Alban Hills

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  • Country
  • Volcanic Region
  • Primary Volcano Type
  • Last Known Eruption
  • 41.73°N
  • 12.7°E

  • 949 m
    3113 ft

  • 211004
  • Latitude
  • Longitude

  • Summit

  • Volcano

The Global Volcanism Program has no activity reports for Alban Hills.

The Global Volcanism Program has no Weekly Reports available for Alban Hills.

The Global Volcanism Program has no Bulletin Reports available for Alban Hills.

Basic Data

Volcano Number

Last Known Eruption



Unknown - Evidence Uncertain

949 m / 3113 ft


Volcano Types

Pyroclastic cone(s)

Rock Types

Phono-tephrite / Tephri-phonolite
Trachybasalt / Tephrite Basanite

Tectonic Setting

Subduction zone
Continental crust (> 25 km)


Within 5 km
Within 10 km
Within 30 km
Within 100 km

Geological Summary

The Alban Hills (Colli Albano) complex immediately SE of Rome contains a large Pleistocene stratovolcano with a 10 x 12 km wide caldera. The caldera was formed during an eruptive period with six major explosive eruptions producing at least 280 cu km of ejecta between about 560,000 and 350,000 years ago. Subsequent eruptions occurred from a new 5-km-wide central cone and from many phreatomagmatic craters and cones within the Artemisio-Tuscolana caldera and on its outer flanks. The post-caldera eruptions have buried the western side of the caldera rim. The largest of the post-caldera craters is Lake Albano, a 4 x 2.5 km wide compound maar constructed at the WSW margin of the caldera in multiple stages dating back to about 69,000 years ago. The age of the most recent eruptions from the Albano maar is not known precisely; variable dates range from about 36,000 years ago to perhaps the Holocene, when several perhaps non-volcanic lake overflow lahars occurred. Reported historical eruptions during the Roman period are uncertain, but seismic swarms of up to two years duration have been recorded since Roman times.


The following references have all been used during the compilation of data for this volcano, it is not a comprehensive bibliography.

Amato A, Chiarabba C, Cocco M, di Bona M, Selvaggi G, 1994. The 1989-1990 seismic swarm in the Alban Hills volcanic area, central Italy. J Volc Geotherm Res, 61: 225-237.

Anzidei M, Baldi P, Casula G, Galvani A, Riguzzi F, Zanutta A, 1998. Evidence of active crustal deformation of the Colli Albani volcanic area (central Italy) by GPS surveys. J Volc Geotherm Res, 80: 55-65.

Anzidei M, Carapezza M L, Esposito A, Giordano G, Lelli M, Tarchini L, 2008. The Albano Maar Lake high resolution bathymetry and dissolved CO budget (Colli Albani volcano, Italy): constraints to hazard evaluation. J Volc Geotherm Res, 171: 258-268.

Blanc A C, 1953. Excursion au Mont Circe. Internatl Quat Assoc (INQUA) Guidebook, p 5-19.

Boari E, Avanzinelli R, Melluso L, Giordano G, Mattei M, De Benedetti A A, Morra V, Conticelli S, 2009. Isotope geochemistry (Sr-Nd-Pb) and petrogenesis of leucite-bearing volcanic rocks from "Colli Albani" volcano, Roman Magmatic Province, Central Italy: inferences on volcano evolution and magma genesis. Bull Volc, 71: 977-1005.

Chiarabba C, Amato A, Delaney P T, 1997. Crustal structure, evolution, and volcanic unrest of the Alban Hills, central Italy. Bull Volc, 59: 161-170.

De Benedetti A A, Funiciello R, Giodano G, Diano G, Caprilli E, Paterne M, 2008. Volcanology, history and myths of the Lake Albano maar (Colli Albani volcano, Italy). J Volc Geotherm Res, 176: 387-406.

De Rita D, Funiciello R, Rosa C, 1991. Volcanic activity and drainage network evolution of the Alban Hills area (Rome, Italy). Acta Vulc, 2: 185-198.

De Rita D, Giordano G, Esposito A, Fabbri M, Rodani S, 2002. Large volume phreatomagmatic ignimbrites from the Colli Albani volcano (Middle Pleistocene, Italy). J Volc Geotherm Res, 118: 77-98.

Freda C, Gaeta M, Karner D B, Marra F, Renne P R, Taddeucci J, Scarlato P, Christensen J N, Dallai L, 2006. Eruptive history and petrologic evolution of the Albano multiple maar (Alban Hills, Central Italy). Bull Volc, 68: 567-591.

