One of Earth’s most dangerous supervolcanoes ready to erupt again

One of Earth’s most dangerous supervolcanoes ready to erupt again

A massive supervolcano in Italy is approaching the critical degassing pressure (CGP) stage and it may erupt anytime in the near future, scientists reported in the journal Nature Communications.

The Campi Flegrei volcano is situated in the metropolitan area of Naples, which is one of the most densely populated areas in the world. A team of researchers led by Giovanni Chiodini, of Rome-based Italian National Institute of Geophysics, has warned that its magma nearing a threshold beyond which it could trigger release of molten rocks and gases.

The researchers also estimated that the potential release of the harmful fluid and gases could be 10 times the usual rate. In case of the potential eruption, it would be the first time for the Campi Flegrei in as many as 500 years it erupt.

Giuseppe De Natale, a member of the research team that is monitoring the volcano, warned, “These areas can give rise to the only eruptions that can have global catastrophic effects comparable to major meteorite impacts.”

The words “Campi Flegrei” stands for “burning fields” in Italian language. Like any other supervolcano, Campi Flegrei is a large complex. It includes numerous craters in addition to several geysers and vents.

Believed to have formed hundreds of thousands of years ago, Campi Flegrei spewed so much ash 200,000 years ago that it darkened the skies around Earth, triggering s—called volcanic winter. Another massive eruption around 40,000 years ago contributed to the Neanderthals’ extinction.

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