Rome (Italy): second mudvolcano off shore near Fiumicino airport
Tuesday Oct 01, 2013 06:31 AM | BY: T
A second (and much more violent) geyser-like fumarole or mudvolcano recently appeared off shore near Fumiciono, approx. 100 meters out from the beach in the area where the new port of Rome is being built. It is an underwater vent that produces fountains of upwelling sediment-rich water driven by strong degassing from the sea floor:
Samples have been taken and the main gasses found were CO2 and methane. The origin of the new gas vents is far from clear. While a volcanic cause cannot be completely excluded and is being widely speculated upon, it is far more likely, that decaying sediments are to blame. The area where the two mudvolcanoes appeared is in the delta of the Tiber river, that has accumulated large amounts of (human) waste for about 3000 years (including the garbage of the Romans).
The most likely scenario is that over the centuries, decay of carbon-rich sediments have produced a significant pocket of CO2 and methane stored at some depth, and that a critical threshold has been reached that forces some of it to escape to the surface through the new vents.
Recommended: Read the post and discussion about this phenomenon at the Volcano Cafe.
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