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Book Chapter

Volcanic activity and archaeology

January 01, 2010


The polygenetic Albano maar is the most recent centre of the Colli Albani volcano. Phreatic activity at the maar occurred throughout the Holocene. This paper summarises the close relationships between the activity of the maar and the history of settlement in the Roman region. Repeated lahars associated to the lake overflows occurred along the northwestern slope of the maar. The last catastrophic overflow occurred in 398 B.C.E., after which the Romans excavated a 1.5 km long drain-tunnel through the maar crater wall, which has since kept the lake 70 m below the lowest point of the rim. This tunnel drain may be regarded as the first construction made to mitigate a volcanic hazard in history. The surprising and still largely unknown results of this study are very important to understand the history of settlement of the area and to assess the hazard of the Roman region.

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Special Publications of IAVCEI

The Colli Albani Volcano

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




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