Escalating CO2 degassing at the Pisciarelli fumarolic system, and implications for the ongoing Campi Flegrei unrest

Alessandro Aiuppa, Giancarlo Tamburello, Antonio Costa, Ricci, Giancarlo Tamburello, Giudice, Prospero De Martino, Bagnato, Rouwet, Carmine Minopoli, Sciarra, Capecchiacci, Francofonte, Marcello Bitetto, Carandente, Rosario Avino, Stefano Caliro, Chiodini, Emanuela Rita Bagnato, Stefano CaliroVincenzo Francofonte

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Abstract

This short communication aims at providing an updated report on degassing activity and ground deformation variations observed during the ongoing (2012–2019) Campi Flegrei caldera unrest, with a particular focus on Pisciarelli, currently its most active fumarolic field. We show that the CO2 flux from the main Pisciarelli fumarolic vent (referred as “Soffione”) has increased by a factor > 3 since 2012, reaching in 2018–2019 levels (>600 tons/day) that are comparable to those typical of a medium-sized erupting arc volcano. A substantial widening of the degassing vents and bubbling pools, and a further increase in CO2 concentrations in ambient air (up to 6000 ppm), have also been detected since mid-2018. We interpret this escalating CO2 degassing activity using a multidisciplinary dataset that includes thermodynamically estimated pressures for the source hydrothermal system, seismic and ground deformation data. From this analysis, we show that degassing, deformation and seismicity have all reached in 2018–2019 levels never observed since the onset of the unrest in 2005, with an overall uplift of ~57 cm and ~448 seismic events in the last year. The calculated pressure of the Campi Flegrei hydrothermal system has reached ~44 bar and is rapidly increasing. Our results raise concern on the possible evolution of the Campi Flegrei unrest and reinforce the need for careful monitoring of the degassing activity at Pisciarelli, hopefully with the deployment of additional permanent gas monitoring units.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)151-157
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research
Volume384
Publication statusPublished - 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geophysics
  • Geochemistry and Petrology

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    Aiuppa, A., Tamburello, G., Costa, A., Ricci, Tamburello, G., Giudice, De Martino, P., Bagnato, Rouwet, Minopoli, C., Sciarra, Capecchiacci, Francofonte, Bitetto, M., Carandente, Avino, R., Caliro, S., Chiodini, Bagnato, E. R., ... Francofonte, V. (2019). Escalating CO2 degassing at the Pisciarelli fumarolic system, and implications for the ongoing Campi Flegrei unrest. Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, 384, 151-157.