The Campi Flegrei caldera: Unrest mechanisms and hazards
Published:January 01, 2006
G. De Natale, C. Troise, F. Pingue, G. Mastrolorenzo, L. Pappalardo, M. Battaglia, E. Boschi, 2006. "The Campi Flegrei caldera: Unrest mechanisms and hazards", Mechanisms of Activity and Unrest at Large Calderas, C. Troise, G. De Natale, C. R. J Kilburn
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In the last four decades, Campi Flegrei caldera has been the world’s most active caldera characterized by intense unrest episodes involving huge ground deformation and seismicity, but, at the time of writing, has not culminated in an eruption. We present a careful review, with new analyses and interpretation, of all the data and recent research results. We deal with three main problems: the tentative reconstruction of the substructure; the modelling of unrest episodes to shed light on possible pre-eruptive scenarios; and the probabilistic estimation of the hazards from explosive pyroclastic products. The results show, for the first time at a volcano, that a very peculiar mechanism is generating episodes of unrest, involving mainly activation of the geothermal system from deeper magma reservoirs. The character and evolution of unrest episodes is strongly controlled by structural features, like the ring-fault system at the borders of the caldera collapse. The use of detailed volcanological, mathematical and statistical procedures also make it possible to obtain a detailed picture of eruptive hazards in the whole Neapolitan area. The complex behaviour of this caldera, involving interaction between magmatic and geothermal phenomena, sheds light on the dynamics of the most dangerous types of volcanoes in the world.
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Mechanisms of Activity and Unrest at Large Calderas
Large caldera collapses represent catastrophic natural events, second only to large meteoritic impacts. In addition, some calderas are densely populated, making the risk extreme, even for moderate eruptions. Understanding caldera mechanisms, unrest and the danger of eruption is therefore a crucial challenge for Earth sciences.
Several key features of caldera behaviour have yet to be fully understood. Through a combination of case studies and theoretical modelling, the following topics are addressed in this volume: the conditions required to produce and to release large volumes of magma erupted during caldera formation; how magmatic feeding systems evolve before and after a caldera has formed; the processes that limit the behaviour of precursors to eruptions; how pre-emptive precursors can be distinguished from those that drive unrest without an eruption; and given that post-collapse eruptions may occur across a wide area, the optimum procedures for designing hazard maps and mitigation strategies.