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The Colli Albani volcano: foreword and previous studies

By
R. Funiciello
R. Funiciello
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G. Giordano
G. Giordano
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Published:
January 01, 2010

Abstract

The Colli Albani volcano (also known as Alban Hills volcano) is the large quiescent volcano that dominates the southern Rome (hereon Roma) skyline (Fig. 1). It covers almost 1600 km2 and its K-rich rocks have attracted the attention of geologists since the nineteenth century. The Colli Albani is one of the most, if not the most, explosive mafic volcanoes in the world. The state of activity of this volcano and its influence on the history of the Roma foundation has been heavily debated since Roman times by historians, scientists and archaeologists. As a result of recent detailed field surveys aimed at the redaction of the new Geological Map of Italy and of detailed studies prompted by the occurrence of gas eruption events and seismic swarms, new deposits related to previously unknown pre-Holocenic and Holocenic volcanic and phreatic activity from the most recent maar were revealed. This has changed the classification of the volcano from extinct to a still active and quiescent volcano, with important implications for the hazard to the city of Roma. The prehistoric and historic settlement history of the region and the foundation of Roma have been deeply influenced by this activity, as reported by several classical authors (e.g. Plutarch, Dionissus, Livy). In the fourth century B.C.E., the Romans dug a 1.5-km-long tunnel through the Albano maar crater wall to lower the crater lake level and prevent the dramatic overflows that had previously destroyed this region several times. This tunnel, which is still potentially functional, has to

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Contents

Special Publications of IAVCEI

The Colli Albani Volcano

Geological Society of London
Volume
3
ISBN electronic:
9781862396258
Publication date:
January 01, 2010

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