news30 gennaio 2020

Activity status of Italian volcanoes: results of the January videoconference

Confirmed the yellow alert level for Campi Flegrei, Stromboli and Etna while for Vesuvius, Ischia and Vulcano the level remains "green".


(Stock photos)

Available from today on this website, in the section dedicated to Volcanic Risk, the results of the first videoconference in 2020 on the state of activity of the volcanoes of Campania and Sicily: Campi Flegrei, Vesuvius, Ischia, Etna, Stromboli and Vulcano.

The objective of the videoconference, which the Department of Civil Protection organizes, on a monthly basis, with the Competence Centers in charge of monitoring volcanic activity and the Regions of Campania and Sicily, is to assess the alert levels for each volcano, possibly heard also by the Major Risks Commission - Volcanic Risk Sector. In particular, the Competence Centers present in the video link are the Vesuvius Observatory, the Etna Observatory and the Palermo section of the National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology (Ingv); the Institute for the electromagnetic detection of the environment (Irea) of the CNR-National Research Council; and the Laboratory of Experimental Geophysics and the Centre for Civil Protection of the University of Florence.

During the last videoconference, according to the phenomena and risk evaluations made available by the Competence Centres, the alert levels already in force for the six volcanoes were confirmed: the yellow alert level remains for Stromboli and Etna (monitoring parameters on anomalous values over time) and for the Phlegraean Fields (significant variation of the monitored parameters), while for Vesuvius, Ischia, and Vulcano the alert level is green (no significant variation of the monitored parameters). In this regard, please note that even when the declared alert level is "green" the risk can never be considered absent, since some volcanic phenomenologies are completely unpredictable and always possible.

Below, for each volcano, the activity status relative to the last month is listed.

Stromboli. Volcanic activity characterized by "Strombolian" explosions of medium-high intensity from several eruptive mouths. The ejected material also fell outside the crater area, affecting the upper part of the Sciara del Fuoco. In particular, on 18 January, volcanic activity produced a lava flow that lasted 3 hours. Geophysical and geochemical parameters show higher than normal values (medium-high) consistent with the ongoing explosive activity, while the values of soil deformations, particularly along the Sciara del Fuoco, did not show significant variations.

Phlegraean Fields. Seismic activity not showed significant variations compared to the last period. More than 30 low energy events were recorded, mainly located in the Pozzuoli/Solfatara/Astroni area, within a depth of 2km. The analysis of soil, ground and satellite deformations confirmed that the elevation of the Phlegrean area has returned to the values of the last period, after the increase that had been recorded in December 2019 following the seismic event of magnitude 3.1. Overall, from 2011 to date the area has risen by 60 cm. Geochemical parameters continue to demonstrate the trends already recorded in previous years, confirming the gradual heating and pressurization of the hydrothermal system.

Etna. Strombolian and effusive activity was observed, but only inside the craters, with ash emission from the Voragine, New South East Crater and Northeast Crater. The moderate increase in seismicity linked to volcanic activity continues. Soil deformations are concentrated on the summit area of the volcano.

Vesuvius. Seismic activity revealed no significant changes compared to the last period. More than 40 low-energy events were recorded, mainly located in the crater area, within 2km depth.

Volcano. Monitoring of crater fumaroles shows a decrease in their temperature with medium-low exhalation activity. Almost no seismic activity. The soil deformation data show a phase of slight contraction.

Ischia. Only one seismic event of low energy occurred on the island. As far as soil deformations and geochemical and geothermal analyses are concerned, there are no significant variations.

You can download the full official version of the video conference results for each volcano from the internal links on this page.