remained relatively low. According to the observatory, these levels are not considered alarming, but of course, these parameters are very closely being monitored.
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Mon, 7 Jan 2013, 11:19
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