What is Campi Flegrei?

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What is Campi Flegrei? Blog Image


The strongest earthquake to hit Italy’s Campi Flegrei supervolcano region in decades struck recently.

About Campi Flegrei: 

  • Campi Flegrei (known as Phlegrean Fields in English) is an active volcanic area located in the vicinity of Naples, Italy.
  • Unlike the nearby Mount Vesuvius, Campi Flegrei is not characterised by a single volcano.
  • It is more of a volcanic system, with several centres situated within a caldera (the depression created when emptying magma chambers causes the roof of a volcano to collapse).
    • The Campi Flegrei caldera has a diameter of about 12-15 km (7.5-9.3 miles).
    • It was formed 39,000 years ago after an eruption emptied it of magma. According to a new hypothesis, this eruption could have been the beginning of the end of the Neanderthal.
    • One third of it lies under the Tyrrhenian Sea, between the Italian mainland and the country’s island of Sardinia. 
    • It is the largest active caldera in Europe. It is much larger than the cone-shaped Vesuvius, which destroyed the ancient Roman city of Pompeii in AD79, and is much more active.
  • Campi Flegrei has been in a restless state since 1950. It is a result of a phenomenon known as bradyseism, which scientists understand to be the gradual movement of part of Earth’s surfacecaused by the filling or emptying of an underground magma chamberor hydrothermal activity.
  • It last erupted in 1538, after an interval of about 3000 years. This eruption, although minor in comparison, formed Monte Nuovo, a new mountain.
  • Scientists consider Campi Flegrei to be a supervolcano whose eruptions can have worldwide effects.

Q1: What is a volcanic crater?

A volcanic crater is a bowl- or funnel-shaped depression that usually lies directly above the vent from which volcanic material is ejected. Craters are commonly found at the summit of volcanic edifices, but they may form above satellite (flank) vents of composite and shield volcanoes.Craters are formed by the outward explosion of rocks and other materials from a volcano. Calderas are formed by the inward collapse of a volcano. Craters are usually more circular than calderas.

Source: Campi Flegrei: Volcanic crater near Naples hit with strongest earthquake in decades