The Italian supervolcano system known as Campi Flegrei could possibly wake up sooner than expected. Scientists have been tracking its instability for a long time, and the last half-century has seen an inordinate amount of rumbling from the ancient volcanic system. Now, scientists state that the new readings have begun to sound a warning. Particularly for the neighboring city of Naples, which should be taking steps and preparing.
A Pattern Is Forming at the Campi Flegrei
The last major eruption of the Campi Flegrei was in 1538. Local records indicate that it had been building up its energy for almost a century beforehand. This event led to the appearance of the Monte Nuovo or the “new mountain”. The Italian supervolcano has a history going back to Roman times, but the accuracy of that data fades as it goes back in history.
Scientists looking at its activity today also have other base models. They can use them to try and determine whether this system may wake up soon. The Soufriere Hills on Montserrat in the Caribbean, El Hierro in the Canary Islands, and Rabaul in Papua New Guinea are all similar systems.
Other research teams have been watching these for some time as well. They are hoping to build models to help forecast future eruptions, where exactly they will happen, and how much force they might come to bear.In its modern period, Campi Flegrei has been active since the early 1950’s. It has seen minor eruptions and expansions several times in the decades since.
“By studying how the ground is cracking and moving at Campi Flegrei, we think it may be approaching a critical stage where further unrest will increase the possibility of an eruption,” stated Christopher Kilburn.
He is the director at the University College of London Hazard Center. Kilburn is also part of this new study, whose results were published in Nature Communications. The researcher continued by stating that local authorities should start getting prepared for the possibility of such an event.
The city of Naples is only nine miles away from the supervolcano. Over 3 million people live in and around this ancient settlement. Though it has faced volcanic emergencies before, it still has to be prepared for the worst case scenario.