Phlegraean Fields: The Death of Europe! Dangerous Campi Flegrei Supervolcano
What Is the Phlegraean Fields Supervolcano Famous For?
Southern Italy is a zone of high volcanic activity. Everyone knows the regularly erupting Sicilian Etna and Vesuvius volcano, but few people know that six miles from densely populated Naples is Campi Flegrei supervolcano, a unique natural site.
Campi Flegrei is internationally known as the Phlegraean Fields. Scientists believe that it is a supervolcano, the eruption of which could destroy Europe. More recently, it is known that Campi Flegrei is waking up from hibernation.
Campi Flegrei caldera is a volcanic area in Italy northwest of Naples. The name Phlegraean Fields, which is translated as “scorched earth”, is taken from ancient Greek mythology. According to the legend of the ancient Greeks, giants were born there – the sons of Gaia, who came into the world from the blood of the scrambled Uranus, absorbed in the earth-mother. According to another version, Gaia gave birth to them from Tartarus.
The giants were terrifying in their appearance. They had thick hair and beards, and their lower body was snake-like. In all, the giants numbered as many as one hundred and fifty. Outraged that Zeus had imprisoned their titan brothers in Tartarus, and incited by their mother Gaia, twenty-four of them decided to attack the sky.
The attack was led by Eurymedon, the eldest of the giants, and his main assistants were his two strongest brothers, Alcyoneus and Porphyrion. The main battle between the Olympian gods and the giants broke out here – on the fields of Phlegreia.
Campi Flegrei Map: Geological Facts
Geologically, Campi Flegrei`s status is a volcanic caldera – a vast cirque-shaped basin of volcanic origin – about 39 square miles in area. It is mostly underwater and has 24 craters and many volcanic uplifts. The biggest one is Solfatara di Pozzuoli, which appeared about 5 thousand years ago. This volcano periodically throws out hot and dangerous underground gases. According to ancient Greek myth, it was in Solfatara where the god of fire, Vulcan, lived. The magma of this supervolcano in Italy reaches very near into the earth’s surface.
40,000 years ago there was a mega Campi Flegrei eruption, a layer of ash which covered half a million square miles in Europe. The temperature then decreased by 5-10 degrees because of the increased sulfur content, and the number of animals decreased in Europe. This horrible “volcanic winter,” comparable to the consequences of a nuclear bombing, caused the extinction of Neanderthals, who had nothing to hunt.
The Danger of the Super Volcano Naples
As noted by researchers at University College London and the Vesuvius Observatory, the caldera of the supervolcano in Italy, which reaches 7 miles in width, has been showing signs of life for nearly 70 years. Scientists originally assumed that the energy accumulated during periods of inflation was expended during periods of rest (deflation). However, a computer model and new methods of analysis have shown that the energy used to stretch cracks in the crust and release magma from the trap is not actually dissipated, but is stored inside the volcano, bringing it closer to a critical stage.
Although it is not yet possible to establish the exact timing of the eruption, scientists are concerned about the increasing activity of the supervolcano, with dormant times getting shorter and shorter every decade. We advise you not to miss the chance and go to see this miracle with your own eyes because it is not every day you can watch an active volcano!