A volcano in southern Italy might be getting ready to erupt, according to scientists who have found and studied the source of magma building up beneath the surface.
The team said in a study in the journal Scientific Reports that their research on the volcano Campi Flegrei could help experts better predict when volcanoes are going to explode.
The volcano just west of Naples is classified as a supervolcano because it has experienced an eruption of a magnitude 8 on the Volcano Explosivity Index — a scale that runs from 0 to 8. It is only several miles away from Mount Vesuvius, the volcano that famously erupted almost 2,000 years ago and destroyed the ancient Roman city Pompeii, covering it in ash and sending out rapid flows of hot gas and material that burned or choked the people in the city.
Campi Flegrei hasn’t erupted in hundreds of years. The last time it blew was in 1538, after earthquakes and uplifting of the ground that allowed the molten rock known as magma to accumulate beneath the area.
“An eruption of similar scale would be highly destructive for the dense metropolitan city of Naples,” which is nearby and where there are more than 3 million people, the study says.
Scientists have noticed a little activity at the site here and there for the last several decades that is a sign of magma moving beneath the surface. That includes, according to the study, “volcanic unrest” that occurred in the early 1980s and was linked to both ground uplift and to the subsequent filling of magma into the gap that was about 10 feet thick. The unrest caused some low-magnitude earthquakes.
SOURCE: ELANA GLOWATZ
International Business Times