Freda C, Gaeta M, Palladino D M, Trigila R, 1997. The Villa Senni eruption (Alban Hills, central Italy: the role of H20 and CO2 on the magma chamber evolution and on the eruptive scenario. J Volc Geotherm Res, 78: 103-120.

Funiciello R, Giodano G, De Rita D, 2003. The Albano maar lake (Colli Albani volcano, Italy): recent volcanic activity and evidence of pre-Roman age catastrophic lahar events. J Volc Geotherm Res, 123: 43-61.

Giaccio B, Marra F, Hajdas I, Karner D B, Renne P R, Sposato A, 2009. 40Ar/39Ar and 14C geochronology of the Albano maar deposits: implications for defining the age and eruptive style of the most recent explosive activity at Colli Albani volcanic district, Central Italy. J Volc Geotherm Res, 185: 203-213.

Giordano G, De Benedetti A A, Diana A, Diano G, Gaudioso F, Marasco F, Miceli M, Mollo S, Cas R A F, Funiciello R, 2006. The Colli Albani mafic caldera (Roma, Italy): stratigraphy, structure and petrology. J Volc Geotherm Res, 155: 49-80.

Giordano G, De Rita D, Cas R, Rodani S, 2002. Valley pond and ignimbrite veneer deposits in the small-volume phreatomagmatic `Peperino Albano' basic ignimbrite, Lago Albano maar, Colli Albani volcano, Italy: influence of topography. J Volc Geotherm Res, 118: 131-144.

IAVCEI, 1973-80. Post-Miocene Volcanoes of the World. IAVCEI Data Sheets, Rome: Internatl Assoc Volc Chemistry Earth's Interior..

Karner D B, Marra F, Renne P R, 2001. The history of the Monti Sabatini and Alban Hills volcanoes: groundwork for assessing volcanic-tectonic hazards for Rome. J Volc Geotherm Res, 107: 185-219.

Krafft M, 1974. Guide des Volcans d'Europe. Neuchatel: Delachaux & Niestle, 412 p.

Krafft M, Dominique de Larouziere F, 1991. Guide des Volcans d'Europe et des Canaries. Lausanne, Switzerland: Delachaux and Niestle, 455 p.

Marra F, Freda C, Scarlato P, Taddeucci J, Karner D B, Renne P R, Gaeta M, Palladino D M, Trigila R, Cavarretta G, 2003. Post-caldera activity in the Alban Hills volcanic district (Italy): 40Ar/39Ar geochronology and insights into magma evolution. Bull Volc, 65: 227-247.

Marra F, Karner D B, Freda C, Gaeta M, Renne P, 2009. Large mafic eruptions at Alban Hills volcanic district (Central Italy): chronostratigraphy, petrography and eruptive behavior. J Volc Geotherm Res, 179: 217-232.

Newhall C G, Dzurisin D, 1988. Historical unrest at large calderas of the world. U S Geol Surv Bull, 1855: 1108 p, 2 vol.

Palladino D M, Gaeta M, Marra F, 2001. A large K-foiditic hydromagmatic eruption from the early activity of the Alban Hills volcanic district, Italy. Bull Volc, 63: 345-359.

Peccerillo A, Poli G, Tolomeo L, 1984. Genesis, evolution and tectonic significance of K-rich volcanics from the Alban Hills (Roman comagmatic region) as inferred from trace element geochemistry. Contr Mineral Petr, 86: 230-240.

Porreca M, Mattei M, MacNiocaill C, Giordano G, McClelland E, Funiciello R, 2008. Palemagnetic evidence for low-temperature emplacement of the phreatomagmatic Peperino Albano ignimbrite (Colli Albani volcano, Central Italy). Bull Volc, 70: 877-893.

Scandone R, 1987. (pers. comm.).

Stothers R B, Rampino M R, 1983. Volcanic eruptions in the Mediterranean before AD 630 from written and archaeological sources. J Geophys Res, 88: 6357-6371.

Villa I M, Calanchi N, Dinelli E, Lucchini F, 1999. Age and evolution of the Albano crater lake (Roman Volcanic Province). Acta Vulc, 11: 305-310.

Watkins S D, Giordano G, Cas R A F, De Rita D , 2002. Emplacement processes of the mafic Villa Senni Eruption Unit (VSEU) ignimbrite succession, Colli Albani volcano, Italy. J Volc Geotherm Res, 118: 173-203.

Eruptive History

Summary of Holocene eruption dates and Volcanic Explosivity Indices (VEI).

Start Date Stop Date Eruption Certainty VEI Evidence Activity Area or Unit
[ 0114 BCE ] [ Unknown ] Discredited    
[ 0540 BCE (?) ] [ Unknown ] Discredited    
[ 0600 BCE ] [ Unknown ] Uncertain     Ariccia crater

This compilation of synonyms and subsidiary features may not be comprehensive. Features are organized into four major categories: Cones, Craters, Domes, and Thermal Features. Synonyms of features appear indented below the primary name. In some cases additional feature type, elevation, or location details are provided.


