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Scientists Say Italian Supervolcano Is “Becoming More Dangerous” As Magma Builds Beneath It

Scientists Say Italian Supervolcano Is “Becoming More Dangerous” As Magma Builds Beneath It 

After the long-dormant supervolcano Campi Flegrei awakened late last year, a team of scientists that has pinpointed the now-active volcano’s magma source says a potentially devastating eruption could be just around the corner.

Campi Flegrei is a volcanic caldera to the west of Naples that last erupted in the sixteenth century. It has been mostly quiet since then, with the exception of a few small tremors in the 1980s. Seismographic data from those rumbles allowed scientists to pinpoint the source of the magma that flooded into Campi Flegrei’s chamber and caldera, according to United Press International. The results are unequivocal: An analysis of the supervolcano’s hot zone suggests Campi Flegrei could be nearing an eruption.

“What this means in terms of the scale of any future eruption we cannot say, but there is no doubt that the volcano is becoming more dangerous,” De Siena said.

“The big question we have to answer now is if it is a big layer of magma that is rising to the surface, or something less worrying which could find its way to the surface out at sea.”

Researchers liken the volcano’s hot zone to a boiling pot of soup. Over the last several years, the volcano has gotten considerably hotter.

The Campi Flegrei “hot zone”

“These areas can give rise to the only eruptions that can have global catastrophic effects comparable to major meteorite impacts,” said Giuseppe De Natale, head of a project to monitor the volcano’s activity.

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