Campi Flegrei, a super volcano located to the west of the Italian of Naples has only ever experienced three eruptions in its thousands of years of existence. The first was thirty five thousand years ago, the second approximately twelve thousand years ago and the last known incident took place in 1538. Now scientists studying the super volcano believe that the signs are indicating that the formidable Campi Flegrei might be gearing up to erupt again.

EUROPE’S BIGGEST SUPER-VOLCANO IS STIRRING AGAIN AFTER 500 YEARS Super volcanos differ extensively from ordinary volcanoes in the sense that they are formed when a volcano ejects such a vast amount of magma from its center that it collapses. This leaves a vast crater and a supremely dangerous field of volcanic activity including hot geysers, hydrothermal activity, and bubbling sulphuric acid. A comparable site to Campi Flegrei is the infamous Yellowstone super volcano in North America.

Scientists involved in researching Campi Flegrei claim that the area of volcanic activity has been experiencing what is referred to as an ‘uplift’ in the past decade. This suggests that the volatile gasses underneath the surface are accumulating in volume. This is a matter of great concerns as two other active volcanoes, Rabaul in Papua New Guinea and Sierra Negra in the Galapagos Islands both exhibited this pattern before they erupted spectacularly. Research and documentation concerning previous eruptions of Campi Flegrei make for sobering reading. It is believed that the super volcano was responsible for the largest ever eruption in European history. A 2010 research paper even postulated that a previous eruption triggered an environmental catastrophe termed a ‘volcanic winter’ which was largely responsible for the extinction of the Neanderthals. “These areas can give rise to the only eruptions that can have global catastrophic effects comparable to major meteorite impacts, ” said Giuseppe De Natale from Italy’s National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology. All of this suggests that the seismic activity of Campi Flegrei could be catastrophic for the 500,000 people living in the immediate region. However, the experts are very careful not to cause panic in the local area. “In general, unfortunately, volcanology is not a precise science, ” said volcanic researcher, Giovanni Chiodini. “We have many uncertainties, and long-term previsions are at the moment not possible! For example, the process that we describe could evolve in both directions: toward pre-eruptive conditions or to the finish of the volcanic unrest.”

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