A volcano that caused mass extinctions in History, has started to erupt again
Volcanoes have been one of the major forms of changes in Earth since formation of planet itself. Volcanoes have caused major changes in atmospheres and even extinction of flora and fauna during the course of history. One such major volcano is situated in Italy and scientists have been worried recently, because the volcanic giant that has been asleep for more than 450 years has shown some worrying signs.
1 The super volcano
Italy’s west coast is home to a 12 km wide cauldron that used to be a super volcano. This super volcano has been silent for years now and is a mega popular tourist site. There are more than 500,000 people leaving around this site. The place is known as Campi Flegrei or the burning fields, which was made by caving in of the mountain after magma inside was spewed out. The whole area has 24,000 craters and other volcanic structures and many of them are submerged under the Mediterranean Sea. There are many fumaroles that are still spewing Sulphuric acid and geysers that spray water and constant earthquakes that rock the nearby area, which is 125 miles to the South of Rome.
2 Last time this volcano erupted
The caldera was formed some 39,000 years ago, which was the biggest eruption in European history in the last 200,000 years. The Campi Flegrei has erupted in major forms two times since then and it was 35,000 years ago and last time on 1538. The eruption in 1538 was relatively smaller than the one that happened earlier. The one that happened 35,000 years ago is widely responsible for the extinction of Neanderthals as it triggered a volcanic winter. Well, the eruption in 1538 lasted for 8 straight days and its magma formed a new mountain nearby which is named Monte Nuovo. The eruption that is thought to have caused the extinction of Neanderthals spewed almost 1 trillion gallons (3.7 trillion litres) of lava and molten rock on surface. However there is more news of concern when it comes to Campi Flegrei.
3 Reports of it stirring again
Volcanologist Giovanni Chiodini from the Italian National Institute of Geophysics in Rome and his team have recently reported that the Campi Flerei is starting to reach a critical point, which could make it erupt again, almost 480 years after last time it erupted for 8 straight days. “Hydrothermal rocks, if heated, can ultimately lose their mechanical resistance, causing acceleration towards critical conditions,” Chiodini said. The volatile gases underneath the volcano has caused an uplift in the volcano’s surface and this has caused Italy to raise the alert level of the super volcano from green to yellow which means from ‘quiet’ to ‘under scientific monitoring’. However the scientists have said that the residents nearby the volcano have no reason to worry as it is impossible for them to predict when it will erupt or whether it will erupt at all.