Colli Albani | Colli Laziale | Cavo, Monte | Laziale, Vulcano | Albains, Monts | Latial | Artemisio


Feature Name Feature Type Elevation Latitude Longitude
Cavo, Mount Pyroclastic cone 949 m
Colle Iano Pyroclastic cone
Competri, Monte Cone
Faete, Monte della Stratovolcano
Rocca de Papa Cone
Tuscolano-Artemisio Stratovolcano


Feature Name Feature Type Elevation Latitude Longitude
Ariccia Maar
Ciampino Crater
Frascati Crater
Giuturna Crater
Laghetto Maar
Marciana, Valle Maar
Nemi Maar
Pantano Secco Maar
Prata Porci Maar
Pleistocene caldera
Vulcano Laziale Pleistocene caldera

Photo Gallery

Lake-filled Albano maar is part of the Alban Hills (Monte Albano) complex immediately SE of Rome. The Cavo scoria cone rises beyond the far rim. The Monte Albano complex contains a large Pleistocene stratovolcano with a 10-km-wide caldera. Subsequent eruptions occurred from a new 5-km-wide central cone and from many phreatomagmatic craters and cones within the caldera and on its outer flanks. The youngest dated magmatic eruption occurred during the late-Pleistocene, but the possibility of Holocene phreatic eruptions has not been excluded.

Photo by Ichio Moriya (Kanazawa University).

Smithsonian Sample Collections Database

The following 13 samples associated with this volcano can be found in the Smithsonian's NMNH Department of Mineral Sciences collections. Catalog number links will open a window with more information.

Catalog Number Sample Description
NMNH 111123-1258 "Leucitite with apatite, biotite, and others"
NMNH 111123-929 "Leucitite with leucite, apatite, and others"
NMNH 111123-930 "Leucitite with anorthite, apatite, and others"
NMNH 111123-941 Leucite tephrite
NMNH 92002-1 "Igneous rock with augite, chalk, and others"
NMNH 92002-2 Igneous rock
NMNH 92002-3 Igneous rock
NMNH 92002-4 Igneous rock
NMNH 92002-5 Igneous rock
NMNH 92002-6 Igneous rock
NMNH 92002-7 Igneous rock
NMNH 92002-8 Igneous rock
NMNH 92002-9 Igneous rock

Affiliated Sites

Large Eruptions of Alban Hills Information about large Quaternary eruptions (VEI >= 4) is cataloged in the Large Magnitude Explosive Volcanic Eruptions (LaMEVE) database of the Volcano Global Risk Identification and Analysis Project (VOGRIPA).
WOVOdat WOVOdat is a database of volcanic unrest; instrumentally and visually recorded changes in seismicity, ground deformation, gas emission, and other parameters from their normal baselines. It is sponsored by the World Organization of Volcano Observatories (WOVO) and presently hosted at the Earth Observatory of Singapore.
EarthChem EarthChem develops and maintains databases, software, and services that support the preservation, discovery, access and analysis of geochemical data, and facilitate their integration with the broad array of other available earth science parameters. EarthChem is operated by a joint team of disciplinary scientists, data scientists, data managers and information technology developers who are part of the NSF-funded data facility Integrated Earth Data Applications (IEDA). IEDA is a collaborative effort of EarthChem and the Marine Geoscience Data System (MGDS).
MODVOLC - HIGP MODIS Thermal Alert System Using infrared satellite Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) data, scientists at the Hawai'i Institute of Geophysics and Planetology, University of Hawai'i, developed an automated system called MODVOLC to map thermal hot-spots in near real time. For each MODIS image, the algorithm automatically scans each 1 km pixel within it to check for high-temperature hot-spots. When one is found the date, time, location, and intensity are recorded. MODIS looks at every square km of the Earth every 48 hours, once during the day and once during the night, and the presence of two MODIS sensors in space allows at least four hot-spot observations every two days. Each day updated global maps are compiled to display the locations of all hot spots detected in the previous 24 hours. There is a drop-down list with volcano names which allow users to 'zoom-in' and examine the distribution of hot-spots at a variety of spatial scales.
MIROVA Middle InfraRed Observation of Volcanic Activity (MIROVA) is a near real time volcanic hot-spot detection system based on the analysis of MODIS (Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) data. In particular, MIROVA uses the Middle InfraRed Radiation (MIR), measured over target volcanoes, in order to detect, locate and measure the heat radiation sourced from volcanic activity.