Abstract

This article presents findings from two episodes of seismicity and gas emission that occurred on 7 October 2015 and 6 December 2019 in Campi Flegrei caldera. This caldera has been affected by long‐term unrest since 2004. The 6 December 2019 episode, consisting of a swarm of 38 earthquakes (maximum duration magnitude 3.1, the largest between 1984 and March 2020), occurred at the end of a one month period characterized by an increase in the ground uplift rate from 0.19±0.01 to 0.72±0.05  mm/day. A sudden increase in the fumarolic tremor amplitude, which is a proxy of gas emission‐related parameters recorded at Solfatara–Pisciarelli hydrothermal area (e.g., CO2 air concentration), was observed during the seismicity episode. The uplift rate decreased immediately after the swarm (0.10±0.01  mm/day), whereas the fumarolic tremor amplitude remained higher than that observed prior to the swarm. Through analyzing the time series of uplift recorded in Pozzuoli (central area of the caldera) from differential measurements on tide gauges, we were able to identify the 2015 episode. This episode was characterized by increasing uplift rates that culminated in a seismic swarm of 33 earthquakes on 7 October, which was followed by decreasing uplift rates. We computed double‐difference locations of earthquakes from the two swarms and found that they located along a conduit‐like path, coinciding with a high‐resistivity contrast zone, previously identified by audiomagnetotelluric measurements. The focal mechanisms of the major earthquakes of both swarms indicate fault planes radial with respect to the maximum uplift area. These phenomena can be interpreted as episodes of the volcanic and (or) hydrothermal system pressurization that culminate in an injection of fluids along the conduit‐like path, which behaves as a valve that allows fluid discharge and the temporary depressurization of the source region.

You do not currently have access to this article.