Monday, October 25, 2010

Active volcano drill project to reveal caldera secrets
A controversial drilling project aims to determine the danger posed by Italy’s Campi Flegrei volcano. Stuart Nathan reports
Volcanoes have shaped the world - and caused devastation in their wake. In Southern Europe they are a constant threat - the effects of a large eruption could destroy buildings and infrastructure; engulf and incinerate agriculture; and wipe out populations. Around Naples, the remains of Pompeii and Herculaneum are a constant, grim reminder of what the looming presence of Mount Vesuvius could do to the city.

Vesuvius isn’t the only threat in the area, however. Less well known but even larger is a formation called Campi Flegrei, a 13km-wide crater that sits on top of an active magma chamber, whose name roughly translates as ’burning fields’. The last eruption in Campi Flegrei was in 1538, but for the past 40 years the ground in the area has been swelling - an ominous omen that another eruption could be imminent.
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Naples Supervolcano: Drilling to commence soon
by Robert Bast
Naples, Italy sits upon a supervolcano that supererupted just 39,000 years ago. It has been known for some time that scientists are planning to drill into the volcano, an act that some believe could trigger an eruption – in fact the concerns were published in New Scientist last year. Now dates have been set:

The project is due to start early next month, when the team will drill 1640ft into the ground at a site in Bagnoli, near Naples.

The second phase, due to start in the spring, will involve the drilling of a 4,000 metre deep borehole at the same location.

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