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Book Chapter

Physico-chemical and biological aspects of Lake Albano

By
N. T. W. Ellwood
N. T. W. Ellwood
1
Department of Geological Sciences, Università Roma Tre, Largo San Leonardo Murialdo #1, 00146 Rome, Italy
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R. Galvez
R. Galvez
2
Department of Civil Engineering, Pavillon Adrien-Pouliot, Laval University, Sainte-Foy, Québec, G1K 7P4, Canada
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P. Albertano
P. Albertano
3
Department of Biology, Università Tor Vergata, Via della Ricerca Scientifica, 00173 Rome, Italy
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E. Viaggiu
E. Viaggiu
3
Department of Biology, Università Tor Vergata, Via della Ricerca Scientifica, 00173 Rome, Italy
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R. Mosello
R. Mosello
4
CNR Instituto per lo Studio degli Ecosistemi, Largo Tonolli 50, 28922 Verbania, Pallanza, Italy
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Published:
January 01, 2010

Abstract

Lake Albano is deep and has a small surface area, which reduces the potential for mixing across its full depth. This can lead to dangerous accumulations of carbon dioxide in the bottom waters of the lake deriving from subterranean magmatic processes. It has been proposed that limnic gas eruptions emanating from these deep waters represent the most significant present-day natural hazard of the Colli Albani volcano. Although recent evidence has shown that the lake is not meromictic and that rare full mixing events do occur, reducing to some extent the risk of limnic eruptions. At present the lake volume and water quality is rapidly decreasing due to over-abstraction and uncontrolled inputs of waste and sewage. These conditions may be responsible for large growths of toxic cyanobacteria in the lake. Lake water concentrations of microcystins (a cyanobacterial toxin) are well above the recommended limits set for drinking water, and some trace groundwater contamination has also been determined. These toxins can cause the death of animals and pose a significant risk to human health, representing a secondary hazard of the lake.

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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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