Report on Campi Flegrei (Italy) — October 1999

Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network, vol. 24, no. 10 (October 1999)
Managing Editor: Richard Wunderman

Campi Flegrei (Italy) Variable sulfate concentration; rising temperatures and other increases

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 1999. Report on Campi Flegrei (Italy). In: Wunderman, R (ed.), Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network, 24:10. Smithsonian Institution.

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Campi Flegrei


40.827°N, 14.139°E; summit elev. 458 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

Regular geochemical surveys of Campi Flegrei's fumarolic gases, crater lakes, and thermal springs (figure 21) have led to the following conclusions. First, the temperature of Bocca Grande continued the increase noted in 1997. Second, the sulfate concentration increase noted in 1997 for crater lakes and thermal springs was a "transitory event" caused by the unstable underlying geothermal system. Third, there have been shifts in the f (phi) function, an empirical relationship related to fumarolic gas chemistry (Martini, 1996). The f function acted as an empirical indicator of ground upheaval during the events of 1982-85. Since 1996 the f function has steadily increased to levels not observed since 1982-85 (figure 21).

Figure (see Caption) Figure 21. Campi Flegrei hydrothermal data plotted for 1980-late 1999. Courtesy of Marino Martini.

Reference. Martini, M., 1996, Chemical character of the gaseous phase in different stages of volcanism: precursors and volcanic activity, in Scarpa and Tilling (eds.) Monitoring and mitigation of volcano hazards: Springer, Berlin, p. 199-219.

Geologic Background. Campi Flegrei is a large 13-km-wide caldera on the outskirts of Naples that contains numerous phreatic tuff rings and pyroclastic cones. The caldera margins are poorly defined, and on the south lie beneath the Gulf of Pozzuoli. Episodes of dramatic uplift and subsidence within the dominantly trachytic caldera have occurred since Roman times. The earliest known eruptive products are dated 47,000 yrs BP. The caldera formed following two large explosive eruptions, the massive Campanian ignimbrite about 36,000 BP, and the >40 cu km Neapolitan Yellow Tuff (NYT) about 15,000 BP. Following eruption of the NYT a large number of eruptions have taken place from widely scattered subaerial and submarine vents. Most activity occurred during three intervals: 15,000-9500, 8600-8200, and 4800-3800 BP. Two eruptions have occurred in historical time, one in 1158 at Solfatara and the other in 1538 that formed the Monte Nuovo cinder cone.

Information Contacts: Marino Martini, Dipartimento di Scienze della Terra, Università di Firenze, Via La Pira 4, 50125, Firenze, Italy (Email: